Disappointing handling??? - MINI Cooper Forum

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post #1 of 12 (permalink) Old Jun 3rd, 2014, 08:19 AM Thread Starter
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Smile Disappointing handling???

Hi, this is just me musing really... not any specific problem but interested to know what other people feel.

I have to say how disappointed I am with my Mini's handling (2005 One Convertible). Whilst I know it's not a Cooper S and therefore not meant to be speedy (it isn't) and high performance handling like a Cooper S, I just find it utterly dreadful at going round corners. One of the things you should be able to do in a Mini (imho) is go round corners smartly with the car sticking to the ground - doesn't happen. Straight line speed, I find, you can forget in the Mini One - it's totally dead in 3rd gear where the acceleration is really really rubbish. But straight line speed I wouldn't expect; I would have expected decent cornering but I'd go so far as to say it's really poo cornering actually. How do other people find it?????

Whilst I understand that with its low profile tyres (especially if it's a bumpy corner) it's going to 'skip' round a bit, there seems to be really poor road holding. And in the wet it is absolutely DREADFUL. Now I must just explain I am not a nutter trying to screech round corners at breakneck speed, I'm just talking about enjoying driving and going smartly round a corner and feeling that the car is 100% stuck to the road and solid - I don't feel that and it's quite disappointing. Coupled with the clunkiest least smooth gear change in any car I've ever owned, it makes for a most non-uplifting driving experience.

I don't know if it's the low profile tyres or if it's just how the 2005 Mini One Convertibles are made/their suspension....

I wondered if anyone else who owns a Mini One (/One Convertible) feels the same to any extent or had any thoughts that they wished to share????? ! I did in 2007 own a 2007 Mini Cooper and I don't remember that car being like the One (of course, it's going to be different, but I'm still surprised by how relatively poor even compared to just other cars, hatchbacks etc, the Mini One is...).

I guess I wouldn't mind but having to spend so much on a never-ending list of repairs just to keep the blessed thing on the road, it would be more of a pay-off if you like, if when it was running well, it was more fun and a pleasure to drive I suppose (not that I hate it you understand, just find it's road holding and gear change not a pleasure really).
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post #2 of 12 (permalink) Old Jun 3rd, 2014, 08:56 AM
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Do you still have runflat tyres ? I don't have a mini one I have the S but when I changed from runflats to none runflats the difference in ride quality & grip was massive. It made the car more quieter, smoother & handle a lot better, it made it so much nicer to drive
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post #3 of 12 (permalink) Old Jun 3rd, 2014, 08:58 AM Thread Starter
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No I just have regular tyres, just low profile.
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post #4 of 12 (permalink) Old Jun 3rd, 2014, 09:03 AM
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Correct geometry settings can make a huge difference to how a car feels, and I don't mean a 4 wheel alignment done at your local tyre fitters. If in doubt I certainly recommend a proper geometry setup and corner weighting, I used Dom at SVP for my 911 Home they don't just do Porsches, my Cooper S will go there at some point for some suspension tweaking.

I don't know what the difference are between the models suspension setups are. I guess a Cooper S has uprated shock absorbers and thicker ARBs, obviously these will be factors that affect your cars handling.
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post #5 of 12 (permalink) Old Jun 3rd, 2014, 09:23 AM Thread Starter
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Originally Posted by Big_Nige View Post
Correct geometry settings can make a huge difference to how a car feels, and I don't mean a 4 wheel alignment done at your local tyre fitters. If in doubt I certainly recommend a proper geometry setup and corner weighting, I used Dom at SVP for my 911 Home they don't just do Porsches, my Cooper S will go there at some point for some suspension tweaking.

