05 pepper white MCS modification project - Page 31 - North American Motoring


Drivetrain (Cooper S) MINI Cooper S (R53) intakes, exhausts, pulleys, headers, throttle bodies, and any other modifications to the Cooper S drivetrain.
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05 pepper white MCS modification project

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  #751  
Old 06-13-2018, 08:20 AM
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Nice picture.
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  #752  
Old 06-13-2018, 09:59 AM
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testing, testing

testing to find out what max size NAM's constrains photo to


uploaded as "large" size from Mac



uploaded as "full" size from Mac



My impression in the past is it is constrained to 1600 horizontally. Judging from viewing with a 5k iMac it is not constrained to 1600 at all. It looks to me the same size of what I uploaded as "full". The photo has been cropped slightly. Wunderbar NAM.

I detest tiny photos in this day and age when smart phone can take 12M-pixel shots.

Last edited by pnwR53S; 06-13-2018 at 10:06 AM.
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  #753  
Old 06-13-2018, 10:12 AM
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more testing

this one is uploaded as 4032 × 3024 4.5 MB; it looks NAM sucks up the whole thing without constraining it


In the past I have been resizing photos to 1200 or 1600 wide, depends on the subject matter if higher rez is warranted.
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  #754  
Old 06-13-2018, 10:36 AM
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On a different note, I am surprised to hear about the oil back flow valve. Thanks for sharing that info.

I have had one break about 4 or 5 years ago. You cannot get just that one little bit. You have to get a whole new oil filter canister.


When I brought it to the shop on a flatbed and showed the mechanics the part they were stumped... They had never seen one fail. I am sure that I am not the only one that has failed though.
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Old 06-13-2018, 10:42 AM
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I have had one break about 4 or 5 years ago. You cannot get just that one little bit. You have to get a whole new oil filter canister.


When I brought it to the shop on a flatbed and showed the mechanics the part they were stumped... They had never seen one fail. I am sure that I am not the only one that has failed though.
I have since found out
Dorman makes a replacement Dorman makes a replacement
. We found this on another Mini forum, reading between the lines as the foto kicked the Photobucket. In my book it is not verified as the correct part.

Dorman 904-261 Oil Filter Drain Valve
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  #756  
Old 06-13-2018, 10:48 AM
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That looks very different from the part the came out of the filter canister I will look to see if I can find the photo I took... may be a while.
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Old 06-13-2018, 10:52 AM
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There are two valve thingies in there. One is bypass valve that is all metal, and the other is this infamous drain back valve. The former should be harmless but the latter will cause oil starvation to Mini's vital organs.
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  #758  
Old 06-13-2018, 11:09 AM
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Correction - memory is a fickle beast... It does look to be the same thing. Though the top of the one in your picture is different... Not sure I'd go with the aftermarket one even though it would save a lot of money just because of how important that little bit is.


Last edited by Thought of a good one; 06-13-2018 at 11:28 AM.
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  #759  
Old 06-13-2018, 12:35 PM
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drain back valve

I found a better photo that I took of mine. I regret that I didn't put my finger on it to feel it, and exercise the plunger. You cannot see it except with a compact enough camera like a smartphone.




For completeness sake here is the hard plastic slip ring on the MINI OE filter that compresses on the plunger. Crap aftermarket filters may not have this ring and when the thing cardboard end cap collapse it will sheer off the flimsy plastic barbs (feet) of the drain back valve.

this side of the filter element faces the drain back valve


I would not be surprise some people install the filter element backwards.
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  #760  
Old 06-13-2018, 07:40 PM
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Your first sentence says it all! Things can go wrong real fast. And trying to save it can add to problems.

And you are right about what line to take in a monsoon. Any that works. Just stay off paint.

I was surprised by 2 things the first time I drove in heavy rain. One was how good the brakes were and how well the car does track in a straight line. It seems you found the second one too, doing 103 out there. The MINIs are actually great in the rain compared to a lot of cars.

On a different note, I am surprised to hear about the oil back flow valve. Thanks for sharing that info.

