Jump to content
denemy

New guest and new MINI owner w/random Questions

Recommended Posts

Hi All,

 

I bought a 2006 Cooper S convertible from Mini of Sterling. So far I love it. I'm sorry I logged on here after the 3/16 meet and greet at Mini of Sterling.

 

 

 

  1. What rpms do you shift at?
  2. Is there a noticeable diff in ride comfort if I switch to non runflats?
  3. Do you put 93 octane in your Mini?
  4. Where is the best site you've found for mini mods? I'm not too mechanical but I'd like to differentiate the outside a bit.
  5. Re the pulleys is anyone at the 19% pulley? Is it really that big a difference? Pulley vs No Pulley and/or 15% pulley vs 19% pulley?
  6. What is my Mini? R53, R56, R5x?

 

Thanks all -- I wave to all Minis but alas they dont all wave back but when they do I'll assume they are one of the cool people on this site.

 

Be Well :motor:

Link to comment
Share on other sites

Hi All,

 

I bought a 2006 Cooper S convertible from Mini of Sterling. So far I love it. I'm sorry I logged on here after the 3/16 meet and greet at Mini of Sterling.

 

 

 

  1. What rpms do you shift at?

  2. Is there a noticeable diff in ride comfort if I switch to non runflats?

  3. Do you put 93 octane in your Mini?

  4. Where is the best site you've found for mini mods? I'm not too mechanical but I'd like to differentiate the outside a bit.

  5. Re the pulleys is anyone at the 19% pulley? Is it really that big a difference? Pulley vs No Pulley and/or 15% pulley vs 19% pulley?

  6. What is my Mini? R53, R56, R5x?

 

Thanks all -- I wave to all Minis but alas they dont all wave back but when they do I'll assume they are one of the cool people on this site.

 

Be Well :motor:

 

Hey! Welcome to the club, I have an '06 Hot Orange MINI Convertible

 

I'll try to answer some of your questions

 

 

 

  1. What rpms do you shift at? Honestly I go by sound and the situation, I don't really look at the tach that often.

  2. Is there a noticeable diff in ride comfort if I switch to non runflats? YES! it's much smoother

  3. Do you put 93 octane in your Mini? YES!

  4. Where is the best site you've found for mini mods? I'm not too mechanical but I'd like to differentiate the outside a bit. Motoring Alliance and North American Motoring (NAM) are good. I get a lot of good advice here too.

  5. Re the pulleys is anyone at the 19% pulley? Is it really that big a difference? Pulley vs No Pulley and/or 15% pulley vs 19% pulley?

 

I have the 15% pulley, it did make a big difference and I'm very happy with it

 

 

  1. What is my Mini? R53, R56, R5x? R52 is the first generation MINI Cabrio.

 

When I first got Tigger I had no idea what a Cabrio was, I posted that as my first question on NAM, I found it it was the English term for convertible.

 

Can you make it to our run on Saturday? It will be a lot of fun. The details are in the events.

 

Ali

Tigger 2006 the cabrio and Riversong the 2014 Countryman

Tggrrr010.jpg

Link to comment
Share on other sites

Hello and welcome, I'll take a stab at your questions...

 

Hi All,

 

I bought a 2006 Cooper S convertible from Mini of Sterling. So far I love it. I'm sorry I logged on here after the 3/16 meet and greet at Mini of Sterling.

 

 

 

  1. What rpms do you shift at?

 

This might depend on your driving style. Usually, shifting at lower RPM will result in better gas mileage, but not too low - small engines need to rev a little.

 

2. Is there a noticeable diff in ride comfort if I switch to non runflats?

 

I think so, not from personal experience, but from what I've read on various MINI forums and heard from fellow club members, non-runflat tires will give a softer ride.

 

3. Do you put 93 octane in your Mini?

 

Yes, technically it is required. If you use a lower octane, the computer will simply retard the timing to compensate, but, I recommend sticking to what MINI recommends, which is Premium.

