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BoxheadTim GRM+ Memberand MegaDork
7/21/17 12:27 a.m.

Why, another one of course. Meet the mighty BINI:

Yes, I'll try to take a better photo at some point. I may even create another ownership log for it like I did for the 996.

Anyway, what do we have here? It's a 2006 Mini Cooper S John Cooper Works. From all I and the fairly enthusiastic previous owner could tell it's completely unmodified which is rather rare and it'll probably not stay that way forever. Cloth seats for some odd reason (not that I'm complaining, I prefer them to leather) but still has a sunroof. 102k on the clock, still drives nicely but needs a little TLC.

Some maintenance history with it that I haven't had time to go through and also came with second set of tires (Conti DWS, currently wears Michelin Super Sports). Oh, and an annoyingly dark tint in the front windows. Probably have to get that fixed.

It still feels tight and goes rather well, although after driving it back to my crash pad I got the "dry shock" oinking noise. Typically it didn't do that during the test drive...

Anyway, let's hope I get it home tomorrow night without further incidents and then it's time for a good poke around the car.

yupididit GRM+ Memberand Dork
7/21/17 12:31 a.m.

You never simply get out from under complicated expensive German machines. You get more. I love that color!

dean1484 GRM+ Memberand MegaDork
7/21/17 12:43 a.m.

Naaa you get more complicated British stuff

Klayfish PowerDork
7/21/17 5:41 a.m.

Given its' German/French/British heritage, I'm going to assume that the door is open simply because the hinges are broken and you can't close it. Hope you get that fixed soon...it'd make it a real bear to drive in tight spaces.

Very cool. I really enjoyed my R56 S when I had it. Absolute riot to drive.

DrBoost MegaDork
7/21/17 6:29 a.m.

Golly gosh is that a great color! Looking forward to future installments.

Ian F
Ian F MegaDork
7/21/17 7:18 a.m.

Congrats and welcome to the MINI fold.

<img src="IMG_20170627_074045669" />

Also a 2006 factory JCW, although I held out for a non-sunroof example. I've put almost 1000 miles on it since I bought it a few weeks ago.

My car has the "pleather" seats, although I know from experience they wear better than the leather. The cloth is durable as well, although it can be tough to keep clean.

Swapping the 17" wheels and run-flat tires for 16" wheels will help with ride quality. Eventually I'll find a compact spare, but for now I rely on AAA. When I bought the car, I didn't realize how good the Enkie wheels it has are - about 13.5 lbs ea!

Tyler H
Tyler H GRM+ Memberand UltraDork
7/21/17 7:47 a.m.

Congrats. Get rid of those wheels -- they're ridiculously heavy. I enjoyed my MINI.

Ian F
Ian F MegaDork
7/21/17 8:36 a.m.

In reply to Tyler H:

Yeah... in the MINI world they're known as "S-Leads".

Keith Tanner
Keith Tanner GRM+ Memberand MegaDork
7/21/17 8:46 a.m.

IIRC you can run 6ULs on MINIs. Welcome!

Sort of related MINI pic.

mad_machine GRM+ Memberand MegaDork
7/21/17 9:17 a.m.

Land Rover was owned by BMW when my Disco rolled off the assembly line. You have no idea how badly I have considered getting a MINI to compliment it

Aspen Reader
7/21/17 9:18 a.m.

Hyper Blue? My cabrio is the same year and colour, except mirrors are blue and my bonnet stripes are matte black with silver accents.

Ditto on the switch to 16" wheels. I have a fix a flat kit and CAA. Koni FSDs help tame the harshness too, since you may be in need of struts.

Check the control arm bushings and the strut tops for cracks and mushrooming.


BoxheadTim GRM+ Memberand MegaDork
7/21/17 10:00 a.m.

Yep, it's Hyper Blue. PO replaced the black/silver stripes with the white ones that are on the car because he liked them better. I seem to recall that he also changed the color of the mirrors.

It's proven almost impossible to find even a regular non-sunroof Cooper S out here, so in the end I decided that I could live with the sunroof if the rest of the car was OK. This one at least had one caring owner (the guy I bought it off, not sure about the other four...) and didn't appear overly needy. Well, so far. I suspect I'll find stuff once I tear into it.

Re the strut tops, an M7 front strut brace is already on the shopping list. They don't look visibly mushroomed (seen that before) but I guess the proof is in the pudding.

I'm not that big a fan of the wheels, and that was before finding out how much they weigh. TR has 16" RPF1s in Bronze that might look good, although I do have two sets of 17" tires for it... I also really like the looks of that generation Mini with TE37s on it, so that might be another option.

Oh, and it got new front control arms recently so at least those bushings should be OK. Not sure about the rear one, though.

racerdave600 UltraDork
7/21/17 10:08 a.m.

