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Kai2k

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Posts posted by Kai2k


  1. Just thought I’d update this one. I went to my trusted garage and they contacted BMW who promptly advised that no such kit is available. The garage advised that they would not recommend fitting non genuine parts into such a nice car 😊 I’m going to take everyone’s advice and leave well alone. Thanks for your help guys. 


  2. Hi All. Whilst looking through my service schedule with regards my coolant I noticed a symbol for fuel filter change in the service book which got me thinking. From doing some research it seems BMW believe this is a lifetime item on a petrol engine. What are people’s thoughts? Do people change them? Seems cheaper than replacing a fuel pump. 
    thanks. 


  3. Thanks @Kettlepot  I guess if there was HGF I’d know about it in some way. The car runs like a dream. I’ve checked my service history and it’s never been changed. Interestingly a coolant change isn’t even on the schedule. Post lockdown I’ll have this changed. Thanks. 


  4. Hi guys. I was doing my checks today and noticed my coolant isn’t a great colour. Is this a bad sign ? It doesn’t smell bad and the car runs fine but I was a little worried. Come to think of it I’m not sure when it was last changed. Do you think it just needs changing or is there something more sinister going on? Thanks. 

    21B171A3-057F-42B9-B5D3-FEC226DABD5C.jpeg


  5. 2 hours ago, LewisE said:

    That's one hell of a write up, @Kai2k!

     

    There will be trouble following that for anyone who is wishing to fit an Aero Kit. 

     

    The car looks mega with the kit on, too 😊

    Thanks @LewisE - I trust you meant NO trouble people following that ha ha. As always if I help out 1 person then it's a win 👍


  6. I've recently fitted a JCW aero kit to my car and thought I'd do a little write up in the hope that it helps someone.

     

    If you are reading this then you are perhaps pondering on adding a kit to your MINI - my first piece of advice is be under no illusion - fitting an aero kit is EXPENSIVE. If cost is an issue I'd consider doing as I have - bubble wrap and store the old parts which can be refitted prior to selling the car on. At time of writing a decent full kit fetches around £900.

     

    I'd also have a good think about how fussy you are. This is of course a personal thing - we all have different opinions but I found myself replacing a lot of the individual parts of the second hand kit which I bought as they were not up to standard. I knew if I fitted a tatty kit I'd regret it, especially given my stock kit is in good order. Most parts I replaced were the black plastic parts. I went to Lloyds Newcastle with a huge shopping list and I got a decent discount.

     

    Next thing is the model. It seems obvious but the kit does vary a little depending upon year. I can't speak for an R53 but on an R56 there is pre-LCI and LCI. The main difference on pre-LCI and LCI is with the front bumper. The later one has a skirt with a removable centre section whereas the earlier one is in 2 pieces. The LCI main bumper has a subtle horizontal join down the middle due to the existence of an additional removable section.

     

    On the rear bumper - LCI models have 1 reverse lamp (left) and 1 fog lamp (right) whereas pre-LCI has 2 fog lamps, given the reverse lamps live in the main lamp clusters.

     

    You’ll also need to get PDC or non-PDC and bear in mind if replacing parts the outer grilles are PDC / non-PDC specific.

     

    I'm not aware of any differences on the side skirts.

     

    Otherwise they look very similar and it's easy to buy the wrong kit. The kit will bolt straight on with some exceptions:

     

    • If you are using the front brake ducts you'll need those as the front sections of the aero kit ducts differ from the stock Cooper S type.
    • Real OEM (parts catalogue) suggests that the aero bumper requires a different carrier / crash bar. It does not - mine went straight on.
    • For LCI, the wiring will need modifying to accommodate the rear lamp differences. If this is you, get the rear harness if you can as the lamp plugs are different on the JCW bumper annoyingly.
    • You'll need to get the correct lower centre section of the rear bumper depending on whether your exhaust is central or to the side.
    • Make sure your skirts come with the necessary adapter plates.You can’t fit them without.
    • The skirt has clips under the entry trim which is itself stuck by adhesive. The entry trim may be removable if the tin type, but I have not tried. Likewise the clips will be pulled away from the skirt upon removal and may be able to be refitted without removing the entry trim. @LewisE managed to do this.

