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- Vehicle(s) I currently own
- Mini Cooper S; parts of other cars
If you increase the HP, you have to address ride height and braking on these old tubs. Dropping the car an inch would hardly be noticeable and it would give you such a better degree of handling on turns. And of course docking her at night in the wind would be less of a hassle :)
Do you really want to be in the junkyard business? What will you do with the half-eaten carcass? Store it somewhere? It's probably better to just let it go. It's not a high-demand parts car anyway. Sorry to hear about the engine, but after 12 years, maybe it's time to look forward, not back.
You'll probably get quite a few varying answers to this, depending on the point of view--but I'll throw in my two cents.
As a bold generalization, I would say that right around 80,000 miles is when many of the "expendable items" will be kicking in (timing belts, rear brakes, suspension parts), and it's also the time when some components could fail without having to brand them as 'factory defects". I mean, is an alternator that fails at 80K, or a battery, really defective, having traveled more than 3X around the world already?
You can look up the service schedules for each of the cars you are interested in, and see what's coming up at what mileage.
Naturally, any used vehicle you could find with some remaining factory warranty would be a good thing. I think a BMW out of warranty completely is a bit risky, for example.
Edmunds Maintenance Schedules:
national is an ok bearing. US made.
Maybe you're going to have to replace the entire hub assembly this time around.
Also, if this car has a 2-bearing-per-side setup (some cars do) then there is a critical spacer in between them--if person A left that spacer out, then next time around, person B might not see that a spacer is required.