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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
Hi all,

I just wanted to share my great experiences with my shiny new Bilstein PSS9 suspension and the fantastic service I received from Roland and John at GT-Tuning.

Firstly, a little background. I had Spax RSX coilovers on my car from May this year until recently and I found them to be adequate given the modest initial financial outlay. The quality of the components were again befitting of the price and the performance is good on track when the dampeners are racked up hard. What I didn't appreciate, however, was the poor low-speed ride; one would presume that this would be a payoff for great high-speed stability but in all truth the dampeners failed to control the primary ride of the car very well on bumpy A and B roads for instance.It would literally 'bounce' along on the springs. I also like my suspension to have instant 'bite' on turn in; by this I mean the feeling of the struts and springs taking up the roll and weight of the car at almost the instance that the wheel is turned.

Last month I was offered to be the first MINI owner to have AST coilovers fitted to their car by Powerstation in Cheltenham (AST make the Subaru Type-25 suspension). I won't divulge the details here because I don't wish to harm the vendor's reputation, even though they don't specialise in the MINI. The coilovers did not perform as well as the Spax did funnily enough and there was body roll present where there shouldn't have been. Also, the rear struts had their adjusters on TOP of the strut, meaning that my poor MINI had to undergo hole-making surgery so that the adjustment pins could be accessed from within the boot :(

Following on from my very bad experience with the AST coilovers, I felt very guilty that I had been inadvertently damaging my MINI through the use of cheap suspension components. It was then that I decided enough was enough and I would invest in the best...Bilstein PSS9 coilovers :D

The decision of who to fit them was a no-brainer on my part. I headed straight down to Dorset to Roland and John at GT tuning without a second's hesitance because I knew, from previous acquaintance, that these guys would do a brilliant job and not treat me like a second-rate citizen (@MD ahem...).

What can I say really other than the fact that their service far exceeded my expectations. Every detail was attended to (which I look for being a perfectionist my self :D) and I received great hospitality. The trip to GTT is 300miles for me (round trip) but I have no qualms about traveling that distance many times in the near future to get more things done :)

The Bilsteins themselves are phenomenal. I guess I am fortunate enough to have had a few sets of coilovers before to compare them with, not including the stock shocks and Eibach springs I ran for a while 18 months ago. The turn-in is extremely positive and you can really feel the struts and springs taking hold of body composure the second the wheels change direction. There is no understeer (I have BBR gripper suspension mods as well ;) ) and the low-speed ride is firm but never harsh like cheaper units were.

All in all, these are the best coilovers out there, no question. Also as conclusive is the question of whom should fit them.. I cannot recommend GTT more highly for this :)

Thanks for listening,

Henry
 

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Cornish Boy
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Henry,

Good news on the new coil-overs, I will meet up with you in the New Year as your car now has to be one of the most modified on Mini2 - I also want to hear the longlife.

Definately decided on Roland for my conversion as HQ is getting me an Xmas gift voucher from him.

Paul
 

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Henry, well done for finding your ideal suspension - this must be one of the most difficult (and subjective) of all mod decisions;)

I am currently running Eibach's on stock shocks and although very happy with the handling on smooth tarmac, the combination doesn't seem to work well on bumpy roads. It's harsh in smaller bumps and the shocks seem to bootom out when going fast over bigger bumps, affecting not only the ride but also the grip. Since you also hadthat combination you say that the PSS9 are better by comparison in that area?

I am a bit sceptical in changing to PSS9, I fear that they might be too 'hard' for the roads I have to travel on. In the past I have used Koni's in an other car which were too stiff. I know they can be adjusted, but that's not always the solution.

Since you are very happy with the setup, can you share with us your front/rear settings?
 

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Track Junkie
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Henry, what exactly is the "BBR gripper suspension mod"? What did BBR do to the suspension?
 

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Discussion Starter · #5 ·
pbonner said:
Henry,

Good news on the new coil-overs, I will meet up with you in the New Year as your car now has to be one of the most modified on Mini2 - I also want to hear the longlife.

