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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
Looking for some advise here... If you tried different setups, please give me some feedback.

-Droplinks mandatory?
-Is somebody using the Minimania Precision Stering Amplifier?

I have an H&R coilover (Kup Kit) & swaybars that I was planning to install. I read a special article in a magazine named MC2 regarding suspension setup and tuning and have to admit that I'm a little confused... :confused:

I want a more efficient suspension, not doing it for look only.

Cheers
Pierre
 

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We've tracked with a completely OEM suspension, H&R/Bilstein SP setup, Leda Single Adjustables, AST SA's, and KW V3's (custom). The coilovers have been BY FAR the fastest way around the track. You MUST invest in a proper cornerweighting after you set your ride height to optimize performance... Many people that install coilovers never have this done, and it's a critical step for optimum performance.

On the Cooper, we run TSW/AST's with Swift springs (342 lb/in or 60 kg/cm) all around, TSW camber plates, TSW rear control arms, TSW adjustable endlinks, TSW x-brace, 19mm H&R rear swaybar (set on full stiff). Alignment settings are -2.7 degrees of camber in the front, -1.5 degrees in the rear, zero (or "neutral") toe in the front and slight toe in for the rear (about 1/8" total toe IN). The TSW camber plates add a bit more postive caster, too. With this setup, we routinely see 1.2 G's sustained in corners on Hankook RS-2's and 1.45 G's with Toyo RA-1's. It's quite wicked in the corners!

The Cooper is cornerweighted (2650 lbs. with driver), perfect 50% cross weights, 58% front bias and 42% rear. Swaybars are neutral thanks to the adjustable endlinks - this made a major difference in fast transitions between corners AND we've seen endlinks snap at the track. It's stable on the straights, REALLY quick in fast sweepers, with very crisp turn-in and excellent lateral grip. In tight corners, it's got lots of grip and exits like lightning!

On the Cooper S, we're testing a new dual-adjustable KW Variant 3 setup with Swift springs (399 lb/in or 70 kg/cm) all around and all the same other bits on the Cooper with the exception of the swaybars - this car has both front and rear H-Sport bars. Since this car runs r-comps, we run -3 degrees of camber in the front and -1.75 in the rear, but the toe settings are the same. The S is also wicked fast on the track (about 2-3 seconds quicker than the Cooper) and behaves like the Cooper in all regards (except it puts down more power, obviously).

The Cooper has the Powerflex a-arm bushings, while the S has the Alta PSRS bits - we've noticed no difference between the two. We've also replaced the rear trailing arm bushings with new OEM units, as they have a tendency to wear out with lots of track and autocross use.

Hope this helps!
 

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Discussion Starter · #3 ·
Wow, for sure it will help. I'm working on the car now and have not found the perfect setup.

I installed the H&R coilovers and H&R 19mm rear saway bar. The alignment is terrible right now as I dont have any adjustment for camber...

I'm about to order 4 Rear Adj arms and was going to install a used K-Mac Camber kit I have. It is not in perfect shape tough and I suspect the previous Cooper S had "mushroomed" struts...

Any opinion on the K-Mac Kit?? I was told it fails sometimes... not sure if true tough.

Many Thanks!!
 

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Are you talking about the K-Mac camber plates for the front? Our Cooper S had them for 4 years, about 20 track weekends (40 days) and 4 autocross seasons. They still "work", although we swapped in our TSW camber plates.
 

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Discussion Starter · #5 ·
Thanks a lot. Any links for me to look at these TSW plates?

I will post when impression when I'm done with the suspension and gone to the track. I will also require help for the brakes and engine as well sometimes soon!!

Cheers
 

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Thanks a lot. Any links for me to look at these TSW plates?

I will post when impression when I'm done with the suspension and gone to the track. I will also require help for the brakes and engine as well sometimes soon!!

Cheers
TSW Adjustable Camber Plates (Fits AST)

This is the standard coilover setup, with a 60mm upper spring perch... You use that in place of the spring perch that came with the coilovers. This assumes that H&R used a 60mm ID spring. We can also supply a 2.25" upper perch if they used a 2.25" ID spring, as well as an OEM-style upper perch (if they used an OEM-style spring).

The camber plates use both a double-roller bearing (allows the strut to rotate freely as you turn the steering wheel) AND a spherical bearing (allows the top of the strut to move freely as the suspension compresses and unloads). This provides the strut the ultimate freedom to move with no binding - our bearings are 1.5 - 2 times larger than other offerings, too, for added strength. They're really the ultimate plates, in our humble (or not so humble!) opinion... :)

Feel free to PM me any time!
 

