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BradLTL
BradLTL SuperDork
3/2/19 7:09 a.m.

I think I would be one of those “helping” owners. I feel like I’m slowing myself down. laugh

Didn’t have someone to stand on the brake so my crank pulley is still attached. It and finishing the thermostat are on the list for this weekend, assuming the weather cooperates. 

I also sucked it up and bought the cravenspeed pulley puller. Hoping it will show up today so I can swap that pulley as well. 

Once the pulleys are swapped and thermostat is in, then I can put the car back together. Finally I’ll refresh all the fluids with Red Line synthetics. 

BradLTL
BradLTL SuperDork
4/13/19 8:31 a.m.

So, progress...

The crank pulley was more of a challenge than I expected. The instructions say that heating the pulley in the oven will make it slide right on. Yea, that didn’t work for me. I eventually just bought a longer bolt and used it and the impact wrench to walk the pulley on. It was a process but accomplished the job. 

Once that was on I could start putting everything back together. It went mostly well except I broke a plastic clamp on a breather hose on the supercharger. 

Luckily another Mini owner who lives just down the road had a spare. From there it was just putting pieces back together in the right order and trying to remember where each but and bolt went. 

The biggest pain was hitting myself in the head with the belt tension tool. It left a nice knot. Other than that, the wires and getting them routed and reconnected. 

Ran it in the garage with the bumper and wheels off for long enough for it to get to temp. No issues. Drove it up and down the block a few times. Pulled over and checked. No issues, the car felt good. Drove it a bit longer, going up to a higher speed. And did get a tire pressure warning. Decided to head home and check the pressures. 

Came back to this. Seems to be an issue with the lower radiator hose/connection. Didn’t have it in me to take apart the car I just put together so I put it back in the garage. If the weather cooperates I will take a look at it Sunday morning. 

Ian F
Ian F MegaDork
4/13/19 9:31 a.m.

Oh damn... I wish you had asked about that pulley. Those are cheap for a reason - very much NOT recommended for a street car. Or any car, really. The crank pulley is a harmonic balancer for a reason.  I've heard stories about those pulleys absolutely destroying the crank bearings. 

BradLTL
BradLTL SuperDork
4/13/19 9:39 a.m.

I haven’t read anyone who actually experienced an issue. Lots of online arguments for and against the harmonic balancer, but all conjecture. 

I’d be interested in some facts. I bought it for the performance not price. The price was roughly inline with others. 

This isn’t a daily driver. Not sure if that makes a difference. 

Ian F
Ian F MegaDork
4/13/19 10:55 a.m.

I got the comments from mechanics and tuner shops who specialize in MINIs. They won't install these. Even on track-only race cars. They saw too many catastrophic failures.

BradLTL
BradLTL SuperDork
4/13/19 7:16 p.m.

In reply to Ian F :

It was this thread that I used to help make my decision: https://www.northamericanmotoring.com/forums/drivetrain-cooper-s/287613-m7-speed-crank-pulley.html

Basically, M7 set themselves up to be flamed and no one could establish a case of a real world issue.  Maybe that’s just my wishful thinking. I don’t have any loyalty to M7, if I have an issue you’ll all know about it.

 

BradLTL
BradLTL SuperDork
4/30/19 2:09 p.m.

Managed to find time to take the car apart and put it back together again.  This was only after fighting for 3+ hours to try and get the hose and clamp back on the water pump without having to take the entire front of the car off again.  Eventually I gave in, pulled back out the impact wrench and took things apart.  The good news is that I'm getting much faster about taking the car apart and putting it back together.

Had a massive air bubble in the cooling system that took awhile to get out.  But I think that it is ok now.  Some steam came off the engine after the first test drive, but I 99% sure that was overflow just burning off the car.  Temp gauge stayed in normal operating range.

Drove it a bit further today, actually took it for an oil change (yes, totally got lazy here).  Side benefit was having someone else look over the engine and potentially point out anything wrong.  They didn't, but then again, I'm not expecting expert level diagnostics in a 10 minute oil change.

There is a weird noise coming off the right hand side of the engine.  I'm not sure if it is a problem, or a side effect of the new pulleys.  The noise is somewhere between a rattle / grind / metallic fan sound.  I hear it reverbing as I drive: 

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=CGUAPBdhB3s

Any thoughts on what that could be?

BradLTL
BradLTL SuperDork
4/30/19 2:10 p.m.

Oldest approves of the mods after the test drive...

