GP1 track tire choices - North American Motoring


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GP1 track tire choices

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Old 11-25-2015, 07:38 PM
rob76turbo rob76turbo is offline
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GP1 track tire choices

Hi everyone,

Have a GP1 with the OEM GP wheels. Just put a set of Bridgestone RE-71R's on and did a track day this past Saturday. Tires are great, but I want to limit the wear and tear on the OEM wheels so I am getting a set of 17" wheels just for the track. The wheels I am getting are the OEM '05 JCW wheels so they should clear the JCW brakes.

My question (I am sure you were wondering when I would get around to that) is what is the widest tire I can run on the 17's and not have any wheel rubbing issues? I am thinking of putting a set of Nitto NT01's on the wheels. I have had great experience with them in the past. But I would like someone who has run 17's mounted on a JCW / GP on the track to comment.

thanks in advance!!
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Old 11-26-2015, 06:40 AM
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Originally Posted by rob76turbo View Post
Hi everyone,

Have a GP1 with the OEM GP wheels. Just put a set of Bridgestone RE-71R's on and did a track day this past Saturday. Tires are great, but I want to limit the wear and tear on the OEM wheels so I am getting a set of 17" wheels just for the track. The wheels I am getting are the OEM '05 JCW wheels so they should clear the JCW brakes.

My question (I am sure you were wondering when I would get around to that) is what is the widest tire I can run on the 17's and not have any wheel rubbing issues? I am thinking of putting a set of Nitto NT01's on the wheels. I have had great experience with them in the past. But I would like someone who has run 17's mounted on a JCW / GP on the track to comment.

thanks in advance!!
Ah Oh...I think we have another track addict here

It also sounds like you are new to this track thing; at least with MINIs. A few pointers (bear with me if you already know these, but hope you find a bit of new info here).

The stock MINI wheels are very heavy and they will slow you down. These wheels are about 25# each. An Enkei PF01 is about 14#. That weight difference is noticeable when you step on the gas. Likewise it will affect the load on the brakes; heavy is bad.

You say you are familiar with the Nittos, then you know that they need camber to run well. MINIs are camber challenged (~0 to -0.3 deg stock). With this low amount of camber a street tire will pull itself over onto its side. A R-Comp will be even worse because it has more grip and more loading to pull it off the tread in a corner. Without added camber, the R-Comps won't perform any better than the RE71Rs, maybe even worse. If you look at Tire Rack for the Toyo R888s (similar to the Nittos), the minimum camber they recommend is -1.0 deg. If this is going to be basically a street car that you are taking to the track, you can easily add camber with a set of IE fixed Camber Plates (see Way Motors). IMHO this is the best mod you can make to a MINI for handling.

As for tire width, the 1st Gen MINIs seem to have a bit more room than the 2nd Gens, so you are in luck there. 205/45 and 215/45 are probably your best choice as those widths are in the sweet spot of the 7" wide rims MINI uses and most of the aftermarket rims. These tire sizes will also allow you to run wheels with offsets down to 35mm ET; my MINI loves the wider track width this size gives the car. A 225/45 will fit (on my 2nd Gen MINI they fit with a 45mm ET wheel, any lower ET and the tires rub in the rear). However, with only -1.5 deg of camber, the R888 I run of that size are pinched a bit on 7" rims and don't perform much better than the 215/45 Dunlop ZIIs I run.

Lastly, and I know you didn't ask, but I am going to chime in anyway, R-Comps are hard on brakes. The more sticky a tire is, the more load you can put on the brakes when you slow down. You, absolutely! need to be running a race pad, especially with the stock MINI brakes. Even with the RE71Rs you should be running race pads as those tires are almost as good as R-Comps. I have found the "street/track" pads to be a waste of money. Carbotech XP10s are a really good choice for MINIs and you can run them on the street (although you will wear rotors out fast with them on the street); again see Way for those. I have had experience with all of this and hope it helps.

