Mini R56 Cooper S John Cooper Works Assessment

Published on 5 June 2023 at 08:24

With the car now back home it was time to have another really good look, clean it up a bit and order all the parts that I need to rectify any problems and make the car my own. The air conditioning is broken, there is a massive leak that I think is coming from the condenser, I hope to get the grille off and have a better look but I can definitely hear gas escaping from that area. A new one is not a lot of money although the system will need to be vacuumed to remove any moisture and then be refilled with gas and oil. I suspected this when I viewed the car and used it in negotiating the price so it's all good. Next job was to check the oil - good job I did as it was below the minimum mark. These cars are well known for using plenty of oil - I am used to that with the Porsche but it's shocking that a tiny little 1.6 straight 4 should use as much as my 4.5 litre v8. I reckon OPEC designed it.

Anyway, I gave the leather a good feed, it smells like a new car again now, I also removed the rear seat delete kit and refitted the seats and associated bits. I figure it will just make the car that wee bit quieter for the very occasional longer runs that we do. The paintwork got a wash and wax - Fusso Soft99 being my wax of choice. It looks a lot better now apart from the bonnet, which has at some time had stripes on it that have been removed and left a mark. I don't think I can polish it out and don't fancy trying to respray the metallic black so I shall just reinstate the stripes - I think they will look good anyway. Just need to decide whether to go for thin stripes like it had or go a bit bolder and do thick ones. I won't do anything until I have decided. I might make temporary paper ones so I can stand back and see what it looks like before committing.

 Can't do much now until parts start arriving - the list so far is: front and rear standard length coil springs, pair of front fog lights, JCW badge, memory card for the stereo, more oil and various cleaning products. I have found a condenser for the ac which I will buy if I can verify that's where my leak is - otherwise it will have to go in to a specialist.

The stereo has not been installed correctly  the radio doesn't work at all, the rear speakers are wired to the front and vice versa and it's all a bit loose in the after market replacement pod. It's a decent enough piece of kit with bluetooth and a usb slot , the speakers are upgraded Harman Kardons and with a bit of fiddling about I am very happy with the sound, although I think a pair of high mounted tweeters at the front would improve matters further. I shall ponder that one. The menu on it is quite hard to use and it's all a bit fiddly, I may change my mind and go for a double DIN Android unit - that's not something for the near future though.

Performance wise I am leaving things as they are, it's got more than enough grunt for round here where the nearest dual carriageway is about 15 miles away, the nearest motorway is a good hour away through snake infested swamp.

I am hoping to have it all ready and road legal for the hill climb event at Grimsthorpe Castle in early July. I will be going with  my mate, he will be taking 2 or 3 of his cars, he has something like 26  to choose from. At the moment he's thinking his Group b collection of Lancia Delta Integrale, Renault 5 Turbo and the fastest of all minis - the Metro 6r4. He has  told me to take my crash  helmet with me, which is exciting. I'm hoping my mate Russell will be going as well, it will be a really good day out. A bit like Last of the Summer Wine but with 1,000 horse power involved.



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