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My son and I just installed these today and had time for only a short drive. We also installed the NM rear sway bar and end links.

These will take a few days to settle, but the ride seems to be only slightly firmer than stock. Went with the medium setting on the sway bar. New 16" MINI rims and Michelins go on next week.

Looking forward to driving my common routes and getting to know the new car... almost too many variables changed all at once!
 

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Here is some information to put things in perspective, snipped from my JCW Pro coilover unboxing thread:

---------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------
Stock Sport Suspension:

Droop @ 17.375" front and 16.5" rear
Ride Height @ 14.75" front and 14.375" rear
Free Compression @ 13.75" front and 13.125" rear
Bumpstop Compression @ 11.875" front and 11.625" rear

Put into a different context:
Total Possible Stroke is 5.5" front and 4.875" rear.
From Ride Height to full Droop is 2.625" front and 2.125" rear
From Ride Height to first bumpstop contact, or "free compression travel" is 1.0" front and 1.25" rear.
Full bumpstop compression adds another 1.875" front and 1.5" rear of compression travel, but it won't be comfortable.
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To have this make sense for lowering springs, let's look at the re positioned ride height per the manufacturer claims. NM claims on an F56 Cooper S the front will lower 1.3" and the rear 1.22". That means the front suspension will be compressing the bumpstop 0.3" and the rear will basically be almost resting on the bumpstop. This means you'll have about 1.5" front and rear of very stiff compression travel, because the effective spring rate of the bumpstop, being exponential to infinity, is significantly higher than the coil spring.

Just to put it in perspective regarding bumpstop spring rate, the MINI's springs [having not measured them yet] are probably in the realm of 250 to 300 pounds per inch of compression and will be fairly linear. So hitting a 2" bump would mean between 500 and 600 Lbf. A typical Penske black bumpstop has about 1.5" of total compressability. The first inch needs only 250 pounds force, but since it's exponential the last half inch needs an additional 1750 pounds force, and any additional compression approaches infinite force. The big nail in the coffin is the car is setup by MINI's chassis and suspension engineers to use several hundred pounds of force deflection [when you hit the majority of bumps in the road] to maintain a rational ride quality and chassis composure, and lowering springs get rid of that buffer, putting you right on the bumpstops.

Lowering springs are an affordable solution to primarily achieve an aesthetic, as having no free compression travel means you the suspension has no ability to comfortably absorb bumps on a straight road, let alone during a corner when you need the bump travel the most to maintain confident chassis composure. In terms of day-to-day with lowering springs, certainly the F56 with its greater suspension travel will be less harsh than an R53 on lowering springs, which most of the time felt like you had tie-rods for dampers. I haven't studied the Countryman damper arrangement, so I unfortunately can't comment with regards to your previous MINI.

If you live on glass smooth roads, none of this will matter. For those of us in the rest of the world, lowering springs aren't the wisest idea.
 

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Which is why if you get different bump stops and shave your top mounts you will get the full travel wtih the lowered look, common thing to do when lowering BMWs :)
 

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That's a major myth generated by people unwilling or unable to understand the design of the damper. You can't create extra travel, the damper has mechanical limits and trying to force it beyond those limits is how you damage them. The shorter bumpstop is simply a steeper slope to its compression curve and less overall compressibility, making large bumps even more abrupt feeling. The bumpstop still must prevent the damper from reaching its mechanical limits.

The only correct way to get "full travel" is to use correctly designed dampers that move the stroke such that there's the same droop and compression amounts re-positioned around the new ride height. That is of course making a gross assumption that the kinematics [camber, caster, and toe curves, roll centers and axis] will be effective at the different ride height.
 

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That's a major myth generated by people unwilling or unable to understand the design of the damper. You can't create extra travel, the damper has mechanical limits and trying to force it beyond those limits is how you damage them. The shorter bumpstop is simply a steeper slope to its compression curve and less overall compressibility, making large bumps even more abrupt feeling. The bumpstop still must prevent the damper from reaching its mechanical limits.

