Mini Cooper R50!!! More Power/Torque

1880 Views 7 Replies 8 Participants Last post by  Maccmike

I’m currently track racing a 2002 R50 Mini Cooper and I’d like to modify it to a better performance pack.

The car as it stands:
Standard engine with super chips map
Sportex cat back exhaust
Safety devices 6 point cage
Standard midland gearbox with no lsd.
Standard cooper suspension

I’m willing to spend a few thousand upgrading the car as I want to move into a different class. What options are available to me with regards the engine, gearbox/gear kit and suspension?

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I can only think of a camshaft next.
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Proper CAI can do no harm.

LSD will help get the power down.

Rolling road remap at somewhere like 1320 after seeking their advice on what works best would also help.
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Stick a cooper s gearbox and driveshafts on there. Get a proper lsd.

Machine out the throttle body and install a bigger butterfly.

Full exhaust, cam, cold air intake and a proper tune.

Fit a better header tank and make sure the cooling system works properly.

A multitude of coilovers are available.

Get the lightest wheels possible, 15" R81 style weigh only 5.5kg if you have standard size 280mm r50/53 brakes, fit some wider sticky rubber on them and it will be transformed. If you have bigger brakes then get some aftermarket 16" rims, as light as possible. I can't overstate how much difference saving unsprung weight makes.

Picture of R81 style:
Tire Wheel Automotive tire Synthetic rubber Vehicle
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Sell the R50 and buy a R53.

Whoops. I just realised that the OP is racing so a R53 may not be feasible.
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Think about weight saving too - fibreglass panels (doors save a lot), get rid of all stereo, rear seats and belts, etc., half-decent bucket seat (and remove passenger altogether), race battery, etc. but do sums vs weight saving to work out what's the best bang for buck. Lightest wheels you can get away with, some 15s will go over R56s brakes for example and tyres for 15s are also cheaper (as well as overall weighing a good bit less).

Fully renovate front and rear suspension ideally so you can get the most out of the tyres, so poly the subframes and coilovers. go stiff on the springs as well so slicks can definitely get worked enough to get up to temperature.

I think a cam would help and you don't need to do head work - though does anyone know if an R53 head on an R50 with a racier cam would work? They have bigger valves don't they? Cat delete too maybe as you don't want backpressure in an R50.

I'd keep the midland box as I think it's lighter, also I think some people remove 5th gear from the 'box as you never need it on track? LSD will definitely help too but they are expensive.

Some of it will depend on the rules of your series though!
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ITBs 😃
Before I bought my R53 for track, I was half tempted to buy an R50 and look into ITBs.
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