Thursday, April 26, 2007

Ouch! Cracked Strut Mount!

While at AMVIV it was discovered that my poor MINI has fallen victim to the much discussed "Cracked Strut Mount and Strut Tower Mushroom". No- not a delectible Mediterranean dish fried over an open-flame, but a plague like design "issue" in the front-end suspension. (You can read the never ending thread on NAM here, here, and here- yeah- i told you!)

One thing I noticed in my research however, is a lack of photos of the fairly obvious symptoms. Fortunately, I have a digital camera!*

Here is (not a very good shot of) a non-mushrooming strut tower. Note it's "flatness"

Here is my other (passenger-side) strut tower, with mushroom syndrome. Note where the VIN is- that should be flat. But it is not.

Here is where the plot thickens- a severe example of a cracked strut mount ("shock mount"/"bearing something or other").
Here is that same shot with the crack marked off. Ouch!

*(super hi-res versions available here (strut mount) and here (strut tower).)

The MINI is in the shop as I write this- getting the strut mount issues repaired. Now, how do I convince them to take a 4x4 and a sledge hammer to pound the mushroom'd tower, flat? more news as it develops- now back to you in the studio!

Monday, April 23, 2007

Live from Amsterdam, it's...

OMG! I can't believe it! I've only just heard!

Our friends at White Roof Radio and MotoringFile did a pretty good job and creating a buzz over the weekend, with their teaser announcement of "something big" to be let loose on Monday. Guessing and rumors and speculation ensued.

So of course, the first thing I did this morning (well, not the "first") was download a special episode of White Roof Radio, and my guess was confirmed as correct! Da boyz have managed to secure a deal as the official Podcast of MINI United 2007?!?! Wh-wha what?!? Can you say "jealous as all heck!"

Okay, so *if* you have no idea what I'm talking about, you must check these links:

White Roof Radio | MotoringFile | MINI United 2007

I'll be tuning in and being all excited and jealous at the same time. Anyone wanna sponsor me a trip? I'll follow you around with a camcorder and camera , schlep your luggage, and pimp your goodies, where a green hat- whatever! I'm serious! Hey- Just puttin' it out there...

Sunday, April 22, 2007

MINI Marketing

The MINI Marketing team (a.k.a. whomever they've hired this time 'round) always manages to keep the brand fresh and "hip" with their just-say-no approach to standard marketing techniques.

A Russian website has a few of my favorites, along with what i presume to be "user-created-content"- all in one place! I'd love to say more about the site, only, I don't know what the site is saying!

See more at:

Shown above: One of my all-time favorite MINI billboards

Saturday, April 14, 2007

Fireballed Racing SeminarBQ!

Last week I went to Fireball Tim/Fireballed Racing's First Annual "SeminarBQ/Car Show" (Get it? A Seminar and BBQ!)

I had a lot of fun, met some new friends (and old ones) got to see some really nice cars, (I mean really nice!) I learned a few things too! And of course, took plenty of photos!

The Fireballed! Studio Shop

Fireball Tim, The Legend- in the flesh!

There were many classic and exotic cars including this Spyder-something-or-other

One of FBT's Limited Edition MINIs

The line for the grub! (ed. note: apparently they had twice the attendance as expected!)
Click here for more photos!*

(The official flyer):

18900 Hawthorne Blvd
Torrance, Ca. 90504
310 921 6000

*I'm currently editing the video as well! Stay tuned!

Lookie What I Got!: Escort Passport 8500 X50

Not like I need it (grin), but Uncle Sam saw fit to give me a tax refund suitable of a new toy/gadget (or two?). The Escort Passport 8500 X50 has been on my list for awhile. The "out of the box" experience:

The front of the box

The back of the box

The fancy "leather" case. (Actually, it's pretty nice.)



The device

The money-shot

I don't have a personal review yet, but here's the official PR speak:

"The Passport 8500 X50's new "V-Tuned" radar receiver provides extreme detection range on all police radar; conventional and "instant-on" radar, including the new POP mode radar threat, X-Band, and up to 50% more range than the original Passport 8500 on the all-important K and Ka bands. Digital signal processing (DSP) provides maximum range, with minimum false alarms."

  • 360-degree radar and laser detection
  • Advanced digital signal processing
  • AutoSensitivity mode automatically reduces false alarms
  • EZ-Programming allows instant customization
  • Selectable POP mode radar detection
  • 3 High-resolution meter modes
  • Ultra-bright matrix display with 280 LEDs
  • Brilliant blue or high-intensity red display
  • Multiple high-performance laser sensors
  • Built-in earphone jack
  • Mute & AutoMute
  • Completely immune to the VG-2 "detector-detector"
  • One year limited warranty
  • 2 year extended service plan available
  • Free 30 day test drive (applies to factory direct orders only)

Friday, April 13, 2007

Maisto MINI Model

Looking for something completely unrelated, I ventured into the local hobby shop and found this!

I'm not a "collector", just an occasion impulse shopper! *smile*

Monday, April 09, 2007

Car Electronic Device Hard Wire

Our friend Molly from NAM and posted a great writeup on hard-wiring an electric device into your MINI vehicle!

Gee... now why would I need to know this info?!?! *wink*

Thanks Molly! :b: