2006 Mini Cooper S R53 - A Mini Adventure?

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  • Interesting, thanks. Toying with the idea of one of these as a 'fun' car but not being able to transport bike or hounds would have been a bit annoying.

  • This was a bit sketchy, but it did fit. That's a 29er and a 26er.

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  • looks perfect to me! :) well done!

  • So this post covers a few jobs I've done on the front end all rolled into one.

    Firstly I ordered some of wishdotcoms finest tint vinyl in yellow and orange. They arrived promptly but the orange wasn't quite as orange as I'd have liked and the yellow wasn't quite as yellow as I'd have liked either.

    I took off the front bumper and wrapped the fog lights in yellow and the front indicators in orange, reassembled and then immediately took it all off again and applied another layer on each to try and brighten up the colour a bit. They're still not quite as vibrant as I'd like but I'll get around to ordering some better quality vinyl at some stage and redoing them. The overall look is good though and I'm happy with it for now.

    I then took a holes to my bonnet. There's no other way to describe it than that really...
    There's a particularly excellent R53 build on Minitorque that I've been heavily inspired by where I saw this done and I absolutely loved it so I copied it on mine.

    The idea is that the air intake to the bottom of the airbox is actually directly behind the holes and in theory this should allow more air into the bottom of the airbox. I also replaced the panel filter with a K&N RU-3190 cylindrical filter when I was doing this which involved drilling out the airbox and fitting a flange adaptor to increase the size of the outlet and also drilling out the back of the airbox to fit an adaptor through to the scuttle bulkhead for cold air feed. I'll take some pics of this for another post next time but it's a really common mod, if you want to learn more google "DaveF R53 airbox mod".
    I just marked it up by drawing a line parallel to the grill and then spacing the holes along it, nothing complicated.
    When I drilled the holes the bit I used was coarser than I expected and despite my best efforts it was really hard on the paint around the holes so I do need to repaint that section of the bonnet. I may also trim out the bracing behind this hole to allow and even clearer airflow through but I've just sprayed the bracing black for now.

    I then cut more holes in my bonnet;
    In an effort to reduce engine temperatures as much as possible I decided to go ahead and fit some bonnet vents. The most common ones people tend to fit on R53s are Jaguar Supercharged vents and Focus ST/ RS vents but I decided I wanted something a little different and as I may have previously mentioned I've been bitten badly by the JDM bug recently so I was keen to go for something slightly more in that style.
    I ordered a set of Maxton Honda Civic Type R vents and fitted them.

    I spent a long time moving them about the bonnet to try and find the perfect location. I had been apprehensive about locating them over the washer jets but in the end I decided this really was the most aesthetically pleasing location for them and I'd figure out the washer jets later...

    There was an unintended stroke of genius to this plan as if you've ever tried to measure anything on a Mini bonnet you will know that undulating is a word that barely does justice to it's shape, however, as a result of doing away with the washer jets I was able to mark and cut the first vent and then use the piece I removed as a negative by flipping it over and using the washer jet hole as an index hole for lining up the other vent!

    I then cut out the bracing behind the vent holes, cleaned up the edges and used Tec7 to install the vents. I do need to go over it with some gasket seal under the edges to ensure there's nowhere for water to sit between the edge of the vent and the bonnet but again, it's about 90% completed and looks pretty great!

    I've also ordered a set of Hypersonic HP6403 washer jets to replace the stock ones which look like they'll be easy to install and will do a better job of clearing the windscreen in future, for now my washer jets have been coiled up in a bundle behind the drivers side scuttle panel and I've been praying for rain to give me some chance of clearing my windscreen!

    I'll try and give it a wash this week and take some nice photos, I appreciate there haven't been many thus far...

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  • A better shot of the tinted lights, pre-speedholes...

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  • Looking good - mine's just a standard cooper in sparkling silver (kinda like the metallic champagne you see on 80's steel frames) with a black roof & standard 15" wheels, started leaking oil last week which gave me the fear but turned out to be the oil pressure switch - sorted for £9, bonus!

    You're not hanging about with the progress there - what rack is that - Thule with the extended short roof section? I remember one of my mates moaning he had to get extra bits to fit a rack to his

  • All I can think of when I hear the term "speed hole".

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  • @Nahguavkire could you tell me where you got the nice looking stereo from? I can't seem to find all that many in the UK...

  • I found it on eBay! CarAudio24 was the seller.

  • Ah great! Easy enough to fit, and its the 12V version I'm after right?

  • Love the R53. Am looking for similar here in Ireland too. Did you know you can reg them as a commercial vehicle here? By removing rear seats and belts and engineers report.

  • I hadn't actually considered that 🤔 I was thinking about a rear seat delete at some stage too actually!

  • Saw this today and thought of yours!

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  • Ah mines the new shape inside which would mean taking out all the centre console. Might leave that 😂

  • That's excellent 😅 never seen that one around before!

  • Updates have been infrequent as I've been away for work for the last fortnight but I've been doing some strong #buyering over the last while and I've got a few fun things to go on next week when I get back :)

    KAVS 17% reduced lightweight supercharger pulley
    NGK BKR7EQUP spark plugs
    eBay "Hobocooler" with Whatageek Not So Hobo Diverter
    Milltek manifold with hi-flow sports cat and non-resonated cat back

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  • Oh, I've also ordered a Phatbits steering wheel cover to fit in black alcantara with black stitching and a yellow 12 o'clock indicator strip and I'm just trying to make up my mind on an exact shade for rewebbing the seatbelts but I've bought a spare set to send off to Kolour Koncept, hopefully a nice muted mustard yellow.

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  • Allegedly this is normal behaviour for new exhaust wrap ☹

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  • IG

    Hopefully this link works as I couldn't upload directly here due to file size...

  • Managed a wash and a few snaps. Sort of lost track of updates but I'll go through it later and see what I've not updated.

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  • Disappointing absence of unicorns, rainbows and pearloid. Looks pretty sweet otherwise!

  • Chonkyyyy. Really gotta look into these. Rack for bikes?

  • Needs more lows.
    Looks great though

  • Looks awesome, think it could go a bit lower though.
    An R53 is now on my list of potential cars.

  • I see where you're coming from. It would make a superb paint scheme under the bonnet of an otherwise sedate car to be fair... You've given me an idea for the next build!

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2006 Mini Cooper S R53 - A Mini Adventure?

Posted by Avatar for Nahguavkire @Nahguavkire