The First Mod

Body kit pieces. Install next week after curing. #JCW #mini #paintedarches #suckit

A photo posted by Don Burnside (@donburnside) on

We return to find our hero contemplating his list of mods…

As I have already mentioned on the show, for those of you that haven’t heard it, Bruce’s first mod is almost on the books and that is in the shape of a JCW Body kit. It’s painted and assembled, sitting on the floor at Eurotechs waiting to be installed. I was hoping to have photos for you this week, but that will have to wait until next.

I was able to assist with putting the kit together, mostly. With help, that part took an hour. Looking at the actual install, I’m expecting this to push the limits of my levels of frustration. With the clips and other small, non-standard pieces of plastic that need to go here and everywhere, I can just tell this is going to make me twitch. I’m comforted, slightly, by the fact that Jerry is going to let me install it at the shop and provide supervison/assistance where needed.

Still in the works is graphics removal. I am at the point in the clear bra removal where I want to find the man at 3M responsible for the invention of clear bra. I would like to by him a beer so I can pour it into his lap and smash the glass into his face before I make fun of his dog. Removing this is the worst thing I have ever had to do. I knew it was going to be bad, I had no idea how bad. I can’t recommend against installing clear bra enough. It’s truly a horrible product. It’s ugly, hides the shine of the paint and, when the time comes to actually remove it because it has fully baked to the finish of your car, it’s a serious pain in the dick to remove.

Now that I have that out of my system, let’s list out the next steps in my modifications, shall we?

  1. Wheels
    Once the body kit is installed I’ll determine the size. For now, I’m leaning towards a 17″ wheel. And they will be white. I might do a 16″, maybe.

  2. Suspension
    Once I have the wheels I like, I can determine what I need to do to get the ride height I want. I’m going to stick to lowering springs and upgraded struts instead of coil-overs (since those would be overkill) and a rear sway bar, which might happen sooner than later.

  3. Noise
    I’m liking how quiet this MINI is, but a little more growl would be nice. I’m thinking an intake would help in that department and improve breathing, slightly. I know it won’t be much for power, but that’s not my goal as much. Just a little more feedback when I do use the right pedal.

Wheels and body kit by AMVIV are my goals right now. Springs would be awesome, but not sure if I’ll be able to squeeze those into the budget in time.

Photos after a bath and the body kit install should be up this weekend. I’m really excited to see it and to show you guys!

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What’s in a Name

Finally a name (you say)! Yep (I say).

Of course I understand it has been more than a week, but let me ask you; how long did it take you to come up with a name for your child? For your pet? It wasn’t something that happened immediately I’m guessing, right? Heck, it took me a month to come up with my son’s name.

Roxy was named, as most of you know, after the Concrete Blonde song of the same name. It took me about a week to realize that was the name of my MINI and it stuck. Click the link and have a listen. The chorus, I think, is appropriate.

Oh Roxy, you’re my Maggie May

More beautiful tonight

Than you ever were back in the day

Oh Roxy, your golden boys

Make a beautiful noise after all these years

You still bring tears to my eyes

Everyone has tossed out their suggestions as you would expect. The obvious names first, the I-can’t-pronounce-them Irish names were listed as well. Honestly, I can’t be bothered to find the correct punctuation for some of those. There have been one or two that I like, but they are already being used either locally or on another MINI I know somewhere on the planet.

Anyway, to make a long story even longer, I have decided on a name that was suggested by a friend, playing on the green and nerdalicious comic book lore. Please say hello to Bruce.

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One of the more popular Bruce’s you might recognize.

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H/T to our man Craig in Seattle for figuring it out. He actually visited dbmini on a real computer and discovered the file name in the previous post. Well done good sir. It was actually leaked in a comment on Facebook last week. Now that I have posted about it here, it’s official.

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The New Guy

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After a solid week, I’m confident in my decision to buy this MINI. Sure, he is not perfect, but overall a solid runner. As you will hear in the next episode of White Roof Radio, I am still coming to grips with the size of this MINI. While not that much larger than the R50, it does feel that much larger, especially from the inside.

I’m finding a few minor issues with the appearance that I will have to correct. First up will be a complete exterior detail. I’m pretty sure this car has never seen the business end of a piece of claybar, let alone polish. That, of course, will have to be done after I remove the roof graphic and all of the clear bra. Speaking of clear bra, it looks horrible. Makes the car look horrible and hides the shine of the paint. I would rather have rock chips than this stuff. I’m also talking with Todd about some stripes for him and hope to get that done at AMVIV.

Moving on to the wheels, they are a bit rough in places and, if I’m honest, one of my least favorite MINI wheels. They look ok, but who among us has tried to clean them? Good grief, I just did that and it took me a solid 1/2 hour and they still aren’t as clean as they can be. Not helped by the fact this car still has factory brake pads.

On the inside, it’s amazingly nice. Piano black interior, cloth seats, rubber mats. All in excellent shape. While I’m not a fan of rubber mats (I live west of the Rockies and prefer carpet), I’m keeping them for a little while. The one thing that will be changed sooner than later is the tint. Sure, it’s plenty dark, but it’s the cheap stuff. Roxy had the top of the line ceramic tint at 30%. He will be getting the same treatment.

Also on the inside is the stereo. Honestly, what an extreme disappointment. The stock system in the R50 sounds like the HK in the R56 by comparison. I will be looking into some kind of upgrades there as budget allows. I don’t need a booming system, but some bass would be nice.

Another in the list of mods will be a JCW body kit. Mine is on order. They are practically giving them away out here, how could I not? I drove an R56 Cooper with that kit and 15″ wheels if you recall and it looked pretty sharp. What will make it look even better will be a little bit more low (including a rear sway bar upgrade happening soon) and different wheels. I’m thinking about trying the extra 5 Stars that I have, possibly powder coating them [insert color here].

Nice to have a post like this, talking about my car and the things I want to do to him, as opposed to things I need to do. Exciting times lie ahead!

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A Closer Look

While out in Quartzite this passed weekend, I was able to get some shots of my, as not yet named so stop effing asking, new MINI. Including the roof graphics. Once the weather warms up, all vinyl is coming off of this car (possibly including the tint) and getting redone.

I’m getting a lot of positive feedback on the roof. I think it’s awful. The redo will be with stripes. Still need to talk to Todd about that. And to remove the clear bra.

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“Can you read me the current odometer reading”

“305,397”

We then went back in and completed the paper work. Roxy was no longer mine.


It’s no secret that I have been looking for another car for the past few months. With Roxy getting up in miles and the frequency of odd noises and new rattles rapidly increasing, it was time. My plan was to keep her and add another car to the stable, eventually relegating full time track duties to her.

On January 22nd, 2014, I was doing my daily internet check when I found a very rare MINI.

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That is a 2008 R56 MINI Cooper. It does not have a sunroof. It does have manual transmission and sport package and less than 60k miles on the clock. And it was listed for less than $10,000. At that price and configuration, I knew a car like this wouldn’t come around again for a while.

So I moved on it.

It was a painless experience, oddly enough, but 3 hours after arriving at my local Auto Nation Nissan dealer, he was mine. All i’s were crossed and t’s dotted. I cleared my stuff out of Roxy, said good bye and signed on the dotted line. Already added an additional 500 miles on him and I have to say I do like an R56. You can here my thoughts, day of, on this week’s show.

Welcome to dbmini.us v2.0 – The R56 Edition. Updates to follow.