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Horney

2002 Dark Silver Track/Sprint Project

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Picked this up this in Aug 2017. Pulled up outside the house and before I'd even got out of the car had the following whatsapp from the wife:

 

http://qH5OAHhJ.jpg|https://thumbsnap.com/qH5OAHhJ

 

It was indeed rather loud. This Would need to be rectified. Not only for the sake of my marriage, but to be able to use it on trackdays.

 

The car itself is a 2002 pre facelift Cooper S in that common grey. It has a white roof that's been wrapped black. The owner before the guy I bought it from spent a LOT of money on it.

 

Brief spec when purchased:

 

JCW engine fitted by 1320 in 2015 after OE engine failed

ARP Headbolts

Cat Cam from 1320

550cc injectors

Oranjje Stealth Airbox

Airtec Intercooler

17% reduction pulley on the charger

Janspeed manifold

Custom manifold back stainless exhaust

Mapped by 1320 at 214bhp at the wheels with a 7200rpm limiter

AP Coilovers

Wheel spacers

Sparco Assetto Corsa wheels

Ditchfinder tyres

 

It was frankly stupid. It was blisteringly quick in straight line but wouldn't go round corners without lighting up the inside front or stop. I loved it. It needed a fair bit of tidying up. The bonnet had bad lacquer peel and one of the A panels was dented. It needed a damn good clean inside and out.

 

My only plans for it were to fit a facelift gearbox with LSD, quieten down the exhaust, remove the black wrap, replace the damaged panels and drive the wheels off it.

 

A couple of pics from the advert.

 

http://oD61tWyq.jpg|https://thumbsnap.com/oD61tWyq

 

http://xAsaQn9D.jpg|https://thumbsnap.com/xAsaQn9D

 

What happened next is I spent a lot more money than I intended in an alarmingly short period of time. I shall try and condense the follow 15 months down as much as possible.

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Black wrap removed from the roof, mirrors and boot spoiler. Luckily no horrors were revealed beneath. I much prefer it with the white bits.

 

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Went to a meet and got a couple of pics with my proper camera.

 

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Found a nice place to take some more snaps:

 

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Picked up and fitted a JCW exhaust and it's was now loads quieter while driving normally but still shouts when you go WOT. Still had concerns it won't pass driveby sound checks at circuits. Should pass the static one though.

 

Dug out an old Bluetooth head unit and fitted that, only to find the passenger front speaker is goosed. Popped down to Minitopia and Ray sorted me out with a replacement OE speaker, some door card screws that were missing and some clips to replace ones the last person to remove the door card had royally cocked up. Whilst there I asked for a quote on sourcing a dark silver bonnet and having it fitted, turns out he had one in stock and a spare hour. Result! No more ruined paint bonnet and the black scoop is gone as the new bonnet still had the dark silver scoop in it. I also sprayed the grills on the scuttle satin black as they had gone grey.

 

Competed in my first event in October 2017, the Farnborough District Motor Club Sprint Royale. Due to the rules around boost multiplications to CC I was in the 1800 to 2300cc class. My competition was a group of EP3 Type Rs, a Fiat 500 Abarth, an old school Alfa, an MGA and a Clio 182.

 

My main aim was to try the car out, get a feel for competing in it and decide if it’s the right car and class to compete in or to focus on my 2006 MK3 MX5 for that. I knew the other R53 was turbod and running over 300 whp, I knew everyone else was on semi slicks and I knew that at least one of the civics and its a driver were well seasoned Sprint competitors in a very well developed car. I had power but no decent tyres, far from ideal suspension set up, no LSD and standard brakes with Mintex 1144 pads.

 

I had no illusions about walking home with a trophy.

 

I had a great time though. The car was brilliant, wheelspin city, but brilliant. Took me a while to dial in to FWD having only ever done these kinds of events in RWD cars. I haven’t properly tracked a FWD in over 5 years.

