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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
Hi all,
I have a 2018 F56 JCW, only changes from new are Michelin PS4 tyres and air filter (oh, and some black-out bits). Want to really sort out the handling, hate how the body rolls going into corners and the front end feels like it’s tucking. Does that description make sense?

Does anybody have any experience with addressing this and any recommendations for changes?

Thanks in advance!
 

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I'm relatively new to all the Mini stuff, but my opinion on what you described is:

Change your front and rear sway bars to improve handling in corners and address understeer - Eibach and NM Engineering make good sets, there are others. I ordered Eibach. Don't forget to change your rear drop links if you do this as they are plastic from factory - NM engineering make drop links that are adjustable in metal.
You'll need to get alignment redone once you fiddle with suspension.

I'd start there and see how you go. Of course, you can also change the suspension shock absorbers and/ or springs. Mini make and sell a kit - JCW Pro which also lowers the car (the height is adjustable) at the same time. Depending on budget you can go for coilovers or alternatively get Eibach / fox adaptive dampers that adjust firmness depending on road conditions.

Some folks talk a lot about strut braces either under bonnet or rear strut towers, but the F56 towers cant be braced from the rear using the inside, and the front strut offers debatable improvement, others will have a their own view.

One thing to be mindful of is having a good handling car that is not too firm, or indeed one that puts too much strain on other suspension parts like bushings, unless you upgrade them too to something like powerflex.
 

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Discussion Starter · #4 ·
Sorry , reading what I posted, I said that Mini make the kit (JCW Pro), they don't, its made by KW and I believe the kit is similar to their KW1 kit.
Hey @ImaginativeTruth thanks for taking the time to respond.

My first thought was sway bars, I contacted Eibach UK about their set and was told they are discontinued!? I asked why and got no response, not good from a major player. My main concern with sway bars is getting good balance without introducing lift off oversteer...and I don't want to find that out the hard way. Forums seem to suggest the NM 25mm rear is a good option to create flatter cornering without going too far.

Adjustable drop links are on the shopping list, I believe they are required even if you only lower the car.

I've been looking at shocks/coilovers, I have lots of experience from biking days. This car is unlikely to see the track, so I'm being greedy and looking for the best of both worlds: good handling and comfortable ride, which I know is a real challenge. Ohlins DFV might be the way forward, but it would be really good to get some feedback from someone who has tried them. Unfortunately I don't really have scope to be a pioneer.

With the chassis, I thought about bracing it from underneath. As you say, top mounts either can't be done or appear ineffective.

Need to get rid of the standard wheels as well (look horrible and the offset sucks), looking at OZ racing Formula HLT in 18 x7.5 ET45. The OZ should take Michelin PS4S , which would be a nice upgrade.
 

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The Eibach sway bars are discontinued but that doesn't mean unavailable. I don't think Eibach were being rude, 'why' is likely a question they cant answer. They just stopped production - likely given age of the model now. I believe Lohen still has Eibach sets for sale. Failing that , they are still available from some outlets in Germany, Spain and Poland. I ordered my set from a small store in Germany (not arrived yet mind you!).

I think you would have a good conversation if you went in to or called Lohen, they are definitely the folks who can take care of everything you mentioned in your post in a 'one stop shop'.

I dont believe you can avoid lift off oversteer, that is a handling characteristic of the car and the front wheel drive platform. But I stand corrected if others have managed it. In general I find the rear of the car moves about a lot under acceleration (corners) and braking, I'm looking to dial that back, but not eliminate it in my setup.

On the bracing underneath, you can get replacement frames (CravenSpeed do a 'Big Pair', other manufacturers also make replacement underframe bracing). I'm not sure how valuable they are to the actual handling of the car, most seem to advertise looks or 'density' among their benefits.

Lots consider the OZ wheels and I think a few here on the forum have the exact set you talk about. Given the age of these cars, the genuine wheels in the JCW accessories catalogue are often available for a huge discount - I found and told the forum about sets from Germany with rims, tyres and sensors for under £700, something to consider.
 

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To address those issues, I added the NM Engineering 25mm sway bar and Cravenspeed Big Pair chassis braces. Those two changes made a huge difference. I noticed that you replace your tires with the Michelin PS4 ... what size? Air pressure also makes a huge difference.
 

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Discussion Starter · #7 ·
The Eibach sway bars are discontinued but that doesn't mean unavailable. I don't think Eibach were being rude, 'why' is likely a question they cant answer. They just stopped production - likely given age of the model now. I believe Lohen still has Eibach sets for sale. Failing that , they are still available from some outlets in Germany, Spain and Poland. I ordered my set from a small store in Germany (not arrived yet mind you!).

