Engine - Performance Frequently Asked Questions

Below are a collection of questions user have emailed, chatted or called us.  We hope you find it helpful.

Table of Contents

Turbo FAQs

Question:   I have a MINI Cooper year 2008 R 56 and would like to change the turbocharger for a bigger one so i can use it on the street, i would appreciate if you tell me which one is the simpler one I should buy, thanks

Answer:   Thank you for your interest with Mini Mania and our products.  Here is the link to the Super42 Turbo upgrade - this is a nice 'streetable' upgrade with minimal lag.  You can install a larger turbo, but the lag is not street friendly. This turbo alone is good for about 20-25 hp increase on a bone stock car.  However, to achieve maximum gains, you should also upgrade the intake, down-pipe, exhaust, and an ECU upgrade. Further upgrade such as the inter-cooler and plumbing pipes will also help to increase performance. Depending on how you drive, once you surpass 250hp, you should consider upgrading the engine internals such as pistons and rods.
Let me know if you have any further questions.
Best regards,  Ken

Question:  Hello Ken. I was referred to you by one of your co-workers. I have recently upgraded my turbo charge pipes on my 2008 mcs to a 2.5: pipe size. I am running a JM Turbo coopers E45R turbo. After I installed the new set up I notice that I can't get the boost pressure to hold at the 20 psi that I was previously getting. I have adjusted the waste gate actuator and that has helped. Did you guys experience the same thing when you upgraded the cold side pipe on the mini coupe in the you tube videos? Or, do I just have leak somewhere? Also, how do you get that section of pipe that holds that noisemaker flange off? I cant get it to budge so I have grafted the new pipe on to it. I would really like to get rid of that and plumb the new setup directly into the manifold. Thanks for you help in advance.

Answer:  My first thought is that there is a leak, those pipes flow a lot more air so if there was no leak you might have a higher air flow. If the pipes increased the air flow the extra air may be causing knock due to a lean condition and the ECU might retard the timing. I would recommend re-tuning the ECU for small boos pressure differences. If the change was drastic like 4 to 8psi I think that there is a leak.  Is the car running ok or does it drive like it has other drive ability issues, the turbo he has will make about 15psi with the BOV completely open and the WG fully closed. Let me know if you need more information.

Question:   Hello Ken,  I hope the Holidays are finding you well.   The short block we ordered (2007 Cooper S block) is assembled and I guess the last parts I need are a clutch and turbo.   This is a street car, might get some occasional auto-x when it's all said and done... but a little more humph under the hood would be nice.    I found this turbo and am thinking of ordering it.  Engine electronics are otherwise stock.  Would this be an acceptable choice or should we look for something closer to stock.  I might update the inter-cooler and exhaust down the road, but right now we're just trying to get it all back together again.   http://new.minimania.com/part/G2NME2801R/Mini-Cooper-Turbo-K03-42mm-Quick-Spool-Refurbished-Gen2-R55-r61  Thanks again for your time!

Answer: The K03 Super 42 turbo is a very nice upgrade.  Street friendly with a nice bump in power.  It 'can' be used on a stock car, but I would recommend you consider improving the down pipe and/or exhaust to reduce the back pressure.  At minimum, you should have your down pipe / cat 'refurbished' to eliminate back pressure caused from years of build-up.  We can arrange to have your down pipe serviced if you like.  An ECU upgrade will also allow optimum performance with the larger turbo.
I hope this helps.

Exhaust FAQs

Question:  I am preparing to replace a burnt exhaust valve on my 2008 Mini Cooper S, R56 body style, N14 motor. I am interested in purchasing everything that I will need to do this, is this a list that you could prepare for me? I am not asking to save myself time, just want to make sure that I get all parts needed and figured you could lead me in the right direction.

Answer:  Thank you for your interest with Mini Mania and our products. Here is a convenient kit to r&r the cylinder head:  G2NMK8102 .  The MINI Factory 'Cylinder Head Gasket Kit' contains all new auxiliary gaskets and seals for refurbishing or replacing the cylinder head on your MINI - this includes head gasket, valve cover gasket and valve seals . There may be other parts you may need depending on the condition of the parts removed.... 
I hope this helps.

Break Pads and Rotors FAQs

QUESTION:  What’s the difference/benefit from drilled and slotted rotors front and rear?  I have a MINI Cooper S.

ANSWER:  not much difference on the street, unless you live in the mountains. The big benefit with the drill & slot rotors is the improved cooling. Unless you heat up your brakes a lot, it probably won't make much difference for you.  It may be more of a 'looks' thing.
 How many miles did you get on your current setup?

Q: I replaced the pads and the rear rotors about a year and a half ago. The car has now done about 90,000.
A:  If you are content with the performance of the stock setup and you got decent mileage, it probably isn't worth it for you to upgrade with the extra $$,  unless you want to reduce the brake dust, then the ceramic pads might be good.

Q: So you think something like NMK3270 would be good? I guess I could upgrade to stainless steel lines too.

A: Yes, the MINI Stage 2 Drilled & Ceramics Brake Upgrade Kit NMK3270 that is a great kit for spirited street driving and low dust too.

Q: How does that compare to the OEM setup, performance and cost wise?
A:  The red pads have better specs than OEM- better friction materials and more heat capacity. So it is a better kit than stock.
Q:  So would you suggest the brake and rotor kit or the Zimmermans front and rear with the red ceramic pads?

A: The Zimmermans are more popular that Stoptechs but both are excellent quality.

Q: Should I go for new sensors and lines too?
A: And, yes on the sensors - they get brittle and will probably break when you go to replace them. I wouldn't do the brake lines though unless they are cracking and need replacing.  It's difficult to tell the difference with the ss lines unless you are hammering the brakes on the track.
Q:   I have to replace the driver's side drive shaft and the engine and transmission mounts so I thought I'd take car of stuff while I have the guts out.
A:  Yes, good to take care of everything at once.
Q:  So the Zimmermans front and rear. EBC Red Ceramics pads. New sensor front and back. Anything else I'm likely to need?
A:  If its been over 2 years since your last brake fluid change, I would do that as well.  Brake fluid should be changed every 2 years
Q:  We just had to change the clutch, and I did the flywheel at the same time. I think they all run on the same reservoir, right?
A:  Yes, the clutch and brakes share the same fluid.

Q:  So the pads are the EBC Red Ceramic Low Dust, correct?
A:  Yes, I used the same setup on my 05 R52 convertible, but with plain rotors. EBC Red cuts down on the dust significantly.
Q:  What's the part number on the sensors please?
A:  Front OEM Brake Sensor:  NMB1014 & Righ OEM Brake Sensor: NMB1015 for the MINI Cooper S.    And here are some aftermarket replacement for less $$  Front Brake Sensor:  NMB1014E   Rear Brake SensorNMB1015E 
Q:  Just have one on the left front and one on the right rear?
A:  Yes that is correct.
Q:  OK. I think I have everything I need, unless there's something else I should be getting?
A:  have you changed the rear brake pads before? - it requires a special tool since the piston needs to be rotated as you push it back into the caliper.
Q:  I'm probably just going to have a shop do it as I don't really have the time for wrenching on it at the moment.
A:  Ok good, that should do it.
Q:  Thanks for all your help.
A:  No problem, thanks for choosing Mini Mania!  Have a great evening. Cheers.