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Track Mini advice

  #1  
Old 08-03-2007, 11:01 AM
2phun
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Track Mini advice

Hypothetically speaking, if someone were speccing a streetable Mini to be built for the track (mainly autocross), what would be the top 10 things that should be included? Currently engineless, so I'd love some thoughts on pros/cons of staying with a 1275 or going up to say a 1380 or something like that. I'm not really looking to go to a Honda or other conversion at this point. And of course then there's questions about suspension/handling, etc. Any thoughts or opinions are more than welcome.
 

Last edited by 2phun; 08-03-2007 at 12:30 PM.
  #2  
Old 08-03-2007, 01:04 PM
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It all depends on how much money you've got and what class you want to run in for Autocross. Minis (all of them) start out in H Stock. You can bore the 1275 out +.020" and still stay in the stock class. You can also run pretty much whatever tire you want, although you might want to check the specific wording of that. You can change your shocks, but not the springs. I think a Mini would be very competitive in HS. I believe the next step up is F Street Prepared or FSP. You can go +.040" on the engine, change your carbs, entire exhaust system from the head back, change the electronics, things like that - and you can change springs, swaybars, etc. I think the Mini, prepared to the letter of the law, would do quite well there. Any other modification (like going to a 1380) would bump you up into a modifed class where you'll get your butt handed to you.

(edit) here's a good resource. The SCCA finally put the rules online so you can read 'em:

http://www.scca.com/Solo/Index.asp?IdS=55FD7F-81AF800&x=050|070&~=
 

Last edited by Latka; 08-03-2007 at 01:17 PM.
  #3  
Old 08-03-2007, 01:46 PM
2phun
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Originally Posted by Latka View Post
It all depends on how much money you've got and what class you want to run in for Autocross. Minis (all of them) start out in H Stock. You can bore the 1275 out +.020" and still stay in the stock class. You can also run pretty much whatever tire you want, although you might want to check the specific wording of that. You can change your shocks, but not the springs. I think a Mini would be very competitive in HS. I believe the next step up is F Street Prepared or FSP. You can go +.040" on the engine, change your carbs, entire exhaust system from the head back, change the electronics, things like that - and you can change springs, swaybars, etc. I think the Mini, prepared to the letter of the law, would do quite well there. Any other modification (like going to a 1380) would bump you up into a modifed class where you'll get your butt handed to you.

(edit) here's a good resource. The SCCA finally put the rules online so you can read 'em:

http://www.scca.com/Solo/Index.asp?IdS=55FD7F-81AF800&x=050|070&~=
Thanks for the info and thanks for helping me clarify the extent of the mods I'd like to do. I was just browsing their guidelines and I think the FSP class is where I'd like to be. Okay, so let's say I wanted to be able to qualify to run FSP and at this point I'm not (overly) concerned about price. What does my list of mods look like now?
 
  #4  
Old 08-03-2007, 02:08 PM
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In the Rules PDF, Page 77 is where the stock stuff begins.

Street Prepared allows you all the modifications of the Stock category (not much) plus a few others, and that begins on page 98 of the PDF.

I'm not tryin to be a jerk, but there are a lot of things you can do - it wouldn't make sense for me to type it all out for ya. Street prepared would allow you a height-adjustable suspension, shocks / springs of your choice, a rear swaybar, unrestricted carbs, you could run an electronic distributor, I believe you can run as wide a tire as 'ya want...things like that. It definitely lets you dip into the fun parts bin!

Don't take anything I say as "gospel truth" though. I'm just a barracks lawyer when it comes to this stuff.

You could do a 1275 bored out +.040", balance the entire rotating assembly. Twin 1.5" SU carbs, 123 Electronic Distributor. Fancy plug wires and all that too. A nice "LCB" (Long Center Breech) exhaust manifold to a free flowing exhuast system. Adjustable shocks all the way around with Hi-Lo adjustable trumpets and either the "Competition" style cones or the coil spring replacement for em. Sway bars front and rear.

That'd probably get ya in the ballpark.
 
  #5  
Old 08-03-2007, 02:16 PM
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Okay, I'm drooling already. Thanks! And I didn't take that as you being a jerk in any way. I gave a pretty wide open question and expected some pretty wide open answers.

I've been browsing, but don't see anything about LSD yet. Anyone know if this could be added?

(edit) Just found they are allowed. Sweet.
 
  #6  
Old 08-03-2007, 02:47 PM
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Hey Latka, quick question...