For brake fluid - I use the Wilwood DOT 3. It has one of the highest dry boiling temps out there. I don’t worry about wet boiling as I flush it all the time.

I am working on getting back to posting on YouTube. I lost my editing program with a computer upgrade and I am working to find a replacement or if I can recover it.
Hugging the wall at the end of the straight braking from 103 MPH for the chicane is very unnerving in rain soaked track. I was just very glad the ABS worked well, and still I had to adjust steering to correct where the Mini try to go.

You confused me with Wilwood DOT 3. You use their 570, which has dry BP of 570F? They also have a 600. I chose Motul 600 as it has the right price point. Castrol SRF is very expensive and only because of the exceptional high wet BP. I too shop for high dry BP as long as wet is reasonably high.

I think with racing fluid, they are no longer DOT 3 or 4, as they exceed both specs.
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Old 06-13-2018, 07:43 PM
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mini on wet track

Our track team photographer took this last Friday. The driver is visibly tense.


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Old 06-13-2018, 08:42 PM
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Hugging the wall at the end of the straight braking from 103 MPH for the chicane is very unnerving in rain soaked track. I was just very glad the ABS worked well, and still I had to adjust steering to correct where the Mini try to go.

You confused me with Wilwood DOT 3. You use their 570, which has dry BP of 570F? They also have a 600. I chose Motul 600 as it has the right price point. Castrol SRF is very expensive and only because of the exceptional high wet BP. I too shop for high dry BP as long as wet is reasonably high.

I think with racing fluid, they are no longer DOT 3 or 4, as they exceed both specs.
Didn’t mean to confuse. I bought up the Wilwood 570 as it is a bit less expensive than the Motul. And it comes in 12 oz containers, which is about what I use each time I bleed the brakes, which I do before each track event and sometimes during a multiple day event. Another thing I do is bleed out through the bottom drains on the Wilwoods. I do get grunge out of those. Admittedly the Motul has a higher BP. However, by bleeding them frequently I feel I don’t need to worry about wet BP.

Here is a listing of brake fluids you might find interesting:
https://www.lelandwest.com/brake-flu...ow=1&SF=5&ST=2
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  #763  
Old 06-14-2018, 08:51 AM
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Didn’t mean to confuse. I bought up the Wilwood 570 as it is a bit less expensive than the Motul. And it comes in 12 oz containers, which is about what I use each time I bleed the brakes, which I do before each track event and sometimes during a multiple day event. Another thing I do is bleed out through the bottom drains on the Wilwoods. I do get grunge out of those. Admittedly the Motul has a higher BP. However, by bleeding them frequently I feel I don’t need to worry about wet BP.

Here is a listing of brake fluids you might find interesting:
https://www.lelandwest.com/brake-flu...ow=1&SF=5&ST=2
Thanks for bringing up Wilwood fluid. I have previous ignored them assuming they will be expensive re-badged house brand. Their 600 is very reasonably priced compared to the competitions, especially if you buy them by 6-pack. 570 is a bargain if the dry BP meets your need.

I boiled Motul 600 when I had BP-20 pad, AL pistons, and no titanium shims. I will see what I have to work with once I install the SS pistons. Of course, driving style and track also make a huge difference on the demand on brakes.

PIR while being a small track, has two ~110 MPH straights per lap. I overheard the other day a couple of guys with high power car talked about the track being hard on the engine and challenging thermal.
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  #764  
Old 06-14-2018, 09:20 AM
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more foto

Every time I drive and park the Mini, I cannot help but to look back to check it is in the safest spot. I took this shot in front of a Korean grocery store. The owner has a red Dodge Hell Cat, and he was surprised that I know the car since he removed all the badges.

I doctored the photo's saturation a bit to make it look like a shot in Seoul; the only problem is there is no Korean cars in sight. Korean Americans have no love for their domestic cars. Most love German.

