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2004 Mini One

Discussion in 'off topic' started by George J, Mar 8, 2022.

  1. mark121211

    mark121211 pfm Member

    I probably didn't make my point very well when I commented on Gintonics oversteer observation.

    I own a R55 (JCW) and F56 (Cooper) variants. Like most modern FWD cars they understeer when pushed to their limits.

    I have never managed to get the JCW to oversteer on a roundabout (with or without the horrid BMW traction control engaged) and its considerably more powerful than a 2021 Cooper S.
    stevec67 likes this.
  2. Jono_13

    Jono_13 Duffer

    Minis of all ages are good fun cars. I’ve had a selection from a brown 1000 through a lowered and pimped 1275GT to a Cooper S auto.
    The best FWD car I have ever owned was an original Honda Integra Type R with a Torson LSD and a 9000rpm limiter. Nothing could get close to it in the bends.
  3. Frizzy

    Frizzy Liberal anarchist

    Had my 2006 cooper for 6 years , thing I found most fun is the ability to brake late into a bend confident that it will hold its line, no diving or squirrelling
    The original 1600i engine needs revving hard to get the best out of it but it sounds fab. Unfortunately thirsty buggers no matter how careful you are.
    My main prob is lack of use, less than 1000 miles a year, (total mileage 47k) had to have rear discs replaced as corrosion from lack of use.
    Great thing about mini is almost classless, not quite like original but close.
    Still think mine (red with white stripes and roof) looks rather cool. I fully expect it to be my last car, unless someone gives me a electric mini.
  4. George J

    George J Herefordshire member

    Mini One update ...

    What nobody here will know, because I have not posted about it, is that I am no longer a wage slave, but rather self employed - aged sixty.

    Today I was working in Worcester [14 miles from my home], and travelling home I was on the fearful A44 going round one of the horrible bends [with very limited sight-line] to find a massive Mercedes Sprinter on my side of the road overtaking a bicycle over double white lines. I was going between 35 and 40 mph, so far from challenging the Mini's handling. The brakes are simply amazing. Perhaps better than my old Volvo 240 in that on full emergency stop the car kept its composure. The Volvo was great in a straight line when braking hard but less so when leaning in a corner. The Mini literally saved my life today. It would not win in a direct contact with a Sprinter ...

    Not only do I like the Mini, but am gaining respect for its abilities - even though I have zero intention of taking advantage of its cornering ability. Cornering is as good as the Mini pick-up 1973 version that I learned to drive in.

    Best wishes from George
  5. sean99

    sean99 pfm Member

    I'm glad you lived to write about it - sounds like a scary experience. I hope it gave the van driver a hell of a scare too.
  6. Olaup

    Olaup pfm Member

    Glad to see you are safe, maybe invest in a webcam for the car just in case.
  7. -alan-

    -alan- pfm Member

    That's a cracker looking little Mini George. Great colour, and even better value. Hop you have a ball in it.

    Due to an NCT (same as your UK MOT) scheduling cockup on my part, I ended up with a non-refundable slot on a track-day booked, and nothing to drive but the better half's Civic S daysul. I was praying for rain for about most of the week beforehand to give at least half a chance of some fun and not being the mobile chicane out there. Thankfully it came, and the Civic was at least able to worry a few of the less aggressively driven MX5s. As regards losing the rear though - notwithstanding traction control on or off / mid-corner lift-off / Scandinavian flick + mid-corner lift off - nothing got the rear to unstick. An S1 Elise it ain't. You'd probably have marginally more luck reversing the thing round the track flat out and and trying it that way :)
    George J likes this.
  8. George J

    George J Herefordshire member

    The little Mini is getting used to be used again after a few months of being started up and trundling round once a week to stop the clutch and brakes seizing up. In a month I have done nearly four hundred miles, and the average fuel economy has incrementally increased so that the average since the beginning of March is 42.9 mpg. This is not long journeys but a mix of five mile runs and fifteen miles each way before and after work. Really I cannot complain at that. After the Aygo, almost any more than ten year old car was going to be worse or much worse than the Toyota!