 

The result was out of 10 in class I came 4th, 3 tenths of a second off third. The 3 Civics making up the top 3. Yup, I beat the 300+ whp R53. I think he must have been having an off day as it looked blisteringly quick off the line.

 

The day proved that the car had potential. I was around 2 secs off the front guys over a course that took them around 57secs. Sounds small but it is quite a lot. However I reckoned with some proper tyres, the wheels pointing and cambered like they should be and more seat time from the fleshy lump behind the wheel we should be capable of claiming some trophies for the cabinet.

 

Here’s a couple of pics from the day plus a video of my fastest run at 59.63 seconds.

 

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November 2017 and I took it to the Pistonheads sunday service at Silverstone and did a short track session. Was good fun but even with the mintex 1144 pads and fresh fluids the brakes were terrible.

Pics:

 

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The pics show it also badly needed camber plates for the front, soooo much positive camber under load.

 

Video of a couple of laps:

 

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The following then happened In some kind of order:

 

Fitted all new bushes and ball joints on the front end

Fitted 2 new wheel bearings on the front

Fitted new driveshafts

New driveshafts kept falling out

Damaged gearbox seal

Replaced gearbox seal and fitted good used OEM driveshafts.

Driveshafts stayed in the gearbox

Fitted R56 front brakes and braided lines all round

1320 fabricated a standard mini cat into the decat pipe

It’s now much quieter

It made 207 at the wheels on their dyno

Picked up a cheap facelift gearbox with LSD

While fitting above found the radiator was near dead so replaced

Clutch slave failed during gearbox swap, so replaced

Coilovers raised to a sensible height

Replaced a rear wheel bearing.

Won some Cobra Mini specific seat mounts and sliders on eBay

Won a cheap but perfect condition 18 month old Cobra seat for above on eBay

Fitted frame and seat

AD08Rs fitted all round

Wheel alignment done

 

Here’s a video of the 9am track session at Castle Combe Spring Action Day 2018:

 

 

First sprint of 2018 completed. It was the Farnborough District Motor Club Dimanche Sprint at Rushmoor Arena.

 

 

Car went really well and I knocked 1.5 seconds off my PB I’d set in my now deceased supercharged MK1 MX5 back in 2016, in doing so bagged myself a 1st in class. I think a perfect run would have seen me dip into the 53’s. I came 11th overall.

 

Here’s a short video:

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June 2018 was the Abingdon Motorsport CAR-nival, 2 days of cars and competition. On the Saturday there’s a 2 course sprint for nearly 200 cars and also an AutoSolo. On the Sunday stage rallying.

 

This year was my 3rd time at this event competing in the sprint. My two prevous attempts were in my supercharged MX5 and frankly I sucked. I need to dig out my old times, but the first year I finished 10th out of 11 in class. Ok, so I wasn’t last and in those days the class structure was 2000cc and above so I was against all sorts of mental machines in the road going classes.

 

This year the class is 1600 - 2300cc and with the multiplier for forced induction the MINI is in the upper limit of the class. Competitors were other MINIs (an R56 and R53 converted by 1320 to Turbo with over 300bhp), a Firsta ST, a couple of boosted MX5s and a collection of NA vehicles such as Clio’s and a 205 GTi.

 

This event has two courses. Abingdon being fast and mostly flowing, Bentley being more point and squirt. The format is 2 practice runs and then 2 timed runs on each. The combined total of your best time from each course is your time.

 

We did the Abingdon course in the morning and the R56 and the Fiesta absolutely destroyed me in the times. The young lad in the R56 posting times 4 seconds faster than me on a course that’s less than a minute in length! The Fiesta guy was a bit further ahead. I managed to squeak in front of the R53 Turbo by a small margin. Morning finished 3rd in class, went for a hotdog, a coffee and a self addressed pep talk.

 

The afternoon course is the one I preferred and I fooled myself into thinking I could make up some of the time I was down in the morning against the top 2. Who was I kidding? I was better at this course, but only enough that the deficit was smaller to the top 2 but they were still quicker. I got closest to the fiesta, being only a 1 second slower on this course. The R56 romped away again.

