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oppositelocksmith New Reader
12/29/21 10:17 p.m.

I really want to get down to Barber sometime soon. I went to school in Huntsville and have lotsa friends down that way. One is an instructor there at Barber and I think helps run some of the TAC autocrosses.

BradLTL UltraDork
1/27/22 10:57 a.m.
BradLTL said:

In reply to Ian F :

It was this thread that I used to help make my decision: https://www.northamericanmotoring.com/forums/drivetrain-cooper-s/287613-m7-speed-crank-pulley.html

Basically, M7 set themselves up to be flamed and no one could establish a case of a real world issue.  Maybe that’s just my wishful thinking. I don’t have any loyalty to M7, if I have an issue you’ll all know about it.


So, here I am... eating my words.

Thankfully, my Mini wasn't damaged.  As Way was going through my car, we had discussed swapping to an ATi crank pulley for reliability reasons.  He dug in and found that I have been dodging bullets for awhile.  Way's opinion is that the M7 pulleys were machined incorrectly and that was causing some strange alignment and forces on/caused by the belt.  One pulley was pulling the belt out, the other pulling in.  This caused fraying on the edge of the belt and caused the SC pulley to rub on the super charger body.  Way confirmed there wasn't any issues with the shaft.  Needless to say, both pulleys are in the bin now.


BradLTL UltraDork
3/8/22 7:12 p.m.

Friday made the trek over to Atlanta to reclaim the Mini. After an extended wait, the coil-overs finally came in and were installed. The last item was the trailer hitch. The one in stock was for a different model, so it was a last minute order. But FINALLY… it’s done?

First of all, really appreciate Way and the team at Way Motor Works. They really worked with me as a partner on this part of the project. Way and I talked for a couple weeks before doing any work (or spending any money) on the goals and budget. We refined the list of parts and work that needed to be done. Then as the work was being done, I would get calls when they saw something that should be addressed while they were doing the work. Just in the course of doing the work list, they found a couple gaskets, a hose, and a shifter cable that needed to be replaced. Any of those items failing would have ruined our OLOA event.

Here’s what all was on the invoice from Way:

  • OS Giken GT Clutch Kit
  • Powerflex control arm bushings
  • Quaife LSD
  • Red Line MTL
  • Swaybar bushings
  • Oil Pressure Sensor
  • Oil cooler seals
  • Supercharger inlet gasket
  • Crank sensor o-ring
  • ATI Crank Pulley
  • WMW Rear adjustable Sway bar
  • Megan Racing Coilovers
  • 15% Supercharger Pulley
  • Xenon headlight bulb
  • H-Sport rear control arms
  • Aluminum Coolant Tank
  • Trailer hitch kit
  • Water pump hose
  • Coolant
  • Shift cable
  • G-Loc R6 Front brake pads
  • G-Loc rear pads
  • Labor + Taxes

So, you know not much, really. I’ll censor the price tags to protect the innocent, but will share some pictures of what you can see:

Initial impressions were very limited to a 2.5 hour interstate cruise home. The car is definitely more stiff, but generally not too bad. The bigger sharp dips are where you really notice how stiffly sprung the car is now. Power is roughly the same as before, maybe slightly less. I think Way would argue this one with me, but we didn’t do before/after dynos so we’ll never know for sure. Any which way, not enough to worry about.

The biggest change is the clutch. Going from a worn stock clutch to a new racing(ish) clutch is quite a change. The pedal feels about the same. It’s not overly heavy and the pick up point is in about the same spot. The difference is in the grab. The OS Giken clutch grabs immediately and holds. You have to be ready with the throttle and ready to go, there’s no slipping this clutch.

The ride home was uneventful, except the price of gas. Now it’s the time to finish setting up the car and starting to dial it in for One Lap of America.

JoeTR6 Dork
3/8/22 7:27 p.m.

Seeing this really makes me miss my 2006 Cooper S.  I sold it after 5 years and 40k miles.  It was a really fun car, but bone stock.  The stock suspension on R53s was quite stiff.  I imagine yours is now really firm, but having quality shocks can make that livable.  It will be interesting to see how it handles now.

BradLTL UltraDork
3/8/22 8:00 p.m.

I'm going to get the seat and roll bar in it and then try and get it to little 'dega to start dialing it in this month.