 

4. Where is the best site you've found for mini mods?

 

I'm not too mechanical but I'd like to differentiate the outside a bit.

 

North American Motoring is a good starting point, there are many sites on modding.

 

5. Re the pulleys is anyone at the 19% pulley? Is it really that big a difference? Pulley vs No Pulley and/or 15% pulley vs 19% pulley?

 

This is a big topic of debate, I'll just give you my opinion. The higher the percentage, the sooner boost will build, however, this also can have negative effects on the life span and performance of your supercharger and cooling system. Personally, 16% is as high as I would go, though 15% is the more common pulley. The 15% is a noticeable, and safe, difference. Although, many people recommend combining the pulley with several other mods for full effect.

 

 

  1. What is my Mini? R53, R56, R5x?

 

R52

 

Thanks all -- I wave to all Minis but alas they dont all wave back but when they do I'll assume they are one of the cool people on this site.

 

Be Well :motor:

2006 MCS, SB/S , "B.A."

  • Performance: DINAN "Stage 5" tune, throttle body, boost kit (fuel pump, pulley), & CAI; JCW exhaust sans resonator, brakes, & GP IC; DDM IC diverter; CSF Racing Aluminum Radiator
  • Suspension: DINAN front strut brace; Alta 22mm rear bar; KW V1 coil-overs; H-Sport adjustable rear control arms; CravenSpeed strut underators
  • Interior: CravenSpeed gauge mounts with Cooper S boost and voltage, & shift well cover
  • Wheels: Enkei PF01 17"
  • Audio: Kenwood Excelon KDC-X994 HU; MTX Terminator speakers F&B

Alan @ opensource.com

Link to comment
Share on other sites

I had a 19% pulley on my 2006 mini cooper s. I had injectors and a tune done to support the 19% pulley. It does make your supercharger wear out quicker. I would recommend the 15% pulley. That's what we stuck on my brothers car and not enough difference for the early supercharger change.

 

Jason

2009 MINI Clubman Factory JCW CR/B

Helix BOV, DDM CAI, Helix STS, 35% tint, Black R113 wheels, eibach pro kit, 8000K 55w HID's.

2006 MINI Cooper S PS/B 176 fwhp/ 165 fwtq SOLD

2004 Pontiac GTO BLK 389 rwhp / 454 rwtq SOLD

 

[sIGPIC][/sIGPIC]

Link to comment
Share on other sites

1. What rpms do you shift at?
That depends...

 

 

  • If I'm in a hurry (and the engine has properly warmed up) - 7,200 rpm :wink: (mind you my redline is a little higher than stock).

  • If I'm really trying to conserve fuel - 3,000 rpm

  • Most of the time - casual driving - 4,500 rpm

 

2. Is there a noticeable diff in ride comfort if I switch to non runflats?
Yes, non-runflats will generally give you a much softer ride, as the sidewall is not as stiff. They generally also use softer rubber, which means they stick better at the outer limits of handling. They also tend to be cheaper than runflats. It's a very popular thing to do in the MINI community. However, this comes with a couple of trade-offs:

 

 

  • Non-runflats can leave you stranded if you get a flat tire, as MINIs don't come with a spare. You can obtain a 1st Gen Cooper (non-S) spare and carry it around in the back if you like. You can also carry a can of "Fix-a-flat"... but they are all tradeoffs.

  • Non-runflats will have a "mushier" steering feel. It won't feel quite as go-cartish. This is most noticeable when making sudden directional changes (like a quick lane change).

 

Personally, I'm in the minority in the MINI enthusiast community. I love my run-flats, and I wouldn't trade them for anything. My car is a street car, and the razor-sharp turn-in (steering feel) is a very important part of the experience to me. I don't (personally) care much about having a smooth ride. As I like to say - if I had wanted a Cadillac, I would have bought one! I also don't care too much about the "extreme handling limits" performance improvement of non-runflats, because again - my MINI is a street car, not a track car. :motor:

 

Of course, personal preferences differ wildly, so it's entirely your call. :biggrin:

3. Do you put 93 octane in your Mini?
Absolutely. MINIs are designed to run with 91 or higher. The difference in price that I have seen between 91 and 93 tends to be 2 cents per gallon. With a full tank (~14 G), that's a difference of 28 cents. Is that savings really worth it?

