Suspension Brakes 1st Gen Seeking Info For R53 Coilover Upgrade

Discussion in 'Tuning and Performance' started by Firebro17, Sep 21, 2015.

  1. Firebro17

    Firebro17 Dazed, but not Confused
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    #1 Firebro17, Sep 21, 2015
    Last edited: Sep 21, 2015
    Ok, so after a rather spirited ride through our foothill mountain road system in my buddy's GP2 today, I'm finally going to take the plunge and buy a set of coilovers for my '05 R53. I'm currently running the TSW V2 springs (from Way) on the OEM sport struts. I have four new 215/45R-17 Michelin Pilot Super Sports set for installation as well. I've read all the sales pitch info that's posted here and I've looked at the individual manufacturer ads to gain insight as to what the preferred product might be. Good info out there, but I'm looking for first hand experiences so I can make an educated purchase. What I'm looking for is an end result where my car rides like a car. My primary use is as a quasi daily driver. I don't want a harsh riding vehicle that my significant other refuses to ride in... No way, No how.

    While money is sort of an object of consideration, I'm very open to your expert opinions and will make a final decision after weighing all the options and costs. I plan on making this transition in the next month or so, so let the suggestions flow. Thanks everyone!
     
  2. Boxman

    Boxman New Member

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    Hm, I know a lot of people in my area who spent well over $2k for coilovers/suspension mods, but I paid I think it was close to $900 for the Bilstein B14's for my other MINI, and they were fantastic in my opinion

    The ride quality dropped a bit over OEM, but not enough to feel overly harsh. I'd say if I rated OEM ride quality a 6/10, the Bilstein coilovers dropped it to a 5/10. But they handled well in corners.

    If you want better quality comfort ride but lowered center of gravity, why not look into air-ride?
     
  3. myles2go

    myles2go Active Member

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    I really like my setup from Greene Performance. They start with the BC's and revalve them and add swift springs. The result is a firm but compliant ride. The stock suspension in my GP could be harsh on anything larger than a crack in the road, but with these coilovers I don't get that harshness. If you want a softer ride you could go down in the spring rate. I have 7kg and 8kg, 400lb and 450lb, springs front and rear. I like the ride and my wife doesn't mind it.
     
  4. UKCoopeR

    UKCoopeR Active Member

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    Comfort and handling are hard to get hand in hand without spending a decent amount. Something based around an Ohlins DFV or Koni FSD is probably the cheapest way to get both. I know when I ran the mini on the street with 60Nmm springs on the Ohlins it was better than stock. Tire sidewall will make a huge difference too, stay with a 45 series tires and you should be fine. Something like a Conti DW is a pretty good balance between grip and comfort. What specific characteristic are you looking for the suspension to provide?
     
  5. Firebro17

    Firebro17 Dazed, but not Confused
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    I'm looking for spot-on handling and a ride that soaks up the bumps. Our California roads, especially some of the back roads, are some of the worst in the country. This GP2 I rode in has stock coil overs on it, and while it's been lowered to the maximum recommended specification, its ride is very impressive. I literally got out of the car after three hours and thought "I've got to have one of these things!" His wife would have said by now if she didn't like the ride and there's been nothing like that come out of her...
     
  6. ScottinBend

    ScottinBend Space Cowboy
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    With those springs (which are top notch....!) I would go for the Koni yellows. Switched out my failed FSD's and the ride is substantially better than when the FSD were first installed.. And I have the first version of the TSW (Swift) springs.
     
  7. BlimeyCabrio

    BlimeyCabrio Oscar Goldman of MINIs
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    Another vote for the Greene Performance setup, if you want coils.
    If you would rather have an OEM-style non-adjustable, Bilstein Sport + Swift springs are the best setup I've ever seen. Superior to the Konis (FSD or Yellow).
     
  8. Red Bull

    Red Bull Active Member

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    I went with ST XTA's and the ride is a lot better than the stock SS+ that came on the car. I'm not sure how much I lowered the car, but it's not extreme, maybe 30mm? I had to use spacers to clear the front spring lower perch/adjuster. The INOX bodies of the KW's would have been nice, but it doesn't really make a difference to me since I'm also in CA, and it's not my daily driver.
     
  9. WolfGTI

    WolfGTI Active Member

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    This is what I run - no issue.

    That being said Colin's setup is a great performer for the $$.
     
  10. Firebro17

    Firebro17 Dazed, but not Confused
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    Thanks, it's great to hear the differing opinions. Keep em coming...
     
  11. cct1

    cct1 Well-Known Member
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    I had the TSW KW V2 setup, before Way bought them out, and I really liked them. I've switched to JRZ's, but it's more for track than street. I'd go with Colin's setup for your criteria, it's going to be the best bang for the buck with excellent support as an added bonus.

    Otherwise the KW's or Billsteins would be reasonable alternatives. Not a fan of Koni's, IMHO the other options are better.
     
  12. UKCoopeR

    UKCoopeR Active Member

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    I meant in terms of is it brake dive/squat or body roll or shock rebound etc that you don't like about your current setup. I am a big fan of softer springs and stiffer bars but the exact opposite can be fast too. I like using the curbs and the soft springs help it from unsettling too much.
     
  13. MCS02

    MCS02 Moderator
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    "softer springs and stiffer bars " thats what she said.:lol::lol:

    I know this is not what you want but I like my Eibach springs and Koni yellows. But I am sure there better setups
    I have thought of going to coilovers but I was not sure how hard it is to set them up.
     
  14. Firebro17

    Firebro17 Dazed, but not Confused
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    I like the softer spring school of thought. I'm not leaning towards going the Koni/TSW route at all. I love the way the TSW springs have made my car handle, but I'm looking for an adjustable set up that will be a bit more forgiving and be able to soak the bumpy roads more than what I'm currently experiencing. I really don't forsee much track use in my MINIs future, but never say never... I appreciate your insight.
     
  15. cct1

    cct1 Well-Known Member
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    Not hard at all. As long as the springs match the coilovers dampening, single adjustable coilovers are fairly painless.

    You want to look for a rear coilover that adjusts from below rather than the top if possible. You can't get to the top of he rear perch without drilling holes. I you know exactly what you're looking for, it's not an issue, but you can't easily change the dampers on a top adjusting coilover. The flip side is that the single adjustables don't change tremendously when you make small changes, if you're in the general ballpark it's all good.
     
  16. ScottinBend

    ScottinBend Space Cowboy
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    If you like the springs.....don't change them. Dampers are all about controlling the springs. Bilstien are great and LOTS of people are running the Yellows very happily. The yellows are adjustable and at full soft are much better than OEM by a long shot.
     
  17. Firebro17

    Firebro17 Dazed, but not Confused
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    Thanks Scott, that's a very good suggestion.
     
  18. cct1

    cct1 Well-Known Member
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    You have to make sure the springs rates are compatible with the valving of the shocks though; if not you're going to be extremely disappointed in the end results.
     
  19. Firebro17

    Firebro17 Dazed, but not Confused
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    So, I guess I'll need to call Way and pose the question about the match between the V2s and the Koni Yellows if I were to choose that option...
     
  20. MCS02

    MCS02 Moderator
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    I will say I had my Koni's set to full hard on the rear and medium on the front for the Dragon. It worked great. When I got home I didn't have time to put them back on soft for the street. My Wife and I had a date night and took my car down town, it was painful. Soft is fine but full hard is ruff. I don't want to talk you into the Konis because I believe coilovers may be better over all but I have never had them so I can't compare.

    Lastly I do like the Eibach Pro-Kit Springs, I realize most people don't use them.

    Good luck.
     

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