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Discussion Starter #1
Yes, I appreciate the subject has been done to death already (and I've read most of the threads) :D

Been caught in a bidding war on eBay, quick question about the original factory fit one. Most of the threads mention that there's problems keeping it shut? However, for the one I'm watching on eBay, other than the seller not providing any answers about the lower bracket, it seems to be the newer design, so not sure if that's improved things?

The retrofit one's obviously a lot cheaper, but not sure about the design (especially the support bracket) and it seems to obscure the handbrake?

Thanks
 

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The one on fleabay (that I think you're looking at), despite it saying R55/R56/R57 actually looks like it's for a gen1.

Reason: The console trim looks like that of the facelift R50/R53 (and whatever the gen1 convertible is).
And looking at Full Centre Armrest Kit - Black - R55/R56/R57 | ArmrestKitBlack at www.minigenuineparts.co.uk (where he nabbed his 2nd photo from) there's no console trim supplied with the gen2 armrest.

Sorry, but the fleabay advert is messed up.

Ask him the year of the car he took it from as he's clearly an idiot.


Couple of other points to note. There's 2 colour versions of these for gen1, anthracite and silver. They're around £200 from a dealership.

*edit, another thing - the 2 plastic trim pieces that fit near the hinge, the ones in his photo are for a convertible, the dealer kit comes with a pair for the hatch model too (as well as an adapter for very early minis, and a bracket for early cars with DSC).
 

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Discussion Starter #3
The one on fleabay (that I think you're looking at), despite it saying R55/R56/R57 actually looks like it's for a gen1.

Reason: The console trim looks like that of the facelift R50/R53 (and whatever the gen1 convertible is).
And looking at Full Centre Armrest Kit - Black - R55/R56/R57 | ArmrestKitBlack at www.minigenuineparts.co.uk (where he nabbed his 2nd photo from) there's no console trim supplied with the gen2 armrest.

Sorry, but the fleabay advert is messed up.

Ask him the year of the car he took it from as he's clearly an idiot.


Couple of other points to note. There's 2 colour versions of these for gen1, anthracite and silver. They're around £200 from a dealership.
He's not replying to questions which isn't great, the previous high bidder has since pulled out as well leaving me in the lead (so I've now pulled out given your info). I did wonder if he'd stripped out more of the car than he needed to, but you're right I'll go and double check my own vehicle and retract the bid. It does appear the mk1 and mk2 armrests are the same though? (just not the centre console middle assembly)
 

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What is your car? gen1/gen2? convertible/hatch? trim colour?

He hasn't stripped out more than he's needed to, everything needed is there - but missing the hinge trim pieces for a hatch.

And no, the gen1 & gen2 kits are different* (you need that console trim on the gen1 as it differs from a non-armrest version).

*well, the actual arm resty part might be the same, but the fitting parts differ.
 

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I see now you have an R56 Cooper.

Forget the advert, it's for a gen1.

I what's probably happened is that he's read somewhere that the gen1 ran from 2002 - 2006 and the gen2 from 2007+
But of course the gen1 convertible ran from 2004 - 2008.
 

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Discussion Starter #6
2010 r56 cooper. Will carry on the search for a bargain then, thanks for posting looks like you've saved me a pile of cash ! :)
 

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Discussion Starter #8
Well I got a reply from him :)

It's from a 56 plate Cooper convertible, so a gen1.
I didn't hear anything back from my question about the base plate from the kit photo, sent last Friday but oh well his loss.

Might consider the official retrofit one, I'm just not convinced by the design :baffled5wh:
 

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I like mine (gen1, but upper part seems the same).
Although there is very limited storage space.
I didn't go for the one with 'legs' as it looks so tacky when one of the front seats is tilted forwards.

I think the base plate is under his console trim in the photo, but hard to tell for sure.











 

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The other part of your question was about keeping it closed. I have a 2012 Hatchback. BMW would probably say something like "very easy to open" but if you rest your elbow on the armrest, count on closing the lid frequently.
 

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Discussion Starter #11
Thanks for the images Johnny, looks well. Will probably go for silver and black as it's £59 cheaper but black certainly looks classy. Certainly doesn't look like it's obscuring the handbrake like the official retrofit one does.
 

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I think the being knocked open problem must be dependent on your personal size. I've found both armrests in both Minis I've had to be perfect positioned. I have knocked them open a couple of times, but only when it's very welcome, due to making some unusual arm movements.

But I wonder if the catch can get softened by continual use - so if you knock it open frequently, it becomes easier to do?
 

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Got another reply from the seller after pointing out his car was a gen1.

The armrest fits most vehicles. They were not made for different models.
Whatever :D
Good luck fitting that console trim to a gen2 :hmph:

Some people!
 

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Discussion Starter #15
It does obstruct the handbrake slightly, you learn to work around it though.
I've got hill assist on my R56 so it's not the end of the world, the aftermarket one seems to sit much closer to the lever though.

Will probably get ordered soon, this car's costing me a fortune in little mods (£40 for an ipod cable, £200 for new a pillar speakers, £42 for a glovebox tidy)...
 

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Discussion Starter #16 (Edited)
Ordered the stuff last night from a main BMW dealer (Cotswold Mini), worked out far cheaper than the two usual websites (about £215 all in, delivered). Really happy with their service as I'd bought another part through them on eBay recently.

Interestingly, the black would have been at no extra-cost, though the helpful chap on the phone wasn't convinced it would fit as it didn't match to my chassis (presumably because it was only offered post LCI).

For the sake of an easy life I've decided to go silver and black.

Will report back once arrived and I've fitted it, hopefully not as much agro as the new speaker A pillars were.
 

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When buying parts from a dealer, just ask them to print out the fitting instructions, which mine seem to regard is part of what I've bought.

Of course the fitting instructions will be in manufacturer-speak and won't tell you how to do other stuff (it'll say 'use instructions xxxxxxxx to remove the centre console', for example), but owt is better than nowt.
 

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will be in manufacturer-speak and won't tell you how to do other stuff (it'll say 'use instructions xxxxxxxx to remove the centre console', for example), but owt is better than nowt.
Yes and use special MINI tool xxxxxx, which is a screwdriver to everyone else but ten times more expensive from MINI.
 

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Discussion Starter #20
I found a coloured PDF somewhere which I'll try and dig out again, hopefully the stuff will arrive soon.

There's a couple of exploded diagrams floating around the net as well when you search for the parts assembly. As you've said, I checked with the dealer and they said it was everything needed to fit it, so I think I'll do a quick visual check vs the parts listed on the other site's image.

Interestingly that other eBay one closed at £147 which is below the bids the other bloke was trying to set (before he withdrew) so I wonder if some shill bidding was going off.
 
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