Engine Drivetrain 1st Gen Cooper S Head/Header/Cam Installation and Results

Discussion in 'Tuning and Performance' started by cct1, Aug 7, 2011.

  1. cct1

    cct1 Well-Known Member
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    #1 cct1, Aug 7, 2011
    Last edited: Aug 7, 2011
    Background: My car started as a 2006 stock JCW, is still used as a daily driver when the weather is decent, and I like to hit the track with it periodically. The car is setup well with brakes (Brakeman via RMW), and Suspension (KW V2's, bushings, sway bar, etc.). I've been wanting to increase power for two years. I did have the car tuned back in 2008 (RMW), and the results were good. I'd decided to keep the car pretty much forever, so a year later I started looking into engine mods. What I really wanted initially was an all in one place to get the parts, get the parts installed, and get the car tuned. Problem is, in Southeast Wisconsin, there isn't any place close by to do this.

    So, after what seems like reading a million posts, and making a half million phone calls and pms, I ended up going the route I did. And when its all said and done, it came out pretty damned good. Here's the process, with the good and the bad (not much in the bad department, but few things worth mentioning--if you're thinking about doing this, expect some minor niggles) for anyone interested:

    Parts Installed and Source

    RMW Head with inconel exhaust valves
    RMW Street Header
    RMW Grand Am Cam
    440 injectors (RMW)
    RMW remote tune/RMW flash tool
    GP Intercooler with DDM diverter (WMW)
    15% Pulley (WMW)
    Colder plugs (2 steps colder)
    Custom Exhaust (More on that at the end)
    Innovate OBD-II and LC1/wideband sensor (Tunetools, recommended by Jan, they have a nice RMW friendly package they put together).

    Installer
    Extreme Motorsports, Neenah, Wisconsin. Dan Rhodes owns it--he's an accomplished tuner in his own right, and tunes a ton of Ferrari's, Porsche's, Mustangs, etc--but not MINIs; my car was more of an interesting side show than a main event. It's a high end shop. He took a tremendous amount of interest in the MINI, despite it not being in the same league as what he usually works on (although he is getting Fiat 500 ready for a customer for the Targa) and oversaw everything. Once installed, the remote tune was done on his Superflow dyno. The key to doing this remotely is getting a good shop that can do the install and tune. I couldn't have gotten any luckier finding Dan.

    Installation
    Took a week, but I has some other work done not related to the car. Prior to installation, make sure someone goes over the car to prep it. (I put in new filters, changed the oil (which Dan told me wasn't necessary, as he would end up doing an oil change anyway) found a coolant leak, got all this fixed and was good to go. My car only had 20,000 miles going in though).

    Installation went relatively easy, with two minor exceptions. You can't drop the cam in--you really have to watch the alignment and timing with the cover off. Dan made a few calls to Jan, and they got it worked out fairly quickly. Dan, not being used to working on MINIs, was surprised how finicky the cams are in these cars--but the next person who brings one in to him will benefit from the work they did on my car.

    The other is the Innovate Wideband. It's a good setup, but it's a somewhat tricky install with regard to the wiring. I'm glad they did it, this isn't one I'd DIY.

    Remote Tune

    This is what makes these mods possible to people without direct access to a tuner (or who don't want to self-tune). It flat out rocks. One minor problem--the first flash tool wouldn't work on my car--Jan made several calls to dimsport, and sent me a new unit (which he got in the mail before he received mine back, nice touch!). The second one worked flawlessly. With the mods, Jan sent a can tuned to get the car started so we could put it on the dyno, and then we tuned it by sending files back and forth.


    The tune itself was done on a superflow dyno--this is a dyno that reads low, for what it's worth.

    We got started late in the day on the tune--90 degrees, 75% humidity, less than ideal conditions. We were four hours behind on the agreed upon time--mainly because the innovate installation took a little longer than anticipated. Didn't matter though--Jan was totally cool about it, and we got it done between that afternoon and the next morning. Total time on the dyno was about 3 hours.

    The first file Jan sent back off the first dyno run got the car VERY close. Dan tunes exotic stuff, and race cars, and he was big time impressed (So much so we're trying to hit a track day at the same time--he drives a 500HP race prepped Mustang, but he's totally interested in seeing what this will do on the track. He got some quality time behind the wheel, when he was helping to sort out the suspension, and flat out loves the car).

