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Jeff's new beater project, pt. 3

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#21
I don’t know if you ever watched wheeler dealers but they did a rebuild on that generation mini with a supercharger. I thought it was pretty informative about the process. Good luck.


2017 Ford Fiesta ST, Shadow Black, Recaro seats, Mountune RMM, Swift springs, 5mm rear spacers, Falken 615+ tires
 


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jeff

jeff

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Thread Starter #23
So, I spent from 7am until 5pm today cleaning this car. It was truly horribly dirty, I can only compare it to trying to clean a car in a junkyard that's been sitting with the windows open for a month. But 10 hours later it came out nice. Getting the rust off the wheels was a chore. I cleaned and scraped all the trim (it was real bad) and covered it with some black matte vinyl trim tape. Scrubbed the interior with 5 different products. Cleaned the leather. Vacuumed, then shampooed the carpets. Q-tips helped with grime caked in the crevasses. Found some very interesting things in there. Ended up stapling the headliner back up for now.

Anyhow it's clean and came out quite nice. Next week I'm gonna get it in the air and start the real work. For now here are a few interesting things I discovered today while cleaning:

- The car has 215/40/17 tires, same as my Fiesta. These are upsized, the stock ones were 195 I think. It looks really good and beefy...
- The A/C works well...
- Reverse is very hard to shift in to, it might be that way on purpose, maybe it's a lock feature, or maybe it's broken...but reverse works...
- There's a pronounced wheel bearing/hub noise while driving, gonna have to look into that...
- This is a neat little car, like Matt said above, the lines are nice and I kind of like it...
- My back hurts now...

Here are some after pics:













And finally, a political advertisement:

 


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#25
Except for that hood dent, the exterior looks like you just rolled it out of the dealer's showroom! [thumb]
Also, except for the cracks in the leather on the upper driver's seat bolster, and the headliner, ditto for the interior. [wink]
 


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jeff

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Thread Starter #26
Man...I put this car up for sale on craigslist last night. Then I drove it to run errands this morning. Issues aside, what a wonderful car. I deleted my for sale post!

Gonna spend a week with it, take it to my trusted mechanic, see how much it would cost to address the main issues, and possibly keep as a beater/project. Never thought this would happen but it really is an amazing car. The fact that it cost me next to nothing brings a "nothing to lose" feeling with keeping it and wrenching on it.
 


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#27
Yesss.. Even if you dismantled the whole thing and somehow couldn't put it back together, that price is totally worth the learning experience (aaand you could probably get back at least that much just for parts). Wish I had space for something like that.
 


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#28
Good deal since it is a manual. They have their issues like any other cars. You could not give me an older auto car, they are nightmares.
 


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jeff

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Update, after about 30 hours of sweat equity and about $42 I've got the car clean and looking good. See the video below...I should open a detail shop....

Next comes some mechanical fixes and maybe a few cheap or DIY mods. The big deal on these cars for best gain is (1) intake and (2) supercharger pulley. They get about 30hp with those 2 mods. Might do that, it's all super cheap. Maybe.

Gotta say this is an amazing car. Not sure how mine drives compared to a well-kept one but it really is tight. Steering is super heavy but I like it. Brakes are crap compared to the Fiesta. Pull/power is about the same as a stock FiST but deliver is very different. The SC power band is so linear. It starts pulling hard around 4000rpm whereas the stock FiST starts losing power soon after that. That supercharger whine is addictive and wonderful. Gonna drill some holes in the intake box to up the sound.

OK here's my clean-up video I just shot:

View: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=z9lSUc7VEqQ&ab_channel=gray25xt
 


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#32
Those are great cars! They do have persistent coolant leaking problems. I believe the reservoir and the thermostat/thermostat housing are notorious for leaking.

You got a steal though. Kudos!
 


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jeff

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Thanks for the kudos everyone.

Those are great cars! They do have persistent coolant leaking problems. I believe the reservoir and the thermostat/thermostat housing are notorious for leaking.

You got a steal though. Kudos!
Right on, the coolant reservoir is plastic and cracks at the joint where it's melded into one piece. Mine is fine so far....

I've spent about $500 more on this car since purchase, total is $700 now. A few needed things and a few frilly/fun things...I'm in the process of installing all of this in the next few weeks as it arrives in the mail...oh the joy of seeing the UPS truck coming down the hill to my house...

FRONT END BRA - to cover dent/rust
CAR COVER - to keep the rain out since it leaks
EMBLEMS/OVERLAYS - to freshen it up
WHEEL HUBS/BUSHINGS - to fix the horrible scraping suspension issues
K&N INTAKE - I had to hear more of that supercharger, $99 splurge here...
ARMREST - to rest my arm, these cars should have come with one
FLOOR MATS - nothing freshens up an interior like brand new all-weather mats

So some of that is bling and unneeded but I wanted to get a few bits that will spruce it up a bit. Can't polish a turd, I know...but these will help. I'm reminded that working on older cars like this is rewarding since parts tend to be cheap. I got all the above and a few other things I didn't mention for $500. Crazy.

