Our First Shop Car: Bringing an R53 Back to Life

Posted by Andrew Snyder on

For a long time it's been a dream of ours to have a shop car and share the experience of the rebuilding process and bringing it back to life.

We help thousands of Minis get back on the road when they're down, and it's great to be able to say now we can do that with our own Mini. Over the past two years, we have accumulated so many OEM Mini parts that we joke we could put together a whole car with the parts in our warehouse. Now is the time we test our theory. The car is mostly complete, but needs quite a few parts to make it road worthy again.

This particular Mini took a dive into the Tampa Bay waters, and now finds itself on our lift waiting for a 2nd chance at life. As you would expect, the water has affected many components in the car. The radio is shot, the temperature control panel is not functioning, and the switch panel works when it decides to. On top of that, the water has broken the front sunroof glass, and made its way into the interior. We definitely have our work cut out for us!

It's a 2005 British Racing Green Mini Cooper S with 119k miles, manual transmission, and H/K audio system.

Stay tuned for updates!

Here are some initial pictures:



Update #1: 10/27/2016

The first thing we noticed was the lower portion of the front radiator support was broken so we removed the front end to swap in a good one.

We also replaced the radiator, condenser, and dryer.

While the front end was disassembled we noticed how dirty the engine bay was so we decided to give it a nice pressure wash bath.

We also had the chance to make it official with our LXM sticker.

Update #2: 11/29/2016

All of the plastic trim on the car was faded, so we decided to paint everything.

All finished!

At this point it was ready to go, so we gave the Mini a much needed bath.

There is a local Cars and Coffee event every month that we attend, and this will be the first appearance by our shop Mini.

Getting clean:

So on our way to the event we think the alternator gave out on us, because we slowly started losing all accessories until the car died. At least it looked good on the back of the tow truck!

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