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Is it just me, or is the thought of modifying a new/relatively new car a bit "odd"?

I know it's pretty usual in the US but here in Europe you're pretty much throwing your warranty in the bin as soon as you dabble with anything plus the huge extra loss in resale value. (Most Brits or Belgies that I know wouldn't touch a modded car with a barge-pole)

I also think that when BMW (or whoever) spend BILLIONS on R&D, why does a wee company with a laptop know better?

Maybe it's my age.. I took an old mini (a "proper one") from 38 to 160 WHP when I was younger, so I have done it before, but never to anything new.

Just wonderin'
 

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I think re the remapping thing the emissions tests have to be passed and so vehicles are lean at some revs and not others etc.Hence gains can be made (but at what cost i wonder)

HOWEVER i am totally with you; i went on the configurator and designed the car i wanted and i like-i've never liked modded cars much-i buy the car i like! Consequently i dont REALLY like my mini at the moment since it has cheap alloys on with winter tyres-if i could;ve afforded it i would have had two sets of my 17" cosmos so it looked no different in winter compared to summer BUT i already had a set of 16" winter tyres in the garage! couldnt waste them!
 

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I can't speak for anyone other than me, but I have always tweaked, aka, modded all of my performance vehicles and some non performance vehicles to suit my wants! I have built go karts, motorbikes, and airplanes, well one anyway, since I was a kid and I am not intimidated by "modding" anything. Mini owners mod the appearance of their mini more than most auto owners around here to personalize it and make it their own distinctive massed produced vehicle. I consider my mini to be a performance car and tweaking it for more performance seems natural to me. I have scheduled the JCW pro exhaust to be installed on my new mini as soon as I can get the parts, more power, better sound to my ears! Although I am hearing impaired having been a motorhead since I was about 6 and my uncle and I built my first go kart which I raced. To each their own, but performance modifications are no longer a back yard mechanic operation, but a computer geek tune, and I am definitely challenged in this area. I am searching for a way to return my beloved real dipstick my new mini which is arguably the best mini produced to-date.
Long live the true dipstick! New shoes are on the horizon agenda for the mini as well, ones that stick to the road better and improve the ride.
 

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Certainly second you on the dipstick KYDAN; please post it if you find a solution!
 

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That is more or less what I had determined and I need to determine how it would impact the warranty. Unfortunately, BMW is not going to step up and do the right thing unless pressured to do so. Long live the venerable and necessary dipstick! Ephooey!
 

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A good reason to modify a car is badge engineering

Ie where motors are de-tuned to create a range, and sometimes also to not step on the toes of the more expensive items also offered by the same manufacture which have better profit margin



Who really thinks it costs mini 12k extra to make a jcw rather than a mini one
 

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I'm with you. I'm a warranty queer and am afraid to do anything that might get a claim kicked down the road. Plus everything I do seems to go sideways so I prefer to just leave my car alone.
 

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I'm with KY Dan here. I change sports cars every 2-3 years and enjoy the process of getting to know the car in its "normal" state and then slowly doing (usually minor) mods to enhance the driving experience to just the way I like it.

I personally believe that the vast majority of sports cars offered on the market are not as fast, tight or loud as they could be due to: (1) the compromises that manufacturers make to broaden the appeal of the sports cars to people who are not going to drive them all out on cliff-hugging roads the way I do, and would rather have sports cars that look fast but are a bit softer, smoother, quieter and easier to live with (2) allowances manufacturers make for people doing things like putting regular gas into engines that need high octane gas (3) the desire to maximize gas mileage figures and (4) the need to obey the noise laws of various markets.

ECU tunes for example, can easily add 15-20% hp and torque by simply doing a very light reprogram that assumes you will always use high octane fuel and care more about performance than gas mileage, and though the addition of a freer flowing exhaust and intake system doesn't add as much hp and torque as an ECU tune, it has the additional benefit of allowing gear heads like me get to hear the engine wail a bit louder when I am going all out. Same goes for suspensions - while I was stunned at how well set up my Renault Megane Trophy RS was right out of the box, I have been quite disappointed by several other sports cars I've had - Did a ton of work on my old M3 (way too soft with too much roll) my old Alfa 147 GTA (way too front heavy) and my Golf Gti (adaptive suspension was pretty decent but needed some additional bracing to control the roll more in tight corners).

I tend to avoid modifications that are visible (except for an occasional wheel upgrade) and focus only on hidden ones that enhance handling, performance or sound. I am loving my JCW (my first Mini) but coming from a 320hp BMW M135, I did miss the explosive power I had in almost every gear and think that my first mod for the JCW, the NM Engineering Power Module, which adds 30-40hp and noticeably improves the pull in every gear was a very good one. Not sure what my next step will be, but probably something to enhance the sound of the JCW under load (either a carbon intake or the Remus muffler if they start offering the valved one in Japan).