    I am learning the engine's character. The gearbox is nicely spaced so that first to second [half the time on a one in five uphill] is easy without have to race a cold engine. Fifth is somewhat short legged compared to the Toyota, but it will hang on to fifth without digging into the throttle to maintain a steady fifty on a local hill that is worse than one in five. Not bad really. At that point, on my longer journeys home, I like to dig into the throttle to push the engine briefly into full torque. It will steadily gain speed up to about fifty five when there is a bend that requires slowing for. Not earth shattering, but fine. When I do eventually drive over to Norfolk it will cope with the A47 between Leicester and Peterborough admirably. The old Volvo never felt those hills and I suspect neither will the Mini.

    I even managed to set the cruise control today, but what an alarming thing that is! It works very well keeping to either the chosen speed [fifty in this case] or one mile per hour less. I have not tried it downhill yet. But I tend to have a very subtle throttle foot, so the car keeping going, when I would let off a bit, is very strange. I tend to avoid the brake as far as possible, except for final hauling up at lights or junctions. I expect it would be very nice on the motorway ...

    I am finding that there is no superfluous control input on the car and though ['many of] the controls are laid out without any seeming thought for ergonomics, in practice they do fall to [muscular memory] hand. I set the original [and very nice VHF/FM with CD player] radio up, and the essential controls are all doubled in the back of the steering wheel, which makes adjusting the volume and station a breeze. Lots of nice touches, and the most clever one is to unlock the hatch on the remote on the key. After twenty seconds it re-locks anyway, but as soon as you close the hatch again it instantly locks. Thus one can put any shopping in the back, without unlocking the doors, and you cannot leave the tailgate unlocked inadvertently.

    It does have a full length glass roof, and a very neat sliding part on the front half. Unlike some, when open, it absolutely does not drum inside the car. Well developed for comfortable use.

    Silly point. On the top of the engine BMW proudly advocates Castrol oils, and the manual and the Mini website recommend only the BMW oil as bought from the dealer. Strangely the Castrol oil for the engine is second most expensive after the BMW oil. I am sticking with Castrol. I used the old Castrol Magnatec 20/50 in the Volvo, and will use the recommended grade Castrol synthetic 5/30 when I change the oil later this month. Probably do the transmission oil at the same time. Easy job with a proper drain plug and a proper filler plug, which you fill level with the top plug. ...

    Thanks be for some proper old fashioned ideas on the first generation Mini One. Even the light bulbs are easy to change.

    Best wishes from George

    PS: Crazy fact. All the recommended 5/30 oils for the Mini are in four litre bottles, and the capacity with filter change is four point seven litres! Two cans therefore being required. Fortunately my Honda lawn mover is more than royally served with synthetic 5/30 oil so that two cans of motor oil is not quite so crazy. Though it is certainly over-kill on a lawn mover ...
    Last edited: Apr 5, 2022
  9. RJohan

    RJohan pfm Member

    I had the Accord Type R in the days. Absolutely fantastic on curvy backroads and on track days. Miss it. Also had a Civic type R, not as good in the curvy bits, but the engine/gearbox was like a Japanese motorcycle.
    Jono_13 likes this.
  10. gintonic

    gintonic 50 shades of grey pussy cats

    I found the dash and controls in the Mini Cooper S I had for three weeks as a courtesy car. I still didn't manage to understand how the wipers worked.

    Some buttons were distractingly out of reach, so you had to move and almost bend over to activate sports mode. I still don't understand what the big glowing circle around the main display was telling me in its various colours.

    At least the radio received DAB so I could listen to my fav radio station.

