Go Back  North American Motoring > 2nd Generation MINIs > R56 :: Hatch Talk (2007+)
Bilstein B4 shocks for a better ride ? >

R56 Bilstein B4 shocks for a better ride ?

R56 :: Hatch Talk (2007+) MINI Cooper and Cooper S (R56) hatchback discussion.
Sponsored by:
Sponsored by:

R56 Bilstein B4 shocks for a better ride ?

  #1  
Old 01-27-2019, 04:13 PM
torque124's Avatar
torque124
torque124 is offline
1st Gear
Thread Starter
Join Date: Nov 2018
Posts: 22
Received 1 Like on 1 Post
Bilstein B4 shocks for a better ride ?

Hi all
Has anyone changed the stock sport shocks on 2012 R56 Cooper S in chasing a more compliant ride ?
Mine is extremely, painfully stiff, and with our roads around Boston area, I am starting to challenge my wife's sanity and the integrity of the interior.... everything suffers due to potholes, all plastics start to shake lately..
I have good experience with Bilstein shocks on my beemer... Very nice ride and sporty altogether. Anyone tried them?

Many thanks
 
  #2  
Old 01-27-2019, 07:56 PM
mountainhorse's Avatar
mountainhorse
mountainhorse is offline
3rd Gear
Join Date: Nov 2018
Location: Cali
Posts: 298
Received 17 Likes on 11 Posts
What size tires and wheels are in there now?

Does it have stock shocks and stock springs?



.
 
  #3  
Old 01-27-2019, 07:58 PM
cmt52663
cmt52663 is offline
6th Gear
Join Date: Jun 2006
Posts: 3,453
Received 61 Likes on 48 Posts
I assume you are not on run-flats, and using 16" or 17" rims - true?

'cause run-flats will ruin your kidneys around Boston.

I'm on the B8, which are stiff. I have not tried the B4.

I autocross in the summer, and pothole-dodge in winter just to stay in practice.

Nice quality shocks - I reckon the Koni is also a good alternative from past usage.

But first - lose the run-flats if you haven't yet done so.

Cheers,

Charlie
 
  #4  
Old 01-27-2019, 08:14 PM
torque124's Avatar
torque124
torque124 is offline
1st Gear
Thread Starter
Join Date: Nov 2018
Posts: 22
Received 1 Like on 1 Post
Originally Posted by cmt52663 View Post
I assume you are not on run-flats, and using 16" or 17" rims - true?

'cause run-flats will ruin your kidneys around Boston.

I'm on the B8, which are stiff. I have not tried the B4.

I autocross in the summer, and pothole-dodge in winter just to stay in practice.

Nice quality shocks - I reckon the Koni is also a good alternative from past usage.

But first - lose the run-flats if you haven't yet done so.

Cheers,

Charlie
no run flats... regular allseasons and stock 17 " wheels and suspension
 
  #5  
Old 01-27-2019, 08:43 PM
WayMotorWorks
WayMotorWorks is online now
Vendor
iTrader: (10)
Join Date: Jul 2006
Location: Atlanta, GA
Posts: 9,510
Received 368 Likes on 324 Posts
We've installed every different combo of shocks with stock springs and we have found the KONI FSDs to give the best ride. The B4s are more like a cheaper replacement shock, rather than an upgrade.
https://www.waymotorworks.com/koni-f...5-r56-r57.html
 
__________________


HOTCHKIS | DDM | CRAVEN | AKRAPOVIC | NM ENGINEERING | MEGAN | FORGE | IE | OS GIKEN | POWERFLEX and more
The following 3 users liked this post by WayMotorWorks:
Minibeagle (01-28-2019), torque124 (01-28-2019), VWguyBruce (02-05-2019)
  #6  
Old 01-28-2019, 05:57 AM
cooper48's Avatar
cooper48
cooper48 is offline
4th Gear
Join Date: Jul 2018
Location: DFW, TX
Posts: 548
Received 83 Likes on 81 Posts
I have new Bilstein B4s on my 2004 R53 but I also have the Sport Plus suspension which is approx. 20% stiffer. Shocks perform just fine but it's difficult to compare the ride quality difference because of the stiffer springs. I can't imagine that any MINI with its short wheelbase has a "LazyBoy" ride.
 
  #7  
Old 01-28-2019, 08:54 AM
torque124's Avatar
torque124
torque124 is offline
1st Gear
Thread Starter
Join Date: Nov 2018
Posts: 22
Received 1 Like on 1 Post
Originally Posted by cooper48 View Post
I have new Bilstein B4s on my 2004 R53 but I also have the Sport Plus suspension which is approx. 20% stiffer. Shocks perform just fine but it's difficult to compare the ride quality difference because of the stiffer springs. I can't imagine that any MINI with its short wheelbase has a "LazyBoy" ride.
Thanks; but did you see an improvement in ride quality when going to the Bilsteins as opposed to stock? Mine also has the Sport suspension...
 