 

It was enough to secure 3rd in class though. I was chuffed to bits as going into the weekend I expected to be 5th or 6th having reviewed the entry list.

 

Here’s a video of the best run from each course.

 

 

Some things I took away from that weekend?

 

1 - 20 something lads who stage rally an Evo are unbeatable in their daily MINI.

2 - Fiesta STs with 300+ Bhp are epic.

3 - My bloody suspension was clonking and was getting worse

4 - I needed more power

5 - I needed better brake pads

5 - I needed to be less of a pussy

 

41378886380_ae5a2a7d60_c.jpgUntitled by Nicholas Horne, on Flickr

 

29317831798_d8e9542b73_c.jpgUntitled by Nicholas Horne, on Flickr

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Between the two sprints this year the heater matrix emptied itself all over my interior. I replaced it.

 

Old one out:

 

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New one in:

 

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Easiest heater matrix I’ve ever changed, but still not exactly a fun job.

 

The day after the Abingdon Sprint I thought it would be fun to try and win a second trophy in one weekend in the Concours at Beaulieu National Cooper Day. So I jet washed the car at a petrol station the night before after unpacking all my race gear and then got up dead early to convoy down to the New Forrest with MrsHorney in her 1979 850cc City.

 

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In the concours:

 

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I came last. I had a great day though and chatted to a lot of people about using these cars for grass roots motorsport.

 

I fitted some Ferodo DS2500 pads to make the thing stop better and I removed the fog lights and cut the inner arches to get some cool air in there as well.

 

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Next up, to get rid of my steering clonk I fitted poly void insert bushes into all the engine mounts and replaced the drivers side engine mount with a Vibratechnic one. At great expense.

 

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It didn’t fix it. In fact it seemed worse than ever. Then a man on facebook said “try nipping up the two bolts that hold the inner ball joint to the subframe.†A 1/4 turn to one bolt which already felt f$%cking tight and would you believe it? Clonk gone. I spent a lot of money to fix that but at least I now have a rock solid engine and new driveshafts. Lol.

 

I bought some spotlights and covers because, well I think they look cool OK?

 

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Then I went to Castle Combe and did a trackday. Knocked several seconds off my PB in my old supercharged MX5 so rather happy with that. Here’s some pics:

 

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This video is a mixture of myself and my Dad driving (you’ll like me telling him off for passing the Aston in a corner) and contains 15 mins of us overtaking pretty much every other car there. These include an Exige, some red badge hondas, an M2 and event an Ariel Nomad!

 

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I really wanted a Coolerworx, one came up second hand for a reasonable price and it seemed silly not to.

 

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Not as easy to fit as I'd hoped but got there in the end.

 

Also fitted an OMP steering wheel boss, resistors for the airbags and a cheapo Motomec wheel. I went for a cheap wheel as I wasn’t sure if I’d want flat or dished for the driving position and £55 was an OK amount to spend to experiment, not £300 on a proper wheel.

 

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The whole thing feels so much more “race car†now. The shifter is incredible. It brings the top right up by the wheel and the throw is super short, very weighty and very precise. If you're thinking of buying one don't, just buy it. It needs a bit of adjustment and due to the fact my gearbox has done 120,000+ miles the linkage on the box itself needs a refresh to remove the last of the slack in the whole system.

 

The drive home from fitting this little lot was an absolute hoot.

 

I then completed in the my third sprint of the year, picking up another trophy along the way. Dead happy. Short video here:

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Last past and we'll be up to date!

