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Discussion Starter #1
Does anybody know if a 17 x 7.5 with a 48mm offset rim paired with a 215/45/17 tire will leave a big gap in the wheel well? Is this a size combo that would look better with lowering springs or coilovers? I have the Cooper 1.5t.

My other option is the 17 x 7.5 with a 48mm offset rim with a 205/40/17 tire that I'm sure would probably benefit from lowering.

If I need to lower I'd need to choose between lowering springs which I hear can damage the struts, or coilovers which need constant maintenance? Which would be the most hands-off approach for lowering the car? I don't mind paying for coilovers if they are safer for the car - but will they also require more maintenance?
 

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Hi CanadianBloke,

Sorry I'm unable to give you definitive answers on precise wheel & tyre size options.....(I run Enkei TS9 alloys 17x8" wide with ET45 offset - tyres are 215/45/17)
I've ran the suspension as standard for 4 years & I had to admit that the car did always look a bit "tall" for my liking.

So - I was after a subtle lowering option - & like you, I didn't want to fit just lowering springs only - neither did I need the adjustability of coilovers - & therefore couldn't justify the cost.

Thankfully - there is an off-the-shelf kit from Bilstein called the "B12 kit" - it comprises Eibach 25mm lower springs & Bilstein B8 dampers matched to the springs - each kit is car specific.
They are non-adjustable & just a direct replacement for the standard suspension - no fuss, just great quality.
I had them fitted on Friday 12th last week.
So far I'm very happy with them. The ride below 20mph is more "busy" but only slightly - thankfully above that, as it is worked a bit more the ride is firm but plush feeling & despite a pretty modest lowering of 25mm the looks have improved a lot - the wheels fill the arches in a lovely OEM+ sort of way if you know what I mean.
My car is a 2016 F56 JCW manual - & the exact part number for it was 46-254665 - if that helps.
I paid £609 for the kit - (British pounds) delivered to my house in 10 days - & paid a local garage £144 for fitting.

Best of luck with whatever you decide to do.
 

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Hi all,

Thought I'd post a quick update on the B12 kit I had fitted.
The weather has improved a lot in the North East of England this week & I've been able to get out in the JCW on some of my favourite b-roads.
......unfortunately I'm rather disappointed with them, the looks are better, as is outright-grip/resistance to understeer, but they are just WAY too hard for the roads around where I live.
I'm sure it is a better setup for trackdays etc.....but for mainly road driving it's just horribly harsh & unpleasant to drive, I really couldn't recommend them as a mod to a daily driver.
I think in a few months time I'm going to have to just fork out & buy some coilovers - does anyone know which would be best for a modest 25mm lowering but with a more PLUSH ride?
KW Variant 1's perhaps?
 

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Discussion Starter #4
Hi all,

Thought I'd post a quick update on the B12 kit I had fitted.
The weather has improved a lot in the North East of England this week & I've been able to get out in the JCW on some of my favourite b-roads.
......unfortunately I'm rather disappointed with them, the looks are better, as is outright-grip/resistance to understeer, but they are just WAY too hard for the roads around where I live.
I'm sure it is a better setup for trackdays etc.....but for mainly road driving it's just horribly harsh & unpleasant to drive, I really couldn't recommend them as a mod to a daily driver.
I think in a few months time I'm going to have to just fork out & buy some coilovers - does anyone know which would be best for a modest 25mm lowering but with a more PLUSH ride?
KW Variant 1's perhaps?
I’m looking for the exact same thing as you right now. I was originally going to go for the B14’s but I’m worried they will be too stiff as well. I think I’m leaning towards the ST X, which is suppose to be the same as the KW v1 just with galvanized steel instead of stainless steel.
 

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Hi C.B.

I've done a heck of a lot of research on the whole issue of 25mm lowering BUT with nice ride quality.
Unfortunately, in terms of actual cold-hard-numbers for spring rates of various setups, there is extremely little info out there!
I have seen Youtube videos of B14's fitted & as you say they look rather hard! - maybe fine on a big long 3 series BMW - but on an already stiff little mini it might be too much.
(mine handles great on B12's but unless on glass smooth tarmac its just horrible - just TOO annoying - I'd be embarrassed to take adults out in it!)

HOWEVER - all is not lost - as well as their V1s/V2's/V3's & Clubsport coilovers - KW do a StreetComfort coilover which seems to be specifically what you & I are looking for.
The whole point of them from the KW literature is for folk that want a sensible amount of lowering but without ruining the ride.
They have 16 click adjustment - they recommend a starting point of 9 clicks - so they can be tweaked either way for just the right amount of ride - vs - dynamics that you want.
Considering that they are adjustable - they are only very slightly more expensive than the non-adjustable V1's too.
(important note - unfortunately the rears have to be removed to get to the adjuster - but, once I've found a nice setting I'd never touch them again)

I think in the coming months I'll go for them & put my OEM & B12's on Ebay to claw back some of the cost.
 

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Discussion Starter #6
Hi C.B.

I've done a heck of a lot of research on the whole issue of 25mm lowering BUT with nice ride quality.
Unfortunately, in terms of actual cold-hard-numbers for spring rates of various setups, there is extremely little info out there!
I have seen Youtube videos of B14's fitted & as you say they look rather hard! - maybe fine on a big long 3 series BMW - but on an already stiff little mini it might be too much.
(mine handles great on B12's but unless on glass smooth tarmac its just horrible - just TOO annoying - I'd be embarrassed to take adults out in it!)

HOWEVER - all is not lost - as well as their V1s/V2's/V3's & Clubsport coilovers - KW do a StreetComfort coilover which seems to be specifically what you & I are looking for.
The whole point of them from the KW literature is for folk that want a sensible amount of lowering but without ruining the ride.
They have 16 click adjustment - they recommend a starting point of 9 clicks - so they can be tweaked either way for just the right amount of ride - vs - dynamics that you want.
Considering that they are adjustable - they are only very slightly more expensive than the non-adjustable V1's too.
(important note - unfortunately the rears have to be removed to get to the adjuster - but, once I've found a nice setting I'd never touch them again)

I think in the coming months I'll go for them & put my OEM & B12's on Ebay to claw back some of the cost.
Thanks for all this great info! I did check out the KW street comforts but they were out of the budget for me. I was really trying to find something in the 1k (usd) range, B14, ST X, H&R, BC etc. I’m upgrading my 1.5t so I’m trying to build a fun little ripper but don’t want to dump too much money in. I might end up trying out the ST X, probably not as nice quality as the Bilsteins but I hear they might have a similar ride to the KW v1 and the JCW coils which might be acceptable for daily driving.
 

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Ah nice one C.B. please do post an update if you do decide to go for them - I'll do the same if I go for those KWs
 
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