Sunday, 30 January 2005

IceLinkPlus works :-)

Yep , after sticking some tunes on my ipod and dropping it into the cradle it worked straight away :-)
Big thanks to Mike at for pre-uploading the config file and most recent firmware. (Service was truly excellent)
This meant I didnt have to do anything other than fit it and switch it on....
Sound quality is superb and all the MFSW function all work.

How To Change a MINI Head Unit - MINI2.COM
How to remove MINI interior bits - MINI2.COM
DENSION USA - PDF Download page

[TODO : Add pics]

Head Unit swap and IceLinkPlus fitted

My wife bought me an Ipod Mini for my Xmas , and I'm sad to say I havent used it yet!
My excuse was I couldnt use it in the car. So I considered my options for fitting it into the MINI.
My chosen path was to replace my BoostCassette HU with a BoostCDHU and remove the boot mounted CD changer.
(I really wanted to fit an aftermarket HU but decided against it for security and looks issues)
Ideally I would have liked an 05 BoostCD HU as they play CDR's with mp3's , but because the folk with navigation want the later units too they tend to be rare and expensive.
So I have bought a 2nd hand unit off ebay. (incidentally this is my 3rd auction for a cd unit, I lost out on 2!). It cost me 130 UKP , which I think is alot , but the previous owner was fab and its in great condition and comes with the key code and manual.
I also bought a Dension IceLinkPlus off mikeythemini from
His repututation for MINI related ICE issues is legendary. Whilst the Plus has had some issues (and lots of discussions!) the early bugs seem to have been ironed out.
Anyway Sat (yesterday) I replaced the cassette with the CD headunit and removed the cd changer. I also plugged in the icelink between the cd and car loom.
The mini ipod mount is fitted with a metal mount that is really neat and uses the radio fixings.

The CD works fine , I just need to setup my ipod now and check out the icelink.
I hope it works, otherwise I need to have the dash apart again.....
Of note , I didnt need a radio code for the changeover and my H/K functions are all still working :-)
I will provide a fuller report later with pics...

Also washed the car and managed to remove some of the accumulated tar deposits over the boot area.

I also have fitted silver indicators (flash orange!), so you can't see orange in daylight thru the indicators and better high beam bulbs (both from newministuff again) , I have xenons so I can only change the high beam element.

next step is to confirm the icelink works .........

Tuesday, 25 January 2005

Happy Birthday Allan

Yes , it may be 18 minutes past Allans official birthday but heres my homage.
Hope you had a good day off m8. God Id kill for a cool Cerveza just now.

Sunday, 23 January 2005

MPG Summary :: MINI Cooper S (up to Jan 2005)

I reckoned it was time for a summary of my fuel usage with the Mini Cooper S

Miles-MPG----OBC data
315---31.8---35.1MPG/31.2mls/21 to go
259---25.9---29.4 MPG/30mls to go
298---28.2---31.7MPG/26.2mph/12 to go
280---29.3---31.7MPG/25.7mph/40 to go
299---28.5---31.2MPG/27.6mph/8 togo
288---26.9---30.3MPG/26.3mph/7 togo
283---25.6---28.2mpg/24.5mph/0 to go!


Thats 279 miles per tank on average and 27.0 MPG.
(On my car the OBC trip computer seems to register an average MPG thats always at least 2MPG above the actual. I reset each time on fill up)
Please note that recently my commuting has become lots of small journeys which REALLY drops the 'S' mpg.
I also had the JCW airbox fitted so I tend to go above 4500rpm more :-)
The warm up phase of the mini seems to burn a lot of fuel.
Longer runs and 28+ is possible.

In comparison my old Fiat Coupe 20VTurbo was actually better on fuel ... go figure.

Thursday, 20 January 2005

Hapyy Birthday to me :-)

Yeap another year older...
Hi to Linzi who remembered (bless her cotton socks) and Allan ,
who's birthday is in a few days.

I may even sample a beer tonight ....

