The Media Train Keeps Rollin'

The folks over at whiteroofradio.com were nice enough to mention the web spoke issue on their most recent weekly podcast #19. The whole purpose is to get the word out so that the problem is easily diagnosed and remedied. I know I was going a little nuts when I kept hearing the clicking but didn't know it was the web spokes. I certainly heard a few stories saying their dealer thought it might be the wheel bearings, or axle. Even one blaming it on the DSC.

Thanks db, for sneaking the topic at the end of the recent news segment. Gabe also dropped a very good word about my dealer, which I agree with very much.



Mini Dee Sports Some New Shoes!

Mini Dee had her new wheels fitted on friday... and she looks hot! I am extremely happy with the choice! Here's some pics. enjoy.


Motoringfile Posts Web Spoke Issue

The folks over at Motoringfile.com were kind enough to post an article regarding the Clicking Web Spokes

I and many others have been having issues with the R98 web spoke wheels, which have a tendancy of clicking after a while. And it seems to be driving a lot of mini owners a little batty. I just hope that the right people are made aware of this issue and a solution is made available. MiniUSA has been very slow to come up with a fix and are currently "investigating this issue"

Here are some related links regarding this issue:
Web Spoke Issue
Clicking Web Spokes @ Motoringfile
Calling All Web Spoke Owners! @ Mini2
R98 Web Spoke Wheel Problem @ NAM


My Web Spoke Issue Nears an End

Post deleted due to privacy issues. Sorry.


Chicago White Sox Win!

As a Chicago Cub fan, I can certainly appriciate the feeling of success with a team that has not won a world series in such a long time. Like the sox, the cubs are long over due for a title. Although I wil not be converted to being a sox fan, I do hope they capitolize on their success thus far. And, I do enjoy a good ball game. Game one goes to the sox, three more wins to go! Go Sox!

A Visit to the Dealer

Post deleted due to privacy issues. Sorry


Thanks DB!

DB, of world famous whiteroofradio, was kind enough to add me to his links section of dbmini.us. Thanks a lot db. You're a gentleman and a scholar. ;)

Be sure to check out the podcasts weekly, its great stuff. Its really a gem in the podcast world and in the mini world.


The Power of the Internet!

Post deleted due to privacy issues. Sorry.

Apple Has Been Busy

Wow, just after a week of introducing the video ipod and new imacs, they pull this out of there sleaves. A totaly ripped G5 power mac... Now thats a dream machine.. and pricey too at $3299! ouch. Apple seems to always impress me with the tech specs too. Four processors! I looked for other computer makers and I couldnt find a quad out there. Imagine all the pictures of my mini I could process with this muscle. ;)
Oh, and they also updated their power books and came out with a pro application for photographers.


Web Spoke Issue

(edited due to privacy issues)
I just wanted to take this opportunity and express my concerns regarding the R98 Web Spoke wheels.

Back in April of this year, I took delivery of my Dark Silver Mini Cooper S Automatic. I opted for all the available packages (premium, sport, cold weather, and convenience), the rear fog light and the upgrade to the premium web spoke wheels. I have since added other items like the AUX input, the MyMini chrome door buttons and a bandpass sub box with two 10” woofers for that extra bass.

I have been extreme happy thus far with all my options and additions... except for the web spoke wheels

The Problem:
Sometime in the middle of June I noticed a consistent clicking upon each revolution of the wheel. I initially noticed it coming from the front left wheel but after I had others people lend me their ears, I was told that it seemed to be coming from the other wheels as well.

So I initially ran my hand over the treads thinking it was a rock wedged in the tread but nothing was to be found. So after a while of scratching my head over this I decided to visit my dealer and ask to see if they could give me a quick diagnosis, after all it could have been something serious with the brakes or transmission.

So in July I had them replaced and, sure enough the new set also started clicking after about a week of use! At that point, my SA called the MiniUSA representative to visit the dealer and see what he can do to remedy the situation. What they decided to do is send my original clicking wheels to MiniUSA engineers to figure out what is causing them to click.

The Cause:
My diagnosis, which is the only one at the moment, is that since the web spoke wheels are a two piece system, the two parts seems to be moving or making and breaking contact with each other at the mating surfaces.

A few conditions have to be met to cause the very noticeable clicking. 1. It has to be hot outside. 2. It has to be humid outside. 3. the wheels have to be broken in and rotating.

If the first two conditions are not met then the clicking will not occur consistently. In fact, now that autumn is in full swing, the clicking has died down considerable. Now the only way for the clicking to be noticed is to have the car sit over night, preferable in a garage. The next day, turn the car on, put the windows down and let the car creep forward. The clicking will start and then stop after a full revolution. I am no MiniUSA engineer so I can’t tell you exactly why this happens but I can tell you when it is most likely to happen.

The Solution:
Well that’s what I am waiting for. It has been since mid June that I first noticed there was a problem and I still have these clicking wheels. I and strongly suggesting to others not to get these wheels. In fact I will gladly go with a different style wheel just to get the clicking to stop! Hopefully a solution will come very soon.

