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  #1  
Old 05-02-2013, 10:48 PM
lovethecorners lovethecorners is offline
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Non-Aero to OEM-Aero Wiper Blade/Arm Conversion

The wiper blades on my R53 have been streaking and chattering recently so I knew it was time for replacement. I've previously used aftermarket aero-style replacements to varying success but the one-attachment-fits-all-wiper-arms is inelegant and leaves a bulbous center attachment mechanism. Around the same time my blades started to go south, I made a trip to my dealership and noticed that the R56 hatches in the showroom all had the MINI OEM aero blades I had heard about. This got me to researching, would it be possible to replace the wiper arms of my 9/2006 build R53 with the latest wiper arms and blades? Part numbers courtesy of realoem.com:

9/2006 build R53:
Wiper arms: 61617248407
Wiper motor and mechanism: 61618229128

1/2010 build R56:
Wiper arms: 61617248407
Wiper motor and mechanism: 61617138789

12/2012 build R56 LCI:
Wiper arm, driver's side: 61617352525
Wiper arm, passenger's side: 61617352526
Wiper motor and mechanism: 61617138789

What did I learn? The change from R53 to R56 kept the same same wiper arm even though the motor changed, thus the motor linkage spindle/pin which intersects the wiper arm is the same diameter. The R56 LCI changed the wiper arms (and blades) in 7/2012 but crucially, the wiper motor has the same part number, thus the linage pin diameter should be consistent for all MINIs hatches (I only checked my 9/2006 R53 build)!

Replacing the wiper arms and blades from the J-hook style pre-R56 LCI to the bayonet style R56 LCI might seem overkill and unnecessarily expensive, but I needed new blades and my arms were starting to look pretty dull and faded anyways. Here are the steps I took and my conclusions after the install. These are merely the steps I took and know that I am not a mechanic so follow these steps at your own risk. That being said the hardest part of this conversion was paying for two new OEM wiper arms and blades!

Tools:
Steps:
  1. Used painters tape to mark where the blades on the newly installed arms should come in contact with windshield.
    Click the image to open in full size.

  2. Removed old wiper arm hinge covers. There are two clips on either side of of the plastic cover, closest to the blade that should be gently pulled outward. Tilt cover up and away from the car.
    Click the image to open in full size.

  3. Remove retaining nut and washer.

  4. Use puller tool to remove wiper arm from pressed on wiper motor mount. As you can see I didn't purchase the specialized windshield wiper arm puller tool and instead used an improvised setup with a puller, C-clamp and gumption. Know that there is a very small amount of clearance between the wiper arm and the plastic cover surrounding the motor arm post which is easy to scratch.
    Click the image to open in full size.

  5. Once the old arms are removed, simply install the new arms and enjoy!
    Click the image to open in full size.
    Click the image to open in full size.

Conclusions:
  • We haven't yet had heavy rain in the Boston area, so I can't vouch that the arms won't fly off the wiper mounts or that the aero-blades are any good. However we've had a few light sprinkles and the blades are much quieter that the worn OEM-style blades I previously had (which isn't saying much)
  • Even with these OEM-aero blades, the passenger side still does not come into contact with the far edge of the windshield. As the passenger side blade is an inch longer than the driver side, ordering two driver side blades might do the trick for someone obsessed with having the blade in constant contact with the windshield.
  • As these worked on my 2006 R53, I'm assuming this would work for any R56 pre-aero blades that wants to convert.
  • They're dead sexy and more "aero"dynamic so I'm sure I gained at least 1-2hp...

Additional pics:
Click the image to open in full size.

Click the image to open in full size.

Click the image to open in full size.

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Click the image to open in full size.
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Last edited by lovethecorners; 05-02-2013 at 10:55 PM.
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  #2  
Old 05-03-2013, 02:14 AM
-=gRay rAvEn=-'s Avatar
-=gRay rAvEn=- -=gRay rAvEn=- is offline
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Nice write up, but would seem at least around here, there is limited supply of aftermarket blades for the newer style spade/bayonet arms you just installed, including the most popular brands on the current market.