The only correct way to get "full travel" is to use correctly designed dampers that move the stroke such that there's the same droop and compression amounts re-positioned around the new ride height. That is of course making a gross assumption that the kinematics [camber, caster, and toe curves, roll centers and axis] will be effective at the different ride height.
Hello Ryephile, im going to start by saying im no expert in suspension but just some basic logic from what I said earlier (happy for you to correct me). By using shaved top mounts (circa 8mm on bmws of the e9x series) combined with shorter bump stops, this pulls the damper closer to the top strut housing (increasing the travel lost by the lowering springs as you have gained 8mm back from the drop) and having the shorter bump stops allows the lowering spring to be fitted keeping astehtics but effectivly allowing the full travel of the damper. Or at least thats how I understand it :)
 

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I understand the BMW modification, and it appears to be acceptable within reason. However, the bumpstop can only be shortened so much before it induces damper bottoming-out damage. In any case, such a shaving modification is not applicable to the Fxx platforms strut mounts as the design is more "typical" I would say. Nevertheless the warning is the same; you can't simply over-shorten the bumpstop and expect the dampers to magically survive. The dampers have a physical restriction and the whole point of the bumpstop is to prevent the car from smashing the damper internals to pieces.
 

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I have not seen the Fxx mounts so again just using the ex car as an example, so there may not be an option to shave them and gain the travel. If not then I agree that lowering with original dampers is not ideal.
 

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How has this affected the warranty on your car? Does void the warranty for the whole car or just the warranty for the suspension?

I really want to lower my car but have had many issues with the engine so far(including needing a new turbo) and don't want to risk voiding the warranty for that.

My son and I just installed these today and had time for only a short drive. We also installed the NM rear sway bar and end links.

These will take a few days to settle, but the ride seems to be only slightly firmer than stock. Went with the medium setting on the sway bar. New 16" MINI rims and Michelins go on next week.

Looking forward to driving my common routes and getting to know the new car... almost too many variables changed all at once!
 

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Here is some information to put things in perspective, snipped from my JCW Pro coilover unboxing thread:

---------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------
Stock Sport Suspension:

Droop @ 17.375" front and 16.5" rear
Ride Height @ 14.75" front and 14.375" rear
Free Compression @ 13.75" front and 13.125" rear
Bumpstop Compression @ 11.875" front and 11.625" rear

Put into a different context:
Total Possible Stroke is 5.5" front and 4.875" rear.
From Ride Height to full Droop is 2.625" front and 2.125" rear
From Ride Height to first bumpstop contact, or "free compression travel" is 1.0" front and 1.25" rear.
Full bumpstop compression adds another 1.875" front and 1.5" rear of compression travel, but it won't be comfortable.
-----------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------


To have this make sense for lowering springs, let's look at the re positioned ride height per the manufacturer claims. NM claims on an F56 Cooper S the front will lower 1.3" and the rear 1.22". That means the front suspension will be compressing the bumpstop 0.3" and the rear will basically be almost resting on the bumpstop. This means you'll have about 1.5" front and rear of very stiff compression travel, because the effective spring rate of the bumpstop, being exponential to infinity, is significantly higher than the coil spring.

Just to put it in perspective regarding bumpstop spring rate, the MINI's springs [having not measured them yet] are probably in the realm of 250 to 300 pounds per inch of compression and will be fairly linear. So hitting a 2" bump would mean between 500 and 600 Lbf. A typical Penske black bumpstop has about 1.5" of total compressability. The first inch needs only 250 pounds force, but since it's exponential the last half inch needs an additional 1750 pounds force, and any additional compression approaches infinite force. The big nail in the coffin is the car is setup by MINI's chassis and suspension engineers to use several hundred pounds of force deflection [when you hit the majority of bumps in the road] to maintain a rational ride quality and chassis composure, and lowering springs get rid of that buffer, putting you right on the bumpstops.

Lowering springs are an affordable solution to primarily achieve an aesthetic, as having no free compression travel means you the suspension has no ability to comfortably absorb bumps on a straight road, let alone during a corner when you need the bump travel the most to maintain confident chassis composure. In terms of day-to-day with lowering springs, certainly the F56 with its greater suspension travel will be less harsh than an R53 on lowering springs, which most of the time felt like you had tie-rods for dampers. I haven't studied the Countryman damper arrangement, so I unfortunately can't comment with regards to your previous MINI.