Check out these threads for additional info.
Calling All Web Spoke Owners!
R98 Web Spoke Wheel Problem

Also the problem was mentioned on Woofcast #17 of whiteroofradio podcast


Ipods Officially Announced

As mentioned yesterday, apple did release a video capable ipod. Along with a new version of iTunes to support the new sales of video downloads. And on the back burner was a new version of the popular iMac with a cool remote and media features.

It seems that it takes on the form of the nano a bit but is just smaller than the 4th generation ipod. I still am a big fan of my 3rd gen ipod with the touch wheel and four touch buttons on the top. I did not like that you have to press relatively firmly to activate the button features of the new scroll wheel.

But nonetheless, it is still very cool. So it seems that this will be the end of the griffin itrip as currently sold. Just like the nano, there is no power source for the fm transmitter to draw its power from. It seems that apple will be strongly pushing OEM solutions for ipod integration rather than the cheap itrip way for listening to your ipod in your car. Either way I have the AUX input in my mini so this will not affect her but I do use my itrip very often in my other car and at home.



New Ipods out today!

Here's an unofficial image of the new ipod to come. Looks like it might be very similar to the nano. The official release is about an hour away.

Its coming! the apple store online is currently updating their site.



Mini Dee @ Dusk

On my way home from work, I noticed the sky was a bit cloudy and dull but off to the west the skies were clear. As soon as I noticed this I knew that in an hour or so the sun would set and light up the underside of the clouds a vivid orange and red. So I raced home to my usual spot where I practice taking 3/4 poses of mini dee. Check out the back lighting of the car, it really made the fast trip there worth it. And as predicted the sky was intense. Although it only lasted about 15 minutes, I tried to take as many pictures as I could. Next time I hope to take some pictures with the sun behind me. Those would be some cool pictures too. I'm starting to get a good grasp of the camera seeming as I was a bit rushed to take advantage of the setting sun.



On the Bright Side...

Since the week that my grampa was here flew by so fast, it has all of a sudden put me that much closer to when my girlfriend comes back from school to visit. She's visiting just for the weekend though but I'll take what I can get. I am very excited since I haven't seen her since labor day weekend. Hopefully she will stop by late Thursday night when she makes the 7 hour drive up to Chicago.

Please excuse the pict, it was not taken with my very cool camera and the original was kinda darkand blurry. Must be user error, imo. Oh and her face is not that red all the time, just when she's having fun with out me... Seems she's in the middle of a bad case of the giggles. ;-)

And stay away you college boys, this hottie's spoken for.



Back To Texas

Well, I dropped off gramps at the airport this morning. Just like that, the long week that gramps was supposed to spend with us is done. He probably wont visit here for another year. Hopefully sooner. He seemed to have a ton of fun and was thoroughly impressed with mini dee. He kept on saying that she tells me everything and does everything. He was talking about hope there are a tone of sensors, like for tire pressure or gas milage or outside temp. He had never seen a car where all u had to do is tell it what temperature you want it inside and it will maintain it, turning the heat or air as needed. I’m sure mini dee is impressed with gramps being so active, alive and kicking. I’m not so sure mini dee can last as long as my gramps, but they are both very cool in my book.


Gramps Last Day

My Grampa’s visits usually go by very fast and this one was no exception. Already an entire week has gone by and it seems like we went to the airport yesterday to pick him up. Anyways, I was planned that for the last entire day we would spend a good part of the day just walking around down town Chicago to see the tall buildings and visit the park. It turned out to be a beautify day to stroll around the city.

In order to make the day more pleasant, and learning from past experience, I thought it would be a good idea to take the train to the city, avoid any parking hassles and get back at a timely fashion. Sorry, no mini dee in the city picts this time but im sure that day will come. Since it was Monday, I knew that getting back home by 6 pm would mean an hour and a half in traffic. Plus, it turns out there’s a half price discount for seniors.

Some of the cool places to visit in Chicago used to be the stock exchange but for about two years now, to my surprise, it has been closed to the public. Probably related to terrorist fears i guess. So we opted for the visitors center of the federal reserve bank. Gramps really liked that because it was the first time he ever saw so much money in one place. In fact, they had three displays of how much a pile of one million dollars would look like, in hundreds, in twenties and in singles. They also show you just how money gets shredded and reprinted. There was little bags of shredded bills for people to take so we each took one and then later, gramps went to grab another. On the bag it says there is an approximate $292 value of mixed denominations, so gramps wanted to take another one and try to sell it for a hundred to one of his friends... as a joke of course.

Seeming as the Chicago mercantile exchange and the Chicago board of trade were indefinitely closed to the public, we headed on foot to millennium park, with a quick stop to get a bite to eat on the way.