Anyhow, all I can say is that I love cars, love driving them, love listening to them, and love trying to figure out ways to personalize and coax a little bit more out of them than we get off the assembly line... :)
 

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I love my JCW just the way it is....first new car I've bought in 20 years, I spec'd it just the way I wanted it & I'm leaving it alone!

My only real complaints are some of the body add-ons that should be either stock on the JCW or an option when ordering, and the wheel & tire options on the JCW.

If I change anything it will most likely be one of those things.

I love the stock JCW...a real driver's car & it ain't whimpy right out of the box!

Happy Motoring Miniacs!

John
 
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NM module ordered, exhaust upgrade in the scheduling stage as the JCW pro exhaust has arrived, new shoes for the toy are a little more problematic at present as it appears the ones that I want are either in great demand or Texas has cornered the market on the size and brand I want. The shipping from there to here may require some thought and maybe 2nd or 3rd choice on the tires, but in the interim I am staying with the factory runflats. The dipstick issue is completely unresolved at present and is a back burner issue for now as I seriously need some high performance time. I am heading to vets vette country for the exhaust and the weather is the issue for that at present as I plan back roads and twisties there and back and weather through the mountains this time of year is truly and adventure and the mini is definitely not a snowmobile.
 

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I don't have a problem modifying the car, other than a lack of funds to throw at it.

I'm not worried about the warranty side of things since it would mostly be cosmetic stuff and easily reversible, such as lowering and fitting different wheels etc. Bear in mind that there's not a huge range of aftermarket stuff available in the UK, the US seems to have more. Even things such as air intakes and exhausts, it's all easy to reverse.

While I agree I spec 'd the car how I wanted it from Mini, that was the best I could get from them, doesn't mean we can't improve on that.

Is how we buy the cars a factor? I'm guessing pcp is common in Europe, maybe we're not in a good position to mod as its not owned by us during the initial years.

And as for this talk of a dipstick, cmon guys, really? I wonder how much work it would be to fit a starter handle, I don't trust these new fangled starter motors, and I need to modify the dash somehow, I've got no way of listening to my Jim Reeves 8 tracks:D
 

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Good one I suppose, said the Neanderthal to Cro-Magnon, or is it the other way around? Realistically, an actual dipstick is functionally non dependent upon electrical systems and allows a knowledgeable person to check the oil, and determine the amount and condition of the oil without driving the vehicle for 30 minutes and not placing absolute trust in a digital unknown. I have not yet experienced an infallible electrical system or even a mechanical although both have exponentially improved since I began my motorized life adventure 60 odd years ago. I am not interested in being able to read my emails, texts, or whatever in what used to be designated for the speedometer either, but other consumers desire otherwise or it would not be offered. If enough pressure is brought to bear via the market my beloved dipstick will hopefully be returned at least as an option. They can still put the edipstick in and all the wifi, etc. they want, I honestly don't care nor chide anyone who desires it. I purchase cars to drive and I play on the computer at home, well on the road with the ipad, but not while I am driving! Vrrroooom, long live the metal, manual dipstick!
 

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Now twin su's are the business! Yum! Re the dip stick I put it on a par with brake fluid, coolant and to a lesser extent washer fluid; it is a consumable-(although mine's not used a drop as yet) and even though all of these have electronics to tell you they are low, you can still put your head under the bonnet and make a visual check. That's why I like the dipstick! Likewise, yes mini garages are trustworthy but it hasn't been unknown for the odd unscrupulous uk garage to say they have serviced a car and hey presto check the oil; not been changed. When buying a second hand car I've always done a visual on the dipstick-you can tell if it has been serviced recently at least and looked after too! Was going to buy a renault 5 turbo once, checked the oil but it was tar! Saved me a fortune i'll bet! We can't now do this on the mini . I am a huge fan of making like under the bonnet easier / safer etc BUT I think the lack of a simple visual check on the oil is a bit sad, although i am totally happy to check using the electric meter!
 

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You can open the oil filler and check the oil contamination/state from above?

Exactly what I did at lunchtime, wiped the underside of the cap with a white paper towel to confirm. It's a good point though Jeremy, only issues I've ever had was a garage over or under filling.


JCW tuning kit would be covered by Mini warranty so I guess not a problem ;)
 

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The wiping idea is a good one; will do that!
 

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It will help, but still not provide the total information the real dipstick does, notably particulate matter that is suspended in the oil that may or may not be adhered to the cap. Trust but verify! Carpe oleum!
 
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