The Next Mod

This is a repost from earlier this week. The post has also been updated.

After spending a bit more than 30K miles in Bruce since I bought him about 2 years ago, it was time to do the next modification. It’s the same mod that I did to Roxy at about 27K miles and that was a full brake job, adding EBC Green Stuff brakes and replacement rotors.

Also, for something different, I went ahead and had the brakes installed. All 4 wheels were needed and I really hate doing the rears. Besides that, he was also due for an oil change and alignment as well as trip on the lift just to take a peek and make sure everything was ok.

The old brakes were OEM and I might have waited about 10K miles too long to get them done. The fronts were almost metal to metal and one of the rotors, from what I could tell, was slightly warped. In case you are wondering, but I don’t recommend this, OEM brakes are good for about 60K miles if you really need to push it.

The alignment was also something I was way overdue in getting taking care of. Since I have no idea about the history of this MINI, it’s nice to get this work done. It’s almost like a bit of a factory reset. The only thing left is the check engine light fix and to replace the front chin spoiler, both of which will be happening, hopefully, by the end of February or early March.

With AMVIV coming up, there are still 2 more things I need to do. Replace the chin spoiler (parts are waiting for me to order at OutMotoring and get the CEL fixed. Jerry knows the fix, just a matter of getting it done.

Finally, a full detail to way overdue. Now that the weather in Arizona is finally nicer than yours, time for that will be soon. Full claybar, polish and wax, plus complete wheel cleaning that will include removing them. #becausewhitewheels

Hacked, but Fixed

Short Version

There was an issue with dbmini.us that was causing pop-up ads and redirects. I have corrected this. Apologies for the trouble!

Nerd Version

From what I can tell, this was done via FTP. Just in case, I went ahead and did the following:

  • Updated the main FTP password for the site. There is only 1 FTP user, so no other user accounts were comprimised
  • Updated the WordPress password.
  • Changed themes. Now the same as DonBurnside.com.
  • Reinstalled WordPress.
  • Did a double, triple check of all files to make sure the offending code was removed and all files that were left by the attack also removed.

Again, I apologize for any issues that might have caused and hope this will not be a problem in the future here or at any of my other sites (which have also been checked).

Regular service shall resume shortly.

The Grand Tour

The Grand Tour premiered last week on Amazon Prime. Of course I watched it. And yes, overall I thought it was very good.

Poo Came Out

If you have ever seen an episode of Top Gear, most of what this show is about if very similar to what we saw during the final 2 series with Jeremy, Richard and James. The cinematography is brilliant, the overall production values are brilliant and it's scripted just enough to be entertaining and funny.

I wouldn't say it was perfect. While the filmed pieces were on point, the new studio/tent parts felt very awkward. Almost like they were trying too hard. I'm chalking that up to first episode jitters while they try to discover what this new show really is while staying on their tiptoes to avoid getting sued by the beeb. That said, the intro was amazing! Rumor is that it cost $3 million to record that bit, and you can tell. It was exactly what you would hope to see with the boys coming back to television.

It would seem that you quite enjoyed it as well. According to Amazon, it is the most popular show they have ever released. It has also resulted in the highest number of prime sign-ups, second only to Prime Day.

I would highly recommend checking it out.


It's time that Bruce got a little bit of love. I'll be doing 4 wheel brake job later this month or early next. As per my usual, I'm upgrading pads at the same time to, also per my usual, EBC Green Stuff pads. Going with a more basic rotor this time by Bosch and I'll be sure to report back.

This will also be my first brake job on an R56. I'll be doing the fronts more that likely myself, but leaving the rears (and a full system flush) to the professionals.

Here’s The Problem

A few things. While I have been a fairly bad MINI enthusiast of late, I do still have one and he is finally going to be getting some love in the very near future. Don’t worry, you will hear all about it here as it happens.

Next, watch the video linked above.

For 10 days, I spent some quality time behind the wheel of a 2016 Chevy Malibu. It is not the first time I have had this as a rental, and I hope it’s not the last. As a car, it’s better than adequate I’d say. Comfortable, well equipped, decent mileage and it has enough power to get out of it’s own way. For a car, it actually handles pretty well too. Plus it has Car Play / Android Auto and the Chevy info-tainment system, overall, is really nice. But that is for another post. Honestly, if this car had better tires and slightly better transmission, I’d consider having one for daily driving duties.

But, more to my point. This car costs almost the same as a new MINI the way it is equipped. Apple Play / Android auto comes by default. A nice-ish screen that can be viewed wearing sunglasses. An interior that makes sense. To the non-enthusiast buyer, this would be a very nice car.

I still think the MINI is nicer. And more fun to drive. Plus the community, MINI Takes the States, AMVIV / Southwest MINI Fest (insert your favorite event here). Plus all of you guys. Plus [the show](http://www.whiteroofradio.com). Is there a Malibu podcast? Clubs? Tuners? I don’t think so, at least not at our level. Is there a [Detroit Tuned](http://www.detroittuned.com) or [OutMotoring.com](http://www.outmotoring.com) or [CravenSpeed](http://www.cravenspeed.com)? Nope? No Chad, no Way, no Jerry, no Marzo. None of that.

Do you get a sense for any of that with the commercial above? I know I don’t. I get the sense that MINI is trying to be like their older brother BMW. At this moment in my life, I don’t really want a BMW. I want a MINI. This ad doesn’t speak to me. Apparently, it doesn’t speak to you either based on sales of MINIs in the United States.

As we have talked about on the show numerous times, this marketing direction MINI has taken in the US just isn’t working. They are targeting people that don’t watch TV by running ads on cable networks. Did anyone notice that they didn’t run a Motortober event this year? Did your local dealer do anything cool for MotorTober? No? That’s ok, mine didn’t either.

In my very humble opinion, this is where MINI is getting it wrong. They are trying too hard to tell everyone that it’s a premium car. They are trying too hard to appeal to people that like craft beer and brick walls. They are trying too hard to sell to people that don’t care that much about cars.

They need to find a way to get people back into the dealers to look at the cars. Ads like the one above aren’t it. They need to find a way to say it’s a premium product without shoving it down our throats. The old, fun, ads, aren’t the ticket either. That MINI has long gone, and we all know that. It’s time for something new.

And they better offer Car Play / Android auto stat! Again, for another post, but this Chevy system with Car Play blows the doors off of anything found in any MINI or BMW. No fooling.

* * *

Speaking of the show, with Todd in Vegas for SEMA this past week and me traveling for work for the rest of this week and most of next, we are on a bit of a break. We will be back very soon! And you know this is **definitely** something that we are going to talk about.