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  #1  
Old 06-25-2013, 12:43 AM
redandblackminis redandblackminis is offline
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Default Hydraulics... what?!?

Hey all- got kind of an odd question. I have gone some different routes as far as suspension goes. Nothing seems to satisfy me. I have gone Vmaxx, was pretty happy with the drop, could have been lower, but ultimately I wanted a higher quality coilover that handled moderately well, so I went with BC Racing ultra low coilovers.

These handled okay, but didn't drop the car nearly enough. So I have been searching around, and it seems that no static set up will satisfy the drop that I want on an R56. I know that there is a guy running Hydros on his MINI and he said they handle very similar to a very stiff coilovers, which is exactly what I want (and the main reason I despise air-ride... the horrible handling).

Does anyone have any information on hydro suspension for our cars? What goes in to it, how expensive it is, where I could buy it? pros and cons? and very importantly.... How it handles!

Thanks all.
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Old 06-25-2013, 01:01 AM
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I know that there is a guy running Hydros on his MINI and he said they handle very similar to a very stiff coilovers, which is exactly what I want (and the main reason I despise air-ride... the horrible handling).
This is confusing to me....^

What caused you to come to the conclusion that air-ride handles poorly but hydros handle well?

With Hydros and Air, handling will rely entirely on your own development and engineering of the system.

A poorly setup Air-Ride will handle incredibly soft. A poorly setup hydro setup will be way way way too stiff and handle like crap(no travel at all). Just like when you buy poorly designed coilovers (Vmaxx).

A properly setup Air-Ride or a properly setup Hydro system will both handle incredibly well. Equivalent to most quality street coilovers.

It'd be much easier to develop a performance airride setup than a hydro setup....but both are possible.

Both will cost $2.5k-$5k if you want a quality setup that handles well. There aren't any good kits out for either, so it will be up to you to design. The handling will depend heavily on your knowledge of suspension dynamics, travel, and air/hydraulics.
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Old 06-25-2013, 01:44 AM
redandblackminis redandblackminis is offline
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Hey Rally, thanks for the response.

I came to this conclusion when I rode in/drove some of my friends' cars that had air ride. A few of them were cars that had an Air Lift set-up, which they claimed was the best you could buy handling wise. I remember not being impressed at all with these set ups when it came to the handling aspect. This was a year ago, so maybe air-ride has improved a bit, but I can't imagine it would have improved that much.

The reason for saying that I thought hydros would handle better was purely because I heard one guy (the only person who I know who has hydros on his MINI) say they handle like a good, stiff, coilover. The truth is I don't know much about hydros, and the purpose behind starting this thread was to learn more about them. Thanks for the info on them.

Say I wanted to get a quality hydro set up that handles great. What would be involved in this process?
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Old 06-25-2013, 03:02 AM
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Originally Posted by redandblackminis View Post
Hey Rally, thanks for the response.

I came to this conclusion when I rode in/drove some of my friends' cars that had air ride. A few of them were cars that had an Air Lift set-up, which they claimed was the best you could buy handling wise. I remember not being impressed at all with these set ups when it came to the handling aspect. This was a year ago, so maybe air-ride has improved a bit, but I can't imagine it would have improved that much.
I'd say there's a very good chance that your friends probably built sub-par air suspension setups or rode at too low of a pressure. There are a bunch of airride people out there that have no idea what they're doing and it results in suspension that is too soft and performs poorly.

Air-Lift setups have changed significantly over the past 1-3 years....especially if your friends drive VWs (which would be my guess). They use all new dampers now and have changed the lengths a great deal to meet the desired slammed ride height that people have been demanding recently due to the growth of "stance"

It took a few years to develop (and a few different iterations), but my MINI's airride was handling phenomenally well when I finalized my setup. Nice and stiff, plenty of travel, nice low ride height.

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The reason for saying that I thought hydros would handle better was purely because I heard one guy
Haha, that's what confused me. Most Hydro setups ride/handle like garbage. Keep in mind that without proper resevoirs, hydros LITERALLY have no travel. If you get the resevoirs setup properly you can get the appropriate spring rate that you need to handle well. Naturally this will take some know-how.

I'm going to go out on a limb and say that if you don't have experience with hydros they're probably aren't for you. Airride is tough enough for beginners as you still have to develop your own setup for the MINI, but hydro systems slightly more complex than airride. If you have a good hydro shop that you trust....that's another story.
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Old 06-25-2013, 05:24 AM
redandblackminis redandblackminis is offline
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That's awesome to know that air ride has come that far in the past year or so. And maybe you're right- they just didn't have them set up correctly.

You have me pretty interested in air ride now that you are saying it handles well. I am generally very anti-bags, esp on cars such as MINIs, Golf R, etc. > But I am willing to revoke all the negative thoughts I have towards them if they truly do handle like a good set of coilovers, such as you say.

I am confused on why you say I will need to develop my own set-up for my car. I'm assuming you mean they don't come in full kits like they do for VWs? I did a little searching and I see that there is a kit from Bag Riders that looks complete...?
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Old 06-25-2013, 05:27 AM
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Originally Posted by redandblackminis View Post

I am confused on why you say I will need to develop my own set-up for my car. I'm assuming you mean they don't come in full kits like they do for VWs? I did a little searching and I see that there is a kit from Bag Riders that looks complete...?