All that said, the more I drive this car the more I want to keep it rather than sell it. The linear pull of the supercharger is addicting. The first/best mod for these is a reduced supercharger pulley which costs about $200 for pulley/belt/removal tool and nets +20 hp safely without a tune. In fact I've learned that the JCW editions get their hp bump by simply changing the pulley from the factory. Tempted to do this...that's $10 per hp. Outrageous....
 


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#36
Thanks for the kudos everyone.



Right on, the coolant reservoir is plastic and cracks at the joint where it's melded into one piece. Mine is fine so far....

I've spent about $500 more on this car since purchase, total is $700 now. A few needed things and a few frilly/fun things...I'm in the process of installing all of this in the next few weeks as it arrives in the mail...oh the joy of seeing the UPS truck coming down the hill to my house...

FRONT END BRA - to cover dent/rust
CAR COVER - to keep the rain out since it leaks
EMBLEMS/OVERLAYS - to freshen it up
WHEEL HUBS/BUSHINGS - to fix the horrible scraping suspension issues
K&N INTAKE - I had to hear more of that supercharger, $99 splurge here...
ARMREST - to rest my arm, these cars should have come with one
FLOOR MATS - nothing freshens up an interior like brand new all-weather mats

So some of that is bling and unneeded but I wanted to get a few bits that will spruce it up a bit. Can't polish a turd, I know...but these will help. I'm reminded that working on older cars like this is rewarding since parts tend to be cheap. I got all the above and a few other things I didn't mention for $500. Crazy.

All that said, the more I drive this car the more I want to keep it rather than sell it. The linear pull of the supercharger is addicting. The first/best mod for these is a reduced supercharger pulley which costs about $200 for pulley/belt/removal tool and nets +20 hp safely without a tune. In fact I've learned that the JCW editions get their hp bump by simply changing the pulley from the factory. Tempted to do this...that's $10 per hp. Outrageous....
This is the way to go for sure. I did this on my friend's mini (same year) and it totally transformed it. Plus the new supercharger sounds are to die for. Definitely get the proper pulley tool, the cost is worth it. While you're at it, it's a good idea to change the supercharger oil as well. I believe the JCWs also have a different intake, exhaust and maybe cam.

Either way, the R53 is just so much fun to drive. Even more so with a pulley, intake and exhaust. I'm insanely jealous for the price you go this one for. I think he paid $3k for his maybe 3-4 years ago but I've taken that turd apart so many times we can get the thin into service mode in less than 10 minutes now. I'm still trying to convince him to auto-x it but he's hesitant on putting more money into it.
 


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Thread Starter #37
This is the way to go for sure. I did this on my friend's mini (same year) and it totally transformed it. Plus the new supercharger sounds are to die for. Definitely get the proper pulley tool, the cost is worth it. While you're at it, it's a good idea to change the supercharger oil as well. I believe the JCWs also have a different intake, exhaust and maybe cam.

Either way, the R53 is just so much fun to drive. Even more so with a pulley, intake and exhaust. I'm insanely jealous for the price you go this one for. I think he paid $3k for his maybe 3-4 years ago but I've taken that turd apart so many times we can get the thin into service mode in less than 10 minutes now. I'm still trying to convince him to auto-x it but he's hesitant on putting more money into it.
Thanks man that's encouraging. Yeah the pulley/belt/tool is ~$200...you've likely heard of the "one ball" exhaust mod which is essentially free and really improves the sound, I'm planning to go that route. But I get why your friend didn't want to put more money into it...these cars seem to break daily and some repairs aren't cheap. Don't want to invest too much for that reason. Especially if I sell it soon.
 


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#38
Thanks man that's encouraging. Yeah the pulley/belt/tool is ~$200...you've likely heard of the "one ball" exhaust mod which is essentially free and really improves the sound, I'm planning to go that route. But I get why your friend didn't want to put more money into it...these cars seem to break daily and some repairs aren't cheap. Don't want to invest too much for that reason. Especially if I sell it soon.
If you haven't bought the tool already, check to see if there is a local mini group, sometimes people sell their tool for relatively cheap since they wont be using it anymore. I think he got his for like $40 and bought the pulley and belt separately.

We had the one ball mod on it for a while before he splurged on a Milltek manifold-back exhaust, which is just sensational to listen to in all the tunnels here.

And yeah, they have a bit more issues than other cars, and I've spent an uncomfortable amount of time under that thing, but as you already know: once you drive it, you instantly forget it. 100% worth it IMO.

If I were him, I'd spend more money on that instead of his new WRX, and I'd buy it off him but I don't need two slow hatchack backs :ROFLMAO:.
 


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