'09 MINI Clubman S

Started by MiniDave, January 14, 2022, 01:37:08 PM

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MiniDave

My Clubby has just under 100K on it and like we did with Bruce's '02 MINI Cooper S, it's time for some maintenance if I'm going to drive it another 100K, which right now is the plan. Of course, plans can change.....

It's been a real workhorse - it's been all over the country, east and west north and south many times and really has not been a problem.

Now it's due for some brakes - they shudder pretty badly - and I scored a set of 50 mile new car take-off shocks and springs a while ago - however I don't know if they will fit as they are off an F56 JCW.

I'm also due for an oil and filter change and it has developed a coolant leak. I had a water pump put on it a while ago and a new thermostat and housing while it was under warranty....I'll have to get it up in the air and see if I can pinpoint the culprit.

With the green Mini drivable and a big sleet/snow storm bearing down on us I worked today to get them swapped out and just now got the Clubby on the rack - it's starting to spit rain right now but the big stuff isn't supposed to hit us till later tonight.....

I still have a few things to do on the green Mini too but I think I can do them on the floor instead of the rack.

Complete failure at retirement

1989 Cooper Racing Green
2009 Clubman S
2014 Audi Allroad

BruceK

#1
It's cool that you're planning on hanging on to it indefinitely.   My 2002 Cooper S is just months away from me having owned it for a full 20 years. It's still going very strong with about 138K miles on it now. The exterior and interior still look great.  I've visited about 20 different states in it on various road trips over the years.  The rebuilt supercharger I installed on it 2 years ago is out of warranty now, but it is performing great and I expect it to last quite a while.  The MINI only travels about 4,500 miles a year these days, but I still drive it 2 or 3 times a week.  I'm happy when I drive it, happy when I walk up to it, and happy when I just look at it parked there.  What more can you want from a car?

Dave, all that maintenance and upgrades you and I did on the car 9 years ago continues to benefit it.  Thanks again for all your help. The biggest thing we did was dumping the crappy dual-mass flywheel and installing a new one and a perfect new clutch. And the poly suspension bushings are still going strong.  It gets regular oil changes (of course) as well as regular brake and coolant flushes.   Just today I drove the car to the dog park the next town over and my my thoughts turned to a transmission fluid change might be needed after 9 years.  So, I'm working to keep it alive.

Here's a photo of it from last year on a MINI driving event the local dealer hosted.
1988 Austin Mini
2002 MINI Cooper S
1992 Toyota LiteAce (JDM)
1997 Jeep Wrangler Sahara

cstudep

I have contemplated buying one several different times over the years and almost pulled the trigger on one a couple of years back but there were some issues with it and the guy would not budge on price so I passed. Used car prices are so insane right now I am not sure I would buy much of anything these days unless I absolutely had to.

I have always read about how "unreliable" they are, but just like any car I am sure you get out of it what you put into it. I have always thought, how bad could it really be, it absolutely has to be more reliable than my 1960 model  ;D

MiniDave

We got about 4" of heavy wet snow over night, I mention this because after I got the blue MINI on the rack I realized I couldn't lift it because the lift arms wouldn't reach - the MINIs and BMWs have some small blocks attached to the bottom of the car and that's where you set the lift pads. So, I had to back it off the ramps and reset them - which meant I had to shovel the snow away from the door as I didn't want it all dripping down on me as I worked.

The Audi was parked behind the blue MINI so I had to clear it off too - so - I spent about an hour clearing snow and did the whole driveway too, then I moved the Audi, backed the car off the ramps - reset them, drove it back on again and finally could lift it. Whew!

This morning I had to run down to the dealer to pick up a filter as I found I was out of them, so after that trip so far all I've gotten done is to change the oil and filter.

A while back I bought a set of F56 JCW springs and shocks from a guy I know - they had all of 50 miles on them as he put a set of Konis and aftermarket springs on his car the day after he got it. While I was at the dealership buying a filter I stopped in the shop and asked one of the mechanics if he knew whether they would fit my R55, he says no. Undeterred, I'm going to probably pull one of mine off and just see why they won't fit.

Worst case I think I can probably sell them for what I have in them at least.....

I also need new brakes, rotors for sure as I have a terrible pulsation in the fronts. I doubt the pads are worn out - they are premium ceramic pads so I haven't had to fight black brake dust since I went to them, but the rotors came from Autozone - I may have to suck it up and buy a set of good rotors from the dealership.

