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Track Junkie
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I've read so much praise from those who have just upgraded their MCS with the JCW kit, but is anyone here not impressed with the kit? Fair comment about the increase in responsiveness and torque over the entire rev range, until you realise that you can get the same sort of power hike feel by installing an aftermarket s/c reduction pulley alone, which can be had for about US$120 + fitting cost.

I mean....for those with the JCW kit, and have driven a MCS with a reduction pulley, would you have second thoughts?
 

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Track addict
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I thought the original kit was overpriced and didn't deliver the 'spark' that I expected.

When I got the upgrade kit (airbox), it completly changed my view of it.

Now I just want it back... :( :(
 

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I think at the end of the day you will get no negative feedback from those that have JCW and they know how the car really feels;)

You will get others knock it, those fall into two groups, some it just isn't the car for them, its too refined they want more grunt and instant go. The JCW makes a good car better, it is not going to give you that race car feel like say a BBR conversion might. Oh the others, well they aren't worth talking about, but I dare say some of them will stick their heads in here at some point:rolleyes:

But you have to look at all the other conversions out there and think, hold on, why are JCW uprating the cyclinder head, the supercharger and other bits? When these cheaper options can give me the same if not more power with less cahs and changes? Well you have think, the JCW is a car that is made to last and give long term high performance, the others well who knows if they will still be going at 50 or 60,000 miles, and if not yes you have had some fun with them but this also then reflects on the resale value of such a car. I know if I was buying a used car, I certainly would not be buying a car with unwarrantied mods or mods I could not vouch for how they were installed.

Anyway I could go on and on, and generally do:p But as for me, I drove the 200bhp JCW, and decided it wasn't for me, it didn't give me the grunt I wanted, it was too refined, but I still have the upmost respect for it, and hope to get a go in the 210bhp to see if that is as different as people say. But in the mean time, I have had enough adventures with under bonnet mods for now;) http://www.mini2.com/forum/showthread.php?t=77017
 

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I have just received my '05 (210bhp) JCW this weekend and have put about 900 miles onto the car. I previously had an '03 that had average mods on it (pulley, exhaust, intake, plugs, plug wires) so I have a little perspective. First I have to say that since I have received the car, I have kind of seen the animosity to the kit from other Mini owners. There are some people either here or on NAM who just hate the kit and think people are stupid for buying it. So I think some of those people will chime in at some point. With that said I have truly enjoyed the kit so far. And in my opinion it drives much better, feels more responsive and smoother, and has more power than an average modded Mini. That doesn't mean you can't beat the JCW for less money. There is no doubt about that, but for me the kit was much more than the best bang for the buck. I thought it was just become a saying amongst the group that the JCW feels more integrated. But now having driven it, I can say that yes, it does feel much more like a factory car. It has the power, and I would say still quite a bit more than my previous car, but the power is very smooth and you really don't feel it the same way as I have felt with some tuned cars. You really have to examine what you want out of your car. There are some great reasons to go aftermarket or to choose another tuner. I would say my main reasons for choosing the JCW were:

It was a factory approved kit. This kit has been tested very thoroughly and I have no doubt that each of the components in the kit will be just as reliable as the MCS is turning out to be. Again, not that there aren't other reliable companies out there, but there are a lot of unreliable companies out there as well. The fact that it was factory I was going to get 1)support and 2)future upgrade paths and a performance network. The support was important. Not from just a warranty perspective, but from a longevity perspective. I knew that JCW was going to be around for the life of this car. This wasn't some shop selling pulleys or computer chips, who could be out of business in the next year or so. Also, JCW is starting to build some great integrated packages with room for us to grow performance wise. This isn't always true aftermarket. No matter what people may say about this kit, it is a quality kit, and you are paying for this quality. After selling 5,000 of these kits, they have never had a single item returned. That is a pretty good track record.

The resale and pedigree were evident. I like the fact that I am getting a factory kit and that the value of the car would be greater going this route than it would be piecing together tuning packages. There are some great kits out there like Dinan and AC Schnitzer that may hold there value as well. But a factory approved performance package will always retain it's value better than a pieced together package from various aftermarket parts. To some people this isn't important, to me it had some value.