    That brings up the exhaust. I had bought the Group 4 exhaust, to run with the rear diffuser--it's a muffler up front, and a straight pipe that runs underneath the battery box to another muffler, then out. I got this before I finally decided on doing the engine. Jan warned me it was probably going to be too loud...And he was right. Once you get rid of the split in the exhaust, all hell breaks loose. It droned so loudly on the highway I had to roll the windows down (It was impossible to hear the radio anyway), and even then, my ears hurt when I got home. It sounded so incredible though...

    So what I ended up doing was keeping the 2.5 inch pipe and the magnaflow muffler in the front, ran that pipe all the way back to split for the JCW mufflers, where it narrows to 2.25 inches. This setup sounds great! No drone at all, gets a little loud when you stomp on it, but to tell the truth, I'd be happier if it was just a little louder. Eventually I may put the Milltek twin cans back there--they're just a little louder, and there isn't a drop-off from 2.5 to 2.25. But that's my word of warning--if you go this route, make sure you're ok with your exhaust first--Jan is a big help here.

    Performance
    I haven't had a chance to hit the track yet. But from driving it around for the last couple of weeks, the car is simply incredible. I couldn't be happier. Idle is at 1000 RPMs, next to no lope. The car is still fine to drive around town, even with the more aggressive cam; a little loss down low, but nothing that makes driving difficult. But the mid and top range of the car has been transformed! The car is just a rocket above about 3000 RPMs, and it just keeps pulling. I used to be able to put the pedal down to the floor with impunity; throttle modulation is now going to come into play. I am amazed at how well these parts work together (as was Dan).

    For a street driven car that hits the track, this package was exactly what I was hoping for. For a street driven car only, I'd probably recommend the street cam, but for anyone with any inkling of hitting the track, especially if this is a second car, this setup brings the car into another stratosphere. I don't see myself ever getting rid of it. I have some other things I'd like to do to it in the future, but I seriously doubt I'll be adding more power--the car feels "just right" with regard to handling and power.

    The whole process was interesting and enjoyable. Jan went out of his way to help Dan out with questions; Dan enjoyed working with Jan, and I think working on the MINI, as it was something different, and Dan went out of his way to make sure everything was just right. I couldn't be happier with how this all played out.

    Next, the dyno plot:
     
  2. cct1

    cct1 Well-Known Member
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    #2 cct1, Aug 7, 2011
    Last edited: Aug 7, 2011
    This is dyno plot, and I apologize for not having a before and after--that was my intention, but Dan was tuning a race car and time didn't allow.

    This is apples to oranges, I'm not a numbers whore, but a delta whore, but for what it's worth, Jan tuned the car when it was a stock JCW, in eerily similar conditions, at a tune party in Lake Villa Illinois in the summer of 2008. It was in the low 90's, high humidity. I don't have the dyno sheet any more, but at 7200 RPM's it was making 189 HP on either a dynajet or dynapack, can't remember which. But there are plenty of dyno graphs of stock JCW's tuned around anyway.



    This time it was tuned on Superflow Dyno, which reads low (Dan told me people bring their Mustangs in, put them on the dyno, and leave with destroyed pride and broken hearts):D. What's more important than the numbers are the curves themselves. I apologize for it starting at 3500--didn't notice that until I got home. As you'd expect, the torque drops off below 3500--it doesn't have that awesome flat line all the way down the rev limit. From 3500 on up, it's just fantastic, especially compared to what it was as stock JCW. I can't wait to get it on the track.
     

    Attached Files:

  3. cct1

    cct1 Well-Known Member
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    And here is a reference to how the various dynos stack up--this is the exact same car, on three different dynos, under as close to as identical conditions as possible--granted, it's a Mazda with a Rotrex, but it does give an idea how they read:
     

    Attached Files:

  4. minimark

    minimark Well-Known Member

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    Very sweet, Congratulations!!! Can't wait to hear your impressions at the track!:Thumbsup:
     
  5. mini_racer

    mini_racer Well-Known Member

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    Depending on your tire selection, you may be feathering that throttle a bunch. That is a good problem to have.
     
  6. Nathan

    Nathan Founder

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    Great write-up. Thanks for sharing!
     
  7. k-huevo

    k-huevo Club Coordinator

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    The graph should be re-scaled. HP & Torque don't cross over at 7000 rpm.
     