Welcome to the fold! My current one is a 2012 R56 (just like below), but my previous version was an '06 S without a sunroof. I didn't know how rare that was at the time or I would have kept it.

Congrats on the new car. One of my favorite colors on a Mini. And I still prefer the R53.

Aspen Reader
7/21/17 2:05 p.m.

Rear bushings are not usually an issue. Oil leaks however.... Mine currently has a mysterious clunk at the front end upon turning left under hard acceleration. I am suspecting engine/tranny mounts since the control arms are newish.

racerdave600 UltraDork
7/21/17 2:24 p.m.
Aspen wrote: Rear bushings are not usually an issue. Oil leaks however.... Mine currently has a mysterious clunk at the front end upon turning left under hard acceleration. I am suspecting engine/tranny mounts since the control arms are newish.

Mine had something similar and it was sway bar bushing. Of course they bury it and it is not so easy to change.

Ian F
Ian F MegaDork
7/21/17 2:25 p.m.
Keith Tanner wrote: IIRC you can run 6ULs on MINIs. Welcome!

That thought has crossed my mind, but I don't know if they will fit over the larger JCW brakes. Otherwise, I dream of a set of 15x9's with 245 tires for running in STX.

Clunking from the front end may be from the motor mount. The hydraulic mount on the '04+ cars is known to be problematic. Also check the front LCA rear bushings.

Keith Tanner
Keith Tanner GRM+ Memberand MegaDork
7/21/17 2:33 p.m.

We also have 17x8 and 17x9s.

Toyman01 GRM+ Memberand MegaDork
7/21/17 5:06 p.m.

I replaced mine with a Ford. Lucky for me, I learned that lesson the first time around.

Congrats on the new car.

mndsm MegaDork
7/21/17 5:53 p.m.

My old cooper s was that color. It's gorgeous.

nutherjrfan Dork
7/21/17 7:14 p.m.

"Baseball's hard, guys...it doesn't always love you back. It's kind of like dating a German chick, you know".

Vigo UltimaDork
7/21/17 11:41 p.m.
Given its' German/French/British heritage,

Don't forget the Dodge Neon-derived engine. Actually a reliability upgrade compared to a Porsche m96.

BoxheadTim GRM+ Memberand MegaDork
7/22/17 10:24 a.m.

Well, I drove it home last night. Good news is it made the 300 mile journey OK, but the to-do list is growing.

  • Brakes make a grinding noise on application. Needs to check rotors and especially pads, it might just be the way the pads sound but I also know these things eat brakes
  • After some unplanned heat soak due to getting held up by a traffic accident, the supercharger got pretty whiny in a rough sort of way. Once I was driving again and it cooled down again it sounded normal, but I'm guessing at this mileage it wants the s/c oil changed. Just need to find a weekend to take half the car apart.
  • Unless they hid the aux connector very well, I will either have to install one or put in a new head unit. It's got the poverty spec system so if it's a keeper I'll probably throw new speakers in as well
  • It really strikes me as a GRM-spec car. It's got base everything (cloth seats, hardly any options, base model radio and speakers) combined with the most powerful engine package. And an LSD. I wouldn't be surprised if someone bought it as an Auto-X car.
  • PO warned me that it does use a bit of oil, so I have to figure out just how much it uses. The records show that the shop the PO used was using 5w30 (standard spec) but Pelican's tech articles recommend 10w40 or even 20w50 in hot climates. I hope that going to something like Mobil1 0w40 Euro spec will reduce the oil consumption.
Aspen Reader
7/22/17 11:15 a.m.

If you find the sc oil missing or low then you will need to rebuild it.

The aux input just plugs into the back of the head unit. You can mount the other end some where nearby. You likely don't have one as it was optional. Proclip makes a nifty cellphone mount for near the left down tube.

My cluck will likely be the sway bushings now because I didn't change them when doing the control arms so Murphy's law will apply.

JoeTR6 HalfDork
7/22/17 9:52 p.m.

The 2006 Cooper S that I ordered new was similar, although I didn't get the JCW engine goodies. It was impossible to find a car that a dealer ordered without the sunroof, and I absolutely didn't want one. I hope this goes well for you, as these cars are a blast to drive.

Ian F
Ian F MegaDork
7/23/17 8:08 a.m.

In reply to BoxheadTim:

It's possible, although back in 2006 the factory JCW package wasn't really recognized. I was only about 5 years ago they allow them in Stock/Street classes. The one reason I wanted a factory JCW is with some minor reliability modifications (Ireland Engineering fixed camber plates & PowerFlex LCA bushings), the car slots into STX nicely and isn't horribly outclassed by other cars. One problem with a std MCS is a 15% pulley upgrade helps a lot with a power bump - but puts the car into a Street Mod class.

The oil spec was 5w30 synthetic when the car was new and then changed to 0w40 when that became more prevalent.

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