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Few new problems with my R53 JCW (5 replies)

5 years ago
ihughes 5 years ago

Few new problems with my R53 JCW

Ian Hughes

5 years ago
DavePMYoung 5 years ago

You could try Sussex Road & Race, they are brilliant. 01903 715341, They 10% discount to members too. Kevin was the Chief Technician at John Cooper Garages. They are based in Littlehampton, hope this helps

5 years ago
ihughes 5 years ago

Thanks Dave
I am aware of Sussex R&R and Tony Franks at Shoreham but both are a bit far away from me to risk driving the car in its present condition. If my local mechanic can diagnose the problem and it turns out to be the supercharger/water pump drive, I will send the supercharger to GTT for a rebuild.

5 years ago
ihughes 5 years ago

I had the heater matrix replaced a few miles ago and everything seemed to be okay with the car until one very hot afternoon recently whilst stuck in the traffic queue for the local tip.

Temperature gauge started rising above normal and engine was clearly starting to over heat. I wacked the heater on full hot and fan onto max.......the temperature fell back to normal and panic over.

Once I got the car home and cooled down, I checked the coolant level and it was fine. Drove the car on subsequent days and the temperature never went above normal again even after fast runs on the motorway.

However! The car also started making unusual whirring noise that rises in volume with engine rpm. It actually sounds loudest when moving off from standing still but is clearly audible when driving along at 50-60mph.

It has also started overheating when standing stationary in heavy traffic queues.

I think these two issues are related, but maybe caused by different things........I suspect that the 1st stage electric cooling fan (resistor) has failed, and I think the whirring noise is coming from the supercharger water pump drive.

The car has 79000 miles on the clock, and I'm wondering if the supercharger has lost it lubrication at the water pump drive and this was maybe exacerbated by the overheating?

The car is currently with my local friendly mechanic to see if he can figure out what's going on. I think the next step will be to fix the cooling fan problem. I seem to recall seeing a resistor repair kit mentioned in the past possibly available from ebay. Does anyone have any experience of this?

Then if it is the supercharger making the noise, I think I will be sending it to GTT for one of their rebuilds. Again, does anyone have experience of this looks like they are the only people in the UK who can rebuild a supercharger?

Martin Charles
5 years ago
Martin Charles 5 years ago

Hi Ian,

Sorry to hear about your problems, one other possibility is an air lock, without wishing to teach Granny how to suck eggs, but the system has been bled with the heater on hottest setting with the blower fan on I presume?

The cooling fan resistor, if you type MINI R53 cooling fan resistor in the search box on ebay lots of options will come up.

It might be worth ringing SR&R if your mechanic gets stuck and needs advice, Kevin, Josh and Jayne, are very friendly and helpful and always willing to offer advice over the phone in my experience. I also believe that they do supercharger rebuilds, but check.

Good luck and keep us updated on how things go.

5 years ago
ihughes 5 years ago

Hi all

So here is an update on my problems:

Decided to diagnose the overheating problem first. Tested the cooling fan electrics and discovered that the fan wasn't working at all. Stripped out the old fan and found the bottom part of the motor housing very corroded and even applying power direct to the motor leads it did not work! So, obtained new fan unit from BMW at great expense (£259 +vat) and refitted. Also discovered small crack in header tank cap but not sure if this was actually leaking pressure.

Refilled and bled system and everything seems to be good again.

Curiously, the strange noise coming from the engine under acceleration has also stopped. Not sure if this was emanating from the water pump struggling to pump coolant/steam under excess pressure or if it was the old cooling fan maybe working occasionally before finally failing completely.

Anyway, it has stopped, and supercharger seems to be running as was, so fingers crossed it hasn't damaged the water pump drive or anything else expensive!

I'm going to drive it for a few miles and watch out for the noise returning.......if it does, then its off to a specialist for further examination.

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