Suspension 1st Gen R53 Greene Performance Coilovers / Ride Height Help

Discussion in '1st Generation: 2002–06 R50, R53 & 2004–08 R52' started by BumpDaddy, May 3, 2018.

  1. BumpDaddy

    BumpDaddy New Member

    May 3, 2018
    13
    15
    3
    Male
    Ratings:
    +16 / 0 / -0
    Hi All.
    Installed a set of Greene Performance Coilovers on my R53. For those unfamiliar with these, they're BC Racing Coilovers, custom valved, with Swift Springs. Lots of great feedback on these from everyone. I have a few questions for this awesome forum (note this was also posted on NAM.com but everyone is at the MOTD this week so I'm posting it on both sites just in case peeps are checking in):

    1. My mechanic says the rears cannot be adjusted any lower (see photos).There is threading left, but I was under the impression that the entire threaded part can turn into the lower mount until there's no more threading showing. Does anyone know if this is supposed to be the case?

    2. Because the rears could not be lowered any more, we matched the fronts to the rear ride height. The fronts can stil be lowered. The measurement from the ground to the top of the wheel well is within 1cm from front to back, but the gap between the tire and the top of the wheel well is much larger (+1" more on the front than the rear)

    3. The gap looks wrong/ugly. I think it should be lower, especially on the front. Because the car is technically close to being "even" from asphalt to top of wheel well, I'm wondering if the front is supposed to be lower (from the factory) to fill in that gap. Is an R53 supposed to have a slight front rake to it? I believe some BMW's do.

    Any comments/advice would be greatly appreciated. Looking forward to figuring this one out.
     

    Attached Files:

  2. Sully

    Sully Administrator
    Staff Member Articles Moderator Supporting Member

    Jul 21, 2015
    1,543
    520
    113
    Software
    30350
    Ratings:
    +564 / 4 / -0
    Probably going to be quite here with MOTD also.. I would answe but don’t have experience with these..
     
  3. Dave.0

    Dave.0 Helix & RMW Powered
    Lifetime Supporter

    May 4, 2009
    21,916
    11,755
    113
    Burbs of Philly, PA
    Ratings:
    +11,893 / 2 / -1
    Hey Dude, Colin is here at MOTD with me. What is your name and did you buy the coils from him directly? Colin wants to know your real name and not screen name ?

    He has a few ideas about what your problem could be, but he needs more info from you.

    Also he did what me to tell you all R53’s have some ‘Rake’ to them from the factory but you can dial it out and make the car look flat.
     
  4. BumpDaddy

    BumpDaddy New Member

    May 3, 2018
    13
    15
    3
    Male
    Ratings:
    +16 / 0 / -0
    Hey Dave! That's great to hear. I just sent you a PM with my contact info and the background of what's going on. I didn't think anyone would be looking at this forum during the MOTD! Glad you did!
     
  5. fishmonger

    fishmonger Well-Known Member

    May 13, 2015
    772
    454
    63
    Madison, WI
    Ratings:
    +494 / 0 / -0
    I learned that the Mini must be a crooked car or these coilovers/springs just don't deliver predictable ride height based on teh amount of screw thread you measure. My coilovers (Greene BCs) are set up to unique heights when looking at thread count or measured on the shock unit itself, but only that way was I able to get consistent fender gaps front and back. I had to repeat the process a few thousand miles and a year after install a second time, because my front ride height went down significantly, likely due to the springs sagging. Not sure of this is normal with other coilover systems, but given the "custom touch" that allegedly makes them so much better than the stock BCs, I expected to see a product that doesn't have me jack up the car a dozen times before it looks about right. perhaps that's just a fact of life with suspension mods. It's done and looks right - I am ok with how it handles and other than being a lot stiffer than the stock suspension, it's been working fine for me. I just live in a state with cruddy roads.

    Let me add that my car was never wrecked and it looks totally straight, so it is unlikely that the chassis is warped to require the different adjustment on the driver side. No mushrooming shock towers up front, either.

    When I set mine up, measured my fender height from the garage floor, but that is the same in effect as what you are doing. We just can't compare those numbers directly. When matching both sides coil height settings to the the fender gap, I had to add half an inch on the driver side, and that with no driver in the car. My car was never hit in an accident, so who the heck knows why they are so far off, but it has been my experience that you cannot even get close to a proper ride height by simply turning these things to the height you want them at and then repeat to match on the other side. The whole thing is more complex and may have to do with corner weight and other stuff. Still rather odd that my gaps were so far off on the driver side, front and back. I double checked the install of the shock body to the spindle and it's the same on both sides, so no reason to think I put the coilovers into the car incorrectly.

    There is another factor to consider, at least on my car: between install of the coilovers and the adjustment a year later, I dropped the front subframe and replaced all ball joints and the lower control arm bushings. Now, one would think that going all new would make sure both sides are more alike, or at least less likely to exhibit uneven wear between sides, but in my case the adjustments of the front coilovers were more alike before the replacement of all those parts. However, if you haven't replaced those lower control arm bushings, this may be a good time to do it, or you'll be in for another alignment and coilover height adjustment round.