 

As for running anything less than 91, don't do it. You'll think you're saving money, but your car will also run worse, both in terms of performance and gas mileage... to the point where it would have been cheaper to just put in 91 or higher in the first place.

4. Where is the best site you've found for mini mods? I'm not too mechanical but I'd like to differentiate the outside a bit.
Both Motoring Alliance and North American Motoring are excellent forums. NAM has a much longer history, with a library of valuable historical knowledge to search through... but MA has a much better, more active and vibrant community now. A lot of the "experts" migrated from NAM to MA when NAM became corporate-owned and didn't seem to care much about the community other than making money.

 

If you want a MINI "news" site, the MINI blog MotoringFile is top-notch. They get the inside scoop direct from MINI (unofficially / off the record), and the MINI community often finds out stuff via MF before anywhere else (especially the dealers).

5. Re the pulleys is anyone at the 19% pulley? Is it really that big a difference? Pulley vs No Pulley and/or 15% pulley vs 19% pulley?
Don't put a 19% pulley in, unless you plan on replacing superchargers frequently. 15% is generally considered the "sweet spot" between reliability and performance.
6. What is my Mini? R53, R56, R5x?

 

Your MINI is an R52. All 1st Gen convertible MINIs (both S and non-S) are R52s. :smile:

"Mr. OEM" - 05 JCW (TK, GPIC, SS, GPTA, R56 RSB, StBr, R56 BBK, GPWhls, SV, RS, R56 GSI, IES, StrWhl, GK, HG, LBIT) MCS, HB/HB, Packs: 1, 2, 3 & 4. LSD, Rear FL, LB/PB upholstery (inc. LB SB & HB), HB Int, Anth. HL, PDC, Nav. OEM: DPSM+Aux, SIRIUS, BT, RV Cam, Aux gauges, ILK, Alarm, AK, PFM, DL, SpLnk, CFD, CSL, BIW, R52 diag rods, EuroTL, EuroWT, EPS, EASM. AM: IanCullAUC, Intravee+KCA420i, SchrothR4, MM-STR.

License Plate: SUV2BIG MotoringID: CARVE129

Link to comment
Share on other sites

me again :itsme:

 

One other thing about tires. I have a cabrio like you do. There is more road noise in a Cabrio, especially with the top down. I have really enjoyed that the non runflats are much quieter then the runflats were. I also purposely bought Continentals since they're rated as being a quieter tire. I mean, I need to hear my radio so I can sing at high speeds. :thrasher:

 

I bought a donut tire from Detroit Tuned and got it a little case from either MINImania or Out Motoring (I don't remember which place, it was during a mad shopping spree). I will take it with me on longer drives and when I'm out and about I have my portable air compressor and a can of slime. I also have AAA so I'm not too worried about an in town flat.

 

I like that my tires can be repaired or maintained anywhere. With runflats I was limited to the dealer or a specialty tire place like Alban tire in Springfield.

 

Ali

Tigger 2006 the cabrio and Riversong the 2014 Countryman

Tggrrr010.jpg

Link to comment
Share on other sites

I'll weigh in on the non-runflat side as well. I got rid of mine in '03 and haven't regretted it either.

I have Goodyear Eagle F-1s for my summer tires and I love the ride and handling, both wet and dry.

For winter, I have ugly steel rims with Continental snows...rides like tank treads on dry pavement, but go like a tank in snow.

Yes, please put 93 octane in your car...it'll thank you.

I have a 15% pulley and air intake in my old (early build '02) S, and it's was like getting a whole new car. They're my only engine mods.