Mini parked behind the badass Hell Cat; the hazard is if he puts in reverse in error and floors it

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  #765  
Old 06-15-2018, 02:25 PM
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selt-tapping bolts on R56 trailing arms

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You know I have pretty well talked myself out of the small benefit of saving only a few pounds per arm of the AL trailing arm, that the expense and trouble is hardly worthwhile. But this shinny set came up for sale and is local that came off a very low mile R56 and I jumped on them. They come with all the needed fasteners as well as the speed sensors, hubs, and sway bar drop links. I only have to get the machined stainless damper bushings.

You bring up a good point that the self-tapping bolts which has the potential to damage the thread when reinstalling as it will try to tap again. May be a bit of WD40 to help it along. I did say to myself the torque specs would not be in my Bentley for R53. In fact I almost spaced out when researching which Powerflex bushing kit to buy for it, and caught myself from getting the one for R53.

Proceed with caution is the key, and don't do it the day before track event.
It takes a while for me to see these for myself. The Purple Powerflex bushing for the R56 rear trailing arm arrived, and I went and make sure I order the right ones. I just tried to do a dry fit cursory check, and the pivot bolt wouldn't go into the SS collar of the Powerflex bushing kit.

these look kosher


so far so good


the bolt diameter is too large for the ID of the SS collar


I first thought the leading threads of the self-tapping bolt is buggered. I examined them closer and checked with my cheap caliper. The leading few threads' (about 1/2" length) diameter is larger than the the rest of the threads, only ever so slightly. These must be the self-cutting part of the threads. I waited till the next day so I can examine the bolt on the other side.

The bolt on the other side turned out to be identical, with the leading threads being of slightly larger diameter such that it would not fit into the SS collar of the Powerflex bushing. I even cleaned up the thread with a wire wheel of the bench grinder. So it seems I have to grind or sand down these threads a bit. Like you said the self tapping bolts are not the best and I know by torquing them a few times cannot be good for the soft aluminium thread bores.

I don't feel like dealing with this until after the next track day. Too much risks and I know better.




you can see the leading threads are of larger diameter





To be frank, I have a bit of mixed feeling of bothering with saving a few pounds on the trailing arms. Too much hassle and not enough reward.

Last edited by pnwR53S; 06-15-2018 at 02:35 PM.
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  #766  
Old 06-15-2018, 06:23 PM
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Or dump the crappy self tapping bolt, which is what I would do.

Another way to think about it is weight balance. Lightening the rear moves the weight balance forward. Not ideal.
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Old 06-15-2018, 08:30 PM
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I have a few thoughts on the way the self-tapping bolts are the way it is. It does not has sharp edge to cut like a conventional tap. There are reasons to the German madness.

Rather than cutting the thread, it is designed to be more like cold extrusion of threads in the aluminium bore intensionally. They form the thread by compression rather than cutting. It must be done for reusability of the bolt when the OE rubber bushing needs replacing. The larger diameter of the leading threads also function as thread locker. The bolt engages the aluminium trailing arm a generous number of threads as you can see in the photo.

I would want to reuse these bolts as they are galvanized that is to protect the steel from corrosion and seizing. It is very hard to find proper 10.8 grade fasteners that is galvanized like the OEs. I will gently grind down the excess diameter, deburr, and reuse them.

I don't think lightness on the rear end is necessarily a bad thing, within reason especially unsprung weight reduction. Mini can always use supersize tail wing when the time is ripe.

Last edited by pnwR53S; 06-15-2018 at 08:38 PM.
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  #768  
Old 06-15-2018, 10:25 PM
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That is an interesting thought about how the bolt makes the threads. Aluminum does work harden. This would make the threads, locally, stronger. Makes sense.

But if your thought about reuse is really part of their plan, then why did they not give a reuse bolt torque? On the bolt that holds the shock on, it can be threaded in all the way by hand when reused. So that raised thread doesn’t provide any locking on reuse. At least that was my experience. Just something else to think about.

I can’t tell from the picture, but is the root of the thread also raised? Might you be better off chasing the thread with a die to take the diameter down?
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Old 06-16-2018, 09:39 AM
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strut tower and cabrio braces

I just took Desire out for a spin in the twisties before the weekend traffic get thick. We lucked out as no one was in front for a good stretch. We drove spiritedly but left a lot of margins, and be very careful in blind curves and the occasion distracted crossovers. By crossovers I mean people who don't give a hoof about driving and cross over to my lane in a curve for no reason.

