D-Stock Have a Cooper S and want to compete? Join us here for information on prepping options, events, and more!

Just prepped the Mini for DS

  #1  
Old 11-07-2017, 05:20 PM
eschantra
eschantra is offline
2nd Gear
Thread Starter
Join Date: Jul 2008
Location: San Antonio, TX
Posts: 52
Liked 1 Time in 1 Post
Just prepped the Mini for DS

Though I bought the Mini as a daily and certainly didn't plan on prepping it as an autocross car, I'm moving up to Boston next month to spend some time with my elderly mom, who's now alone, and decided I wanted one autocross car in Texas and one in MA. Rather than fork out the dough for a new car as was my original plan, I decided to prep my R56 for DS by doing the JCW Suspension along with Koni Yellows and a bigger RSB.

Fortunately (or unfortunately, depending on how you look at it) I had a new clutch installed a little while ago, so I had the shop do the JCW FSB while the subframe was out. This week, I finally got the springs, shocks, new top hats and RSB all together and installed the rest.

How it looked before, with my daily 225/45-17 Michelin MXM4 tires mounted to some BBS RGR wheels.


I started with the fronts. During a time attack at The Driveway last week, the car felt really twitchy on corner entry, and after removing the old front shocks I discovered why. The left front was so worn it could be compressed with one hand. By shaking it LOL.


Spring compressors are everyone's friend.


Fronts installed. I removed the pin from the strut mount and pushed everything inboard for max camber, and got the LF to -1.5 and the RF to -1. Not sure why the difference, maybe I'll loosen the pinch bolt at some point and wiggle it to see if I can get a little more out of the RF.


I decided to go with a 22mm NM Eng RSB rather than the Hotchkiss 25mm everyone else seems to go with, because the last thing I wanted was a twitchy FWD car, especially if my wife ever drives it. We'll see if it costs me.


Rears installed. Many thanks to my friend Brad for helping with lowering the subframe.


The after pic.


Though the JCW Springs are supposed to lower the car by about .5, when I measured it, the car was 1/16" lower to the jacking points in the front and 1/4" lower in the rear. You can hardly tell by looking at it.

My initial impressions, the car turns in MUCH better and feels a lot more planted in transitions. Worn out shocks will do that lol. I have the bar set to the middle position and it still understeers mid-corner on the street, though not nearly as bad as before. I may try the stiffest setting for the next autocross, which is scheduled for November 19th. I just ordered a new set of 225/50-16 Nexen SUR4Gs, which should be here by then as well.

Completely unprepped with Federal RS-RR tires, I was typically 1.5-2 seconds back from top PAX, which is usually taken by this year's second place STU finisher John Hale, STR trophy winner Ricky Crow or Nats course designer Vivek Goel. I'm curious to see if I can get any closer with a more prepped car on faster tires.

Finally, I have to thank Stranoparts for getting me the shocks quickly, and forum sponsor Pelican Parts for finding the correct JCW springs for my car. Both great suppliers if you ever need anything.
 
The following users liked this post: eschantra
PelicanParts.com (11-08-2017)
  #2  
Old 11-07-2017, 08:00 PM
WayMotorWorks
WayMotorWorks is online now
Vendor
iTrader: (10)
Join Date: Jul 2006
Location: Atlanta, GA
Posts: 9,379
Liked 333 Times in 300 Posts
Congrats, a couple notes for you.

Originally Posted by eschantra View Post
I decided to go with a 22mm NM Eng RSB rather than the Hotchkiss 25mm everyone else seems to go with, because the last thing I wanted was a twitchy FWD car, especially if my wife ever drives it. We'll see if it costs me.
Ah you do reealize that the Hsport comp 25.5mm bar and solid 22mm bar are the same stiffness. The hollow bar has to be a larger diameter to have the same rate as the solid bar. So it's going to handle the same with either bar. The downside is the solid bar weights about 8lbs more and cost more.

Also the BBS RGR wheels are 17x7.5 not 7inch wide so technically they aren't legal for stock class as it has to be a stock size wheel that came from the factory.
 
__________________


HOTCHKIS | DDM | CRAVEN | AKRAPOVIC | NM ENGINEERING | MEGAN | FORGE | IE | OS GIKEN | POWERFLEX and more
  #3  
Old 11-07-2017, 08:57 PM
eschantra
eschantra is offline
2nd Gear
Thread Starter
Join Date: Jul 2008
Location: San Antonio, TX
Posts: 52
Liked 1 Time in 1 Post
Originally Posted by WayMotorWorks View Post
Congrats, a couple notes for you.



Ah you do reealize that the Hsport comp 25.5mm bar and solid 22mm bar are the same stiffness. The hollow bar has to be a larger diameter to have the same rate as the solid bar. So it's going to handle the same with either bar. The downside is the solid bar weights about 8lbs more and cost more.