    I think I could live with one in the future.
  11. -alan-

    -alan- pfm Member

    Y'know, purely by luck (as both were acquired used) two of the cars here have full length sunroofs - the Civic S and a little Toyota Yaris Verso. I have to say it's a lovely feature in a car - makes the interior feel much roomier and brighter. I'm not really one for forking out for extras that don't make a car go or stop better, but if I were buying new, a full glass roof is perhaps one option that would seriously tempt me.
    George J likes this.
  12. George J

    George J Herefordshire member

    More good news. The Mini has passed its MOT today. I replaced a front tyre before turning up for the test. Not with flying colours, but with corrosion advisories that will see it off in twelve months. Everything else is like a new car except emissions, because I never do an Italian tune up. So it took an age to clear the cat! Five minutes at 3000 rpm and suddenly it went far into the acceptable range. But my rule of changing gear is to change up at less than 3000 rpm. The last time it would have done a sustained 3K would be its MOT last year!

    I need a low revving engine, but this one copes very well in spite of being as designed ... a screamer. The oil, changed three thousand miles ago, is still perfectly honey coloured, where the expectation is that it should be black by now.

    That little car has done well. £400 and still kicking - even if it dies after two and half years and aged twenty. This was a good buy, and I must plan for a cheap replacement by June next year.

    Suggestions are welcome for suitable models. Light commercial vans preferred.

    Best wishes from George
  13. lordsummit

    lordsummit Moderator

    What do the corrosion advisories say George? I have found that often they write up surface rust from salt on the roads. Mrs L’s car sounds like a disaster, apparently the struts, arms etc are all corroded, but they say the same every year. Every year it gets a pass.
    George J likes this.
  14. George J

    George J Herefordshire member

    Dear lord summit,

    The rear subframe had a surface corrosion advisory last MOT, and has not deteriorated. The new advisory mentions the inner sill on the driver's side, but there is not much meat there, so in eleven months we'll get it on the ramp again and have a look. That is far into unknown territory!

    Best wishes from George
  15. lordsummit

    lordsummit Moderator

    Get some underseal on it and it’ll go on for years. They’re just covering their backsides in case.
    George J likes this.
  16. George J

    George J Herefordshire member

    Modern computer based cars are a nightmare! Fortunately it was after the passing of the MOT, when the tyre pressure warning light came on. Probably due to having a new tyre fitted, and that has upset something.

    I tried resetting it according to the instruction book, no use. Perhaps one of the pressure sender batteries has failed, but I clear it and the light just comes back in a few seconds. It does not worry me, I blow the tyres up once a month, and am happy to use a pencil style pressure gauge!

    I would love to get a non-rusted out Maestro or Marina van, and live the simple life. Though not so reliable, they are easy to work on and the parts are still cheap.

    Best wishes from George
  17. stevec67

    stevec67 pfm Member

    Why don't you get a garden spade and smack yourself in the face with it for a while? It would be less unpleasant than a Maestro or, worse, a Marina. They're awful cars. They weren't any good 30-40 years ago, the passage of time hasn't improved them. It's nearly as bad as your suggestion of a Reliant robin. I don't know why you have such a rose tinted view of cars that were bad even when they were new.
    Nic Robinson likes this.
  18. stevec67

    stevec67 pfm Member

    Don't wait 11 months, get it looked at now. You might find that a coat of Waxoyl or similar inside and out will hold it back for a year or two. I've done this a few times, it works. Same goes for brake lines with light corrosion. Ignore it and a year later it's new lines and £200-300 for the MoT. Slather them in grease as soon as you can and they get no worse. It's a stitch in time that can get you another couple of years, after which you may no longer have the car.
    Snufkin likes this.
  19. gintonic

    gintonic 50 shades of grey pussy cats

    perhaps trying to wind the clock back to a perceived better time......
  20. stevec67

    stevec67 pfm Member

    I suspect so. It's a big driver in the classic car hobby. It's either a chance to have the cars of which you dreamt in your youth but could never afford, or it's a return to youth and days when the sun shone, life was limitless, and you could go to the cinema, have fish and chips, 2 pints with your mates / a girl and still have change from a fiver.
    gintonic likes this.

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