I am continued to be amazed with how vast the improvements from the M7 strut tower brace and the cabrio braces. The Mini rides with the attributes of a high end car despite with Koni Yellow, 22mm rear sway bar, and lowered springs. I had no idea that so much of the harshness in the ride was due to the front end chassis flex. With the braces stiffen it up, the suspension (tyres, spring, damper, sway bars) can do their work, while previously I didn't realize which part of the harshness was due to chassis resonance. The difference can also be readily felt when going over rough pavement as well as rail track crossings. No more the shakes that you can feel the looseness of the chassis and parts, and you can feel who well the dampers (almost critically damped) work.

I am very pleased that I took the risk and chose the Powerflex Black (race version) of the front control arm. The steering is now scalpel sharp and precise, making dodging potholes almost fun. No vibration on the steering wheel except good amount of feedback of the front wheels. It is funny how all these worked out as a combination, and that I can clearly attribute the improvements to the modification as I carried them out in sequence.

Mini's suspension feels to be very well sorted now for a dual duty ride.

Last edited by pnwR53S; 06-16-2018 at 10:22 PM.
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  #770  
Old 06-16-2018, 04:46 PM
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filthy mini

Mini is filthy. Today I decided enough is enough. Mini's paint surface is marred by flying rubber from the track and there is even one that put a small dent at the leading edge of the bonnet.

I gave Mini a good wash, and proceeded to wax off the rubber left behind by the flying rubber marbles. Also did some semi-deep cleaning of the Schweinestall interior.







even the rubber mats got a good wash


a battle scar from swimming with the sharks














I used this German hi-tech polish Klasse All in One, and removing the rubber deposit was a breeze.

Let's see how a clean Mini going to last. May be 24 hours max.

Last edited by pnwR53S; 06-18-2018 at 07:56 AM.
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Old 06-17-2018, 08:49 PM
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loosey goosey mini

Only a few days ago I stopped the minor exhaust leak of the Milltek exhaust at the flange by fitting a proper SS flange gasket. I also adjusted the projection of the exhaust tips, but anytime I tough the catback some knocking begins. It is not entirely Milltek's fault, though the hanger arms can be made more consistent and they are not. The problem is how the Mini's underbody and the heat shields are that leave little room for sloppiness. I struggled to shift the hangers to create the most clearances between the mufflers and the AL heat shield, and I rid most of the knockings except hitting a big bump on the road; or so I thought.




Ridding the exhaust knocking I realize there is a slight knocking that I am very sure was from the left front wheel. Not good especially for the upcoming track event. Just like I had discovered before on the left rear suspension the sway bar drop link has worked loose.

the upper nut of the drop link has worked loose (it should be torqued to 41 ft-lb)


the lower nut is fine


Like the one on the left rear I caught it very early so no damage done to the threads. By looking at the 16mm nut one would not think it takes 41 ft-lb. I am continued to be amazed with those long and skinny rods doing the jobs in both compression and tension under the extreme strains of the thick sway bars. The steel rod must had been tempered. I inspect the wheels, tires, suspension, and most important the brakes before and after every track event.

Last edited by pnwR53S; 06-18-2018 at 07:02 AM.
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Old 06-17-2018, 09:18 PM
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power steering pump fan

I took Desire out for a no rhyme or reason joy ride yesterday. As we approaching a set of light at the end of the freeway I smelled a very familiar odor. It was quite pungent and I could not immediately place what it was. It has the smell of burnt fiberglass printed circuit board, or just brake friction liner. My immediately thought is try to determine if the odor was from my Mini, or other vehicle nearby.

It happen that I switch on the air conditioning only a mile or so prior. If it is from my Mini, is it inside or from the outside? It would be another 1/2 mile before I could pull over into a safe spot and check. I switch on the air recirculation and the odor seemed to lessen. This pointed to the odor came from the outside, possibly from the engine bay.