     

    Obtaining Parts

     

    I used eBay but you can find them on Gumtree and Facebook marketplace too. I bought my replacement parts along with the fitting hardware from the dealer. Beware - a lot of these kits get hammered. Always ask sellers to show pics of the clip mounts and the areas at risk of damage. The usual suspects are the front splitter and the side skits lower black sections - the latter usually from car jacks.

     

    Fitting - general

     

    The golden rule is take your time. It's really easy to scratch parts and break clips. Patience is the key. Walk the job in your head before starting it and make sure you are comfortable. If you need help or advice, ask us on here.

     

    Tools

     

    • Plastic trim tool set (metal kits will cause marks, as will screwdrivers).
    • Socket set.
    • Jack & axle stands.
    • Soldering iron and test lamp.
    • Torx and screwdriver set.

     

    Don't forget you'll need a shed load of new clips and again, real OEM is your friend.

     

    Assembly

     

    This sounds easy and generally is. The one thing I would say is however - when you’ve assembled all of the parts, do a ‘pull test’ on each mating part. I’ve found that some clips don’t simply press together, but need to be manually locked into place. A lot of the parts cannot be refitted once the bumper or skirt is on the car so it’s got to be right at the assembly stage.

     

    Front bumper - removal

     

    I did need to jack up the car for this.

     

    Removing the bumper is easy - here is the video I used.

     

    Numberplate holes - don’t trust the position of these. Often the dealers don’t take care when drilling them so do your own measurements. I drilled 2 new holes for mine.

     

    When releasing the front edges of the wheel arch outer trim - release 1 clip further back than on the video. It makes life a lot easier. This type of clip is released from the back - squeeze the 2 tangs in with your thumb and forefinger. I wouldn't use tools as you could scrape the inner wing. Don’t try to pry the arch trim away from the car as the clip or the trim will break.

     

    Brake ducts. Mine were stuck tight. So it begins in the wheel arch by the brake calliper then snakes to the bumper, with a join. You retain your bit from the wheel arch then the JCW bit meets it at the join. Refitting is easy but releasing can be tricky. When the bumper is loose don't just pull it forward - make sure the ducts are released first. A long screwdriver will help with this.

     

    Don't forget to release the air temperature sensor which is by the front driver's side corner under the bumper. This is quite fragile so be careful.

     

    Front bumper - refitting.

     

    As offering up the new bumper, make sure the wheel arch trims stay pointing outward. Stuff some rag or paper in-between them and the car as the bumper ends must go underneath. Once they are under, you can remove the rags.

     

    Leave the screw type fixings all semi-loose until all screw fixings are in place. Then lift the bumper and tighten as you lift it. Check its alignment before doing the final tighten and fitting the press fit type clips.

     

    Skirts - removal

     

    I didn’t need to jack up the car for this.

     

    Make sure you have all new clips as all except the screw type ones underneath the car, will break. Start by unscrewing all of the lower fixings. Once these are all out, grab the skirt and pull it up. A lot of clips will break! The last part of removal is to pull upward to break the clips which are hidden under the entry trim.

     

    When I did it a clip remained in the car body - I managed to smash it and it fell into the sill box section. I removed it by temporarily removing this plug.

     

    Skirt - refitting

     

    Start with the main clips that go into the side of the car. Next do the bottom ones. Once you are fully happy, insert the top ones, assuming you have removed the entry trim.

     

    I fitted new entry trims on a warm day. I cleaned the surface with alcohol, warmed the plastic with a hairdryer and fitted. I did several test runs prior to removing the backing. There is a reference point on the car which allows simple alignment. If in doubt review your old skirt.

