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The Power Cube
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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
Hi,

I'd like to gain an understanding (without having to read pages, and pages on each make and model) of the popular and 'worthy' coil-over fully adjustable shock kits.

Those I have noted as most popular are:

H&R
Bilstein
Spax
Koni

Each with varying prices (for similar versions).

JCW have a specifically made Bilstein model.

So - those in the know, can you help me with the finer details....

Cheers,
CSW
 

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Well, I´m not sure what you wanna know, but the H&R is only height-adjustable, while on the Bilstein/Spax you can also change the damper bound/rebound (never heard of the Koni coilovers).
If you don´t need a fully-adjustable suspension (and believe me, you don´t unless you take your MINI to the track), then I can only recommend the Hartge coilovers...

Cheers,
Alex
 

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The Power Cube
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Discussion Starter · #3 ·
2fast4u said:
Well, I´m not sure what you wanna know, but the H&R is only height-adjustable, while on the Bilstein/Spax you can also change the damper bound/rebound (never heard of the Koni coilovers).
If you don´t need a fully-adjustable suspension (and believe me, you don´t unless you take your MINI to the track), then I can only recommend the Hartge coilovers...

Cheers,
Alex
but if i have 17" wheels for winter, and 18" for summer, then i need to change the suspension height each time. Also, manually height adjustable shocks means that i am able to get EXACTLY the right height for look.

any comments?......
 

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MUGEN POWER
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11,372 Posts
Cooper S Works said:
but if i have 17" wheels for winter, and 18" for summer, then i need to change the suspension height each time. Also, manually height adjustable shocks means that i am able to get EXACTLY the right height for look.

any comments?......
yer 17" and 18" wheels wont alter yer ride height unless u have non std size tires:)
 

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The Power Cube
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Discussion Starter · #5 ·
RedUn said:
yer 17" and 18" wheels wont alter yer ride height unless u have non std size tires:)
True, but do both wheel types suit the same height settings ?
I know that the 18" wheels look strange without being lowered, however the 17" S-Spokes look OK with normal suspension.
 

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MUGEN POWER
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Cooper S Works said:
True, but do both wheel types suit the same height settings ?
I know that the 18" wheels look strange without being lowered, however the 17" S-Spokes look OK with normal suspension.
that depends on the person really don't it

but as far as i'm concerned the mini rides too high on std suspension anyway

so a mini lowered say 30mm on 17's or 18's will look good:)

if u follow me? lol
 

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Cooper S Works said:
but if i have 17" wheels for winter, and 18" for summer, then i need to change the suspension height each time. Also, manually height adjustable shocks means that i am able to get EXACTLY the right height for look.

any comments?......
All of the mentioned coilovers are fully height adjustable. What 2fast4you was referring to is the adjustability of the damper characteristics.

As I am searching suitable coilovers as well:

The bottom line in the german forums is:

- Bilstein PSS9 (fully adjustable) - very little comfort but great performance on good surfaces
- Spax (fully adjustable) - comfort comparable to H&R/ v. good performance

- H&R w red Springs (height adjustable) - more comfort (than above)/good performance
- H&R w green Springs (height adjustable) - very little comfort/good performance
- Hartge (heigth adjustable) - pretty comfy/good performance

Feel free to correct me as I havent experienced these setups. Maybe it has to be mentioned that some companies sell different setups of the same product in th US than they do over here.
 

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As above, Spax offer very good performance and a decent ride when set up correctly. Incidentally, the ideal dampener rate for road and track is one click from fully wound on the front and 2 clicks from fully wound on the rears.

They offer a ride BARELY harsher than the SS+ and S-lites with runfluts, bearing in mind I am running 18's with 35 profile rubber I'd say they are very good and unbeatable for the money. Buy British :D Plus it has full TUV approval for a fraction of the cost of Bilstein.

Henry
 

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Dating my S
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cooper4me said:
All of the mentioned coilovers are fully height adjustable. What 2fast4you was referring to is the adjustability of the damper characteristics.

