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Mini Cooper Parts, Service, Repair in the Antelope Valley


VIc’s Bimmer Shop Repairs Mini-Coopers!

Mini Cooper


The Mini is a small car that was made by the British Motor Corporation (BMC) and its successors from 1959 until 2000. The original is considered a British icon of the 1960s,[3][4][5] and its space-saving front-wheel-drive layout (which allowed 80% of the area of the car’s floorpan to be used for passengers and luggage) influenced a generation of car-makers.[6] The vehicle is in some ways considered the British equivalent to its German contemporary, the Volkswagen Beetle, which enjoyed similar popularity in North America. In 1999 the Mini was voted the second most influential car of the 20th Century, behind the Ford Model T.[7][8]

This distinctive two-door car was designed for BMC by Sir Alec Issigonis.[9][10] It was manufactured at the Longbridge and Cowleyplants in England, the Victoria Park / Zetland British Motor Corporation (Australia) factory in Sydney, Australia, and later also in Spain (Authi), Belgium, Chile, Italy (Innocenti), Portugal, South Africa, Uruguay, Venezuela and Yugoslavia. The Mini Mark I had three major UK updates: the Mark II, the Clubman and the Mark III. Within these was a series of variations including an estate car, a pickup truck, a van and the Mini Moke—a jeep-like buggy. The Mini Cooper and Cooper “S” were sportier versions that were successful asrally cars, winning the Monte Carlo Rally four times from 1964 through to 1967, although in 1966 the Mini was disqualified after the finish, along with six other British entrants, which included the first four cars to finish, under a questionable ruling that the cars had used an illegal combination of headlamps and spotlights.[11] Initially Minis were marketed under the Austin and Morris names, as the Austin Seven and Morris Mini Minor, until Mini became a marque in its own right in 1969.[12][13] The Mini was again marketed under the Austin name in the 1980s.

[edit]Design and development

Designed as project ADO15 (Austin Drawing Office project number 15), the Mini came about because of a fuel shortage caused by the 1956 Suez Crisis.[14] Petrol was once again rationed in the UK, sales of large cars slumped, the market for German Bubble cars boomed. Leonard Lord, the somewhat autocratic head of BMC, reportedly detested these cars so much that he vowed to rid the streets of them and design a ‘proper miniature car’.[15] He laid down some basic design requirements: the car should be contained within a box that measured 10 × 4 × 4 ft (3 × 1.2 × 1.2 m); and the passenger accommodation should occupy 6 ft (1.8 m) of the 10 ft (3 m) length; and the engine, for reasons of cost, should be an existing unit. Issigonis, who had been working for Alvis, had been recruited back to BMC in 1955 and, with his skills in designing small cars, was a natural for the task. The team that designed the Mini was remarkably small: as well as Issigonis, there was Jack Daniels (who had worked with him on the Morris Minor), Chris Kingham (who had been with him at Alvis), two engineering students and four draughtsmen. Together, by October 1957, they had designed and built the original prototype, which was affectionately named “The Orange Box” because of its colour.[3]

The ADO15 used a conventional BMC A-Series four-cylinder water-cooled engine,[16] but departed from tradition by mounting it transversely, with the engine-oil-lubricated, four-speed transmission in the sump, and by employing front-wheel drive. Almost all small front-wheel-drive cars developed since have used a similar configuration, except with the transmission usually separately enclosed rather than using the engine oil. The radiator was mounted at the left side of the car so that the engine-mounted fan could be retained, but with reversed pitch so that it blew air into the natural low pressure area under the front wing. This location saved precious vehicle length, but had the disadvantage of feeding the radiator with air that had been heated by passing over the engine. It also exposed the entire ignition system to the direct ingress of rainwater through the grille.

1959 Morris Mini-Minor interior

 

 

The suspension system, designed by Issigonis’s friend Dr. Alex Moulton at Moulton Developments Limited, used compact rubber cones instead of conventional springs. This ingenious space-saving design also featured rising progressive-rate springing of the cones, and provided some natural damping, in addition to the normal dampers. Built into the subframes, the rubber cone system gave a raw and bumpy ride which was accentuated by the woven-webbing seats, but the rigidity of the rubber cones, together with the wheels being pushed out to the corners of the car, gave the Mini go kart-like handling that would become famous.

Initially an interconnected fluid system was planned—similar to the one that Alec Issigonis and Alex Moulton were working on in the mid-1950s at Alvis. They had assessed the mechanically interconnected Citroen 2CV suspension at that time (according to an interview by Moulton with CAR magazine in the late 1990s), which inspired the design of the Hydrolastic suspension system for the Mini and Morris/Austin 1100, to try to keep the benefits of the 2CV system (ride comfort, body levelling, keeping the roadwheel under good control and the tyre in contact with the road), but with added roll stiffness that the 2CV was very much lacking. The short development time of the car meant this was not ready in time for the Mini’s launch. The system intended for the Mini was further developed and the hydrolastic system was first used on the Morris 1100, launched in 1962; the Mini gained the system later in 1964. Ten-inch (254 mm) wheels were specified, so new tyres had to be developed, the initial contract going to Dunlop. Issigonis went to Dunlop stating that he wanted even smaller, 8 in (203 mm) wheels (even though he had already settled on ten-inch). An agreement was made on the ten-inch size, after Dunlop choked on the eight-inch proposition.

Sliding windows allowed storage pockets in the hollow doors; reportedly Issigonis sized them to fit a bottle of Gordon’s Gin.[9] The boot lid was hinged at the bottom so that the car could be driven with it open to increase luggage space. On early cars the number plate was hinged at the top so that it could swing down to remain visible when the boot lid was open. This feature was later discontinued after it was discovered that exhaust gases could leak into the cockpit when the boot was open.

The Mini was designed as a monocoque shell with welded seams visible on the outside of the car running down the A and C pillars, and between the body and the floor pan. To further simplify construction, the hinges for the doors and boot lid were mounted externally.

Cross-section shows how Mini maximizes passenger space

 

 

Production models differed from the prototypes by the addition of front and rear subframes to the unibody to take the suspension loads, and by having the engine mounted the other way round, with the carburettor at the back rather than at the front. This layout required an extra gear between engine and transmission to reverse the direction of rotation at the input to the transmission. Having the carburettor behind the engine reduced carburettor icing, but the distributor was then exposed to water coming in through the grille. The engine size was reduced from 948 cc to 848 cc; this, in conjunction with a small increase in the car’s width, cut the top speed from 90 mph (145 km/h) to a more reasonable (for the time) 72 mph (116 km/h).

Despite its utilitarian origins, the classic Mini shape had become so well known that by the 1990s, Rover Group—the heirs to BMC—were able to register its design as a trade mark in its own right.[17]

[edit]Mark I Mini: 1959–1967

The first Morris Mini-Minor sold in Texas being delivered to a family in Arlington, Texas in 1959.

 

 

The production version of the Mini was demonstrated to the press in April 1959, and by August several thousand cars had been produced ready for the first sales.[18]

The name Mini did not appear by itself immediately—the first models being marketed under two of BMC’s brand names, Austin and Morris. The name Austin Seven (sometimes written as SE7EN in early publicity material) recalled the popular small Austin 7 of the 1920s and 1930s. The other name used until 1967 in the United Kingdom (and in Commonwealth countries such as Australia), Morris Mini-Minor, seems to have been a play on words. The Morris Minor was a well known and successful car, with the word minor being Latin for “lesser”; so an abbreviation of the Latin word for “least”—minimus—was used for the new even smaller car. It was originally going to be called the Austin Newmarket.

1963 Austin Mini 850 Mark I

 

 

One of the very first examples from 1959 is now on display at the National Motor Museum in Hampshire.[19] The very first example, with the now iconic registration plate “621 AOK”, is on display at the Heritage Motor Centre in Warwickshire.[20]

Until 1962, the cars appeared as the Austin 850 and Morris 850 in North America and France, and in Denmark as the Austin Partner (until 1964) and Morris Mascot (until 1981). The name Mini was first used domestically by BMC for Austin’s version in 1961, when the Austin Seven was rebranded as the Austin Mini,[21] somewhat to the surprise of the Sharps Commercials car company (later known as Bond Cars Ltd) who had been using the name Minicar for their three-wheeled vehicles since 1949. However, legal action was somehow averted,[22] and BMC used the name Mini thereafter.[23]

In 1964, the suspension of the cars was replaced by another Moulton design, the hydrolastic system. The new suspension gave a softer ride but it also increased weight and production cost and, in the minds of many enthusiasts, spoiled the handling characteristics for which the Mini was so famous. In 1971, the original rubber suspension reappeared and was retained for the remaining life of the Mini.

Austin Mini Van, The Automobile Association livery

 

 

From October 1965 the option of an Automotive Products (AP) designed four-speed automatic transmission became available. Cars fitted with this became the Mini-Matic

Slow at the outset, Mark I sales strengthened across most of the model lines in the 1960s, and production totalled 1,190,000.[24] Sold at almost below cost, the basic Mini made very little money for its owners. However, it still did make a small profit. Ford once took a Mini away and completely dismantled it, possibly to see if they could offer an alternative. It was their opinion though, that they could not sell it at BMC’s price. Ford determined that the BMC must have been losing around 30 pounds per car, and so decided to produce a larger car – the Cortina, launched in 1962 – as its competitor in the budget market.

BMC insisted that the way company overheads were shared out, the Mini always made money.[25] Larger profits came from the popular De Luxe models and from optional extras such as seat belts, door mirrors, a heater and a radio, which would be considered necessities on modern cars, as well as the various “Cooper” and “Cooper S” models.

The Mini etched its place into popular culture in the 1960s with well-publicised purchases by film and music stars.[26]


[edit]Mark II Mini: 1967–1973

The Mark II Mini featured a redesigned grille which remained with the car from that point on. Also, a larger rear window and numerous cosmetic changes were introduced. 429,000 Mark II Minis were made.[24][27][28]

A bewildering variety of Mini types were made in Pamplona, Spain, by the Authi company from 1968 onwards, mostly under the Morris name.

The Mini was arguably the star of the 1969 film The Italian Job, which features a car chase in which a gang of thieves drive three Minis down staircases, through storm drains, over buildings and finally into the back of a moving bus. This film was remade in 2003using the new MINI.

1968 Mark III Riley Elf.

 

 

[edit]Variants

The popularity of the original Mini spawned many models that targeted different markets.

[edit]Wolseley Hornet and Riley Elf (1961–1969)

Built as more luxurious versions of the Mini, both the Wolseley Hornet and the Riley Elf had longer, slightly finned rear wings and larger boots that gave the cars a more traditional three-box design. Front-end treatment, which incorporated each marque’s traditional upright grille design, also contributed to a less utilitarian appearance. The cars had larger-diameter chrome hubcaps than the Austin and Morris Minis, and additional chrome accents, bumper overriders and wood-veneer dashboards. The Riley was the more expensive of the two cars.[29] The name “Wolseley Hornet” was first used on a 1930s sports car, while the name “Elf” recalled the Riley Spriteand Imp sports cars, also of the 1930s. The full-width dashboard was a differentiator between the Elf and Hornet. This better dashboard was the idea of Christopher Milner the Sales Manager for Riley.

Both cars went through three versions. Initially, they used the 848 cc engine, changing to a single carburettor version of the Cooper’s 998 cc power unit in the Mark II in 1963. The MKIII facelift of 1966 brought wind-up windows and fresh-air fascia vents; also concealed door hinges two years before these were seen on the mainstream Mini. 30,912 Riley Elfs and 28,455 Wolseley Hornets were built.[24]

Mark II Austin Mini Countryman

 

 

[edit]Morris Mini Traveller and Austin Mini Countryman (1961–1969)

Two-door estate cars with double “barn”-style rear doors. Both were built on a slightly longer chassis of 84 inch (2.14 m) compared to 80.25 inch (2.04 m) for the saloon.

The luxury models had decorative, non-structural wood inserts in the rear body which gave the car a similar appearance to the larger Morris Minor estate which had some of the look of an American-style 1950s Woodie. Approximately 108,000 Austin Mini Countrymen and 99,000 Morris Mini Travellers were built.[24]

[edit]Mini Van (1960–1982)

A commercial panel van rated at ¼-ton load capacity. Built on the longer Traveller chassis but without side windows, it proved popular in 1960s Britain as a cheaper alternative to the car: it was classed as a commercial vehicle and as such carried no sales tax. A set of simple stamped steel slots served in place of a more costly chrome grille. The Mini Van was renamed as the Mini 95 in 1978, the number representing the gross vehicle weight of 0.95 tons. 521,494 were built.[24] Despite this renaming, the motoring public continued to call it the Mini Van, as a result of which[citation needed] the class of vehicles known as minivans in other countries are referred to in Britain as MPVs.

[edit]Mini Moke (1964–1989)

A utility vehicle intended for the British Army, for whom a few twin-engined 4-wheel-drive versions were also built. Although the 4WD Moke could climb a 1:2 gradient, it lacked enough ground clearance for military use.[30] The single-engined front-wheel-drive Moke enjoyed some popularity in civilian production. About 50,000 were made in total,[24] from 1964 to 1968 in the UK, 1966 to 1982 in Australia and 1983 to 1989 in Portugal.[31] The car featured in the cult 1967 TV series The Prisoner, and is popular in holiday locations such as Barbados and Macau, where Mokes were used as police cars. Mokes were also available to rent there as recently as March 2006. “Moke” is archaic British slang for a donkey.