Also the BBS RGR wheels are 17x7.5 not 7inch wide so technically they aren't legal for stock class as it has to be a stock size wheel that came from the factory.
Thanks for your comments. I did not know the H-Sport rear bar was hollow, well that's good to know! I went with the NM bar because the machined aluminum mounts should hold up better to New England road conditions than the typical stamped steel mounts.

These RGRs are 17x7 but at ET38 they're not legal for DS anyway. If you noticed, I said the tires I ordered are 225/50-16. They are going on a different set of wheels, which are ET40, but I'll see if I get protested over 1mm If I do take the car to Nationals or run a National level event, I could just have them machined 1mm.
 
  #4  
Old 11-08-2017, 06:26 AM
Burglar
Burglar is offline
3rd Gear
Join Date: May 2011
Location: Detroit
Posts: 212
Liked 12 Times in 12 Posts
Oh great! I was literally the ONLY DS Mini in Lincoln this year, I hope you can make it out for 2018. The car is still very competitive, IMO.

I'm not familiar with the Nexen personally, but I'd recommend starting out real high on pressure, especially on 16s. These aren't STR cars.

I think your rear bar will be fine. Once the rear wheel is up there's no more load to transfer. I run my Hotchkis at full stiff because I like the transfer to happen fast, but that's just fine seasoning to taste.

If the car stays too pushy for you consider reducing rear toe. I run 1/16" rear out. I personally don't have an issue with it daily even in the snow we get here, but YMMV and all that jazz. Definitely affects how the rear end works & feels.

Feel free to hit me up with any questions, I keep no secrets.
 
The following users liked this post: Burglar
eschantra (11-09-2017)
  #5  
Old 11-08-2017, 08:37 AM
PelicanParts.com's Avatar
PelicanParts.com
PelicanParts.com is online now
Vendor
Join Date: Apr 2012
Location: Harbor City, CA
Posts: 7,162
Liked 36 Times in 34 Posts
Originally Posted by eschantra View Post

Finally, I have to thank Stranoparts for getting me the shocks quickly, and forum sponsor Pelican Parts for finding the correct JCW springs for my car. Both great suppliers if you ever need anything.
Really glad we could help you out with your project. As always, I am here if you ever need anything. Great job and hope you have fun out there!
 
__________________
Your Trusted Source For DIY and Parts
FREE SHIPPING over $99 click here
MINI Parts | DIY Help | Facebook | Twitter | Instagram | YouTube | Promos
888.280.7799 | 6am - 5pm PST
  #6  
Old 11-09-2017, 02:01 AM
eschantra
eschantra is offline
2nd Gear
Thread Starter
Join Date: Jul 2008
Location: San Antonio, TX
Posts: 52
Liked 1 Time in 1 Post
Originally Posted by Burglar View Post
Oh great! I was literally the ONLY DS Mini in Lincoln this year, I hope you can make it out for 2018. The car is still very competitive, IMO.

I'm not familiar with the Nexen personally, but I'd recommend starting out real high on pressure, especially on 16s. These aren't STR cars.

I think your rear bar will be fine. Once the rear wheel is up there's no more load to transfer. I run my Hotchkis at full stiff because I like the transfer to happen fast, but that's just fine seasoning to taste.

If the car stays too pushy for you consider reducing rear toe. I run 1/16" rear out. I personally don't have an issue with it daily even in the snow we get here, but YMMV and all that jazz. Definitely affects how the rear end works & feels.

Feel free to hit me up with any questions, I keep no secrets.
Thanks the advice and for your offer! The plan is to run the Mustang next year at Nats, but you never know. Maybe I'll love the prepped Mini so much that the frog can take a break for the first time since 2013. Watching my videos compared to Ryan Otis's it's painfully obvious my Mustang needs more power, and whether I get that done before I move or not, well, probably not The driver could definitely use some help too, falling out of the trophies on day two still hurts when I think about it hahahaha.

I do plan on getting an alignment within the next week, and initially I'll probably go zero toe all around. When I say unprepped, I mean it, as the car's never even been on the rack since I've bought it. All the camber readings I got above are from my "I'm sure it's super accurate" handheld gauge. We'll see how I like it when it finally hits the course with some real tires, assuming I get along with the Nexens. Heitkotter won on them, I'm sure they're the shiznit Several fast local guys have trophied with them nationally too, so they can't be all bad, and I've heard they're good in the wet.

Originally Posted by PelicanParts.com View Post
Really glad we could help you out with your project. As always, I am here if you ever need anything. Great job and hope you have fun out there!
You know, I do want the power kit eventually Though I see it available on your website, I don't know how it would work considering the dealer has to do the programming.
 
  #7  
Old 11-22-2017, 01:53 AM
eschantra
eschantra is offline
2nd Gear
Thread Starter
Join Date: Jul 2008
Location: San Antonio, TX
Posts: 52
Liked 1 Time in 1 Post
Time for an update, as this past weekend was the last autocross of 2017 for the Texas Spokes club out of Austin. Most of their events are held in the parking lot of San Antonio Raceway, a dragstrip in Marion. Unfortunately, the lot is pretty torn up by the large rigs that come through, so the lot is filled with bumps and various concrete and asphalt patches. All the better for testing out my new suspension I guess.

