Add A Spare Tire to a 2010 Mini Cooper Convertible - $200
Sorry Sean, but there is room for a compact spare under the boot of a Mini Cooper Convertible.
Sean was the salesman that I bought my MINI from. It came with Run-Flat tires, and I asked Sean why I couldn't get regular tires and a spare instead of the Run-Flats. He stated very authoritatively that there wasn't room. As you will see below there is adequate room, MINI just doesn't offer it as an option.
Why is that? Could it be that every time there is a flat, BMW Road Assistance would be called to come out and change the tire? That would likely cost BMW $100 for each flat. It would save them a lot of money to put Run-Flats on each car: no call, no cost. The customer pays the bill in the form of a high-priced, unrepairable, poorly performing tire.
My MINI is a standard MINI, not a MINI-S, a MINI-Clubman, or any other variation. So there is no exhaust pipe in the center under the boot that would interfere with a spare tire.
The hardware seemed to be amendable to addition of the Compact Spare assembly that was in use through 2009; the welded studs, punched holes, and tool kit all looked like a direct bolt on project. So the search began for parts. M and M Auto Salvage in Ruckersville, VA had a 2009 assembly for $45 + $15 shipping.
For $40.53, including shipping, ECSTuning.com could supply the miscellaneous parts that were discarded when the assembly was pulled out of the wrecked MINI. One Item was not stocked and would take 4-7 days to get. Maybe they meant 4-7 weeks. After 17 working days, which was 24 calendar days, I cancelled the order.
In case you want to purchase the miscellaneous, or missing parts locally, be aware that the M6 plastic nuts holding the spring and spring guide are not standard M6 nuts. They are an undersized nut, about a M5.5, that makes a snug fit as it self taps onto the stud. I used a piece of heat-shrink tubing over each stud, and then used a M6 nut over the tubing. Also, the plastic nuts between the car body and the bracket are not used on later models ( I don't know the change date but I doubt they are needed on any year MINI). The protection foil is another part of questionable value. It does not seal anything and may be just a scratch prevention pad. Before I received the foil, I used a piece of closed-cell rubber foam gasket material cut to size.
After cancelling the order from ECSTuning.com, I used stainless steel nuts and washers that I had on hand, and bought four parts at Classic Mini in Ohio. I discovered Classic Mini in Ohio when I was trying to get a rim for the spare. If I had only known about them before I ordered parts from ECS I could have saved a few bucks and bought all the parts from Classic at the same time. Oh well. Read the "Find a Wheel" paragraph below to see why you want to buy from Classic. The four items I got from Classic were the wheel pull handle at $5.66, a wheel chock at $9.59, a flat tire holding bag at $1.62, and the protection foil at $1.10; for a total after adding $8.89 shipping of $26.86.
The procurement problem I initially identified was locating a MINI Compact Spare: for different car brands, they are not all the same.
Looks like a bolt on job.
Pieces from a wreck.
Pieces purchased new.
Find a Wheel
So, while waiting for the miscellaneous hardware from ECS that never arrived, I set about finding a rim and tire.. On several of the MINI forums, I have read that spares from Accords, Civics, Kias, Jettas, etc. could be used. Maybe they can be used, but they don't all fit the tire carrier. What is needed is a 15" diameter, 3.5" wide rim with a 1-3/8" offset and a 2-7/32" diameter center hole. The lug pattern must be 4 bolts on a 3-15/16 diameter circle (or, 15"dia., 88.9mm wide, 35mm offset, 56.1mm dia., hole, 4bolts on 100mm dia circle).
The tire for this rim is a T115/70D15.
What I found:
91 Accord - Only 4-cylinder has 4-bolt pattern. The tire is too fat, a T125/70D15 (T135 on 6 cylinder). T125 might fit in carrier with a loss of 1/2" ground clearance in the rear, but the 4 inch wide rim doesn't fit in the carrier correctly.
01 Daewoo Nubira - 4 inch wide rim and T125/70D15 tire. same problems as Accord.
87-94 Subaru Justy - 14-inch diameter is too small- hits calipers.
93-02 Mitsubishi Mirage - Suggested on a forum, but I can't find one.
00 Kia Sephia - T115/70D15 tire, 4x100 bolt pattern, 56.1 center hole, but offset is unknown. This looks like best bet, but the offset is critical to fitting into the tire carrier.
05 MINI - Exact fit, but T115/70D15 tire is 5 years old. $148 including shipping.
New Rim 361-115-091-64 ($46.53) with Shipping ($8.92)from ECS = $55.45. Local purchased T115/70D15 tire mounted and balanced. Guess what! None of the tire shops in my area sell conpact spare tires, even as a special order.
New from ECS - Tire 361-204-188-47 ($122.21), Rim 361-115-091-64 ($46.53), Shipping ($8.92) = $177.56. Add $17 to mount and balance and a new spare is $194.56.
Finally a good solution -
Join NAM. Its free.
Get a new KUMHO tire from Tirerack.com. You have to call, 1-888-541-1777. Ask for #17D5KH, a T115/70D15. The KUMHO number is 50013543-5-90L, but they won't ask for it. $35.00 plus $13.74 shipping = $47.74. Did I hear the sales guy wrong. I wrote down $34.00 plus $10 shipping. I can't check the tire price quoted but I can check the shipping. Using the tracking label on the tire I found the weight registered was 9.00 lbs. Using UPS's cost calculator and the shipping address of the warehouse in Delaware, the cost should have been $11.86 for an individual. The corporate rate would likely have been $10. Yep, they screwed me on the freight and added it to profit. Probably added a buck to the price too. It is still the cheapest tire around, but I prefer upfront honesty from a supplier. Don't you?
Now the rim (This is why you joined NAM. You'll find more benefits later.). Call the parts department at Classic Mini in Ohio at 1-800-388-1098 and ask for a MINI temporary spare rim for a 2009 Cooper, even if you have a 2010 convertible. Give them the part number 36-11-1-509-164. They will tell you it is $47.00. Now is not the time to be shy. Ask them if there is a NAM discount, and when then they say yes, be prepared to give them your User ID. The price will then be $37.69, plus $10 shipping.
When the rim and tire arrive, you will have to take them to tire store to get them mounted, and a valve stem put in. This was $17.00 in my area including tax, but I could see no alternative other than the exploding tire mounting method (check it out on U-Tube). Sometimes you get a break. When I took my tire and rim to Mr Tire in Ellicott City,MD, they graciously mounted it for free. I'll leave it in the cost totals though, because you can't count on that kind of a break.
Total cost for an exact-fit, new rim and a new tire, not a 5 to 10 year old tire =$48.74 + $47.69 + $17.00 = $113.43.
3-19/32" from rear rim edge.
Copyright Dale Thompson,
August 12, 2010 through
last revision on May 13, 2011