A Mini Pickup.

 

 

[edit]Mini Pick-up (1961–1982)

A pick-up truck, 11 ft (3.4 m) from nose to tail, built on the longer Mini Van platform, with an open-top rear cargo area and a tailgate. The factory specified the weight of the Pickup as less than 1,500 lb (680 kg) with a full 6 imperial gallons (27 L; 7 US gal) of fuel.

As with the Van, the Pickup did not have a costly chrome grille. Instead, a simple set of stamped metal slots allowed airflow into the engine compartment. The Pickup was spartan in basic form, although the factory brochure informed prospective buyers that “[a] fully equipped Mini Pick-up is also available which includes a recirculatory heater.” Passenger-side sun visor, seat belts, laminated windscreen, tilt tubes and cover were available at extra cost.[32] Like the van, the Pickup was renamed as the Mini 95 in 1978.

A total of 58,179 Mini Pickups were built.[24]

[edit]Morris Mini K (March 1969 – August 1971, Australia only)

Built in the Australian British Motor Corporation factory at Zetland, NSW using 80% local content, the Morris Mini K was advertised as the “great leap forward”.[33] The Mini K (‘K’ standing for Kangaroo) had a 1098 cc engine and was the last round-nose model to be produced in Australia, originally priced at $1780 (AUD).

[edit]Mini Cooper and Cooper S: 1961–2000

Issigonis’ friend John Cooper, owner of the Cooper Car Company and designer and builder of Formula One and rally cars, saw the potential of the Mini for competition. Issigonis was initially reluctant to see the Mini in the role of a performance car, but after John Cooper appealed to BMC management, the two men collaborated to create the Mini Cooper, a nimble, economical and inexpensive car. The Austin Mini Cooper and Morris Mini Cooper debuted in 1961.[9][34]

The original 848 cc engine from the Morris Mini-Minor was given a longer stroke to increase capacity to 997 cc, boosting power from 34 bhp to 55 bhp (25 to 41 kW).[16] The car featured a racing-tuned engine, twin SU carburettors, a closer-ratio gearbox and front disc brakes, uncommon at the time in a small car. One thousand units of this version were commissioned by management, intended for and designed to meet the homologation rules of Group 2 rally racing. The 997 cc engine was replaced by a shorter stroke 998 cc unit in 1964.

1963 Austin Mini Cooper S

 

 

A more powerful Mini Cooper, dubbed the “S”, was developed in tandem and released in 1963. Featuring a 1071 cc engine with a 70.61 mm bore and nitrided steel crankshaft and strengthened bottom end to allow further tuning; and larger servo-assisted disc brakes, 4,030 Cooper S cars were produced and sold until the model was updated in August 1964. Cooper also produced two S models specifically for circuit racing in the under 1000cc and under 1300cc classes respectively, rated at 970 cc and a 1275 cc, both with the 70.61mm bore and both of which were also offered to the public. The smaller-engine model was not well received, and only 963 had been built when the model was discontinued in 1965. The 1275 cc Cooper S models continued in production until 1971.

Sales of the Mini Cooper were as follows: 64,000 Mark I Coopers with 997 cc or 998 cc engines; 19,000 Mark I Cooper S with 970 cc, 1071 cc or 1275 cc engines; 16,000 Mark II Coopers with 998 cc engines; 6,300 Mark II Cooper S with 1275 cc engines. There were no Mark III Coopers and just 1,570 Mark III Cooper S’s.

The Mini Cooper S earned acclaim with Monte Carlo Rally victories in 1964, 1965 and 1967.[35] Minis were initially placed first, second and third in the 1966 rally as well, but were disqualified after a controversial decision by the French judges. The disqualification related to the use of a variable resistance headlamp dimming circuit in place of a dual-filament lamp.[36] It should be noted that the Citroën DS that was eventually awarded first place had illegal white headlamps but escaped disqualification.[37]The driver of the Citroën, Pauli Toivonen, was reluctant to accept the trophy and vowed that he would never race for Citroën again.[38] BMC probably received more publicity from the disqualification than they would have gained from a victory.[39]

1965 Monte Carlo Rally winner: 1964 Morris Mini Cooper S

 

 

In 1971, the Mini Cooper design was licensed in Italy by Innocenti and in 1973 to Spain by Authi (Automoviles de Turismo Hispano-Ingleses), which began to produce the Innocenti Mini Cooper 1300 and the Authi Mini Cooper 1300, respectively. The Cooper name disappeared from the UK Mini range at this time, as British Leyland (as it was by then) supposedly did not want to pay John Cooper royalties for the use of his name, so it was not seen again on Minis for nearly 20 years!

A new Mini Cooper named the RSP (Rover Special Products) was briefly relaunched in 1990-1991, with slightly lower performance than the 1960s Cooper. It proved so popular that the new Cooper-marked Mini went into full production in late 1991. From 1992, Coopers were fitted with a fuel-injected version of the 1275 cc engine, and in 1997 a multi-point fuel injected engine was introduced, along with a front-mounted radiator and various safety improvements.[40]

[edit]Mini Clubman and 1275GT: 1969–1980

In 1969, under the ownership of British Leyland, the Mini was given a facelift by stylist Roy Haynes, who had previously worked forFord. The restyled version was called the Mini Clubman, and has a squarer frontal look, using the same indicator/sidelight assembly as the Austin Maxi. The Mini Clubman was intended to replace the upmarket Riley and Wolseley versions. A new model, dubbed the 1275GT, was slated as the replacement for the 998 cc Mini Cooper (the 1275 cc Mini Cooper S continued alongside the 1275GT for two years until 1971). The Clubman Estate took over where the Countryman and Traveller left off.

However, British Leyland continued to produce the classic 1959 “round-front” design, alongside the newer Clubman and 1275GT models (which were replaced in 1980 by the new hatchback Austin Metro, while production of the original “round-front” Mini design continued for another 20 years.)

Production of the Clubman and 1275GT got off to a slow start because the cars incorporated “lots of production changes” including the relocation of tooling from the manufacturer’s Cowley plant to the Longbridge plant: very few cars were handed over to customers before the early months of 1970.[41]

Early domestic market Clubmans were still delivered on cross-ply tyres despite the fact that by 1970 radials had become the norm for the car’s mainstream competitors.[41] By 1973 new Minis were, by default, being shipped with radial tyres, though cross-plies could be specified by special order, giving British buyers a price saving of £8.[42]

The 1275GT is often incorrectly described as the “Mini Clubman 1275GT”. The official name was always just the “Mini 1275GT”, and it was a separate, distinct model from the Clubman (although it shared the same frontal treatment as the Mini Clubman, and was launched at the same time).

In 1971, the 1275 cc Mini Cooper S was discontinued in the UK, leaving the Mini 1275GT as the only sporting Mini on sale for the rest of the decade. Innocenti in Italy, however, continued making their own version of the Mini Cooper for some time. While the UK built 1275GT was not nearly as quick as a 1275 Mini Cooper S, it was cheaper to buy, run, and insure. It was the first Mini to be equipped with a tachometer. It also featured a standard-fit close-ratio gearbox. Performance of the 1275GT was lively for the time, achieving 0–60 mph (97 km/h) in 12.9 seconds, and the excellent midrange torque offered a 30–50 mph (48–80 km/h) time in top gear of only nine seconds. The bluff front, however, meant that the model struggled to reach 90 mph (140 km/h). The 1275 cc A-series engine could be cheaply and easily tuned, though the cheap purchase price and prominent “sidewinder” door stripes meant that this model developed a reputation as something of a “boy-racer special” during the 1970s and into the 1980s.

The Mini Clubman and 1275GT were responsible for two motoring “firsts”: they were the first vehicles to use a flexi printed-circuit board behind the dash instruments (universal nowadays, but technically advanced for 1969). Secondly, the 1275GT was the first vehicle to be offered with run-flat tyres; from 1974 this model could be ordered with optional Dunlop Denovo tyres on 12-inch (300 mm) diameter rims. In the event of a puncture, the Dunlop Denovo tyre would not burst and quickly deflate, but could continue to be used safely at speeds of up to 50 mph (80 km/h). This was a useful safety feature, although the increased road noise and relatively poor grip of this tyre meant that many 1275GT buyers ignored this option.

Throughout the 1970s, British Leyland continued to produce the classic 1959 “round-front” design, alongside the newer Clubman and 1275GT models. The long-nose Clubman and 1275GT offered better crash safety, were better equipped, and had vastly better under-bonnet access, but they were more expensive and aerodynamically inferior to the original 1959 design. The Mini Clubman and 1275GT were replaced in 1980 by the new hatchback Austin Metro, while production of the original “round-front” Mini design continued for another 20 years. At the end of Clubman and 1275GT production, 275,583 Clubman saloons, 197,606 Clubman Estates and 110,673 1275GTs had been made.[24]

[edit]The Clubman in Australia

The Leyland Mini LS was produced byLeyland Australia from 1977 to 1978.

 

 

For the Australian market, all Minis including the Van gained the Clubman front in 1971 although the car was still basically a Mk I behind the A-Pillar.[43] The Australian van thus became the only Clubman Van produced anywhere in the world.[43] From mid 1971 to the end of 1972, a Clubman GT version of the sedan was produced.[44] This was essentially a Cooper S in Clubman body, equipped with the same 7.5-inch (190 mm) disc brakes, twin fuel tanks, and twin-carb Cooper S 1275 cc engine. Australian Clubman sedans were marketed under the Morris Mini Clubman name when introduced in August 1971,[45] and as the Leyland Mini, without the Clubman name, from February 1973.[46] To end Mini production in Australia, a limited edition runout model was produced − the 1275LS. Originally created as a top end model, when the decision was made to end production, it became the runout model. Fitted with a pollution control 1275cc engine sourced from Europe, the LS had a single 1.5 inch carburettor and 8.4 inch disk brakes. It was available in Nugget Gold and Hi-Ho Silver only with interior trim to match. Production of this model commenced in July 1978 and concluded in October 1978 with an approximate total of 800 vehicles produced.


[edit]Mark III and onwards: 1969–2000

The Mark III Mini had a modified bodyshell with enough alterations to see the factory code change from ADO15 to ADO20 (which it shared with the Clubman). The most obvious changes were larger doors with concealed hinges. Customer demand led to the sliding windows being replaced with winding windows—although some Australian-manufactured Mark I Minis had adopted this feature in 1965 (with opening quarterlight windows). The suspension reverted from Hydrolastic to rubber cones[47] as a cost-saving measure.[48] (The 1275 GT and Clubman would retain the hydrolastic system until June 1971 when they, too, switched to the rubber cone suspension of the original Minis.[47])

Production at the Cowley plant was ended, and the simple name Mini completely replaced the separate Austin and Morris brands.[49]

In the late 1970s, Innocenti introduced the Innocenti 90 and 120Bertone-designed hatchbacks based on the Mini platform. Bertone also created a Mini Cooper equivalent, christened the Innocenti De Tomaso, that sported a 1275 cc engine similar to the MG Metro engine but with a 11 stud head, a special inlet manifold and used the “A” clutch instead of the “Verto” type. The most important feature was the utilization of homokinetic shafts, avoiding the rubber couplings.

By this stage, the Mini was still hugely popular in Britain, but it was looking increasingly outdated in the face of newer and more practical rivals including the Ford FiestaVauxhall ChevetteChrysler SunbeamFiat 127Volkswagen Polo and Peugeot 104. Since the late 1960s, plans had been in place for a newer and more practical supermini to replace it, though the Mini was still the only car of this size built by British Leyland for the home market.

Reports of the Mini’s imminent demise surfaced again in 1980 with the launch of the Austin Mini-Metro (badging with the word mini in all lowercase). In New Zealand in 1981, the Mini starred in a road trip movie directed by Geoff Murphy called Goodbye Pork Pie. The Mini was beginning to fall out of favour in many export markets, with the South African, Australian, and New Zealand markets all stopping production around this time.

Although the Mini continued after the Metro’s launch, production volumes were reduced as British Leyland and successor combine Rover Group concentrated on the Metro as its key supermini. Indeed, 1981 was the Mini’s last year in the top ten of Britain’s top selling cars, as it came ninth and the Metro was fifth.

  • Mark III (introduced in November 1969) had wind up windows with internal door hinges except for the van and pickup models. The boot lid lost the original hinged number plate and its recess shape and a large rear colour coded lamp was fitted in its place, along with larger rear side windows.
  • Mark IV (introduced in 1976) had a front rubber mounted subframe with single tower bolts and the rear frame had some larger bushes introduced. Twin stalk indicators were introduced with larger foot pedals. From 1977 onwards, the rear indicator lamps had the reverse lights incorporated in them.
  • Mark V (from 1984): all cars had 8.4-inch (210 mm) brake discs and plastic wheel arches (mini special arches) but retained the same Mark IV body shell shape.
  • Mark VI (from 1990): the engine mounting points were moved forward to take 1275 cc power units, and includes the HIF carb version, plus the single point fuel injected car which came out in 1991. The 998 cc power units were discontinued. Internal bonnet release were fitted from 1992.
  • Mark VII (from 1996): was the final version, twin point injection with front mounted radiator. Full-width dashboard replaces the original shelf, internal bonnet release. Introduction of airbag on driver’s side.

