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Discussion Starter #82
Absolutely. That's the plan with the Nurburgring in 3wks time.

Finger currently hovering over a new intake to put the cherry on the icing.
 

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Discussion Starter #83 (Edited)
I've paused on the plan for the intake. Research suggests it's probably not going to reward the time spent.

This is where we're netting out (completed in bold, in-progress in italics):
- Inspection 1
- 17% pulley
- One-ball exhaust
- Bluetooth input for HK stereo
- Swap for colder plugs
- New Michelin PS4 x4
- Bucket seat
- R56 brake upgrade
- CG Lock (for trackdays)
- Intercooler
- Milltek resonated catback
- Fixing a million small snags (see previous page - thanks CarsOrBikes!)

- Fixing a couple of pretty minor oil leaks (rocker cover, cam sensor, sump gasket)
- Supercharger service (both sides - may as well while we're in there)
- Coilovers (currently thinking inverted BC Racing with adjustable topmounts - will reconsider post Nurburgring)
- Renew a load of suspension bushes (maybe poly, maybe stock)
- Steering wheel (looking to retrofit a suede-trimmed MFSW with a spacer block to aid reach)
- Retrofitting the twin gauge pod in front of the cigarette lighter (for oil temp and oil pressure)
 

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Discussion Starter #84
Well, I picked it up from CarsOrBikes late last night after a 2.5hr train trip from London, and commenced the 4hrs drive back home with RedBull and Jelly Babies to keep me going.
I arrived home at 2.30am, completed exhausted and absolutely elated.

The car is so much better than before:
- The difference the R56 brakes have made is incredible. The pedal is slightly longer, but the initial bite and progressiveness is improved far more than I expected.
- The resonated Milltek sounds excellent. Nice and quiet at ~85mph cruise and with gentle throttle application, but with a good bit of noise when you welly it between 3.5-5krpm.
- The engine feels much healthier in general. The various fettling means that it now pulls much harder past 5krpm, when before it felt hesitant.
- My general confidence levels in the car are vastly improved following the thorough going-over it received.

Huge appreciation goes out to Sean at Exclusive Workshops.

Following my massively disappointing first 'Mini specialist' experience (see my other thread), he's been absolutely fantastic to work with.
His enthusiasm is infectious, and his desire to share his (significant) knowledge means that I always felt clear on what and why he was working on.

The consequence of this was the epic scope creep (see previous page) that occurred when dropping my car off to have a set of brakes fitted.
But I now feel much more confident in taking the car over to the Ring next week.
 

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Discussion Starter #88 (Edited)
Enjoy the ring :thumbup:
Thank you. I absolutely plan to. 500 miles under the car's belt since getting it back from CarsOrBikes/Exclusive, and it's running well.

We have 5ppl/cars going (including another R53) with a whole day of driving planned on Sat, and have Apex Ringtaxi laps booked in their new M3 on Sun.

Hopefully it should be a good introduction to the Ring for a newbie!
 

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Thank you. I absolutely plan to. 500 miles under the car's belt since getting it back from CarsOrBikes/Exclusive, and it's running well.

We have 5ppl/cars going (including another R53) with a whole day of driving planned on Sat, and have Apex Ringtaxi laps booked in their new M3 on Sun.

Hopefully it should be a good introduction to the Ring for a newbie!
Sounds good. The roads around their are great as well. Where are you staying?
 

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Discussion Starter #90
Sounds good. The roads around their are great as well. Where are you staying?
We picked up an AirBnb a ~10min drive away. Garage, sauna, pool etc.

Have Pistenklause booked for dinner on Saturday evening too, to sample the much-lauded hot stone steaks.

Decided to go with Ring-specific trackday insurance (via InsureMyTrackday), simply because of the potential bill for punting the armco.

Nobody plans on crashing (obvs), and the weather is looking OK, but I know I'll eventually start pushing a bit harder as the day goes on. I just don't want that repair bill in the back of my mind.
 