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Discussion Starter · #7 ·
Thanks Scobid, great input
I will install the K-Mac I have already for now. I saw your design, seems better and tougher tough... I'll PM you when ready for the brakes upgrade
Pierre
 

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a.k.a. BrainRush
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I've got an alta 19mm rear unit and an otherwise stock suspension, I haven't taken it to the track yet, but on spirited back roads and freeway onramps is where I noticed the biggest difference. I've got it set to the middle hole (of the three) and while there isn't much difference in normal driving (read- a streetable upgrade) aproaching the limits is where things start to fall into place:

-Turn in is improved, the car now feels that it wants to attack the corners a little more without feeling unstable.

-Understeer is reduced, in long sweepers you just point the wheel where you want to go, and modulate yaw with your right foot, with an even aplication of throttle at the limits, it feels like it corrects itself, if it front end washes out for a split second, a moment later, the back end catches up.

-On dirt roads, geting the back end out just enough is a lot easier.

probably the only downsides are that now:

-on driveways with steep approach angles and a diagonal entry, the inside tire will usually lift

and

-I feel more suspension roll from the front, suggesting that my car wants a nice set of coilovers, or at least some lowering springs, which I can't do because of gnarly speedbumps said driveway ;p
 
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THE STICK
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I know that Lee (GTT Turbo) is a major track head and his car was set up on bilstiens I believe. He had his done by Tony Franks (he does a few of the MINI Challenge cars). Might be worth speaking to one of them on a PM.

I also know Bhozar is a big tracker of his car and I believ he just runs revolution MINI works X coilovers and the GTT braces on his. Don't think he has anything else done except his bishes.... but might be worth PM him as he's very nice guy and always seems ready to have a chat about what he has done.

My car just runs a set of coilovers and all my bushes changed.
 

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Ah, fun autocross results from Sunday:

I took the Justacooper out for a little test-and-tune on Sunday, in preparation for an upcoming DE... It's our suspension, brakes, etc. + Hankook RS-2s + our engine mods (head, cam). I ran in our class E, which is also known as the "Spec e36 M3 class". They are highly modded M3's (suspension, camber plates, go fast bits) running on RE-01R tires (their 'spec' tire of choice this year). We give up at least 80 whp (conservative estimate).

In the morning session, I was sitting in 2nd place, a mere 0.036 seconds in front of 3rd place. I found no extra time in the afternoon - for the day, I ran six 46.2xx times, so that's about all the car had in it. The first run was a warm-up (46.8xx), and the 7th run I blew (to the tune of a 46.4xx). One of the M3's and the M Roadster picked up time in the afternoon, so I ended up 4th in class. Had I been on V710's or Hoosiers, we would have been in 1st place quite handily...

When I mentioned that I should run in E next season on V710's or Hoosiers, the M3 drivers commented, "Oh, sure, so you can be that annoying MINI guy taking our fun spec class down again?" FWIW, we did run the Cooper in Class E during the 2006 season, on Michelin Pilot Sport Cups (not even a top-tier r-comp!) and took 2nd overall for the season.

Final results:

1st. #82 Matt 1997 BMW M3 44.838
2nd #5 Fernando 1997 Bmw M3 Black 45.652
3rd #6 Adrian 2000 Bmw M Roadster Cosmos 46.180
4th #697 Scott 2003 MINI Cooper 46.227
5th #279 Richie 1998 BMW M3 46.548
6th #10 Rob 2007 Bmw Z4 Coupe 3.0Si Montego 48.413

I was 20th fastest out of 50 cars, raw time... Cars around me included several Corvettes, other BMWs and Japan's finest...

We saw nice 4-wheel drifts around a fast lefthander until the camber caught us and slingshot the car out like a rocket... Much fun!

RMW tune to be done next Friday, before our track weekend at Eagles Canyon Raceway in Slidell, Texas... I can say the car is a beast!
 

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Absolut MINI
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-MINI Challenge competition suspension (KW).
-Camber plates (KW), 3 degrees front/toe-out, 2 degrees rear/toe-in.
-Semi-slicks (Kumho) on 17" OZ Ultraleggera rims.
Perfect on the track. Nothing else needed IMO :)
 

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Discussion Starter · #15 ·
Hobbe, Thanks, this is great input. Quick question: How much toe-out in Front and toe-in in back?
Best,
Pierre
 
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