MG ZR Alloys fitment - Update 1.0
So I found myself in a position to fit the MG alloys yesterday and even though I am still waiting on the extended bolts and radius/taper adaptors, I thought I would trial the wheels and work out some kinks before they stay on permanently when the parts arrive later this week.
The first task was to remove the MINI 17" alloys. A few tips below that worked for me but efficienados feel free to skip these:
-Jack up the car using the pre-determined jack points under the sills but keep an eye on these as you raise and lower as the rubber mounts tend to slip out of place if you're not on completely level ground. Recommend putting an axle stand under solid frame points as well, don't just leave the car raised on the jack unless you absolutely have to.
-If you're wheel hasn't been removed for a while, you might find a breaker bar is needed to remove the bolts. Untighten them a little before you raise the car up.
-After you remove the wheel bolts, the wheel may still not come away from the hub. Try gently tapping either side of the tyre with a rubber mallet to create a pivot motion to gently free the wheel from the hub. Make sure to have a support under the wheel or better a spare pair of hands ready to grab the wheel so it doesn't fall onto your brake disc.
-Rotate the hub so that the bolt holes are arranged like a cross pattern. (two holes aligned vertically along the centre and the other two horizontal). Place the new wheel on, locating the centre bore on the central hub lip and line up the holes to those on the hub. Best to get a bolt threaded into the top hole first slightly and then the wheel won't fall out of place and swing.
-Get all 4 bolts starting to thread and then proceed to tighten them up evenly one at a time, opposite bolts at a time to ensure a proper seating on the hub.
-Once the bolts are all hand tight and the wheel is sitting flush against the hub, you can go ahead and lower the car to the ground. Get the breaker bar out again and further tighten the wheel up when the car is on the ground.
As I said in the previous post, the wheel will just go straight on using the existing Mini bolts, the amount of thread left to screw into the hub is about 1mm greater with the MG alloys so perhaps a better connection here than before. The downside is the bolts won't sit properly in the alloys as they have a radius seat and the bolts are conical. I've had mine on for a day or two now though to try out the wheels and they haven't gone anywhere but I will be fitting the new bolts soon so I recommend you go ahead and do the same.
In terms of improvement to overall ride quality, the main reason I made the conversion in the first place, the main differences come as you might expect over bumps, potholes and uneven road surface. The skittishness has definitely reduced and the car feels a little more squishy in the bends but not enough to compromise the sharp handling and feel through the steering wheel. You can at least relax a little knowing that you're not going to crash into every pothole as harshly as before. While it's enough to make a noteable difference to the composure of the car over rougher surfaces, try out a few different routes to the usual commute as the placebo effect will probably enhance your perception of reality. What may also be altered is your perception of height above the road. The overall PCD is less on the MG ZR wheels (about 5-10mm depending on how high you run your tyre pressures, so you will be slightly closer to the ground and your speedo may be a few percent out here or there but nothing life changing. Just watch the front mudguards over speedbumps and you should be fine.
So far the results are positive. The ride is a little more comfortable while the general fun feel of the car largely remains the same. Couple this with a suspension upgrade and you could be onto even further levels of comfort. Now I just need to get a spare wheel fitted under the boot somewhere or I could be in big trouble...
I'll post an update when I give this a go!
Pics - Cooper with new 16" Hairpins