Wednesday, 15 February 2017

Teething troubles and too much verve

So I've got a sexy new John Cooper Works tuning engine from Mintech in my MINI to replace the one that died - what a result from the chaps in Bury. Boy the difference was like night and day, and I was soon buzzing the R53 around corners and ramping off over humpback bridges.

Well, actually perhaps that wasn't the best idea as not long later I heard a rather loud sound resonating from underneath the car - yes, you've guessed it - I'd snapped the exhaust.

Anyway, after having the new JCW engine in for a week or so I noticed a loud tapping noise coming from the engine bay. My past experience from classic Minis indicated to me a lack of oil or a tappet issue. So I checked the oil, but this was fine following the recent engine fit, so I gave Mintech a shout and they called me back in for a look.

My face around the workshop was becoming well known and Martin the mechanic has a proper dry British sense of humour where he likes to moan about everything. It's hilarious. Anyway, so I turn up and he's there cursing at me, asking what I've done to mess it up this time.

After explaining, he brings it in and starts examining the top end and suspects a loose rocker. He quickly identifies the culprit and instead of replacing the one rocker, just installs a new set for me in no time at all. Well that was a pretty quick fix.

With one job done I thought I'd better go and get this exhaust looked at. Fearing the worst (as is usually the case with me), I took it too my local garage for them to examine it. Thankfully it wasn't that bad, with a clean break at the back of the silencer. One hour later and with a wallet some £20 lighter, the exhaust was welded back together and gun-gummed up.

Whilst underneath Lohen had previously pointed out that the exhaust wasn't mated to the non OEM catalytic convertor properly and so there was a little leak with carbon deposits building up on the heatshield. A bit of gun-gum was stuffed in there as a temporary fix too.

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