Keep the questions coming and welcome to the cult...er...I mean, club. ;)

Link to comment
Share on other sites

Another opinion on the tires:

 

I chose to stick with the run flats. (I have the same ones as Edge). I don't mind the harsher ride at all. I decided to keep them because I don't want to have to deal with changing/plugging/sliming a tire in who knows what kind of a neighborhood.

 

I do agree they aren't perfect and you can still have problems, just as the person on the run did.

 

You CAN fix them if you get a nail (or similar) in them, as long as it is further than 1" from the sidewall. Mr.Tire can deal with run flats and they're pretty common in the area.

 

It comes down to a personal preference. I was ready to switch to non run flats and realized the piece of mind they gave me was worth the trade off.

 

As for your other questions...

 

I always use 93 (or 91, if 93 isn't available).

 

I don't have anything to add the other questions, those have been covered pretty well.

 

I always wave, unless I really don't see you, and then I feel bad. I hardly ever get waves back, but that's ok. (Well, not really, but I can't take away the person's MINI)!

image.php?u=8&type=sigpic&dateline=14186

Link to comment
Share on other sites

Denemy,

Since I don't drive a 1st Gen (yeah, I've got supercharger envy when I hear that supercharger's whine), I can't address the pully question so I'll have to defer to Edge and the other 1st Gen owners on that.

 

As far as the octane rating in the gas goes, I've got to agree with what everyone has said, the reliability and "care and feeding" factor outweighs the minor difference in price between the mid-grade and higher octane fuels.

 

With regards to shifting? Edge pretty much nails it on the head. When I'm just commuting around town, I may not even get above 3k because I'm conserving fuel. When we get out on a spirited run, it's not uncommon for me to run the revs up to 6.5k or a little higher (like Edge, my rev limit has been pushed a little higher through ECU tuning) to make use of the full power band and I also use the engine/compression braking that comes from doing so to maintain distances and minimize the need for braking.

 

As far as the choice in tires? As you can see, that's a topic that most of us love to debate. I'm pretty sure you'll find that any of us would be very willing to take you out for a ride so you can see/hear/feel for yourself the differences in the ride/sound of different tires and suspension set ups. The runflat vs. non-runflat debate is a topic of lively discussion but, in the end, it comes down to individual preference based on your driving environment, driving style and the level of comfort you have with the +'s and -'s of each.

 

If you aren't busy this Saturday come out for the Spring Fling run where you'll find a big group of us and get lots of ideas for things that you might like to do to/for your car. You can find me by the license plate which kind of says it all "OCMMD" = Obsessive Compulsive MINI Modding Disorder... Next Saturday, we'll be at MINI of Annapolis for the monthly Meet and Greet so there will be another chance to meet up with us.

 

P.S. I do wave at other MINIs/Minis when I see them.

2014 Jeep Wrangler Unlimited Rubicon "Homer"

2012 MB/CR JCW R55 "Merlin" Sold

2009 LB/LB R56 "Archie" Sold

Link to comment
Share on other sites

Looks like most everyone has covered your questions, but I extend the welcome!

 

I L.O.V.E. my 15%, so far, best bang for the buck.

 

I went to NON Run Flats on my 17inch S-lites and the difference was immediate and amazing.

 

 

**EDIT** I need to throw in, the tires I swapped from were actually snow tires, derp.

 

Welcome to the MINI Community!

Edited by TATTRAT
Link to comment
Share on other sites

You've got some great advice so far!

 

I'll chime in on tires as well. I've got two MINI's The kids car, an 07 MCS went to non RF's when he had a failure on his RF's at about 12K miles. On my Clubman, we swapped to non RF's atabout 2K miles. He has General UHP's and my Clubbie has Continental Extreme contact DW tires. While my car isn't a track car, I do drive it aggressively enough that I want more performance than the RF's offered. Not to mention the noise and ride factor for RF's. My MINI is lowered and rides better with the non RF's than it did stock on RF's. I'm just not a fan of RF's especially after seeing Brian's RF have a catastrophic failure on HR MINI's Fall Colors Run 2 years ago.

