Friday, August 1, 2008

The Total MINI Cooper Engine Upgrade System

Those are the four areas—Mini Cooper air intake, supercharger boost, the ECU-controlled fuel mixture and ignition timing, and the cat-back exhaust—where the performance from your MINI engine can be upgraded easily to go from very nice to wow, while still being street-legal. If you don’t want to go the whole improvement route all at once, you could install these four upgrades in any order you prefer, and with each upgrade you’ll notice performance improvements that will make your street driving and touring more fun and exciting.

However, since the components all work together, it would be nice to do them all at once. The total cost of the parts and installation should come to around $2000. The total system, based on performance tests, will significantly improve mid-range driving pleasure and increase peak performance to approximately 215 horsepower.

By comparison, the MINI dealer-installed John Cooper Works option brings performance to 210 horsepower and will cost about $6000 installed.

Of course, installation of the JCW option won’t affect your factory warranty, which is a good thing. On the other hand, the aftermarket equipment from some suppliers is good enough that they are confident it won’t affect the performance of your engine, so they are willing to offer their own warranty on the installed components.

Mini Cooper Forum

With these aftermarket warranties, if something goes wrong with the engine after you install the components while the engine is still under warranty and the dealer won’t pay to repair it, their warranty may very well pay the costs of the repairs. (You’ll want to ask your supplier about the details of their warranty, of course, and read the fine print, but at least you know that you have an alternative to the dealer-installed performance upgrades.)

Street and Touring Engine Upgrades for the Cooper S
(Approximate costs including installation)
Mini Cooper Cold Air Intake System $250
Mini Cooper Supercharger Pulley and belt $250
Mini Cooper ECU Upgrade $400
Mini Cooper Iridium Spark Plugs $ 32
Mini Cooper Cat-Back Exhaust $850-$1000

Typical Total Cost $1800-$1900

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