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So, picked up my new MINI today. It's been a long long time coming that's for sure, and I couldn't be happier. It's a MINI Cooper S in Dark Silver with matching roof and "ears" lol. It has the dealer fitted JCW pack, number 364 which includes the induction kit, JCW exhaust and the remap. It's mechanically sound, pulls like a train, mmmmmmm Interior wise it's full leather, aircon and heated seats for next years winter months lol. I've already upgraded the interior lighting, but dash light wise that will follow in time, when I have time haha. Body wise it's not perfect, which doesn't bother me to badly. But it's a MINI I will be keeping for many many years to come, but I will get it to my usual standards. A bonus for me is the aerokit, but I'm sure one morning I'm gonna wake up with Donna detaching it to fit on her own lol. I've got it home, gave it a good wash and clean behind the ears. A good once over and I'm over the moon. I think me rambling on here shows that...sorry lol So yep, This shall be the start of my build thread, with plenty more to come Simon
Thought I'd create a build thread to show off a few of the bits I've been doing on my SD. I was originally going to leave it alone as it's only my daily driver but, me being me plus Lockdown boredom, that hasn't lasted long! I haven't got many plans for it - just subtle and hopefully cheap changes to make it a bit more personal to me. ^ This was the day after I got it home. I was very impressed with it on the run back from Edinburgh - it returned over 60 mpg which I was more than happy with!
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! Aero kit II R56.pdf