The performance. Magazine after magazine, TV show and online reviews have shown that the JCW kit to consistently beat other kits of comparable power in performance. Regardless of how people rip apart dyno runs on the JCW, the kit does perform. There is a lot of negative feedback on every one of the parts of the JCW that if you took the various reviews at face value, the JCW would loose power. I have heard everything from the ECU looses power actually, to the exhaust is lucky if it makes 2 or 3 hp, that the head work is shoddy and only accounts for a few hp or none at all, and that the only power is coming from the pulley. I saw they are wrong. I had a pulley car with exhaust and intake, and this car is faster no doubt about it. I have not been able to run my car to the redline yet, but the midrange power is dramatically better. There are cars that will beat the JCW, I am not arguing that. Especially the BBR kits, but a lot of other kits such as the Hartge and the Digi-tec do not beat the JCW in performance based on numbers from various magazines such as EVO and Top Gear. You can definitely put together a quicker car with less money piecing together various aftermarket parts, but I think you will find that it will take more than $120 from a 15% pulley. There are a lot of companies offering kits for the 330i to give it M3 performance for a lot less than an M3, but I don't think you will have a lot of automotive enthusiast telling you that the M3 is a crummy car, because it costs so much. I feel the JCW is kind of the same way.

After going down the aftermarket parts I was going to be spending about $3000-$3500 for parts, and would probably getting to the performance levels of the JCW. By the time you buy a header and exhaust ($1500), pulley ($120), intake ($250), plugs ($50), chip ($700), and intercooler ($700), I would probably getting to the levels of the JCW or exceeding them. But I am only looking at saving $1500 for the kit, and I can't finance the aftermarket parts. Here is a good link to a side by side dyno run between a aftermarket mini and a JCW (http://www.gbmini.net/mtblog/archive/000469.shtml). While the aftermarket (@$3000 in mods) made more peak hp, it is interesting to see that the JCW beat it at the lower to mid range hp.

So overally, I am happy. And for my personal tastes the JCW was worth it. I really like the kit so far. But again, you really need to examine what your goals are. The aftermarket is full of great quality parts out there and if you are looking for the most bang for the buck and want to take the Mini well over 200hp, you may want to go aftermarket.
 

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Max said:
"I dare say some of them will stick their heads in here at some point"

Sticking my head in :p

Well, my first post in the Proverbs thread about says it:

"A fool and his money are easily parted"

re JCW that is...

Guess I'm just one of those other people then :rolleyes: ;) :D

Suffice to say, for less than the cost of a JCW S, I'm getting 245bhp in 2 weeks time :D

(less the price of my original 207bhp conversion)

Curtsey of Graham Goode Racing ;)

Max says: Do the sums, then go figure ;)

Some ppl do like the JCW though, just that I could never justify the cost, for a plastic badge and loads of parts left over that no-one wants to buy ;) :D :D

If you can afford it, get the JCW :)

Honestly ;)

See you (in my rear view mirror - disappearing rapidly) :p

Max :D :red:
Hey here is a critic even though you don't match any of the criteria the poster was looking for (someone who has had a car with pulley and a car with the JCW (210bhp) package, you came on and decided to trash people who have the kit. Hmm! Good form!

I have never seen anyone with the JCW bash people who purchase other kits or choose other ways to mod there car, but somehow there are quite a few people who have to bash the JCW. Does it make you feel better to bash us. Here is another piece of scripture for you "Treat your neighbor as yourself". Beside before you start quoting scripture you should understand it first.
 

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All 4 wheels pointed down
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Hubert said:
I've read so much praise from those who have just upgraded their MCS with the JCW kit, but is anyone here not impressed with the kit? Fair comment about the increase in responsiveness and torque over the entire rev range, until you realise that you can get the same sort of power hike feel by installing an aftermarket s/c reduction pulley alone, which can be had for about US$120 + fitting cost.

I mean....for those with the JCW kit, and have driven a MCS with a reduction pulley, would you have second thoughts?
Such a sensitive question! People defend their views tooth and nail!
 

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Mr Buttons!
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I don't like it. Like the kit, but, as others have stated, it's waaay overpriced. $6500 installed? I can get a MINI Madness to have the same perf. for less than half the price. For 6500, the hp I'd expext is 225 or so. Even the new JCW isn't too great for the money. Even the new one costs 138 bucks for 1 hp!!!
Not for me, but that's just my 2c
 

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almost 59k
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i thinks not the case of hating the JCW kit. i think its great, its trying to rationalise the cost of it. Arguably its more expensive due to the extensive R&D costs and investment. However some folks feel that its the name / badge that incurs the cost. But either way you look at it whilst cheaper tuning options exist there is always going to be contention.

I dont dislike it, i just wish that BMW recognised the other major BMW tuners in the same way they recognise John Cooper Kit such as AC Schnitzer and Hartge. For years these companies have demonstrated the ability to tune BMW's.

I feel by having JC onboard the new MINI has maintained a link to the older heritage of the original mini performance tuning.

my own feelings are i would love to have a JCW conversion, ive test driven several JCW converted Cooper S cars. But its just not for me, why? too much milleage and high insurance costs.
 