 

OH! And run flats are super expensive. These cars are expensive enough to maintain. I don't need the extra expense on a wearable item when I can get a higher performance tire for less money than a non performance run flat.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

Hi All,

 

I bought a 2006 Cooper S convertible from Mini of Sterling. So far I love it. I'm sorry I logged on here after the 3/16 meet and greet at Mini of Sterling.

 

 

 

  1. What rpms do you shift at?

  2. Is there a noticeable diff in ride comfort if I switch to non runflats?

  3. Do you put 93 octane in your Mini?

  4. Where is the best site you've found for mini mods? I'm not too mechanical but I'd like to differentiate the outside a bit.

  5. Re the pulleys is anyone at the 19% pulley? Is it really that big a difference? Pulley vs No Pulley and/or 15% pulley vs 19% pulley?

  6. What is my Mini? R53, R56, R5x?

 

Thanks all -- I wave to all Minis but alas they dont all wave back but when they do I'll assume they are one of the cool people on this site.

 

Be Well :motor:

 

Thanks for all the responses.

 

I've been shifting at 3K and no more than 4250. Methinks I can stomp it a bit more.

 

I think I'll give the non-runflats a try the next set of tires. I have AAA and live out in VA far away from any neighborhood that might scare me.

 

The 93 octane answers bum me out a bit. The service manager at MofS said no you dont need 93. He said the best results he's heard is from 89. The most important thing is to put *good* gas in ie detergent gasoline. Another owner told me her mechanic said just put gas from toptierfuels.com in your car and you'll be fine. I've only put four tankfuls and each has been Shell 89. I'm going to try Sunoco premium for the next 4 tankfuls. I'm keeping a spreadsheet re gas mileage and notes re how it runs. One thing I've noticed is that when the engine is revving down it has small backfires but its been doing that since I bought it and truthfully it sounds kind of tough so I like it. I've never had a car that required premium gas. Don't most gas stations top out at 91? What stations carry 93?

 

I'll have to look into the %15 pulley. That sounds fun. I'm getting the windows tinted this week --- Limo dark -- Damm the fuzz and any tix they want to give me!

 

I was all set to meet you all at Wegmans this Saturday but I now may be attending a funeral instead. The local school principal passed from cancer. She was diagnosed over the summer and passed on Sunday. Get yer colons checked ladies and gents.

 

Thanks again for the warm welcomes and all the responses :congrats:

Link to comment
Share on other sites

You can definitely stomp on it more! :motor:

 

The backfiring sound you are hearing is built in to the Gen 1's, I think I read in the owners manual that it's to mimic the sound of the classic Mini. I love the sound.

 

I'm so sorry to hear about the passing of your principal. Hopefully we'll get to meet you at another run.

 

Ali

Tigger 2006 the cabrio and Riversong the 2014 Countryman

Tggrrr010.jpg

Link to comment
Share on other sites

Thanks for all the responses.

 

I've been shifting at 3K and no more than 4250. Methinks I can stomp it a bit more.

Yep! Just make sure the engine is properly warmed up before you push it. The supercharger doesn't really begin to show its power until above 4,500rpm... you'll love it! Gas mileage will of course suffer though... be careful - the sound of that supercharger screaming to the redline is very addictive!
I think I'll give the non-runflats a try the next set of tires. I have AAA and live out in VA far away from any neighborhood that might scare me.
The best decisions are informed ones. :smile:
The 93 octane answers bum me out a bit. The service manager at MofS said no you dont need 93. He said the best results he's heard is from 89. The most important thing is to put *good* gas in ie detergent gasoline. Another owner told me her mechanic said just put gas from toptierfuels.com in your car and you'll be fine. I've only put four tankfuls and each has been Shell 89. I'm going to try Sunoco premium for the next 4 tankfuls. I'm keeping a spreadsheet re gas mileage and notes re how it runs. One thing I've noticed is that when the engine is revving down it has small backfires but its been doing that since I bought it and truthfully it sounds kind of tough so I like it. I've never had a car that required premium gas. Don't most gas stations top out at 91? What stations carry 93?
Check your owners manual. It clearly says 91 or higher. The service manager who told you 89 was giving you bad information - sad to hear that. :frown:

 

Most gas stations in our region carry 93. However, in some parts of the country (California in particular), 91 is the highest you'll find (easily).