    And looking at your images I have to note again, that I was sold blue Swift springs with these coilovers (the then "Colin recommended" setup) and now everyone seems to be riding on red springs, so your mileage may vary, or they just got a better deal on the red powder coat.

    If I remember tonight, I'll go measure the gaps I have my car set for (not a huge drop, plus I have spacers on the wheels now) The only image post recent adjustment I have is a cheesy phone image that won't tell you anything about my settings. Note there are 5mm spacers on those wheels as well. I feel I want to raise the back just a little over where I am at, and I am near the max height setting already. I certainly don't want to go lower. Nothing rubs, even on a good Wisconsin post winter pothole hit in a tight corner under load.

    [​IMG]

    And regarding rake - I want some rake back. I think it's got too little now. One just gets used to the rake angle especially with two stock cars next to it at all times.
     
  6. Goldsmithy

    Goldsmithy Well-Known Member
    Supporting Member

    Jan 30, 2015
    1,389
    648
    113
    Male
    TCB
    Main Street in the land of Oz
    Ratings:
    +680 / 0 / -0
    Dave O to the rescue !!!!!! :) :)
     
  7. fishmonger

    fishmonger Well-Known Member

    May 13, 2015
    772
    454
    63
    Madison, WI
    Ratings:
    +494 / 0 / -0
    My umbers are taken from rim edge to fender edge wheel center like you are showing in your photos

    Front Right 4.2"
    Rear Right 4.1""

    Front Left 3.9"
    Rear Left 3.8"

    so still not a perfect match, but close. I may do one more tiny tweak to get it closer, but only a little down on one side and up on the other to get closer Too much and another alignment may be needed.

    I'll make sure to record the actual coilover thread distances when I get the wheels off again, but as you can see, you can get quite a bit lower with these coilovers. I am not at all near the end of the lowering range, front or back.
     
  8. Dave.0

    Dave.0 Helix & RMW Powered
    Lifetime Supporter

    May 4, 2009
    21,916
    11,755
    113
    Burbs of Philly, PA
    Ratings:
    +11,893 / 2 / -1
    Colin is in NC still and will get back to later when he gets home.

    FYI his coilovers are “Performance” Coil-overs not Silly soft “STANCE” for looks coil-overs.
     
  9. BumpDaddy

    BumpDaddy New Member

    May 3, 2018
    13
    15
    3
    Male
    Ratings:
    +16 / 0 / -0
    First of all, Fish, let me thank you for your detailed reply. Certainly a lot of helpful information for me here and you can definitely tell you are very experienced when it comes to these coilovers. Sounds like you're also experiencing the same types of road conditions too (I am on the Wisconsin/Illinois border).

    To address some of your questions/comments:
    • Bushings are brand new
    • Car has never been in an accident
    • From rim edge to fender, my front wheels measure more than an inch more than yours
    You also mention that you are "not at all near the end of the lowering range" for either front or back. This is where I am puzzled, as my mechanic says the rears can't be adjusted any lower (my plan was to personally verify this claim over the weekend, but did not get a chance to do so). Also, another member commented that my bottom spring perch should just not be up that close to the top of the threaded strut body. How do yours compare? Would there be any way you could take photos of your coilovers so I can compare them to mine? I'd be interested in seeing where your spring perch is and how much thread you have showing, especially in the rear.

    Thanks again!
     
  10. BumpDaddy

    BumpDaddy New Member

    May 3, 2018
    13
    15
    3
    Male
    Ratings:
    +16 / 0 / -0
    Dave - thanks for passing my message on to Colin. Certainly did not want to bother him with this during MOTD week. Hope you guys had a good time. I will be on the lookout for a call/text from him soon. I'm sure he has some ideas on how to correct what we're doing wrong over here.

    And good point about the "stance" comment. This thread does seem to be focusing on the "stance" aspect of these coilovers, but the reason I did buy them is performance. I do need to get them dialed in right, though. To clarify, my main 2 concerns are:

    • In the rear, is my bottom spring perch way too close to the top of the threaded strut body (the springs are all the way up around the rubber boots with no thread showing behind the springs). Is this normal?
    • Why can't the rears be lowered any more than they are? What would cause this? (Again, not verified by me personally but will probably check today or tomorrow).
    Again - all comments and advice are appreciated by everyone. Thanks again for the help.
     
  11. fishmonger

    fishmonger Well-Known Member

    May 13, 2015
    772
    454
    63
    Madison, WI
    Ratings:
    +494 / 0 / -0
    Hard to tell from your rear image, but could it be that you have stock non-adjustable lower control arms and the mechanic just didn't want your camber to go off the scale? Dropping the car will strongly increase camber well beyond the adjustment range, requiring adjustable lower control arms in the back. Just a guess, but my current ride height would not allow my camber settings with stock rear control arms.
     
