Buying an R53 - MINI Cooper Forum

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post #1 of 9 (permalink) Old Jun 1st, 2014, 06:43 PM Thread Starter
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Buying an R53

Hi All,

I've joined the forum as at the moment I drive a Corsa (don't kill me!) it's a black edition, 1.4T and it's been remapped and got dyno'd at 175bhp (not bad considering it's 120 standard) but now because apparently Vauxhall have installed a chocolate clutch, the clutch has started slipping and I they expect me to pay out for a new one despite the car having 100,000 mile warranty and it's only done 6600 miles..

Now my mate drives an R56 and it's been really impressive so far, he's decatted it and it sounds spot on!

Now as much as I like the turbo whistle/waste gate blow off there's something about the supercharger whine I can't resist.. So basically I'm considering purchasing an R53.. So is there anything you guys would look out for when buying one as they are a few years old now.. And what are they like to live with, are modifications easy? What kind of power can I expect from a couple of cheap mods (cheap being about £300 each..)

I know this is probably plastered all over the forums but I want some detailed information and I don't want to go hunting for every little bit of information..

Thanks in advance for your help!

My names Luke by the way..
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post #2 of 9 (permalink) Old Jun 1st, 2014, 08:18 PM
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Regards your clutch it wouldn't be under warranty as it is an item that naturally wears out, It sounds like you enjoy driving hard, the main mod on the R53 is changing the supercharger pulley to give you an extra 15 -20hp for not much money
the problem you might have is the R53 is getting on a bit now, so if you buy one upgrade it and rev the nuts off it expect to have a few garage bills.
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post #3 of 9 (permalink) Old Jun 1st, 2014, 08:29 PM Thread Starter
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They are supposed to be covered up to 18k according to people on forums.. And a lot of other black edition owners are having the same problem so who knows!

Yeah I enjoy a good drive and want to start doing some track days.. Do you think an R56 would be a better buy then if this is what I intend to do? Bearing the mind they are newer and will have covered less miles?
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post #4 of 9 (permalink) Old Jun 1st, 2014, 08:51 PM
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Hi ya

Both are good but both cars have there problems. I personally like the r53. I have driven both in anger and still like the r53 :-)
As said before on the 53 the supercharger pulley is the best bang for the buck and a good airbox and intercooler you should be just under 200 hp. You can pick all this stuff up second hand of off the mini forums.
You may even be able to find one up for sale with a few mods done all ready.

Keep an eye open on mini torque there may be something that pops up that grabs you


Hope this helps
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post #5 of 9 (permalink) Old Jun 2nd, 2014, 11:39 AM Thread Starter
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What would you say the main problems are on both the R53 and R56?

I've seen a rather nice 08 plate R56.. Seem to be cheaper on insurance as well than the R53 and will also be better on the fuel..
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post #6 of 9 (permalink) Old Jun 2nd, 2014, 04:11 PM
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What would you say the main problems are on both the R53 and R56?

I've seen a rather nice 08 plate R56.. Seem to be cheaper on insurance as well than the R53 and will also be better on the fuel..
European R56 MCS models built through February 2010 will have the N14 engine which has had problems (search "death rattle", "coking").

The engine in the R53 is pretty much "bullet proof" although a supercharger replacement will be necessary sometime after 100K.
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post #7 of 9 (permalink) Old Jun 2nd, 2014, 08:00 PM Thread Starter
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I don't want to start an R53 vs R56 war haha, just want to know which would be better for me really..

I drive like 20 miles a day if that.. but then go on longer drives at the weekend etc.. I like the R56 because of the torque, is it something that is possible with the R53, getting the knock back in your chair and feeling of going fast.. not just a revvy engine if that makes sense?
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post #8 of 9 (permalink) Old Jun 2nd, 2014, 08:32 PM
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I don't want to start an R53 vs R56 war haha, just want to know which would be better for me really.
Drive them both and decide ...
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post #9 of 9 (permalink) Old Jun 2nd, 2014, 08:35 PM Thread Starter
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Drive them both and decide ...
that's a good point.. guess i'll go and try and get a test drive of an R53 this weekend, already drove my mates R56
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