  #8  
Old 01-28-2019, 12:22 PM
cooper48's Avatar
cooper48
cooper48 is offline
4th Gear
Join Date: Jul 2018
Location: DFW, TX
Posts: 548
Received 83 Likes on 81 Posts
Initial thought: Your coil spring rate counts more toward your ride quality than do your shocks. That Sport Plus suspension is simply unforgiving and I don't believe different shocks (B4s are the softest) are going to affect the ride quality as much as you would like. Second thought: has your MINI been lowered? If so, that stiffens the spring rate even more. BTW, good luck driving in Boston. I've never driven anywhere more confusing!
 
  #9  
Old 01-28-2019, 12:26 PM
torque124's Avatar
torque124
torque124 is offline
1st Gear
Thread Starter
Join Date: Nov 2018
Posts: 22
Received 1 Like on 1 Post
Originally Posted by cooper48 View Post
Initial thought: Your coil spring rate counts more toward your ride quality than do your shocks. That Sport Plus suspension is simply unforgiving and I don't believe different shocks (B4s are the softest) are going to affect the ride quality as much as you would like. Second thought: has your MINI been lowered? If so, that stiffens the spring rate even more. BTW, good luck driving in Boston. I've never driven anywhere more confusing!
Thanks; I know about Boston. Thing is, my 335i or my Shelby are both easier to drive on potholes, believe it or not, than the Mini... This thing just rattles and shakes violently, and jumps all over. The Mini is completely stock, no change to it whatsoever... I will need to get under it and double check, but it looks stock, definitely not lowered.
Check my pics here; not a great side pic, but you can tell it's not lowered:
https://www.northamericanmotoring.co...-new-mini.html
 
  #10  
Old 01-28-2019, 12:41 PM
mountainhorse's Avatar
mountainhorse
mountainhorse is offline
3rd Gear
Join Date: Nov 2018
Location: Cali
Posts: 298
Received 17 Likes on 11 Posts
Toprque123, How many miles on your car?

If you really want a great setup... I agree with Way.

Run the FSD's, get a great set of 16" wheels and tires, NON run Flats.
You can sell your R133 17's ON CL for more, than a good set of OE MINI 16's and tires
http://minicooper.wikia.com/wiki/OEM_Wheels_and_Tires

I was on the fence with the FSD's until I rode in an R56 with them.... Night and day improved in ride and handling compared, back/back with a stock low mile car of the same vintage and model. On the same car this weekend, I helped her install the WMW hollow rear bar in addition to the FSD's she just had installed... huge improvement in flat cornering... I'll probably be running the same setup on my R53!

She has the R119 wheels with Kumho Ecsta 4x II's (Ultra high perf all season)

To me, this would be the ultimate package for excellent, non-racing, handling AND good ride quality.
Kumho ECSTA 4X II - SIZE: 195/55R16
16" factory mini wheels (lots on CL and ebay in top shape used) (im a big fan of the R90-16 OEM Mini's) for looks.
Koni FSD or the Koni Special Active 'red' shocks (same shock internally)
WMW rear sway bar.

You'll love the handling AND the ride.
With nice wheels and tires, you will have the same handling as your 17's... as good 16's will not be the limiting factor in that regard.

MINI R90 in black.



Looks like MINI R133 wheels??





.
 

Last edited by mountainhorse; 01-28-2019 at 12:55 PM.
The following 2 users liked this post by mountainhorse:
torque124 (01-28-2019), WayMotorWorks (01-28-2019)
  #11  
Old 01-28-2019, 12:46 PM
torque124's Avatar
torque124
torque124 is offline
1st Gear
Thread Starter
Join Date: Nov 2018
Posts: 22
Received 1 Like on 1 Post
Originally Posted by mountainhorse View Post
Toprque123, How many miles on your car?

If you really want a great setup... I agree with Way.

Run the FSD's, get a great set of 16" wheels and tires, NON run Flats,
The R90 Cross Spoke factory MINI wheels are sweet.

I was on the fence with the FSD's until I rode in an R56 with them.... Night and day improved in ride and handling compared, back/back with a stock low mile car of the same vintage and model. On the same car this weekend, I helped her install the WMW hollow rear bar in addition to the FSD's she just had installed... huge improvement in flat cornering... I'll probably be running the same setup on my R53!

