Tuesday, September 08, 2009

The MINI Dirty Butt Problem


If you happen to own a MINI Cooper then you are certainly aware of what I call the "MINI dirty butt problem".

The aerodynamics of our favorite little car are such that it scoops everything it can find off the road and dumps it onto the back of the car. My goodness, how frustrating it is to get MINIHERO all shined up and on the way out of the neighborhood find that someone's grass clippings have been deposited onto the back of my car....

There is one particular component of the car that also acts as a shelf where road material just stacks up. That would be the rear window wiper. Many people find the rear window wiper to be of great value, I don't. That little wiper collects road trash like moths to a light. If you've ever pulled back a wiper on a MINI that is over 3 years old, you'll find that it, and the collected grit, act like sandpaper. There is probably a set of nice "scratches" on the glass underneath. That wiper also results in doom to the stickers I have on the back window. All of this leads me to the decision to remove the wiper.

Simple procedure, just remove the nut and soak the wiper connection in WD40, and soak, and soak, and soak. If the wiper has been on for any amount of time then it is almost fused and it will take a few days of soaking before you will be able to pull it off. Next step is to removed the wiper motor which requires removing the inside panel from the boot. To remove the panel, just remove the screws and forcefully pull off. There are clips that hold the panel on and you will certainly feel that you are pulling too hard - you are not.

The motor is held on with 3 bolts, just remove, unplug the wiring harness, washer supply line, and slide the motor out. Make sure to plug the washer supply line or you'll have a bit of dripping... You now have a small hole that needs to be plugged. You can order a special plug for this purpose but an article on NAMM noted that a bicycle headset cap can be used to plug the hole.

What's cool about a headset cap is how many different styles and colors exist. You are sure to find something to add that special "bling" to your MINI. You can get these at a local bicycle shop, though choices may be limited. Do a Google search and you will find many choices such as here.

I found one at a local shop that is of the carbon fiber line which looked very cool on MINIHERO as noted in the photo. So, there you go, another "mod" to MINIHERO. Though some would question the removal of the rear wiper, I find it much easier to keep the trash off the rear and I like the cleaner lines.