As I am searching suitable coilovers as well:

The bottom line in the german forums is:

- Bilstein PSS9 (fully adjustable) - very little comfort but great performance on good surfaces
- Spax (fully adjustable) - comfort comparable to H&R/ v. good performance

- H&R w red Springs (height adjustable) - more comfort (than above)/good performance
- H&R w green Springs (height adjustable) - very little comfort/good performance
- Hartge (heigth adjustable) - pretty comfy/good performance

Feel free to correct me as I havent experienced these setups. Maybe it has to be mentioned that some companies sell different setups of the same product in th US than they do over here.
Tein makes a super street setup for the mini, its got a real agressive drop (somewhere like 1.3 up front at least)

i heard good things from fk, but that's more taking koni shocks, and putting their own springs on it

kw also makes a very good setup
 

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Track Junkie
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Regarding the Bilstein PSS9, I heard that there're 2 different versions. The one that JC sells is the track version with stiff springs, which would not be comfortable for road use. Bilstein also sells a street version with softer springs, but I don't know who sells that.

I guess you can always specify the spring rates you want when you order the kit.
 

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The Power Cube
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Discussion Starter · #12 ·
Hubert said:
Regarding the Bilstein PSS9, I heard that there're 2 different versions. The one that JC sells is the track version with stiff springs, which would not be comfortable for road use. Bilstein also sells a street version with softer springs, but I don't know who sells that.

I guess you can always specify the spring rates you want when you order the kit.
Are you sure they are PSS9 and not just PSS ?

The JCW shocks are made by Bilstein specially for JCW - can't get them else where.
 

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Track Junkie
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If you look on the JC website, those shocks look like PSS9 with the adjustable rebound knob.

"Specially made" means springs and valving according to JC's request, but they're still PSS9.
 

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In Germany they sell PSS9 with what looks like differrent springs from the setup at John Cooper. (also reffered to as the street version) Anyway a couple of users over here have reported them to be on the stiffer side, to an extend which is not exactly suitable if you're not going to use them on track regularly.

@Cooper S Works: If you're "in the know" could you comment on the characteristics of the new suspension steup by JC for dealer fit?
 

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The Power Cube
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Discussion Starter · #15 ·
cooper4me said:
In Germany they sell PSS9 with what looks like differrent springs from the setup at John Cooper. (also reffered to as the street version) Anyway a couple of users over here have reported them to be on the stiffer side, to an extend which is not exactly suitable if you're not going to use them on track regularly.

@Cooper S Works: If you're "in the know" could you comment on the characteristics of the new suspension steup by JC for dealer fit?
All the information I have is based on that available on the Bilstein website and the JCW website. If you require specific answers to specific questions then you will have to email the Sales department at JCW. They are very helpful and i am sure will help you with your understandings.
 

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John Cooper Mototorsport Coilovers

Hi all,
I have the Bilstein PSS9 set-up on my car plus I have the John Cooper Motorsport kit in a box in my garage for sale. They are entirely different animals- I know because I've tried both and contacted Bilstein in Germany & quoted then the part numbers. The JCM kit is height adjustable and has the the same 9-setting bump & rebound adjustment as the PSS9 but that is where all similarity ends. The JCM strut is an all-out racing unit with a piston area about three times as great as that on the PSS9. The valving is different and it comes with a single spring per unit, not the tender-spring and main-spring set-up of the PSS9. The JCM is a whole world harder than the PSS9 - it is totally rock hard. I tried it on my car - the measured spring rate at the wheel was 1100 lbs compared to 425lbs for the Cooper S SS+ suspension! The JCM kit uses Eibach springs & it was specially engineered for the John Cooper Challenge cars which run Dunlop DJ01 rubber in R16 205/50. With my 18" wheels 215/35s, powerflex bushes, rose-jointed suspension, 22mm Alta rear bar and 18mm Eibach front bar - there was absolutely no compliance anywhere in the system. I've got my JCM kit for sale for £700 (it's only be round the block) - but I wouldn't recommend it for the road. I even got softer springs custom made & fitted these to the JCM damper unit- and the dampers were so hard the car was supported entirely by the strut with the springs doing nothing! Bilstein Genrmany said I could revalve the shock absorber down to be 70% softer and it would still be unsuitable for the road.
See the attached the photos if you're interested otherwise I'll stick them on E-Bay. They're in boxed new condition. They would definitely suit a rally car where maintaining ground clearance over yumps & jumps is essential, although you'd need to use spacers to set the ride height to something appropriate.
 

