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Discussion Starter #163
The reverse collar is going to make a big difference to smoothness on track.

At Bedford when I was shifting down into 2nd for the three left-handed hairpins, I was regularly pushing through the reverse gate. Obviously there was no risk of hitting reverse because I was looking for 2nd, but it doesn't inspire confidence.

I don't find heel/toe particularly easy in the Mini either. I have size 11s, and have previously resorted to just rolling my foot and using either side to modulate brake/throttle. The deadness at the top of the R53 accelerator means that you really have to give it a good whack to get any response, and my technique doesn't make that as easy as proper heel/toe.

Has anyone used a Sprintbooster to overcome this kind of problem?
 

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Discussion Starter #165 (Edited)
The car comes back from @CarsOrBikes on Saturday. Although I have a hefty bill and a 4hrs of travel ahead of me, I'm like a kid at Christmas! I'm booked on track at Thruxton on the 14th Sept, but I'm hoping to find someone offloading an August track booking (ideally at Snetterton) in the meantime.

Final list of upgrades:
  • BC Racing RM (inverted) coilovers, and alignment (~2.5deg each side at the front and 2deg at the back), with in-car damping adjustment on the rears
  • Coolerworx shifter
  • Newman PH1/2 cam
  • Carbotech XP8 front pads
  • Front lower arm poly bushes
  • Passenger's bucket fitted
  • Driver's 6pt and passenger's 3pt harnesses fitted (standard front belts retained, rears removed)
  • Rear non-structural brace (for running a storage net)
  • Oil temp and pressure gauge fitted in a vent
  • Stud conversion (to make swapping the sexy 15" dry track wheels/tyres I've bought easier)
Final list of fixes and service items:
  • Oil and filter change
  • Gearbox oil change
  • Fuel filter change (holy crap, it was filthy!)
  • New CV joint gaiter
  • Front subframe captive nut fix
  • Full supercharger service (not just the quick drain-and-fill) and new water pump
Things I'm going to do when I get it back:
  • Replace the brake reservoir cap and filter/funnel to stop the tiny weep I'm seeing on track
  • Fit a fire extinguisher and one of these mounts under the passenger seat
  • Fit something like this between the rear brace and boot floor
Writing it all down makes me realise how much of a different car this is going to be!!

Cruise proved to be a bridge too far, sadly. So I'm going to rethink the approach on that one. Sean recommended doing something like this in future (for Set/Cancel), which might end up being the answer:
 

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Discussion Starter #169 (Edited)
So, Saturday was a loooong day. I left home in South London at 8.30am, and via two tubes, two trains and a taxi, I arrived with @CarsOrBikes at 1pm.

Sean was, as ever, incredibly detailed in the handover. Which was hugely appreciated, given the number of changes. We even had the benefit of getting up-close and personal while he adjusted the crotch strap on my harness. :LOL:

Luckily enough the 4hr drive home gave me plenty of time to get used to the changes. As ever, the quality of the work is stonking.

The result of the suspension work is truly staggering. Ride height is only ~10mm lower than standard, and being set at half stiffness means that the ride remains very compliant. A little run through the Surrey Hills on Sunday suggested that turn-in and chassis control are massively improved, so I can't wait to get it out on track.

I was a bit underwhelmed by the cam on the brief run-out with Sean. But the drive back demonstrated that the midrange in 3rd gear and beyond is significantly stronger, much more so than I'd have anticipated. The idle is a tiny bit more lumpy, but nothing unmanageable. Very impressive.

The Coolerworx is sensational. Up there with some of the best gearshifts I've ever experienced. The result was lots of unnecessary gearchanges, and lots of grins.

Otherwise, I tucked away my newly-acquired 15" track wheels and R888Rs into storage, ready for my next session. Finding somewhere in London/SE to do the last part of bedding in the XP8 pads (70-10 a few times) is proving tricky. Really need to get that done before I put too many more miles on them. Finally found a spot to mount the GoPro too - above the seatbelt return on the B-pillar.

Finally, my new intercooler diverter plate arrived from WhataGeek. Will stick up some photos once it's fitted.

Blimey. That was a whopper.
 

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2006 R53
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Its literally a C or B post in itself lol. Glad all is working out

Sent from my SM-G986B using Tapatalk
 

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Discussion Starter #173
CarsOrBikes posts tend to be.....comprehensive
Ah, yes. This is probably why I love having Sean work on my car. I'm also really into the detail of things like spring rates and cam durations.