[edit]End of production

Throughout the 1980s and 1990s the British market enjoyed numerous “special editions” of the Mini, which shifted the car from a mass-market item into a fashionable icon. It was this image that perhaps helped the Mini become such an asset for BMW, which later bought the remnants of BMC as the Rover Group. It was even more popular in Japan, where it was seen as a retro-cool icon, and inspired many imitators. The ERA Mini Turbo was particularly popular with Japanese buyers.

In 1994, under Bernd Pischetsrieder, a first cousin once removed of Issigonis, BMW took control of the Rover Group, which included the Mini, fitting an airbag to comply with European legislation.

By March 2000, Rover was still suffering massive losses, and BMW decided to dispose of most of the companies. The sell-off was completed in May that year. MG and Rover went to Phoenix, a new British consortium; and Land Rover was sold to Ford Motor Company. BMW retained the Mini name and the planned new model, granting Rover temporary rights to the brand and allowing it to manufacture and sell the run-out model of the old Mini. By April 2000, the range consisted of four versions: the Mini Classic Seven, the Mini Classic Cooper, the Mini Classic Cooper Sport and—for overseas European markets—the Mini Knightsbridge. The last Mini (a red Cooper Sport) was built on 4 October 2000 and presented to the British Motor Industry Heritage Trust in December of that year.[3] A total of 5,387,862 cars had been manufactured.[24]

After the last of the Mini production had been sold, the ‘Mini’ name reverted to BMW ownership. The new ‘BMW’ MINI is technically unrelated to the old car but retains the classic transverse 4-cylinder, front-wheel-drive configuration and iconic “bulldog” stance of the original.

Minis lined up on Brighton seafront after aLondon-to-Brighton rally

 

 

[edit]Timeline

  • August 1959: Introduction of the Austin Seven, Morris Mini-Minor and Morris Mini-Minor DL 2-door saloons, all with transversely mounted 848 cc engine and 4-speed manual gearbox.
  • 1960: Introduction of the Austin Seven Countryman and Morris Mini-Minor Traveller 3-door estates, both with 848 cc engine from the saloon models. 116,667 cars built in the first full year of production.
  • 1961: Introduction of the Austin Seven Super and Morris Mini-Minor Super 2-door saloons.
  • 1961: Introduction of the Austin Mini Cooper and Morris Mini Cooper 2-door saloon, both with larger 997 cc 55 bhp (41 kW) engine.
  • January 1962: All former Austin Seven models now officially called Austin Mini.
  • March 1962: pvc seat covers replaced cloth upholstery on entry level model (“basic Mini”).[50]
  • 1962: “De Luxe” and “Super” designations discontinued. “Super de Luxe” designation introduced. Modified instrument panel now included oil pressure and water temperature gauges.[50]
  • March 1963: Introduction of the Austin Mini Cooper 1071 S and Morris Mini Cooper 1071 S 2-door saloons, both with larger 1071 cc 70 bhp (52 kW) engine.
  • 1964: Introduction of the Mini Moke.
  • April 1964: Introduction of the Austin and Morris Mini-Cooper 998, Mini-Cooper 970 S and Mini-Cooper 1275 S. 1275 S models have 1275 cc 76 bhp (57 kW) engine. Automatic transmission available as an option for the 998 cc Austin Mini-Cooper 998 and 1275 S. Previous Mini-Cooper 997 and 1071 S models dropped.
  • 1965: Mini Cooper 970 S discontinued.
  • October 1965: Automatic transmission now available as an option on standard Austin/Morris Mini and Morris Mini SDL.
  • October 1967: Mark 2 range launched with facelift and upgraded equipment. Austin Mini range as follows: 850, 1000, Cooper 998 and Cooper 1275 S 2-door saloons and 1000 Countryman 3-door estate. Morris Mini range as follows: 850, 850 SDL, 1000 SDL, Cooper 998 and Cooper 1275 S 2-door saloons and 1000 Traveller 3-door estate. Optional automatic transmission available on all Austin models (except 850) and Morris Mini 1000 SDL saloon.
  • September 1968: Manual four speed gear box with synchromesh on all four forward ratios introduced.[47]
  • March 1969: Launch of the Morris Mini K an Australian-only model manufactured in the Australian British Motor Corporation factory at Zetland NSW using 80% local content
  • October 1969: Separate Austin and Morris badging now merged into Mini 850/Mini 1000 badging. Range reduced to: 850, 1000, Clubman, Cooper S and 1275 GT 2-door coupes and Clubman 3-door estate. Optional automatic transmission available on all except 1275 GT.
  • April 1974: A heater became standard equipment on the entry level Mini 850 (having now already been included in the standard specification of the other models for some time).[47]

[edit]Limited editions

From the Mark IV onward, many special limited-production editions of the Mini were offered. These included models that were created to commemorate racing victories or to celebrate an anniversary of the Mini marque. Limited editions generally came equipped with a unique combination of interior and exterior trim and special decals. Examples include Mini 1100 Special, Mini Rio, Mini Mayfair, Mini Park Lane, Mini Italian Job, Mini Cooper RSP, Mini Flame, Mini Racing and the Mini Monza.

[edit]Concepts and unproduced prototypes

From 1967 to 1979, Issigonis had been designing a replacement for the Mini in the form of an experimental model called the 9X.[9] It was longer and more powerful than the Mini, but due to politicking inside British Leyland (which had now been formed by the merger of BMC’s parent company British Motor Holdings and the Leyland Motor Corporation), the car did not reach production. It was an intriguing “might-have-been”; the car was technologically advanced, and many believe it would have been competitive up until the 1980s.

A number of prototypes produced for vehicles based on the Mini but which never saw production are held and sometimes displayed at the British Heritage Motor Centre museum at GaydonWarwickshire. These included the Twini, a re-engineered four-wheel-drive Moke with two engines—one at the front and another at the back; the Austin Ant, a second attempt to produce a four-wheel-drive vehicle, this time using a transfer case; and a two-seater convertible MG edition of the Mini, cancelled due to it being perceived as competition for the MG Midget.

In 1992, a project considering possible improvements to the Mini was started. Codenamed Minki (“Mini” plus K-Series engine), it included a redesigned dashboard, a two-piece tailgate instead of a boot, fold down rear seats, Hydragas suspension and a 3-cylinder version of the K-Series engine with a 5-speed gearbox.[51]

However, the project was cancelled by management within Rover, who decided that the cost of engineering the changes, and achieving compliance with modern crash testing standards, was too great for the production volumes that could be expected of an updated Mini.

In 1995 the idea to update the Mini again surfaced but this time with BMW management. As part of the process of deciding how to replace the Mini, a vehicle representing what the current Mini could have become, if it had been developed further over its production history, was commissioned.[51] This resulted in the Minki-II, designed to house the 1.4L MPI K-Series engine with an extensive redesign inside, but without the original Minki’s tailgate. The car had to be widened by 50mm and lengthened by 50mm to accommodate the new engine and gearbox, with Hydragas suspension and dashboard from a Rover 100. The Minki-II was used for Hydragas development work, this suspension being considered at the time for the R59 project, later to become the BMW MINI.

[edit]Exotic Minis and celebrities

The Mini was a cultural icon and shows up in movies such as The Italian Job (1969), in which 3 Mark I Austin Mini Cooper S cars are used in a gold bullion robbery; in The Bourne Identity (2002) as a beat-up but surprisingly capable vehicle for a car chase; Goodbye Pork Pie (1981) where a yellow Mini 1000 is used to travel the length of New Zealand, or in Lara Croft: Tomb Raider (2001) as a collectible fashion icon garaged alongside other classic sports cars. It has also featured in television shows such as Mr. Bean and (as the Mini Moke) inThe Prisoner. Madeline Zimmer, in Jean-Luc Godard’s Masculin féminin (1966), said she hoped her new single would be a big hit so she can buy a Morris Cooper.

In the 1960s and 1970s, the Mini also became a veritable “fashion statement“. Many celebrities of that era drove Minis that had been customised by famous British coachbuilders. Examples include Peter Sellers‘ wicker side-panelled Mini built by Hooper (the Rolls-Royce coachbuilder)[52][53] which appeared in his movie A Shot in the DarkRingo Starr‘s hatchback designed by Radford, who also built a Mini de Ville for Britt Ekland, Peter Sellers’ wife, with a special rear estate wagon door.[54] Radford also built Mini de Villes for John Lennon,Marianne Faithfull and a psychedelic version that appeared in the Beatles movie Magical Mystery Tour owned by George Harrison who maintained it through the years and had it restored, including the art, prior to making an appearance with it at Goodwood as late as June 1998.[55] Marianne Faithfull drove her duo-tone de Ville to the Law Courts to hear Mick Jagger‘s appeal of his drug conviction in 1967.[55] The same year John Lennon drove his de Ville hatchback to Apple studios after hearing of Brian Epstein‘s death. At around the same time, Radford also extensively customised a 1275 Mini-Cooper S for Monkey Michael Nesmith which gave dramatically improved performance combined with luxury and silence.[55]Coachbuilders Wood & Pickett also made special versions called the Margrave and Margrave SE,[53][56] sold by Mayfair dealerships in mod London and elsewhere. Marc Bolan famously died when the Mini 1275GT in which he was a passenger hit a Tree in Barnes, London on the 16th September 1977. The site is now Officially Recognised by the English Tourist Board as Bolan’s Rock Shrine [57]

In the 1980s a very exclusive mini was available with only 3 being made. This was the BAC-M30 mini. The BAC-M30 featured a 1380 avonbar modified engine, was fitted with Recaroseats and a custom dashboard, one was most noticeably owned by Bernie Ecclestone and recently auctioned off.[58]

[edit]Kit cars and customisation

One of three Outspan Orange Minis, photographed on Madeira Drive in Brighton.

 

 

The cheapness, simplicity and easy availability of used Minis make it an ideal candidate for body replacement. There are over 120 Mini-based kit cars from various small companies and individual enthusiasts. There are also numerous dramatically modified Minis such as a set of three street-legal cars made up to look like giant oranges as a promotion for the Outspan company, a Mini that was made to look like ahalf-timbered cottage, complete with thatched roof and windows with curtains. Some enthusiasts have drastically shortened or lowered their cars to make them yet smaller. There is also a “sprint shell” which has a lower roof and a small body chop, which dramatically reduces drag. Others make small versions of stretched limosdouble-decker bussesmonster trucksmotor homes and many other kinds of vehicles from used Minis.

Years after the Mini finally ended its production run, there are still ample third-party parts—both spares for restoration and performance parts for race tuning.[59][60][61][62][63]

Given the low weight and good handling of the Mini it is also popular to do an engine swap putting in a modern, high performance engine like the Rover K Series, a Honda VTEC B16A2, a Suzuki Swift GTi, a rear mounted Yamaha R1 motorbike engine, or the Vauxhall 16v 2 litre c20 XE “red top” engine, amongst various alternatives.[64]

[edit]Awards

The Mini has won many awards over the years, perhaps the most notable include: “Car of the Century” (Autocar magazine 1995), “Number One Classic Car of All Time” (Classic & Sports Car magazine 1996) and “European Car of the Century” in a worldwide Internet poll run by the prestigious Global Automotive Elections Foundation in 1999. The Mini managed second place (behind the Model T Ford) for “Global Car of the Century” in that same poll.

In the end 5.3 million Minis were sold, making it by far the most popular British car ever made. Thousands of these are still on the road, with the remaining pre-1980s versions being firmly established as collectors’ items.

[edit]Minis in the United States

A typical meeting of the Mini Owners of Texas club in Grapevine, Texas.

 

 

Between 1960 and 1967, BMC exported approximately 10,000 left-hand drive BMC Minis to the United States. Sales were discontinued when stricter federal safety standards were imposed in 1968; the Mini’s wheelbase was too short to comply. The ‘A’-series engine, contrary to popular belief, was fully compliant with federal and state emissions standards, as shown by the Austin America which was sold in the United States until 1972. As this was a larger car, the minimum wheelbase legislation did not affect its saleability.

Minis that were originally sold in the US are becoming hard to find, so most of the restored Minis now running in the US have been imported by individual enthusiasts—typically from Australia or New Zealand where the climate has limited the amount of rust formation and cars are available for relatively low prices. There is increasing difficulty in finding cars that are old enough to meet the 25 year emissions exemption and yet are still in a reasonable condition. This has led some importers to place the vehicle identification number (VIN) plates from older cars onto Minis that are less than 25 years old—claiming that the car was “repaired” by replacing every single part with the exception of the VIN plate. Such vehicles are termed “re-VINs” and are surprisingly common.[65] This may leave such importers open to accusations of a “Ship of Theseus” fraud such as befell the late Boyd Coddington from the State of California.

[edit]Popularity

An Almond Green Mark I Morris Mini Minor

 

 

At its peak, the Mini was a strong seller in most of the countries where it was sold, with the United Kingdom inevitably receiving the highest volumes.

