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Cornering Optimizing your suspension system.

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  #16  
Old 05-14-2009, 04:11 PM
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there is a big diff. between the sport bar on a cooper and the standard bar. buuttt paul already has it so he doesnt need to worry lol
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  #17  
Old 05-14-2009, 04:40 PM
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Don't do it Paul! Bigger isn't always better.
Bigger front bars make MINI's handle worse.
People often make this costly mistake on suspension tuning. Your car is really asking you for stiffer front springs. (maybe rears too.)
A bigger front bar will lift your inside wheel in the turn and cause ill handling & much more wheel spin coming off the turn.
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  #18  
Old 05-14-2009, 06:00 PM
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In my opinion...

If you run a 19mm full stiff then you could run the hsport front bar on soft and get pretty close to neutral.

The combo we are running (On an S) is Hsport 25.5 mm hollow comp bar (Pretty close to a 22mm solid) on middle and Front bar on Softer. This planted the front end without out understeer and removed the sleight tendency to oversteer with street tires. Now on the track the bigger front bar will make throttle oversteer a little easier to manage if you bump to full stiff on rear bar.

FYI Hsport on Mini Cooper S Rate Increase Over Stock
Front: +16% & +27%


Now if you do add a front sway. Put in new front control arm bushings while you have the sub-frame down...
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  #19  
Old 05-14-2009, 06:17 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by CANYON MINI View Post
Don't do it Paul! Bigger isn't always better.
Bigger front bars make MINI's handle worse.
People often make this costly mistake on suspension tuning. Your car is really asking you for stiffer front springs. (maybe rears too.)
A bigger front bar will lift your inside wheel in the turn and cause ill handling & much more wheel spin coming off the turn.
100% agree with Bob here. I wanted to see where this thread went before I stuck my nose in it.
Both Bob and myself, have pushed the Mini as a race car to a more extreme extent then most out there, so we do have some good feedback among us. Not sure either of us are willing to give up our exact setup, but we do agree with the thinking here.
Sway bars are a fine tune suspension part, where as the Mini community has used them as the feature suspension upgrade on their car. I will say that this started with vendors being able to offer something for sale that was a quick and easy band aid for the Mini's push characteristic. Yes, it makes a difference, but not near the difference a stiffer spring (strut) would make. But, fact is that changing to coilovers, or just struts and springs is considerably more expensive.

I've said it before, and I'll keep saying it when the topic comes up. DON'T go with a bigger FRONT bar on the street, let alone not a great idea on the track. I also know from experience as I at one time (when my car was a street legal car) was running PSS9s with a H-Sport rear bar. After a year of this on the track I then went to the H-Sport front bar, and my lap times dropped, even though the car 'felt' quicker.
There are other ways to get your Mini quicker in the corners. Correct camber, toe, and caster setups, tire pressure and just get the weight out of the car. But the biggest thing is just learning how to drive a Mini with a touch of oversteer.

Quick thing. I do run a bar up front on the racecar, and when I went to an SCCA annual tech, a few guys that have been running FWD race cars for many years thought I was making a mistake even having one.

Last edited by onasled; 05-14-2009 at 06:56 PM..
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  #20  
Old 05-14-2009, 06:24 PM
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Thanks all for the comments. It seems almost 50/50 here. I don't know how much of a traction issue I'll be having with a 115hp Cooper, but I hadn't thought of it. My car doesn't feel as loose in the rear end, or even balanced when pushed REALLY hard.

I have experienced HUGE differences in the way my car handles with alignment settings. Last year I was running (what I consider) a pretty tough set up and the car handled great. Once that alignment wore though a set of tires (again, my fault, I should have been rotating them more often) I went back to as close to stock alignment as I could. I've been taking more and more spirited drives lately and it seems my old Cooper has lost a little bit of it's edge. Hence the discussion to go with a bigger sway bar.