I also need to find my coolant leak and sort that out......more as it happens.
Complete failure at retirement

1989 Cooper Racing Green
2009 Clubman S
2014 Audi Allroad

LarryLebel

My wife had an 08 BINI. It had a coolant leak that had something to do with the thermostat housing.

MiniDave

#5
Mine was replaced when the car was just about to go out of warranty, but it could be that again. I haven't really gotten into that yet. Seems to me that the leak was on the right side of the engine, which would probably mean a water pump - which has already been replaced once. Weather is going to deictate what I can do for a while, it's in the low 20's today, and Tuesday it will be in the 50's, then Thursday it will be single digits, so Tuesday is when I can run the engine long enough to find the leak, till then the garage door stays down....

I've just finished the brakes and I'm looking at the suspension to see if these F56 parts will work. On first look it seems to me they will bolt right in, so I'm going to pull one of the fronts and take it apart and see what's what.

If the front does fit I'll pull one of the rears and see if that will work too. If not, I'll just sell the parts on. I'm sure there's someone out there that would like to upgrade their shocks/springs to JCW stuff from std.
Complete failure at retirement

1989 Cooper Racing Green
2009 Clubman S
2014 Audi Allroad

MiniDave

#6
Well, I have the answer on the struts - they don't fit. I pulled the right front strut out and compared it to the new ones - the shock tube is about 3mm larger in diameter, so they don't fit into the upright....don't know why the tech couldn't have told me that yesterday - maybe he didn't know - he just knew they didn't fit.

I got the brakes all done, and it's supposed to be warmer tomorrow tho not like Tuesday, but maybe warm enough that I can fill the cooling system and see if I can find the leak.
Complete failure at retirement

1989 Cooper Racing Green
2009 Clubman S
2014 Audi Allroad

MiniDave

Finished up the blue MINI today, rotated the tires and set the pressures then drove it around the block to bed in the brakes a little.....

I refilled the water yesterday as the overflow tank was empty, ran the car for a while then shut it off overnight. The tank was empty again this morning so I topped it off and ran the car again till the thermostat opened. Now the heater works and the tank is staying full. It hasn't leaked a drop, anywhere..... 8.gif

The water has to be going somewhere as the tank was dry.....I figure the refill I did this morning was just from bleeding the air out of the system.

I'll drive it for a bit and see if the tank gets dry again.....if it goes dry again and doesn't leave a puddle then about all it can be doing is drinking it.
Complete failure at retirement

1989 Cooper Racing Green
2009 Clubman S
2014 Audi Allroad

MiniDave

#8
 I found my leak.....

I drove 30 miles or so out to the engine shop to pick up the block and pistons, I was about 3 blocks away and suddenly I smelled coolant - I parked in their lot and went inside to pay and to load up. when I came back out there was a fair sized puddle on the ground. They topped off the tank for me and I headed back home - on the drive home I didn't smell coolant at all till I pulled into my driveway - then it hit really hard.

I backed into the drive and unloaded then opened the hood again and I could clearly see coolant on the gearbox, which is on the left side of the car - only thing there is the thermostat, and these are made of plastic and have a reputation for failing - mine was replaced at about 50K miles because it seemed to take the car forever to warm up.

Here's what it looks like - it's a very odd conglomeration of components including the temp sensor - which you can't buy separately BTW - and it is a "2 speed" device. Normally the car will run right at 225*, but if you're driving above 80 mph and/or have the A/C set to max, a second port opens and it runs 185*!

Leave it to BMW to over engineer something as simple as a thermostat    ::)

Complete failure at retirement

1989 Cooper Racing Green
2009 Clubman S
2014 Audi Allroad

BruceK

#9
Great that you found it. Are you going it replace it with a stock BMW piece, or an aftermarket one? 

When I replaced my MINI's supercharger 2 years ago, I ditched the OEM plastic thermostat housing (which was not yet leaking) and instead installed an aftermarket metal thermostat housing for piece of mind, and I hopefully gained some better longevity with it. Obviously, I've got a different engine and different thermostat housing (nowhere near as complex or convoluted as yours) but I'm not a fan of the plastic ones.
1988 Austin Mini
2002 MINI Cooper S
1992 Toyota LiteAce (JDM)
1997 Jeep Wrangler Sahara

MiniDave

I'm not aware of any aftermarket metal ones, but the prices are all over the map......so I may try an aftermarket one - they all look exactly the same.
Complete failure at retirement

1989 Cooper Racing Green
2009 Clubman S
2014 Audi Allroad

MiniDave

#11
This is what I saw when I parked after coming home from the machine shop.....unfortunately it's been WAY too cold to do anything about it yet, but maybe tomorrow - Monday for sure as it's supposed to be in the 50's again, for one day.