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I love the way it gets bashed on price, but if you JCW your car, you will actually get some of this money back when it comes to resale say about £1800 -£2000

Other kits? Nope, and you will find it harder to sell;)

So fools and money hey, it all seems even on the money front to me and anyone else that has done the sums:)
 

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I can't see why people hate the JCW, maybe they are simply envious that those people are getting a 'real' JCW car, something that will retain its value and be quick without making the owner look like a boyracer! It's a little different and a little more impressive that stock, isn't that what people want, a better car with out looking too ostentatious about it?

Personally, to completely open a can of worms, i don't see the point in any of the other kits. The Cooper S is a fabulous car but like most things, it has limits. It is built to a cost..the base car only costs £10k, and it is FWD. What is the point in getting 3 million BHP? To shroud the fact the owner can't drive well? To be motorway 'king'..? Or dare i say it, to make up for whats lacking elsewhere? Why the hell would you spend thousands and thousands on a Mini plus its rather expensive list price when you could just get a better car to start with!

I don't see the point in half arsed attempts of modifying cars, either have a road car, or have a race car. I laugh at people at trackdays who have stripped out, loud as hell cars but don't have the balls to actually go out and race. Once again, i think its a case of the driver making up for lack of ability by having a car which can flatter them immensly. It makes them look good. Thats what its all about! Everyone comes on car forums, it seems, to show off and they simply can't stand competition. So to all JCW-kit owners, just laugh at them, they're not worth your time.

Before any aftermarket kit owners bite my head off, just think what its like to you when you get harrased about something you adore, i think the immaturity about this sort of thing gets out of hand, i was just making a point.

-Rob
 

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///M Power
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Rakey said:
I love the way it gets bashed on price, but if you JCW your car, you will actually get some of this money back when it comes to resale say about £1800 -£2000

Other kits? Nope, and you will find it harder to sell;)

So fools and money hey, it all seems even on the money front to me and anyone else that has done the sums:)
Thats exactly the way I came at it from.... can get the kit installed by by local dealer for £3200 (yes I've checked that is fitted :D )... sell the bits that come off for say £200.... even with £1500 residual on the kit.. the REAL cost to me for the conversion is £1500... which I see as being on a par with most of the other conversions :) Combine that with the fact that it will be easier to insure and covered by warranty makes it a sensible choice :D ... for the record... I'm booking the car in soon for the upgrade, so I can't comment on how it feels compared to the BBR and alike, but being in northern Ireland, It's not worth the trip over to their workshops when the money doesn't stack up for me. All IMO of course :)
 

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CooperID said:
Thats exactly the way I came at it from.... can get the kit installed by by local dealer for £3200 (yes I've checked that is fitted :D )... sell the bits that come off for say £200.... even with £1500 residual on the kit.. the REAL cost to me for the conversion is £1500... which I see as being on a par with most of the other conversions :) Combine that with the fact that it will be easier to insure and covered by warranty makes it a sensible choice :D ... for the record... I'm booking the car in soon for the upgrade, so I can't comment on how it feels compared to the BBR and alike, but being in northern Ireland, It's not worth the trip over to their workshops when the money doesn't stack up for me. All IMO of course :)
I think I must have been brainwashed by you in the S specin thread:p:D
 

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MINI2 Jedi Master
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Max said:
Suffice to say, for less than the cost of a JCW S, I'm getting 245bhp in 2 weeks time :D

I do agree that the JCW works is over priced but its not as simple as just comparing prices. As rakey and others have said you WILL make a good chunk of your money back on the Works kit when it comes to resale whereas with an aftermarket company like BBR, Graham Goode Racing etc you will have to opposite effect and will actually put some buyers off (personally I wouldn't look twice at anything other than a Works). I'm not saying that aftermarket companies don't offer a great alternative for some people, but I don't think its as simple as just comparing kit costs.
 

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2 Cents :)

Personally I would love to own a JCW car. Unfortunately, I cannot afford one and thus have to settle for an after-market modded vehicle. I love that fact that the JCW car feels so smooth and refined when compared to my modded car. Having said that, I still enjoy driving my car and feel fortunate enough to own such a toy :)

I think Rakey and dgszweda outline valid points on the merits of both camps. At the end of the day, JCW owners have nothing to prove. This is highlighted by the fact that it is constantly used as a bench mark in reviews/articles that assess the work of other tuners.

Maybe by the time I order my second MCS, I will be able to afford a JCW car with a 17% pulley ;)

Keep on motoring :)
 

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I'm planning on having my MCS, which is currently on the Patriot somewhere near Newfoundland, modded at a local, well-respected tuning shop. I would have been more tempted by the JCW kit if the costs had been closer, but the difference is significant. It's not as if JCW sprinkles faerie dust on the car; the mods are very similar with a pulley, intake, exhaust, etc., with the exception being the JCW head which apparently isn't that different from the stock head. I might also be a bit more tempted to get the JCW if I was worried about resale value, but I'm not. I'll probably have this car forever.

