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THE STICK
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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
Well the great weather and good company were not enough to raise a smile on my face this weekend… :?

After collecting my newly tuned S from ThinkMINI and a very fast and smile inducing journey home I thought I was in for a brilliant time at the Showdown in Stratford. However it was not to be … :eek:: :(

The car roared into life on Sunday morning with a slight rattle to the exhaust, which I put down to the usual rasp that I occasionally get due to leaky joints on the system. The car seemed to drive OK but there was a hint of hesitation and torque seemed a fraction down on the day before…. But as I was 2 up and had other stuff in the car I assumed it was the weight and my imagination that was at fault :rolleyes:

The sun came out and the first runs were made down the strip, and much to my disappointment the first run was well off my pace from last year…. In the top end 16s in fact! I put it down to driver error and my not being used to the new power band of the car. After a few more 16s I was sure I was noticing a lack of power and a very slow spin up through the revs above 4krpm. Much looking under the bonnet and fiddling with snoot boots, intake pipes and intercooler temps revealed nothing…. In fact the GP IC and the 450cc injectors seemed to be keeping everything very cool considering the hot ambient temperature. Then the possibility of over-fuelling was checked, as the car was only set-up by Dave and Adrian the day before. The exhausts all looked clear of excess soot and plug number 1 seemed an OK colour so I didn’t think it could be that, so once again my imagination or very bad starts were blamed … particularly by Bhozar :x :lol: :rolleyes:

Then my last few runs of the day suddenly sheared over a second off my previous best times, without even trying, something was going on but now the times were picking up I was thinking it was all over and that I could really give it some beans. Suddenly when up against Dave in Bertie (ThinkMINI’s GTT220 demo car) my car bogged down off the line and my traction light started flashing as if I’d left it turned on, which I was sure I hadn’t hadn’t. Anyway the traction light stayed on and didn’t remove itself until after I had reinitialised the ignition… my presumption was that I had left the traction turned on and then hit max boost and the car had disengaged the DSC :eek::

Frustrated by all this I looked to get a Bhozar and Ellie time killing run in before the lanes shut for the strip. Sat on the line I readied myself for the launch only to find that as soon as I dropped the handbrake and clutch that the car stopped dead as if I’d hit the brake and she almost stalled. The whole thing jumped out gear and there was a big bang! After moving about a cars length off the line and slowly free wheeling forward I couldn’t engage 1st so 3rd was tried, the car coughed and banged and juddered about like mad and it took much balancing of the clutch and the loud pedal mashed to the floor to get the thing moving at all :shock:

By this point I thought things were really bad and thoughts of something major were running through my head. The noise was terrifying, bangs and roars and pops and pings were erupting from all around the front of the car as she struggled up through the revs in 3rd to 4krpm… then another series of bangs one after the other happened and she wouldn’t rev any higher! 4th was quickly tried and to my relief the gear change seamed to work fine so my nightmares of a disintegrated clutch seemed to be put to rest, but then a horrible grumbling and distinct lack of power brought forth fears of a ruined driveshaft or other drive-train related faults :cry:

I nursed the car back to the pit area and thankfully my pit crew (well that’s how I like to think of at the ThinkMINI team) were still there all packed up and ready to leave. Dave and Adrian saw me limp in and were over with a jack almost as soon as they could drop the kit they were carrying. Much head scratching looking under the car and short test drives seemed to do nothing to come up with an ultimate answer to the problem. Once there was no load the engine seemed to rev freely enough and didn’t sound harsh. Eventually the fault code machines were wheeled out and Adrian’s BMW brain went into gear remembering what codes meant what as we didn’t have a code book with us. They worked out that there was nothing wrong with the drive shafts, although there was a noise that couldn’t be identified, and that the clutch was OK as was the engine itself (and that the reason for the lack of power was the sensors flagging up problems with timing and boost etc). However, something was definitely up with the exhaust or the manifold and several of the sensors :cry:

So with nothing huge diagnosed I made the choice to drive the car home. We took it back with it crawling along at 40-60 mph all the way and a massive ever increasing blare coming from the underside of the car, and vibrations giving my nether regions an exciting time through the seats. Next day we went over to ThinkMINI and the car went on the ramp and the culprit of the slow times all day and the noise was found immediately. The Milltek manifold on the car had literally exploded, with the flexi joint being extended to 3 times its usual length and slamming it into the body of the car and causing it to rest on the front antiroll bar too. My O2 sensors were mashed into the heat shields and so shorting the entire sensor system of the car and causing it to do everything the ECU could to cut power, torque and revs…. and probably retarding things too as the knock sensor probably picked up the banging and thought the crank was destroying the engine :shock: :rolleyes:

Looks like it was something that had been building for a while and thankfully its something that Dave and Adrian can fix quite quickly. So big, big thanks to Adrian and Dave for helping me out and hanging around Showdown when they wanted to go home. I also have to praise them on making room in the workshop to fit my car in and diagnosing it… and also coming up with the cheapest and best solution they could! Here’s hoping the repairs will let me enjoy the full potential of the Shrick cam, 450cc injectors and GTT variable pressure regulator that the duff manifold was obviously holding up! :p :D
 

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I'm avin 'oops
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1,225 Posts
Unlucky and lucky mate

When and where you off to next will see if I can pop along for a watch with or without my lad
 

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Overly excited!!
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1,364 Posts
At least its getting fixed. My manifold started blowing two weeks ago, and after investigation on the Friday afternoon found it was the flexi pipe. I had a track day on Donnington with Lee (2 Much) that I wasnt going to miss, so I couldnt get it repaired. On the last session it finally packed in. I took it over to ThinkMini on the Monday lunch time and it was repaired and ready for me Tuesday lunch time. sounds much better now, and I am no longer deafened.

You'll have to Mini In The Park next month at Santa Pod. See if you can do a bit better ;)
 

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Turbo Schmurbo...
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822 Posts
I take it your gonna be throwing things at the Miltek office soon lol! That is really, really harsh! :(

Was the cat blocked causing too much pressure then? What are you going to replace it with?
 

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THE STICK
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3,902 Posts
Discussion Starter · #5 ·
I have a GTT one on the way...

We think that the cat was getting blockages and causing huge pressures and that literally popped the whole thing. A good clean and a new flexi pipe and it'll be spot on for someone to use with a slightly less powerful car.... I want the GTT one anyhow as i'm going for a STG 4 head in the next 12 months....this just forced my hand early.
 

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THE STICK
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3,902 Posts
Discussion Starter · #7 ·
Can't fault Milltek TBH. The manifold has been on my car for 40k and was second hand from anouther chap who did about 5k on it. Its been good for the money I paid for it. It was only a matter of time, given the power and heat and flames that my car puts down there that something would give up the ghost. Easy fix though for £50 + labour and it'll be spot on for a none big valve head JCW or GP or 15-17% pullied car for the track and strip.
 

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Premium Member
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The flexi joint is a common failure on the challenge cars - very often blocking the cat and causing cylinder overheating.
 

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Turbo Schmurbo...
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822 Posts
Can't fault Milltek TBH. The manifold has been on my car for 40k and was second hand from anouther chap who did about 5k on it. Its been good for the money I paid for it. It was only a matter of time, given the power and heat and flames that my car puts down there that something would give up the ghost. Easy fix though for £50 + labour and it'll be spot on for a none big valve head JCW or GP or 15-17% pullied car for the track and strip.
Wow thats pretty impressive mileage out of it!! Can't fault that really :D

What kind of power are you chucking down there?
 

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Overly excited!!
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1,364 Posts
The flexi joint is a common failure on the challenge cars - very often blocking the cat and causing cylinder overheating.
Do the challenge cars not use the JCW motorsport manifold that has a longer flexijoint thats further down towards the exhaust?
 

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Premium Member
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3,485 Posts
Do the challenge cars not use the JCW motorsport manifold that has a longer flexijoint thats further down towards the exhaust?
Standard manifold

I will look for a picture from Donnington last year when an engine was 'ripped out of one in an accident'
 

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THE STICK
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3,902 Posts
Discussion Starter · #12 ·
Wow thats pretty impressive mileage out of it!! Can't fault that really :D

What kind of power are you chucking down there?
Stock head and valves
Modified Alta intake
15% pulley (soon changing to 17%)
JCW GP intercooler (changing for a GRS or GTT soon, GP works brilliantly 98% of the time)
Very optimised bypass valve
Shrick cam
450cc injectors and GTT VPR on the rail
Manifold (was milltek now GTT)
Milltek exhaust

I recon once its running right then it should according to the various tuners on here be throwing out something int he region of 200whp and 230-40bhp. I think with a real time remap i could be looking at more.
 

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Turbo Schmurbo...
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822 Posts
Stock head and valves
Modified Alta intake
15% pulley (soon changing to 17%)
JCW GP intercooler (changing for a GRS or GTT soon, GP works brilliantly 98% of the time)
Very optimised bypass valve
Shrick cam
450cc injectors and GTT VPR on the rail
Manifold (was milltek now GTT)
Milltek exhaust

I recon once its running right then it should according to the various tuners on here be throwing out something int he region of 200whp and 230-40bhp. I think with a real time remap i could be looking at more.
Oooo this is getting interesting as your close to my spec. Be nice to see what difference you get from the changes mate.

You should sail past 200whp check here, that was before I had the Janspeed added to the list!

I'm looking at getting the RMW custom tune when funds allow so I'll let you know how that goes :)
 

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dyno-mite, might not....
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1,037 Posts
good to hear thats all sorted....otherwise i was going to offer you a janspeed [ for sale soon]
strip tested at a bhozar bashing speed, [no cat so no back pressure]
 

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THE STICK
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3,902 Posts
Discussion Starter · #17 ·
Missed this years ... Roll on 2010 and a chance to set a new PB ;) :D
 
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