If you live on glass smooth roads, none of this will matter. For those of us in the rest of the world, lowering springs aren't the wisest idea.
.the math does not work one to one. Just because the lowering spring lowers the front of the car 1.3", does not mean the car is resting on the bumpstops since there is 1 inch of free travel on the strut assembly. Since the strut it located more inward, it translates to a ride height change that is not one to one, I.e if the car is lowered 1.3 inches, the strut might compress .8 inches. the further inward the spring, the more this affect is applified. The end result ia still the same though...most lower springs on modern suspensions make your car handle worse since they ruin geometry, spring rates mismatch dampers, inadequate travel, so on and so forth. Want to make your mini handle better....keep the stock springs, add negative camber up front and stiffen the rear sway bar a bit. This will out handle a mini with any lowering spring on the market. Car and driver actually complained about how horrible the jcw suspension was on track...makes me wonder if the best mini setup it stock suspension with negative camber up front and a better rear sway.
 

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Mac Strut's motion ratio is typically 0.99:1, so while your idea is valid, in reality it's akin to worrying about the noise.

That said, all my measurements are actual, not theoretical. Your "handle better" advice sounds like you have some basic knowledge, but your application wisdom is lacking. Using an un-linked media complaint as the basis for using stock springs as "best" with no qualifications or regard to tire or application, is simply poor advice.
 

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A step further: If someone didn't want to lower the car, wants to run all-seasons or a >200 UTQG summer tire, and has very limited funds, then a rear sway bar and front camber adjust is applicable advice. Someone looking to do track days with a Hoosier R7 is going to throw the stock springs into the trash as quickly as possible, as they're far too soft for that tire. Context is absolutely critical to forming good advice.
 

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Woah pump the brakes. Just trying to provide advice to 99.9 percent of people who mod their cars. If you want you car to handle better in the real world, the lowering springs will make it worse on most cars, which I know you agree with since you used the term motion ratio. I have been working on suspension for a decade now from simple setups to trying to maintain desired suspension frequencies on one off setups.

I just want to keep it simple for the majority of people. The vast majority of lowering springs place cosmetics over handling and I bet you agree :)
 

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Woah pump the brakes. Just trying to provide advice to 99.9 percent of people who mod their cars. If you want you car to handle better in the real world, the lowering springs will make it worse on most cars, which I know you agree with since you used the term motion ratio. I have been working on suspension for a decade now from simple setups to trying to maintain desired suspension frequencies on one off setups.

I just want to keep it simple for the majority of people. The vast majority of lowering springs place cosmetics over handling and I bet you agree :)
You began by attacking my information without reading the measurements, or asking for clarification. That's hardly "just trying to provide advice". You came in with guns blazing, asserting a typical real-world Mac strut might have a motion ratio of 0.62:1 (with your 0.8" to 1.3" example), which I can't say I've seen in recent production cars. Can you back up your example with something real? Even then, it's absolutely not relevant to the MINI.

If you're honestly trying to help people, then you have to be more cognizant of their application. The OP in this thread has already made up their mind and wasn't asking for help. Keeping it simple is well and good, but if someone's #1 priority is "stance for cheap", then lowering springs is a good answer. Making broad suggestions with no regard to application is the furthest thing from an actual suspension calibrator.

I can tell you have good potential, just be careful to not discount good information before understanding it. I agree that most self-appointed forum pros usually are "just" passionate enthusiasts and not industry veterans, so it does make filtering out the good from the bad difficult. The signal to noise can be problematic. Peace.
 

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How come nobody ever says "I don't care how it drives, as long as it looks good"?
Surely you're tounge-in-cheek. There are many automotive communities that focus primarily on aesthetics. At an autocross, not likely. At Waterfest and H2Oi, often. At a street-rod show , pretty much everyone. Lowrider club, it must look good along with having a story in the paint work.
 
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