I have a 2003 S and being new to the Mini world I have nothing to compare the ride too. This car handles like I would expect a 100k car to handle and that is good, however the ride is so rough my wife went on one ride and said I'm done. When trying to do the shock check by pushing down on the fender, there is no down. I tried opening the trunk lid and sitting on the back tried to produce a bouncing movement with no luck. My 200 pounds could not make it bounce. You feel every bump in the road and some are almost painful. I can't believe the car is supposed to ride like this unless someone make it that way and I have no idea about that. I guess I'm really asking what I can do to change that. I'm pretty sure just changing the shocks won't do it, since there doesn't seem to be any up and down movement. I haven't jacked the car up yet to see if the frame starts up before the tires come off the ground. Thank for any guidance you can provide.
MINI changed the oil viscosity and valve structure of shocks effective with May 2003 builds because owners of MCS models (especially those running 17" runflats) complained about the "bone jarring" "teeth rattling" ride.
The suspension on 1st Gen MCS models is very stiff regardless of the build date. Many people have switched from runflat to conventional tires to improve the ride. A lot of owners replaced the OEM shocks with Koni FSDs.
I replaced the original shocks with the Koni FSDs, and "Oh my God" what a difference that made. I would have never thought that shocks would make such a difference. I have it in the body shop now getting a complete new paint job, to include the checker board top. Can hardly wait to get it back. Thank you all for your input.
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