Wednesday, 19 January 2005

MPG update

Date-----------Cost----Ltrs---Gals---Mileage--ltrs/ml--MPG---Total Mileage----Type

TRIP COMP : 25.2mpg(avg) :: 15.8mph (avg) :: 8 miles est left

I've obviously been stuck in traffice more this time LOL with a avg mph of 16!
MPG is really low. Lots of short journeys.
Oh and the flat rear tyre wont have helped.

Just missed another std fit CD player on ebay in the last 30 seconds!
Finally went for 140 UKP which seems a bit steep.

Snow this week in Glasgow which was great fun , DSC really helps but its more fun with it turned off :-)

Sunday, 16 January 2005

tyre fairies....?

must be!
Took the car into Henry Bros on Sat morning (great of them to fit me in at short notice) to let them check out the tyre.
Went to pick it up later and they say its fine !!!!!!!!!!!!!!!
I'm stumped, so for now Ill leave it.
Certainly the runflat indicator has yet to come on a third time!
[maybe somebody is letting my tyres down outside the flat???]
Cost me nothing (nice one Henry Bros) , so I bought some oil while I was there ....

Car is constantly filthy at the moment due to the weather :-(
I'm also bidding on an earlier single slot CD on ebay , but it may soon go well above what Im willing to pay. Last one I saw went for £150 !!!!!

Carchip moan : I usually download info on a Sun , and today the application that reads the data hung after I had cleared the memory. It seems as if it has saved 'some' data but a lot is gone, bugger...
Carchip is a nice tool but the inability to view saved data with the unit attached AND software instability certainly spoils the experience a bit.
A rock solid application and a few finishing touches would make it so much better.
Would I buy one again ?? Yes , but be aware of its 'idiosyncratic nature'
.......come to think of it thats a bit like the Pace Twin Freeview Personal Recorder settop box I recently bought (great idea but let down by instability)

Thursday, 13 January 2005

mmmm runflat indicator was right...

Its now been ~120 miles since I first got the indicator flash , cough..
Bought a tyre pressure gauge from Halfords and checked them this morning.
F/L 28psi F/R 27.5psi
R/L 3psi R/R 30psi

mmm that will be a flat rear left then!
Funnily enough it just looks a little bit flatter but not by much...

Will pump it up soon and check again before I take it in for a puncture repair.


Monday, 10 January 2005

Good Luck strikes at last .......

Yes , unfeasable as it seems but we won the lottery :-)
Not 3 or 4 numbers but 5 out of 6 numbers to be precise.
No , alas not millions but a handy sum nonetheless....767 quid

[Balls Matched----No OF WINNERS----£s PER WINNER------TOTAL]
Match 6 --------------------5---------------£3,000,000---------£15,000,000
Match 5 plus bonus---20---------------£77,112--------------£1,542,240
Match 5----------------1256 ------------£767-----------------£963,352
Match 4--------------62206 ------------£34------------------£2,115,004

What a great start to 2005 , lets hope it continues....good riddance to 2004
Nicola, in true female tradition has spent 3million in her head even though we only won 700 :-)

Thursday, 6 January 2005

MPG update

Re: MPG Update
Date------------Cost--Litres--Gallons--Mileage--litres/mile--MPG--Total Mileage--Type

Trip Data : 28.2 avg mpg / 24.5 avgmph / '------' to go!
As ever its around 2 MPG less than I actually got.

This time I ran the car to 0 miles to go on the Trip Computer , it then updated and gave me 5 miles extra ! it did this several times then it just displayed '------' as I just drove on ......LOL
The speedo display needle was below the red warning light. Im not sure how much further you can go. I suspect quite a bit.

Re: Windscreen Strip / Possible Puncture
As well as the 'adrift' strip (which it turns out is a common problem and caused by new screens being fitted too low on the car!!! However I dont plan to let the dealer attempt to move/replace it !!! Small amount of silicone me thinks)
Even more fun as the runflat indicator came on yesterday......
None of the tyres look even slightly deflated (which on runflats they apparently dont).
I will check the pressures on the way home tonight, but for now it drives as normal.....

