We’ve had a few MF readers ask us this question over the years and we finally thought it was time to open it up to other MF readers to help us answer it. Especially not that early cars are getting up in miles, there seems to be a need for good advise when it comes to replacing suspensions. First up, here’s the question:
After spending hours on the many of the MINI sites, I have come to the conclusion that there are to many options for after market shocks, struts and springs to make the choice easy. That is where “Ask MF” can help, I hope.
I drive my 2003 R53 MCS (with the stock SS+ suspension) on both city and highway roads daily. Track days come about two or three times a year and I would say my daily driving is spirited when possible.
My goal is to stay low maintenance (I’m not interested in camber plates etc…) but retain my sport suspension advantage that came when the car was new. I don’t want coil overs, unless someone has a good reason, and I don’t know if I should keep my springs or replace them.
The car has 75,000 on it. Intake, pulley, summer tires and brake upgrades. Now what to do about the suspension? Can you help?
It’s a great question. There are a lot of ways to attack this issue of older cars with tired suspensions. One would be to simply go OEM and get the full JCW suspension. It’s not too pricey all things considered and it’s got great pedigree. Then there’s the option of going aftermarket with something like the highly regarded Koni Sport Suspension kit. Finally there’s the idea of take-offs. Plenty of SS+ suspensions are out there with low miles after owners have taken them off their car to go with something more aggressive. The problem there is that (A) it’s not really an upgrade and (B) actually finding a full set with low miles.
But all that aside let’s hear your thoughts in the comment section below. What advice would you give when it comes to replacing a worn-out suspension?