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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
Hello people!

Car Tire Wheel Automotive parking light Land vehicle

(Pictured shortly after purchase)

I purchased my black '13 JCW Roadster in June of 2016 from a west London dealership after becoming smitten during the test drive. My previous vehicle had been falling apart so it immediately became my daily driver, doing short urban runs with the occasional jaunt to the coast. On the whole it's been a fantastic little car with only minor issues cropping up around service time, and the ever-encroaching wear and tear of a car approaching 10 years on the road.

Earlier this year I relocated and was lucky enough to get a new job that involved a brand new company car. As a result, my JCW now only gets a run out once a week. I've been a bit on the fence about the car - it would still fetch a decent lump sum to sell, or I could perhaps trade it against something newer... but I've decided that it's worth keeping hold of. I've always loved Minis and the roadster layout in general, so anything else is going to be a step away from my hypothetical perfect car.

So with all that said, I've started drawing up some plans for things that need to happen with the car, and also things I'd like to do, if possible. I'll start by creating this thread as a bit of an overall list, but it seems that this area of the forum isn't the most-visited so I expect I'll have to repost a lot into more specific threads. No problem. My job is part of an automotive chain of dealerships, and one staff benefit is 50% off labour costs (and 15% off parts) so I hope to try and leverage this a bit - the nearest Mini branch is only about 3 miles away from the office. I'm otherwise pretty technical but have no experience of working on cars myself, nor tools/workshop etc.

So with all that said, let's have a look at what I'm planning to do!

Repair bonnet opening mechanism

I’ve seen something online that this is a common occurrence with Minis of a certain age if the bonnet catch mechanism is never maintained – the other weekend I went to top up the washer fluid and the lever inside the car just pulled open without doing anything. I’ve seen some workarounds online that involve getting underneath the car and pushing up with a broom handle to release the bonnet, but surely the cable has stretched when I’ve tried to open it, and will now need replacing?

Remove JCW stripe decals

I was never a huge fan of these, and they’ve now faded significantly compared to the chilli red wing mirrors, plus each of the bonnet stripes has a split running lengthwise. I’ve seen that you can heat these up with a hairdryer and then peel them back, removing any glue residue afterwards. My concern here is whether the areas under the stripes will be noticeably darker than the surrounding paint, and what to do about that.

Switch to some red exterior components

To pick up the red JCW accents with the stripes gone, I wanted to add some more red bits across the car (not more decals). I’ve seen some chilli red GP2 intakes for the bumper that look pretty smart. I was also thinking about getting hold of a red bonnet scoop from somewhere, but that might be a bit too ‘in your face’. I’ll need to mock up a test image maybe to see how it would look.

Add spotlights

I want to go for the official Mini ones which seem to still be about, but I’m confused over how much needs to be purchased. I looked into this shortly after buying the car, and I remember the cost was about £200. Now I’ve found what I think is the genuine parts, but they also state that a replacement grille needs to be purchased for an additional £180ish. Is that correct?

Union Jack style rear lights

I’ve seen these on a couple of youtube videos, coming from a place called SMPS2012 (though there may be others). One person who installed them said that on the R58 and R59 especially, these lights gave him an error when starting the car, and speculated that this could give you a problem at MOT time. I don’t really want to be switching in old lights every year just to get through the MOT, has anyone had success in getting some of these style lights fitted perfectly?

Replace run flat tyres… maybe

Now this one I’m not sure about. I’ve seen enough people recommend doing this, saying it makes a big difference to the feel of the drive. On the other hand, I’m not sure what to do about a spare in the event of a puncture.

Navigation update

There have been some fairly significant road changes in my local area since the car was built, and it tried to send me across a bus-only bridge the other week. I know that cars now are moving away from integrated satnavs in favour of smartphone integration, but I like having it as part of the car’s systems. What are my options here? Official updates seem to cost a lot, but can 3rd party software updates to the car be trusted?

Minor interior sprucing

The small silver plastic bit around the end of the handbrake has had a clip broken and fallen off, and the mats in the drivers footwell definitely need replacing. I may have just added these to list to give me something to tick off quickly!

Fit GP2 diffuser (& undertray?)

I saw a GP2 in a car park last week and the diffuser on the back looked so cool, I decided I had to fit one. Looking it up online, seems a simple enough component that just bolts onto the back of the car. But the same website also suggested purchasing the GP2 undertray. Given that I’m more motivated by the look of the diffuser rather than any performance benefits, I think the tray is probably overkill.

Restore/replace soft top

I have an annoying scrape across the front passenger side corner after a barrier rose more slowly than I was expecting… I’m not sure exactly what damage has been done to whatever they’re coated with. The rest of the top is starting to show a bit of aging, green around the bottom of the window etc. Is a replacement soft top feasible, or does is just need a good going over with something to clean it?

Refurbish alloy wheels

No real notes on this one, just putting it in as something that really, really needs doing after 6 years of driving. Front passenger side is particularly bad.

Dechrome?

I’m listing it here because I’ve seen some nice blacked out examples but I’ve not made a decision yet. I like the chrome bits on a Mini giving it a small link to its classic heritage.

