Some of us never learn. - North American Motoring


JCW Garage Interested in John Cooper Works (JCW) parts for your 1st Generation MINI? This is where JCW upgrades and accessories for the Cooper (R50), Cabrio (R52), and Cooper S (R53) MINIs are discussed.

Some of us never learn.

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Old 02-05-2017, 12:03 PM
w00ht w00ht is offline
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Some of us never learn.

I've been off the board for a number of years since leaving the mini world after my last experience maintaining a friends 05 R53 while he was stationed overseas. Long story short, BMW USA denied a warranty claim on that car after it spun a rod bearing with only 23,000 miles on it and I ended up having to foot the bill to fix the car. Needless to say that left a pretty bad taste in my mouth for any of BMW's products at that point, and I wrote off considering Mini or any other BMW product where I would need to have dealership/warranty support. I've always loved hot hatches and have owned quite a few over the years, and the R53 was always so much fun I decided to reconsider the Mini ban when it became time to turn in my Fiesta ST at the end of it's lease.

Looking at various options over the last few weeks I narrowed my search down to a low mileage 05 JCW with all the options if I would have ordered if I were the original buyer: Hyper Blue, Aero kit, Xenons, JCW parts, LSD, Chrono Pack, no sunroof. I haven't seen the window sticker so I don't know exactly which JCW options were installed, but it is a badged JCW and has ridiculously low mileage (~26,000). It's owned by an older gentleman and kept garaged at his 2nd home, and is supposedly well maintained. I haven't had a a chance to see it in person yet, but I'm going to look at it tomorrow.

So here's the question, there is lots of information on inspecting higher mileage cars, but what should I look to replace in a car that hasn't seen a lot of use beyond the obvious tires, fluids, and filters? Are there any key indicators to look for with port installed options like the JCW parts?

Also has anyone on the forum looked at this car or know anything beyond what I've been told?

Here's a photo from the ad. Thanks in advance for any help.

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Old 02-05-2017, 01:31 PM
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Chad Morin Chad Morin is offline
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Pretty car. As you have stated the year and model has caused you headaches in the past. I'm not a pro but this is the N14 engine? Have you seen the cost for HPFP still? The N18 seems to be what you want but there are some out there that are convinced those Chrysler engines were the best. Not sure how that's possible. I hope someone can illuminate us both.
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Old 02-05-2017, 02:32 PM
w00ht w00ht is offline
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Chad, I'm not an expert either but my understanding is R53's use the W11 power plant vice the N14/N18 of later years. To my knowledge the W11 uses conventional fuel injection instead of direct injection that requires a secondary high pressure fuel pump. AFAIK, all of the modern Mini engines made for the North American market have come from the joint BMW/Chrysler Tritech facility in Brazil, W and N Series.

I've had a couple turbo cars in the last 7 years, and it isn't the drive I'm after. The ecoboost in the ST is a fun little motor but it doesn't breathe well up top with such a small turbo and a tune optimized for low end. The HPA FT425 kit I installed on my MKV R32 is the single most regrettable decision I've ever made. If I were considering another turbo car I'd be looking for a clean 2012 STI and calling it a day, but that doesn't fit my needs right now.

At this point I think I'd rather deal with the devil I know instead of learning another platforms quirks.
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Old 02-05-2017, 02:52 PM
whaap whaap is offline
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It seems the naturally aspirated engines are the most trouble free and the forced inductions are the ones that seem to cause people the most problems.
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Old 02-05-2017, 06:01 PM
minintrigue minintrigue is offline
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My 08 has 40k on it with no real issues. I drove my 06 JCW for 90k with no real issues other than the mid section of the exhaust splitting. So I'd look at the rubber bits like the serpbelt, but I'd guess it's still tight. Great looking car, and good luck. I hope you get it.
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Old 02-05-2017, 09:19 PM
Fly'n Brick Fly'n Brick is offline
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It's an '05 JCW. Getrag 6 speed gear box and W11 supercharged engine well before the huge misdirect on failed engine design of the N series. Take good care of it and it will take great care of you. Best advice is to drive it like you stole it.
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Old 02-06-2017, 01:01 PM
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ItsmeWayne ItsmeWayne is offline
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Hi and welcome back to Mini Coopers. The 05S and the 06S are the best engines in my exprience. I have both a standard (lots of options) 05 S and a 06 S JCW.
Both of them lost the vibration dampener. My 05 does not have limited slip and you can tell a big difference, as my 06 S does.
I have 160K miles on the 05 and have done a bunch of maintaining it. Brakes , rotors, new wheel sensors, timely engine service with synthetic oils all around, new wheel bearings, which are due to the miles, but I would trust this 05 S to go anywhere Mini can go, and quickly.
I do have the Chrono package in both of them, as I am a gauge kinda guy.
The 06 S JCW is my new daily driver. I love this thing and it is the nice blue with white roof too!
I wish you the best time with this car and hope you come here often!

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Old 02-06-2017, 02:30 PM
r53coop r53coop is offline
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I would assume the car sat while the guy was in the 1st home. The only issue you have is whether he hotfooted the car when he got to the 2nd Home, started the car and did not let the engine heat up before he stepped on it.

The way this car was optioned, the low miles, owner's age (most of us old geezers realize you don't need to drive like an idiot to have fun in a Mini) and being a Cali car, if the price is reasonable I would buy it in a heartbeat.
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Old 02-06-2017, 03:12 PM
Greyman Greyman is offline
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Nice Car! Love the blue.
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Old 02-06-2017, 05:16 PM
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Tata Steva Tata Steva is offline
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I got my 06 JCW (full factory option��) in May of 2015 with 27K in km ( not miles!)... It was closest to a brand new R53 that someone can imagine. Bought it from used car dealer few hours away from my home, no test drive (it was "love at the first sight, and being rare Canadian Competition Edition- one of 64 cars in total). Got it home few days later, no issues. Next day I noticed a coolant leak in garage. It ended up being a thermostat housing. That was replaced right away, together with all fluids in the car. Since then, I did not have ANY problems or issues with the car.

I was sceptical buying a car with so low on the clock, but I just could not pass the opportunity. It is a rare breed, after all. Soon to be "retro" MINI... Good luck with your purchase!
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Old 02-06-2017, 07:19 PM
w00ht w00ht is offline
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Thank you for the input guys, I decided to go ahead and picked up the car today. It runs well and is as described. It needs a good detailing, but otherwise I'm happy with it. Hopefully this trip will go a lot differently than my first Mini experience.

Anyone know if the Coverking custom cut covers fit a car with grille mounted driving lights?
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Old 02-08-2017, 05:02 AM
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ECSTuning ECSTuning is online now
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That's awesome. Look at all those cordoba beige accessories, most of those are now NLA. Congrats. I have seen people pull the OEM cover over those lights.
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