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Old 12-29-2010, 09:38 PM   #41
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There's only one place for the subframe to go that I have seen, plus you dont remove it totally. Having installed a couple on my car and several others with zero effect on the rear alignment when they eventually were aligned, can't see the need.... 2 cents
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Old 12-29-2010, 11:01 PM   #42
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On my r53 the holes on the rear subframe are slotted, so when you loosen them all, it changes position. It may be different on the r56s, but it wont hurt to have it checked.
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Old 12-29-2010, 11:40 PM   #43
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Thanks guys, good info to have when I switch out my rear bar.
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Old 12-29-2010, 11:45 PM   #44
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I have been providing advice on upgrades at DE ground schools for a number of years. Tho people often don't want to hear it (because it requires patience), Nathan's advice is best. Do a couple of DEs and some autocrossing. Talk to other folk who are setting good laps or auto-x times. See what they have done, and how they like those changes on an overall basis. If they trailered their car to the event, well - they probably don't drive the car to work everyday, and weigh that fact into your considerations.

First would be to upgrade your interface with the vehicle. Depending on usage, a better steering wheel (JCW?) will help, as would a seat which will hold you in place better. But if that is not the route you want to go (me included), experiment with tire pressures before jumping into a rear anti-roll (sway) bar. A bigger bar will allow for some fun on the street and improved times (once you learn to use it) on the track or auto-x course. Then better tires and brake pads and brake fluid.

Go a season with these minor upgrades. Then think what weaknesses the car is exhibiting based on your driving style. Would lighter wheels help? Would the bigger rear bar help? Would bigger brakes help (do you really know how to brake for best times and longevity of your braking system?)?

Also think - what are the drawbacks to each particular mod. The fellow with the Alta CAI discovered one. I have Alta's drop links on my bigger rear bar, and BOY - do they RATTLE!!! I'm thinking about decreasing performance so I can drive my car daily without the constant rattle, rattle, rattle. Track worthy pads sometimes squeal like a stuck pig. I used to park in an underground garage at work, and tried to play a tune with my squealing brakes as I went down the ramp into the garage. Sometimes an upgrade requires a never ending series of other upgrades to fix a problem experienced with the first upgrade, or the upgrade increases your maintenance efforts. High temp brake fluid is an example, as they all tend to be more hygroscopic, requiring at least annual fluid changes if not more (humid environments exacerbate the problem).

So. Do some schools - auto-x, DE and high performance skills days with your local Porsche or BMW clubs. Learn your car and see what you can improve cheaply. Pads and fluid for better brakes versus jumping into a BBK is an example. Talk to folk who have done the mods you are considering based on the needs of your driving style. Get the pluses and minuses, and do so with at least a ride, if not a drive in the modified car.

Also figure out if you are willing to risk problems with your factory warranty. Dealers are a bit tougher on Gen2 warranty issues.

Lots to think about, so really - take some time. Learn your car. Do some schools. Then decide on mods from a base of your own knowledge. You'll be happier with your decisions.

Pat
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Old 12-30-2010, 04:37 AM   #45
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Great advise ^^^^^^^^ up there!!

One point hit the nail on the head, mods lead to more mods most of the time not because you are addicted to modding but you need to make something else work with the mod you you just made. not ever mod is a plug and play mod, modify one part of the suspension, you have to mod another part to make the 1st part work properly then mod another part to make that one work... endless saga...

My car before this was a 93 Toyota Celica with the 1.6lit. Not the fastest but it was a beast in the curvies. I started the typical mods, exhaust, intake, suspension, etc.. I ended up going back to a mostly stock car when I sold it at 180k miles because with the mods it lost it's dependability and I was tired of fixing things that broke because of mods.. I am a LOT more selective with my Mini than I was then.
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Old 12-30-2010, 10:24 AM   #46
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David I took you advice and replaced my airbox. I immediately noticed an improvement. The car accelerates noticeably faster. I also saw 1.5 to 2 miles per gallon benefit. I ordered a K&N drop in filter which should be here this afternoon. I will see how this works.

This is very confusing there is a lot of contradictoriness in the advice on this thread.

I have not attended a track day yet. I am sure after one day at the track I will be smitten. I drag raced motorcycles for 8 years before I lost interest.

My track is only about 45 minutes from me. Palm Beach International Raceway (PBIR), check out their website Palm Beach International Raceway . The great thing about this track is it has a SCCA, Drag Strip, Shifter Cart and believe it or not a Mud Hole.

My dealer (Braman in Palm Beach). sponsors a track day about three times a year. Its $100 and is a all day event with catered food and of course free instruction. I plan to attend their next event. It has not been announced yet.

I can tell you my Mini will mainly be a street car, so drive ability on the street is priority.
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Old 12-30-2010, 10:37 AM   #47
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Originally Posted by AXO View Post
David I took you advice and replaced my airbox. I immediately noticed an improvement. The car accelerates noticeably faster. I also saw 1.5 to 2 miles per gallon benefit. I ordered a K&N drop in filter which should be here this afternoon. I will see how this works.

This is very confusing there is a lot of contradictoriness in the advice on this thread.

I have not attended a track day yet. I am sure after one day at the track I will be smitten. I drag raced motorcycles for 8 years before I lost interest.

My track is only about 45 minutes from me. Palm Beach International Raceway (PBIR), check out their website Palm Beach International Raceway . The great thing about this track is it has a SCCA, Drag Strip, Shifter Cart and believe it or not a Mud Hole.

My dealer (Braman in Palm Beach). sponsors a track day about three times a year. Its $100 and is a all day event with catered food and of course free instruction. I plan to attend their next event. It has not been announced yet.

I can tell you my Mini will mainly be a street car, so drive ability on the street is priority.
I am running a K&N drop in as well. I have an alta foam filter as a spare but it is more expensive to run because the cost of the cleaning kits. (foam filters are PITA to clean compared to the K&N)

Don't disregard stopping power when you are thinking about "go fast Power" either. The stock brakes are great but they are dirty things... I personally run TSW slotted rotors and EBC redsuff pads and they are a GREAT combo. (they will stop you on a dime from 140+ mph!!) and your wheels will stay cleaner as well.
I have never run a track in my Mini but I think high speed Autobahn driving since 91, I'm good...
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Old 12-30-2010, 12:02 PM   #48
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...This is very confusing there is a lot of contradictoriness in the advice on this thread.

I have not attended a track day yet. I am sure after one day at the track I will be smitten...I can tell you my Mini will mainly be a street car, so drive ability on the street is priority.
More time behind the wheel will help you filter information most relevant to your needs.

I predict you will discover your car's abilities are underutilized once you get to the track. When you get up to speed matching your skills with the MINI's capabilities, keeping yourself planted in the seat will become more important than than the first wish list or the size of the rear sway bar.

Last edited by k-huevo; 12-30-2010 at 12:34 PM.
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Old 12-30-2010, 12:14 PM   #49
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Keeping my wheels clean is basically impossible. So any mod to keep them clean is a good one. Someone needs to invent a quick release seat bracket for an easy swap from OEM to Racing and Visa Versa....
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Old 12-30-2010, 12:43 PM   #50
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Keeping my wheels clean is basically impossible. So any mod to keep them clean is a good one...
Pads that are low dusting usually do a poor job of slowing down when they get hot. When one needs to stop, one wants to stop very badly, and in that situation it matters not the cosmetic condition of the wheels.

A CG lock is a good place to start with holding you back, and rubber shelf liner on the seat will control bottom sliding; avoid slippery outer wear too. All easily reversible beginner options.

Last edited by k-huevo; 12-30-2010 at 12:50 PM.
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