It might be enough to get the green Mini back off the rack again and the blue MINI back on. Then I can at least see what's up - there's a chance it's leaking out of the sensor - there's an oring in there that fails and I have orings.

If the plastic has split or cracked somewhere I'll be buying the whole magilla.....



Complete failure at retirement

1989 Cooper Racing Green
2009 Clubman S
2014 Audi Allroad

Jimini II

Definitely marking its spot.

MiniDave

#13
It warmed all the way up to 30* today so I started on the MINI thermostat project, it's amazingly difficult to get to all the hoses, clips and sensor wires to release and remove them. They use the spring style hose clamps and while I have the special clamp remover tool even that doesn't work in some spots on a couple of the hoses. I'm probably removing more than I absolutely have to but for the first time doing this (and hopefully the last!) better to err on the conservative side.

While I was in there I took the top off the air cleaner to get more room to get to stuff and found the last time I replaced the air filter was in 2017, with 66K on the car - which was informative for a few reasons - I've only driven 33K in the last 5 years in this car (99K now), and a mouse or something has gotten into the air cleaner. He didn't build a nest but did enjoy the peace and quiet while snacking on some pin nuts.

I may have to screen over the air inlet just above the bumper to keep him out.....

So in the pics, first the pic is of the t-stat - how many hoses do you count? I count 7 all together, one of which will be a real pip to get off - as there is a clip that holds it into the pipe it fits into - said pipe is plastic also, so if it breaks it will be an even bigger challenge.

Next pic shows where it's located on the left end of the block - it's in there - I promise! Of course, I've already removed a bunch of stuff at this point, but I still haven't gotten to the bolts that hold it on.

Next is the air filter, and lastly the remains from the mouse's snack

Complete failure at retirement

1989 Cooper Racing Green
2009 Clubman S
2014 Audi Allroad

BruceK

#14
I don't envy you in changing out that thermostat!  What kind of mad engineer designed that mess?  Someone who never works on his own cars I bet.

So, just about 6K miles a year?  Your car will last forever at that rate. 


1988 Austin Mini
2002 MINI Cooper S
1992 Toyota LiteAce (JDM)
1997 Jeep Wrangler Sahara

MiniDave

Soooo close, but no joy.....the big end with the o-ring on it fits into a plastic pipe, and I cannot get it out - so I'm letting it "soak" for tonight, tomorrow when I'm rested I'll give it another go.

The issue is I don't want to damage or break that plastic pipe, I figure changing that is practically an engine out job!

I'm kidding, but I'll bet it goes into the back of the water pump housing which I can't even see right now!
Complete failure at retirement

1989 Cooper Racing Green
2009 Clubman S
2014 Audi Allroad

MiniDave

Managed to get the old one out and the new one bolted in, now I just need to hook up everything I had to remove so I can fill it up and run it. It's in the 50's today so I can run it with the door open once I get it all buttoned up. Getting the pipe back together wasn't nearly as difficult as taking it apart, but just maneuvering the new thermostat into place was a real bugger

I also picked up a new air filter - only $21 at the dealership but I was there.....and it was there.....

The whole job will be about $200 in parts but I know I would have spent three times that in labor alone had I let the dealership do it.

I love my little magnetic puck lights, only problem using them on the MINI is everything under the hood seems to be either plastic or aluminum!
Complete failure at retirement

1989 Cooper Racing Green
2009 Clubman S
2014 Audi Allroad

MiniDave

#17
Never fails, does it?

I got everything buttoned up, last thing to do is install the big rubber boot between the turbo and the air cleaner and it rips. Old heat hardened rubber just tore apart right where it attaches to the turbo. It won;t run without it but I was able to jam it up against the turbo with a big screwdriver so I could get it started and start bleeding the air out of the system.

The local dealer didn't have it and said no other dealer in the whole country did either, I found them all over the interwebz and I have one coming (probably for 1/2 the cost from the dealer) but it won't ship till Monday and could take a week to get here.

The good news - it runs and doesn't leak - so far!