 

I understand your consternation, I really do... but this is a premium car and designed that way. One thing to consider though... generally speaking, the difference in price between regular and premium gas is about 30 cents per gallon. That seems like a lot, but the more expensive gas gets, the less that amount ultimately matters. For example - if regular gas was only $1/gallon, and premium was $1.30, that's huge (30% difference). However, if regular gas is $4/gallon, and premium is $4.30, it's less of a delta, percentage wise (7.5%).

 

Once you get over the psychological hurdle of paying for premium, and you come to truly love how awesome MINIs are to drive (and drive hard!), it gets easier. :biggrin:

 

As for the "backfires", they are normal and deliberate. That is called burble - it's something they added in the 2005 model year, and took out again in 2nd Gen MINIs due to too many people complaining that they thought something is wrong. I love it, and very happy my MINI has it! :top:

 

I'll have to look into the %15 pulley. That sounds fun. I'm getting the windows tinted this week --- Limo dark -- Damm the fuzz and any tix they want to give me!
The intake, exhaust and pulley are the three "must do" mods for notable improvement! As for the limo... it's your call. I personally went with legal tint - I attract enough attention as it is without making it worse. Your call!

 

I can highly recommend Carlos at Solar Solutions. If you don't mind a drive out to Laurel, MD - he's worth the trip. High quality work, and very well priced (he gives a special discount to DCMM MINIs).

 

Sorry to hear about the passing of your local school principal.

"Mr. OEM" - 05 JCW (TK, GPIC, SS, GPTA, R56 RSB, StBr, R56 BBK, GPWhls, SV, RS, R56 GSI, IES, StrWhl, GK, HG, LBIT) MCS, HB/HB, Packs: 1, 2, 3 & 4. LSD, Rear FL, LB/PB upholstery (inc. LB SB & HB), HB Int, Anth. HL, PDC, Nav. OEM: DPSM+Aux, SIRIUS, BT, RV Cam, Aux gauges, ILK, Alarm, AK, PFM, DL, SpLnk, CFD, CSL, BIW, R52 diag rods, EuroTL, EuroWT, EPS, EASM. AM: IanCullAUC, Intravee+KCA420i, SchrothR4, MM-STR.

License Plate: SUV2BIG MotoringID: CARVE129

Link to comment
Share on other sites

How much does carlos charge for VA legal tint?

 

He gives a discount if you show your club badge. He charged me $100 for all 5 windows, 50% tint, which is VA legal. :itsme: You can actually go as far as 35% in the back, but since I live in DC and almost no tint is legal there, so I didn't want to push my luck too much. :wink:

image.php?u=8&type=sigpic&dateline=14186

Link to comment
Share on other sites

Thanks for answering Laura, I was trying to remember what Carlos charged us.

 

Just so folks know, Carlos is also really good about working with groups. Last winter, 3-4 of us went up on the day after Thanksgiving and Carlos opened the shop just for us (pre-coordinated) and knocked all of the cars out pretty quick.

2014 Jeep Wrangler Unlimited Rubicon "Homer"

2012 MB/CR JCW R55 "Merlin" Sold

2009 LB/LB R56 "Archie" Sold

Link to comment
Share on other sites

Create an account or sign in to comment

You need to be a member in order to leave a comment

Create an account

Sign up for a new account in our community. It's easy!

Register a new account

Sign in

Already have an account? Sign in here.

Sign In Now


  • Recently Browsing

    No registered users viewing this page.

×
×
  • Create New...