Most of all Have Fun and be safe
Happy Holidays
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Old 11-26-2015, 07:44 AM
rob76turbo rob76turbo is offline
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Eddie, thanks very much for the advice. Yes I am new to running a Mini on the track. Not so much new to track event though. Fifteen years in various Porsches. I am an instructor with 4 different track organizations.

So a couple of observations. I agree that I need to dial in more negative camber. I saw there are some Vorschlag (probably spelled that wrong) plates where you can make the adjustments at the track. The RE71R's were great. Used to run 888's and NT01's on my Cayman S / 944 Turbo track car and had great experiences with both. However I understand needing to dial in more negative camber to make the R compound work. Makes total sense. The brakes were garbage. Of course I am used to Porsche brakes (running Porsche Motorsports pads...don't ask me where I got 'em....). The brakes felt spongy, like I was never in control. So I simply adjusted my braking points / technique and had a blast. But Pads and maybe SS Brake lines will do the trick. Another guy was running a GP at the track and he mentioned Hawk DTS-60 Front and DT 10 on the rear. Ever heard of that set up?

Brake question: There is not a lot of wear on the disc's. However, there is a bit of a ridge running in the middle of the disc. You can put your finger (Yes when they are cool) and feel it. So will that work its way out when I add more aggressive pads or should I have them resurfaced?

Good to commiserate with another track rat.
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Old 11-27-2015, 07:54 AM
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Originally Posted by rob76turbo View Post
Eddie, thanks very much for the advice. Yes I am new to running a Mini on the track. Not so much new to track event though. Fifteen years in various Porsches. I am an instructor with 4 different track organizations.

So a couple of observations. I agree that I need to dial in more negative camber. I saw there are some Vorschlag (probably spelled that wrong) plates where you can make the adjustments at the track. The RE71R's were great. Used to run 888's and NT01's on my Cayman S / 944 Turbo track car and had great experiences with both. However I understand needing to dial in more negative camber to make the R compound work. Makes total sense. The brakes were garbage. Of course I am used to Porsche brakes (running Porsche Motorsports pads...don't ask me where I got 'em....). The brakes felt spongy, like I was never in control. So I simply adjusted my braking points / technique and had a blast. But Pads and maybe SS Brake lines will do the trick. Another guy was running a GP at the track and he mentioned Hawk DTS-60 Front and DT 10 on the rear. Ever heard of that set up?

Brake question: There is not a lot of wear on the disc's. However, there is a bit of a ridge running in the middle of the disc. You can put your finger (Yes when they are cool) and feel it. So will that work its way out when I add more aggressive pads or should I have them resurfaced?

Good to commiserate with another track rat.
Likewise

If you don't mind me asking, where do you do your track stuff?

Also, what do you want your MINI to be - a track car that you can drive on the street or a street car that you can drive on the track?

What mods are on the car besides it being a GP?

I've been doing the the track thing for about 8 years; almost all in MINIs. All of my track experience is in the NE - LRP and WGI, mostly, a little at NJMP and a private track, Monticello. I have also gone through some trial and errors with these cars; brakes and suspension mostly.

I feel the most important mod is brakes. Safety first
I believe the MINI brakes on the GP are the same as the S brakes on the second Gen MINI (my MINI). They are good and, yes, compared to a Porsche you will need to make some adjustments in brake points. The brake pads will help a lot. However, the cast iron caliper will heat soak over time and get "soft". This is just the way it is. Removing the dust shields helps and there are good/nice ducting setups that you can look into, if you want to go that far. The SS lines should help with feel, especially when things get hot and replace the fluid with Motol 600.