    • Like Like x 1
    • Agree Agree x 1
    • List
  12. fishmonger

    fishmonger Well-Known Member

    May 13, 2015
    772
    454
    63
    Madison, WI
    Ratings:
    +494 / 0 / -0

    Let me share what I got - next time the wheels come off, I will try to get more useful images of the installation. Looks like I didn't document the coilovers. I have a lot of images of the broken lowering spring suspension, though :D

    first off - that's what I got from Colin in June of 2015
    [​IMG]

    Front right - not sure what stage of the install that was, possibly the first time I got it installed
    [​IMG]

    Really don't have any good photos of the current install, so I will go have a look next time it gets jacked up for the Milltek exhaust. Been mostly messing with LED lights and steam cleaning lately.
     
  13. BumpDaddy

    BumpDaddy New Member

    May 3, 2018
    13
    15
    3
    Male
    Ratings:
    +16 / 0 / -0
    Hey Fish - yes - I did install adjustable control arms, so we should be good-to-go as far as camber is concerned. My mechanic specifically pointed the finger at the coilovers for not being adjustable any further. I have a call in to Colin and will discuss solutions with him. Also thanks for sending the pics. Next time you have it up in the air, please shoot me a photo of your current install. Looking forward to comparing my setup to yours. Thanks again!
     
  14. agranger

    agranger MINI of the Month June 2009
    Supporting Member

    Apr 22, 2009
    1,737
    682
    113
    Project Manager
    Charlotte, NC
    Ratings:
    +717 / 0 / -0
    #14 agranger, May 8, 2018
    Last edited: May 8, 2018
    The first pics on this thread look mighty high to me. I just installed Colin's Coil-overs... the same BC units, custom valved, w/ Swift springs (the copper ones for me). I'm riding MUCH lower and I think I have room to go lower, though I haven't tried.

    In motion
    [​IMG]

    Parked
    [​IMG]

    I just got back from the Dragon, where I first got to really push the car through some twisties. It was spectacular! I only scrubbed the tires into the wells once, and that was when I hit a giant bump on the highway at 70 MPH. It's a very firm ride, but exactly what I wanted. VERY predictable in the turns and solid.
     
  15. BumpDaddy

    BumpDaddy New Member

    May 3, 2018
    13
    15
    3
    Male
    Ratings:
    +16 / 0 / -0
    Yes, yes, yes. Your car looks perfect. That's how I want mine to look! Any chance of you posting a photo of the rears so I can compare them to my photos above? I'm interested in seeing how much threading you have showing and where the perch sits.

    I know what you mean by the improved feel! Installed mine and went straight to the track. Didn't even test drive it beforehand. Spectacular, despite the ride height issue.

    BTW, I really like the Anthracite trim!
     
  16. Sully

    Sully Administrator
    Staff Member Articles Moderator Supporting Member

    Jul 21, 2015
    1,543
    520
    113
    Software
    30350
    Ratings:
    +564 / 4 / -0
    Looks great!
     
  17. agranger

    agranger MINI of the Month June 2009
    Supporting Member

    Apr 22, 2009
    1,737
    682
    113
    Project Manager
    Charlotte, NC
    Ratings:
    +717 / 0 / -0
    #17 agranger, May 9, 2018
    Last edited: May 9, 2018
  18. myles2go

    myles2go Active Member

    May 7, 2012
    494
    157
    43
    collecting a paycheck
    WI
    Ratings:
    +161 / 0 / -0
    IMG_20140420_134635_960.JPG
    I think your mechanic doesn't know how to adjust the coilovers because they do go lower. The setup in the picture is not bottomed out.
     
  19. GokartPilot

    GokartPilot Well-Known Member

    Jan 9, 2012
    807
    447
    63
    training specialist
    Maysville, North Carolina USA
    Ratings:
    +447 / 0 / -0
    These are what mine looked like in the box.
    12010.jpg

    It took a little time trying to get the ride height right, It still needs to be dialed in a little more. I wanted to fill in the arches a little better but found it was unrealistic by just adjusting the coilovers. I need a little more sidewall to accomplish that. That being said I am not really looking for the "stance" look either, I wanted adjustability for handling. As it sits now, it is low as I can take it without bottoming out on everything. The GP skirts want to rub on anything I go over. I do have a slight rake which I think is normal for the car. I can say the gap between my locking rings is narrower than what you are showing on yours. I had to add spacers on the front because both front wheels were rubbing on the coilovers.
    FullSizeRender(4).jpg
    I do like the ride and the handling is spot on. I am sure if I turned it over to Colin he would dial it in better.
     
  20. GokartPilot

    GokartPilot Well-Known Member

    Jan 9, 2012
    807
    447
    63
    training specialist
    Maysville, North Carolina USA
    Ratings:
    +447 / 0 / -0
    Wow, those rear wheels are tucked in there aren't they. Are those 17"s?
     

Share This Page