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Lower chassis brace

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RickB View Drop Down
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote RickB Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Topic: Lower chassis brace
    Posted: June/29/16 at 9:42am

The search function apparently isn't working today . . .'

Does anyone have experience with the Madness lower brace for the R53?

I watched the installation video a half-dozen times while waiting for delivery, so I felt pretty familiar with what looked to be a simple process.

After an hour, I was never able to snug-up more than three of the mounting bolts at the same time.

My last effort ended with the sensation that tightening the last hex bolt would bend the tubing if I wanted it closer than an inch to the mounting point.

My lack of success meant reinstalling two strectch bolts that are not supposed to be reused, so I really want to get that brace installed tonight.


'02 Cooper S, Alta pulley, Alta CAI, M7 brace, Madness brace, One-ball, D1 Spec Throttle Controller, ExtremeContact DW, Koni FSD, Boot Box, Glove Box Organizer . . .



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RickB View Drop Down
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote RickB Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: June/30/16 at 12:22pm

OK, for the dozen people who had a look at the first post:  I successfully installed the brace, but there did appear to be a problem with the supplied bolts.

I tried to install just a bolt, to see if the issue was with the bolts themselves, and I could drive the bolt no farther without the brace in place.  After removing the bolt, the last five or six threads were completely stripped.  I was relieved that the factory bolt would still go in, so I completed the installation using the original, factory bolts.

I have since been doing a lot of research on Torque to Yield bolts, a/k/a "stretch bolts", to see if I'm OK, safety- and structure-wise, in reusing the bolts.

There's a lot of information, most of it that I've seen has been anecdotal, and it runs from, "Yeah, you can reuse them", to, "You are courting certain death if you reuse them".

I was going to have to reuse them, brace or no, if I was going to drive the car to work this morning, so I sided with, "Yeah, you can reuse them".

I measured the bolts from the mounting kit and sent an email to Madness; we'll see if they're the correct bolts for the application.  I'm tempted to just get two new bolts from Seattle MINI and go that route.

My impression of the brace is that it makes the ride just a little less smooth in general, you get more feedback about the condition of the surface, but the car handles bumps and potholes better.  There's more of a sense that the suspension, rather than the whole car, is absorbing the impact.

Most of what I've read about handling improvements suggest that steady-state corners, "sweepers", is where the steering and handling feel are most improved.  I'll hit some onramps this weekend, and see.

'02 Cooper S, Alta pulley, Alta CAI, M7 brace, Madness brace, One-ball, D1 Spec Throttle Controller, ExtremeContact DW, Koni FSD, Boot Box, Glove Box Organizer . . .



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Dennis Bratland View Drop Down
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote Dennis Bratland Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: August/31/16 at 11:17pm
I've reused them before -- without a brace -- and the car is still here.

I just installed a similar brace, the K-brace from AutoXCooper, except it reaches to the back instead of the front connecting the control arm bushing mounts to the rear subrame support instead of the front subframe.

It comes with extra long bolts that replace the ones where the control arm bushings mount to the body. But since you leave all the joints loose until the four bolts to the car are tight, it gives you wiggle room to install it. Though Madness says that's why theirs is better; it's one solid piece, though I can imagine that's hard to align and bolt up.

I sort of think I can feel the car is more solid with the brace. Or maybe I'm imagining it.

Did Madness ever send you new bolts?


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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote CosmicTraveler Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: September/03/16 at 12:01pm
I installed a TSWXBrace from Texas Speedwerks about 50k back by reusing existing bolts, and all is well.  To recover from an operator-issue with the torque wrench, I did have to replace one bolt.  Cry
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RickB View Drop Down
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote RickB Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: May/17/18 at 10:53am

Way late on a reply, sorry.

Madness did not reply to my email inquiry, and I asked Group 2 to have a look while they were performing an alignment, and they recommended helicoils and new bolts.

No issues since.

'02 Cooper S, Alta pulley, Alta CAI, M7 brace, Madness brace, One-ball, D1 Spec Throttle Controller, ExtremeContact DW, Koni FSD, Boot Box, Glove Box Organizer . . .



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