Mattallics Mini #3
It’s been an interesting couple of months for the Mattallics Mini in preparation for its first test within our ownership. Booked in for 16th September at Curbourgh Sprint Circuit. Not a full-blown ‘Track Day’ but a fair opportunity to evaluate the little hound up against some dedicated track cars and skillful pilots.
Throughout the past few weeks, we have carried out some considerable and worthwhile modifications to ensure we get the most of out the Mattallics Mini. As most of you will know, the most capable car around a track is not the one pushing the highest power but rather the car that can stop on a sixpence and handle like a mosquito, so with this in mind we took the plunge to purchase some semi-slick rubber, adjustable coilovers, new discs and Mintex 1144 Track pads, custom bucket seats, full hunter alignment and an abundance of bolt on's. Giving us far greater handling, responsiveness and overall control of the Mini is fundamental in building a capable car. The shoes in question are some Nankang NS-2R 215/45/17 once used in the Honda Civic Type R cup and considering they're the only thing on a car that comes in contact with the ground, tyres were at the top of our list in terms of modifications for our Mini street project. To keep the additional grip and kinetic energy all in place, we have also fitted some fresh coilovers which were donated to us from a good friend and customer of ours @joe.ford89, so huge shoutout to Joe for helping us out! As an addition to the upgraded coilovers and tyres we also added some top mount strut defenders to prevent against 'mushrooming' and upgraded drop links.
Standard stopping power given from a factory Mini R53 is intermediate at best. Most upgrade to the newer and slightly bigger R56 brakes and discs. Our car fortunately came with that minor upgrade already so with that being the case, we treated it to some Pagid Discs & Mintex 1144 Track Pads to get a little more 'bite' without sinking £500+ for a big brake kit. Alongside the mediocre stopping power, R53 mins also leave the factory with some mildly slippy and heavy seats... not ideal when trying to stay put in the drivers seat. So a very much needed pair of custom "Holyhead Racing" Cobra Monacos came up for grabs and we're sure you can guess the rest...
Not that it matters too much but a couple of other additions to the car that we've executed is a second hand (minter) rear tailgate in the true Dark Silver Mini paint colour... RUST FREE! A well-known issue of these Minis is the tailgates tend to rust above the number plate lights. Water simply finds its way in, dawdles above where the lights are installed and eventually rusts through to the topcoat. To get it repaired and resprayed would have cost more than a good condition used one so it was a no brainer. Another couple of bolt ons checked off the list is replacing the plastic header cooling tank and the addition of a custom made 'not so hobo' intercooler DV. The OEM cooling tank is prone to failure under multiple heat cycles and pressure loads, often leading to splitting at the bonding seams. A simple redesigned aluminum cooling tank is the most durable and cheapest option to go for. Our intercooler air DV is a cool piece of kit that was custom made. Simply married onto the top mount intercooler, grabbing more air and directly injecting it into the intercooler. Temp logs have also proven this part to aid the airflow coming through the bonnet scoop!
With the Track day now complete, make sure your eyes are peeled for our next blog on how the day panned out for us! We'll keep posting on all our social media as to any updates.
Stay well, stay safe and always remember to wash your wheels first!
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Also in The Meticulous Blog
We go into detail on the issues the mini was having and how we managed to resolve them. Our mini Has been away for a few weeks whilst its been having some deep engine work being carried out in preparation to hit the track! Whilst we had access to parts of the engine, various tuning went down and a bit of an interior strip out took place.