It was a huge seller in the mini-car market, which it virtually monopolised until the arrival of the Hillman Imp in 1963. It comprehensively outsold the Imp, and it was 16 years before the Mini received a serious threat to its sales success. This threat came in the shape of the much more modern and practical Vauxhall Chevette of 1975, but the Mini continued to sell in huge volumes and was still very popular when its “replacement”—the Metro—arrived in 1980. By this time, the Mini’s design had been overtaken by numerous more modern and practical efforts, but it still offered sheer driving fun that was almost unbeatable in this size of car.

Although the Metro never actually replaced the Mini, production figures for the Mini dipped during the 1980s, and interest in the now-iconic design was not revived until the re-introduction of the famous Mini Cooper in 1989. This helped the car retain its desirability and driver appeal throughout the 1990s, right up to the end of production on 4 October 2000. Nearly a decade after its demise, the Mini is still a common sight on Britain’s roads, and the many surviving pre-1980s models in particular are now widely regarded as collector’s items.

A total of 1,581,887 Minis were sold in Britain after its launch in 1959. The last new one to be registered was sold in 2004, some four years after the end of production.[66]

[edit]Safety

1974 Mini Clubman Safety Research Vehicle—SRV4

 

 

Issigonis designed the Mini with an emphasis on active safety. Asked about the crash worthiness of the Mini he said “I make my cars with such good brakes, such good steering, that if people get into a crash it´s their own fault”.[67] and “I don’t design my cars to have accidents”.[68] It is generally acknowledged that the Mini was designed with excellent handling characteristics.[69]

In July 1965 BMC announced that following “comments by safety experts” about the Mini’s external doorhandles, these would be modified on new cars so that the gap between the handle and the door panel would be effectively closed.[70]

Nicholas Faith states in his book that Murray Mackay, one of the UK’s leading motor vehicle crash and safety researchers, was critical of the pre-1967 Mini’s passive safety features, including the protruding filler cap, the door latch, and the vulnerability of the passenger space to engine intrusion.[67]

The Mini was withdrawn from the American market because it could not meet the 1968 U.S. safety regulations but was sold in Canada till 1979[67][71] and more intense emission standards,[72] and was never updated to comply with those regulations.[71]

Throughout its life, the Mini was modified in various ways to improve its safety. In 1974 a prototype Mini experimental safety vehicle was built (Mini Clubman SRV4) which featured a longer crumple zone, a “pedestrian friendly” front-end, run-flat tyres, strengthened door sills, extra internal padding and recessed door handles.[73] Jack Daniels, one of the original Issigonis team,[74] is stated to have been working on further safety improvements for the Mini when he retired in 1977.[67] Several times it was thought that safety regulations would stop Mini production[75] Safety improved in 1996, with the introduction of airbags and side impact bars.[76] The Mini, challenged by increasingly demanding European safety and pollution standards, was planned by British Aerospace to be taken out of production in 1996, but BMW chose to invest to keep the Mini legal until the launch of the BMW MINI.[77]

In January 2007, the Which? magazine listed the Mini City in its “Ten worst cars for safety (since 1983)” list, alongside other economical, lightweight, fuel efficient cars like the Hyundai Pony 1.2LFiat Panda 900 SuperSuzuki Alto GLDaihatsu DominoCitroën AX 11 REYugo 45 and 55Peugeot 205 GL, and the Citroën 2CV6.[78]

A UK Department for Transport statistics publication, presenting estimates of the risk of driver injury in two car injury collisions, based on reported road accident data, estimated that the 1990–2000 Mini was one of two small cars (the other being the Hyundai Atoz), which, with an estimated 84% of drivers likely to be injured, presented the greatest risk of driver injury. The average risk for the small car category was 76%.[79]

[edit]New MINI

2003 BMW MINI Cooper S and Mark III classic Mini.

 

 

When production of the classic Mini ceased in 2000, BMW (the new owner of the brand) announced the successor to the Mini. The brand name for the new car is MINI (written in capital letters),[80] and it is commonly called the “BMW MINI” or the “New MINI”.

The new MINI is much larger than the original Mini. It is around 58 centimetres (23 in) longer, 50 centimetres (20 in) wider, 7 centimetres (2.8 in) higher, and weighs around 1,144 kg (2,522 lb) rather than 650 kg (1,433 lb). It is now classified as compact car rather than city car.[81]

On 3 April 2007, the one millionth MINI rolled out of the Oxford Plant after six years of production,[82] just one month longer than it took the classic Mini to reach the same total in March 1965.

[edit]

 

 

Mini

621 AOK the very first production Morris Mini-Minor—built 1959
Manufacturer BMC to MG Rover, and Innocenti,Authi
Production 1959–2000
Class CompactCity car
Layout FF layout
Engine A-series, 850–1275 cc I4
Transmission 4-speed manual
4-speed automatic
5-speed manual (optional extra on some later models)
Wheelbase 2.04 m (80.3 in) (saloon)
2.14 m (84.3 in) (estate and commercials)
Length 3.05 m (120.1 in) (saloon)[1]
3.40 m (133.9 in) (estate and commercials)
3.30 m (129.9 in) (Wolseley Hornet/Riley Elf)[2]
Width 1.40 m (55.1 in)
Height 1.35 m (53.1 in)
Kerb weight 617 to 686 kg (1,360 to 1,512 lb)
Designer Sir Alec Issigonis

Contents

[hide]

Mark II

1969 Morris Mini Cooper Mk. II
Also called Morris Mini
Austin Mini
Production 1967–1973
Assembly LongbridgeBirminghamWest Midlands, England,
Cowley, Oxfordshire, England
PamplonaSpain
Seneffe, Belgium
Arica, Chile
Setúbal, Portugal
Cape Town, South Africa, Petone, New Zealand
Body style

2-door saloon
2-door estate

2-door van
2-door truck

Engine 1275 cc I4
998 cc I4
850 cc 14

Monte Carlo Rally Results for Mini.[35]

Year Driver Co-Driver Result
1962 Pat Moss Ann Wisdom Ladies’ Award
1963 Rauno Aaltonen Tony Ambrose 3rd Place
1964 Paddy Hopkirk Henry Liddon Winner
Timo Mäkinen Patrick Vanson 4th Place
1965 Timo Mäkinen Paul Easter Winner
1966 Timo Mäkinen Paul Easter (disqualified)
Rauno Aaltonen Tony Ambrose (disqualified)
Paddy Hopkirk Henry Liddon (disqualified)
1967 Rauno Aaltonen Henry Liddon Winner
1968 Rauno Aaltonen Henry Liddon 3rd Place
Tony Fall Mike Wood 4th Place
Paddy Hopkirk Ron Crellin 5th Place

Mini Clubman

1980 Mini Clubman
Production 1969–1980
Assembly LongbridgeBirminghamWest Midlands, England
Setúbal, Portugal, Porirua, New Zealand
Body style 2-door estate
Engine .1098 cc I4
998 cc I4

Mk III

1974 Mini 1275GT
Production 1969–1975
Assembly PamplonaSpain
LongbridgeBirminghamWest Midlands, England
Zetland, New South Wales, Australia
Seneffe, Belgium
Arica, Chile
Setúbal, Portugal
Cape Town, South Africa, Petone, New Zealand
Body style 2-door saloon
2-door van
2-door truck
Engine 1275 cc I4
998 cc I4
850 cc 14

Mk IV

1982 Mini 1000HL
Production 1976–1983
Assembly PamplonaSpain
LongbridgeBirminghamWest Midlands, England
Zetland, New South Wales, Australia
Seneffe, Belgium
Arica, Chile
Setúbal, Portugal
Cape Town, South Africa, Petone, New Zealand
Body style 2-door saloon
2-door van
2-door truck
Engine 1275 cc I4
998 cc I4
1100 cc 14

Mk V

1985 Mini Cooper
Production 1984–1989
Assembly LongbridgeBirminghamWest Midlands, England
Body style 2-door saloon
Engine 1275 cc I4
998 cc I4

Mk VI

1991 Mini Cooper
Production 1990–1995
Assembly LongbridgeBirminghamWest Midlands, England
Body style 2-door saloon
Engine 1275 cc I4

Mk VII

2000 Mini Cooper S Last Edition
Production 1996–2000
Assembly LongbridgeBirminghamWest Midlands, England
Body style 2-door saloon
Engine 1275 cc I4

March 3, 2011 Posted by | Antelope Valley Mini Cooper, Lancaster Mini Copper Repair, Mini Cooper Parts, Palmdale Mini Cooper Repair | , , , , | Leave a comment

BMW newest technology at AV Best BMW Repair

Vega’s son, Victor Vega Jr., 30, has worked alongside his father since 1997. Vega said, with auto-mobiles becoming far more technical since he opened his garage 23 years ago, he has to constantly stay up to date on the newest technology Vega and his son attend classes

and seminars to remain current. “We have the latest in diagnostic equipment. We can do whatever the BMW dealer can do. We are constantly updating ourselves and our equipment.” Although Vega spent two years repairing vehicles manufactured by Volvo and Mercedes-Benz he eventually decided to stick with BMWS, including Mini Coopers, which’ are
owned by the car manufacturer. “I “love BMWs – they are the love of my life,” Vega said.-“There’s no comparison to when you actually drive it. BMW is still at the top of the technological advance- When BMW talks, every-one listens.”
Vic’s Bimmer Shop is open 8 a.m. to 5 p.m., Monday through Thursday It is closed Friday through Sunday
For details, call (661) 949-1990
or visit www.avbmwrepair.com.
ahoffman@avpress.com

 


 

February 16, 2011 Posted by | AV Bimmer Repair, AV BMW Repair, AV BMW Service, AV Mini Cooper Repair, Lancaster BMW, Uncategorized | , , , , | Leave a comment

BMW Four-Cylinder Engines Return To U.S.

retrobmwspares.com
Many people remember the popular four-cylinder 320i of the late 1970s and early 1980s. It helped turn the once-obscure BMW into a household term in the U.S.

BMW AG says it will bring a four-cylinder automobile engine to the U.S. market later this year. While BMW sells several four-cylinder motorcycles here, it hasn’t had a “four-banger” in its car lineup since 1999.

The move marks a big change in BMW’s marketing approach in the States. For years the German car maker’s executives said offering fours would be a waste because American drivers want the power and torque available only from larger engines with six or more cylinders. Even the compact BMW 1 Series came with a choice of two sixes when it rolled out about three years ago. The same car typically sells with four cylinders in other global markets.

Now, though, as fuel efficiency grows in importance to consumers many car companies are promoting their smaller engines where they used to largely ignore them. Ford says it will soon offer its new Explorer crossover with a four-cylinder engine while Chevrolet and Buick have also been pushing fours in certain models. Other rivals from Audi to Hyundai are touting their fours for performance as well as economy.

The new 2-liter BMW engine uses turbocharging and a high-pressure direct-injection fuel system to boost power to 240 horsepower, which is more than the company’s base 3-liter six puts out. BMW says it will reveal exactly when the engine will arrive and on which model or models at a later date.

For people who fell in love with BMWs during the 1960s and 1970s, chances are the object of their affection was a 1600, 2002 or 320i model with a screaming 1.6, 1.8 or 2-liter four-cylinder engine. I learned to drive on my mother’s 1979 320i and later owned a 1972 2002, so the BMW fours are dearest to my heart. Sure, it is hard to find fault with the smooth, locomotive pull of the Bimmer straight six, but it always seemed like overkill in smaller cars like the 3 Series and 1 Series.

The slideshow includes some favorite fours from BMW’s past.