When I pull Mini over and park, I immediately examine what were feasible under the circumstance. The brakes were fine. No odor around the audio HU or the MTX-L Plus WB A/F gauge that I recently installed. I opened the bonnet and no strange odor there either. I concluded it must came from other vehicle, likely burnt brake lining.

Overnight I panicked when I recounted the event. I would realize given the circumstance the symptoms fit a failed power steering pump cooling fan. When you switch on the AC, the steering pump fan will also switched on when the coolant low speed fan switches on. I have a track event in only a few days, and I must get to the bottom of it so not to miss the event. Getting a fan shipped and installed would just be the few days that I have, if I determine it indeed failed.

Up on jack stands Mini went again. I only wonder what my neighbours think.

Visual inspection of the fan looked just fine. Also there was no foul odor or burnt residue. I did a bench test and the fan operated fine. It draws about 2A at 12.5V. While it seems like a waste of time and effort I rather be safe than sorry so not to jeopardize my costly track day. As I study the wiring diagram, I now know under what circumstance the fan switches on. For manual climate control, it only switches on when the radiator fan is on low, and ONLY if the DME deems it necessary to switch on. It make sense as traveling at high speed there is no need nor desirable for the fan to be running against much stronger air stream.







if you ever need to replace this fan, it can be had for circa $60 if you search for the Spal part number VA62-A100-62A; you however will have to reuse the connector from the failed fan that is unique to MINI; so thoughtful of MINI to retain the OEM part number


wiring diagram of PS pump cooling fan


Last edited by pnwR53S; Yesterday at 07:07 PM.
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Old 06-17-2018, 11:12 PM
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sponsor said a ok

Our thrifty sponsor just said OK for a purchase of a second wannabe race car tow ring. Desire would like a Rennline that is $125 apiece.

Unfortunately the silver one is no longer available at the price we are willing to pay (that is under big $10 USD shipped ), so we compromised for an orange one. In time the orange will fade to silver so I am OK with that.


Last edited by pnwR53S; 06-18-2018 at 07:08 AM.
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Old Yesterday, 06:40 AM
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not all mini rubber mats are created equal

I recently partook in a thread that I now cannot find. Some owners complained that their MINI rubber mat on driver side will slide. I had never found this to be the case. I would later notice that the back side of some new ones on sale look nothing like mine. It is not with the presence or absence of a Velcro pad, but rather the density of the ribs and raised nubs.

The generous ribs stiffen the forward half, and the nubs acts like thumbtacks biting into the carpet. It is possible MINI source from different suppliers, or the design got water-downed over the years.

these rubber mats are the best of any I have seen
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Old Yesterday, 05:55 PM
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brakes and tyre temperature

As I am driving faster I became more acutely aware of importance of tyres and brake temperatures. I have been taking measurements immediately after each track session. The problem with this is the temperatures measured is done after the cool down lap. While the tyre thread temperature may not drop as significant, I have very little doubt the rotors temperature must drop by hundreds of degrees F. What to do?

The simple answer is to go invest in some expensive rotor temperature paint, and I nearly do just that. Then I realize there is no reason I cannot do it the more straight forward way. I just need to pull into the grid area and have my imaginary pit crew do a quick check during a session. I don't need to carefully log each measurement. I just need to get a quick mental idea the order of magnitude when it comes to rotor temperature. e.g. 550F, 800F, or 1050F. I know for PIR the left front works the hardest. I will device a secure way of carrying the IR thermometer that is also easy to reach for.





One inconvenience I just found out. I check what my $12 IR thermometer is good for, and it maxes out at 716F. I am sure the rotor gets hotter than that. More tool to buy.

From what I read at ~1166F the matrix in cast iron begins to change and metal fatigue sets in. Of course uneven temperature gradience between the two faces, surface and inside, outer and inner diameters all contributes extreme stresses. Rotors have some of the hardest job of all parts in the car may be with the exception of exhaust valves.

Last edited by pnwR53S; Yesterday at 06:07 PM.
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