2004 Mini Cooper

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unimpressed by you
Oops. I did it again.


So, yeah, got a mini cooper now. As some of y'all know, I recently got pretty seriously injured in a motorcycle mishap, and won't be able to drive for a bit, and probably won't be riding motorcycles for a while either.

So, I traded a 2002 yz250fp, bored out to 290cc for this mini.

It just needed a clutch and brakes.



The clutch was in pretty bad shape...



But, I got it cleaned up, and got it back together.




Now it's all buttoned up, and ready to get the radiator, condenser, and front support put back on.


This coming week, axles will arrive, brake rotors, brake pads, new gear oil, and a new oil filter. Then I get to figure out what else needs to be replaced, judging by the service history (in BMW's system) it shouldn't need too much more than that. I'll get temp tags tomorrow when I have to go to the DMV to get a handicap placard, and I'm thinking I can convince a friend to drive it to a safety inspection station and then to an emissions inspection station, then I can get my wife to take me to the DMV and get full tags for it.
Sorry to hear about your accident, hope things are going as well as they can for you.

The Mini looks awesome! You sure know your way around a variety of vehicles.
Thanks guys. I'm glad to be walking around, eventually I'll be able to drive again. I just got the temp tags, gear oil, and rear brake pads today.

Maybe I'll be able to goad a friend into driving it around for me this weekend a bit so I can listen and feel for other issues.
Yeah, not an S. Means it still has head gaskets that are functioning as intended. ;)

Today I got the rear brakes off, which required the manufacture of a tool...


And also got the subframe bolted back in.

The new axles came today, so I suppose I'll get those in and the transmission filled with oil and get the clutch bled. Tomorrow the scan tool comes, maybe I can get the battery "registered" and figure out what other codes it's throwing that are BMW specific.
you know they sell that tool, it's called a "pandoras block" lol
I filled the transmission on my lunch break. Apparently it wasn't filled with GL-4? The fresh GL-4 I put in was very thin compared to what came out. I guess I'll find out soon.

The front brake pads may never get here... USPS still has them somewhere near Chicago. But, the rotors get here tomorrow, and the code-reader, oil filter, and license plate bracket get here tonight.

I dropped a bunch of the engine-bay caps into the ultrasonic to try to clean 'em up a bit and get the crud out of the cracks and hard to reach places... I think it worked pretty well.





If you don't have an ultrasonic cleaner, you need to stop deluding yourself... You need one, immediately.
So, it's all done, except the brake pads, rotors, and wear sensors.


No trouble codes, but then again it hasn't moved under its own power yet...


And, because nothing can ever be easy: the radiator fill funnel tipped over while I was burping the coolant, putting a ton of coolant all over the engine and my shop floor. Yay.


So, tomorrow I'll deal with that. Either the head gasket popped spectacularly, it finally got warm enough and started to burp, or holding the engine at 2800 rpm rattled my ill-fitting radiator funnel loose.
Aaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaand time.

Reinstalled the fender liners, got the license plates on, polished the headlights, and got the new brake rotors, wear sensors, and pads installed.




Now, maybe, I can get a friend to drive it to an inspection station this weekend. :D
I can actually drive it!


Took it to my in-laws' house with my wife, daughter, and dog in tow. It drives nice, stops pretty well, and the clutch is definitely "new" feeling.

It needs engine mounts, there's a definite movement issue when on or off throttle.

Surprisingly, it had no cooling issues despite it being 90°F outside and the AC being on the whole time.

The tires need air, there's a couple rattles, and the passenger window motor needs to be looked at, it seems like someone replaced/installed it incorrectly -- or it might need the track adjusted.

So, sorry for the un-climactic thread, lol.
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Couple more miles on it, and now I've figured out the radiator fan issue and the lurch/clunk when I get on or off the throttle. The radiator fan wouldn't come on low-speed, just high-speed blasts whenever the AC pressure gets high or the temp gets high. Up for replacement are the fan resistor and engine mount, I just ordered, they'll be here next week and I'll get them replaced sometime during the week.

Now with properly inflated tires, it handles pretty well, and I think I'm healed enough to actually drive it around on my own.

I got the thing inspected yesterday.


And, it failed. Apparently Maryland has a new policy with rust on mufflers, as in: any visible rust is a failure. The outer portion of the muffler was rusted, and thus, it failed.


Steering was notchy/binding, and I figured out why after pulling the lower dash panel (it wasn't inside the car, or on the input side of the power steering), and it looked a lot like this:

That's the strut top hat bearing, after I filled it up with PB Blaster to try to break it free... It was totally full of sand, dirt, grass, bugs, etc. when I looked at it, and after removing the cap from the driver side, I realized there was probably an issue with that one...


So, in an effort to fix it quickly, and perhaps cheaply enough to pass inspection while I figure out what to do, I filled both full of PB Blaster, then Lubricant spray. After that drained out I then packed it full of Molybdenum Di-sulfide Paste (Honda M-77 Assembly Paste) as so:



Now the steering is buttery smooth, everything is greased pretty well, but I think I'll replace the strut top mounts eventually.

And, NAPA should have me a muffler for $378 by Friday, so I'll swing back by the inspection place after installing the muffler and the guy will: Look at the new muffler, spin the steering wheel, and then hand me a signed "PASS" for inspection.
Oh yeah, I replaced the upper motor mount. Totally uneventful. Easy job TBH, probably easier than doing it on a civic, lol. Now maybe I won't have that clunk/kerchunk feeling on hard throttle tip-in/tip-out.