 

February 1, 2011 Posted by | AV BMW Repair, AV BMW Service, AV Mini Cooper Repair, AV only BMW, Lancaster BMW | , , , , | Leave a comment

The Antelope Valley’s Only BMW Repair

 

Bayerische Motoren Werke AG (BMW), (literally EnglishBavarian Motor Works) is a German automobile, motorcycle and engine manufacturing company founded in 1916. It also owns and produces the Mini brand, and is the parent company of Rolls-Royce Motor Cars. BMW produces motorcycles under BMW Motorrad and Husqvarna brands. BMW is known for its performance and luxury vehicles, and is a global leader in premium car sales.[citation needed]

[edit]Company history

BMW Headquarters in Munich, Germany

 

 

BMW entered existence as a business entity following a restructuring of the Rapp Motorenwerke aircraft engine manufacturing firm in 1917. After the end of World War I in 1918, BMW was forced to cease aircraft engine production by the terms of the Versailles Armistice Treaty.[2] The company consequently shifted to motorcycle production in 1923 once the restrictions of the treaty started to be lifted,[3]followed by automobiles in 1928–29.[4][5][6]

The circular blue and white BMW logo or roundel is portrayed by BMW as the movement of an aircraft propeller, to signify the white blades cutting through the blue sky – an interpretation that BMW adopted for convenience in 1929, twelve years after the roundel was created.[7][8] The emblem evolved from the circular Rapp Motorenwerke company logo, from which the BMW company grew, combined with the white and blue colors of the flag of Bavaria, reversed to produce the BMW roundel. However, the origin of the logo being based on the movement of a propeller is in dispute, according to an article recently posted by the New York Times, quoting “At the BMW Museum in Munich, Anne Schmidt-Possiwal, explained that the blue-and-white company logo did not represent a spinning propeller, but was meant to show the colors of the Free State of Bavaria.” [9]

BMW’s first significant aircraft engine was the BMW IIIa inline-six liquid-cooled engine of 1918, much preferred for its high-altitude performance.[10] With German rearmament in the 1930s, the company again began producing aircraft engines for the Luftwaffe. Among its successful World War II engine designs were the BMW 132 and BMW 801 air-cooled radial engines, and the pioneering BMW 003axial-flow turbojet, which powered the tiny, 1944-1945-era jet-powered “emergency fighter”, the Heinkel He 162 Spatz. The BMW 003 jet engine was tested in the A-1b version of the world’s first jet fighter, the Messerschmitt Me 262, but BMW engines failed on takeoff, a major setback for the jet fighter program until successful testing with Junkers engines.[11][12]

By 1959 the automotive division of BMW was in financial difficulties and a shareholders meeting was held to decide whether to go into liquidation or find a way of carrying on. It was decided to carry on and to try to cash in on the current economy car boom enjoyed so successfully by some of Germany’s ex-aircraft manufacturers such as Messerschmitt and Heinkel. The rights to manufacture the Italian Iso Isetta were bought; the tiny cars themselves were to be powered by a modified form of BMW’s own motorcycle engine. This was moderately successful and helped the company get back on its feet. The controlling majority shareholder of the BMW Aktiengesellschaft since 1959 is the Quandt family, which owns about 46% of the stock. The rest is in public float.

In 1992, BMW acquired a large stake in California based industrial design studio DesignworksUSA, which they fully acquired in 1995. In 1994, BMW bought the British Rover Group[13] (which at the time consisted of the RoverLand Rover and MG brands as well as the rights to defunct brands including Austin and Morris), and owned it for six years. By 2000, Rover was making huge losses and BMW decided to sell the combine. The MG and Rover brands were sold to the Phoenix Consortium to form MG Rover, while Land Rover was taken over by Ford. BMW, meanwhile, retained the rights to build the new Mini, which was launched in 2001.

Chief designer Chris Bangle announced his departure from BMW in February 2009, after serving on the design team for nearly seventeen years. He was replaced by Adrian van Hooydonk, Bangle’s former right hand man. Bangle was known for his radical designs such as the 2002 7-Series and the 2002 Z4. In July 2007, the production rights for Husqvarna Motorcycles was purchased by BMW for a reported 93 million euros. BMW Motorrad plans to continue operating Husqvarna Motorcycles as a separate enterprise. All development, sales and production activities, as well as the current workforce, have remained in place at its present location at Varese.

[edit]Production

In 2006, BMW produced 1,366,838 four-wheeled vehicles, which were manufactured in five countries.[14] In 2009, it manufactured 1,258,417 four-wheeled vehicles.[1] In 2009, BMW Motorrad produced 82,631 motorcycles.[1]

[edit]Sales (BMW-brand)

Vehicles sold in all markets according to BMW’s annual reports.

[edit]Motorcycles

The R32 motorcycle, the first BMW motor vehicle.

 

 

BMW began building motorcycle engines and then motorcycles after World War I. Its motorcycle brand is now known as BMW Motorrad. Their first successful motorcycle, after the failed Helios and Flink, was the “R32” in 1923. This had a “boxer” twin engine, in which a cylinder projects into the air-flow from each side of the machine. Apart from their single cylinder models (basically to the same pattern), all their motorcycles used this distinctive layout until the early 1980s. Many BMWs are still produced in this layout, which is designated the R Series.

BMW roundel in 1939

 

 

 

BMW 1955 R67/3 was the last of the “plunger” models

 

 

During the Second World War, BMW produced the BMW R75 motorcycle with a sidecarattached. Featuring a unique design copied from the Zündapp KS750, its sidecar wheel was also motor-driven. Combined with a lockable differential, this made the vehicle very capable off-road, an equivalent in many ways to the Jeep.

In 1983, came the K Series, shaft drive but water-cooled and with either three or four cylinders mounted in a straight line from front to back. Shortly after, BMW also started making the chain-driven F and G series with single and parallel twin Rotax engines.

In the early 1990s, BMW updated the airhead Boxer engine which became known as the oilhead. In 2002, the oilhead engine had two spark plugs per cylinder. In 2004 it added a built-in balance shaft, an increased capacity to 1,170 cc and enhanced performance to 100 hp (75 kW) for the R1200GS, compared to 85 hp (63 kW) of the previous R1150GS. More powerful variants of the oilhead engines are available in the R1100S and R1200S, producing 98 hp (73 kW) and 122 hp (91 kW), respectively.

In 2004, BMW introduced the new K1200S Sports Bike which marked a departure for BMW. It features an engine producing 167 hp (125 kW), derived from the company’s work with the Williams F1 team, and is lighter than previous K models. Innovations include electronically adjustable front and rear suspension, and a Hossack-type front fork that BMW calls Duolever.

BMW introduced anti-lock brakes on production motorcycles starting in the late 1980s. The generation of anti-lock brakes available on the 2006 and later BMW motorcycles pave the way for the introduction of electronic stability control, or anti-skid technology later in the 2007 model year.

BMW has been an innovator in motorcycle suspension design, taking up telescopic front suspension long before most other manufacturers. Then they switched to an Earles fork, front suspension by swinging fork (1955 to 1969). Most modern BMWs are truly rear swingarm, single sided at the back (compare with the regular swinging fork usually, and wrongly, calledswinging arm). Some BMWs started using yet another trademark front suspension design, the Telelever, in the early 1990s. Like the Earles fork, the Telelever significantly reduces dive under braking.

In July 2007, the Swedish Husqvarna Motorcycles was purchased by BMW for a reported €93 million. BMW Motorrad plans to continue operating Husqvarna Motorcycles as a separate enterprise. All development, sales and production activities, as well as the current workforce, have remained in place at its present location at Varese.[15] Husqvarna manufactures motocrossenduro and supermoto motorcycles.

[edit]Automobiles

[edit]New Class

The New Class (German: Neue Klasse) was a line of compact sedans and coupes starting with the 1962 1500 and continuing through the last 2002s in 1977. Powered by BMW’s celebrated four-cylinder M10 engine, the New Class models featured a fully independent suspensionMacPherson struts in front, and front disc brakes. Initially a family of four-door sedans and two-door coupes, the New Class line was broadened to two-door sports sedans with the addition of the 02 Series 1600 and 2002 in 1966.

Sharing little in common with the rest of the line beyond power train, the sporty siblings caught auto enthusiasts’ attention and established BMW as an international brand. Precursors to the famed BMW 3 Series, the two-doors’ success cemented the firm’s future as an upper tier performance car maker. New Class four-doors with numbers ending in “0” were replaced by the larger BMW 5 Series in 1972. The upscale 2000C and 2000CS coupes were replaced by the six-cylinder BMW E9, introduced in 1969 with the 2800CS. The 1600 two-door was discontinued in 1975, the 2002 replaced by the 320i in 1975.

[edit]Current models

BMW 3-Series (E90)

 

 

The 1 Series, launched in 2004, is BMW’s smallest car, and is available in coupe/convertible (E82/E88) and hatchback (E81/E87) forms. The 3 Series, a compact executive car manufactured since model year 1975, is currently in its fifth generation (E90); models include the sport sedan (E90), station wagon (E91), coupe (E92), and convertible (E93). The 5 Series is a mid-size executive car, available in sedan (E60) and station wagon (E61) forms. The 5 Series Gran Turismo (F07), beginning in 2010, will create a segment between station wagons and crossover SUV.[16]

BMW 7-Series (F01)

 

 

BMW’s full-size flagship executive sedan is the 7 Series. Typically, BMW introduces many of their innovations first in the 7 Series, such as the somewhat controversial iDrive system. The 7 Series Hydrogen, featuring one of the world’s first hydrogen fueled internal combustion engines, is fueled by liquid hydrogen and emits only clean water vapor. The latest generation (F01) debuted in 2009. Based on the 5 Series’ platform, the 6 Series is BMW’s grand touring luxury sport coupe/convertible (E63/E64). A 2-seater roadster and coupewhich succeeded the Z3, the Z4 (E85) has been sold since 2002.

BMW X3 SUV (E83)

 

 

The X3 (E83), BMW’s first crossover SUV (called SAV or “Sports Activity Vehicle” by BMW) debuted in 2003 and is based on the E46/16 3 Series platform. Marketed in Europe as an off-roader, it benefits from BMW’s xDrive all-wheel drive system. The all-wheel driveX5 (E70) is a mid-size luxury SUV (SAV) sold by BMW since 2000. A 4-seat crossover SUV released by BMW in December 2007, theX6 is marketed as a “Sports Activity Coupe” (SAC) by BMW. The upcoming X1 extends the BMW Sports Activity Series model lineup.

  • 1 Series (E81) (2004–present) Hatchback, coupe and convertible
  • 3 Series (E90) (2005–present) Sedan, coupe, convertible and wagon
  • 5 Series (F10) (2010–present) Sedan and Wagon
  • 5 Series Gran Turismo (2009–present) Progressive Activity Sedan
  • 6 Series (E63) (2003–present) Coupe and convertible
  • 7 Series (F01) (2008–present) Sedan
  • X1 (2009–present) Compact Crossover SUV/Sports Activity Vehicle (SAV)
  • X3 (E25) (2010–present) Compact Crossover SUV/Sports Activity Vehicle (SAV)
  • X5 (E70) (2006–present) Compact Crossover SUV/Sports Activity Vehicle (SAV)
  • X6 (2008–present) Sports Activity Coupe
  • Z4 (E89) (2009–present) Sports Roadster

[edit]BMW M models

BMW M3 Coupé (E92)

 

 

Based on the 3 Series, the M3 defined an entirely new market for BMW: a race-ready production vehicle. Since its debut, the M3 is heralded in enthusiast circles, in large part due to its unique geometry and award winning engines. The newest V8-powered platform became available the Autumn of 2007 in Europe, and second quarter of 2008 for the U.S. in coupe (E92), and later the cabriolet (E93), and sedan (E90) variants. Based on the 5 Series, the M5 is the M division’s V10-powered version of the E60 5 Series.[17] The M6 is the M division’s version of the 6 Series, and shares its drivetrain with the M5. The Z4 M, or M Coupe/M Roadster, is the M division’s version of the Z4. The X5M is the M division’s version of the X5, and the X6M is the M division’s version of the X6. Both the X5M and X6M share the same V8 twin scroll twin turbo.

  • M3 Sedan, Coupe, Convertible and Wagon
  • M5 Sedan and Wagon
  • M6 Coupe and Convertible
  • X5 M SAV
  • X6 M SAV

[edit]Motorsport

BMW has been engaged in motorsport activities since the dawn of the first BMW motorcycle.

[edit]Motorsport sponsoring

[edit]Motorcycle

BMW S1000RR

 

 

[edit]Formula One

BMW Sauber F1 Team Logo.

 

 

BMW first entered Formula One as a fully-fledged team in 2006.

 

 

BMW has a history of success in Formula One. BMW powered cars have won 20 races. In 2006 BMW took over the Sauber team and became Formula One constructors. In 2007 and 2008 the team enjoyed some success. The most recent win is a lone constructor team’s victory by BMW Sauber F1 Team, on 8 June 2008, at the Canadian Grand Prix with Robert Kubica driving. Achievements include:

  • Driver championship: 1 (1983)
  • Constructor championship: 0 (Runner-up 2002, 2003, 2007)
  • Grand Prix wins: 20
  • Podium finishes: 76
  • Pole positions: 33
  • Fastest laps: 33

BMW was an engine supplier to WilliamsBenettonBrabham, and Arrows. Notable drivers who have started their Formula One careers with BMW include Jenson ButtonJuan Pablo Montoya, and Sebastian Vettel.

In July 2009, BMW announced that it would withdraw from Formula One at the end of the 2009 season.[19] The team was sold back to the previous owner, Peter Sauber, who still at the beginning of the 2010 season has yet to drop the BMW part of the name of the team.

[edit]Sports car

[edit]Touring car

BMW has a long and successful history in touring car racing.

BMW announced on October 15, 2010 that it will return to touring car racing during the 2012 season. Dr. Klaus Draeger, who is in charge of the return to DTM racing (Deutsche Tourenwagen Masters), commented that “The return of BMW to the DTM is a fundamental part of the restructuring of our motorsport activities. With its increased commitment to production car racing, BMW is returning to its roots. The race track is the perfect place to demonstrate the impressive sporting characteristics of our vehicles against our core competitors in a high-powered environment. The DTM is the ideal stage on which to do this.”[citation needed]

[edit]Rally

[edit]Sport sponsorship beyond motor sport

BMW does more than just motor sport sponsorship. It sponsors international polo matches played at Shongweni in Durban and Illovo in Johannesburg, South Africa.[citation needed]BMW and the United States Olympic Committee (USOC) made six year sponsorship deal official in July 2010. Those at BMW and the USOC officials see nothing contradictory about a German company sponsoring Olympians in the USA in this global economy.[20]

[edit]Environmental record

The company is a charter member of the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency‘s (EPA) National Environmental Achievement Track, which recognises companies for their environmental stewardship and performance. It is also a member of the South Carolina Environmental Excellence Program and is on the Dow Jones Sustainability Group Index, which rates environmentally friendly companies.[21] BMW has taken measures to reduce the impact the company has on the environment. It is trying to design less-polluting cars by making existing models more efficient, as well as developing environmentally friendly fuels for future vehicles. Possibilities include: electric power, hybrid power (combustion, engines and electric motors) hydrogen engines.[22]

BMW offers 49 models with EU5/6 emissions norm and nearly 20 models with CO2 output less than 140 g/km, which puts it on the lowest tax group and therefore could provide the future owner with eco-bonus offered from some European countries.

