The December 2011 issue of Grassroots Motorsports magazine is out now and it contains a complete MINI Cooper buyer’s guide. The article begins with a brief history of BMW’s acquisition of Mini to create the MINI brand. It covers the early years of the MINI in the US. One table lists the year-by-year changes from 2002 to 2006.
Getting to the actual buyer’s guide, the advice covers the first-generation Cooper (R50) and Cooper S (R53) models. The author enlists the help of MINI aftermarket vendors including Sneed’s Speed Shop, Mini Mania, and Way Motor Works. For example, here’s Way Hunsucker on engine mounts:
|Hunsucker recommends examining the engine mounts on any used MINI. “The passenger-side mounts on all years go bad. The later ones, anything mid-’04 and on, has basically a metal can, and the fluid will leak out—that’s how you tell if it’s bad. The earlier ones are rubber but still fluid-filled. They get short as they age and that tears the other mounts.” Polyurethane replacements are available.|
The guide covers:
- Body and Interior
- Engine and Drivetrain
- Suspension and Brakes