New suspension mods have me gliding the asphalt
I’m sitting in a Ford dealership right now waiting for an alignment. Why a Ford dealership you ask? Well, it’s close to my house and they have really good equipment and great service. The have the Hunter Road Force wheel balancing system, a snack bar and free WiFi. It always causes a stir when I come here because seeing the MINI is a nice change of pace from F150′s and Explorers.
And why am I getting an alignment? Well, that’s the first thing you do after installing Ireland fixed camber plates, Koni FSD dampers, Texas Speedwerks springs and the new Texas Speedwerks lower control arms. Yippee!
All that stuff was installed this morning and I just took my first ride. Wow, what a difference. My Cooper glides now. Small bumps go by almost completely unnoticed. The real test for me was the drive across the Howard Frankland Bridge which is a three-mile strip of expansion joints. I could still feel them but they didn’t rattle the frame like they used to. Just a mild thump, thump, thump.
One of the issues with the cabrio is how much the frame twists under stress. Even with the M7 Understrut System installed, there have been times while driving at 70 or more on highway overpasses that the bump from the expansion joint has made the MINI feel downright unstable. After the Howard Frankland it was on to the Veteran’s Expressway, home to some of the roughest expansion joints I’ve encountered. Thump, thump, thump. No problem.
The TSW springs did lower things a bit, with about a 1-inch drop in the back and 3/4-inches in the front. Lowering wasn’t a goal for me as I wasn’t concerned with the way that looks as some people are. After seeing it though I have to admit the slight lowering really brings out the looks of the aero kit.
I still need to do some hard cornering to see if the changes will be as different as they’re advertised to be. I should have about 1.25 of negative camber on all fours after the alignment. With an autocross event this weekend I’ll have a great opportunity to test it out.
Specials thanks to Dustin at AutoXCooper for his advice and great service and for getting me one of the first sets of TSW control arms. They’re great!