However, there have been some criticisms directed at BMW, and in particular, accusations of greenwash in reference to their BMW Hydrogen 7. Some critics claim that the emissions produced during hydrogen fuel production outweigh the reduction of tailpipe emissions, and that the Hydrogen 7 is a distraction from more immediate, practical solutions for car pollution.[23]

[edit]Bicycles

BMW has created a range of high-end bicycles sold online and through dealerships. They range from the Kid’s Bike to the EUR 4,499 Enduro Bike.[24] In the United States, only the Cruise Bike and Kid’s Bike models are sold.[25]

[edit]BMW nomenclature

BMW vehicles follow a certain nomenclature; usually a 3 digit number is followed by 1 or 2 letters. The first number represents the series number. The next two numbers traditionally represent the engine displacement in cubic centimeters divided by 100.[26]similar nomenclature is used by BMW Motorrad for their motorcycles.

The system of letters can be used in combination, and is as follows:

historic nomenclature indicating “td” refers to “Turbo Diesel”, not a diesel hatchback or touring model (524td, 525td)

†† typically includes sport seats, spoiler, aerodynamic body kit, upgraded wheels, etc.

For example, the BMW 760iL is a fuel-injected 7 Series with a long wheelbase and 6.0 liters of displacement. This badge was used for successive generations, E65 and F01.

When ‘L’ supersedes the series number (e.g. L6, L7, etc.) it identifies the vehicle as a special luxury variant, featuring extended leather and special interior appointments. The L7 is based on the E23 and E38, and the L6 is based on the E24.

When ‘X’ is capitalised and supersedes the series number (e.g. X3, X5, etc.) it identifies the vehicle as one of BMW’s Sports Activity Vehicles (SAV), their brand of crossovers, featuring BMW’s xDrive. The second number in the ‘X’ series denotes the platform that it is based upon, for instance the X5 is derived from the 5 Series. Unlike BMW cars, the SAV’s main badge does not denote engine size, the engine is instead indicated on side badges.

The ‘Z’ identifies the vehicle as a two seat roadster (e.g. Z1, Z3, Z4, etc.). ‘M’ variants of ‘Z’ models have the ‘M’ as a suffix or prefix, depending on country of sale (e.g. ‘Z4 M’ is ‘M Roadster’ in Canada).

Previous X & Z vehicles had ‘i’ or ‘si’ following the engine displacement number (denoted in liters). BMW is now globally standardising this nomenclature on X & Z vehicles by using ‘sDrive’ or ‘xDrive’ (simply meaning rear or all wheel drive, respectively) followed by two numbers which vaguely represent the vehicle’s engine (e.g. Z4 sDrive35i is a rear wheel drive Z4 roadster with a 3.0 L twin-turbo fuel-injected engine).[27]

BMW last used the ‘s’ for the E36 328is, which ceased production in 1999. However, the ‘s’ nomenclature was brought back on the 2011 model year BMW 335is and BMW Z4 sDrive35is. The 335is is a sport-tuned trim with more performance and an optional dual clutch transmission that slots between the regular 335i and top-of-the-line M3.[28][29]

The ‘M’ – for Motorsport – identifies the vehicle as a high-performance model of a particular series (e.g. M3, M5, M6, etc.). For example, the M6 is the highest performing vehicle in the 6 Series lineup. Although ‘M’ cars should be separated into their respective series platforms, it is very common to see ‘M’ cars grouped together as its own lineup on the official BMW website.

[edit]Exceptions

There are exceptions to the numbering nomenclature.[30]

The M versions of the Sports Activity Vehicles, such as the BMW X5 M, could not follow the regular naming convention since MX5 was used for Mazda‘s MX-5 Miata.

For instance in the 2008 model year, the BMW 125i/128i, 328i, and 528i all had 3.0 naturally aspirated engines (N52), not a 2,500 cc or 2,800 cc engine as the series designation number would lead one to believe. The ’28’ is to denote a detuned engine in the 2008 cars, compared to the 2006 model year ’30’ vehicles (330i and 530i) whose 3.0 naturally aspirated engines are from the same N52 family but had more output.

The 2008 BMW 335i and 535i also have 3.0-liter engine; however the engines are twin-turbocharged (N54) which is not identified by the nomenclature. Nonetheless the ’35’ indicates a more powerful engine than previous ’30’ models that have the naturally aspirated N52 engine. The 2011 BMW 740i and 335is shares the same twin-turbo 3.0 engine from the N54 family but tuned to higher outputs, although the badging is not consistent (’40’ and ‘s’).

The E36 and E46 323i and E39 523i had 2.5-liter engines. The E36 318i made after 1996 has a 1.9 L engine (M44) as opposed to the 1.8 L (M42) used in the 1992 to 1995 models.

The badging for recent V8 engines (N62 and N63) also does not indicate displacement, as the 2006 750i and 2009 750i have 4800 cc (naturally aspirated) and 4400 cc (twin-turbocharged) engines, respectively.

[edit]Community

BMW logo sign in Düsseldorf

 

 

From the summer of 2001 until October 2005, BMW hosted the “BMW Films”. Archived from the original on 2007-09-27. website, showcasing sporty models being driven to extremes. These videos are still popular within the enthusiast community and proved to be a ground-breaking online advertising campaign.

Annually since 1999, BMW enthusiasts have met in Santa Barbara, CA to attend Bimmerfest. One of the largest brand-specific gatherings in the U.S., over 3,000 people attended in 2006, and over 1,000 BMW cars were present. In 2007, the event was held on May 5.

[edit]BMW slang

The initials BMW are pronounced [ˈbeː ˈɛm ˈveː] in German.[31] The model series are referred to as “Einser” (“One-er” for 1 series), “Dreier” (“Three-er” for 3 series), “Fünfer” (“Five-er” for the 5 series), “Sechser” (“Six-er” for the 6 series), “Siebener” (“Seven-er” for the 7 series). These are not actually slang, but are the normal way that such letters and numbers are pronounced in German.[32]

The English slang terms Beemer, Bimmer and Bee-em are variously used for BMWs of all kinds,[33][34] cars, and motorcycles.[35][36]

In the US, specialists have been at pains to prescribe that a distinction must be made between using Beemer exclusively to describe BMW motorcycles, and using Bimmer only to refer to BMW cars,[37][38][39] in the manner of a “true aficionado”[40] and avoid appearing to be “uninitiated.”[41][42] The CanadianGlobe and Mail prefers Bimmer and calls Beemer a “yuppie abomination,”[43] while the Tacoma News Tribune says it is a distinction made by “auto snobs.”[44] Using the wrong slang risks offending BMW enthusiasts.[45][46][47] An editor of Business Week was satisfied in 2003 that the question was resolved in favor of Bimmer by noting that a Google search yielded 10 times as many hits compared to Beemer.[48]

[edit]The arts

1975 BMW 3.0CSL painted by Alexander Calder.

 

 

Manufacturers employ designers for their cars, but BMW has made efforts to gain recognition for exceptional contributions to and support of the arts, including art beyond motor vehicle design. These efforts typically overlap or complement BMW’s marketing and branding campaigns.[49] The headquarters building, designed in 1972 by Karl Schwanzer has become a European icon,[50] and artist Gerhard Richter created his Red, Yellow, Blue series of paintings for the building’s lobby.[51][52] In 1975, Alexander Calder was commissioned to paint the 3.0CSL driven by Hervé Poulain at the 24 Hours of Le Mans. This led to more BMW Art Cars, painted by artists including David HockneyJenny HolzerRoy Lichtenstein, and others. The cars, currently numbering 16, have been shown at the LouvreGuggenheim Museum Bilbao, and, in 2009, at the Los Angeles County Museum of Art and New York’s Grand Central Terminal.[50] BMW was the principal sponsor of the 1998 The Art of the Motorcycle exhibition at the Solomon R. Guggenheim Museum and other Guggenheim museums, though the financial relationship between BMW and the Guggenheim was criticised in many quarters.[53][54]

The 2006 “BMW Performance Series” was a marketing event geared to attract black car buyers, and featured the “BMW Pop-Jazz Live Series,” a tour headlined by jazz musician Mike Phillips, and the “BMW Blackfilms.com Film Series” highlighting black filmmakers.[55]

[edit]April Fools

BMW has garnered a reputation over the years for its April Fools pranks, which are printed in the British press every year. In 2010, they ran an advert announcing that customers would be able to order BMWs with different coloured badges to show their affiliation with the political party they supported.

[edit]Overseas subsidiaries

[edit]South Africa

BMWs have been assembled in South Africa since 1968,[56] when Praetor Monteerders’ plant was opened in Rosslyn, near Pretoria. BMW initially bought shares in the company, before fully acquiring it in 1975; in so doing, the company became BMW South Africa, the first wholly owned subsidiary of BMW to be established outside Germany. Three unique models that BMW Motorsport created for the South African market were the E23 M745i (1983), which used the M88 engine from the BMW M1, the BMW 333i (1986), which added a 6-cylinder 3.2 litre M30 engine to the E30,[57] and the E30 BMW 325is (1989) which was powered by an Alpina-derived 2.7 litre engine.

Unlike U.S. manufacturers, such as Ford and GM, which divested from the country in the 1980s, BMW retained full ownership of its operations in South Africa.

Following the end of apartheid in 1994, and the lowering of import tariffs, BMW South Africa ended local production of the 5-Series and 7-Series, in order to concentrate on production of the 3-Series for the export market. South African–built BMWs are now exported to right hand drive markets including Japan, Australia, New Zealand, the United Kingdom, MalaysiaSingapore, and Hong Kong, as well as Sub-Saharan Africa. Since 1997, BMW South Africa has produced vehicles in left hand drive for export to Taiwan, the United States and Iran, as well as South America.

BMW’s with a VIN number starting with “NC0” are manufactured in South Africa.

[edit]United States

BMW Spartanburg factory

 

 

BMW Manufacturing Co has been manufacturing the X5 and, more recently, the X6 in Greer near Spartanburg, South Carolina, USA.[58]The smaller X3 has began production in Spartanburg. BMW’s with a VIN number starting with “4US and 5US” are manufactured in Spartanburg.

In 2010 BMW announced that it would spend $750 million to expand operations at the Spartanburg plant. This expansion will allow production of 240,000 vehicles a year and will make the plant the largest car factory in the United States by number of employees.[59]

[edit]India

BMW India was established in 2006 as a sales subsidiary in Gurgaon (National Capital Region). A state-of-the-art assembly plant for BMW 3 and 5 Series started operation in early 2007 in Chennai. Construction of the plant started in January 2006 with an initial investment of more than one billion Indian Rupees. The plant started operation in the first quarter of 2007 and produces the different variants of BMW 3 Series and BMW 5 Series.[60]

[edit]China

Signing a deal in 2003 for the production of sedans in China,[61] May 2004 saw the opening of a factory in the North-eastern city of Shenyang where Brilliance Automotive produces BMW-branded automobiles[62] in a joint venture with the German company.[63]

[edit]Canada

In October 2008, BMW Group Canada was named one of Greater Toronto’s Top Employers by Mediacorp Canada Inc., which was announced by the Toronto Star newspaper.[64]

[edit]Austria

The BMW X3 is also made by Magna Steyr, a subsidiary of a Canadian company, in Graz, Austria under license from BMW.[citation needed]

[edit]Egypt

Bavarian Auto Group is a multinational group of companies established in March 2003 when it was appointed as the sole importer of BMW and Mini in Egypt, with exclusive rights for import, assembly, distribution, sales and after-sales support of BMW products in Egypt.

Since that date, BAG invested a total amount of 100 Million US Dollars distributed on 7 companies and 11 premises in addition to 3 stores.

Currently, the facility enables Bavarian Auto the opportunity to offer a full range of locally assembled models; including the BMW 3 Series, 5 Series, 7 Series and X3 which. In combination with a new range of imported models; including the BMW 1 Series, 6 Series, X5, X6 and various Mini models.

