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Discussion Starter · #1 · (Edited)
So, one of my main criteria when looking for a MINI a while ago was that it had Xenon headlights, while I had to settle for a 2003 model because that was what I could afford, I have always wanted the headlights from the 2005/2006 models.

The other day, I was able to find some on ebay, and finally settled with the guy for 550.00 for the pair, shipped. Quite a deal seeing as that brand new from the dealer they cost 800.00 EACH. As you can see, they are pretty much in like-new condition (they do need a cleaning though)

My originals were a reflector type housing, while the newer models adopted a projector style housing.

Left is the old, right is the new:




Closeup:


Both in:





Overall, there is a much sharper cutoff, and a better quality of light coming out of the headlamps. Definately a project that was well worth the money spent!:yup:

-Chase
 

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Re: Just got new-ish headlights!

Looks nice! Let us know how many people flash you on bumpy roads. No, I am not hating, I am speaking from projector headlight experience (2004 Acura MDX).
 

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Discussion Starter · #3 ·
Re: Just got new-ish headlights!

Thanks!

Luckily they are auto-leveling, so that should keep the flashing down. I definately know what you are speaking of though, I used to drive an S2000 and man, did I get flashed! The suspension was pretty stiff, and without auto-levelers, the beam would dance all over the place! It sure was beautiful though!

-Chase
 

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Discussion Starter · #5 ·
Re: Chase's MINI! (okay, not a GM, but definately something fun!)

So, after having been attacked by a deer, my car is finally fixed and dent free!

Unfortunately, after the deer, I had a bad encounter with some steel plates that left my wheels out of round... severely out of round.

So I got new rims! I'm really liking the 10 spokes on the MINI, as well as the Machine finish. They're really not bad for a little over 100.00 each...

They are 17x7.5 Elbrus 105's (the old wheels were stock 17x7 MINI S-Lites)





The old ones for comparison:



The next thing will wind up being a new exhaust and a slight lowering...

-Chase
 

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Re: Chase's MINI! (okay, not a GM, but definately something fun!)

You have a Cooper S?!? I didn't know that! So cool! I love it! Those rims make a huge difference... makes me realise that I don't actually like the stock wheels much! The headlights are great too. Man, I want a Mini now! You need to meet up with genjy and get pics of the C30 and Mini together!
 

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Re: Chase's MINI! (okay, not a GM, but definately something fun!)

Those rims are NICE upgrade. Looks great!
 

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Discussion Starter · #9 ·
Re: Chase's MINI! (okay, not a GM, but definately something fun!)

Mwa ha ha. I'm glad that everybody approves! Thank you!

You have a Cooper S?!? I didn't know that! So cool! I love it! Those rims make a huge difference... makes me realise that I don't actually like the stock wheels much! The headlights are great too. Man, I want a Mini now! You need to meet up with genjy and get pics of the C30 and Mini together!
Everybody should have a MINI, they bring great joy! I'm not sure if I would be able to contain myself if the MINI and the C30 were in the same place at once! Two vehicles that rank rather high on my list. :D

-Chase
 

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Discussion Starter · #11 · (Edited)
Re: Chase's MINI! (okay, not a GM, but definately something fun!)

We'll discuss the vinyl siding issue later...
Trust me, we didn't choose it. We hate the crap, especially the fake vinyl shutters. If it were up to us (and we had the money to do it) we would have composite siding (or brick/stone) and real, working shutters. Unfortunately, this house is a cheap piece of crap, so when my parents have the chance to build, they will use much better materials. :D I can't wait to talk them into the shingles that are made out of recycled tires and resemble slate extremely well.

-Chase
 

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Discussion Starter · #14 ·
Re: Chase's MINI! (okay, not a GM, but definately something fun!)

I love the overhang (or complete lack thereof) on the Mini! It's awesome!
Yet it is still fairly easy to scrape :mad:

I didn't realize the mini came in men's sizes.

Just kidding. Nice ride.
:fall: They only offered ladies sizes in 2002, but then offered unisex sizing the next year. :p:

Thanks :D

-Chase
 

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Re: Chase's MINI! (okay, not a GM, but definately something fun!)

Oooo.. I LOOOOOOOVE those rims!!! :dro:


OK... so how do you like the Mini? Since you've had it for a decent amount of time... how are the quality issues? Fit and finish? Things falling off? Squeaks? Etc.

I'm considering it as my "city car."
 

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Discussion Starter · #16 ·
Re: Chase's MINI! (okay, not a GM, but definately something fun!)

