Will modifications to my MINI degrade my fuel mileage?
ANSWER: Yes and No. Typically in a highway
cruising scenario mileage will not be affected as the computer
continuously monitors and adjusts fuel delivery to maximize
mileage. In town driving mileage may however be affected depending
on how you drive your MINI. Most people like the additional
power we give them and choose to use it. Depending on how
heavy footed you drive it can lower your in town mileage by
as much as 5mpg.
Why do you only recommend the 15% size supercharger pulley?
ANSWER: We have done significant research
on and off the track as well as discussed at length the pro’s
and con’s with Eaton engineers. Basically it stacks
up like this, 15% is the maximum speed the Eaton SC is capable
of producing good smooth low temp boost. Anything more simply
produces more heat making the air less dense. Less dense air
means less air into the engine resulting in less power.
What engine mods should I start with?
Most people start with a cold air intake. This is easy to
install with simple hand tools and can be accomplished by
just about anyone. Next would be our 15% supercharger pulley
and a set of cooler heat range spark plugs. This is a bit
more involved but the rewards are amazing. It will totally
transform your driving experience for the better. If your
mechanically inclined, using the proper tools and following
our instructions you can accomplish the job. If not mechanically
inclined any good certified mechanic can accomplish the task
as well. Lastly the exhaust system is the next best mod. Most
people like a slightly louder deeper tone to the exhaust as
well as better flow to increase overall power. Our system
is one of the best around. Install time again can be done
by just about anyone in as little as 1-2 hours.
If I had to pick one handling upgrade to do what should it
Without a doubt a rear sway bar. The MINI has a nasty tendency
to under steer. Under steer is comparable to driving on ice,
when you turn the wheel the car keeps going straight, that’s
under steer. Installing a rear sway bar removes some of that
under steer and makes the car carve like a hot knife through
butter. You will notice this mod immediately after you install
this and drive the car.
Why does Madness only offer a 22mm rear sway bar?
In the early days of the MINI everyone offered only the 22mm
rear sway bar. The reason was because everyone realized that
22mm was the best option for all situations be it racing or
street driving. In the later years a few vendors had the brilliant
idea of trying to expand their product offering by making
a so called "street bar" and then proceeded to call
their 22mm bar a "race bar".
our opinion 22mm is the best route to take when installing
a rear sway bar, especially bars with adjustability like ours.
Over the years we have had many people return to our shop
after purchasing 19mm bars with comments that the car simply
wont turn in like they were expecting. After a quick upgrade
to the 22mm sway bar all is right with the world :)
Are lightweight aluminum crankshaft pullies bad, I hear good
and bad things, what should I do?
Stay away from these lightened MINI crank pullies at all costs.
Serious engine damage can occur from their use. The MINI’s
original crank pulley is actually a harmonic damper not just
a pulley. Removing it and installing a lighter non-dampened
pulley transmits all the shock and vibration from the twist
of the crankshaft to all the connected devices such as the
supercharger, water pump, alternator, air conditioning. This
constant vibration can really take it’s toll on everything
connected not to mention the possibility of premature crank
shaft failure. If that goes you’re out thousands of
dollars. Rule of thumb in the industry is if the car has a
dampened pulley change it out for a better dampened pulley.
If the car has a non dampened pulley change it out for a lighter
non dampened pulley but never substitute one for the other.
are 2 links that explain what harmonic damper pullies do and
why they should not be changed. Here at Madness have made
a conscious decision to not offer this product as the rewards
are slim to none compared to the potential damage. ARTICLE:
Harmonic Dampers, Dampers
What’s the difference between Evotech reflashing and
UniChip piggyback computer upgrades?
At Madness we believe that tuning directly inside the factory
computer always provides the best results. Unlike unichip
which is a piggyback controller Evotech allows you to get
into the guts of the factory computer and modify all the necessary
files associated with performance. Unichip only modifies a
few incoming signals and tries to trick the computer into
providing performance. This has its limits and in our opinion
has never yielded good results especially for the money. Going
direct to the computer has always yielded the best result,
that’s probably why most racing teams that race MINI
use our software.