Mr Skurvy: I plan on doing that. As my Cooper is almost to the 100k mark, my bushing have been in need of replacement for quite a while, I'm just working up the nerve to drop my front subframe on my driveway while on jackstands. So I guess it's safe to say that this is another reason why I'm thinking about this mod. If the part is out, why not change it?

Canyon MINI: Thanks for your advise! I really wanna find out (I used to know) what the spring rates are for my H&R Sport shocks. I also think that I might try and put my sway bar on the stiff setting and go pound around the canyons like that for a few weeks.

Drew: find out and let me know about that bar via PM.

Justintime: Do you have a front sway bar on your Cooper?
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  #21  
Old 05-14-2009, 06:29 PM
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Paul you want your edge back, Tweak the alignment and rotate those tires more often..
Onasled is right alignment is more important then which bar you are running...
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  #22  
Old 05-14-2009, 07:15 PM
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Ok, now I'm thinking about tweeking the alignment again. It's kinda silly that I have the means to do it, but my sh!t is stock.
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  #23  
Old 05-14-2009, 07:24 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by onasled View Post
I went to an SCCA annual tech, a few guys that have been running FWD race cars for many years thought I was making a mistake even having one.
No B.S., You're getting some good advice from the old schoolers.
In testing You should try it some time, remove your front sway-bar end links & tie up the bar with some zip ties, so it doesn't interfere with suspension movement then soften the rear bar a bit, you might find it could trim a few tenths off you lap times.

Cheers buddy,
Bob
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  #24  
Old 05-14-2009, 07:34 PM
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Bob, I practically have no bar in the front. Haa. Use a Mini One. When they saw how small it was they knew I understood.
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  #25  
Old 05-14-2009, 07:40 PM
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Quote:
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Bob, I practically have no bar in the front. Haa. Use a Mini One. When they saw how small it was they knew I understood.
You get it!
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  #26  
Old 05-14-2009, 08:46 PM
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Along the lines with removing the front sway.

I have a cooper (non-s) without sport suspension so I have the thin sways front and back. I've been contemplating removing the front sway because it's holding me up from getting lower. How do you guys think this will alter the handling balance? I don't autocross or anything, but I don't want to sacrifice day to day handling.
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  #27  
Old 05-14-2009, 09:15 PM
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coopers dont have significant issues with putting down power. like I stated if it rains paul would have issues but a front sway paired on his cooper with good rubber + possibly lsd he should be groovy. for autox I would put a cooper non + front sway in btw. the mini is so managable with oversteer It can be your friend in autox for sure so I wouldnt play with a bigger front sway there.
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  #28  
Old 05-14-2009, 10:01 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Rally View Post
Along the lines with removing the front sway.

I have a cooper (non-s) without sport suspension so I have the thin sways front and back. I've been contemplating removing the front sway because it's holding me up from getting lower. How do you guys think this will alter the handling balance? I don't autocross or anything, but I don't want to sacrifice day to day handling.
From talking to people with both cars and trucks on bags, it makes a big difference in the handling. Even a tiny sway bar is still limiting the amount of travel the suspension can make... which for the looks is what you want, but it will make a big difference in the way the car feels when you make a turn.
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  #29  
Old 05-14-2009, 11:31 PM
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You all wanna know something funny, I'm now considering getting the small 16mm bar from the ONE. Or maybe make it easier on myself and get a 22.5mm bar from a R50 with no sport suspension plus.

So I set my 19mm rear sway bar back to the stiff setting and went for a little drive up in the canyons just a bit ago. The car feels a bit more neutral, but not quite at the level it was with the aggressive alignment settings I was running a year ago. I could change out my alignment specs, but the front sway bar is uncharted territory for me on the MINI and I want some input.

This conversation has turned from the biggest front sway bar one can fit to a MINI to the smallest front sway bar one can fit to a MINI......
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  #30  
Old 05-15-2009, 03:12 AM
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So, it sounds to me like I can get some decent handling for my Yaris just by adding a rear sway bar. It already has a front one... It feels nothing anywhere close to my old MINI though. I'd just like a little less understeer if you know what I mean...
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