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Discussion Starter #1
Ok so i recently purchased my 2011 MCS its currently riding on 17 option rims and i have a set of 16's for snow tires. I was looking for a set of coilovers which can lower the car but also can bring the car back to near stock ride height. I am a little apprehensive to just get a set of coilovers because my friend has a g35, and he Bought BC branded coilovers which on the highest setting still has the car sitting pretty low. I live in NY and need the ground clearance for the winter. Does anyone have any of the coilovers who can specifically say the travel the ride height adjustment really has?
 

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Freestylin, just FYI
I have a 12 MCS with B14 Bilstein's. They are ride height adjustable but the maximum height is still between 3/4" or 7/8" lower than stock. With my 16" 195/55 winters on I can't do most speed bumps as the front bottom spoiler, lip and rad hose scrape. With the stock shocks/springs, the stock height that I had last winter was good, but really it's the minimum.
I use my big SUV when its deeper snow now.
 

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I am in the same boat. I want the car to work well for autocross, and work well on our beat up rural roads.
We get deep snow, but it gets plowed pretty fast. I also have 2 Jeep SUV's and a pickup truck. So I do not need to take the cooper out when the snow is deep, but I do want to be able to use it when I travel over the mountains to Seattle.
My summer tires/wheels are 215/45/17 Michelin AS3+ on Sparco Drift's, and my winters are on the stock 16" wheels, 195/55 I think. I run Nokian 8's with studs in the winter. The studded Nokians are the most fun you could ask for on ice.

I am teetering between buying BC Racing Coilovers, possibly with the Swift Springs, or keeping my stock springs and buying Koni FSD's. The FSD's will give the best ride on rough stuff, but I really like the features of the BC coilovers.
I can live with being a 1/2 or so lower, but not much more.

I have a Rennsport skid plate and a lower chassis brace. At least I can high center a little bit and not do damage.
I would love to find a coilover/spring combo that I could raise to at least stock, and then drop 1.5" lower.
Yes, I realize that I need to re-align the steering and re-calculate the corner weights each time I change height, but I can do that in my own shop with a couple hours of work.
 

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Interesting problem and one I've researched. I'm in the UK with an R53 Cooper S. Wanting coilovers, but such a huge choice and price range. One of the makes on my short list are GAZ Shocks Ltd. Made in the UK, in Basildon, Essex, just east of London.
https://www.gazshocks.com/

They are not that commonly used in the MINI community but have an excellent reputation. In Europe there are numbers of race series that use their coilovers. I've been a passenger in a MINI fitted with them and they are very good.

BUT they MAKE 'your' coilovers to order. Takes 5-7 weeks from order (well here in the UK). You can't order directly from them, have to order through a dealer. Once ordered, you can communicate directly with them to discuss and specify exactly what you want. Obviously they will guide you. So you can explain what your using them for - tracking, fast road, dreadful city roads. And you can specify the spring rates you require.

Now the interesting bit, given the subject of this thread, is that you can also specify the drop you want. I know because I have spoken to them and specifically asked that question. So if their 'standard' drop is (sorry, don't do inches over here any more) say 30mm-80mm, so a range of 50mm, you can specify that you want 0mm-50mm drop range.

They have three distributors in the US (not one in Canada), see the end of this list:
https://www.gazshocks.com/distributors/overseas-distributors
Don't worry that one is a TVR and the other a Jag specilaist.

They are:
Brunton Automotive
4812 Commonwealth Road
Palmetto
Florida 34221
United States
Tel +1 941-448-7319 (Eastern Time)
Coil Over Shocks
[email protected]

Dominion Spares (TVR Specialists)
Dominion Spares
11654 Plaza America Drive #658
Reston, VA. 20190
Tel: +1 703 991-0179 (Eastern Time)
Dominion Spares LLC
[email protected]

XKS Unlimited Inc
850 Fiero Lane
San Luis Obispo,
CA 93401
Tel: +1 805 5447864 (Pacific Time)
XKs Unlimited - Classic and Modern Jaguar Auto Parts Specialists since 1973
[email protected]

I don't know if they do them for your particular MINI models but might be worth exploring?
 

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I look at the links to the Gazshock's.

They seem like more of a custom set up, which would be fine, but the web sites of the US dealers were focused pretty specifically on the brands and types of cars they each specialize in. I would look into them further if any of them had examples of a set up for a Cooper S, but I don't want to be the first American to try them. I have been down that road many times developing set ups for racing Ducati's that were different than the accepted normal performance stuff, and spent hours and hours at it, sometimes resulting in a race winning combo, sometimes not.

Dog-ote
 

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Gaz will have 'standard' set ups for MINIs. You don't have to specify as you would a full racing set-up. So if I order a set for my Gen1 R53, I tell either them via the distributor, or call/email them directly, that I want say, fast road, reasonable comfort, not tracking or racing. They then say OK, you will be wanting (example) 450lbs fronts and 250lb rears. The road and track R53 I went in was set harder because of how the guy was using it, 500 front and 400 rear. They don't just say well want do you want matey, you specify it and we'll build it. They can work like that but they supply 'standard' to your make and model.
So if I just order an off the shelf set of GHAs for my R533, for fast road, they'll just deal with it. Having said that, the one thing you guys don't seem to want, lowering, you CAN specify.

If I decide to go GAZ, I'll order them from the guy who owns SVG Motorsport, near me. Does he mention MINIs anywhere on his website, nope. Does that bother me, nope. Because he understands the product and has a close relationship with the guys who own GAZ. And understands engineering and handling. And how to specify and set up suspension. Have a look at the website.
http://svgmotorsport.com/
He does cars for the Ginetta series, track day cars, classic racing series cars. Personally I like outfits that have 'classics' experience and knowledge. Proper old school engineers, not the modern part swappers.
 
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