Fixed spoiler

A few times recently the automatic spoiler has failed to deploy properly, and I get the dreaded insistent beep that something is wrong, even when slowing back down. I saw some threads from years ago about people replacing the spoiler with an official fixed version, though it looks now like stock on that has completely dried up, so this one might be out of my hands.

Performance/Power enhancements

I’ve seen videos of people taking their JCWs up to around 270BHP. I’m not looking for anything that crazy, but with everything else being fixed/enhanced around the car, it’s probably worth looking at a small boost in line with the old Stage 1 kits that would give you like 10% more power. I don't want to end up needing to majorly upgrade other bits to account for the power. Anyway, this will likely be the last thing and something to research into!
 

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Discussion Starter · #2 ·
Oh, I forgot something:

Restore the JCW badges

Seriously, they've lost all the black and red from the writing. Is it worth getting new official ones, or will the same thing happen?
 

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Union Jack style rear lights
I have these on my LCI and had no issues

 

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Discussion Starter · #5 ·
Thanks guys, I'll bare that in mind.

It's a nice afternoon so I spent some time outside going over the car. Couldn't get the bonnet open so I'm going to contact the nearby dealership tomorrow and try to talk to the service advisor about what OEM parts they can still acquire for the car re: spotlights and the like. If they're going to be going over the front of the car anyway then I might as well see if I can knock a few bits out.

I also nipped down to Halfords for a chilli red scratch repair kit and started restoring the rear JCW badge.

Automotive parking light Car Automotive tail & brake light Vehicle Grille


As you can see, it was in a sorry state.

Motor vehicle Automotive lighting Hood Car Vehicle


The kit comes with a brick red primer. You're supposed to put light layers down, but it didn't want to thin down, and when using the nib for the lettering I didn't see how that was possible. Also, the nib will scratch the paint right back off if you're not careful!

Hood Automotive lighting Vehicle Motor vehicle Automotive design


This is after two coats of the chilli red. I discovered the lettering was much easier to do holding the nib angled upwards, and trying to keep it about 1mm off the surface. You can still see how uneven it looks from up close, but take a step back and it looks fine.
 

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Discussion Starter · #7 ·
HUGE update guys... I ordered some mats. Probably overspent considering the amount of time people spend looking in the footwells, but I've gone for some ebay-riffic GP2 mats with the bold red trim.
 

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Discussion Starter · #8 ·
Quotes being gathered for repair work at my local dealership. I haven't heard from their parts dept about whether they can get hold of some of the GP2 bits but I'm slowly sourcing it online just in case.

Also, we have a repair centre just across the car park who can refurb alloys, so that ball is rolling too.
 

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Discussion Starter · #9 ·
I can now confirm that the genuine GP2 mats fit inside the R59 cockpit (without giving me leftover rear mats (y)), going against the specific advice of an official Mini online advisor who "consulted the proper department" but was at a loss to tell me exactly why these mats wouldn't fit.

Something else to cross off the list!
 

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Discussion Starter · #10 ·
So it's been a busy July of making plans, and then having those plans ripped up by other, more urgent matters. The dealership was largely a bust, as they really don't want to order anything that isn't approved by Mini for the chassis number (which seems to include all the GP2 bits, as I suppose there was never an R59 version) & the stuff they are willing to do costs a huge amount more than sourcing it from online resellers, even with a staff discount.

One of the current runflats developed a large bulge, so I've made the decision to lose them all and fit 'normal' tyres like I've been reading about for years. Earliest available slot is a week tomorrow, and the standard 205/45s are being replaced with a full set of Michelin Pilot Sport 5s at 215/45 for about £98 per wheel, which seemed a pretty good deal (garage is currently running free fitting on 4 Michelins bought together).

Then September's appointment is at the body shop to have the alloys refurbished, the decals removed & body machine polished and a couple of bits sprayed chilli red (the ducts in the bumper to give it the GP2 look, and some paint peeling on the wing mirrors).

Then October is MOT/service time so we'll take things from there and rejig the main list yet again. I plan to put the full underbody kit across the bottom of the car (for protection from Scotland's winter roads as much as performance) as step one but getting it done this side of Christmas will now be touch and go.

One thing I have managed to (half) do is replace the handbrake handle with one from Cravenspeed (can't be too many in the UK) - but I want to fit some red rubber instead of the supplied black so not quite there yet!
 

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Discussion Starter · #13 ·
They are expensive, but I'd replaced the end of my OEM handbrake twice due to the clip breaking, and couldn't find any other decent options. I'd have gone for the alcantara/CF one if it was still available.
 

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2005 R53, 2005 R53 lightweight, 2008 R55S, 2012 R58 FJCW, 2014 R60SD All4, 1996 Mini Cooper 35SE.
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makes the old tyres look like they were the wrong ones 😂

these should have had 215/45 out of the box imo
 

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Discussion Starter · #18 ·
There's a lot going on with that car! Interesting to see the red & black colour scheme working from the other direction, I don't think I've seen many red roadsters, just black or off-white.

I'd love a red pinstripe on my wheels but the local bodyshop said they wouldn't have the skill to do it to my stock wheels.

Where did you get the bits on the side of the car, just in front of the rear wheels?
 
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