SUSPENSION 101

by Gary Anderson and Don Racine

In your everyday driving, by now you’ve discovered how much fun your MINI can provide, especially when you can let it out a little bit and experienced its estimable performance and handling capabilities. But if you really want to have some fun with that great MINI, we encourage you to try some of the various kinds of organized events that are available to you. You can head out on the highway for club tours, participate in organized track days, or try your mettle against the clock in autocross events.

With a few days of track time under your belt, or maybe a day or two out on the autocross course, and lots of corners that you have been practicing to go around just right, you may be ready to consider tweaking the suspension a bit for better handling performance.

Once again we’re back to trade-offs. For the average driver, with average passengers, the ability of the car to absorb bumps without rattling the dentures of gran’pa in the back seat is at least as important as how fast the car will get around corners.

As a result, when designing the shocks, springs, and suspension on any car, engineeers are going to err at least slightly on the side of a soft ride. The trade-off is that the car will lean more when going around corners…. continue reading.

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