Re : JCW FIlter
Im convinced the car definitely feels quicker with it on. Especially in the upper rev band.
Its more willing to rev to the redline for sure.
Not only that after a few good 'hard' runs the car seems much better , and appears to 'adapt' to the new filter over time.
Love it and would certainly buy again...

Enjoy 2005 J

Wednesday, 5 January 2005

sub light speed dislodges windscreen trim...

Yep , the upper windscreen finishing strip has not been right since the screen was replaced (a stipulation of buying the car was a new screen cos it had 2 chips) , it used to 'bow' out from flush in cold weather. This used to make some noise , however a recent 'spirited' run from Ayr to Glasgow meant it finally came 3/4 loose at speed (and sounded like a large block of wood stuck in a tyre as it flapped against the roof :-) )
So for now its pulled out and on the back seat......

Tuesday, 4 January 2005

short diversion : Dell Dimension 4300 Windows ME to XP upgrade

yes I know its not MINI related but I thought I would get it down here so that anyone else attempting the same knows its possible....
Heres what I did to a friends PC , who wanted XP (for IPOD connectivity) but also to get rid of an unreliable ME setup

Clean install of Windows XP Pro onto a previous Windows ME Dell Dimenson 4300.
Current Bios Version A02
Current System ID Dimension 4300
Operating System Windows Millennium
Audio Driver Game Port for Creative SB Live!
Audio Driver Creative SB Live! Value (WDM)
Video Driver 16MB ATI Rage 128 Ultra

I chose a clean install , as ME is known to be tenacious in upgrade scenarios and the host machine was full of viruses/trojans and lots of other rubbish. I also wanted to got to NTFS rather than retain FAT32.

First off do a web search for XP upgrades or clean installs . Upgrades are possible but generally not advised. The only problem is that there is no way back with a clean install past a certain point (unless you image the original OS using something like Norton Ghost)

I did a fair amount of research because Dell machines tend to be different!!! (Ive been here before when the PSU fried a year and a half ago)
The Dell website provides a web based tool which lets you initially know if an upgrade is possible, in addition they also have a small program which you download and run which tells you what your system may need for the changeover.
It replied saying a BIOS update was needed , along with some incompatible software.
Oh dear ...... OS changes can be difficult , but BIOS updates (IMHO) are a last resort if absolutely /definitely required.....

I also ran the Windows Compatibility Checker from the CD (remember to make sure the machine boots to floppy then CD before HD in BIOS setup , which was F2 during startup on this 4300) , which promptly hung while building the database EVERY time!!! mmm Not a good sign... I also downloaded it from the windows site (just in case the cd version was corrupt) but alas still no joy....
This was in SAFE mode (in ME) with only the explorer process running!!!!

To cut a long story short (and with a little 'o what the heck from a certain Mr Welsh') I just dived in (confident that the PC spec was relatively new) and performed a BIOS update (using the download from DELL site) and a bios boot disc from

Updated from version A02 to A06 , the machine even rebooted into ME again :-) result.
(Incidentally Windows Compat Wiz still hung after the BIOS update , go figure)

Then onto XP clean install, started machine to command prompt (using startup disc) and using fdisk command ,removed the primary partition. NOTE : At this point you're commited to a new OS install...
Turn off machine and pop XP disc in , then reboot and press any key when it asks if you want to boot from CD. You should then see the XP install start...
I didnt need to install any drivers , and when I looked in device manager all was well.
Not only that its pretty quick (even more so than ME).
At this point I also installed XP SP2 from a cover disc , then also AVG Antivirus and ZoneAlarm from a disc. REMEMBER , NEVER connect to the internet without a firewall and antivirus installed and RUNNING.
Now all I need to do is plug in the cable modem and install the Ipod software.
So far it all looks good , and certainly not what I expected when the compatibility wizard wouldnt even run.
Any questions you can contact me via my email address on my website.

Saturday, 1 January 2005


Best wishes to you all for 2005.