This isn't meant to be a thread hijack--perhaps actually add to it:

Rear swaybars... On new MINIs (R53's), a rear sway makes a huge difference in performance. It makes mine feel very neutral and seems to even quickened the steering response. What about classic minis? In general, does a rear sway bar help a lot? In other words, to classic minis tend to understeer as much as their successors?
 
  #7  
Old 08-03-2007, 04:06 PM
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yeah, im not to sure on how much it helps, being it's 2 subframes rather than a full chasse........
 
  #8  
Old 08-03-2007, 04:09 PM
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Big Norm,

Good point. I haven't seen underneath a classic that has front or rear sways installed. I don't know if the rear, for example, attaches to just the sub frame or if it connects to both the subframe and chassis.?
 
  #9  
Old 08-03-2007, 06:24 PM
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i know the front attached to front lower floors, one on each side........not sure on the rear.........i would assume the same not possitive
 
  #10  
Old 08-03-2007, 06:26 PM
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Originally Posted by 2phun View Post
Hypothetically speaking, if someone were speccing a streetable Mini to be built for the track (mainly autocross), what would be the top 10 things that should be included? Currently engineless, so I'd love some thoughts on pros/cons of staying with a 1275 or going up to say a 1380 or something like that. I'm not really looking to go to a Honda or other conversion at this point. And of course then there's questions about suspension/handling, etc. Any thoughts or opinions are more than welcome.
Dion has some bored out heads.....or can get them to what ever spec you want.......
 
  #11  
Old 08-03-2007, 10:21 PM
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Dimini - Yeah, a rear swaybar will help on the classic as well. There are fully adjustable models out there as well as some that have a few bolt holes for position instead. I'm by no means an expert, but I can talk myself into a corner with people that really know what they're doing. ERm.... I mean I can get far enough into a conversation that I realize I should have stayed at the "kids table".
 
  #12  
Old 08-03-2007, 10:30 PM
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Heh, my butt is firmly planted at the kid's table for now.
 
  #13  
Old 08-04-2007, 04:39 AM
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i think the classic are mighty firm around corners, as is.........
 
  #14  
Old 08-04-2007, 06:34 AM
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A rear sway bar is a good addition. Doesn't matter about "subframes" and "attachment points" as it's purpose is to transfer weight from one wheel to another. On a RWD car you'd install a front sway bar first. Just the oppposite for a FWD car. For autx-ing it is good addition.
 
  #15  
Old 08-04-2007, 06:47 PM
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I an running my classic in a variety of AutoX events and do it mainly for fun and not always with SCCA so my class varies. (I ran FSP last year w/SCCA) I also use it for tours around town on the weekends and it is very streetable.

So where to start:
I have had the car a bit over a year and here is my set up: I am running a 1275, HIF44, (forget needle off hand BDL??), K/N filter, stage one, adjustable camber/toe brackets in the rear, hi-los and just went to red springs on the rear (fronts will go in over the winter as that is a much bigger job).

It is all a matter of money (I am about out) and priorities. Think about what you want to focus on, can handle yourself (if doing the work yourself) and dive in!

Overall the classic makes me smile when I drive it. Even better I beat 2 friend in their MCSs (both w/17% pulleys) in the last AutoX we ran.
 
  #16  
Old 08-04-2007, 08:09 PM
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Thanks for all the input so far. I think I'll definitely be starting with full suspension upgrades, intake/exhaust, and better brakes. Sounds like that will be enough to get me started and make this a fun toss-around. The rest will come as the cash/time presents itself. Good to know that Dion has some heads available, because that will probably be the next step. Then cam, rockers, engine bore, and tranny. Does that sound like a decent plan, or should I change the sequence?
 
  #17  
Old 08-04-2007, 08:11 PM
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Originally Posted by blueheat View Post
Overall the classic makes me smile when I drive it. Even better I beat 2 friend in their MCSs (both w/17% pulleys) in the last AutoX we ran.
Nice That's just what I was wanting to hear.
 
  #18  
Old 08-04-2007, 09:08 PM
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Out here at the racetrack (before it closed) :( we had an event called the Spring Fling that was hosted by the local BMW club. I took my (then) 71 998cc Mini out and had a total blast. On the straight I waved everyone by, but even with only 40hp on tap I was able to keep up with the MINI Cooper S cars in the turns. Muhahahahha... tiny but mighty!
 
