I have been spending quite a bit of time researching and planning for this (hopefully one time) modification of both the drivetrain and suspension on my R53 MINI Cooper S.
In mid April we have a few weeks there were not so wet weathers. I have been hoping for a relatively dry spring to begin implementing the performance
I created a spread sheet to manage the parts that I need to procure for the performance upgrade. I spent some time shopping for the Quaife LSD. The price in the US ranges from just under $1000 to $1300. I then found out I can save considerably by ordering from UK. I sent 2 email inquiries not being optimistic about the vendors respond. To my surprise both responded promptly and professionally. I ordered from the first responded and were extremely impressed with their professionalism. I was a bit concern with overseas shipping of something this dense. I put in the order on Thursday, and it arrived at my front door the following Monday via DHL. I am impressed.
Bit by bit the parts begin to arrive and I need a staging place to keep all of them. I have been reviewing all the available sway bars for the rear, and I narrowed down to two brands and three bar diameters. Using the stock 17.2mm as reference I decided that 18mm would be too weak, 20mm may be a good conservative choice, and 22mm may be too stiff. I say stiff to mean torsional stiffness. Knowing the Mini, like most FWD cars, the car companies tend to set the cars with heavy understeer bias, I decided to go with 22mm bar. I measured the stock front sway bar and it is
I have been planning in my head as how to approach the clutch, LSD, and the supercharger pulley installation. There are two alternative approaches. One is to only remove the manual transmission together with the bell housing, and the other is to remove the entire engine drivetrain as a complete unit. On the surface it may seem removing only the manual transmission is easier. The facts is both approach requires very comparable amount of work. The former requires the complete removal of the front subframe which affects the front suspension and drivelines, in addition to having to at least loosen one or both engine mounts. The latter approach seems on the surface more involving, but is the approach I am leaning towards. It requires less struggle under the car and once the engine is removed, changing the supercharger pulley, separating the transmission from the engine is so much easier.
With patience and a lot of due diligence the parts slowly begin to arrive. As I would be performing this rather labor intensive modifications on the driveway failure in the logistics is not an option. Any unexpected complication would mean the MINI would be sitting on the driveway under the assault of the elements - something that I would want to avoid the best I can.
Swift suspension springs
Quaife limited slip differential
it arrived from UK 2 business days from my order - I am very impressed with the Brits and they are extremely pleasant to deal with and you can bargain with them as long as you are reasonable
I went to the Alta showroom to purchase a 22mm rear swaybar as I like their design
while there I stopped by a tuner nearby and saw this Nissan Skyline that was brought in from Japan and heavily modified - it just sold for $100,000, I was told
a set of Koni Sports (yellow) struts and dampers arrived
the AC Delco brand of engine belt tensioner is identical to the "genuine" MINI except it costs 1/2 the price and has the MINI or BMW stamping grounded out; note it is Made in Germany
the special belt tensioner tools and shorter micro-v belt for the 15% reduction supercharger pulley installation
some of the smaller parts and tools for this project
I chose this affordable single-mass clutch conversion kit to replace the factory dual-mass clutch; my clutch is totally serviceable but because of the extreme labor-intensive steps to install the LSD any sane person would replace the clutch and flywheel even though they are in perfect working order
this has the most detail illustration of the clutch kit but it may just be a generic kit
inside the big box that contains the single-mass flywheel and the small box that contain the pressure plate and the friction disc
the clutch release bearing in the kit is smashed because of the poor packaging - the plastic tab was damaged by the 20 lb flywheel in transit
the pressure plate and friction disc are both made in Japan; Osaka seems to has a concentration of industries of mechanical sorts
the friction disc is of high quality and the friction liner has metal
note it is made in Japan; when I was considering ordering this kit, one of my utmost concerns was the quality of the friction disc; seeing this now first hand I am very pleased with the quality
below this is the clutch pressure plate
it too is made in Japan
the outer diameter of the mating surface of the pressure disc and the friction disc is about 8.5 inches
the flywheel is not made in Japan - totally understandable; it is likely made in China or other Southeast Asia country where labor rate is low
the quality appears to be good