She has the R119 wheels with Kumho Ecsta 4x II's (Ultra high perf all season)

To me, this would be the ultimate package for excellent, non-racing, handling AND good ride quality.
Kumho ECSTA 4X II - SIZE: 195/55R16
16" factory mini wheels (lots on CL and ebay in top shape used) (im a big fan of the R90-16 OEM Mini's) for looks.
Koni FSD or the Koni Special Active 'red' shocks (same shock internally)
WMW rear sway bar.

You'll love the handling AND the ride.
With nice wheels and tires, you will have the same handling as your 17's... as good 16's will not be the limiting factor in that regard.




.
Many thanks; the car has 54k now. I don't really want to go 16" wheels, unless I buy some snow tires just for winter.... I will most likely grab some Koni FSD's as everyone is raving about them ; and do a suspension re-haul this spring.
I did drive another Mini before this one, but I think that one did not have the Sport suspension, as it was a tad smoother on the road and had 16" wheels (still stiff mind you).
 
  #12  
Old 01-29-2019, 08:35 PM
gnarmach
gnarmach is offline
1st Gear
Join Date: Apr 2014
Posts: 20
Received 3 Likes on 3 Posts
Originally Posted by cooper48 View Post
Initial thought: Your coil spring rate counts more toward your ride quality than do your shocks. That Sport Plus suspension is simply unforgiving and I don't believe different shocks (B4s are the softest) are going to affect the ride quality as much as you would like. Second thought: has your MINI been lowered? If so, that stiffens the spring rate even more. BTW, good luck driving in Boston. I've never driven anywhere more confusing!
The damper makes a big difference, but the Mini ends up being really rough because there just isn't a lot of suspension travel to work with. I've had cars similar in weight with much stiffer springs that rode better than the Mini does. With such little travel I think the damper is going to be the bigger deciding factor - it needs to be well controlled. I'm trying to decide between the B4 and the FSD for mine like OP.

Originally Posted by torque124 View Post
Thanks; I know about Boston. Thing is, my 335i or my Shelby are both easier to drive on potholes, believe it or not, than the Mini... This thing just rattles and shakes violently, and jumps all over. The Mini is completely stock, no change to it whatsoever... I will need to get under it and double check, but it looks stock, definitely not lowered.
Check my pics here; not a great side pic, but you can tell it's not lowered:
https://www.northamericanmotoring.co...-new-mini.html
The Mini is the roughest driving car I've ever owned - including a bunch of lowered BMWs on coilovers that I drove in Boston. The Mini doesn't have a lot of travel or as much caster as the BMWs from the feel of it - every impact seems to pull it off it's line, the whole thing is pretty jarring. It's a blast on smooth roads though hah!
 
  #13  
Old 01-29-2019, 11:01 PM
NomadMac
NomadMac is offline
2nd Gear
Join Date: Mar 2017
Location: San Anselmo, CA
Posts: 56
Received 10 Likes on 8 Posts
I literally chucked the rear Bilstein B4s on my 2002 R53 and had Koni FSDs with Powerflex top bushings installed today. (The Bilsteins had just 20K miles on them.)
Sure, the B4s were stiff but they crashed when hitting potholes and made the rear end skittish.
I also had ongoing issues with thumping noises in the rear end that I couldn't figure out, especially when cold. It was driving me crazy trying to track them down.
Those noises are gone now with the FSDs.

I took the MINI out for a 30 mile loop on our wonderful backroads and found the car to be quieter, more planted and the rear feels more like a modern car.
It feels, dare I say it, like a BMW. Solid. There's significantly less body noise and rattles, too. It doesn't feel like I'm beating me and the car to death.
These folks who treat you with disdain if you indicate you want a softer are ride are annoying. We're not looking for a Cadillac ride.
I've driven 911s without getting bashed to death and a MINI should be able to do the same. Yes, I do have DriveGuard run flats.
You need compliance, otherwise, you're just skiing over the tops of moguls, bashing yourself and out of control.

Way's right. Go with the FSDs. It takes just as long to install a good shock as the cheap B4s. Wish I hadn't wasted my money on the first go-around.
When I got home, I ordered Koni FSDs for the front. Can't wait. My wife might even want to go for a ride with me now.
 
The following 3 users liked this post by NomadMac:
mountainhorse (01-29-2019), torque124 (01-30-2019), WayMotorWorks (01-31-2019)
Related Topics
Thread
Thread Starter
Forum
Replies
Last Post
PAWS
MINI Parts for Sale
6
01-14-2017 03:46 PM
BlackCamden
Suspension
6
03-18-2011 08:06 PM
johnD
Suspension
21
02-20-2007 07:08 AM
sportek1
Suspension
4
07-24-2005 08:40 PM
Shea
Suspension
8
12-13-2004 06:31 PM


Thread Tools
Search this Thread
Quick Reply: R56 Bilstein B4 shocks for a better ride ?


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.