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The Power Cube
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Discussion Starter · #17 ·
Great details there PenguinRacer.

If SS+ is 425lbs and Bilstein JCW track spec are 1100lbs, then I reckon 500lbs would be the best option for the road surface in UK.

From what I have read so far, then this would lead me to opting for the Spax.

Is there an FAQ on Coil-overs ?

Name, Adjustability, Stiffness, Cost - that sort of thing...
 

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John Cooper Motorsport Competition Suspension

We have to be careful here when we're talking about spring rates. There are two pertinent values- a "simple spring rate" (the compressibility of the spring on its own- generally the pounds force required for one inch of compression - don't get me going about progressive rates!) and the "effective spring rate" - which is measured by moving the wheel a set distance and measuring the required force per unit of vertical wheel travel. The "effective rate" takes into account the leverage/torque moments of the suspension arms which are deflected by the spring. The latter is a more meaningful "real world" figure.
West Tunings superb Koni coilover set up has an effective rate of about 600 lbs and this gives a lovely ride/handling compromise. The Koni's a great high-performance road damper. Bilstein make a great race damper but you will pay a price on the road in terms of ride comfort.
I recommend that anyone interested in tuning their mini get down to Thruxton and have a chat to Ray West. His demonstrator is a beautifully sorted package. My rig is more track, razor sharp, hard, urgent, and perhaps too hard for most.
 

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The Power Cube
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Discussion Starter · #19 ·
Penguinracer said:
We have to be careful here when we're talking about spring rates. There are two pertinent values- a "simple spring rate" (the compressibility of the spring on its own- generally the pounds force required for one inch of compression - don't get me going about progressive rates!) and the "effective spring rate" - which is measured by moving the wheel a set distance and measuring the required force per unit of vertical wheel travel. The "effective rate" takes into account the leverage/torque moments of the suspension arms which are deflected by the spring. The latter is a more meaningful "real world" figure.
West Tunings superb Koni coilover set up has an effective rate of about 600 lbs and this gives a lovely ride/handling compromise. The Koni's a great high-performance road damper. Bilstein make a great race damper but you will pay a price on the road in terms of ride comfort.
I recommend that anyone interested in tuning their mini get down to Thruxton and have a chat to Ray West. His demonstrator is a beautifully sorted package. My rig is more track, razor sharp, hard, urgent, and perhaps too hard for most.
Thanks for the details there. Lots of information to take in, but all logical.
Definately looking for road-comfy setup though.

Just investigating quality/cost of each product now...

:rolleyes:
 

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Happy Trudger
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Cooper S Works, don't forget your very own British company Leda. I needed a very adjustable setup for a diverse event I took part in earlier this year. Was unhappy with another famous companies setup. Went to Leda and couldn't have been happier. We won our class, thanks in part to the ease with which we were able to adapt the suspension to the track. I could be a the track with 80 cars and be the only guy doing adjustment between sessions. Especially great if weather changes. Wet-dry-wet, etc.

Even if you don't need to adjust rebound/damper (Leda's adjusts our down low and easy to get at), and just want to change ride height, you should look at their basic models. Here's a link: http://www.leda.com/leda.htm They have a small, but growing presence here in the States. I understand they're quite well-known in the U.K. and have moved into a larger facility to accomodate their growing business. I believe they built their reputation on custom racing and historic systems, but now have many stock replacement offerings. I know they have something for the S.
 
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