The JCW Brake Kit and What Wheels Fit

Last week we ran a story on the JCW Brake kit and the discrepancies about what OEM MINI wheels would actually allow the upgraded calipers to fit within the wheels. So far we’ve had some several answers from MINI and not all of them have been the same. With that in mind a reader recently wrote JCW to see if they could clear up at least one aspect of this continuing discussion:

With the kit, you include a yellow sheet that lists all of the compatible wheels, but there’s one in particular that intrigues me:

Original MINI 16-inch alloy wheel (6.5Jx16 inch IS48 styling R94) Part number 36 11 6 768 977

Which wheel is the R94? I can’t seem to find a mention of an “R94” wheel on any of the MINI wheel info pages online. Could this possibly be a typo, where you meant to say R84? (R84 are the 16 inch X-Lites)

Please clarify – or is the R94 a new factory wheel that isn’t available yet?


Thank you for your enquiry. The R94 wheel is the latest five spoke alloy wheel 16inch 6.5×16. These are the only 16 inch wheels that the brake kit will fit under. I hope this helps to clarify what they fit.


Tony Franks Chief Engineer John Cooper Works

Hope that helps a bit. The R94s were introduced in 2006 and are also known as the “Bridge Spoke”. MINI also included this list with their initial press release on the kit:

  • R85 17″ S-Lite Wheel
  • R87 16″ Double Spoke Wheel
  • R90 17″ Two Piece Cross Spoke Wheel
  • R91 17″ 5-Star Bullet Wheel
  • R95 18″ John Cooper Works Wheel
  • R98 17″ Web Spoke Wheel
  • R99 17″ Double Spoke Wheel

You’ll notice the R87 [shown here in Quicktime] is the only 16″ wheel that fits according to this list. In contrast here’s the list that JCW themselves releases with the kit that advises the shop on what will fit:

  • John Cooper Works 18-inch alloy wheel (7Jx18 IS62 Styling R95) Part number 36 11 6 764 104
  • Original MINI 17-inch alloy wheels
  • Original MINI 16-inch alloy wheel (6.5Jx16 inch IS48 styling R94) Part number 36 11 6 768 977
  • Original MINI 16-inch winter alloy wheel (5.5×16 inch IS45 styling R87) Part number 36 11 6 755 814
  • 15-inch steel emergency wheel for the rear axle only (3.5Bx15 inch IS35 emergency wheel)

So I suppose the next question would be – has there been anyone out there that has successfully fitted the JCW brakes to any other 16″ or 17″ wheels not mentioned in the second list? Hopefully we’ll have more on this soon.

(Thanks Edge!)

  • there has been so much discussion about this brake kit that i actually called cooper works in england myself to ask a few questions and was shocked when i was told the following:

    “there isn’t much difference between our kit and the standard breaks that come with the car from the factory. i wouldn’t neccessarily advise installing them.”

    i was SHOCKED!this was coming from the voice on the other end of the phone at the cooper works shop itself! i was actually calling to ask about a few other options (the air intake and sports exhaust) which i did end up installing on my mcsa. i was all set to add the brake kit as the finishing touch, but as you have just read, i wasn’t exactly sold on it.

    in no way do i mean to nay-say the kit – i actually still want it (why? becasue it’s cool!) but i thought i should throw this little bit of info into the ring seeing as this topic seems to come up so often.

    cheers – drew

  • Edge

    I find it all the more confusing that Tony said “These are the only 16 inch wheels that the brake kit will fit under”, when the yellow sheet very specifically also says R87.

    Looking for clarity, and it only gets murkier! At least the other question is answered (somewhat) – NO source has stated that the R84 will fit, yet. Sorry to report bad news for you R84 owners.

  • Kurt

    A John Cooper Works rep saying there is no difference has me thinking that these brakes are NOT worth the money… if you want red brake calipers, go buy some of the caliper paint… don’t waste your money until all these discrepancies are worked out…

  • I question that comment. I believe Drew when he says it but I’m just not sure about that comment the guy at JCWG. Everything I’ve heard from people that have drive a car with the brake kit would indicate that there is improved feel and stopping power. To say that they isn’t much different doesn’t really jive with the specs either.

    I wonder if got some guy on a bad day…

  • Edge

    I went to a dealer-hosted MINI club special event on Wednesday, and I had the opportunity to directly compare the size of the stock MCS rotor to the JCW rotor, on a car that was up on a floor lift. The wheel was removed and the JCW brake kit was installed. Holding up the original MCS rotor next to it, the JCW rotors were NOTICABLY larger, so there most definitely is a distinct difference in terms of possible contact patch size.

  • mcswrks

    I still bet that the R90 16′ can hold the brakes. Anyone else think so, or know so?

  • minicoopermike

    I have the 16″ R90s and I’m going to the dealer this afternoon or tomorrow to see if they have the brake kit (they just did one on a new MCSC last week). If so, we’ll take them out of the box and see if they fit in my wheels.

  • gabe –

    i actually thought that to myself as well… this guy must be in a bad mood, or offended that i would even who knows. but in the context of my conversation with him (which focused on the jcw air box and sports exhaust) he really just brushed the brake kit aside and told me he wouldn’t be too keen on it.

    i think it’s just a mtter of context. it was what HE would or would not do that was in question.

    the real shocker to me though was that it’s his job to sell everything they make, and i was stunned to hear him even slightly pause about one of their products.

    i wouldn’t read too much into this everyone. the specs alone indicate the brake kit is better than stock. i guess we’ll just have to wait for someone who has them to give us a review.

    cheers – drew

  • GSKChicago

    Maybe the guy who made the comment about the brake kit not being worth it was his personal opinion; in that the stock brakes are still quite good. So maybe he just thinks the JCW kit is excessive and not needed in his opinion. Maybe that is what was going through his head? Who knows.