     

    Rear bumper - removal

     

    I did need to jack up the car for this.

     

    Probably the easier part of the job - I followed this video:

     

     

    As with the front, I’d detach an extra clip at the rear edge of each wheel arch trim. Use the same technique as the front; squeeze the tangs together.

     

    Rear bumper - refitting

     

    Again, this was pretty easy going with the exception being that I had to modify the wiring to accommodate the new lamps. As mentioned above I obtained a part loom with both plugs and spliced it into my harness. I left my original plugs in place which will allow refitting of the old bumper. I put food bags round my old plugs and tie wrapped it all up.

     

    Test all lamps before refitting!

     

    If your car is LCI I’d recommend fitting a resistor on the left harness as otherwise you’ll get a bulb warning when you select reverse (as one reverse lamp is now missing).

     

    As offering up the new bumper, make sure the wheel arch trims stay pointing outward. Stuff some rag or paper in-between them and the car as the bumper ends must go underneath. Once they are under, you can remove the rags.

     

    My original bumper had 2 brackets and bolts underneath holding it on underneath whereas the aero bumper had 1. I’ve no idea if this is an LCI difference or JCW difference but it’s made no negative impact on the job.

     

    Finally the attached PDF may help.

     

    Have fun, good luck!

     

    arch.jpeg

    duct1.jpeg

    duct2.jpeg

    sensor1.jpeg

    sensor2.jpeg

     

     

    wiring1.jpeg

    wiring2.jpeg

    Aero kit II R56.pdf

    sill.jpeg


  7. 22 minutes ago, Kettlepot said:

    If I was to upgrade mine again, I don’t know if I’d go Brembo again due to the price tag. I guess it depends on the choice and how available discs & Pads were. 
    I didn’t notice much more efficiency but I did notice the pedal had more “feel” and you could tell the “progression” better.  👍🏻

    Thanks @Kettlepot I will bear this in mind. I guess in my head I visualise them being night and day different to the S brakes but it sounds like that isn't the case. The price does put me off quite a lot.I'll have to have a good think about it. Trouble is, I'd not want second hand, but refurbished at a bare minimum.


  8. 2 hours ago, Kettlepot said:

    This is transforming quick @Kai2k.

    I’m liking the progress.

     

     You can’t have many more plans for this have you ?

    the only thing I could think of would be a big brake kit (but you have the updated pads/discs) 

    @Kettlepot ha ha I guess the mods never end eh? I'm really fancying a big brake kit - my brakes are better but a) I think they could be better still and b) they'd look much better bigger. I'm going to lurk for a while but watch this space :-) 


  9. 1 hour ago, LewisE said:

    Looks really good @Kai2k you've totally transformed the car. It sits really well on those springs too.

     

    When/where did you get the remap done? You kept that one quiet! What is the car like to drive now then and what sort of figures did you get from a stage 1?

    @LewisE ha ha I did indeed keep it quiet. I got it done at RJM remaps ( http://www.remappingnewcastle.co.uk ) - he was recommended to me and the trust pilot side of things is good. I have been really pleased with the service and I highly recommend him. He answered all of my questions and took great care of my car. He for example gave me a very thorough answer to a question which must be quite commonly asked ("how do I know my car won't blow up?"): "when a remap is developed the spec sheet of each component is examined and then a tune is built that is still within the safe tolerance of that. For example a turbo on a standard car might run 8psi of boost but the turbo has a safe working limit of 15 psi then it’s perfectly fine to go to 11 psi"

     

    The car is very well behaved still and everything such as sport mode still works, so no complaints there. My flappy paddle gearbox still changes gear at the right time (although I never use auto) so I can't see any adverse effects from the remap.