Last year when we went to the park to check out the sights, we didn’t spend a lot of time there because my meter for the parking ran out. you only get ten minutes for each quarter and seeming that I didn’t carry a roll of quarters with me we only stayed for about a half an hour. Since we were not going to have that issue this time, we wandered the park leisurely to see what there is to see.
First stop was the video water fountain where mom was brave enough to roll up her pants and touch the wall of water. All while a giant chin was on the video screen and a mouth that could have swallowed her whole.

Being a perfect day weather wise, there was a ton of kids just having a ball running around and playing in the water. After a short rest and enjoying the refreshing mist from the water falling, we then went to go tough the "bean" sculpture. They seem to have polished most of the seams up, but the area directly beneath it was closed off, probably to get those stubborn areas polished up. It looked very cool with all the distorted reflections of not only the people looking at it but of the band shell and the city skyline of Michigan Ave. It always impresses me to see how different that sculpture can be everytime I visit it.

Then we went to the Gerhy band shell. With the black plinths of the water fountain and the chrome finish of the bean sculpture, the band shell is a perfect fit to this park. Gramps was absolutely impressed with the entire park. Texas has nothing on Chicago.

Well that was enough for all of us for one day. Gramps had a great time seeing all that stuff, and was very impressed and amazed at how different chicago is compared to where he lives. Hopefully he will come back sooner rather than later.


Trip to the Dells

Well my grampa came to town (all the way from Texas) on Wednesday for a week. We decided it would be fun to take a little trip up to the dells for the weekend and enjoy some time off and take a dip in the pool and see the sights. And I thought it would be a perfect opportunity to take mini dee out for a long trip too. This would be the first time my gramps and mini dee would venture out to Wisconsin Dells.

So we loaded up the mini (spotless after a quick shine a couple of days ago), fastened our seat belts, and set out for an enjoyable 4 hour ride in the mini to the Dells.

At first, I had to tell my mom how to sit in back because she thought the mini would not have any room for her feet. To her surprise it did have more than enough when I pulled the seat up for her. And luckily my gramps is not the tallest man in the world so he had plenty of room for his legs too.

We left about 11 am on Saturday morning and on the way, just past the Illinois/Wisconsin border, we stopped at the visitor center where we picked up all the information we needed to know about the Dells. Being the beginning of October there was certainly plenty of lodging available so I wasn’t worried about finding something we liked.

Well when we arrived we checked out some possible hotels to stay at, headed into town and then took a wrong turn and ended up in Matson (about 15 miles north) by mistake... oops. Well at least I was driving the mini so that was fun, but after driving for so long we needed to stop for a bite to eat.

We thought it would be nice to stop at the tourist trap known as Paul Bunyan’s buffet. But other than the grub we ate, which was very tasty and expensive, we did not fall for buying any of the other souvenirs they bombarded us with. (not that we didn’t look)

Afterwards we headed into town where all the small shops are to see what we can see. To our surprise, the entire downtown area, which is literally about five blocks was being repaved and I guess some sewer and utility lines were being replaced. This meant that the entire area was not very car friendly, so the place looked a little deserted.

Some of the die hard souvenir shops were still open but it seemed that most closed at about 5 pm. My guess is that most of the shops have just closed shop for the season and will reopen once all the construction is done. I’m sure it will look great then and all the shops will reopen to eager tourist. As for us, we decided to head back to the hotel, take a dip in the pool and hot tub, and then go to the casino and test our luck.

We hopped on the free shuttle to the Ho-chunk casino. As typical to most casinos, the amount of grandness that is put into the lobby can be a bit overwhelming.

They decided to create an artificial waterfall, with an escalator, very cool. My grampa kept on saying how he thought it was real and the painted sky looked real. He actually asked me if it was real, but I just pointed out the brightness of the artificial sky and then pointed out the doors at how dark it was outside. It still looked very real to him.

Being the high rollers that we are we decided to test our luck at the nickel slots, investing just two dollars each, that's one roll of nickels. What fun!... I actually started with 40 nickels, got down to less than 10, got all the way up to 57 and then lost it all. I just couldn’t quit when I was ahead. Oh well its just 2 bucks, and we all had enough free drinks to cover our losses. My mom actually lost 4 bucks but who’s counting. By the way this place is huge and has a ton of nickel, dime, quarter, dollar, etc... slots. they even have 2 penny and one penny slots. I think it’s just about the number of “credits” you walk away with. very fun!

Well the next day we headed out to a duck ride. Very cool to see the very colorful rock formations from both land and water.

We had a blast and enjoyed the boat ride, even the bumpy parts.

Well that’s when we decided to head home. Gramps had a blast and never knew how pretty the dells are. I’m glad he had the opportunity to enjoy it. I sure did and mini dee did as well.
Well besides the bug splats of course... She gave a respectable 31 mpg for the drive in and with the little city driving we did the combined came out to be 29 mpg at the pump. I actually made it all the way there with a half a tank left, so I probably could have made it there and back on one tank, my range is about 350 miles. I’m sure Ill be able to test it again when I head down to murray to visit my girlfriend in early November... maybe... if it doesn’t snow of course.