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What's the best year to buy if I want a fun little track car?

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What's the best year to buy if I want a fun little track car?

  #1  
Old 06-04-2019, 07:49 AM
gobble
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What's the best year to buy if I want a fun little track car?

I haven't had a Mini in probably 10 years but recently got a bug to buy something to take to the track for drivers ed events. I've heard the gen 2 is the best Mini in terns of being able to mod it and get more power.

Is there a specific year I should be looking to buy?
 
  #2  
Old 06-04-2019, 08:31 AM
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as far as gen 2. 2011 they switched to the n18 engine vs the n14, which you want the n18. The late 2012 and on have a redesigned HPFP, so that what i would look for.
 
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  #3  
Old 06-04-2019, 01:49 PM
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Thanks that's helpful. How do you know if a 2012 has the upgraded fuel pump?
 
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Old 06-04-2019, 02:13 PM
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I've heard the gen 2 is the best Mini in terns of being able to mod it and get more power.


I seriously disagree with that statement. What can you do to increase the boost in a turbo that can compare to the quick and easy pulley swap(s) than can significantly change the boost of the GEN1 supercharger?

the GEN2 N14 vs 18 and HPFP discussion points are valid for reliability (sometimes) but for modifications to increase power???? I don't think so ....

AND THEN

let us not forget the potential of Mini




vs MINI



THIS is the car that made Mini a famed name in racing . . . {not this one in particular, but you get the point . . . }



btw the Miata is a Fantastically mod-able track car ... tons of suppliers and resources ...... don't discount them ... been around longer than MINI too so more available ... and no import issues as with a Mini so more available hence points on that front as well.

(I had a 95 Miata til 07 and am still friends with the guy who bought it and still drives it)
 

Last edited by Capt_bj; 06-04-2019 at 02:40 PM.
  #5  
Old 06-04-2019, 02:30 PM
mattiemo
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Originally Posted by Capt_bj View Post
I've heard the gen 2 is the best Mini in terns of being able to mod it and get more power.


I seriously disagree with that statement. What can you do to increase the boost in a turbo that can compare to the quick and easy pulley swap(s) than can significantly change the boost of the GEN1 supercharger?

the GEN2 N14 vs 18 and HPFP discussion points are valid for reliability (sometimes) but for modifications to increase power???? I don't think so ....
To increase boost you can get a tune which is very easy just send out the ecu. Which can up the boost from 12psi to over 20psi. I don't really have an opinion on which gen is the "best". He mentioned the gen 2, so I was just giving him info. You are right the n18 and HPFP won't do anything for power, but why not look for the "more reliable" engine and parts.
 
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Old 06-04-2019, 02:33 PM
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Originally Posted by gobble View Post
Thanks that's helpful. How do you know if a 2012 has the upgraded fuel pump?
I am not a 100% sure on the date. But I believe if it has a manufacturing date after April of 2012 it should have the new type HPFP.
 
  #7  
Old 06-04-2019, 02:53 PM
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I don't have an opinion on Gen-2 or -3 since I've only driven a Gen-1 R53. I will say, however, that it's absolutely impossible to beat the sound of a carefully modified, supercharged Mini! Not to mention, if you intend to mod it for track-only, Gen-1s are a lot less expensive to purchase.
 
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Old 06-04-2019, 03:15 PM
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2006 R53 is a hell of a track toy. I guess it does depend on how much power you want to lay down, but I'd take the R53 over any other model for a track toy.
 
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  #9  
Old 06-04-2019, 05:04 PM
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I find my R53 to be a general pain in that *** in comparison to my R56.

In my experience, the R56 LCI is easier to wrench on and is a refinement of what the R53 was meant to be. If you go with the R53, you are going to want R56 brakes and rear trailing arms. If you want to change the rear anti-roll bar (you will) you'll have to drop the R53 rear subframe. The R53's steering wheel? It looks like the helm of the starship Enterprise (not in a good way). So you are going to want to replace that with the R56 wheel. That center exit exhaust actually kinks around the battery box that is conveniently located in the uninsulated boot, where it will be drained flat by the extreme cold outside or the extreme heat of the exhaust.