  • Miniesq

    A good set of pads would be as beneficial imo. The cool factor is witht he kit but for serious braking, I would rather spend the money on larger rotors and pads.

  • “there isn’t much difference between our kit and the standard breaks that come with the car from the factory. i wouldn’t necessarily advise installing them.”

    I’m not surprised by this comment at all. I imagine any perceived increase in stopping power is coming from the uprated pads included in the kit.

    The included rotor is only slightly larger than stock. The “uprated” caliper is still of one piston/floating design. The caliper is still made of iron.

    For the same amount of money one could invest in a lighter, more powerful big brake kit. It will not, however, carry the JCW badge which sum folks need on their MINIs. I’m guilty of purchasing products based solely on the name and not performance.

  • Scott

    Chris – Can you elaborate on the lighter, more powerful big brake kit for the same amount of money? Everything I have found starts at $1600.

  • The Wilwood big brake kit features a caliper constructed of aluminum, so you actually save weight, even with the larger rotor. The pads can be removed by simply pulling out a pin and pulling the pad out, so there’s no need to take your car apart to change out those front pads. If I remember correctly, the price is around $899, and Wilwood is a very reputable company among the racing community.

  • Patrick

    I second the Wilwood kit. If you need something beefier, there is a company called that sells custom Wilwood kits. Much larger calipers/rotors, very cheap (under $1000 for base kits), and lighter than stock. Plus, there are TONS of different pad compounds that you can get for the calipers so it is an option if you want something custom. I had a set that I sold when I got into Digital SLR’s, really nice (and cheap).

  • Here’s a link to one of two that are available directly from Wilwood for the MINI:

    There’s also one with the Dynalite caliper, if you’re interested in shaving even more weight.

  • Mark Pierce

    I don’t know how similar JCW Brake kit is to the brakes used on the JCW challenge, but on the JCW challenge cooper S cars with 16″ standard cross spoke alloys, they have to fit a spacer so that the wheel clears the caliper.

  • Question

    What is the Rxx designation on the wheel? Just a model number? The same tires fit a 17in R85 and a 17in R90, so in that regard a 90 and an 85 appear to be the same.

  • I am wondering about after market wheels. I have the Hamann PG4s. Does anyone know if the aftermarket JCW kit will fit. The Brembo kits do not.

  • gbuff

    Are the people wanting these BBKs racing your MINIs? This has been hashed over to death but unless you’re racing you don’t need one. Really. Even if you ARE racing or doing track days (as I do) you don’t need one either; get some aggressive pads and good fluid and go nuts.

    Of course, it’s your money, but I could find much better ways to spend all that….

  • The brake kit is nice cause it is relativly priced but I’m not a huge fan of big brake kits unless you really have the need for one. For most people a simple pad upgrade or change along with good fluid and some good rotors is plenty.

  • caminifan

    Whether or not to get a brake kit is an individual decision – kind of like whether to get the JCW tuning kit: You don’t NEED it, but the additional performance is in the eye of the beholder. There are some brake kits that will haul the MINI from 60 – 0 mph in 70 feet (!!!). Whether that ability is NEEDED or not, is up to the buyer – it is their money.

    Personally, for the $1,000-ish that is being asked for the JCW Sport Brake kit (and the continuing confusion regarding wheel compatiblity), I would check out the brake kit that is being offered by The kit features a 4 piston caliper, larger and thicker rotor, better pad materials and braided stainless lines. All this for $900 plus shipping.

  • matt

    If anyone tries to fit x-lite (84) wheels…with the JCW brake kit, info on whether fitment works with a spacer would be helpful, and what size spacer!


  • JBfromOZ

    I have X-lites with no spacers and JCW brakes fitted on my MY05 JCW MCS now. there is no rubbing, or contact issues. The only other area I am not 100% sure on is whether there is a need for more cooling to ensure the brakes dont overheat, but as far as contact, they do not hit the X-lites

  • The reason the X-lites aren’t recommended by the engineers I’ve talked with is due to cooling issues with the JCW brakes due to the design. They do technically clear however.

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  • whokilledkaji

    Whoa… I thought the R99 wheels would be okay… Bill, you had no problems?

  • R99 wheels are on the official list of wheels that fit.

  • Bilbo Baggins

    I am looking forward to installing the Wilwood 11.75″ BBK as it will allow me to continue to use my 15″ 7-hole wheels in the winter and my 16″ R84 wheels in the summer. The lighter weight of the aluminium caliper and rotor hat will be an advantage all year round.

    Then it is a question as to which rotors and pads to install in the rear to keep the correct front/rear brake balance. I wish that I could find some aluminium hat, gas slotted, rotors for the rear.

  • Matt

    I just ordered 15′ Montegi Tracklites to go over my JCW kit. I have been given 100% assurance these will fit. I will know in a bit..

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  • benzamg

    Matt, SO did those 15″ wheels fit? According to Tirerack, I can order a 15″ wheel in the winter packages…

  • MGB Boy

    Indeed, inquiring minds want to know. Time for some snowtires, and tirerack claims they have 15″ and 16″ rims that will clear the JCW brakes…

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