[edit]Related companies

A Combined BMW Mini dealership inMoncton, Canada

 

 

  • AC Schnitzer: A tuning company specialising in BMW vehicles.
  • Alpina: A Motor Manufacturer in its own right, who creates vehicles based on BMW cars.
  • Automobilwerk Eisenach
  • Breyton: A tuning manufacturer specialising in BMW cars.
  • Dinan Cars: A tuning company specialising in BMW and Mini cars
  • G-Power: A tuning company specialising in BMW vehicles.
  • Glas
  • Hamann Motorsport: A Motor Styling and Tuning Specialist who creates vehicles based on BMW cars.
  • Hartge: A tuning company specialising in BMW, Mini and Range Rover cars.
  • Husqvarna Motorcycles
  • Land Rover: Sold to Ford, now bought by Indian automaker Tata; the current Range Rover was developed during BMW’s ownership of the company and until recently was powered by their 4.4 L V8 petrol (gasoline) engine and BMW 3.0 L I6 diesel engine.
  • Mini: A small hatchback; inspired by the original Mini.
  • MK-Motorsport: A tuning company specialising in BMW cars.
  • Racing Dynamics: A tuning company and motor manufacturer specialising in BMW Group vehicles.
  • Rolls-Royce Motor Cars Limited
  • Rover: Owned by BMW from 1994 to 2000, BMW retained the Mini after selling off the rest of the company (see MG Rover Group)
  • Turner Motorsport: A North American-based company specialising in tuning BMW vehicles for road and racetrack. Behind the factory-supported Schnitzer Motorsport team, Turner Motorsport has entered the highest number of professional races with BMW models.

[edit]See also

 

Bayerische Motoren Werke AG

Type Aktiengesellschaft (FWB:BMW)
Industry Automotive industry
Founded 1916
Founder(s) Franz Josef Popp
Headquarters MunichGermany
Area served Worldwide
Key people Norbert Reithofer (CEO), Joachim Milberg (Chairman of thesupervisory board)
Products Automobilesmotorcycles,bicycles
Revenue 50.68 billion (2009)[1]
Operating income €289 million (2009)[1]
Profit €204 million (2009)[1]
Employees 96,230 (2009)[1]
Subsidiaries Rolls-Royce Motor Cars
BMW Motorrad
Husqvarna
Website bmw.com

Contents

[hide]

Country Make Cars (2006) Cars (2008) Models
Germany BMW 905,057 901,898 Others
United Kingdom Mini 187,454 235,019 All Minis
Rolls-Royce 67 1,417 All Rolls-Royce
Austria BMW 114,306 82,863 BMW X3
USA BMW 105,172 170,741 BMW X5, X6
South Africa BMW 54,782 47,980 BMW 3-Series
Total 1,366,838 1,439,918
Year Total
2000 822,181
2001 880,677
2002 913,225
2003 928,151
2004 1,023,583
2005 1,126,768
2006 1,185,088
2007 1,276,793
2008 1,202,239
2009 1,068,771
Factory 1b.svg Companies portal


[edit]References

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  38. ^ Duglin Kennedy, Shirley (2005), The Savvy Guide to Motorcycles, Indy Tech Publishing, ISBN 0790613166, 9780790613161, “Beemer – BMW motorcycle; as opposed to Bimmer, which is a BMW automobile.”
  39. ^ Yates, Brock (12 March 1989), “You Say Porsch and I Say Porsch-eh”The Washington Post: w45, “‘Bimmer’ is the slang for a BMW automobile, but ‘Beemer’ is right when referring to the company’s motorcycles.”[dead link]
  40. ^ Morsi, Pamela (2002), Doing Good, Mira, p. 18, ISBN 155166884X, 9781551668840, “True aficionados know that the nickname Beemer actually refers to the BMW motorcycle. Bimmer is the correct nickname for the automobile”
  41. ^ Herchenroether, Dan; SellingAir, LLC (2004), Selling Air: A Tech Bubble Novel, SellingAir, LLC, ISBN 0975422405, 9780975422403
  42. ^ Hoffmann, Peter (1998), Hydrogen & fuel cell letter, Peter Hoffmann, “For the uninitiated, a Bimmer is a BMW car, and a Beemer is a motorcycle.”
  43. ^ English, Bob (7 April 2009), “Why wait for spring? Lease it now”Globe and Mail(Toronto, CA: CTVglobemedia Publishing), “If you’re a Bimmer enthusiast (not that horrible leftover 1980s yuppie abomination Beemer), you’ve undoubtedly read the reviews,”
  44. ^ THE NOSE: FWay students knew who they were voting for in school poll :[South Sound Edition]. (2002, October 25). The News Tribune,p. B01. Retrieved July 6, 2009, from ProQuest Newsstand. (Document ID: 223030831) |quote=We’re told by auto snobs that the word ‘beemer’ actually refers to the BMW motorcycle, and that when referring to a BMW automobile, the word’s pronounced ‘bimmer.’
  45. ^ “ROAD WARRIOR Q&A: Freeway Frustration”Las Vegas Review-Journal, 25 May 2005, “I was informed a while back that BMW cars are ‘Bimmers’ and BMW motorcycles are ‘Beemers’ or ‘Beamers.’ I know that I am not here to change the world’s BMW jargon nor do I even own a BMW, but I thought I would pass along this bit of info as not to offend the car enthusiast that enlightened me.”
  46. ^ “GWINNETT VENT.(Gwinnett News)”, The Atlanta Journal-Constitution (Atlanta, GA): J2, 11 February 2006, “It is Bimmers people, Bimmers. Not Beamers, not Beemers. Just Bimmers. And start pronouncing it correctly also.
    No, it’s BMWs, not Bimmers.
    WOW! Some Beamer driver must be having a bad hair day.”
  47. ^ Zesiger, Sue (26 June 2000), “Why Is BMW Driving Itself Crazy? The Rover deal was a dog, but it didn’t cure BMW’s desire to be a big-league carmaker—even if that means more risky tactics.”Fortune Magazine, “Bimmers (yes, it’s ‘Bimmer’ for cars—the often misused ‘Beemer’ refers only to the motorcycles).”
  48. ^ “International – Readers Report. Not All BMW Owners Are Smitten”Business Week(The McGraw-Hill Companies), 30 June 2003, “Editor’s note: Both nicknames are widely used, though Bimmer is the correct term for BMW cars, Beemer for BMW motorcycles. A Google search yields approximately 10 times as many references to Bimmer as to Beemer.”
  49. ^ “BMW Commissions Artists for Auto Werke Art Project”, Art Business News 27 (13): 22, 2000
  50. a b Patton, Phil (12 March 2009), “These Canvases Need Oil and a Good Driver”,The New York Times: AU1
  51. ^ Friedel, Helmut; Storr, Robert (2007), Gerhard Richter: Red – Yellow – Blue, Prestel,ISBN 9783791338606
  52. ^ Shea, Christopher (27 March 2009), “Action Painting, motorized”Boston Globe
  53. ^ “”Economist, The (US) (21 April 2001), When merchants enter the temple; Marketing museums., The Economist Newspaper and The Economist Group
  54. ^ Vogel, Carol (3 August 1998), “Latest Biker Hangout? Guggenheim Ramp”The New York Times: A1
  55. ^ “BMW arts series aims at black consumers”, Automotive News 80 (6215): 37, August 7, 2006
  56. ^ “Corporate Information: History”. BMW South Africa.
  57. ^ “BMW South Africa – Plant Rosslyn”. Bmwplant.co.za. Retrieved 2009-04-11.
  58. ^ BMW AG (2006-10-16). “Out with the old, in with the new”. Press release. Retrieved 2008-09-04.
  59. ^ Bennett, Jeff (October 14, 2010). “BMW to Expand Plant in South Carolina”. The Wall Street Journal: p. B5.
  60. ^ Interone Worldwide GmbH (2006-12-11). “International BMW website”. Bmw.in. Retrieved 2009-04-11.
  61. ^ General Overview Brilliance Auto Official Site
  62. ^ “BMW opens China factory – TestDriven.co.uk”. Testdriven.co.uk. 2004-05-21. Retrieved 2009-04-11.
  63. ^ Brands and Products > BMW Sedan Brilliance Auto Official Site
  64. ^ “Reasons for Selection, 2009 Greater Toronto’s Top Employers Competition”.

[edit]External links

 

January 28, 2011 Posted by | AV Bimmer Repair, AV BMW Repair, AV BMW Service, AV only BMW, Lancaster BMW | , , , , | Leave a comment

Love of BMWs goes into a Business

LANCASTER – Even at 11 years old, Victor Vega was fascinated by BMWs. Vega watched his older brother race against BMW 1600 and 2002 models on the streets of his home-town in Guadalajara, Mexico. “One time I tagged along with my brother,” Vega said. “I saw this little box on wheels and wanted to know what kind of cars those were. I asked one of the drivers what they were. He told me it was a German car – a BMW” Vega said his curiosity led him to the library to research BMWs. “It just` amazed me that the company started building aircraft engines in the first World War and then motorcycles,” Vega said. “The engineering that goes into building
the car – it’s one of the best handling cars in the world.” Vega’s obsession with the Ger-
man luxury car eventually led him to open his own BMW repair shopVic’s Bimmer Shop Inc.

The road to opening the business was not an easy one, Vega said. Fresh out of high school, Vega moved, to America with his family in 1979. A year later Vega started work as a “lot boy” cleaning cars and chauffeuring customers at Bob Smith BMW in Canoga Park; “I was a lot boy for about six months,” Vega said. “Then I told my manager that I wanted to do more ‘than that. I didn’t want to push the broom anymore – I wanted to be a

mechanic.” About six months later Vega became a BMW-certified technician. For the next few years Vega said he worked for several independent BMW repair shops and he dreamed of something more 4 owning his own repair business. Vega said he turned to his friend, mentor and employer for advice. “My old boss told me that I would never be able to open my own shop,” Vega said. “That was like a challenge to me. I wanted to prove him wrong.” –

Vega continued to work hard to save his money and study English. In 1987 Vega went to visit his brother who lived in Rosamond to discuss his business idea. “On a Sunday morning he drove me to breakfast in Lancaster and I noticed there were quite a few BMW s driving around,” Vega said. “I noticed there was a BMW dealership on Sierra Highway I said it would be a great place to open a BMW repair shop.” Vega said the next day he found a classified advertisement in the newspaper, listing a repair bay for rent on Avenue I and Beech Street.

“It was a sign,” he said. Vega said he sold all of his personal possessions that were not a
necessity and obtained a loan from his brother. With $10,000 Vega started Vic’s Bimmer Shop.
“The first year was very very difficult because I didn’t know anything about business, I just knew how to repair cars. I learned the business aspect as I went along.” Before Vega could afford advertising he would leave his business card on the windshield of every BMW he came across.

Half a year into the business, Vega said he considered shutting down his shop altogether after a slow Friday “My investment ran out and I called the landlord and said I don’t think I’m going to make it,” Vega said. “It was on the brink of closing.” Vega said he attended Mass that Sunday and prayed. “I left everything in His hands. I said, ‘If this is your will (to close the shop), so be it.” On Monday the phone was ringing off the hook, Vega said.

In 1994 Vega moved the shop to a larger location on Avenue L and 10th Street West. Five years later he moved his business again to its current location at 45253 Trevor Avenue. Through the years Vega said he has built up his clientele through hard work, competitive prices and exceptional customer service. “We have a friendly atmosphere at our shop. We treat customers as our friends.”

While most of Vega’s customers are from the Valley drivers have come from as far away as Long Beach, Thousand Oaks and San Diego.Ron Hawkins of Antelope Acres said he has been taking his BMWS to Vic’s Bimmer Shop since 1988 when he asked Vega to inspect a BMW he was looking to purchase.“I told (Vega) I wanted to know what was going to go wrong with the car within the next 20,000 miles and how much it would cost,” Hawkins said. “He spent two hours looking at it and wouldn’t let me pay him.” Hawkins said he has continued bringing his BMWs to Vega for more than 22 years because of his expertise and integrity “I don’t think I would own a BMW in the Antelope Valley if he wasn’t around, honestly,” Hawkins said. .‘He’s a good mechanic and a good man too.”

Vega’s son, Victor Vega Jr., 30, has worked alongside his father since 1997. Vega said, with auto-mobiles becoming far more technical since he opened his garage 23 years ago, he has to constantly stay up to date on the newest technology Vega and his son attend classes

and seminars to remain current. “We have the latest in diagnostic equipment. We can do whatever the BMW dealer can do. We are constantly updating ourselves and our equipment.” Although Vega spent two years repairing vehicles manufactured by Volvo and Mercedes-Benz he eventually decided to stick with BMWS, including Mini Coopers, which’ are
owned by the car manufacturer. “I “love BMWs – they are the love of my life,” Vega said.-“There’s no comparison to when you actually drive it. BMW is still at the top of the technological advance- When BMW talks, every-one listens.”
Vic’s Bimmer Shop is open 8 a.m. to 5 p.m., Monday through Thursday It is closed Friday through Sunday
For details, call (661) 949-1990
or visit www.avbmwrepair.com.
ahoffman@avpress.com

January 21, 2011 Posted by | AV Bimmer Repair, AV BMW Repair, AV BMW Service, AV Mini Cooper Repair, Lancaster BMW | , , , , | Leave a comment

Car Care Techniques from Vics Bimmer

Car Care Techniques


If you’re looking for a quickie solution to detailing, you’ll likely get a quickie result — in other words, slow deterioration of your vehicle’s finish until the point that it looks every bit its age.

This article explains the detailing processes I follow to keep my vehicles looking showroom new. I screwed up the paint on my first two new cars to bring you this information. I hope you find it useful.