BradLTL UltraDork
4/6/22 10:22 a.m.

Less than a month away from the start of One Lap of America 2022... and we still aren't officially in the event. We've moved up a good bit on the wait-list, but as of today we are still #29. I really need some people to finalize their decisions because this waiting game is putting us in a bind on logistics.

There's still a number of larger expenses to go (not counting the remainder of the entry fee): a trailer, a 5th wheel and a set of tires for the event, the roll bar, and some smaller odds and ends. I'm going to do the roll bar, but am going to wait on the rest until we are confirmed.

There isn't an immediate need for a trailer outside of this event, so that will have to wait. Roughly $1,000 to build a custom trailer isn't a necessary expense... yet.

Tires become the real challenge. The plan all along was to purchase tires and have them installed at TireRack the day before the event. That would provide the most life in the tires through the event. The issue is supply chain and availability. I don't want to purchase tires and have them sit in South Bend if we are not in the event. So, I can't order them until we are confirmed. That means we might not be able to run our preference of tire, and have to settle for the tires that are in stock. Here's the list.

Our preference would be the Yokohama Advan A052s. However, they are on back order. After that I think it is the Continental ExtremeContact Force, and the Falken RT660s.

It's not all doom and gloom. There have been some updates on the car development side of things. The most important bit was that the seat came and I was able to get it installed. We went with the Corbeau FX1 and matching bracket for our Mini. Installation had a few small bumps, these were do to the seat bracket design.

The bracket design basically captures the bolt that holds it to the floor. Makes it near impossible to get the bolts back in. So, I engineered a solution. I cut a notch that provided the needed clearance to get the bolts in properly.

The only other complaint is that I wish the rails were 1/2 to 3/4s of an inch further towards the middle of the car. The shoulder of the seat hits the door, there's more room towards the middle of the car that should minimize that. I may come back to this and modify the bracket at some point.

The Mini is also going to become part truck. The Trailer hitch came in and I did a test fit. I'm going to have to get under the car to get it fully installed. I also need to wire up the connector for the trailer lights and a new reverse light.

The other major work effort that is immediately on my plate is getting the suspension completely setup and dialed in. I've got a bit of analysis paralysis on this effort though. It's a big effort and one that I don't have any first hand experience (in the real world) at performing. I'm trying to convince a friend that they really want to help me get it setup, just to have that more experienced set of eyes guiding the process and making sure I don't make significant mistakes. I have all the tools ready with an alignment kit, and a nice set of scales.

Lastly, was able to finally install the Ultra-gauge. It's a simple and effective tool to provide information that is not readily available on the gauges in the Mini. It also has the ability to alert on specific conditions reported (e.g. high engine temps). For the price, I can't imagine you could be the value. It was $80 with a $7 mount. I had a 3D printed mount for it, but there was some design issues on it and it was just easier to buy the official mount versus design and print my own. Maybe that is a project for another day.

So, we keep waiting and working. Based on some personal things that are going on, we've set our cut off date to be April 18th. If we have not been officially confirmed to the event by then, we are going to withdraw until next year. That would really suck but that is the reality of things as they are today. We moved up 7 spaces two days ago, but none yesterday. Right now I think we are right on the line if we will be in the event or not. Stay tuned.

mikeonabikesmith New Reader
4/7/22 8:06 a.m.

Car looks great! I think the seat mount points are just ever so slightly off-center on these cars. I have the same problem with the door card making contact with my seat on the drivers side, no issue passenger. The door card self-clearanced but I don't love the slight indentation left on the card and seat. Very minor, and no noises, but also no issue passenger side. 


BradLTL UltraDork
4/11/22 2:23 p.m.

Well, it was more testing the tuning comes later. Good news is that we’ve moved up about halfway through the wait-list. Bad news is there’s still a good ways to go. We are currently sitting at #23.

This event was much more about learning how the Mini handles with all the changes and updates. With a redone suspension and drive train, the car is literally going to drive like a new car. Initial impressions are that the car is a ton faster, and much easier to drive faster.

