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Springs vs. Springs/Struts vs. Coilovers

Suspension Springs, struts, coilovers, sway-bars, camber plates, and all other modifications to suspension components for Cooper (R50), Cabrio (R52), and Cooper S (R53) MINIs.
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Springs vs. Springs/Struts vs. Coilovers

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Old 01-29-2005, 05:06 PM
BelowRadar
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Springs vs. Springs/Struts vs. Coilovers

My MCS bolt-on makeover will begin with the suspension, and I was originally set on coilovers (H&R Sport or KW V.1). However, I have seen some people on here using H-Sport springs for autox. I too plan on doing a little autox, but will put the majority of "performance" miles on during canyon runs and goofing around in transit.

My question is whether I should do just springs, springs and struts, or coilovers. Adding springs to compliment the stock struts is attractive simply because it saves so much money (about 1k). But I like the idea of coils for their all-in-one capabilities and their unsprung weight savings. New springs and struts seem like a waste actually, because for just a couple hundred more I could get coilovers.

When I get my spring/strut situation worked out, I will be complimenting it with a 22mm rear sway bar and rear aluminum control arms. Knowing this, what would you recommend I do? I'm not a hardcore track fiend, but I do appreciate driving a finely tuned machine.
 
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Old 01-29-2005, 06:53 PM
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kenchan
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Im a spirited street driver so I think I fall in your ballpark.

I'm running H-Sport springs and a rear 22mm Alta swaybar in the stiffest
setting and it handles very well on the streets. I might get the Koni's,
but for street, I think it's enough. Also sporting 16x7.5 SSR comps with
GSD3 tires. (no rear control arms).

Down the road Im planning to do the KW's when the stock struts are shot,
but looking at the way Im driving my mcs, I might end up selling it before I
even get to wear out the struts. :smile:
 
  #3  
Old 01-29-2005, 07:17 PM
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Mjolnir
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Originally Posted by UnderRadar
My MCS bolt-on makeover will begin with the suspension, and I was originally set on coilovers (H&R Sport or KW V.1). However, I have seen some people on here using H-Sport springs for autox. I too plan on doing a little autox, but will put the majority of "performance" miles on during canyon runs and goofing around in transit.

My question is whether I should do just springs, springs and struts, or coilovers. Adding springs to compliment the stock struts is attractive simply because it saves so much money (about 1k). But I like the idea of coils for their all-in-one capabilities and their unsprung weight savings. New springs and struts seem like a waste actually, because for just a couple hundred more I could get coilovers.

When I get my spring/strut situation worked out, I will be complimenting it with a 22mm rear sway bar and rear aluminum control arms. Knowing this, what would you recommend I do? I'm not a hardcore track fiend, but I do appreciate driving a finely tuned machine.
Hi there.

At the risk of sounding like a broken record... If you're going to track or autox and you're new to it all the best thing you can do is a driving school. Seriously. ESPECIALLY when your car is stock. Mods can hide bad driving habits.

Ok...

I did the swaybar first and it made quite a difference over the toothpick that BMW put in there.

Next I did wheels and tires which made a difference too. Gave more stick. Pretty sure it was due to the fact that I got rid of the bags of cement on each corner.

HSports were next - love them and they took about .5 off my time on a bad day. The last change I made was the RDR Camber plates. Worth every penny.

-J
 
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Old 01-30-2005, 08:34 AM
scobib
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IMHO, springs are more than adequate for most people - for spirited street drivers, autocrossers, and/or DE junkies (DE = driving event, aka track day). Most people will never find their car's limit with even the stock suspension...

The stock suspension is wonderfully balanced for autocrossing or the track, and like Jim said, it's best to start learning with the stock suspension. Then, you can figure out what you want to change.

I did several events before I decided to upgrade the rear swaybar... then I did the H&R springs. And now, I'm completely happy. As my driving progressed, I progressed the modifications on my car and we've achieved a wonderful balance.

Many people do springs or coilovers to achieve a certain look, and that's certainly fine... Know that either of these significantly changes the car's characteristics at speed - you may suddenly find you've got too much rear bar, for instance. The consequences of finding the limit on the street are certainly much higher than on the track...

Many people running a 22mm bar set on full stiff haven't been running around the track hard, I'd wager - I saw three guys go from full stiff to full soft at the track last weekend because they were getting too much oversteer (all had camber plates up front, too). For the street or autocross, full stiff was working fine, but on the track it was just too much with the additional negative camber up front. The cars were very twitchy until the rear bar was softened up...

All I can say is that no matter what you do, you'll need to adjust your driving to match your new setup and/or continue tweaking the suspension until it suits your driving style...
 
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