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2002 cooper owner
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29 Posts
Discussion Starter #1
So, I just replaced my front struts and everything that goes with them (I put Sachs), along with front and rear brake disks and pads, but my mechanic then checked the rear shocks and they don't seem to be in excellent condition either. After 142.000, its possible that they are the original ones that came with my R65 MCS in 2007. My questions are:

1. Are left and right rear struts the same? I think they are, but I need to be sure, since I'm ordering from Germany (to Montenegro) and there are no returns
2. I've read that they are different for normal and sports suspension. I have no idea which one I have. So, basically, 2 questions: how to know which suspension I have and are the struts the same for both normal and sport?

PS I did take some photos when brake discs and front suspension was being fitted, so I can post them if they can be of use.

Cheers!
 

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2002 cooper owner
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29 Posts
Discussion Starter #3
nope, nothing in VIN decoder, but I just took a look at my old additional bumper stop, and it's the shorter (sport suspension) type, while I got and installed the longer, normal type for the front suspension :-/ Well, back to the drawing board on that, will need to order sport ones. As for the rear, now I know and will need to look for sport suspension parts...
 

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2002 cooper owner
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29 Posts
Discussion Starter #4
does anyone know if installing these longer additional dampers (image 3) changes the ride hight of the car? Or how does it influece? Would JCW additional dampers (which are even shorter than the ones on pic 3 and 4 in the previous post) actually lower the car?
 

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fitting a longer spring to dampers that were intended for a shorter spring, will likely just damage the damper. I wouldn't do it.
 

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2002 cooper owner
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Discussion Starter #6
@ExclusiveWorkshops , perhaps you misunderstood me: I fitted longer (and I found a bunch of different names for them) aditional dampers/rubber buffers.
I should have put these: https://autopartsmarket.eu/en/?action=catalog_part_info_view&code=33117&id_brand=101

However, the guy that brought me the parts bought some slightly longer (like on the picture no.3 in my previous post). My question was: does it make any significant difference? I'd need to order these shorter ones and get the struts out again, which takes time and money for labour and parts...
 

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Bump stops influence the behaviour of the suspension when under real load, think of it this way, when your suspension travels all the way, a massive bump, or hard cornering at speed, the bump stop essentially increases the effective spring rate, as well as stopping the suspension from bottoming out.

It's possible to "tune" your suspension with bump stops. I run totally standard front bump stops, and totally standard rear, but when i repair and replace my entire suspension system I will be replacing those bump stops and following this ethos, of increasing the rear stiffness at high load, and increasing the travel before which the bump stops engage at the front.

I'll do this by putting harder compound and taller but progressive bumpstops on the rear dampers, and either shaving off a bit of the OEM style fronts, or installing slightly shorter bump stops there on the front shocks. I don't want to go too extreme, because I also have to do the shopping and pick up the kids and drive to work in this car, but I want her to exhibit less understeer when really pushing, and this bump stop approach allows me to dial that in on softer springs than a race coilover setup, and control when it kicks in by how long they are.

Look on Youtube for videos about tuning suspension with bump stops, in race cars we do this a lot and specific to the kerbs and forces generated at each circuit, but the technology and lessons learned there are directly transferable to your road car, and bump stops are probably the cheapest way of changing the handling on your mini.

Have fun!
 

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2002 cooper owner
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29 Posts
Discussion Starter #8
TY, that was highly informative!

So, from what I understand, I have softer, SACHS struts and longer bump stops, which is not ideal... I'd need sport suspension or even shorter (JCW size) bump stops?

Now, for the back, I am thinking about Bilstein B4s and sport suspension bump stops... That should be fine, I beliveve?
 

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but I want her to exhibit less understeer when really pushing, .....
IMO best way to dial out understeer on any FWD car is whack a bigger ARB/Sway bar on the back. And it doesn't effect the ride. Just reduces roll in corners and gives really sharp turn-in.
I've had a Whiteline 3 way adjustable 19mm on the back for about a year. What a difference.
Whiteline BMR72Z
Replaced the standard R53 MCs 17mm bar. not expensive ..... but a phaff to fit as you have to drop the rear subframe a bit.
 

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