The December 2011 issue of Grassroots Motorosports December 2011Grassroots 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