  #19  
Old 08-05-2007, 05:03 AM
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For me, one of the highest priorities is Brakes!! The feel and performance of your brakes determine your sense of confidence to really wring out the last bits of speed on the fast sections while being able to whoa-up for the next turn. When applied, they should feel smooth and balanced...no shaking in the steering wheel and the car shouldn't hunt from side to side following ruts and grooves in the road. They should be very balanced such that all wheels nearly lock up at the same time. For me, braking is one of the most important and exciting actions in performance driving.

For track events, your brakes need to be sorted such that they can handle the 20 minute sessions of continous use. Track braking and street braking are drastically different such that on some tracks, there is very little time for things to cool off and you rely on your brakes operating continously at extreme temps which are never encountered on the street...or autocross. Your track prep may include dedicated "Track pads" and hi-temp brake fluid that is fresh. ...and maybe ducting if needed. Track...or racing pads typically require warming up to operating temps before they become predictable and consistant which makes them somewhat hazardous for street use where they may be required in a cold emergency stop. Track pads are very messy and generate tons of dust.

Track action also requires a higher level of general maintainance. Rusty brakes lines, wobbly and rumbly wheel bearings, sloppy steering, loose ball joints..etc.. have no place on the track. This in general will make your car much safer and more enjoyable to drive and service anyway.

To summarize...here is my top 3 list:

1.) brakes!
2.) brakes!!
3.) brakes!!!!

Have fun with your project!!!
 

Last edited by rfrink; 08-05-2007 at 05:10 AM.
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Old 08-05-2007, 09:36 AM
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Steve, I have all this (except adj shocks) done on the wagon if you wish to see. Also, Phil works at Cars & Concepts in Drew Park where you can get an excellent Mini alignment when assembled!
 
  #21  
Old 08-06-2007, 07:37 AM
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ERm.... I mean I can get far enough into a conversation that I realize I should have stayed at the "kids table".
Hmm, sounds like myself.

Brakes, Brakes and Brakes. This makes lots of sense. Why are minis so much fun? Curves. How to make a mini more fun (not to mention safe)? Make sure you can shut it down and set up for the next curve.

Speaking of brakes, what is a great street/auto cross brake set-up for running 10" wheels? I know the typical response will probably include Cooper S calipers. How about a servo? I've only driven a few minis and those without servos had very firm pedals feel but absolute lacklustre braking results. Stand on the brakes and the car slows down. REALLY stand on the brakes and it slows down quicker. I'm not used to that kind of "firm pedal, but nothing happens" reality. One of those cars had the Cooper S brake set-up. Is it possible that my two-car sampling doesn't fairly represent non-servo'ed minis?
 
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Old 08-06-2007, 09:58 AM
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Originally Posted by dimini View Post
Hmm, sounds like myself.

Brakes, Brakes and Brakes. This makes lots of sense. Why are minis so much fun? Curves. How to make a mini more fun (not to mention safe)? Make sure you can shut it down and set up for the next curve.

Speaking of brakes, what is a great street/auto cross brake set-up for running 10" wheels? I know the typical response will probably include Cooper S calipers. How about a servo? I've only driven a few minis and those without servos had very firm pedals feel but absolute lacklustre braking results. Stand on the brakes and the car slows down. REALLY stand on the brakes and it slows down quicker. I'm not used to that kind of "firm pedal, but nothing happens" reality. One of those cars had the Cooper S brake set-up. Is it possible that my two-car sampling doesn't fairly represent non-servo'ed minis?
A properly working 7.5" or 8.4" system should stop you pretty damn fast. If not, something needs attention. Now the twin leading shoe & 7" system will not do so and are subject to fade. The single leading shoe system could be replaced with a boat anchor to be tossed as needed.
 
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Old 08-06-2007, 03:38 PM
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Here's the basic look I'm shooting for.


Thanks again for all the suggestions. My shopping list is just about finished now. Just some minor details left. The build starts on Thursday.
 
  #24  
Old 08-06-2007, 04:12 PM
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Very nice 2phun!

Looks like 10" or 12" Revo's? Hope you didn't mind my "co-jacking" your thread. Good info. Once my mini gets under way in restoration, I'll start a thread, too.
 
  #25  
Old 08-06-2007, 07:46 PM
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No worries about the hijack. All info is good info (well, usually anyway).

The Revos will be 10s, but the ones in the photo might look a bit bigger. They were borrowed from another photo.
 

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