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My new old Mini

Old 10-08-2018, 06:17 PM
samstoney is offline
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My new old Mini a Ď13 cooper base, 6 speed, with a blown engine. Helped a friend out who ran the oil down till it made a death rattle, then didnt have the space, time, and money to fix; now I have a project.
Progress is going well: engine is out, new used motor with 17K miles should be on the way. But Iím formulating a lot of questions, so I thought Iíd dump them all out here for comments, or possible links to threads. Iíve searched around a little already and will continue to do to, but Iíll always welcome a pointer. So:

...the coolant was full when the car blew up, but magically drained itself when it was sitting in a garage for a month, all over the floor. So far I havenít found a damaged hose or part, but Iím suspecting mice. Any known pest related issues with the coolant system?

- I destroyed a bunch of little clip on zip ties when pulling the engine harness apart. These look very Mini specific; is there anywhere to buy replacements other than Mini.

...for that matter, how realistically are Mini factory parts priced at the dealership? Of course eventually Iíll find out on my own, but should I treat them as a first source, or a choice of last resort?

...everything that bolts onto the engine looks pretty good, aside from having a lot of surface corrosion - this car is a New England winter car, with 95k miles on it. But - are there any stupily common failure points I should address now? Iíd look at the timing chain, but the new motor has only 17K miles on it; seems to me Iím better off keeping it buttoned up.

- the AC condenser has oddly shed most of the little pieces of metal between the refrigerant lines. Is this common?

There; thatís a start. I really appreciate any feedback, and I hope I can find a way to return the favor to the forum in the future.

Old 10-11-2018, 05:04 AM
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Hi and welcome to NAM, samstoney!
Wow your first Mini and a major project! I don't see this often!
Parts: Many parts are way cheaper on Amazon, Ebay and a few other Mini specific sellers.
Mini dealer is typically way high on parts! Remember this is a BMW, which stands for Bring More Wampum!
Show us some pics!
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Old 10-11-2018, 06:51 AM
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My limited experience, and I agree with ItsmeWayne, that you can find parts by doing a simple Google search. Start with a good dealer site to get the specific part number then Google the heck out of it. My thing is I search for is customer service and of course value. I have found, like anything Amazon can be a bit confusing when they suggest parts and when you dig you find the part won't fit your specific model. Its just how the Amazon Algorithm works I guess.

With my 2006 Mini Cooper S project I needed several Mini specific body parts which were larger (radiator support). I found deals here and there but the shipping costs always killed the deals. I found a Mini dealer in Georgia ( that had solid pricing and the parts website was easy to navigate and when you got over a certain value it was basically a flat shipping cost. I then decided to try and save myself the shipping while working to form a relationship with my local (Mini of Golden Valley) dealership. I had the part numbers and had my local parts counter pull the price (he was less than friendly). Well my local dealer was $930 the place in Georgia was $630 delivered to my door. $300 upcharge to go local and it wasn't $300 in taxes that put it over. Needless to say I ordered the parts online and I am waiting for their arrival. before I placed the order I called Mini of Kennesaw and spoke to a parts person (a nice woman) who was very helpful and pleasant on the phone. That interaction made it easier to hit "order". Again my limited experience. I had read and heard great things about Way Motor Works and plan to use them when I can as well.

Last edited by Joemamasmini; 10-11-2018 at 07:54 AM.
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Old 10-11-2018, 08:30 AM
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Thanked 38 Times in 37 Posts is a reasonably-priced resource. I've ordered a number of MINI parts and have yet to be disappointed.
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samstoney (10-11-2018)
Old 10-11-2018, 06:57 PM
samstoney is offline
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Thanks everyone!

This weekend I’ll put together a few shots, and hopefully at the parts list I need for the swap - mostly seals and the such.

@itsmewayne -yes, it’s a big project, but I had limited deadlines, and I’ve got a good set of tools. Not that it’s 100% apart and heading back together it doesn’t seem so bad.

Old 10-12-2018, 01:49 PM
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Welcome. We carry all the parts and if you post up pics I can show you what you need.

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Old 10-13-2018, 10:27 AM
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OK, so heres a pic of the hole I need to fill in the next week or so:

And here my notes on the swap so far.

The Bentley manual is not useful at all for this. I’m a big fan of Bentley manuals in general, but there are just too many gaps in the Mini one. Fortunately, there is a lot of solid info here on the web; reading through many, many posts made the job pretty understandable. Being able to pull the whole nose off does make the job less physically painful but, being a modern car, there are an amazing number of connections to connect/disconnect.

I didnt have to get anywhere near the hood during the engine removal. I cant see why so many engine swap posts, and Bentley, start with pulling the hood. Its nice to have it there covering the engine when it rains; because of my work schedule this project is stretched over several weeks.

Here, so far, are the parts I will be buying:

AC system - I hate dumping that Freon into the atmosphere, but I didnt have a lot of choice; the alternative would have been to tow the Mini to a shop, have them drain it, then to it back. Aside form needing to open lines to remove the engine, I also need to replace the condenser, ad all the little fins between the coolant lines are falling out...maybe because of New England salt? I dunno.

I need to count through all the Orings and find a good source for HNBR replacements. It appears each Oring is a $5.00 Mini part and that is pure highway robbery - I’m guessing I’ll spend less than $15.00 for all of them. Likewise, I’ll find replacements for the injector Orings.

It appears that the most cost effective way to replace all the coolant and oil sealing rings between the engine and multiple components is to buy a head gasket set, and that doesnt have a lot of them! Since there really isn’t a simple way to do this, I’m going to carefully remove/clean/inspect each seal, and reuse where I can. In past projects I’ve reused seals like this, along with very carefully putting a small bead of RTV along the *outside* surface of whatever the seal goes in, and never had a leak. Likewise, the exhaust gasket looks reusable, if combined with the very judicial use of some sealant.

The clutch is in spec - 1.2mm of material above the rivets. But I’ve had to pull a motor to replace a bad throw out bearing in the past, and I dont want to do that again. The bearing seems to be $75.00, and a complete clutch kit ~$150. It would be stupid to not buy that.

Exhaust hangars: I cut the one ones off. Then I saw the millions of exhaust hangar removal tools on the web; I didnt know they were so cheap! I would recommend anyone working on the exhaust buy one of these as they are way cheaper than whole sets of exhaust hangars. Mini ones seem dear in price but, unlike the ones at the local parts shop they are reinforced. Not sure which way I’ll go. Oh, and of course I need to replace the exhaust pipe to exhaust system clamp.

Of course then there’s engine oil, filter, coolant...but I think that’s about it so far.
Old 10-14-2018, 10:35 AM
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Another source I found that has good prices is Outmotoring.

Good of luck with the project. Keep us posted with the project.
Old 10-14-2018, 08:03 PM
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We are happy to help with anything you need as we likely have it in stock since we are a full service MINI only shop, but just don't have time to list every item on the website. Just email your request over and we'll email you back.

Old 10-15-2018, 12:33 AM
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Use Realoem dot com for part numbers :-) Everything is there right down to o-rings, etc.
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