    So the difference is certainly not night and day, that I will say. The torque is the most noticeable in that the car is now much more eager and getting up to speed now requires much less effort; I don't need to work the engine anywhere near as hard. The power seems to come in more smoothly and it sounds lovely. Exhaust still gently pops on overrun in sport mode :-)  It pulls a lot more strongly and overall I'd say it's been well worth it. I've no idea in real terms how much quicker it is but I do notice I need to keep a closer eye on the speedo as it creeps up a lot. My only other mod is a K & N panel filter.

    The power graph: 

    remap.jpg


  10. I'm the latest FOM member to jump onto the Adrian Flux train. I've always been very anxious about not having mods declared and now I have a few (see build thread) I wanted to be sure I was covered but not being fleeced. I've been truly amazed by the service I've had from AF. They initially called me back for a quote, and did it very quickly. They were very polite and professional and seemed to be much more in tune with the notion of a car being a hobby rather than a tool. They listened to my needs and came back with a great quote, which I accepted. In short, for about £25 more than the best quote from regular insurers (following the Martin Lewis guide) I get the full fat cover (courtesy car, drive other vehicles, legal cover, glass cover (including sunroof)) with the following mods:

    • Springs
    • Aero kit
    • Stage 1 remap
    • Dechrome
    • Brembo brakes

    I've not had the big brakes done but I may in the future and this will not put the price up any further. My excess is £50 more (£300 vs £250) but like most, I'd probably only ever claim for real serious damage, so my likelihood of making a claim (touch wood) is very low.

    Overall, I recommend people give them a try. 

    Thanks,,

    Kai. 


  11. Good shout @LewisE I've been meaning to update this. So I've recently completed the labour of love AKA an aero kit. Was a lot of work and money, largely due to my being very fussy but I've no plans to get rid of the car and I am super happy with the result. Pics also show off the previously unmentioned Eibach ProKit sport springs, which finish things off nicely. Oh and I also have a stage 1 remap done, which I am really happy with. 

    front.jpg

    side.jpg

    rear.jpg

    IMG_2211.jpeg


  12. On 30/03/2020 at 19:16, F56DEAN said:


    ive tried and it was horrendous with the electricians tape but I have ordered the belt line from SMPS2012 As they had special offer on. Should be here this week if you can help fitting once lockdown is over? @Kai2k

    Hey Dean, yeah I've never tried with tape - it's probably too wide. Of course I'll help you once lockdown is over. Just need somewhere dry and power for hair dryer. Plus a good tip is for the car to have been dry for a few days as water can seep out from under the belt line while you are doing it even when it looks dry. I just re-did a couple of sections I wasn't happy with and it looks great now. 


  13. On 25/11/2019 at 22:52, Kiddkaos said:

    So after owning my mini since end of Jan start of Feb it was a cat n and the work was done before I got it,  was a few minor issues dents etc which I paid to get out. 

     

    Upon being a little geek and detailing (use this term loosely) which I'd never thought I'd find therapeutic,  on the bonnet drivers side has been painted, just a little section that's the wrong colour and is really getting on my wick. 

     

    Would it need a full respray or could that section just be painted? 

    Any body shops recommended would be a great help too! 

    Thanks 

    I’d say what you need is the advice of a good body shop. If you find an honest one, they’ll do the minimum work to get it right. I’ve been super impressed with Premier Vehicle Care. John is the body shop guy, very nice bloke, knows his stuff and is honest. They repaired my rear quarter which got damaged by a flying tent (yes, really) several years ago and it still looks perfect. I’m very fussy too! Give them a call they’ll quote for free. 0191 2400 700 https://premiervehiclecare.co.uk  


  14. Thought I’d add this little nugget in. so I guess not strictly a mod but I was really pleased with the outcome. I wanted a dash cam to look as subtle as possible so as not to spoil the MINIs great interior. With a hard wire kit which requires no splicing I was super happy with the result. It has literally been fit and forget. 

    693C35B3-5F48-4353-9CED-E98E0736E5B8.jpeg

    FA5F3BF3-D872-452E-B327-098014332C0D.jpeg

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