BradLTL
BradLTL SuperDork
4/30/19 2:17 p.m.

And one more video with some small revs, you can hear the noise in the background...

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=ZoFbOG2cKLQ

Ian F
Ian F MegaDork
4/30/19 2:18 p.m.

M7 has been setting themselves up to be flamed since 2003.  They are pros at it. 

See?  Everyone laughs at me when I say taking the front of an R53 apart isn't a big deal after you've done it a few times.  Over the course of a weekend... 

BradLTL
BradLTL SuperDork
5/1/19 1:27 p.m.

Emailed m7 about the noise.  They replied fairly quickly that they think it is an alignment issue.

I was planning on taking it to a performance shop for a tune, so I'll have them check/adjust the alignment while they are at it.

Justjim75
Justjim75 HalfDork
5/1/19 9:08 p.m.

Brad, I'm in Montgomery and have just recently started autox and such.  If you need me holler, and if you haven't already you MUST try out Midpond.

BradLTL
BradLTL SuperDork
5/1/19 9:19 p.m.

Yea. Definitely planning on hitting up Midpond and lil’ dega as soon as the car is sorted. 

Also sourced some r56 calipers that I will be swapping onto the car to help with fade on track days. 

Ian F
Ian F MegaDork
5/2/19 7:04 a.m.
BradLTL said:

Also sourced some r56 calipers that I will be swapping onto the car to help with fade on track days. 

Larger rotors too?  This is essentially the JCW brake kit that was sold for the R53 (and fitted to Factory JCW cars). The one concern is if you have 16" wheels, apparently some of the factory wheels don't fit over the calipers. 

BradLTL
BradLTL SuperDork
5/2/19 11:44 a.m.

A friend grabbed them for me when he was collecting parts to put his Mini back together. Not sure if he grabbed the rotors as well. Even if I have to buy new rotors, $40 for the calipers is a good deal. 

BradLTL
BradLTL SuperDork
5/3/19 8:01 p.m.
Ian F said:
BradLTL said:

Also sourced some r56 calipers that I will be swapping onto the car to help with fade on track days. 

Larger rotors too?  This is essentially the JCW brake kit that was sold for the R53 (and fitted to Factory JCW cars). The one concern is if you have 16" wheels, apparently some of the factory wheels don't fit over the calipers. 

It was just the calipers. So, I’ll have to get rotors, pads and lines. My wheels are 17s so I think I’m good there. 

BradLTL
BradLTL SuperDork
5/4/19 1:33 p.m.

Finally able to drive it to the local cars and Coffee this morning...

BradLTL
BradLTL SuperDork
5/4/19 9:30 p.m.

Short term exhaust solution...

 

BradLTL
BradLTL SuperDork
5/12/19 8:26 a.m.

I’ve got about 40 miles of intermittent driving since putting the car back together. 

It’s a noticeable and improved performance. The car has a lot more torque from start. Pulling away in first gear is a lot easier and smoother. The sound is very nice. With the intake and pulleys there is a gasp noise when you start off and then the whine of the supercharger comes in strong. Even moderate shifting will chirp the tires when  changing into 2nd. 

Temps seem to come up faster, this be because it’s not winter, but hold stable. In theory the new thermostat helps with heat generated as the engine. Undecided if this makes any difference. It is the most concerning mod I did this round. Installation was a massive pain and I had very little room to work to get it back in. 

The rattle from the pulley doesn’t seem to affect driving, but does bother me. I need to get up the energy to take the car apart and fix it. 

BradLTL
BradLTL SuperDork
6/16/19 4:07 p.m.

Finally got to go play today. Spent the morning at Midpond for their track day. The car did remarkably well considering the minimal setup and prep. This was my first time out in this car at any real speed and my first visit to this track. The first lapping session was just sighting in. Also it took me several attempts to actually figure out how to get the video to capture. I managed about 35-40 laps before I broke something. 

 

 

The fastest cars there today we're running laps in the 45-46 second range. I was managing 49s even with my eco run flat tires. 

As far what is broke, I think it is just the pulley tensioner. As I came around the back straight and hit the gas, there was a skipping our a intermittent loss of boost from the supercharger. I let off and pulled off the track. As I was pulling into the pits, I could hear a ticking sound. I had fear of a rod/valve. Looking at the engine though you could clearly see the tensioner bouncing with the ticks. So, not fully diagnosed but it doesn't seem tooooo bad. 

Despite that, it was a great time and the car handled surprisingly well. 

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