What exhaust do you recommend?
Ours’ of course! Seriously we believe we have
one of the best systems available. Most people want more power,
better deeper tone, long lasting and priced right. We have
been able to achieve all of the above with our MINI exhaust
system and the customer reviews say it all.
Will your exhaust header increase my exhaust volume a lot?
Yes and no, depends on which exhaust system you have. Our
exhaust system has been designed along with our exhaust header
to provide the best overall volume together. Other systems
may be louder or even quieter. General rule of thumb is if
the exhaust system has 3 mufflers volume increase will be
marginal. If you have a single sided system or a system with
2 mufflers the volume will definitely increase.
Why does Madness not offer a front sway bar?
Simple, the MINI does not need one. The MINI has a bad understeer
problem which can be reemedied by installing a larger 22mm
rear sway bar. This allows the MINI back end to rotate better
making for sharper crisper turns. Putting on a stiffer larger
front sway bar negates what you have just done by adding a
larger rear sway bar! Even some racers disconnect the front
sway bar entirely. This is extreme but shows that most performance
minded enthusiasts prefer a MINI that has a good neutral balance
of understeer and oversteer.
Your short shifter seems really inexpensive, is it as good as
As good if not better! The price sure is right. Sometimes
the simplest solutions are the best and this is one of those
parts. Some of the other more elaborate shifters out there
cost more and are considerably harder to install. Most of
those are adjustable to provide a 30% reduction in shifter
throw. We feel that thats to much and it tends to degrade
shifter quality making it feel gummy and not lubricated. 20%
is the ideal throw reduction amount giving you stock shifter
feel and a definete reduction in shifter throw for quicker
shifting. We have beenmaking this part for going on 10 years
now with zero failures, I think that says a lot.
There seems to be 2 types of intakes on the market for the
turbo MINI, why do you only offer one?
Unfortunatly a few really bad intakes have stormed the market
at low prices. Most of these intakes have an open filter element
where the airbox used to be, these are worse for performance
not better. Theses so called cold air intakes are more like
hot air intakes when you look at the details. First when air
hits the front of the car it goes through the hot radiator
and becomes heated. Next, that same hot air flows over the
very hot turbocharger/exhaust manifold and engine block, now
that air is SUPER HOT! Then over the valve cover it goes,
right into the open filter of the so called Cold Air Intake.
This is just basic common sense when you think about it, you
want cold air entering the intake not hot. Cold air is denser
air and the more air you can pack into the engine the more
power you will make. Thats the reason the MINI is equipped
with an intercooler to further cool the air as it goes through
the intake airstream.
line is stay away from open filter element intakes for the
R56 turbo MINI's. They may cost less but the the performance
degradation is even worse than the stock airbox. Stick to
intakes like our Ram Air Intake system and a few others out
Do larger silicone intake hoses increase power? One vendor
states that you can gain as much a 8hp with their intake hose.
Absolutly not! We consider this a marketing gimick and in
no way do these hoses provide and measurable HP gain. What
you have to remember is that the airflow is resticted by the
throttle opening before it enters the engine, this is what
regulates airflow to the MINI engine. We really prefer the
factory intake hose in this situation for 2 reasons. #1 is
that it fits exremely well and has a flex joint to allow it
to stay connected during the heavy engine rocking that occurs
during hard acceleration and deceleration. The silicone ones
on the market have no flex joint and simply do not strecth
enough to stay attached. 50% of the cars that come into our
shop have this hose disconnected at the throttlebody. Whats
worse is that it takes a really good eye to spot the problem.
If this remains disconnected for long term, dirty unfiltered
air enters the MINI engine and can lead to increased component
wear and damage. Reason #2 is that the silicone hose people
claim that the interior is smooth. Actually the factory hose
is smoother because it is made from a smooth mold not wrapped
like the silicone hoses. With the exception on the 2 ribs
for the flex joint at the top of the hose the factory part
is simply smoother and better flowing than most aftermarket