Of of the downsides to a stiffly sprung car, stiff side-walled runflats and horrendously bumpy roads is a potential for strut tower damage. It is a problem that has shown up on more than a few MINIs in the form of strut tower “mushrooming”. This damage will effectively create alignment issues and, at least, cause dealers fits trying to straighten it out. But what concerns most MINI owners is that this damage is routinely not covered by MINI dealers. This can leave owners with hundreds of dollars worth of repair work needed for a properly aligned car.
The M7 Strut Tower Reinforcement Plate rectifies this potential issue by doing what the name suggests: reinforcing the strut tower. The SRP (as it’s called by most owners) can be best described as a machined aluminum plate that reinforces the MINI’s sheet-metal and shock plate. The idea is that this will create an ultra stiff top surface that will not flex during daily battles with potholes.
The M7 SRP is dead simple to install and should take just a few minutes from start to finish. For those looking for mods that instantly make your MINI feel different, you’ll want to look elsewhere. Instead think of the M7 SRP as insurance in the form of two little black metal plates under the hood.
With a product like the M7 SRP, performance can only be measured in one parameter: does it work or not? And there’s the rub because you really never know if it’s working until, well… it doesn’t. However I will say this; strut tower mushrooming is a very real issue and the SRP provides the best defense out there other than actually inventing the long awaited hover MINI.
Perhaps more to the point, I’m happy to report after three months of use my MCS (equipped with 18″ wheels) has suffered no ill effects from the 3rd-world road conditions so prevalent in and around Chicago. And during that time I’ve encountered several potholes of glorious proportions. The kind that cause you to bite your tongue, chip your tooth and hit your head against the roof in that order.
So is the M7 SRP worthwhile insurance for those of us living in areas with poor road conditions? For MINI owners who appreciated piece of mind and don’t care for expensive surprises under the hood, the resounding answer would be yes. And with their clean and purposefully design, they look the business too.
MotoringFile Rating: 4.5 (out of five)
Where to Buy: The M7 Strut Tower Reinforcement Plates are available from M7 Tuning for $109 plus shipping.