Definately decided on Roland for my conversion as HQ is getting me an Xmas gift voucher from him.

Paul

Paul,

Great to hear that you have decided to go with GTT in the New Year. I have decided to have my engine and further drivetrain mods done by them as well; really pleased with the service, quality and knowledge they offer.

A meet would be no worry. I finish my current job at the end of January so will have a bit more time on my hands for a month before taking up another post ;)

The Longlife does sound great, especially at WOT going through tunnels :D

Luk said:
Henry, well done for finding your ideal suspension - this must be one of the most difficult (and subjective) of all mod decisions

I am currently running Eibach's on stock shocks and although very happy with the handling on smooth tarmac, the combination doesn't seem to work well on bumpy roads. It's harsh in smaller bumps and the shocks seem to bootom out when going fast over bigger bumps, affecting not only the ride but also the grip. Since you also hadthat combination you say that the PSS9 are better by comparison in that area?

I am a bit sceptical in changing to PSS9, I fear that they might be too 'hard' for the roads I have to travel on. In the past I have used Koni's in an other car which were too stiff. I know they can be adjusted, but that's not always the solution.

Since you are very happy with the setup, can you share with us your front/rear settings?
I had Eibachs on the standard struts for 4-5 months near the time I bought the car and I found that they did reduce bodyroll significantly and made the rear end less' skittish' when compared to standard. The PSS9s are a hard ride on poor tarmac, there is no denying that and no way of changing that either. My last car was a rally-prepped MG ZR so my mini on PSS9s feels like a Merc on air struts in comparison :p. Any coilover combo is going to be hard on the street, but the payoff is outstanding handling. I just can't explain how well my car corners now compared to the other configurations I had.

In summary, coilovers are not the ticket to a 'magic carpet-like ride' ride quality. The MINI has a stiff chassis and is designed with cornering poise in mind, not ride quality.
The handling benefits are astounding and the car will just grip and grip until you overstep the limit obviously. On the road the handling is mind-boggling.

That being said, my PSS9s are set up for 7 on the fronts (1 being softest of 9 settings) and 9 on the rears. This gives a ride quality in between the SS+ and SS+ with Eibach lowering springs. The handling difference though is on another planet.

Hubert said:
Henry, what exactly is the "BBR gripper suspension mod"? What did BBR do to the suspension?
Hubert, I don't know the exact details of what their work entails, but I have been reliably informed that they lengthen the front wishbones very slightly??

Check out: Powergrip

for more info and maybe contact BBR directly if you want more specific answers? They also sell a mail order kit for this mod if you live abroad :)

Thanks all for your contributions,

Henry
 

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"That being said, my PSS9s are set up for 7 on the fronts (1 being softest of 9 settings) and 9 on the rears. This gives a ride quality in between the SS+ and SS+ with Eibach lowering springs. The handling difference though is on another planet."


I am on PSS9s too. My set up is 7 on the fronts and 8 on the rears. The ride quality is ok for me and I am happy with this combination. I had tried to put 6 all round before and found the ride a bit too harsh and bouncy on the street for me but 6 all round will be sweet in the track. :D

I am currently looking at installing a rear 20mm anti-roll bar from Whiteline. Do you guys think it will have further benefits for my MCS? Some of my friends felt that the anti-roll bar will not give you much more as you are already on PSS9. Anyone have any views on this?


Cheers!
:cool:
 

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Henry & Welbo Number 1 setting is the HARDEST of 9 settings (ie the opposite of what
you'd expect). It's probably a typing error and you knew that anyway ! but just checking.
:) Regards Roland GT Tuning
 

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roland2003 said:
Henry & Welbo Number 1 setting is the HARDEST of 9 settings (ie the opposite of what
you'd expect). It's probably a typing error and you knew that anyway ! but just checking.
:) Regards Roland GT Tuning
Yup me bad!!!!!!! If I put 1 all round, I think my eyeballs will drop out due to the stiffness........kekeke :D

Cheers!
:cool:
 
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