I don't know what the difference are between the models suspension setups are. I guess a Cooper S has uprated shock absorbers and thicker ARBs, obviously these will be factors that affect your cars handling.
And what would the kind of price be for something like that Big Nige???
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post #6 of 12 (permalink) Old Jun 3rd, 2014, 09:39 AM
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I paid 200 cash for full corner weighting and geo that was a bit mates rates though but I don't think it's much more anyway. Possibly cost less on a mini as I guess there are less adjustment points?
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post #7 of 12 (permalink) Old Jun 3rd, 2014, 09:55 AM Thread Starter
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Cheers. I'd certainly consider it but think I need to find out more about how much how other aspects of the One such as suspension and other sort of general build is responsible as it could be trying to make a silk purse out of a sow's ear - and one always has to keep cash in reserve for the next component that's about to go down/fail/stop working altogether!!
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post #8 of 12 (permalink) Old Jun 3rd, 2014, 10:43 AM
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Hi ya

I would say before getting the suspension set up, have a good look round the suspension first.
Places to look are
strut top mounts front and rear they split and the bearings fail
front lower wish bone bushes checked to the fail as well.
Get someone to have a look at the shocks to you might have a weak one
Rear trailing arm pivot bushes.

All these will cause poor handling and if a part has failed or is worn this will effect your suspension geometry, so if you have it all set with failed or worn parts it will not help, or may not be able to be adjusted in correctly.
Once you are 100% shore that your suspension is all in good shape then a full suspension set up is well worth it

What tire pressures are you running ?

Engine Power wise when was the last time the car was serviced ?
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post #9 of 12 (permalink) Old Jun 3rd, 2014, 11:03 AM
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Good point, I forgot to mention I had fully refurbished the suspension on my car before I had the geometry done.
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post #10 of 12 (permalink) Old Jun 3rd, 2014, 11:24 AM
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I have a Cooper D Convertible, 17" wheels with non runflats and mine handles like it is on rails unless you hit a bump and it skips about a bit.

The tyres can make a huge difference. When I replaced my two rears from Bridgestone to Hankooks the handling was terrible because the Bridgestone ones were really had with no give in the sidewalls but the Hankooks were more flexible. All sorted itself out when I changed the front to Hankooks so I would recommend that you have the same tyres all round and dont mix and match.
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post #11 of 12 (permalink) Old Jun 3rd, 2014, 05:35 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by halesowenmum View Post
No I just have regular tyres, just low profile.
What size are the tires?
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post #12 of 12 (permalink) Old Sep 18th, 2014, 07:31 PM
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I think, look at the tyres first, pressures and what make. It may not matter if they're budget, but it will help if they're all the same.

I had a Mini One, on an 05, it was fun on 15's with non rft's, in fact only 't' rated ones haha. It would move at the rear on a spirited drive on twisty roads I know quite well, but can't remember what make the tyres were.

The facelift One was a great car and although I changed mine to the MCS I'm now selling, I would have another 05 One because it was a hoot in the end.

Check the shocks, bounce on the corners and check it doesn't keep bouncing, or follow the car being driven by someone else, and especially with the rears check they aren't wobbling uncontrollably over bumps, but doubt you'll have this as they're pretty resilient.

The convertible weighs more of course, but a geometry check is a good idea, even if you can't adjust the rear, your requirement is to find errors. Have a ring around and see who does a four wheel alignment, should be 30-40 for checking and maybe that's all even with minor adjustment, or up to 80 if it takes a while. While there, they can check all the bushings and joints for you very easily.

Get a printout of before, target, and actual data, plus an explanation if you don't know. So tyres and suspension checked, and car driving straight.

Poor power..... your One won't get full throttle. It is programmed that way. A remap, certainly an Autologic one, will remedy that, and it is invisible. It will lift the car from 90hp to approx. 125, 7 more than a standard Cooper depending on condition. Crazy huh? On mine I put a performance camshaft in it aswell, and it was just funny from then on. Totally standard otherwise, well except the air filter element which was K&N.

Brakes are ok if you make it faster, as they're the same as Cooper and S anyway on that model.

There may not be a rear anti roll bar on your car, but that actually in town isn't always a bad thing, as some suspension compliance is good for traction in places other stiffer cars jump and skip.

My One, would clear 130 rather swiftly, and get to 135 and stay there. With the longer 1st and 2nd gears, and just the five gears as you have, it was a great combination, not as a silly car you understand, just that where your car may feel flat at 4k, they can be helped to get quite good, mine was just getting good from 3.8k and very eager to 5.5 from 4.5, whilst improving fuel consumption.

Just the remap will help, but the car has the same engine in principle as the Cooper S, so can do better as you might guess.

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