Category Archives: Cars

Roadster Mods

I will say this about the handsfree phone – MINI did an amazing job with the noise canceling. My wife was on the highway, top down, windows up, windscreen in place, and I could hear her just fine. Sounded like a little running water in the background, but that was it. Super impressed by that capability.

Here’s my list of mods for the new Roadster, in general priority order:

  • Invisishield on the nose (done)
  • MINI license plate frames (done)
  • CravenSpeed Platypus front plate mount (done)
  • Short antenna (done) (MINI version but might have done CravenSpeed if I’d though about it more)
  • ScanGuage (done)
  • CravenSpeed mounts for GPS and ScanGuage (enroute)
  • Suspension, discussed ad nauseum in other threads. Summary: JCW Suspension if I can wait, Koni FSD, 19mm rear sway, and perhaps camber plates and control arm bushings if I cannot.
  • JCW Tune (not something you need of course!)

Items above have 95% probability, below are pure wishlist

  • JCW Aero kit side skirts
  • JCW Brakes

I had the strut brace on my JCW and did like the look for sure, although I didn’t drive the car such that I really noticed it. That might happen too in a moment of weakness.

The Roadster Arrives!

Our new Roadster is finally tucked away in our garage!

Here it is at the MINI of St. Louis dealership waiting for us to drive it home.

IMG 2407

We took delivery a few hours ago. Everything at MINI of St. Louis went very smoothly. Our MA Karen and the rest of the team there really made it a great experience.

We basically just drove it home, so not a lot of first impressions.

I enjoyed driving it, but need some daylight, and a chance to get everything adjusted to take it out and really see how it feels. Also trying to stay within the break-in period limits makes it hard to really get a good feel for the acceleration and braking.

Even with windows up and windscreen in place, my ears were getting a bit cold on the highway (~49 degrees F). Conversation was quite practical under those conditions though. And the heated seats work great as they have in our previous MINIs – another area where the MINI is a great contrast to our utilitarian (work) Prius.

The car looks great and I’m really anxious to get it out in the sun and really take a good look at it, and get some serious pictures. They’re predicting rain for us tomorrow, so it might be Wednesday before that happens. It will give me time to play with MINI Connected, get the phones paired up and so on.

My 370Z was a great car, but it felt so right to be back in the MINI fold again!

My first challenge is figuring out the correct tire pressure. Dealer delivered it at ~32psi. Door sticker and manual say 41psi. Mentioned it to my MA and the response she relayed from ? said that 41 is maximum and they recommend 32-35.

Roughly 25% lower than door sticker seems awfully low to me… I set it to 39psi and will see how it feels.

…time passes…

Just took a quick spin with 39psi. Rode a bit rougher of course. Not excessive but rougher. Need more time to really tell though.

FYI, the tires are: Continental ContiProContact SSR 205/45R17 84V

MINI Roadster – Random Thoughts

Some random thoughts about our MINI Roadster, which is due to arrive in a few days!

Our local dealer just got their “demo” Roadster in, and I had to swing by and take a look.

A few random thoughts came to mind. Maybe because that’s all I’m thinking about until ours arrives next week!

  • The seats fold forward. I understand why – they can’t make custom non-folding seats for the Roadster’s volume, but it does seem funny.
  • I’m disproportionately excited at the thought of having an actual useful trunk on a car again! (sorry – “boot”) See attached pic. Our recent fleet has been a Prius (hatch), 370Z (hatch), and a MINI Convertible (trunk, but not super useful…).
    The ability to open the pass-through door between the seats and reach into the boot (got it right that time!) is going to be really really handy, especially on road trips. And then to be able to stow valuables (iPad etc.) back there and lock it without making that obvious to potential miscreants when stopping for fuel and food – terrific.
  • I’m surprised by how much I liked the look of the front and rear compared to the JCW aero kit. As in, in some ways I like the normal look better than the JCW. Not by much, and in other ways I like the JCW better, but my net conclusion is that I’m ok not having it. (and not just saying that because I didn’t order it)
  • The JCW aero kit side skirts are another matter – man, I like those. If it’s possible to just buy those and have them installed, I see some (more) money flowing from my pocket into MINIs in the near future.

Flat Tire

Linda had a flat tire on her MINI today.


Loading onto the flatbed for the trip to Tire Pro.


Truck-Stop Breakfast


Last Saturday, the St. Louis MINI Club had a Truck-Stop Breakfast  Run.  About 13 MINI Coopers met up for a 25-mile run through some twisty back roads, ending up at the old Diamonds for breakfast.

Breakfast was good, and the drive was fun, if a bit slower than usual due to the driveway-like road we were on for much of the trip!

Here is a brief photo album of the adventure.

Brake Pads


In an effort to reduce the brake dust on my white wheels, I switched to Mintex Redbox pads for the front.

This project went smoothly, but I did miss having Andy as part of the project.

MINI Cooper #2


Yes, we are now a two-MINI family!

My new MINI Cooper S arrived on January 2nd, 2006.

Faster and even more fun than our first one.