I think you would have a good conversation if you went in to or called Lohen, they are definitely the folks who can take care of everything you mentioned in your post in a 'one stop shop'.

I dont believe you can avoid lift off oversteer, that is a handling characteristic of the car and the front wheel drive platform. But I stand corrected if others have managed it. In general I find the rear of the car moves about a lot under acceleration (corners) and braking, I'm looking to dial that back, but not eliminate it in my setup.

On the bracing underneath, you can get replacement frames (CravenSpeed do a 'Big Pair', other manufacturers also make replacement underframe bracing). I'm not sure how valuable they are to the actual handling of the car, most seem to advertise looks or 'density' among their benefits.

Lots consider the OZ wheels and I think a few here on the forum have the exact set you talk about. Given the age of these cars, the genuine wheels in the JCW accessories catalogue are often available for a huge discount - I found and told the forum about sets from Germany with rims, tyres and sensors for under £700, something to consider.
Hey @ImaginativeTruth!
If I could find someone that has the Eibach set for some impartial feedback I would be less concerned. I'm familiar with Lohen, I'd planned to visit before COVID hit. Probably still will before making any major changes.

Last time I experienced lift-off oversteer was 25 years ago in a Polo, had the JCW 3 years no and no issues. Just don't want to create an issues through my own ignorance and lack of experience.

That's a bargain for a full set of wheels! Heart is set on the OZ ones though, but other JCW Pro accessories (body kit) at a good price would be great.
 

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Discussion Starter · #8 ·
To address those issues, I added the NM Engineering 25mm sway bar and Cravenspeed Big Pair chassis braces. Those two changes made a huge difference. I noticed that you replace your tires with the Michelin PS4 ... what size? Air pressure also makes a huge difference.
Hey @rtowell , thanks!

The Big Pair are now on the wish list! so with that combo do you find it runs flatter through corners and round-a-bouts?

Went the same as standard on the PS4 tyres (205/40). I think we're running the recommended pressures as well, although I haven't checked for a while. Might check the wear on them and see how they're doing.
 

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Hi all,
I have a 2018 F56 JCW, only changes from new are Michelin PS4 tyres and air filter (oh, and some black-out bits). Want to really sort out the handling, hate how the body rolls going into corners and the front end feels like it’s tucking. Does that description make sense?

Does anybody have any experience with addressing this and any recommendations for changes?

Thanks in advance!
I have the same model and keep it in sports mode, definitely no body roll , a little stiff perhaps, but it suits the way I drive..
 

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Hi all,
I have a 2018 F56 JCW, only changes from new are Michelin PS4 tyres and air filter (oh, and some black-out bits). Want to really sort out the handling, hate how the body rolls going into corners and the front end feels like it’s tucking. Does that description make sense?

Does anybody have any experience with addressing this and any recommendations for changes?

Thanks in advance!
 

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I have a 2018 MCS that I track. My first upgrade was a NM Engineering 25mm rear sway bar set to full stiff. That will help the car rotate through the turns instead of under steer plow through corners. And you will get some nice inside rear wheel lift through corners.
 

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Discussion Starter · #12 ·
I have the same model and keep it in sports mode, definitely no body roll , a little stiff perhaps, but it suits the way I drive..
Hi, interesting! Maybe I need to do a direct comparison of the different modes. Doesn't help that I mostly drive a BMW F80 M3, which has a very neutral front end.
 

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Discussion Starter · #13 ·
I have a 2018 MCS that I track. My first upgrade was a NM Engineering 25mm rear sway bar set to full stiff. That will help the car rotate through the turns instead of under steer plow through corners. And you will get some nice inside rear wheel lift through corners.
Thanks Stew, the NM 25mm rear looks to be the most popular option!
 

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I also installed the NM rear links with the sway bar. It will stiffen the ride a bit. I had the factory DDS option which was nice but I have gone with KW Clubsport coilovers since this is a weekend HPDE car at this time, not a daily driver. If this was my daily I would NOT run these coilovers! If you aren’t going to track the car don’t stray too far from factory unless you really like a firm ride. I was destroying front tires every weekend with a stock setup.
 

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Discussion Starter · #15 ·
I also installed the NM rear links with the sway bar. It will stiffen the ride a bit. I had the factory DDS option which was nice but I have gone with KW Clubsport coilovers since this is a weekend HPDE car at this time, not a daily driver. If this was my daily I would NOT run these coilovers! If you aren’t going to track the car don’t stray too far from factory unless you really like a firm ride. I was destroying front tires every weekend with a stock setup.
Really good to know, thanks! I've been looking at the Ohlins DFV Road & Track coilovers, hoping they might improve the ride a bit without going too far the wrong way.
 
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