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R53 coopers S. school me.

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Looking at these. Seem like fun little cars albeit with some labour heavy maintenance items due to compact design. 
 

who has one /had one. What’s good / bad about them. 
 

cheers. 

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My wife has one, r53 with a manual trans. Fun car to drive, short wheelbase and zippy as hell. I understand you can put different pulleys on the SC and do a few other mods if you are that way inclined.

I don’t actually find it that bad to work on - once you know how to put it into ‘service mode’ (bumper etc comes off) it’s no worse than any of my previous Toyota/Mazda cars. Better in some ways.
You will have oil leaks to fix, I’ve done all the common ones in ours (various seals and orings). We have had some issues, throttle body went, I had to do the clutch when the throwout bearing exploded and serviced the supercharger, water pump, hoses and all the front end ball joints and bushings etc. at the same time. First time I’ve done most of that on a car and was done on jack stands in my driveway over the course of a weekend and a week or so of evenings.

I don’t regret buying one even though I’ve done a fair bit of work and thrown some money at parts, but perhaps would feel different if I had to pay a mechanic to do it. Watch out for noisy timing chains as that doesn’t look like nice if it goes, I replaced the tensioner on ours as preventative maintenance.

This YouTube channel playlist has been extremely useful. There is a video in there on common faults/checking one out for purchase too from memory.

 

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Hi - here are some useful links and reviews I found when researching an R53 Cooper S (bought a 130i instead)

Seems the best model years were build date July 2004 onwards, when the gearbox was improved along with other mods noted in these articles. You can ID the model change by their later headlight configuration and the rear lower central white reversing light was replaced by a red reflector lens.

I still lust after one of these little go karts

https://www.lohen.co.uk/blog/gen-1-engine-faults.html

https://www.roadandtrack.com/car-culture/buying-maintenance/a30177/mini-cooper-s-buyers-guide/

http://www.motoringfile.com/mini-r50r53-buyers-guide/

Youtube links which includes the one noted in post above:

https://www.youtube.com/results?search_query=%23ModMINI

Good luck

John

Mini differences pic.GIF

Edited by gofaster
removed surplus link
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Look into checking things like the front control arm bushes, and front strut tops as they are quite common to fail. Other common failures are power steering pumps, waterpumps, ignition system, and basically anything that has oil in it.

Mine was a pain in the arse, needed a bunch of stuff fixed, wasnt that fun to drive and I really ended up hating it. My R50 (Cooper non-S) was more fun to drive as you just rode the revs and drove it at 100% everywhere. I guess with a bunch of mods you could make a base S better, but I was already into it for too much by the time I fixed all the issues.

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On 12/29/2021 at 3:01 PM, E28E30 said:

Can sell you this one: :)

 

Actually for sale?

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