Sunday, June 7, 2015

New Wheels

I, like many others that read this blog I'm sure, spend a lot of my spare time keeping my eye on ebay and various 'selling groups' for parts that I think will be useful at some point. Generally, if you are lucky and quick enough, a good bargain can be found without travelling to the other end of the UK to pick it up.

One such piece of good luck happened to me recently when I saw a set of wheels, identical to the ones I currently own, going for a good price and not too far away. They were in very good condition and had decent tyres. Well I couldn't resist and jumped on the chance.

Now when it comes to wheels, the ones I have are not too bad, okay one of them is a bit scabby but the rest are pretty good so for that reason they were never that high up on my priority list. However when a good deal comes along, you just gotta jump, so that's what I did.

As soon as I saw the advert on a facebook group, I quickly worked out how far away the seller was and how long it would take me to get there. Generally I'm happy to travel anywhere between 1 to 2 hours 'ish' to get there. There's also about 30 minutes chat and the same travel time back. Obviously if it was bargain of the century, I'd happily trundle the length of the UK, but it's rare that those opportunities pop up.

The reason I was so interested in these wheels was because they were the same RSP cooper wheels that I already have. (As far as I can tell RSP stands for Rover Special Part). These wheels have the stud holes inline with the spokes.

RSP Cooper Wheel

There is another very similar type of cooper wheel I've seen, sometimes called the 'mainstream cooper wheel'. They look almost identical to the RSP's but are subtly different as they have the stud holes inbetween the spokes instead of inline with them. To be honest, unless someone pointed the difference out, you probably wouldn't notice. I have no idea why, but I just like the RSP wheels more.

Mainstream Cooper Wheel

Anyway, I jumped in the car the next day and made my way over to Wigan to meet a really friendly and like minded guy called Lee, who had sadly sold his beloved Mini due to lack of use and was now selling off the associated spare parts that inevitably build up with Mini ownership.

After loading the wheels and a very enjoyable bit of Mini related chat, it was back home to put them on the car. Now I would have loved to just put them straight on, but there is that slight problem of time that gets in the way and messes things up, so I had to wait a few days to get the opportunity.

When I did find the time, I decided to move my front wheels to the back and put 2 of the new wheels on the front. The reason being is that my rear tyres are getting eaten away on the outside edge due to incorrect alignment and until I can get it sorted, I didn't want to munch the new tyres away also.

Bad alignment meant munched tyres!

Once all the wheels were relocated, I thought that they looked pretty good.

I did however decide to swap the 'MINI' centres that came with the wheels for my trusty old Union Jack centres, as I thought they just looked that bit more familiar to me. That's not to say that I'll not keep hold of them though in case I fancy a change.

Not that I need to justify the purchase, but apart from simply looking the business, I think it was money well spent for other reasons also:
  • I am now able to mix and match the wheels.
  • It gives the the chance to have a set of winter tyres if I wanted. 
  • They came with new tyres and as you can see, mine were getting a bit knackered.
  • I can buy new tyres over the internet and fit them to the wheels myself in my own time.

Overall I'm very happy with my purchase as it was a nice trip out, I met a fellow Mini enthusiast and was able to do a little more tinkering outside in the sunshine putting them on. Best of all though, they look really nice, but as lovely as this is, I still have an engine to be getting on with so, I'd better get busy with that again.

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