1st pic you can see the screwdriver jammed in place to hold the rubber hose in place against the turbo. Second pic a close up of the broken and end third the end that broke off.
Complete failure at retirement

1989 Cooper Racing Green
2009 Clubman S
2014 Audi Allroad

MiniDave

#18
Oh the joys of working on modern cars......

So, I ordered the new air intake boot and it came in today and it looks prefect. I'll have to switch over a couple of fittings but it will work and was about 1/3 what the dealer wanted. Of course they and every other dealer in the US had them on backorder.....

However............

After I got it running again and in the process of getting the air bubbles worked out, I noticed it was pissing water all over the floor again, this time from the passenger side of the engine!

It got really cold (low single digits) so I just had to let it set for a while, today we're in the 30's so I warmed up the shop and started trying to figure out where the hell the water was coming from - all the while I had a bad feeling......and I was right.

In trying to get the thermostat out of the crosspipe, I pulled the pipe out of the back of the water pump, it was easy enough to push it back in and as I installed the thermostat I could just see that it was all in place. However, when it was pulled out of the back of the waterpump, unbeknownst to me, it had peeled the o-ring off the end of the pipe - when I shoved it back in place it had no o-ring, and the water pissed out when it ran. To repair it requires removing the thermostat again, so I can pull that pipe out and re-install the o-ring. You can't see any of this when you're putting it together, and I only know that's what happened because I found the o-ring today lying loose on the engine.

Jeez louise!

I tried to buy a new o-ring from the dealer, they don't stock it, BUT they do carry the cross pipe which has the new o-ring on it - the o-ring itself is $4, the plastic pipe is $90!

I went ahead and bought the pipe, just in case. The old o-ring looks and feels fine, but the wife pointed out - do I want to do the job a third time if I reuse it and it fails?

So, I'm in the process of tearing it all back apart again, but hopefully this time it will all be good to go. I'm leaving next Thursday for Texas, so I need to drive it and make sure all is good before I head out on that long of a trip.

In the first pic, right where there is a bright spot from the flashlight you can just see the curve of the o-ring, where I found it today.

Second pic is where it goes on the crosspipe, third is the new pipe
Complete failure at retirement

1989 Cooper Racing Green
2009 Clubman S
2014 Audi Allroad

BruceK

Wow. One step forward and another step back. And all the fun with parts availability and quality. Such seems to be the nature of modern MINIs.  Good on you for continuing to get it done.
1988 Austin Mini
2002 MINI Cooper S
1992 Toyota LiteAce (JDM)
1997 Jeep Wrangler Sahara

jeff10049

That pipe is a pita. I did the 13 countrymen about a year ago and I've done a few others not a real fun job.

Jimini II

Well that sucks Dave and unfortunately typical of BMW and most automakers nowadays, you need a 50 cent O ring but have to buy the $90 pipe its attached to grrrr!

MiniDave

Well, as it turns out I needed the $90 pipe after all as the end was broken off, which is why the 0-ring came out.....apparently this is a common problem - the plastic gets old and brittle and breaks. There are a number of You Tube vids showing replacement of this pipe for the exact reasons mine broke.

Of course, you can find this pipe all over the interwebz for $23-25 shipped!

First two pics are of the broken end of the pipe, last pic is everything I've had to remove so far......I may have to take the intake manifold off in order to see if the broken pieces of the end of the pipe are still in the opening on the water pump, and to fish those out before I can put it all back together.

Complete failure at retirement

1989 Cooper Racing Green
2009 Clubman S
2014 Audi Allroad

BruceK

Manufacturers just love using plastics under the hood, don't they?  Makes things easy to design and build.  Including that crazy multifunction thermostat housing.  But plastics don't seem so good on the longevity front if you plan to keep a car well past the expiration of the warranty.  Good to see there are often aftermarket alternatives.
1988 Austin Mini
2002 MINI Cooper S
1992 Toyota LiteAce (JDM)
1997 Jeep Wrangler Sahara

MiniDave

I got lucky and found the broken off end lying in the drain pan, so I cleaned up the hole that it fits into in the back of the water pump and now the pipe is back in, as is the T-stat. Now it's just a matter of putting all that stuff back in too, filling it up and running it again to bleed the air out and make sure all is good.

I'm leaving Thursday for Texas then on to Phoenix for a week or so, it's needs to be right before I hit the road.

Complete failure at retirement

1989 Cooper Racing Green
2009 Clubman S
2014 Audi Allroad

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