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Section: DIY

Cravenspeed Electric MINI

MotoringFile Sections: Best of the Web, DIY, Efficiency, R53 (Coupe) Jul 8th, 2011 5 Comments

Sure we all followed along with the factory electic cars. There was that one company that was also selling electric MINIs through Sam’s Club a while back. Now, CravenSpeed has gotten into the game and they just did their first test drive of their electric R53.

The donor MINI is a 2002 R53. Great testbed for such a conversion. Be sure to click back to read all about their progress.

Anyone have any interest in doing something like this to your MINI? $25k seems pretty reasonable for this kind of conversion to us. What say you?

First Generation MINI Oil Leaks & Checking Your Oil (Updated w/more Info)

MotoringFile Sections: DIY, Faults & Fixes, R53 (Coupe) Sep 29th, 2009 59 Comments

Over the past couple of years a very serious issue has reared its head in many a 2001-2006 MINIs (aka the R50/R53/R52). The problem stems from oil seals or gaskets going bad (usually towards the front of the motor) and allowing oil to leak from the reservoir. If unchecked this could result in oil starvation and engine detonation.

I own an R50/R52/R53, What Should I Do?

For starters go check your oil… now. If it’s not low, make a mental note of the date (or better yet write it down) and be sure to check it again once a week (to see how to do this, you can watch DB’s demonstration below). If your oil is low head down to your MINI dealer and pick-up some of that unique BMW/MINI Castrol synthetic oil. And remember, once your car is older, it’s generally not wise to change oil from one brand to another. Now once your levels are where they need to be, look under the front of your car towards the front of the engine. If you see obvious signs of oil on the bottom of the engine (or even on the ground) you’ve got a problem. Schedule an appointment at your MINI dealer or local independent MINI shop.

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DIY Friday: Official JCW Brake Duct Retrofit

MotoringFile Sections: Accessories, DIY, JCW, R55 (Clubman), R56 (Hatch), R57 (Conv.) Feb 20th, 2009 8 Comments

One of the most sought after features by many of us who take our MINIs to the track are working brake cooling ducts. As most trackday junkies know, one of the first things that starts to fail on a MINI on the track are the brakes. And one of the biggest reasons for that is a lack of cooling the pads and rotors. BMW’s own cars have dealt with this issue for years with working brake ducts designed into the front bumper. In fact BMW has been doing this for decades for pretty much every model. continued →

Official MINI Steering Stop DIY

MotoringFile Sections: DIY, R50 (Coupe), R52 (Conv.), R53 (Coupe), R55 (Clubman), R56 (Hatch), R57 (Conv.) Oct 1st, 2008 12 Comments

If you have 18″ OEM MINI wheels on your car put on by the dealer, odds are you have the steering stop installed on your car. The reason? Apparently under extreme circumstances MINI found that the tires with this set up will rub the inner fenders slightly. Their solution? To restrict the steering angle enough to prevent it from happening. The downside? Increased turning radius. continued →


Official JCW Brake Retrofit Kit PDF

MotoringFile Sections: Accessories, DIY, JCW Sep 1st, 2008 11 Comments

Based on our story last Friday detailing the parts associated with the new JCW brake kit, we had a few questions about a potential official retrofit kit. As we reported last year MINI has been planning on selling the brakes set as an accessory in itself. And yes, that means there is an official PDF detailing the kit, the parts, special installation instructions, and the OEM wheels that will fit the kit. You can download it all below:

+ JCW Sport Brake Kit / Official MINI PDF

iPhone your MINI: The Shure Music Phone Adaptor Reviewed

MotoringFile Sections: DIY, R50 (Coupe), R53 (Coupe), R55 (Clubman), R56 (Hatch) May 12th, 2008 4 Comments

This one sent in by MF regular Nathaniel Salzman. It’s a great way to get iPhone integration in your MINI without breaking the bank!

MINI iPhone integration: The Shure Music Phone Adaptor

The topic of iPod integration in the MINI is nothing new on MotoringFile. Options abound for getting your music through the speakers of your MINI’s stereo. With everything from integrated factory and ICE-LINK adaptors, to factory AUX port adaptors, to head-unit replacement. Each option has its inherent advantages of function and integration, and disadvantages of sound quality, chord management, or price.

Another common topic is that of mobile phone integration, particularly BlueTooth solutions both OEM and after market. Like with iPod integration, the available solutions vary in cost, compatibility, and function.

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Official R56 JCW Shift Lever, E-Brake Grip DIY

MotoringFile Sections: DIY, JCW, R55 (Clubman), R56 (Hatch), R57 (Conv.) Apr 25th, 2008 7 Comments

DIY Friday is back with one of the most interfaced parts of a manual transmission equipped MINI; the shift lever. And as you would expect it’s also one of the most upgraded parts of a MINI as well. One of our favorites we’ve found is the JCW Shift lever. While we were initially skeptical of the design, it didn’t take more than a couple of miles of driving with one before we were won over. continued →

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MINI Model Cheat Sheet

1st Gen MINI
R50: One & MC Hatch
R52: All 1st Gen MINI Convt.
R53: MCS Hatch
2nd Gen MINI
R55: Clubman
R56: Hatch
R57: Convertible
R58: Coupe
R59: Roadster
R60: MINI Crossover
R61: MINI Crossover Coupe
3rd Gen MINI
F54: Clubman
F55: Five Door Hatch
F56: Hatch
F57: Convertible
F60: MINI Crossover
F58: Traveller

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Reviews:
'12 JCW Coupe
'11 Fiat 500 Sport
'11 Tesla Roaster 2.5 '11 Countryman Comparo
'11 Cooper S Hatch
'11 Countryman MCS (FWD)
'11 Countryman MC (auto)
'10 Mayfair MCS (auto)
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JCW Stage I vs JCW Stage II
'08 Clubman S (Auto)
1st Drive: '08 MINI Clubman
'08 Smart Fourtwo
Comparison: '08 BMW 135i
'06 R53 MCS vs '07 R56 MCS
'07 R56 JCW (Stage 1)
'07 MINI Cooper S Long Term
'07 BMW Z4 M Coupe
'07 MINI Cooper & Cooper S
Audio: '07 MC/MCS at the Track
'06 JCW GP Long term
Reader Review: JCW GP
'06 JCW Cooper S Long Term
Comparison: '06 Lotus Elise
Comparison: '06 Mazda MX5
Comparison: '06 UK Focus ST
Comparison: '06 Civic Si
Comparison: '04 TVR T350
Comparison: '06 Nissan 350z
Comparison: '06 VW GTI w/DSG
Podcast: Cooper S Auto
Podcast: BMW 325i
Podcast: JCW MC Soundkit
'04 JCW MINI Cooper Tuning Kit
'05 MCS: One Month Review
'05 MCS Auto
'05 JCW S 1st Drive
'05 MINI Cooper
'05 MCS Conv. Long Term
'05 MINI Cooper S
'05 MCS Cabrio 1st Drive
'04 JCW MCS First Drive
'04 MC w/JCW Tuning Kit
BMW M3 SMG Vs. MCS
'04 MINI Cooper CVT
'02 MCS 3 year Review
Autocrossing the MINI Range


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