I have heard of that Hawk setup and, having looked at it, I would say it would be great. But I have never used them. From what I hear, the con would be the Hawk pads are hard on rotors. I am also told that the Hawk pads have a high initial bite which some people like. The person who told me this had a very well setup E30 BMW; basically a race car. That high initial bite would be good for braking late and really hard. However, whenever I try that with my MINI (stock sports suspension shocks and springs), it really upsets the back of the car and it does a bit of a dance. The Carbotechs have a really nice feel, very firm and are very linear, but still have a very high coefficient of friction. With these I set the brakes, get the car settled on the front springs and then lay on them and, if needed, they will trail brake nicely. They are very easy to modulate. Not having used the Hawks, I don't know how they release. So, for an alternate setup, that I have experience with, Carbotech XP10s up front and XP8s in the rear. With the stock brakes that is like all the brake pad you can use.

As for rotors, I would do nothing with them as long as they are above the minimum thickness and they are not cracked. The race pads will bed into whatever grooves are in them, and add a few more just for good measure. I switch back and forth between street pads and race pad without any issues. And don't bother with slotted or cross drilled rotors. The stock rotors are fine. The slotted (cheese graters) add a bit more bite, but I don’t think the car can handle it in stock form. I have not tired them, but maybe you can get a little better rotor cooling with a rotor like these http://www.tirerack.com/brakes/brake...Rotor&make=DBA
but I don’t know if they are worth the expense.

A really good upgrade for brakes is the Wilwood BBK, but I won't get into that unless you are interested.

The Vorshlag camber plates are probably the best you can get (I get that from posts on this forum). However, if this is going to be a street car that is going to be used occasionally on the track I would not bother. The stock suspension will only allow ~2 deg of neg camber or less because the springs hit. To get more you will need coilovers. Also, this is not a car where you can just set the toe-in and shift the camber from a street setting to a track setting without resetting the toe. Once aligned, there is no changing it. Also, I wonder about the street ride and wear and tear on camber plates like these. If you are not planning a lot of suspension mods to the car I would go with the IE fixed camber plates. They are very streetable and will give you ~1.25 neg camber for half the price. You can also find them in the Market Place here on NAN for about half their new price. The other thing people do is to slot the camber plate mounting holes in the strut tower and can get another 0.3 to 0.5 of camber this way. Interestingly, the Gen 2 MINIs come already slotted.

Given your driving experience, I am not surprised you have not asked – how do I make this car rotate? Given the fun that you had with it and your experience, this is probably not a big issue for you. However, this seems to be the number one question that people who push their MINIs ask, so I’ll chime in anyway. The number one answer is – install the biggest rear sway bar that the market sells and that answer is above "installing camber plates" - my fave. I am not a fan of the fat RSB. While it helps with rotation, especially off-throttle (throttle steering when used properly), it can also result in snap oversteer. Hence, my “not being a fan”. However, with your experience, especially in a car that has the reputation of having a bit of oversteer in certain situations, I would suggest this as a mod you might like. Again, I won’t go into further unless you are interested.

I am glad to hear that you find the MINI to be entertaining out on the track. I have heard that from other drivers of cars similar to the Porsches. The thing you will really appreciate about running a MINI is on a very wet track, you will likely be the fastest car out there. These are very forgiving cars.

Lastly, coming from Porsche experience I thought you would appreciate a video from a recent track day I had:

Enjoy
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Old 11-27-2015, 10:49 AM
rob76turbo rob76turbo is offline
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Gotta say, WGR is one of my bucket list tracks. Mostly I run tracks in TX and OK: MotorSports Ranch Cresson (1.7mi, 1.3mi and 3.1mi configurations), Eagles Canyon Raceway, Hallett, Texas World Speedway and Harris Road. Have not done COTA yet, but I need to. I have run one event to get certified as an instructor there.

Thanks for the advice on brakes and other track related things. I am proably more of a Street Car that is very capable on the track mind set. I have owned dedicated track cars in the past and they are for the most part a beat down.

So a couple of notes: I already did the Madness big *** rear bar. I like a car that rotates easily and the rear bar helps a lot. I found the car was easy to rotate and slide through corners. I do understand that people may struggle going from a RWD to FWD, but I think I have enough track time to adapt easily.