So we have been swapping them out with the older style arks you just removed...

There is a set of BMW blades you can purchase for the original J hook style which are almost just like the new blades for the MINI. They don't have that huge bulbis center attachment part and looking much better than any aftermarket blade IMO.
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  #3  
Old 05-03-2013, 02:51 AM
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AKIndiMini AKIndiMini is offline
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Thanks for the write up. Been thinking about doing this mod on my '04...but might be changing my mind since the passenger side blade still doesn't contact the windshield at the edge of the blade. I was really hoping the new style blades would fix that.

Gray Raven - do you happen to know the part number for the BMW blades you mentioned? Or, the year/model of the vehicles that use those blades?
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Old 05-03-2013, 03:37 PM
Da_Ghost Da_Ghost is offline
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I don't know about you, but for me, it's oem all the way for wipers, no matter the car brand. On my Mini I never had luck with aftermarket blades, because just like the Aero ones you got, they don't contact the windshield all the way, while the factory ones works just fine.
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  #5  
Old 05-06-2013, 09:20 AM
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ECSTuning ECSTuning is online now
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Nice write up.

Here is the kit with some the install photo on the Gen 1 R50 R52 r53 ( R52 MINI Convertible ) & Gen 2 R55 R56 R57 ( R56 MINI Cooper S ).


http://www.ecstuning.com/Search/SiteSearch/61610039343KT/ES2642922/


Click the image to open in full size.

Click the image to open in full size.

Click the image to open in full size.


Thanks
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Last edited by ECSTuning; 07-30-2013 at 11:32 AM.
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  #6  
Old 05-09-2013, 10:59 PM
lovethecorners lovethecorners is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by -=gRay rAvEn=- View Post
Nice write up, but would seem at least around here, there is limited supply of aftermarket blades for the newer style spade/bayonet arms you just installed, including the most popular brands on the current market.

So we have been swapping them out with the older style arks you just removed...

There is a set of BMW blades you can purchase for the original J hook style which are almost just like the new blades for the MINI. They don't have that huge bulbis center attachment part and looking much better than any aftermarket blade IMO.
Interesting. I obviously haven't encountered this yet, although I'm not too worried as I usually try to preemptively replace my blades before I'm stranded in the middle of a blizzard sticking my head out the window to see the road ahead.

However in the Boston area most of the major auto chains PepBoys, AutoZone, NTB, etc. usually stock at least one aftermarket blade compatible with bayonet wiper arms. I've previously bought Rain-X Latitude blades at PepBoys for use with my old J-hook arms and they include an adapter for five additional arm types including bayonet. I wasn't in love with the Latitudes but they did the job. A quick search on Tire Rack showed that the PIAA Si-Tech blades are good for seven different arm types including bayonet. It seems like the non-aero blades are the ones usually missing bayonet mounts such as the Rain-X Fusion. But even some of these have available adapters such as Bosch's SEV adapter which will convert many Bosch non-aero blades to accept bayonet arms.

So if you're in an area with few automotive suppliers I could see how this could indeed be an issue, but for most densely populated areas I don't seeing this being a problem and I see it improving in the future with aero blades becoming more prevalent with OEMs. Were you referring to a particular temporary shortage? Of course we could always open our wallets to "support" the local dealership!
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Old 05-10-2013, 12:17 AM
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I used the stock arms on my 06 R53 and went with the Aero type blade Bosch makes.

Never a problem so far . . . . . . . .
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Old 05-10-2013, 07:43 PM
Rich.Wolfson Rich.Wolfson is online now
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Quote:
Originally Posted by MiniKar View Post
I used the stock arms on my 06 R53 and went with the Aero type blade Bosch makes. Never a problem so far . . . . . . . .
I use the PIAA Super Sporza Silicone Wiper Blade with the spoiler. They are the best blades I have ever used including the Bosch. I use the spoilers on both sides.

///Rich
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Old 05-10-2013, 07:43 PM
 
 
 
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