Mini Cooper Forum banner
1 - 20 of 22 Posts

·
Registered
Joined
·
8 Posts
Discussion Starter · #1 ·
Hi Guys

I picked up my new Mini JCW 4 weeks ago - they were 8 weeks late in delivering and I had ordered it with a number of vinyls - They asked me to take it without the vinyl added and I took them at their word - 4 weeks later still waiting on the vinyls

That a side I am a little disappointed in the JCW and wanted some advice to enable me to get the car I want

My Wife has the previous model JCW Coupe 2 seater hard top and I prefer this cars handling and suspension setting to mine.

I went with the dynamic damper which is way to soft for my liking and I would like some advice to stiffen this up. I am driving a Mini JCW with body role which is not at all what I wanted.

I went with 18" tyres which have the run flat things on them. They are the worst road holding tyre I have ever seen. Compared to my wife's mini I am sliding around bends. She is laughing as she goes around the same bend on rails.

Finally - I took the dealers advice who told me that the auto box had plenty of engine braking. I drop 2 gears and the cars revs go up and there is no engine braking. There may be nothing I can do about this except replace with a manual gear box but any ideas would be welcome.

I know the steering stiffens in my wife's car and that this is a fake feeling but it feels amazing - my steering in my new mini feels like that of a large family saloon.

So my issues appear to be suspension, tyres and gear box, steering too soft

Can anyone point me to my nearest Mini Performance Centre or someone they trust who might be able to help me with some of my issues.

And if there is anyone out there that fits vinyls I am fairly certain I can ge mini to pay for them but I need to get someone to commit to getting my car done and done properly

thanks guys

Phill
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
763 Posts
When you picked up the car did they help you configure any settings?
If not go to Settings, Driving Modes, Configure Sport. From there you have the option to chose Drivetrain and Chassis, Drive, Chassis. Selecting Drivetrain and Chassis will weight the steering, stiffen the dampeners, and change the accelerator response in Sport mode. This only works when you activate Sport mode, it will go back to normal in Mid mode.
NM makes 22mm and 25MM rear sway bars with upgraded end links which will help with the handling. It will not be as stiff as the sports suspension but it will be stiffer. If you want to get even more firm you'll have to change out the springs with a stiffer spring. The DDC come with soft springs so changing to the medium spring from the JCW Sport Suspension may get you closer to what you want.
Tires are a personal choice but the Michelin Sport Pilots are a really good tire, you'll just need a roadside kit if you get a flat.
Do you have the Sport Auto or regular Auto?
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
2,195 Posts
Welcome along :)

Can't help to much on the setting but I wouldn't have run flats on a performance car.

My last MINI was a R55 JCW which was supplied on runflats as all Gen2 JCWs were but I soon got shot and the difference gave far superior road holding on corners and a far better ride...this was on 17" rims god know what runflats must be like on 18" rims!
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
358 Posts
Out of curiosity..did you happen to test drive the JCW before you bought it? I can't help but feel a lot of what you've found would've been noticed in a test drive?
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
8 Posts
Discussion Starter · #5 ·
Gear box choice

I do not know which AUTO i have got - how can i tell if it is normal or sport

I know there is no engine braking at all

I am considering replacing it for a manual box
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
8 Posts
Discussion Starter · #8 ·
update

I did not test drive the car as I was happily driving around in my wife's car having the time of my life


I will say that my wife's car has the dynamic damper but hers is much harder and her steering much heavier - the whole thing is a lot better on the road - I am very disappointed right now and need to spend money to make my car as close as I can get it
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
966 Posts
I did not test drive the car as I was happily driving around in my wife's car having the time of my life

You're wife's got an R58 JCW, my other half has an R59 JCW, which I've only driven briefly. I didn't know variable dampers were available on the previous generation cars.


Her comment upon driving mine - F56 cooper - and a new cooper S clubman, was that they are much softer suspension wise, wallowing/floaty, although on both occasions I didn't suggest sport modes. Mine has variable dampers, and when I use sport mode I find the suspension fine for me, but the steering a bit too heavy until I've got some speed up.


I'll ask for a longer shot of her car next weekend, to compare the 2.


When you say you are considering swapping it for a manual box , I take it you mean trading for a manual car and not just a box swap - I don't think there's much to be had in the way of engine braking with a manual box either . See if you can get a test drive of a car with: 1) a manual box. 2) sports suspension instead of variable, as I believe it is stiffer. 3) 17inch alloys with non run-flats - I know these might not be optioned in some countries, but you can spell tyre properly so I don't think you're in the US :D.


Good luck.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
358 Posts
I would also definitely recommend a test drive as I was put off the manual because I felt the gear shift felt very cheap and 'toy-ish'...my girlfriend have a Gen1 MCS and my mum has a Gen2 MCS and the Gen3 manual gear change feels like a step in the wrong direction!