The LSD made the first impression. That was mostly because the first turn on the course setup was a 1st gear hairpin into a fairly long straight. Ideally suited for unloading a tire and spinning it. As soon as I was on the exit of the turn, I would hammer down the gas and the car did not complain one bit. It just started accelerating, no spinning of tires. There was another section at the end of the course with a 4 corner S (left, left, right, right complex) that was a slow 2nd gear corner. Again, hammer down on exit, where previously the inside tire would have spun the car just pulled to the finish of the course. Overall, very happy with how the LSD performed.

The coilovers (and sway bar, control arms, and bushings) were the other major area of unknown. My fear was that adding and stiffening the suspension would cause the car to become twitchy under hard braking. The car would get a little nervous in those conditions, it never felt uncontrollable. And honestly, it was more predictable than on the stock suspension. With the lowered ride height and increased stiffness all the way around, it was much easier to understand how the tires were coping with the demands being placed on them. I was able to use more of the tires ability in both braking and turning. It was a dramatic difference even without running the slicks. The car just felt fast, and managed hard braking and change of direction significantly better than stock. There was a high speed section that required a small, but quick left to right to left. In a couple runs, I noticed that I picked up a small bounce on the rear end going through that series. I should note that the coilovers are running right in the middle of the range for stiffness and the car hasn’t been fully dialed in with an alignment and corner balancing yet. Very positive start here though.

A few other odds and ends…

The seat was fine. While driving, I really didn’t notice it much. I didn’t feel like I was significantly better or worse for it. I don’t have the full harness in yet, so I was still using the factory belts. I did not have a sore spot on my leg from bracing myself while racing, so maybe it was doing more than I realized. I’ll reevaluate it after the full harness is installed.

The UltraGauge did everything it was expected to do exactly as expected. The mount held well, and the placement was perfectly visible in both day and night (well early morning, but dark). What I found in watching the readings is the engine temps pick up a good bit when sitting still. In the drive thru getting breakfast and coffee, the engine temp went from about 170 to 210. The factory gauge just showed the needle right in the middle with no fluctuations at all. I’d probably be happier not knowing, but I think the visibility is ultimately a good thing for managing the car and performance.

While results weren’t the goal of the day, I’m pretty happy with how it ended up. I didn’t technically win the class, but classing for the Mini is weird with the SCCA these days. I’m not sure how a car competes with a shifter kart and a couple Formula SAE cars, but whatever. For the event (and to be more like One Lap of America) I ran my worn Dunlop D3s, everyone else in class was actually on their slicks. Despite that I put in the fastest RAW time for cars in the class. PAX is just an argument waiting to happen, so we’ll leave that one alone.

One of the few things to go wrong on the car during the event was my mount and the app I use to record the runs. It started with me forgetting to setup the track during the morning walk, so I missed the morning runs. I set it up during the lunch break and was prepared to capture the runs in the afternoon. I’m guessing the app lost permissions to the camera because it did not record any video. I also only managed to capture 2 runs. On the 3rd run the mount popped off the window and feel to the floor board. That was basically the end of that. Here’s the 2 runs it did capture:

BradLTL UltraDork
4/17/22 10:52 a.m.

Some action shots..


BradLTL UltraDork
4/19/22 9:57 a.m.

No Lap of America 2022

Sad trombone noises play...

10 days until the start of the One Lap of America event. We had climbed up the order from 46th, to 29th, to 21st, and finally to 14th on the wait-list. Looking at the remaining entries, I only counted maybe 7 that were questionable or incomplete. I talked with Brock and he didn't have any good news either. The entrants didn't have the attrition of the last few events. That's good for OLOA, but wasn't great for our entry.

So, here we are 10 days from the start and having to bow out (or really just take our name off the wait-list). Without being confirmed, we haven't ordered event tires, we haven't booked hotel rooms, found a trailer, packed, booked a flight for my dad, and there are a couple personal things that need committed scheduling. This was the line in the sand for us, past this it would be hard to put together a good entry.

It's disappointing to not be in the event. A lot of work, sweat, dollars and effort went into trying to make this happen. Trying to find the bright side, none of the effort was wasted, it doesn't expire and we are already planning for next year's One Lap of America event. I'm more connected to the event now so we should be able to put our names on the list and not get stuck in wait-list hell.

I guess now I have a year to finish sorting the car.

spacecadet (Forum Supporter)
spacecadet (Forum Supporter) UltraDork
4/19/22 10:27 a.m.

In reply to BradLTL :

Really bummed you didn't get off the waitlist this year.

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