  8. BThayer23

    BThayer23 Well-Known Member

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  9. ScottinBend

    ScottinBend Space Cowboy
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    I am surprised you're not getting more torques.
     
  10. cct1

    cct1 Well-Known Member
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    The superflow dyno reads low, about 10-15% lower than a dynapak as a point of reference. The day was horrible too--90+ degrees, 75% humidity, less than ideal.

    The car pulls hard above about 3000; if I lay into the throttle in second gear with the DSC off (I have the factory LSD), the front tires light up. I wish I had a preinstall dyno to compare to, that would have been more helpful, but time didn't allow. Seeing the delta would have been nice as opposed to absolute numbers, which I always take with a grain of salt.
     
  11. ScottinBend

    ScottinBend Space Cowboy
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    I was just comparing the HP to TQ numbers, not the actual graph number. Not sure I have seen one with that big a spread.
     
  12. Jan

    Jan Well-Known Member
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    all dyno's read different.....case in point
     
  13. ScottinBend

    ScottinBend Space Cowboy
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    I just thought the torques would be closer to the hp.....aren't they supposed to be?

    I am honestly just curious about this.
     
  14. Jan

    Jan Well-Known Member
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    Scott, this is a different dyno.........that's how it reads
     
  15. ScottinBend

    ScottinBend Space Cowboy
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    :confused5:

    What does the dyno have to do with the numbers? I am not asking why this is different from another plot, just why is there such a large difference between the TQ and HP number. Is it due to the parts, the tune, is it normal?
     
  16. BThayer23

    BThayer23 Well-Known Member

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    #16 BThayer23, Aug 9, 2011
    Last edited: Aug 9, 2011
    Also curious about that. Stock numbers at the crank are 168 hp and 160 ft-lbs, right? So for the numbers to diverge that much - looks like 240hp/180ft-lbs - the upper end of the torque curve must change dramatically to affect the peak HP. HP is torque times revs divided by 5252, which is why HP = torque when revs = 5252. Above 5252 rpm, the torque number is increased by revs, which keeps the HP curve going up while the torque curve falls off on most engines, the R53 included.

    The redline would have to be raised significantly, or the torque curve was completely reworked and modest gains in the mid-range (~4500) were dwarfed by significant gains up high (5500+). The divergence in HP/torque numbers means essentially that the character of the new engine bears no relation to the old one. Most engines with a profile like this one have figured out a way to breathe better up top - in our case, it's called a supercharger and a high-flow head. You can always add more fuel, but to take advantage of the higher revs, you need a lot more air. That's why it's worth charting HP. Air and fuel requirements are related to revs, so multiply the air and fuel requirements times the power it's making and you can understand how the engine's making it's power.

    /ramble
     
  17. HRM

    HRM New Member

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    That is a fact.

    The equation (Torque x Engine speed) / 5,252 = Horsepower requires them to be the same.

    Dynos and their software can measure the force directly and try to graph it, so they don't necessarily have to use the above formula in any way. This is why the delta is really the important number. Not only to they read differently, but the underlying math formulas can be different in a huge way.

    That graph does not accurately plot the theoretical math, but it does plot how the device measures the force. You can use that graph to compare other cars or equipment best on that same machine and it will work perfectly, but you can't compare the results to other dynos and use it as effectively.
     
  18. cct1

    cct1 Well-Known Member
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    Yep, the plan was a before and after, which would have been much more useful, but it didn't work out. A stock MINI on Dan's dyno would look much different than on a dynapack, or dynajet for instance; using the stock numbers from a different dyno and trying to compare it to the Superflow isn't going to anywhere near a meaningful comparison. I've poked around trying to find Superflow dynos on other MINI's with no success. The dyno plot is just a single reference point pertaining to that particular dyno; maybe if there is a tuning day in the Midwest someday again I can put it on a dynapack and put up a sheet from a dyno people are more familiar with.
     
  19. minimark

    minimark Well-Known Member

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    #19 minimark, Aug 9, 2011
    Last edited: Aug 9, 2011
    Same old stuff, folks just can't or won't understand that you cannot compare graphs from one type of dyno to another, heck it's hard to even compare results from the same type dynos on different days and places.

    Yawn.....
     
  20. BlimeyCabrio

    BlimeyCabrio Oscar Goldman of MINIs
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    .... and the SpeedWerks dynapack..... ohhhhhhhh boy. :)
     

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