MINI COOPER SHOCKS, STRUTS & Coilovers APPLICATION GUIDE

             

Mini Cooper Shocks, Struts, or Dampers are critical components of the suspension system designed to keep the tires on the road surface when driving over surface irregularities.  Shocks control the compression and rebound while 'smoothing' out the ride.

Shocks and Struts can affect ride quality and handling, but it is just one component (albeit an important component) of the suspension system.

See our Mini Cooper Performance Parts, an Upgrade Guide for your Mini for other upgrade options.

THE DIFFERENCE BETWEEN SHOCKS, STRUTS, AND COILOVERS

Shocks are dampers that work with other suspension components to keep the car under control.

Struts are shocks with a more rugged 'case' that replaces part of the suspension system.  Struts are typically (but not always) found in the front of the car and can be called the MacPherson Strut.

For the typical everyday driver, Shocks and Struts are designed to give the car a 'smooth ride' over surface irregularities while allowing the driver to maintain control of the car. 

On sports cars and more performance oriented cars, the Shocks and Struts must react faster to the surface irregularities since these cars are typically driven at greater speeds.  For this reason, the performance oriented Shocks and Strut tend to be 'stiffer' for greater control at speeds thus sacrificing some ride quality.

The higher end performance oriented Shocks and Struts are called 'Coilovers' since the shocks and struts are sold with matching springs.  Better performance is achieved when the springs are matched to the shocks where the spring rates are optimized to the valving in the shocks.  Coilovers will typically lower the ride height, which lowers the center of gravity for better handling, and also shortens the suspension travel allowing the suspension geometry to function more precisely.   (Shorter suspension travel can also mean a firmer ride.)

Coilovers are typically height adjustable where the lower spring perch can be adjusted to change the ride height.  The track oriented coilovers can also have adjustable rebound or adjustable rebound and compression.  All of these adjustability allows the owner to optimize the cars handling for faster lap times for different types of tracks.

As with any component, the more complex and adjustable units are more expensive than the original equipment components.

WHICH ONE TO GET?

As you will see from the Application Guides below, there are many brands offered.  We carry brands from reputable companies that offer quality products.  Customers ask "which one should I get?" - which is very difficult to answer since any opinion is subjective and depends on how the different qualities or attributes are prioritized.  We can say with certainty, the oem replacements will not do as well on the track and track products will not be comfortable on the streets...

Here are some 'general' guidelines:
  • OE Replacements:  Bilstein B4 Touring, KONI SRT.T, KYB, and KW Street Comfort
  • Track applications:  Bilstein B14 & B16, KW Variant 2, 3, and Clubsport
  • Sporting:  All others not mentioned above

PRIORITIZE YOUR NEEDS:

Below are common considerations when selecting Shocks or Coilovers for your Mini:

  • Budget - $$$
  • Handling improvements vs. Ride Quality - how much ride quality are you willing to give up to lower your lap times?
  • Ride Height - all Coilovers will lower the car at least an inch.  Shocks can be used with stock springs for stock ride height, but lowered cars 'typically' handle better.
  • Adjustability - some are pre-set, others are one-way adjustable or two-way adjustable. 
  • Adjustment procedures - can the adjustments for rear shocks be made on the car or do the rear shocks need to be removed?
  • Warranty - most 'track' products do not come with warranty.  'Street' products are warrantied against manufacturing defects.  Most coilovers are rebuildable by the manufacturer.

Keep in mind, ALL coilovers will lower the car about 1 - 1.5 inches - even when adjusted to the highest ride height.

KONI FSD is very unique because it will actually improve ride quality while improving handling - but the FSD's will only work with stock height shocks.

Below are Application Guides for Shocks ant Struts, followed by an Application Guide for Coilovers.

MINI COOPER SHOCKS AND STRUTS APPLICATION GUIDE
For OEM replacements to the 'Sporting' applications.

BODY YEAR KONI BILSTEIN
STR.T Sport FSD B4 Touring B6 Heavy Duty B8 Sport
Street Street /
Performance
Street /
Performance
Street /
Performance
Street /
Performance
Street /
Performance
R50 R53 HARDTOP 2002-2006    NMS3015-P   NMS3001-P NMS3060 NMS3090-P    
R52 CONVERTIBLE 2005-2008 NMS3015-P  NMS3001-P NMS3060   NMS3090-P    
         
R56 HARDTOP  2007-2013      G2NMS3001-P      G2NMS3005      G2NMS3040-P      G2NMS3050-P      G2MNS3054-P  
R55 CLUBMAN  2008-2014     G2NMS3005 G2NMS3040-P G2NMS3050-P G2MNS3054-P
R57 CONVERTIBLE  2009-2015     G2NMS3005 G2NMS3040-P G2NMS3050-P G2MNS3054-P
R58 COUPE  2012-2015   G2NMS3001-P G2NMS3005 G2NMS3040-P G2NMS3050-P G2MNS3054-P
R59 ROADSTER  2012-2015   G2NMS3001-P G2NMS3005 G2NMS3040-P G2NMS3050-P G2MNS3054-P
         
R60 COUNTRYMAN  2011-2016       G2NMS3045-P G2NMS3048-P  
R61 PACEMAN  2013-2016       G2NMS3045-P  G2NMS3048-P  
         
F56 HARDTOP  2014+   G3NMS3001-P G3NMS3005   G3NMS3050-P G3NMS3054-P
F55 HARDTOP 4-DOOR  2015+     G3NMS3001-P  G3NMS3005   G3NMS3050-P G3NMS3054-P


MINI COOPER COILOVERS APPLICATION GUIDE
For the Sporting application to Track applications.

BODY YEAR KW * KONI BILSTEIN
B12 PRO-Kit
B14 PSS B16 PSS10
Street to
Track
Street /
Performance
Street /
Performance
Performance
/ Track
Performance
/ Track
R50 R53 HARDTOP 2002-2006 NMS3006-P        
R52 CONVERTIBLE 2005-2008  NMS3006-P        
         
R56 HARDTOP  2007-2013    G2NMS3107-P      G2NMS3016      G2NMS3060      G2NMS3062      G2NMS3064  
R56 JCW HARDTOP 2009-2011 G2NMS3116-P G2NMS3016 G2NMS3060 G2NMS3062 G2NMS3064
R55 CLUBMAN  2008-2014 G2NMS3100-P   G2NMS3060 G2NMS3062   G2NMS3064
R57 CONVERTIBLE  2009-2015 G2NMS3100-P   G2NMS3060  G2NMS3062  G2NMS3064
R58 COUPE  2012-2015 G2NMS3120-P G2NMS3016 G2NMS3060  G2NMS3062 G2NMS3064 
R59 ROADSTER  2012-2015 G2NMS3120-P G2NMS3016 G2NMS3060  G2NMS3062  G2NMS3064
         
R60 COUNTRYMAN  2011-2016 G2NMS3107-P    G2NMS3066    
R61 PACEMAN  2013-2016 G2NMS3107-P    G2NMS3066    
         
F56 HARDTOP  2014+ G3NMS3100-P     G3NMS3062 G3NMS3064
F55 HARDTOP 4-DOOR  2015+ G3NMS3100-P      G3NMS3062   G3NMS3064

* NOTE:  KW offers a full range from their 'Street Comfort' series to their Clubsport track setup.

For a more detailed article about Bilstein products, see Mini Cooper Shocks and Struts from Bilstein.
For a more detailed article about KW Suspension products, see Mini Cooper Shocks and Struts from KW Suspension.

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