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Please school me 1st Gen mini Cooper NA #4562889
11/03/17 10:00 AM
11/03/17 10:00 AM
Joined: Mar 2009
Posts: 193
CA
2008wrx Offline OP
2008wrx  Offline OP
Joined: Mar 2009
Posts: 193
CA
thinking to pick up a 1st gen Mini Cooper stick shift.... what areas to look for? Are these really that terrible? In general, how long can these Chrysler engine last? Thanks

Re: Please school me 1st Gen mini Cooper NA [Re: 2008wrx] #4562898
11/03/17 10:09 AM
11/03/17 10:09 AM
Joined: Sep 2008
Posts: 9,235
Ontario, Canada
IndyIan Offline
IndyIan  Offline
Joined: Sep 2008
Posts: 9,235
Ontario, Canada
A buddy had one to dominate H-Street for autocross. He got rid of it as he was used to Honda's where most major components last the lifetime of the car. I recall he replaced the rad and coolant tank, steering rack, abs controller, some electrical stuff, no huge bills but enough.
He got good mileage and I was thinking of picking it up as he had put alot of work into it, but decided not too. One with a good maintenance history, and lots of parts replaced might be good. One that has "needed nothing" would be scary.


07 Focus ZXW, 5spd manual, 218km M1 5W30
18 Outback 2.5 CVT 15km 0W20
Re: Please school me 1st Gen mini Cooper NA [Re: 2008wrx] #4562960
11/03/17 11:11 AM
11/03/17 11:11 AM
Joined: Jul 2002
Posts: 4,543
KY
MCompact Offline
MCompact  Offline
Joined: Jul 2002
Posts: 4,543
KY
I'd ask your question on the North American Motoring Forums. On the other hand, you can wait here; you will soon be receiving negative responses from a few self-proclaimed "experts" who have never even sat in a Cooper.

In my research I found some indications that the 2nd Generation Coopers are a bit more reliable, but I suspect that a thorough service history and a PDI from a tech who knows Coopers are the real dispositive factors.


Mine:
2014 M235i
2009 Cooper Clubman
1999 Wrangler Sahara
1995 318ti Club Sport

Wife's:
2015 X1 xDrive28i


Son's
2009 328i

Buy what makes you smile...
Re: Please school me 1st Gen mini Cooper NA [Re: 2008wrx] #4562971
11/03/17 11:25 AM
11/03/17 11:25 AM
Joined: Mar 2016
Posts: 1,013
PA,US
HemiHawk Offline
HemiHawk  Offline
Joined: Mar 2016
Posts: 1,013
PA,US
A family member has an 06 S model. Really fun car. Its had some issues, but the worst thing about MINI issues is that they are expensive issues. Its a cheapish car (in the preowned market) that has pricey parts and labor rates. If you plan on doing all the work yourself you'll save a bundle. This first gen cars I believe had some sludge issues. Something to do with MINIs 15k interval recommendations. Not sure if this mostly affected the S models, or the NA as well.


2016 Nissan Frontier Pro4x
2017 VW GTI sport
1995 Mustang GTS
Re: Please school me 1st Gen mini Cooper NA [Re: 2008wrx] #4562981
11/03/17 11:44 AM
11/03/17 11:44 AM
Joined: Nov 2009
Posts: 672
TX south plains
cadfaeltex Offline
cadfaeltex  Offline
Joined: Nov 2009
Posts: 672
TX south plains
Unlike the later Prince engines, the tritec (especially in justa form) are rock solid. I've seen them go well over 300,000 mikes but don't recall seeing any go to 4000,000 yet. Look for a 2004 or later as the early transmissions were a week spot - the midlands 5 speed and CVT. Look for rust on the hatch, failed low speed controller on the radiator fan, and failing power steering. All these are easily fixable but a bargaining chip if you find them on one you like.

Re: Please school me 1st Gen mini Cooper NA [Re: 2008wrx] #4563000
11/03/17 12:15 PM
11/03/17 12:15 PM
Joined: Aug 2008
Posts: 3,231
Where the wind comes sweepin'
Reddy45 Offline
Reddy45  Offline
Joined: Aug 2008
Posts: 3,231
Where the wind comes sweepin'
These had Chrysler engines?! Weren't they manufactured by BMW?

Re: Please school me 1st Gen mini Cooper NA [Re: Reddy45] #4563002
11/03/17 12:17 PM
11/03/17 12:17 PM
Joined: Nov 2009
Posts: 672
TX south plains
cadfaeltex Offline
cadfaeltex  Offline
Joined: Nov 2009
Posts: 672
TX south plains
Originally Posted By: Reddy45
These had Chrysler engines?! Weren't they manufactured by BMW?

They were produced in Brazil in a partnership between Chrysler and BMW. It also found its way into some Neons.

Re: Please school me 1st Gen mini Cooper NA [Re: 2008wrx] #4563007
11/03/17 12:21 PM
11/03/17 12:21 PM
Joined: Sep 2016
Posts: 513
Vienna, VA
TinyVoices Offline
TinyVoices  Offline
Joined: Sep 2016
Posts: 513
Vienna, VA
Get the latest model year you can. The manual transmissions in these cars loved to take a dump often and it got less bad after 2004 but still happens.