I am used to a firm brake pedal feel and like that instant initial bite. I am a late braker anyway, so moving to an aggressive pad make sense. But I will be looking for that wagging tail behavior you mentioned. Really it about adjusting your brake points / technique to adjust for the car / brake set up you are driving. Hell, half the fun is figuring it out and then perfecting it!!
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Old 11-27-2015, 01:47 PM
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WGI is a great track. If you ever make it up here, let me know.

I like the way you think. A sign of a true driver - work with what you have and enjoy the rewards of making it work. The MINI is a great car to try to perfect the driving of.

I was wondering if you might have done the BARB (ok - I was not thinking that for big *** rear bar ). Sounds like you have that one figured out; great!

If you run into the tail wag issue, try dropping the rear tire pressure a pound or 2. For hot pressures I run 39 psi front and 37 psi rear with the Dunlop ZIIs and a psi less than that, front and rear, for the R888s.

A few more suggestions - the car really likes a bit wider track. A set of 5 or 10 mm wheel spacers or wheels with a 40 or 38 mm ET (stock ET is 48mm) works well. A Schroth quick fit harness (Pro model fits a Hans device) is a great investment for keeping you planted in the seat. But, I know about the roll-over potential issues. Next best is a set of CG locks. A lot of this stuff shows up on the NAM market place. Lastly, these cars are hard on the front suspension lower control arm bushings. If your car has over about 40k miles you may want to look into replacing those; the Powerflex poly bushings are a good choice.

All of this should make for a really fun street car that is track capable.
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Old 12-12-2015, 09:06 PM
rob76turbo rob76turbo is offline
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Eddie, thanks again for all the tips. I ordered SS Brake lines and a wheel stud kit that gets rid of the lug bolts. Ordered from ESCTuning. Next will be pads (still deciding between Carbotech and Hawk) and the Lower control arms bushings. Want to install the Schroth Quick Fit Pro's. I just posted up asking if anyone has install pix of the harnesses in a GP.
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Old 12-13-2015, 07:27 AM
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You're welcome...
And you have made me think that I should get a set of the wheel studs. And new spark plugs. And new...you know, all of those maintanance parts that are "no fun".

For the Quick fit, you will need to have the rear seat buckle assembly that mounts on the tunnel. The other half of the Quick fit mounts to its own buckles and bolts on the outboard sides of the seats (or where the rear seats would be). I would think all of the mounting points should still be there. Check the NAM market place for someone parting out a Gen 1 MINI. They should have that rear mounting bracket.

Another thing, I have read that there is an engine damper or mount that is hydraulic whose seals go after a while on the Gen 1s. I think this is something that you can see and tell by whether it is leaking, but don't know any more than that. Maybe someone who know more about this will chime in, or do a search. Either way, this is just a suggestion as to something to check at some point.

Say, question for you - What size sway bar is the Madness bar you put in; 22mm? What end links are you using and what setting are you on?

Let us know how it is all coming together and about your next adventure to the track.

Last edited by Eddie07S; 12-13-2015 at 07:28 AM. Reason: typo
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Old 12-13-2015, 05:59 PM
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A little late to the party here but am in complete accord with the discussion. I run the DTC60's both front and rear with no detriment. Agree that it's very important to run the lightest weight wheel you can afford. The Nitto NT01 is my fav for 17". TOYO RA1 is another. Also a fan of the Vorschlag plates. I put them on the GP and wish I'd have done it to my '05. Also, the Schroth Quick-Fit Pros are great. I did the fix on the GP so I can switch them from one car to the other. I did the simple fix of making the GP air ducts functional-big help in keeping the brakes cool. Am running the RSport 22mm RSB on full hard and just dial in with air pressure adjustment. VIR is my home track...only 90 min. away but have run a bunch of others. Have fun but be safe out there!
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Old 12-13-2015, 06:04 PM
rob76turbo rob76turbo is offline
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NCTRACKRAT, can you take a couple of pix of the Schroth Quickfit pro install? Would love to see what you did and how you fit it with the foam tray and cover.
Anything would be appreciated!!!
Thanks,
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Old 12-13-2015, 06:20 PM
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Check here: http://www.gpmini.net/forum/viewtopic.php?t=327 then Click on MOTORN's links for pics and instructions: http://www.gpmini.net/wp/2007/04/harnessing_the_gp/ I'll try to take pics of my installation tomorrrow if I can remember.
I believe there's also a thread about him doing the brake duct mod as well.