The contrast with the type of service you'd get from a bigger garage is stark.
 

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Discussion Starter #174 (Edited)
Took a quick snap earlier while fiddling with the GoPro mount. Looks quite racy, even though the driver's harness is tucked away behind the seat.

I sat in the passenger side for the first time on Sunday, and realised that the new model Sparco Sprint is slightly smaller than the older (driver's) side. Interesting...

100664
 

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Discussion Starter #175 (Edited)
Not a whole lot to update on, other than:
  • Fire extinguisher fitted, on a mount from https://puretrack.co.uk/
  • MG Straights swapped in for S-Spokes, wearing my road/wet Michelin PS4s - they need a refurb, so I'm currently debating colours (bronze the favourite)
  • 'Hobo' air diverter fitted to my MTC intercooler from Not So Hobo Inter-cooler Air Diverter (Pre order) – whatageek designs
  • Net fitted to the rear brace, so that things in my boot don't kill me when I brake hard
  • Bought a new helmet (Hedtec) and HANS device (Schroth) to keep me in one piece on track
  • Replaced the brake reservoir cap and 'filter' screen thing, which should hopefully cure the tiny weep I've been seeing on track
  • Retrieved my dry/track wheels and tyres (15s, running Toyo R888Rs) from storage and cleaned them up ahead of my next session
  • Fitted an elasticated boot floor net from an R56 (£10 unused from eBay), which I cannot recommend enough - if you haven't, you need one
  • Swapped out the panel below the steering wheel (with the useless cubby) for the shelf from the R50 - seems like a no-brainer
The wheels were a bit of a faff, because I've switched to a stud conversion and my (very late) car uses the R56 bolt thread, and the MG wheels need different wheelnuts (radius vs taper fit). These nuts don't exist in R56 fitment (if you still have bolts, they are easy to find), so I ended up fitting these washers (in 14mm flavour): https://www.raceways.co.uk/Taper_to_radius_conversion_washer_for_wheel_bolts.htm

Insurance was up for renewal, and the ever-excellent Greenlight were on point. They got in touch a few weeks before the fact, offering a ~15% discount on last year's policy (with all modifications declared/accepted and track cover included).
Upon checking my mileage declaration (I estimated 7.5k a year), I'm just about to roll over 106k. So I've done about 7k miles since buying it last March. Not far from my estimate.

Next up, a trackday at Thruxton on Monday, where I'll be sharing the car with my 68-year old Dad on his first ever trackday. Very excited to see how the upgrades from @CarsOrBikes have changed the car.

Here's what the car looks like now
101090


The net doing its thing on a supermarket run (the other half had taken the hybrid away for the weekend!)
101091


The extinguisher mount, in after a bit of fiddle, mounted with a 2.25kg powder unit
101092


The diverter fitted, albeit with a bit more fiddle than I'd have liked
101093


The track rims (photo by the guy I bought them from)
101094


Some photos from a dawn run-out in the South Downs with some friends
101095


101096
 

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Discussion Starter #176
In terms of what happens next, I think I just need to really drive the thing hard to work out what needs changing over winter. I finally have my Cadwell trackday booked in early Nov, and want to see if I can somehow squeeze in a Ring trip before it shuts down for the year (ambitious in the current climate).

Gut feel right now is that the next batch of work looks like:
  • Thicker rear anti-roll bar and R50 front anti-roll bar - To try and eradicate the last vestiges of understeer
  • Injectors and a map - Initial thinking is to drop in the JCW 380s and get the JCW 210 map flashed, to correct the fuelling at the top end
  • Brake cooling - Probably a case of removing the foglights and running some ducting through the wheelarch liners
  • Headlight sanding/polishing - I had a go, and did a terrible job, so need to ask an adult to help me
  • Wheel refurb - As mentioned above, I think I'm going to get a local (South London) bunch to do them in Volk TE37 bronze
  • Shift light - I'm guilty of under-revving on track, so hopefully this will help me be less sympathetic
 

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Nice update (y)

The diverter looks quite good actually, was it not as straightforward a fit as the listing suggests?

Good shout on the r56 net, didn’t know they existed.

I always feel accomplished when I get the weekly shop into the boot, prefer it to the family wagon as theres no room for everything to slide about!
 

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Good to see you in a position where your happy to start tracking in anger 😀 Looking forward to hearing how you get on 😀
 
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