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Section: DIY

Clubman’s Rear Trim Easy to Mod?

MotoringFile Sections: DIY, R55 (Clubman) Feb 8th, 2008 17 Comments

Recently I got some quiet time with the new MINI Clubman and immediately started studying some of the more interesting aspects of the vehicle. The first thing I spent time on was the rear barn doors.

Since the Clubman debuts on MotoringFile last August people have been asking the question – do I really have to get the black or silver trim on the back? While the official answer is yes, we found that it’s surprisingly easy to remove each piece of trim. As you can see in the photo above, the plastic tail-light trim is simply held on by a couple of screws. This opens up a world of possibilities, one of which is to buy an unpainted version and simply have it painted body color at your local dealer. continued →

Ask MF (Guest Host Edition): Is JCW A Good Idea for an Older MINI?

MotoringFile Sections: Ask MotoringFile, DIY, JCW, R53 (Coupe) Jan 24th, 2008 28 Comments

After last week’s Ask MotoringFile marathon, we realized we still have a couple more that needed to be answered. However for today’s edition, we’ve got some professional help. The question comes courtesy of Dustin:

Is the R53 JCW kit a good idea to refresh your higher milage stock MCS? Providing that the R53 JCW engine kit still available at dealers (which I don’t know if it is or not, or how long MINI plans on producing them if they are) It would seem that the new head and SC fitted to a MINI at say the 100K mark would make the mechanicals sound for the next 100k (since the expected life of the SC is only 150k), plus the new HP would breathe new life into a car for a loyal owner.

Great question Dustin. While we like the JCW upgrade for the R53 quite a bit (and the R56 for that matter) we’re not sure if it’s the best solution if the car isn’t under the factory warranty at this point. Especially considering the cost. So in order to give you a good picture of your aftermarket options, we’d like to turn over this question to Eric Savage, owner of the renowned MINI tuner Helix and longtime friend and supporter of MF. He also knows a thing or two about brewing beer, but that’s a story from another time. Anyway, to the Eric’s answer…

The John Cooper Works package has always been a popular option for new MINI buyers for a couple of reasons: it has the prestige of a factory tuned car, and it carries the factory warranty. As far as I know, retrofitting the JCW kit on an high-mileage car does not extend the warranty on the car (or the new parts, for that matter) which makes it less attractive for the high-mileage MINI owner. The big knock on the JCW package has been its nearly $6000 price tag once installed. It is for that reason that companies such as Helix Minisports has made a living tuning our favorite cars. We can do what the JCW package does–and much more–for substantially less money. continued →

Official R50/R53 Magnetic Badge Holder PDF

MotoringFile Sections: DIY, R50 (Coupe), R52 (Conv.), R53 (Coupe) Dec 28th, 2007 No Comments

After posting the R56 instructions yesterday, it occurred to us that we had never officially offered the first generation MINI’s grille badge instructions on the site. So if you have an R50, R52 or R53 and a few favorite magnetic MotoringBadge’s in mind, here’s your official DIY PDF straight from MINI.

[ R50/R52/R53 Grille Badge Holder ] Official MINI PDF

Official R56 Magnetic Badge Holder PDF

MotoringFile Sections: DIY, R56 (Hatch) Dec 27th, 2007 4 Comments

So you just bought an R56 and want to get a few of MotoringBadge’s magnetic badges for the grille. Up until today you’d have to buy aftermarket holder or modify the previous version that fit the first generation MINI. Finally after what seemed like an enternal wait for some owners, MINI has released an badge holder for the R56 and (as you guessed it) we have the official PDF instructions.

[ R56 Grille Badge Holder ] Official MINI PDF


Official JCW Aerokit Install PDF

MotoringFile Sections: DIY, JCW, R56 (Hatch) Dec 24th, 2007 8 Comments

One of our favorite upgrades to the R56 is the JCW Aerokit. And not only does it give the car a more aggressive look, but it’s actually somewhat functional in helping keep the car planted at very high speeds.

But it can also be a bit costly. So to give MotoringFile readers a helping DIY hand, we present you the official install guide PDF. While you’ll still need to order it and have it painted at a MINI dealer, the install is possible in the confines of your own garage.

[ JCW Aerokit ] Official MINI PDF (for Euro and US models)

Official JCW (Dealer Installed) Engine Kit PDF

MotoringFile Sections: DIY, JCW Dec 21st, 2007 14 Comments

You’ve heard the rumors, seen the photos, and read the reviews and even our recent comparison test. Now (as is tradition on MotoringFile) it’s time to pour over the official PDF installation instructions.

[ Dealer Installed JCW Engine Kit ] Official MINI PDF (for Euro and US models)


Official MINI Child Seat Install PDF

MotoringFile Sections: DIY Dec 7th, 2007 17 Comments

Babies and MINIs are indeed compatible. For years now a good number of young families have found that the standard MINI Coupe works just fine with a baby seat in the back. But did you know MINI has one of it’s own? We’re guessing it’s a little pricier than the competition (that pesky Dollar vs Euro probably doesn’t help) but it may be worth a look.

[ MINI Baby Seat Install Guide ] Official MINI PDF

Not available for the US market.

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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)
'11 Countryman MCS (ALL4)
'10 MINI E
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'09 JCW Hatch
'09 JCW Clubman
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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