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Hi! New member and owner of a 2003 Mini Cooper S. Car is in pretty good condition but has a few spots of rust. We are changing the tailgate and having a bit of difficulty with the replacement we have bought.

Is the tailgate for an R50 exactly the same shape as that of an R53? We were under impression they were, however, trying to replace rusted tailgate with reclaimed tailgate bought online and it just wont fit. It is labelled as tailgate for R50/53, but there is a substantial gap on either side when the tailgate closes. Any information, suggestions etc greatly appreciated.
 

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2004 Mini Cooper R50 Chili Red, Midlands 5 speed manual
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What year of R53? There was a facelift done to the first generation cars in 2005 or so.

I’d expect the 2002 - 2004 cars to have the same tailgate, 2005 and 2006 cars may be different.
 
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