Changes

When last we met, you already knew that I was trying to get out of Bruce and into something different. If you play the DonBurnside™ home game, you already know what happened. But, because I’m a giant nerd and am feeling the need to write, you get the words.

I did a bit more research on this guy before I rolled in. Our man Brian Dallas hooked me up with a full VIN history (this MINI is very well taken care of). With that, and other research that shows this MINI started life as a MINIUSA mule (possible press car), and that it was CPOd when acquired by a local dealer, I was in good shape.

For the financing, let’s just say I got a proper APR this time around. Not as good as it can be, but really close. Close enough that you would be impressed.

Oh yea, the car. It’s a 2013 MINI Cooper Roadster S. The original sticker price on this MINI was right at $40K when it was new, which means it is loaded. And, when I say loaded, it really has all the things.

  • Heated leather seats
  • MINI Connected, Nav, HK
  • MINI Yours steering wheel
  • Sport pack
  • Automatic transmission
  • Everything else

The color is called Kite Blue and it is quite striking no matter how you look at it.

And yes, it has an automatic. I know, I know! I can already hear you screaming…

“But db, an AUTOMATIC? I thought you hated the automatic!?!?”

So, here’s the thing there. Since 2003 I have driven MINIs with Manual transmissions. In rain, in sleet, in snow, across the US and on F1 circuits in Europe. Awesome times. Until it comes time to use this car for actual transportation back and forth to work. My current commute is a 20 mile crawl that usually takes me about an hour each direction. And I’m over the whole shifting thing in traffic. Seriously. Over. It. That plus some medical things make the automatic a good choice for me at this time.

I’ve only spent a few hours with it so far but can tell you it is a joy to drive. The last roadster I drove was the MotoringFile company car, which was a JCW. While that car was a blast to drive, I am finding the standard S to be slightly more forgiving and joyous for normal driving.

A quick shout-out to my squad for the sounding board and advice when it came time to start dropping offers. The slack channel was very busy for a few days!

Before you ask…

  • No mechanical mods planned at this time
  • This car does not yet have a sex designation
  • Or a name

While no mechanical mods are planned, I am in agreement with the boys about this. So. Much. Chrome.

AMVIV is coming up which means Todd will be performing some black-out magic and, very possibly, some stripes.

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.

Big MPG Test

Elwood: It’s 106 miles to Chicago, we got a full tank of gas, half a pack of cigarettes, it’s dark… and we’re wearing sunglasses.

Jake: Hit it.

Or something like that. More like I have a fresh set of tires, a new set of plugs and fresh oil in the crankcase. You get the idea.

Since the weather has been cooler and I haven’t need to use my A/C, Bruce’s MPG numbers have shown marked improvement, actually breaking into the 30’s (MPG) lately. Considering my daily drive is 23 miles each way and it usually takes me about 2 hours to round-trip, I’m ok with that.

The big test is this week. I’m heading out to spend the holiday with family, so I will be driving about 500 miles round trip. My thinking is that, with the fresh tune-up, oil and tires, I should be able to finally break into the high 30’s for MPG. I’ll be doing mostly highway driving with a little desert back roads thrown in for good measure.

Because I know you will ask, went back to the old standby of Kumho ASX. The boys gave me a bunch of great suggestions, but they were all out of my budget. For my needs, this is a great that has never steered (!) me wrong.

Next up, brakes! Pretty exciting to think about doing my first R56 brake job. I’m thinking sometime in December. Stay tuned!