Oooo.. I LOOOOOOOVE those rims!!! :dro:


OK... so how do you like the Mini? Since you've had it for a decent amount of time... how are the quality issues? Fit and finish? Things falling off? Squeaks? Etc.

I'm considering it as my "city car."
I am totally in love with my car. At first, it was a compromise, but after a little time I wouldn't want anything else. It is pretty quick, handles wonderfully, and is just plain cool looking!

I will say that mine does have some rattles at the moment... There was only one in the car when I bought it at 50,800 miles, however, a few more have sprung up because I have had the interior apart so many times. This is not because of maintenance issues or things breaking, rather, I am in the process of painting and replacing a bunch of the interior parts so I can have the colors that I want. The original rattle was just due to the way that the dash was designed in 2003. It was fixed in the 2005 and later models with a slightly different dash top design.

There are a couple of things many of us at the MINI forums warn people about when they purchase a used 1st generation:

1) The coolant tank has a tendancy to weep at the seams in old age, causing a gradual coolant leak. You can either replace with another OEM part, or as I am about to do, you can replace with an aluminum tank.

2) BMW doesn't have proper support for their strut towers, so some mushrooming can occur from big bumps and potholes. The fix is a "Strut Tower Defender" (STD, lol) that basically ties the 3 bolts on the camber plates together so this mushrooming doesn't happen.

3) Stay away from the CVT models. They are problematic. An automatic Cooper S (Automatic S models weren't available before '05) is just fine, and is still very fun to drive.

4) On the first generation Cooper S's, the Supercharger is designed to have a lifespan of about 100,000 miles, of course there are people out there that have many more miles on the original supercharger. In MINI's defense, the supercharger was designed by Eaton.

The interior plastics look like plastic on the trim portions, where they are usually painted a metallic color, and the "downtubes" on either side of the center stack as well as the pulls for the doors are very plastic-ey feeling. Then again, their design isn't meant for them to be a soft-touch plastic any way.

I have NEVER had anything fall off of my car, and, from my experiences, it is a pretty darn solid vehicle. Very easy to work on, just don't bother paying the stealership for service, go to a trusted mechanic or do it yourself.

Now, if you decide to go the route of purchasing brand new, then a lot of the issues above have been addressed. The 2007 and up MINIs use turbochargers rather than superchargers, they have a nicer interior, and they generally have a better ride. (Gen 1 MINIs have a VERY stiff suspension). Upon delivery, a lot of people will suggest putting on the STD's as there is still a bit of a mushrooming issue, however, it is not as common in the Gen. 2 cars.

Any way, I can go on and on about the car but overall, I would definately suggest one to anybody that is willing to drive such a small vehicle. If you have a friend with one, definately ask them if you can take it out for a drive, especially if you have some twisties nearby! If you are thinking new, swing by a dealership and take one out. If you want just a tad bit more space, definately check out a Clubman or Clubman S. Pictures generally make them look pretty goofy, but in person they are pretty cool.

I do hope this helps. If you want to see what a bunch of owners have to say about their MINIs, head on over to www.northamericanmotoring.com/forums . It is a fantastic resource, most any information that you would like on the cars is available there.

-Chase
 

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Re: Chase's MINI! (okay, not a GM, but definately something fun!)

Awesome car, Chase! Nice rims and I love the exterior colour :yup:
 

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Re: Chase's MINI! (okay, not a GM, but definately something fun!)

Any way, I can go on and on about the car but overall, I would definately suggest one to anybody that is willing to drive such a small vehicle. If you have a friend with one, definately ask them if you can take it out for a drive, especially if you have some twisties nearby! If you are thinking new, swing by a dealership and take one out. If you want just a tad bit more space, definately check out a Clubman or Clubman S. Pictures generally make them look pretty goofy, but in person they are pretty cool.
I've driven a Gen1 Mini. but I haven't driven the new ones yet, nor have I driven a Clubman yet. There are 2 at my train parking garage every day. They're really nice.

I"m a big guy -- 6'3" -- so I'm just concerned about the room. Every time I sit in one, it's fine.

but I just want something small/smallish... fun to drive... Astra was at the top of my list, but it's lacking some basic features I want -- like a sunroof. So, Mini is now at the top.

I'm in no rush... especially with this economy wheezing along.
 

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Re: Chase's MINI! (okay, not a GM, but definately something fun!)

Oh man, I am officially jealous of you having a Mini. I borrowed a 2008 Clubman S last Saturday and holy crap, I love small sporty cars! I'm only about 5'8" and pretty thin so I didn't have a problem with fitting though.

I like those wheels too, looks pretty good!
 
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