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Unread 02-13-2017, 03:52 AM #1
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R53 front brake conversion to the R56 brakes
R53 front brake conversion to the R56 brakes

I need new rotors all around, and pads. And I have yet to replace my front calipers on my mini (290k, probably well past due since service is 120k?). I think if I'm going to buy all of that I may as well go to the 294mm front brake kit off the MCS r56. My concern is I am not really sure if I would be buying the right parts. I've found so many calipers that say they are for the R56 and the base r55. But aren't the r55 different? Is the only difference in the r55 and R56 the caliper carrier bracket and the rotor and pads? So a base r55 caliper would work and I would just need the brackets off of an R56? Also what years should I be looking at. I have found rotors at 313mm or something ranging years of 07-13? I'm just really confused. And seem to be having trouble finding the parts stated clearly what they are. Are there any side by side comparison photos of the two?

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Unread 02-13-2017, 01:43 PM #2
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R53 front brake conversion to the R56 brakes
I used R55 S calipers for my conversion. I also purchased R55 rear trailing arms for my R53. It's just what I was able to find and it seems like everything is identical from my research of the part numbers.

To use the 294mm rotors you need to make sure you get S calipers. Unless you get a pair of S brackets for free, or really cheap, it's not worth the time or hassle to buy non-S calipers and then try to buy the S brackets. The S brackets have small ears on them. This website should have the information you're looking for on the different brake upgrades, Level 4 is what you're thinking about:

http://www.c0op3r.com/MINI/FrontBrakes.html

In the third pic of the R56S calipers, you can see the square ears on the brackets. There are also comparison pics near the bottom of the page of "JCW" painted S and non-S calipers.

Last edited by Red Bull; 02-13-2017 at 01:53 PM.
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Unread 02-13-2017, 08:28 PM #3
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R53 front brake conversion to the R56 brakes
So I don't have brake pad wear sensor this is something I won't get to retrofit right? I was wondering what the difference is between the R56 brake lines and the r53 brake lines. They both are banjo style. And after my trip to AutoZone the R56 S brake line is 10x1.0 threads. What are the r53 caliper brake line thread? Could I just get a new banjo bolt? And thank you for this link and information. It really made this a lot more comprehensible.

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Unread 02-13-2017, 11:21 PM #4
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R53 front brake conversion to the R56 brakes
If I remember the different fitting types correctly, the 1st gen uses banjo fittings for the front caliper and the 2nd gen is threaded. I think real 1st gen JCW calipers use banjo fittings, and although many people refer to R56S brakes as 1st gen JCW's, there are slight detail differences between the two.

I used Stop Tech stainless steel R56 hoses, Stop Tech slotted rotors, Akebono euro ceramic pads, and ATE 200 fluid for my conversion. My R53 brake pad sensors were still good so I reused them. A Motive euro power bleeder was really helpful in changing the fluid and bleeding the brakes.
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Unread 02-14-2017, 12:42 AM #5
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R53 front brake conversion to the R56 brakes
Well the threads on my r53 are m10x1.5 and my SS brake lines I have now are banjo style. So I think all I need for my R56 calipers to hook up is a banjo bolt with m10x1.0 thread.

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Unread 02-14-2017, 12:44 AM #6
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R53 front brake conversion to the R56 brakes
Once I finish I'll post up an AutoZone parts list. I'm getting this entire front kit for a hell of a lot cheaper than 500$. Going duralast rotors 80$, calipers are 60$ each with brackets and pads are 60$.

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Unread 02-14-2017, 09:15 AM #7
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R53 front brake conversion to the R56 brakes
As has been said the S has the bigger brackets. You can, I have, use the R55 calipers. They bolt right up and use the standard size rotor. The calipers are the same except for the bracket. So you get the same sweep area in either case. You just get a bit more leverage with the S brackets and bigger rotors. But you also get more weight. Getting the calipers use from a used part seller can be a shot in the dark unless the seller knows they have the right ones. Also you'll want to make sure they are including the bracket. Because the caliper is the same. They cheaper but you don't know what your going to get until they arrive. A cautious approach is get your calipers first to know what your getting then order the correct rotors for what you got. Unless you really have to have the bigger rotors. You can paint the calipers while you wait.

Order the R56 line for the front. I got the Stoptech lines and they are good. But is before I saw the price Detroit Tune had on lines. Very good. Do all 4 lines. It has been said that MINIs don't gain from stainless lines but on an older car the lines car deteriorate as mine did (with only 40k mi) then they are elastic.

The Akebono euro ceramic pads are great! R56 for the front and R53 for the rear.

I found after the swap to the R55 set up with new lines Akebono pads and fluid I could drive the Dragon even harder with less down shifting and 0 fade. Make sure you do a proper bedding after you install them.
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Unread 02-14-2017, 11:05 PM #8
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R53 front brake conversion to the R56 brakes
Yes AutoZone carries the complete R56 brake caliper with bracket for 80$+25$ core but they are going to price match oriellys so I'll have the calipers rebuilt with brackets for 60$. My question is I already upgraded my r53 brake lines to stainless steel. And they all bolt to the calipers with a banjo bolt. Meaning that i should be able to just get another set of banjo bolts that match the R56 calipers threads. I believe R56 is m10x1.0 and my r53 is m10x1.5 why spend 60-75$ on stop tech brake lines when I could get away with spending 10$ on new banjo bolts and copper washers?

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Unread 02-15-2017, 09:05 AM #9
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Double check about the core. Last rebuild place I checked with want the same part for the core.
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Unread 02-15-2017, 09:49 AM #10
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R53 front brake conversion to the R56 brakes
AutoZone clerk told me they wouldn't know the difference. Kind of a different question but brake related. I replaced pads and rotors at the same time but my now has completely worn out rotors and rear pads but the front pads are like as thick as they were new. I think I read some where that under light braking the mini primarily brakes with the rear brakes and only until you apply so much brake pressure does the front brakes do most of the work. Is this the case?

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