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Pistenklause is good ;O)
 

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Discussion Starter #96 (Edited)
Jeez, what a place the Nurburgring is!

On the subject of the car, it ran faultlessly being thrashed over a number of hard laps, as a testament to the work that CarsOrBikes put into it. :thumbup1:
Not only was it great on track, but it was returning almost 40mpg (fill to fill - not the display) on the 75-80mph cruise down/back - pretty staggering stuff!

Some highlights/lowlights:
- Seeing an Evo have an enormous accident a quarter of the way (Schwedenkreuz!) around my first lap!
- Learning to push the car progressively harder, and being reminded that I was still going VERY slowly by various track weapons with 80mph+ closing speeds
- The first Apex M3 passenger lap
- The Apex M3 breaking down on the second passenger lap
- Getting out of the Apex M3 in a flustered state and realising he'd just blown my mind running Michelin Pilot Sport 4s on a damp track!
- The generally high standard of driving both of people overtaking me and those who I overtook
- Being able to finally understand why people talk about 'elevation changes' being a thing - the middle third of the lap has around 50% completely blind crests/corners!
- The general atmosphere and prevalence of some very serious machinery in the car parks
- Hot stone steaks at Pistenklause
- One of our team breaking down with a dead clutch just outside of Cologne, and having to fly home and get his car repatriated
- The other R53 overheating in the ridiculous queues for the Eurotunnel on the return leg (suspect first-stage fan is bollocksed)
- A breathtaking, high-commitment lap in a friend's Proton Satria GTi track car, showing what's really possible in terms of braking points and apex speeds in a hatch
- Dropping into Karousel at 'speed' for the first time
- Being confident and staying flat at several points where your brain is screaming "lift!" or "brake!"
- Coming back with a refreshed 'to do' list for the car!

To the last point, I've decided to ditch the rear seats and stock seatbelts, and install a second bucket and some harnesses. It is a track car, after all.

I expected to come out of this with a clear view that I needed to "install coilovers, stat". Instead, I came away pleasantly surprised and impressed with the Sport+ kit. I certainly don't feel the need for any more power at this stage!

I think I'm going to do another UK trackday with plenty of runoff (Bedford GT, I expect) so I can understand how it behaves at the limit. If it continues as progressively as it felt over the weekend (i.e. more competent than me), then I may just install some slightly lowered (Eibach?) springs for the short-term and put coilovers off until later.

The other thing this weekend brought into relief was the importance of reliability. To that end, the car is going back to CarsOrBikes to get a few little niggles sorted (tiny oil leaks) and a supercharger service.

Obligatory Karousel photo.
Karousel.jpeg

Obligatory Nurburgring sign photo.
IMG_20190818_132851.jpg
 

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Discussion Starter #99
So much so that we're already planning our next trip.

It's a shame that things like work and relationships get in the way...
 

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Discussion Starter #100 (Edited)
A small (Mini?) update.
  • Rear seats have gone, and a chap from Greenwich is coming to collect them this week. Need to figure a solution to cover the rear seat base - might just drop some velcro'd carpet in there.
  • Still struggling to shift my OEM spares (intercooler, front brakes) for a pittance. Guess demand just isn't there.
  • Harnesses ordered (Sparco red 4pt, to match the seat/s), now I just need to figure out a mounting solution.
  • I'm on the lookout for a used/NOS matching passenger Sparco Sprint L (in red), because the current design now no longer matches mine. Very annoying.
  • Getting the car booked in for a few weeks' time with CarsOrBikes/Exclusive to sort out a few little bits (charger service, oil leaks, fitting seats and harnesses).
  • Finally washed the bugger after the 'Ring, and put the all-important sticker on the bootlid.
  • Looking into dished steering wheels, and thinking about whether I should have matching red or matching Sparco (because I can't have both). Big decisions, of course.
Cheeky photo from this morning, hence the low/bright sun.
IMG_20190902_090118.jpg
 
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