I would also say I have VDC and the suspension is stiff enough, however I was a little surprised at the amount of body roll it did have taking corners at speed, however some uprated ARB's would help this
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
1,894 Posts
I have the F56 JCW automatic and traded my 2012 R56 JCW in with the manual in on it. I waited until the F56 was available to order the new toy, but after taking the competitive driving courses offered by Miles Ahead Motoring at the Indianapolis Speedway and driving the automatics I decided to go with the automatic. The instructors, all of whom were Indy car drivers, recommended the automatic over the manual. At first I disagreed with them, but after time with the automatic I realized that they were correct. The shifts are fast and responsive and your hands stay on the wheel when you are on technical twisties at speed which is a big plus. I love the dynamic suspension as it is great for long trips and really soften the ride. If you are not using the car as a daily driver or for long trips you would probably be better off without it, but as Vetsvette said you can stiffen the suspension with it. Be sure to understand how to program the suspension and other electronic controls as it definitely changes the nature of the car. If you are a dedicated track driver you may want to wait for the GP as it is more of a track car. I have found the F56 JCW to be a competent performer that doubles nicely as a trip car. Get rid of the runcraps and purchase a good set of performance tires, carry and air compressor and plug kit along with some Slime or equivalent. I like the Michelin Pilot Sport A/S 3's +, but if you are a hard core tracker consider the Michelin Pilot Super Sports as they are a better holding track tire, but are summer only. They really change the character of the car. I took curves hard enough to tear the inside liner of the runflats that created a knot on the tire. I had Michelin Onsite mount and balance a new set of tires the next day at the MOTD. It made a huge difference. Good luck, hopefully you will find the F56 satisfactory, it is a fun and competent little beast. I also added the NM power module and the JCW PRO exhaust and that made a huge difference in the car's performance.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
8 Posts
Discussion Starter · #12 ·
I was not offered a choice of gear box

I have just spoke to them to see which one I have installed and they said it was the sport model but it is designed not to give me any engine braking. it blips on down shift to keep the revs which makes sense but not for how i like to drive unfortunately
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
1,894 Posts
I was not offered a choice of gear box

I have just spoke to them to see which one I have installed and they said it was the sport model but it is designed not to give me any engine braking. it blips on down shift to keep the revs which makes sense but not for how i like to drive unfortunately
I was not aware that mini offered more than one automatic transmission for the JCW! I definitely use mine for engine braking in the corners and it is impressive. Check your owner's manual as there is information in it to configure the transmission and other performance factors. When you switch to manual mode push the downshift lever on the port side of the steering wheel, it will not default to full manual unless you do, it will read M1 if your are in true full manual mode, otherwise it will read S1 which is sport mode and it is still functioning as an automatic. Your mini dealership may not be aware of that. I found mine did not know as much about the JCW as I did, they even stated as much.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
1,837 Posts
Engine braking is reduced by the computer. It is bad for fuel economy.
I was not aware that mini offered more than one automatic transmission for the JCW! I definitely use mine for engine braking in the corners and it is impressive. Check your owner's manual as there is information in it to configure the transmission and other performance factors. When you switch to manual mode push the downshift lever on the port side of the steering wheel, it will not default to full manual unless you do, it will read M1 if your are in true full manual mode, otherwise it will read S1 which is sport mode and it is still functioning as an automatic. Your mini dealership may not be aware of that. I found mine did not know as much about the JCW as I did, they even stated as much.
Engine braking is more economical than using your brakes - just FYI.

Me too, I wasn't aware they offered more than one - I was under the impression it was just the Sports Auto like in my F56 SD. Mine has very excessive engine braking, however it may be programmed differently to the JCW's variant.

It's a shame you didn't test drive prior to ordering, it's a completely different car to the previous R models. Maybe get some coil overs or lowered springs to improve the aesthetics and help with what you class as "body roll", I notice very little in my SD.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
8 Posts
Discussion Starter · #17 ·
Thank you

I was not aware that mini offered more than one automatic transmission for the JCW! I definitely use mine for engine braking in the corners and it is impressive. Check your owner's manual as there is information in it to configure the transmission and other performance factors. When you switch to manual mode push the downshift lever on the port side of the steering wheel, it will not default to full manual unless you do, it will read M1 if your are in true full manual mode, otherwise it will read S1 which is sport mode and it is still functioning as an automatic. Your mini dealership may not be aware of that. I found mine did not know as much about the JCW as I did, they even stated as much.

Wow thanks - just tried that - not as much engine braking as my wife's manual box but wow better. Enough to stop be replacing the box :)

Now need to fix tyres and body role - cannot have my gokart with body role
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
1,894 Posts
Wow thanks - just tried that - not as much engine braking as my wife's manual box but wow better. Enough to stop be replacing the box :)

Now need to fix tyres and body role - cannot have my gokart with body role
I suggest you switch to performance tires first as that will help with cornering. I had significantly more roll and sliding with the runflats. Once I switched to better tires it was satisfactory for me. If you are not content at that point you can go with coil overs, but you will lose the dynamic suspension which is really nice for trips and comfortable travel on boringly straight roads. Once the car is broken in you will really notice how much more power it has than the R series and as I stated earlier additional power is relatively inexpensive with a chip, usually in the 400-500 range US. Also, check out performance exhaust the pops, burbles, bangs, etc. are greatly enhanced and also 10 more horsepower. Currently on 93 octane fuel I have 270 horsepower and 285 ft. lbs. of torque. I plan to buy some 100 octane race fuel and switch the module to the high setting and check the output on the dynomometer again. It may be a while, but I will do it and post the results.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
9 Posts
Let me just state that I'm flabbergasted that anyone would drop this kind of money on a new car without taking a test drive first. I'll give the benefit of the doubt but I initially found it so unbelievable that I had you mentally tagged as a troll.

And the notion of switching an automatic gearbox out and installing a manual is...well...impossible, to say the least. You would be far better off just to push the car over a cliff and buy a new one.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
966 Posts
Hey there,


how are you getting on with the car now you've had a chance to play with the settings?



I will say that my wife's car has the dynamic damper but hers is much harder and her steering much heavier - the whole thing is a lot better on the road - I am very disappointed right now and need to spend money to make my car as close as I can get it

Any chance you could expand on the dynamic damper point above? Next year might see me getting an older car for various reasons, and an R56 JCW hatch or clubbie is on the shortlist, just wondering if the suspension is something else I'll have to consider when looking.
 
1 - 20 of 22 Posts
Top