Last edited by NC TRACKRAT; 12-13-2015 at 06:29 PM.
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Old 12-13-2015, 06:32 PM
rob76turbo rob76turbo is offline
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Thanks, I saw that thread. Several of the more detailed pix of the instructions are no longer on the site. If you can take a few pix, that would be great. No hurry, track season starts in 3 months....
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Old 12-13-2015, 06:35 PM
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Old 12-14-2015, 06:10 AM
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Here are some quick pics, two from the GP and two from Trackrat. All you need do is remove the side panels from the GP to access the seat belt anchors and install the Schroth adapters, then add the center seat belt assembly from a regular MINI. I use a bungee cord so that the side seat belt assemblies don't drop down. When not in use, the GP carpeted board covers everything up.
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GP1 track tire choices-dscn3403.jpg   GP1 track tire choices-dscn3404.jpg   GP1 track tire choices-dscn3406.jpg   GP1 track tire choices-dscn3407.jpg  
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Old 12-14-2015, 07:57 AM
rob76turbo rob76turbo is offline
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Awesome, thanks!!!!!
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Old 04-06-2016, 07:13 PM
rob76turbo rob76turbo is offline
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Track mod update

HI everyone, been a while since I have contributed to this tread, so I thought I would give you a quick update as to the status to the track mods.

Went with Carbotech XP10 (Front) and XP8 (Rear). That along with SS brake lines has improved braking a bit. But I find that several laps into a session the brakes become very soft. So it is probably time for an upgrade. I will post a different thread related to brake choices.

Tires: bought the Bridgestone RE71R's, running 215/40/18. They are in a word...awesome. Great grip, balanced wear and did I mention they have great grip I will buy another set when these wear, which based on the number of track events I have done / scheduled to do, should be mid summer.

Top engine mount: replaced the old leaking one.

Next up is harnesses. I just purchased Schroth (found out it is supposed to be pronounced Schrot. The H is silent). Went with Quick Fit Pro's because I plan to wear a HANS device. Will start the install on those this weekend. So far I have four track weekends this year. One at Eagles Canyon, two at MSR Cresson and they were both the 3.1 config and a great weekend at Texas World Speedway. Have another couple at ECR and MSR before June when I finally will run COTA. I will keep you all posted.
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Old 04-07-2016, 05:26 PM
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Ok, you being a late braker with a more aggressive pad, the heat you are generating is way more than that big cast brake caliper can handle. While brake ducts will help, you will likely still be frustrated with the brakes. At this point you might want to just consider a Wilwood BBK. There are 2 kits that would be good options for you. Check out:
http://www.tceperformanceproducts.co...01-06/kits-16/
The Plus 1 Wilwood track kit is a good option and is what I have. It will let you use 15" through 17" wheels (the smaller rotor is all you need for 15" wheels).

Likely a better option for you is the Plus 3a TCE 13" kit. This is a great track setup! Don't go with the Plus 3b Wilwood kit, the pads are much thinner and there is no advantage to the 6 piston caliper even though it sounds better (TCE even says this is a "street" kit). If you go with the TCE kit, I have pads for you...just a thought Also, Todd of TCE is great to work with. For the money this is a great kit and it is a true track setup.

You may find that with the Plus 3a kit you may not need a brake duct kit. Then again it won't hurt.
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Old 04-07-2016, 06:09 PM
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Originally Posted by Eddie07S View Post
Ok, you being a late braker with a more aggressive pad, the heat you are generating is way more than that big cast brake caliper can handle. While brake ducts will help, you will likely still be frustrated with the brakes. At this point you might want to just consider a Wilwood BBK. There are 2 kits that would be good options for you. Check out:
http://www.tceperformanceproducts.co...01-06/kits-16/
The Plus 1 Wilwood track kit is a good option and is what I have. It will let you use 15" through 17" wheels (the smaller rotor is all you need for 15" wheels).