Detailing Equipment and Supplies

Dual Action, Variable Speed Polisher and Pads

I use a Porter Cable 7424 variable speed dual-action (orbiting) polisher. Variable speed is essential, since polishing requires a higher speed than glazing, sealing, or waxing, and dual action is required as circular polishers can cause severe damage to the paint if used incorrectly. Leave circular polishers to the body shop professionals.

I also have a 6″ velcro backing plate to use with a six pack each of polishing pads and buffing pads. These pads look pretty much the same except that the foam on the polishing pad is cut with a bit more “tooth”, while the buffing pad is perfectly smooth. Each manufacturer uses different manufacturing techniques and different colored foam, so you’ll need to look at the description of the pad to figure out if it applies to the your task at hand.

I have found I don’t need any more than one pad for each polishing and sealant session, but the key here is to have pads dedicated for each task. Don’t use the same pad for polishing and sealing. It’s fairly obvious why but it deserves a mention.

Sheepskin Wash Mits

Sponges of all types, either natural or manufactured, are very coarse and rough on paint. For this reason I use a sheepskin mit to clean the exterior.

Genuine sheepskin mits used to be available in K-Mart, Walmart and the like, but now all they carry is the cheaper synthetic sheepskin. I don’t think the synthetic holds up as well or does as good a job holding water in reserve, but they do have their purpose, like handling those hard-to-clean rims. I find the relatively thin mits will fit into the nooks and crannies in my tight-spoked E46 ZHP rims.

Wheel Cleaner

This stuff is mostly unnecessary *provided* you wash the car and the wheels once a week. Most of these cleaners have mild acids in them and if you can get away with not using them, it’s a good thing because they will etch the clear over time. I also avoid using wheel cleaner or other harsh chemicals because I’m a bit more sensitive to runoff — I have a well and drink the very water I put in the ground.

100% Cotton Terricloth / Microfiber Towels

I like to use 100% cotton terricloth towels to dry the car because they hold a lot of water and are easy to clean. Just make sure they’re 100% cotton. If the binding material or base of the fabric is polyester, it can and will scratch your paint eventually. You see, every time you clean these things, a bit of the towel finds its way into the dryer lint screen. Eventually, most of the fluff will be gone and you’ll be left with a towel that still does a good job drying the car, but may expose the polyester base, which can put fine scratches in the clear.

The best towels to remove detailing materials (polish, glaze, sealant) are microfiber towels. They have a “sticky” quality to them that just seems to clean the car beautifully with a minimum of streaks. I used to think microfiber towels were a waste of money — and then I tried one. I would not recommend them anytime water is involved (like drying the car) because that’s when they tend to smear badly as the polyester fibers don’t absorb the water as effectively as cotton does.

So, bottom line: terricloth for drying, microfiber for product removal and final cleanup.

Detailing the Exterior

Detailing a car’s exterior typically involves the following processes:

Washing (30 minutes)

This is the first and perhaps most important step, since it will remove a bulk of the surface grime and make the remaining steps a bit easier and safer for your paint. First of all, I always pick a shady spot under a tree. I never wash in direct sunlight if I can avoid it. Why? Read the “drying” section, below.

I typically use a generic soap designed for cars. Some people use Dawn and other harsh soaps to remove wax prior detailing, but that doesn’t make sense to me since claying or polishing the surface will strip the wax more effectively.

I place a small amount of detergent in the water — enough to create suds and break down enough of the grease and grime that gets into the soap water, but not so much as to pollute the water table when I dump the bucket over on the ground.

Before I take the wash mit to the car, I rinse the car thoroughly with plain water. This step is particularly important if there is visible dirt on the car. If you don’t rinse that off, it will act like sandpaper and scour the clearcoat.

Here’s where you’ll definitely recognize your past work. If you’ve kept the car waxed, merely rinsing the car with water should remove most of the dirt. If you haven’t waxed the car in the last two months or so, you may find the need to do a bit more scrubbing. If you must “scrub”, be sure to rinse both your wash mit as well as the surface you’re cleaning on a regular basis, or you’ll definitely scuff the clear.

And speaking of rinsing, it’s best to rinse the mit with fresh water from the hose rather than dipping it back in the wash bucket, or you’ll bring a lot of dirt into the wash bucket that you’ll subsequently apply to the next surface to be cleaned.

It’s generally a good idea to clean the car starting from the roof and working downward. The top of the car will generally be cleaner than the bottom and it makes little sense to expose the entire car to a dirty wash mit when you can limit that exposure.

Drying (5 minutes)

You might be saying, what’s the big deal about drying a car? Well, there isn’t really a big deal, provided you know WHERE and HOW to dry the car. First, you should never wash your car in direct sunlight if you can avoid it. If you don’t have any shade, you should dry the car as quickly as you can. If you don’t, perhaps the most destructive of all contaminants — water spots — will form. Water spots form as a consequence of drying hard water, but even softened well water will produce water spots under the right conditions.

When you are ready to dry the car, take the nozzle off the hose and place it over the horizontal surfaces of the car, allowing the water to run down the sides, taking any remaining suds, dirt, and yes, WATER with it. If you spray the car with the nozzle, this will leave lots of water drops all over the car…particularly if the car is well waxed…and all this will do is make it more difficult to dry the car. If there isn’t a lot of standing water left on the paint, you will only need one towel. If you’re in a rush and can’t wait for the car to drip dry for a few minutes, you’ll need two towels.

Whatever you do, don’t take the car out on the road to dry it if you intend to follow through with the remaining detailing steps because you’ll just make the car dirty again and that will require another wash!

Drying properly is all about drying the car while minimizing physical contact with the paint. Unfold the towel and drape it over one side of a particular section of the surface. With one hand at the far end of the towel and the other closer to you, gently “walk” the towel across the surface.

Do NOT ball up the towel or apply pressure through the towel, particularly on the horizontal surfaces (with vertical surfaces, it’s unavoidable). The more pressure you exert, the greater you risk scouring the clear in a very noticeable way.

Claying [1 hour, Only 1 or 2 times a year]

When I originally wrote this article, I thought claying was a waste of time. Having since done it, I can say it’s easily as effective (or more) than polishing when it comes to cleaning and smoothing the finish to a mirror shine.

Detailing clay looks like modeling clay but is actually a form of mild abrasive suspended in a sticky clay-like medium. The idea behind claying a car is to rub the clay over the surface lubricated with quick-detailing spray or car wash soap diluted 15:1. The “sticky” qualities of the clay grab hold of impurities that have become embedded in the surface of the paint and lift them out in a way that polishing cannot accomplish.

The best analogy I’ve heard is this: Imagine your paint is a grass field with a bunch of unsightly dandalions randomly spread about. Polishing the car is akin to mowing the field. You may cut off the visible portion of the weeds, but the roots will remain. Claying is akin to pulling the weed out by its roots. The end result of claying is a smooth surface ready to be polished.

Claying should be done once, or — in harsh conditions — maybe twice a year. It should also be done anytime the car comes out of the body shop, since most shops can’t seem to mask properly.

And speaking of body shops, if you’re planning to have body work done on your car, insist that they use a “liquid mask”, which is a material they spray over the areas of the car that will NOT be worked on in order to protect it from overspray. Any overspray that does settle on the protected areas washes away with the mask when the material is removed with water. The reason you have to ask for it is because most body shops don’t use it due to its high cost. Even if you have to pay extra for it, I highly recommend it because it will save you from a very long and intensive detailing job.

Polishing (1 hour, 30 minutes)

The goal in polishing is to use fine abrasives to wear down the surface of the paint as required to remove fine scratches (so-called “swirl marks”). If the car has never been polished before, it may be necessary to do one pass with a polish containing more aggressive abrasives, then follow up with one or more passes using progressively finer abrasives.

For what it’s worth, the first time I polished my 1998 BMW was in 2006 (eight years!). I decided to use the mildest and best abrasive I could find – Menzerna’s Final Polish II — and was stunned with the results. If you’ve never polished a car before, I would suggest you take it easy. It’s better to do more passes with a finer abrasive than it is to do a single pass with an aggresive abrasive because more aggressive abrasives can themselves induce swirl smarks, which (you guessed it) require a finer abrasive to remove. I suppose the best advice I can give regarding polishing is to not be in a rush. Done correctly, it doesn’t take as much time as you might think.

I only apply polish by machine because doing it by hand is back-breaking work, and will never produce the required heat and consistent pressure required for the job.

Glazing [30 minutes, optional]

While polishes physically remove defects, glazes merely hide defects using fillers. Menzerna makes a glaze product called “Finishing Touch Glaze” and I have tried it. It does help mask some of the finer scratches that escape the polishing process, but at least on my car the benefits did not really justify the extra time.

Sealing (30 minutes per coat)

Modern synthetic waxes are also called “sealants”, and with good reason. They actually bond to the paint in a way that a natural wax such as carnauba cannot. The great thing about a good sealant is that it will outlast carnauba wax by a factor of 5 or more as well as add some UV protection, so if you’re looking to reduce the number of times you need to detail your car, sealing your paint is essential.

Unfortunately, good sealants cost money. The upside? A little goes a relatively long way, particularly if it’s applied by machine. I’ve settled on Menzerna’s Full Molecular Jacket (FMJ for short) because it goes on and comes off easily. I could not be happier with the results.

FMJ can be applied by hand, but I use a buffer for consistent coverage. I remove FMJ with a towel because it’s easy to remove when dried and because I don’t want to switch buffing wheels every two seconds. It’s desireable to apply more than one coat of sealant, but it’s best to wait about 12 hours between coats so the prior coat fully “cures”.

The perk of using a pure sealant, as opposed to some of the all-in-one polish/sealant combinations is that pure sealants can be layered for greater protection and a richer shine. My take is that more than two coats is a waste of time, particularly with FMJ because it looks great with only a single coat.

Waxing [ Optional ]

Want to hear a revelation? If you use one or more coats of a good sealant like FMJ, there is no reason to “wax” your car ever again. While some pros (and a lot of show-car enthusiasts) insist on applying a top-coat of carnauba over a sealant to add shine or “depth” to the paint, I don’t think it’s necessary for a daily driver. In fact, I found it far more difficult to apply and remove the carnauba wax consistently to produce the shine I already had with basically zero effort courtesy of FMJ. Of course, if you choose another brand of sealant or carnauba, your mileage may vary.

If you want a good natural wax, you could try P21S. If you want to buy P21S for a reasonable price, try purchasing it under the S100 name. Same stuff, half the price, but typically targeted to motorcycle owners.

Incidentally, in addition to longevity issues, carnauba wax also has the disadvantage of softening/melting at high temperatures (like when your car sits in the summer sun). When it does this, any dirt that settles on the paint will embed itself in the wax coat. When the surface temperature drops, the wax will harden and bond that dirt to your paint, dulling the finish. Tell me — is that what you really want after you spent the better part of four+ hours detailing your car?

Detailing The Interior

The best cleaner here is water, in this case applied with a couple dedicated towels that are kept as clean as possible.

Routine cleaning of the interior involves nothing more than running a most towel over everything, especially the seats and steering wheel — the areas that typically receive the most dirt, and then using another towel to dry everything.

The only area of the interior that deserves special mention is the gauge cluster. AVOID touching the clear plastic cover as much as possible, because no matter what you do, and no matter how careful you are, you WILL put fine scratches in the plastic. I minimized the potential damage by using my carnauba wax applicator and *carefully* putting some wax on the plastic, and then using the clean dry towel to remove the wax. The result is that dust tends not to stick to the surface, and future cleanings tend to scratch the wax layer, and not the plastic.

One strong note of caution:before you apply wax to the clear plastic, I recommend you use blue painter’s tape to mask off the surrounding black plastic. If you get the tiniest bit of wax on the surrounding plastic, you’ll see it FOREVER, as there are no environmental forces to wear away the wax.

One thing I do NOT use in the interior of the vehicle is Armor All…not only because I hate that “shiny” look, but because it does exactly the opposite of what it claims. It does not “protect” the plastic…in fact the solvents in the product tend to dry out plastic, so once you apply the stuff you have to apply it forever to keep it looking good (great marketing strategy, eh?).

The only thing Armor All belongs on, in my opinion, is tires, and that’s the only manner in which I use it. And, if you want to prove what I’ve just said to yourself, apply Armor All to your tires on a regular basis for a few months, and then stop using it to see how your sidewalls fade and turn a strange grayish or brownish color.

Conclusion

If you take away nothing else from this page, accept this small tidbit of wisdom:

AVOID BLACK CARS LIKE THE PLAGUE!

Even if you follow all of the techniques I’ve outlined above, and can devote several hours every week to the process, a black car looks great for about 5 minutes. Thereafter, it looks like crap until you get around the time, patience, and courage to work on it again.

Black paint is terribly unforgiving of sloppy cleaning and waxing technique. If you have nothing to do every day but detail your car, buy one painted black. If you want to have a life, buy a color that will better hide dirt and surface imperfections.

 

January 10, 2011 Posted by | AV Bimmer Repair, AV BMW Repair, AV BMW Service, AV Mini Cooper Repair, AV only BMW | , , , , | Leave a comment