That's what I mean. There aren't any true kits for our car.

The BagRiders kit is a solution I helped them with. It's basically a MK5 VW front setup customized for MINIs and then the same rears that I was running. It's a good option. If you run that one at the right pressures, it should handle quite well (although I've never personally run those fronts). Combine with camber plates if you can, and run a nice rear swaybar for the best handling.
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Old 06-25-2013, 05:51 AM
redandblackminis redandblackminis is offline
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If I were to go with air ride, I would ride very low at all times. Would this have an adverse affect on the handling of the car? By "the right pressures" i would assume they would need to be pretty full (stiff) to handle similarly to a coilover. Please correct me if I'm wrong.

How is the wheel rubbing with the bags? I know that in order to get rid of the rubbing when running coilovers, the solution is to run higher spring rates. I feel like bags would just rub like crazy at any height because they'd be so soft.

Is your set up completely custom?

Was there any addition mods you had to do in order to get the car at the lowest it currently is?

Sorry for all the questions, I'm just very intrigued and am pretty desperately trying to find a solution to go low/handle well.
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Old 06-25-2013, 05:59 AM
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Lower pressures will ride softer. If you want to roll low, you need to ensure that the bag is still at a high pressure at that low height. This can be accomplished by altering mounting points, strut length, stack height, or bag volume.

Wheels rubbing on the bag will be dependent on where the bag is mounted on the front strut and your offsets. Just like with springs, you will have to pay attention to that. The way to avoid this is by mounting the bag higher on the strut, but obviously this will cause your ride height to be higher. It will be a careful balance that you will want to consider.

Yes, my setup was custom. My build thread is in the lineup section.

I made custom plates up front to go lower while retaining higher pressures while driving (stiffer). I ran pillowballs in the rear. I was able to roll low without rubbing on 17x8s and 17x9s .
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Old 06-25-2013, 06:12 AM
redandblackminis redandblackminis is offline
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I'm assuming the shop where I would get it installed would more than likely (if they're a reputable shop) know how to accomodate all of these things, or would I need to sort all of these things out before I ordered the kit?

I will check out the build thread. Thanks for the info!
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Old 06-25-2013, 07:27 AM
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Here's a video of that R53 on hydro's, looks very bouncy to me:

http://vimeo.com/66059758
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Old 06-25-2013, 12:09 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by redandblackminis View Post
I'm assuming the shop where I would get it installed would more than likely (if they're a reputable shop) know how to accomodate all of these things, or would I need to sort all of these things out before I ordered the kit?

I will check out the build thread. Thanks for the info!
I could imagine the costs of installation with custom work to accommodate your desired ride height and handling specs would cost a small fortune. Not to mention the trial and error it would take to get the end result.

As it is essentially a one off / unique set up, you would most likely end up wanting to tweak it all yourself as you learn how the car handles with the new set up and hence adjust accordingly.

My car is on coils and it has taken me over a year of tweaking and testing to find what angles and settings to run. Something a shop would have a hard time doing in a week.

Just my 2 cents.
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Old 06-25-2013, 04:01 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by redandblackminis View Post
I'm assuming the shop where I would get it installed would more than likely (if they're a reputable shop) know how to accomodate all of these things, or would I need to sort all of these things out before I ordered the kit?

I will check out the build thread. Thanks for the info!
It really depends on the shop and their expertise....not to mention how much you're willing to pay if you're gonna be going to them for custom fab work.

I would still be willing to bet that your expectations for "good handling" aren't all that high and may easily be fulfilled by the Bag Riders kit. It'll handle better than your Vmaxx, that's for sure.

And yeah, the hydro car is bouncy.
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Old 06-25-2013, 05:15 PM
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In my opinion, bags are your best bet for sure. I have a buddy with a clubman with the MkV GTI fronts and the aos rears and he hasn't had a single problem in the year or so he has had them. And I drove the car myself at SoWo and loved how it rode. It feels perfect in my opinion. I mean, clearly I don't care too much about handling but it definitely handles better than my Vmaxx.
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Old 06-25-2013, 05:43 PM
redandblackminis redandblackminis is offline
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Interesting.

MartijnGizmo, man that car really is bouncy... looks like a horrible ride. That video definitely helps, thank you for posting!

07BPB, those are some good points that I didn't think about to be honest.

Rally, would you think that this bag riders kit would be plug and play? I would not need any modification in order to run these (hacking anything on the car, etc). Would I be good to go with the base level kit? Or do you recommend going big and doing it right the first time around?

Nathan, do you know where he got that kit? At what height did you drive the car, slammed, daily driving height or a performance height? Did it feel bumpy or "soft" at all?


I am considering talking with BC about a custom kit like one MINI owner did at some point, because I really do still like the idea of being static/would prefer it when it comes down to everything.
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Old 06-25-2013, 05:48 PM
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Rally, would you think that this bag riders kit would be plug and play? I would not need any modification in order to run these (hacking anything on the car, etc). Would I be good to go with the base level kit? Or do you recommend going big and doing it right the first time around?
Some people don't agree with me, but I always subscribe to the notion that you do things right the first time around if you can save up the money to afford it.

You shouldn't have to hack the car with that kit. If anything you have to grind the struts a bit.
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