Thursday, May 11, 2017

mini love - part 5

Many of this series of post are photo intensive. I taken a lot of photos for future reference.

I went to shop for ratchet wrenches at Sears in the mall and dropped by Tesla; I decided to sit in a model S but I have to say it does not stir my emotion nor logic sides of my brain - especially that giant iPad in the middle

the trip to Sears turned out to be a waste of time

I ordered these exhaust pipes from a hot rod supply intended to modify the exhaust on the Mini

still need a few cheap tools from Harbor Freight; my Mini staring down a Maxi

 Harbor Freight has turned me into a coupon clipper

finally the replacement BR35 bearing arrived so no logistical roadblock for D-day

I am all ready to carve into this hamhog - Quaife LSD

 beef soup noodle is one of my go-to meal when the going gets tough and there is no time to cook

d-day starts on the first day of dry days; I use the car cover to keep the Mini safe overnights duing this drivetrain modifications that would take many days

I harvested some onion buds from the yard and served with smoked brisket

these plybars would turn out to be indispensible

other cheap thrill goodies

ready to remove the modular front end

these two pieces of LG TV cardboard that I saved would be most indispensable

4 plastic screw expansion fasteners on each front wheel well

there is a screw in here

two star bolts at the top of the bumper cover

there are three bolts on the bumper cover by the plastic skirt

there are 7 harnesses to be detached from 6 lights and one ambient air temperature sensor on the plastic bumper cover assembly

front side marker

front running light and turn signal light

ambient air temperature sensor

the aluminum bumper removed

there is a plastic "skit plate" under

only two 1/2 turn twist-type fasteners

the crash tubes is held onto to the front subframe with two bolts each

detaching the two connectors at the ECU

both has a slider that locks the connector to the ECU

push to lock

closeup of the ECU with the smaller connector harness still attached

tuck one ECU harness in the left side well where the brake fluid reservoir is

the ECU is lifted out

I took the opportunity to careful study the air filter box; this is a 1 1/2" diameter hole through the left side air vent

these two holes is for cooling the ECU - very elegant design

note the collected debris under the ECU

this is the rubber grommet that seals the airbox to air vent

After studying the air filter box design as well as the ECU cooling I will never buy an after market "cold air intake". To me doing so will actually be downgrade as opposed to an upgrade. I would still consider modifying the factory air box to use a lower restriction filter element; though I am very wary of the negative tradeoffs.

Mini has no teeth

draining the coolant from the radiator

air bleeder on the upper radiator coolant hose

most people detach most of the wiring harnesses from the engine to perform the engine/drivetrain removal; I opted to keep the on the engine to avoid unnecessarily disturbing the connections as much as possible; I also keep the fuel injector rail intact

this is the main connector for the engine harness - it is there just for the ease of engine removal

these are the harnesses that go with the engine

the harness connects to the horns

remove this bolt to facility the detaching of the radiator upper coolant hose

i noted the exhaust header gasket

drained the transmission fluid before removing the drive axles

aluminum bumper

I could not separate the drive axles' outer spline from the wheel hub as they are supposed to be able to; I struggle for a long time and in the end worked around it by removing the entire what-you-call this brake/bearing/steering assembly

I also avoid the removal this oil cooler (right most)

this is one of two oxygen sensor that clips onto the heatshield

this is the oil pressure switch connector

transmission gear selector cables also must be detached from the transmission

I fabricated two angle iron brackets like this to hoist out the engine/drivetrain

I bought this budget Napa DOT 4 brake fluid; I don't buy into overpriced boutique racing fluid

a lot of debris collected here

amazing this huge assembly is all one piece plastic

let the evaporator hang there precariously to avoid draining the AC refrigerent

all this black oily soot is the pollution from the road

the lower duct is the supercharger intake duct - post AMS

the blue connector is ABS sensor

the Contitech drive belt is still in very good condition

I used the belt tensioner special tool to release the belt tension and lock the tensioner in place

the pin that locks the belt tensioner in unasserted state

the air compressor can then be removed and laid on the ground

 I unbolted the head light leveling sensor so it does not get damaged from the drive axle removal

the drive axle is freed from the transmission final drive

there are countless steel brackets that are very hard to keep track of

the clutch slave cylinder is unbolted and can be swung out of the way for engine removal without the need to drain the hydraulic fluid

a plastic clutch slave cylinder - impressive

the fuel supply hose to the injector rail detached very easily with this nifty John Guess like connector

 ready to close up the Mini for the night with a car cover

with my neighbor's help we managed to carefully removed the engine/drivetrain without causing any damage; the $130 engine hoist from Harbor Freight pays for itself just this one job

Most people advice to replace the power steering fluid supply and return hoses as it is very common for them to leak on high mileage car. I decided not to after inspecting them carefully before starting the project.

I was correct that my hoses are in good condition without any sign of leak or weeping

one of the two drive axles - I promptly protect the end from accidental damage (especially the mating surface to the oil seals)

the wetness is from the engine coolant

all these heat shields cannot be removed unless the engine or exhaust header is removed; so I tie this one in place with a string

the 05 onward R53 left engine mount is redesigned - I have the redesigned one

depends on where you let the AC evaporator rest you can detach one or more of these plastic brackets to ease the stress on the refrigerant lines

I further protect the evaporator with a empty instant ramen box


  1. I'm just finishing up a timing belt replacement on the Passat; the radiator carrier design looks very similar.
    I was going to ask you about your choice of LSD; glad you went with the Quaife.

  2. Do you have the VR6 engine? Interesting the radiator carrier design are similar. During this project I am very impressed with the height of automotive engineering even for a 2005 MY car. There are extensive heat shields for everything that emits heat. Nowadays every car brand shares many common OEMs from all over the world. The truth is a lot of parts in the Porsche are from the same OEMs, and more often than not similar in design, material, and quality.
    Choosing Quaife is a nobrainer. I have not read a single bad report. The only other contender is OS Giken clutch type that costs 2x.