Mini Convertible Tuning

"Tuning guide to the most effective Mini Convertible modifications."

The Mini Convertible really good project cars and with carefully picked uprated tuning mods like remapping, turbo upgrades and camshafts you will noticeably maximise your driving experience.

Here we review and look at Convertible tuning and provide tips on the best upgrades.

The Convertible is a awesome project car to execute. The key to Convertible tuning is finding the right mods - a lot of money can be wasted if you do it wrong.

Tuning tips and articles

Engine tuning Transmission tuning Care care Intake & exhaust mods Improve handling Forums

Handling/Suspension upgrades

Handling modifications are top of many to do lists for the Convertible.

If you set the toe out to 1-1.7 degrees on the front, and add a little negative camber then cornering will often improve.

Drop the car optimally somewhere in the region of 24mm - 35 mm. and fit motorsport grade stiffer dampers, bigger drops will need other modifications in most instances.

Don't just look at the peak power figures, you need to see the whole torque curve when determining if a mod is right for you Convertible.

Convertible make good sleepers if you debadge them and fit the most powerful engine mods and handling mods you can !

The best power gains come from larger engine sizes. The more you start with the bigger the return on investment so engine swaps are good value mods for small engined cars.

Engine Tuning.

These are the performance kits are usually installed by our members, decide how far you want to push your car before you begin.

Getting the best performance upgrade kits for your planned usage of the car is a time and money saver. Stage 3 motor sport parts just won't work well on the road and will make the car undrivable.

Please watch our video which covers the 5 principles of tuning your car. Be sure to subscribe and support our new channel.

Best Engine Mods for your car

  1. Mapping - remapping provides the most advantage in terms of cost savings,  aftermarket ECUs, and piggyback ECUs are all alternatives.
  2. Fast road cams are one of the most significant mechanical changes, but they must be installed by someone who knows what they're doing and they are not always easy to source but you might find a local firm to regrind a stock camshaft.
  3. Intake and Exhaust - Note that on their own these mods will NOT ADD POWER in most cases, but they can help enhance power after other mods by removing the restriction.
  4. Upgrades to turbochargers and superchargers - forced induction is the most efficient approach to increase air supply, allowing you to burn more fuel and make more power. It is one of the most costly upgrades but provides the best gains.
  5. Head work - The goals of porting and flowing the head are to get air flowing into the engine while removing flow restrictions and turbulence.

Typical stage 1 mods often include: Suspension upgrade (drop 24mm - 35 mm.), Lighter flywheel, Alloy wheels, Remap, Sports exhaust, Panel air filter.

Typical stage 2 mods often include: fuel pump upgrades, Ported and polished head, Power/Sport clutch, high flow fuel injector, Fast road cam.

Typical stage 3 mods often include: Engine balancing, Competition cam, Adding or upgrading forced induction (turbo/supercharger), Internal engine upgrades (pistons/head/valves), Sports gearbox.

Peak power is nice in motorsport but for a drivable and fun car you need a wide torque band and perhaps extending the rev range.

The point of our guides is to give a brief overview of tuning upgrades and point you in the right direction, our forum is where you can ask for more detailed advice and tips on your car tuning project, the best modified upgrades and all aspects of modding cars.A fast road cam will be one of the best NASP power modifications you can do mechanically to your engine.

The intake & exhaust durations play a large part in your cars power band, but be careful here, getting this wrong can upset the idle and make the car awkward to drive in traffic. You'd need to follow a cam upgrade with other mods and finish with a remap for the best performance gains.

You will need to ensure that the engine is not starved of fuel so will need to increase the fuelling.

Using high octane petrol is another option if you find you are suffering from detonation or premature ignition on your Mini project after fitting other sports mods. To get sufficient fuel you may need to increase the injectors on your engine.

A fuel pump will only deliver a finite amount of fuel, so you may need to uprate this if your injectors are demanding more fuel.

Intake and Exhaust Tuning.

Now we move on to the intake and exhaust and ensure proper flow through the engine.  Please note that WE DO NOT FIND IMPROVEMENTS WITH INDUCTION KITS, unless you have tuned your car extensively and are finding that the standard air intake has become a restriction.

For most Convertible engines TorqueCars would suggest you just go with a washable panel air filter. On heavily tuned engines and turbo vehicles an induction kit will help release the power providing you address the problem of needing cold air.

Do not go with the largest exhaust you can find this will slow the exhaust rate - the best exhausts for power gains are usually between 1.5 to 2.5 inches. It is the shape and material more than the bore size.

flowed (porting and polishing) the head will allow you to maximise your air/fuel charge. Leave this to a professional though with a proper flow bench and machine tools Your clutch can seriously let you down as you increase the power if it starts to suffer and the standard clutches are only ever good for power gains of up to 43%. Fit a power clutch to avoid power leak through the transmission. The best mods in our experience for your Convertible are fast road camshaft, remap, induction and exhaust, suspension.

Turbo engines are just begging to be Upgraded. You will see massive power gains on most modern turbocharged cars including diesels making a remap one of the most cost effective and massive modifications for your money.

We've also come across some owners experimenting with twincharging applications and making some very high power figures.

Despite the large cost involved adding forced induction to a NA (naturally aspirated) engine will give large power gains. Superchargers are generally easier to add than a turbo. Turbos give boost in exponential proportion to th engine speed and this can make mapping difficult.

It is easier to map a supercharger because the boost is directly proportional to engine speed on a linear curve. Decreasing the engines compression ratio will allow you to add forced induction, water injection may also help prevent detonation.

Alloy wheel upgrades.

Because alloys are less heavy they improve performance and they will help to cool the brake disks. Get a good track legal slick tire to improve your handling and help improve traction on your Convertible. Large Convertible alloys can decrease performance. If you get big alloys you will be changing your final drive ratio.

Although some people have fitted larger wheels without problems we would stick to a 18 inch rim size as the maximum.

If you would like to know more, or just get some friendly advice on Tuning your car please join us in our friendly forum where you can discuss Convertible options in more detail with our Convertible owners. It would also be worth reading our unbiased Mini tuning articles to get a full grasp of the benefits and drawbacks of each modification.

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