Likely a better option for you is the Plus 3a TCE 13" kit. This is a great track setup! Don't go with the Plus 3b Wilwood kit, the pads are much thinner and there is no advantage to the 6 piston caliper even though it sounds better (TCE even says this is a "street" kit). If you go with the TCE kit, I have pads for you...just a thought Also, Todd of TCE is great to work with. For the money this is a great kit and it is a true track setup.

You may find that with the Plus 3a kit you may not need a brake duct kit. Then again it won't hurt.
Thanks Eddie, I spoke to Todd earlier and the Plus 3a seems to be the ticket. It is next on the never ending track upgrade list....
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Old 04-07-2016, 08:26 PM
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This is cheap compared to a Porsche...
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Old 04-07-2016, 09:24 PM
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This is cheap compared to a Porsche...
My wife may not agree with you!
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Old 09-29-2016, 07:19 PM
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Rob, did you go with the TCE Plus 3a kit? Seems like maybe a smarter long term plan than trying to build around the stock R53 JCW calipers. Any insight is appreciated as I'm completely undecided on which path myself. I do know I hate doing things twice.
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Old 10-10-2016, 07:18 PM
rob76turbo rob76turbo is offline
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Rob, did you go with the TCE Plus 3a kit? Seems like maybe a smarter long term plan than trying to build around the stock R53 JCW calipers. Any insight is appreciated as I'm completely undecided on which path myself. I do know I hate doing things twice.
AJ, did not install a brake upgrade kit. Have run about 10 events with Stock brakes. Did SS Brake lines, CarboTech XP10, XP8 and installed some makeshift brake ducts using the fake brake ducts in the front bumper.

But...I plan to retire the GP from track work (keeping if for sure) and buying a dedicated race car. Down to a Miata (what else) or a street legal NASA AI Mustang. It sure would be fun to chase down and pass those GT3's and GT4's.
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Old 10-11-2016, 06:05 AM
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which high initial bite hawks compare to the xp11 pads?

I put ducting into the center of the rotors, makes a big difference but I would like a pad with more bite, running ebc yellows right now, and my ax car has hawk HP+ and I love the bite on those.

I had tail wag, it was my front control arm bushings, some poly bushings fixed most of it
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Old 10-11-2016, 06:08 AM
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edit, dupe
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Old 10-11-2016, 03:55 PM
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Eddie07S Eddie07S is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by mega72 View Post
which high initial bite hawks compare to the xp11 pads?

I put ducting into the center of the rotors, makes a big difference but I would like a pad with more bite, running ebc yellows right now, and my ax car has hawk HP+ and I love the bite on those.

I had tail wag, it was my front control arm bushings, some poly bushings fixed most of it
I think you mean the XP10s?

I know some people who feel the Carbotechs don't have enough bite. I had a friend who went to the XP 12s and really liked them.

I also have friends who will only use Hawk pads.

As for Hawk pad, the closest is probably the DTC-60. You could match that with the Hawk Blue pads in the back. I think that is the setup that the Hawk users use.

This also may help with the tail wiggle. At my last event I asked the lead instructor about this. His response was a little more (not less) bite to the pads in the back will help to hold it down and not wiggle.

At any rate, ECS has the Hawk brake pad compound chart posted. This may help:
https://www.ecstuning.com/b-hawk-par...FVVahgodZ4gI_Q

Hawk makes a "Street/Race" pad (DTC-30 is the old name, I believe) that is a step up from the HP+ that I have heard mixed reviews on. FWIW - any pad with "street" in the name is not worth taking out on the track for anyone above a novice.

The thing everyone agrees on is Hawk pads eat rotors...just sayin'
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