I'm sure the JCW is a fine kit and I certainly wouldn't disparage those who choose to get it. I gave it some thought, too, but it came down to value and, to a certain extent, the flexibility of being able to choose the components individually.

Mark
 

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There are a lot of valid points raised here and some very interesting ones at that.

Lets see if I can offer my rational for buying the JCW kit.

Right here we go…

When looking at what I’d use the car for (enjoyable road use, commuting to work, etc) I wanted something that I knew would be reliable. At the time of purchase, the JCW kit was still quite new along with all the other tuning companies. I knew that if I was going to be forking out around £21000 on the car (before the JCW kit) I didn’t want an aftermarket tuning touching it. If anything was to go wrong with it, I wanted the ease of popping 10 minutes up the road for my dealer to take a look at it.

As a result, I felt that from all of the motoring press write-ups, that the JCW kit (although slightly more expensive) would be the best way forward. It offered the piece of mind that the kit was of excellent quality, it offered the performance I required and also the refinement.

The next thing I thought about was the resale value of the car. I generally change my cars every 2-3 years so I didn’t want to damage the well-documented fact that Mini’s do not depreciate badly. I felt that a JCW equipped car would offer itself more favourably to potential buyers. Personally I would not even contemplate buying a modified Mini (such as a Digitech, Hartge, GGR, etc) as a second hand car. I certainly wouldn’t pay the additional premium that a JCW would command as a second hand car. However that is just my personal preference.

Another issue was that of retaining the warranty and TLC. I know a lot of dealers honour this regardless, but my dealer wasn’t going to do that. Again after forking out well over £20000 for my car, I didn’t then want to lose the warranty and TLC that I’d paid out for on it. I do a fair bit of commuting so I needed to know that what I had would last, not break down, and had the full support of any replacement parts free of charge under warranty.

I have since added a few aftermarket parts to my car though. A Miltek manifold and a BMP intake (which is now being removed for my new 210 upgrade on Saturday :D). My dealer did not have a problem with the manifold and they never actually saw my intake. I consulted JCG about the manifold and they did actually agree that it would pep up the car slightly.

However, although I have in the past considered additional upgrades to my car, I have never “gone through” with them due to the fact that I do not want to do anything that would degrade the performance of my car. JCG didn’t spend hours of testing and tuning for nothing!

As a final point, it does baffle my slightly as to why so many people are negative towards the JCW conversion. I totally respect peoples right of opinion, but a lot of you have insinuated that the JCW is an overpriced piece of kit that doesn’t deliver. Well it ticks all the boxes for me!!

I have driven the Hartge car and yes it was fun, but I found I had to rev it a lot more as the power came in a lot later. Not really what I wanted for a car that I spend most of the time in slower moving traffic. I wanted low to mid-range performance with refinement at the same time.

I have not driven the GGR car, nor Digi-tech, or even the BBR. I’m sure they are great fun, but they just aren’t everything that the JCW car is….an icon.

To be fair all of the conversions have their merits, but in terms of my own driving pleasure, I love the fact that I have an Mini tuned by the people that put the car on the map. I like the way everyone wants to talk to me about it at petrol stations and I simply love the way it drives. For that satisfaction alone, it is fully worth its cost in my eyes and I wouldn’t settle for anything less :)
 

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Track addict
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Could the JCW conversion proove to be the cheapest?

Now that I am actively shopping around for a new car after killing my own JCW S, I can tell you its prooving pretty ellusive to find a converted car. The only one I have found so far is retailing (second hand) at around £3000 more than a similar age/equipped standard S.

Due to their comparitive rarity, the cost of a converted car seems to be holding nearly all of its conversion costs. And you should know that as a prospective buyer, I have already decided against buying a similar power non JCW conversion due to the fact that, even though the seller says the car is "fully covered by BMW warranty" (yeah, OK, sure), I see that conversion as probably sufferring greater future depreciation. This car was being offerred at approximatly the same cost as a standard S.

So, JCW car seems to be holding 80%+ of conversion costs on resale, 'other' conversions (I won't name them for being flamed) not holding any future value from conversion costs.

If your just shopping for BHP, there will be some second hand bargains. If your looking for used JCW, its almost worth buying a second hand Standard S and getting converted by JCW yourself.
 

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Taller Than You!
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Exactly resale is great (so far) for the JCW Cooper S. I was a little reluctant to want the Works prior to the 10 BHP hike, but after looking at the added value from the kit, it certainly seems worth while.

Theres a well loaded 2nd works with my dealer 04 plate for just under 25k!!
 
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