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Discussion Starter #1
I recently had an experience with hydro-lock (cross-spray entered the air intake) and the end result was a blown motor on my MINI. I was told that I would reduce the chances of a repeat by replacing the stock intake/airbox with an aftermarket unit. I received information from different manufacturers but I am confused as to their installation. Do they replace the intake/airbox or are they placed into the airbox, still exposing them to the possibility of water from the intake? I was told that as little as 1 oz. of liquid could have done the damage that I had. I love the car and want to be able to drive it w/o feeling paranoid every time the clouds open up. Any help would be greatly appreciated. Please post here or by direct e-mail at [email protected]/email].
Thanks!!
 

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I'd be interested to know how so much water got into the engine through the standard panel filter, which is boxed in. Most replacement intakes (including my alta) decrease the amount of "boxing in" of the filter itself, so theoretically at least there is more chance of water getting in. However, as in another thread i have read in here, the chance of enough water getting through your panel or any quality filter to do damage is very unlikely.

This is what i have gleaned from others on here. I'm sure someone with more tech knowledge will help out here...
 

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Just to continue with what HObzy started. Because the intake system is pretty much a sealed system, other than the hole connecting the unfiltered side of the air box to the cowl vent, I find it difficult to understand how water could be sucked UP thru a panel filter in sufficient quantity to damage the motor.

Besides the fact that the water would have to make it thru the supercharger on its way to the cylinder. As water is incompressable the thought comes to mind that the supercharger would be the first casualty, before anything could get into the cylinders.

It sounds to me as though Joe Chic is trying to justify the install of an aftermarket cold air intake.

The whole thing just does not fly in my book. IMHO
 

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Discussion Starter #4
The car is a Cooper and not the Cooper S. The intake is located behind the grill, on top of the radiator support. When water is splashed/sprayed into the grill, it is quickly sucked through the box and pulled into the engine. You are correct as to the blower on the S going first and the research of damaged Ss will usually bare this out. However, the Ss I have seen with these issues have damaged engines as well as the blowers. The water did get through.
When I met with the dealer and insurance co. to process a claim for the repairs, there were four other Coopers (including an S) from the same day's rain storms. A search of the WEB indicates that this is a common problem with the MINI to begin with.
While many others have chosen to repair and replace their cars with other makes, I want to keep and continue to enjoy the MINI, as stated in the original posting, without the paranoia.
 

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Changing the intake would still not help, as they still draw air in through that system as well as through new cone filter (if thats what you go for). I have a cooper as well as an S (check my gallery)
and the OEM intake feed is not that dissimilar to the S, or any other cars i've had/ been under the bonnet of. Therefore the issue must be how that much water got into the feed in the first place. As it is not a mechanical issue, and we all have the same design of airbox, how come we dont all have the problem? Dont get me wrong, i'm not for one minute trying to belittle your problem. I'm just trying to sort out what the root of the problem is.
 

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Discussion Starter #6 (Edited)
To date, my motor was the twenty-sixth engine the dealership I work with has replaced due to this issue. I have searched the engineering behind many other mark's air intake system and most of those vehicles have the intake located between the front fender and the inner fender well, in an area of negative air pressure and well protected from the type of issue I am speaking about. This arrangement wouldn't deminish the chances of the vehicle taking in water if it is driven into deep water but it is protected from cross-spray. There isn't such a place on the Cooper to protect the in-take from the spray. Actually, cross-spray easily finds its way into the intake because the grill tabs direct it that way. The grill tabs aren't bent creating a baffle design but instead, by design, are straight, allowing the water direct access to the in-take.
Regarding the comment about the many MINI owners that have not experienced this issue, my mechanic was discussing the issue of water damage with me two weeks before my incident. He told me about the many vehicles he's had to repair due to hydro-lock but that it wasn't something to lose sleep about. I didn't until after my experience. My dealership has been selling the auto for two years and they're repairing more then one of these per month.
I currently own four autos and have experienced cross-spray with three of them. Earlier in the day, I picked up my daughter from work in one of the other cars and was sprayed from the opposite side of the highway while traveling at forty miles per hour and aside from having the #%&* scared out of me for a second, continued on my way without concern. Half an hour later, because the MINI was the first car in the driveway, it was taken for the chore, it was cross-sprayed at an intersection while traveling at 5 MPH taking a left-hand turn, and it died. Was it bad luck or bad design? "One-in-a-Million" doesn't mean anything unless you're the "One." Now that I'm "the one," I'm real sensitive to it.
I have extensive experience with Corvettes. I've owned them for over thirty years and have never had this happen with a Corvette, or a Celebrity, VWs, Camaros, SUVs or any other car I've owned.
All I'm trying to do is come up with a way not to have it happen again and will allow me to enjoy the MINI as I did before the storm.
 
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Joe Chic
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