Bottom line: When I work on my R53, it is work. My R56 on the other hand, I enjoy spending time on it. My R53 is a quirky mess (driver's window stuck? Just punch it above the speaker) and my R56 just goes. Power wise, even stock, my R56 would smoke my R53 all day long. With the mods I've added, the R53 may as well be a Justa. For me, the R56 is my track car and the R53 is my quasi daily commuter. Your mileage may vary.

2004 R53 MC40 #911
2013 R56 MCS
2012 R60S (yeah, yeah...)


Not all R56's have to look as basic as the one CPT BJ posted...



 
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  #10  
Old 06-04-2019, 05:26 PM
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I've had a gen 1 and kind of want to try something different. There's someone that has a 2010 with updated timing chain, fuel pump and clutch. If I get all that is the N18 still better to have?

Edit: I see 10 more HP
 
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Old 06-04-2019, 05:33 PM
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need I say more?



 
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  #12  
Old 06-04-2019, 05:49 PM
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Originally Posted by gobble View Post
I've had a gen 1 and kind of want to try something different. There's someone that has a 2010 with updated timing chain, fuel pump and clutch. If I get all that is the N18 still better to have?

Edit: I see 10 more HP

As I understand it, the N14 will be more open to ECU programming and tuning. However, it is known to have weak pistons will need to be de-coked regularly.

While the N18's ECU is pretty much locked down there are tunes available for it. The engine internals are stronger and the HPFP is more post later model HPFP is more capable. However, because the ECU is locked, you will not be able to put it on a dyno and squeeze every last drop of performance out of it.

It is sort of a trade off I guess.
 
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Old 06-04-2019, 05:59 PM
gobble
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Isn't this saying the N18 is good for 15 more hp tuned?

http://www.manicmini.com/software/4584765948
 
  #14  
Old 06-04-2019, 06:05 PM
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That's what it says, but that only applies to an ECU flash tune. The ECU flash is not going to be able to create as much power as a true dyno tune.
 
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Old 06-04-2019, 06:19 PM
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Any 2013 S or JCW is the most reliable. If you want a better performance Motor that you will need to forge then get a 2007-2010 N14

mQubed Motorsport Manic & RPM Power Tuning
 
  #16  
Old 06-04-2019, 06:22 PM
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I'm surprised at how few 2013 MCS hardtop with manual transmission are for sale.
 
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Old 06-04-2019, 06:34 PM
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Ah, I get what the HPFP is now. I just had an injector issue on my 458 and had to remove the intake to send the fuel rails out for cleaning. Only difference is this car has two of them. I didn't realize the MCS had direct injection.

 
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Old 06-04-2019, 06:50 PM
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I've owned multiple r53 and r56, I went back to an r53 for my track car. Much more reliable than the newer minis, but it is not as fast on the track but they are more fun

 
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  #19  
Old 06-04-2019, 06:55 PM
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Very cool.
 
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Old 06-04-2019, 08:12 PM
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I have a catless stage 2, 2013 MCS and it flies. Took it to the track twice and the guy in the Z06 was shocked about how quick it was haha. Quite the sleeper. On 30 rolls i can beat STi's, 350z's and G37's, 435i's hahah its so fun
 
  #21  
Old 06-05-2019, 05:27 AM
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Capt_bj as much as I dig the classic, the availability of the R56 wins it for me lol






However, I'd happily take an F56 Challenge car if I had the budget


 
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  #22  
Old 06-05-2019, 05:46 PM
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What do you guys think of this car? Is all

the black an option of did someone mess this car up?
 
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Old 06-06-2019, 12:19 PM
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An owner did the chrome-to-black trim thing not the dealer. And probably the stripes too. It's done a lot. If you can find an N18 JCW that would be a great trackmobile especially with a little suspension modding. Never tracked mine but it would probably be pretty good.
 
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Old 06-06-2019, 08:49 PM
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Gotta echo TheBigNewt. Look for a 2013-2014 JCW with manual trans, give it some love and enjoy. Spend some money on upgrading the driver and learn its limits. Start with tires, brake pads and SS lines. Then consider suspension upgrades, an LSD with good clutch and power upgrades last. Even a Stage 1 tune makes the JCW a rocket, but the other mods will make it a weapon on the track.
 
  #25  
Old 06-07-2019, 07:38 AM
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I looked at the orange one last night. It was in really rough shape, so bad I didn't even bother talking with anyone.
 

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