Before the event, I had a local alignment shop that caters to track cars zero toe both the front and rear. Turns out my handheld gauge was off, as the RF was -.9 and the LF was -.5, while both rears were set to -1.5.

Here's how the car sat with its 16x7" Konig Tweakd wheels and 225/50-16 Nexen SUR4G tires. Those things run WIDE for their size. They're much more stretched on the wheels than I expected, more so than my 225mm Michelin daily tires.



Temperatures started in the 50s and rose to the 60s during the day, and given that it was the last Spokes event of the year, we only got 98 drivers. So for something different, it was decided to run the event as a "divisional in a day" with three runs in the morning on one course, and three runs in the afternoon on a second course, with total overall time determining the winner.

The morning course had a combination of high speed elements and decreasing radius corners, which I felt was very well suited to the Mini. Unfortunately, my first run on new suspension and unscrubbed tires would be my "best," a 43.294. During my second run, I shoved the shifter into the reverse gate instead of second, coasted around fumbling to try to get it back into gear, then managed to find fourth just in time to avoid a DNF before finally getting it back into second before the first righthander. My third run, I concentrated so much on getting the shift right that I blew the entry into the slalom and DNFed. That first run ended up being about 1.4 seconds off top PAX, but despite everything I was very happy with the way the car handled.

Here's the video of that puke inducing second run. I forgot to record the other two so this was the only one I have on video. To make matters worse, get ready to cringe when you see how far away I was from the cones Also, check out how bumpy the lot is.


The second course was basically the first course in reverse with a couple small changes. I drove much better in the afternoon but all those decreasing radius turns became increasing radius, which meant me trying to get back on the throttle ASAP to get the little turbo spooling. The entire time I was wishing for an extra 50 hp LOL. I forgot to record my fastest third run (see a theme here?) so here's my second run of the afternoon.


This time, I was about 1.3 seconds off top PAX, with the total time landing me in the bottom third of X class. Very disappointing, but at least I was happy with the car's balance. I started the day with a 2psi difference in tire pressures, and ended up with the rears 4psi higher, finally ending up at 34/38. Other than that, I made no changes.

These were the standings.



Hopefully I'm able to get better results once I get more experience with the car's new setup, though granted 1.3-1.4 off top PAX is an improvement over the 1.8-2 I was seconds before. Also, I don't know why I was so far away from the cones other than the 16" tires don't seem to have nearly the same turn-in response as the 17s, and I've also heard the SUR4G doesn't quite have the sidewall stiffness of the RE-71R I'm used to. Either that or I was just pissed at myself for my crappy driving, which resulted in overdriving corner entries

The car's next event isn't going to be until next year with New England Region. Hopefully, next time the Mini takes the course, my head will join it
 

Last edited by eschantra; 11-22-2017 at 02:16 AM.
  #8  
Old 11-22-2017, 03:22 AM
cmt52663
cmt52663 is offline
6th Gear
Join Date: Jun 2006
Posts: 3,419
Liked 52 Times in 39 Posts
I look forward to seeing you at Devens in the spring.

We should have a lively D Street class in 2018.

Cheers,

Charlie
 
  #9  
Old 11-22-2017, 05:12 AM
Burglar
Burglar is offline
3rd Gear
Join Date: May 2011
Location: Detroit
Posts: 212
Liked 12 Times in 12 Posts
Aww yisss, you have step function steering inputs like me. I take so much crap for that.
 
  #10  
Old 11-24-2017, 09:10 PM
eschantra
eschantra is offline
2nd Gear
Thread Starter
Join Date: Jul 2008
Location: San Antonio, TX
Posts: 52
Liked 1 Time in 1 Post
Originally Posted by cmt52663 View Post
I look forward to seeing you at Devens in the spring.

We should have a lively D Street class in 2018.

Cheers,

Charlie
Looking forward to it! Very curious to see how the old R56 compares to the F56.

Originally Posted by Burglar View Post
Aww yisss, you have step function steering inputs like me. I take so much crap for that.
I wanna say it was worse this event because I drove like crapola and everything on my car was new, but even while driving a car I know very well, it appears I still do it. I'll let you be the judge how bad it is


FWIW despite the big mistake, that run rawed STP (including the eventual nats second place finisher) by .5. Then again, it was dirty (I nudged the second to last cone on course and didn't even feel it) so maybe I just suck
 

Thread Tools
Search this Thread

Contact Us - Archive - Advertising - Cookie Policy - Privacy Statement - Terms of Service

© 2019 MH Sub I, LLC dba Internet Brands

We are a participant in the Amazon Services LLC Associates Program, an affiliate advertising program designed to provide a means for us to earn fees by linking to Amazon.com and affiliated sites.
 
  • Ask a Question
    Get answers from community experts
Question Title:
Description:
Your question will be posted in: