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An-ingin-in-an-ah
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Discussion Starter #1
Hi, i'm finally breaking my duck with this post.....

i 'm on my second MCS, my original one was a DSB bought back in Dec 02, loved it to bits for 18 months but then had to get sensible and went through a few turbo-diesels.... never really got over my feelings for the my MCS though :wink:

Back in May I finally treated myself to a Black MCS (Sept 05 build), its a second car and i reckon i will do about 4000 miles a year, depending on how often i can get away with driving it. If it makes a difference the MCS has 50k on it & runs beautifully :cool:

I'll get to the point though....

i don't have a huge amount of money to spend, but could stretch to £2000 & my question is what should i do to the car ? my main gripes with the car are - the brakes, I have been checking out some of the big break conversions on Lohen's site - with fitting etc these could easily take up most of my cash....

I am also very keen to ditch the rather puny MCS exhaust, the Miltek cat back looks the business. My dilema is that I could go the whole hog and plump for Lohen's stage 2 job (which comes with the Miltek), this would pretty much take up the whole £2000 once a couple of extras are thrown in. The car would accelerate well & sound great, but I would hate to think that i wouldn't be able to drive it as hard as I would like on the very twisty country roads that i live in the middle of!

Obviously a bigger wallet would mean i wouldn't be faced with this choice...:frown:

if anyone has faced the same dilema :puzzled:eek:r has a much better way of spending the cash, It would be great to hear from you.

thanks
Roysterdsb
 

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what about just disks/pads/hoses/fluids change for the brakes?
i would also do something with the suspension, if you want it to handle a little better.
then go for power last - it's actually the cheapest/easiest option!
 

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what about just disks/pads/hoses/fluids change for the brakes?
i would also do something with the suspension, if you want it to handle a little better.
then go for power last - it's actually the cheapest/easiest option!
I'd agreee with this. Power seems to be the cheapest thing to do in terms of value for money. Pulley, injectors and a shorter belt only costs around £300 fitted (I think but don't quote me on it!) Add a Milltek catback at ~£400 and you've got a decent bhp increase for under £1k.

As for brakes, I have some Tarox pads on my MCS and it stops very well, I've had friends comment on how well it stops. I'm not sure what pads mine has, and if the hoses have been upgraded, but the pads are £109 here with pads being around £50, so not too expensive.
 

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An-ingin-in-an-ah
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Discussion Starter #4
Thanks guys,

benny, I think what you are saying makes a lot of sense. I was doing a bit of searching on the forum and came across the mod-n-mini shop which is doing the new 4pot JCW brakes fitted for £960 (that takes care of front and back). I have to admit i love the look of red brake callipers next to the black paintwork.... The will also fit the Miltek cat back for £540.

That leaves me with £500 to leave in the bank....

or i could spend £350 on getting the Alta 15% pulley and denso iridium spark plugs, which leaves not very much to sort the suspension, I think i would prefer to spend the cash on something like the Alta v.2 induction kit.

raaksy, i would love to fettle the suspension....but it would probably cost me another couple of thousand to do it justice with some decent coilovers :)

what do you think, is it a reasonable compromise on power/looks/braking on a budget ?

thanks very much for your help guys, its great to hear different ideas.

royster
 

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Thanks guys,

benny, I think what you are saying makes a lot of sense. I was doing a bit of searching on the forum and came across the mod-n-mini shop which is doing the new 4pot JCW brakes fitted for £960 (that takes care of front and back). I have to admit i love the look of red brake callipers next to the black paintwork.... The will also fit the Miltek cat back for £540.

royster

You should read up on the JCW 4 pot brakes BEFORE committing yourself. They will only fit under certain wheels and I doubt that your current wheels will be on the list. Also the JCW 4 pots are for the R56 - to date as far as I know (and I am following things closely) no one has completed an install on an R53.

The tuning guide that has been posted above is well worth a good read - take your time, read everything you can, decide on what you want from the car and then decided what to get and where to get it done at. DIY is possible, plus also take into account the distance to travel to some of the tuners.

Good luck.
 

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An-ingin-in-an-ah
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Discussion Starter #7
thanks for the advice and the 1320 link Snowie and Xr3i. Do 1320 have a website ? i tried to google it but came up with nothing....

Snowie if u do hear of anyone that manages to fit the new 4 pots to an R53 (without butchering the car.....) I would be very keen to know.

I will carry on with my research though, and come to you guys for a sense check !!

i'm not in a rush to do this, so will eventually work out what priority my mods need to be done to suit my requirements.

I've also figured out that all the tried and tested tuners are several hundred miles from me, although a great excuse for me to give the car a work out :)

royster
 

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An-ingin-in-an-ah
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Discussion Starter #9
Thanks OJM, I will be following that link closely. Due to a lack of mechanical ability....not something i'm proud of! I would be very interested in any Mini Dealers/Tuning Specialists offering to fit them to an R53, although i suspect many of them will shy away from the task for obvious reasons.
 

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Maybe not a dealer, but I would have thought a tuning specialist etc would give it a go - ie, ThinkMINI seem to like challenges (GP underbelly on a non-GP etc) :)
 

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I doubt a dealer will do the job, independents are the best bet or DIY.

The issue is not the cost of the kit or the technicality in fitting, it is what wheels will fit without the need for spacers e.g. not all JCW 18 inch wheels will fit and clear the calipers.


I should have an answer on if GP wheels will fit over the front calipers inside the next 24 to 36 hours.
 

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An-ingin-in-an-ah
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Discussion Starter #12
Thanks for the tip on Thinkmini. I've also pretty much resigned myself to having to use spacers if i go for a big brake conversion ....for the next 12 months anyway i will have the 17" bullets on my MCS. Is it a combination of wheel size and physical shape that will limit compatibility (some 18s will fit, others won't and same goes for 17s ?)

I'm not that clear on what the big disadvantages of using spacers are, it would be good to hear your views.

Thanks again & its really good to finally take part on the mini2 forum! i've been viewing as guest for too long....
 

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Yeah, it's basically the clearance aspect - all alloys will have a different internal design, so the clearance will be different - hence, the alloy may hit the caliper. I've had a search round, and can't find any definite issue with using spacers, but someone will be able to advise further.

PS - Make sure you get some pics of your car online :)
 

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An-ingin-in-an-ah
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Discussion Starter #14
Thanks OJM, I will post a few a pics online but it may take me a couple of weeks.... i'm currently on holiday in Spain & yes the weather is scorchio.... :)
 

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THE STICK
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I'd speak to 1320 or thinkMINI ... both can help you build a spec for your £2k

I know Think do a lot of GTT stuff, but they have fitted plenty of other brand stuff to mine and friends cars so the choice is there. 1320 have a rolling road so thats a + for them.

£2k should be able to get you some better brakes and some nice tuning.

Old style JCW brakes are like £450-600
New JCW brakes are £600 or so

Both will give most folks the braking they require. You don't need Brembos or Stoptechs if your an average driver, just fit really good pads (carbotech xp8s or similar) to these slightly uprated discs and you will have fab brakes. This would leave you with over £1000 for tuning

Manifold £600 (leave the stock exhaust an 1 ball it, or get a playmini or milltek cat back for £400)
Pulley 15-17%, spark plugs, belt £200
GP GTT or GRS intercooler £220-450

You will find that this will give you a fair chunck of power well within the stopping power of the brakes.

Have a word to them and see what they are offering at the moment, thinkMINI have always got a deal going on something.
 
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An-ingin-in-an-ah
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Discussion Starter #16
Yet more good advice, thanks Richard.

I will be in touch with Think Mini when I get back, the website is just a static page so doesn't tell me much, but i know that an independent tuner has to be doing a good job to get recommended on this site! Same goes for 1320, i can't find any site at all but i do have numbers for both.

ps re. your comment on being an average driver, i think i'm a great driver.....but i'm probably the only one that does!
 

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THE STICK
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PS ThinkMINI have already fitted a set of R56 JCW brakes to an R50 One D ;) :D ... I believe they are looking into how hard it could be to fit the rears.

Thinks site is being updated I believe, they are on the directory section of Mini2 though as they are a site sponser.

Dave and Adrian are both great and Adrian is a former BMW/MINI tech
 
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An-ingin-in-an-ah
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Discussion Starter #19
Great stuff guys. I'll figure out what i'm going to post on the ThinkMINI section, being a newbie i don't want to come across as being completely clueless....!

still very interested in the new 4 pots though.... i know i'm being stubborn, will ask for an update on how they are getting on with fitting of rears to the Mini D :)

i've got a feeling that something is going to give in order to give me what i want and my feeling is that its probably going to be the budget....... my plan A is -

1. New JCW 4 pot + spacers (assuming fitting does not 'throw a spanner in the works' so to speak...)
2. 15% pulley reduction - Alta V.2
3. Iridium spark plugs
4. Miltek cat back exhaust
5. GRS Intercooler

if the new JCW 4 pots are a non-starter then plan B will be to look at the other JCW brake options which will fit (including uprated pads etc). Anything left in the bank will probably be kept and earmarked for future upgrades :) or.... upgrade to the Alta v.2 intake system :)

I'll ask the guys at thinkMINI if the above brands offer anything over and above GTT stuff, but will be led by the experts.

Mini2 is a top forum :)
 

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How about going for the uprated control arm bushes? Had mine done for £175 at ThinkMINI (that was a special offer). Everyone I've spoken to have said it transforms the handling of the car...unfortunately, I didn't push the car enough to notice (was extremely wet), before crashing it after skidding on oil or something :eek:
 
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