Radiator fan wiring and speed controller as stated above is basically garuenteed to fail and will need sorted out. Not a super complicated fix.

Rust is an issue with these for sure near door hinges and on the hatch. But you can find clean ones.

I have had a few friends with these and it's mostly the little nit-picky stuff that gets you. Small electrical gremlins for example add up to $$$ after a little while.

Very fun cars though. Even in base model form they are great to drive. Probably the second best fwd vehicle I have driven.


1993 Toyota MR2 Hardtop N/A - 160k miles - Valvoline Max Life 5w30
2006 Toyota Matrix XR AWD (Fiancee) - 130k miles - Valvoline Max Life 5w30
Re: Please school me 1st Gen mini Cooper NA [Re: TinyVoices] #4563011
11/03/17 12:26 PM
11/03/17 12:26 PM
Joined: Nov 2009
Posts: 672
TX south plains
cadfaeltex Offline
cadfaeltex  Offline
Joined: Nov 2009
Posts: 672
TX south plains
Originally Posted By: TinyVoices
Probably the second best fwd vehicle I have driven.


Care to share the first?

Re: Please school me 1st Gen mini Cooper NA [Re: 2008wrx] #4563012
11/03/17 12:30 PM
11/03/17 12:30 PM
Joined: Mar 2009
Posts: 193
CA
2008wrx Offline OP
2008wrx  Offline OP
Joined: Mar 2009
Posts: 193
CA
thanks guys, you all are great people.. i was looking at Miata too, but wife said no on 2 seater! Not sure what else i should look into for a fun to drive now....? 1st gen Mini indeed needs a lot of work..... may need to scratch it. It fits into my toy car budget though....

Re: Please school me 1st Gen mini Cooper NA [Re: 2008wrx] #4563024
11/03/17 12:43 PM
11/03/17 12:43 PM
Joined: Mar 2016
Posts: 1,013
PA,US
HemiHawk Offline
HemiHawk  Offline
Joined: Mar 2016
Posts: 1,013
PA,US
Originally Posted By: 2008wrx
thanks guys, you all are great people.. i was looking at Miata too, but wife said no on 2 seater! Not sure what else i should look into for a fun to drive now....? 1st gen Mini indeed needs a lot of work..... may need to scratch it. It fits into my toy car budget though....


What kind of budget are you looking at? Another great option from that time period would be an Acura RSX, or RSX-S. Or even a 2006 Civic Si.


2016 Nissan Frontier Pro4x
2017 VW GTI sport
1995 Mustang GTS
Re: Please school me 1st Gen mini Cooper NA [Re: 2008wrx] #4563029
11/03/17 12:48 PM
11/03/17 12:48 PM
Joined: Nov 2009
Posts: 672
TX south plains
cadfaeltex Offline
cadfaeltex  Offline
Joined: Nov 2009
Posts: 672
TX south plains
Originally Posted By: 2008wrx
thanks guys, you all are great people.. i was looking at Miata too, but wife said no on 2 seater! Not sure what else i should look into for a fun to drive now....? 1st gen Mini indeed needs a lot of work..... may need to scratch it. It fits into my toy car budget though....


What work do they need that would make it be scratched off?

Re: Please school me 1st Gen mini Cooper NA [Re: cadfaeltex] #4563035
11/03/17 12:55 PM
11/03/17 12:55 PM
Joined: Sep 2016
Posts: 513
Vienna, VA
TinyVoices Offline
TinyVoices  Offline
Joined: Sep 2016
Posts: 513
Vienna, VA
Originally Posted By: cadfaeltex
Originally Posted By: TinyVoices
Probably the second best fwd vehicle I have driven.


Care to share the first?


Dc2 integra type R.


1993 Toyota MR2 Hardtop N/A - 160k miles - Valvoline Max Life 5w30
2006 Toyota Matrix XR AWD (Fiancee) - 130k miles - Valvoline Max Life 5w30
Re: Please school me 1st Gen mini Cooper NA [Re: 2008wrx] #4563054
11/03/17 01:12 PM
11/03/17 01:12 PM
Joined: Jan 2015
Posts: 762
missouri
ragtoplvr Offline
ragtoplvr  Offline
Joined: Jan 2015
Posts: 762
missouri
The engine bay is tight. Almost like they shrunk the car around the engine. Takes all the fun out of maintenance. Not that uncommon anymore.

Rod

Re: Please school me 1st Gen mini Cooper NA [Re: 2008wrx] #4563082
11/03/17 01:56 PM
11/03/17 01:56 PM
Joined: Jun 2014
Posts: 1,750
Rijeka, EU
chrisri Offline
chrisri  Offline
Joined: Jun 2014
Posts: 1,750
Rijeka, EU
My friend had in total 3, Cooper S, Cooper, and now facelift 1.6 diesel. He swears by them, in terms of quality and especially road manners. One thing to watch is gearbox on early (-04), only Cooper with Midland box, S is different (Getrag) and strong.
General quality is OK, but you have to be aware that this is a little car, and little cars aren't built as tough as big ones.


02 Nissan Terrano 2.7.TDi Motul 15w40
06 FIAT Stilo MW 1.9 Multijet SHU 5w40
07 Opel Vectra SW 1.9 CDTI 150 MST 5w40
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