 

Brands Hatch trackway in mid November 2018. What a hoot! Love Brands and it was the first time I'd driven the MINI on an undulating circuit. Wow, the APs are soft, I have some melted wheel arches now. They do work well though. Sure they're soft and there's some roll but they are so well damped that they give she loads of grip and handle the kerbs superbly. Anyway, pics and vids:

 

30966411677_49d3bb147e_c.jpg181115_SR_BH_Cars_2334 by Nicholas Horne, on Flickr

 

44089320220_5a70f3c49e_c.jpg181115_SR_BH_Cars_2769 by Nicholas Horne, on Flickr

 

44089320070_47d68f05cf_c.jpg181115_SR_BH_Cars_2782 by Nicholas Horne, on Flickr

 

44089319250_8e8f660a56_c.jpg181115_SR_BH_Cars_3116 by Nicholas Horne, on Flickr

 

44089320450_2e076be3ea_c.jpg181115_SR_BH_Cars_2100 by Nicholas Horne, on Flickr

 

32034340668_60aa9ddbe1_c.jpg181115_SR_BH_Cars_1457 by Nicholas Horne, on Flickr

 

30966412507_9cb78e650b_c.jpg181115_SR_BH_Cars_2222 by Nicholas Horne, on Flickr

 

 

Now it's onto the winter works. It's booked into a bodyshop for the rust under the rear twilight to be dealt with in December and January it goes in to a fabricators for a 4 point rear cage to be built and fitted. I'm also ordering two new bucket seats and will be fitting those. Finally I'll be doing some maintenance like changing the charger fluid etc.

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Thanks. I do like to waffle on and post lots of photos.

 

I should also add that a lot of the work on the car is done with the help of a few awesome mates. Nick and Marc at Skuzzle Motorsport have been fixing my bodges for years on various MX5s and now I rope them into helping me with this thing. Also my mate Brian who has been a massive help a been using my car as a test bed for how not to do things on his. Lol.

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Now it's onto the winter works. It's booked into a bodyshop for the rust under the rear twilight to be dealt with in December and January it goes in to a fabricators for a 4 point rear cage to be built and fitted. I'm also ordering two new bucket seats and will be fitting those. Finally I'll be doing some maintenance like changing the charger fluid etc.

Go for a bolt in dash dodging 6 point cage and then once the base plates are welded in place you can remove the front and side sections for daily use and put the full cage in for track use and allow you to future proof it if you decide to race it. If you go for a rear only cage it's not future proofed.

 

Interesting to see your power. I've not had mine mapped yet but I should be around the same or there abouts except I'm on a standard head not JCW but I will have the Link ECU and wideband controller for mapping.

 

Sent from my SM-G950F using Tapatalk

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Go for a bolt in dash dodging 6 point cage and then once the base plates are welded in place you can remove the front and side sections for daily use and put the full cage in for track use and allow you to future proof it if you decide to race it. If you go for a rear only cage it's not future proofed.

 

Interesting to see your power. I've not had mine mapped yet but I should be around the same or there abouts except I'm on a standard head not JCW but I will have the Link ECU and wideband controller for mapping.

 

Sent from my SM-G950F using Tapatalk

 

I can always take it back to the fabricator for a front section if I need it. As a sprint car in the road going classes a front section is going to add weight for little advantage, the rear allows me to run harnesses and adds some safety in the event of a roll over.

 

I'm unlikely to want to take this proper racing as I own a turbo charged MK2 MX5 endurance race car with a couple of mates.

 

22306813013_8a61092667_o.jpgUntitled by Nicholas Horne, on Flickr

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Tbh I'd have said rear cage offers very little other than a harness bar and roll over protection. The front elements of the cage and the cross bars are what will stop the chassis flex front to rear.

 

 

 

Sent from my SM-G950F using Tapatalk

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The extra weight is a penalty too far I think. The rear cafe will allow me to fit harnesses to really feel what the car is doing. That’s a big win for me. Funds then need to aimed at replacing the AP Coilovers.

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The extra weight is a penalty too far I think. The rear cafe will allow me to fit harnesses to really feel what the car is doing. That’s a big win for me. Funds then need to aimed at replacing the AP Coilovers.
Agreed on replacing the APs.

 

Sent from my SM-G950F using Tapatalk

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Update time, been a bit remiss as usual.

After Christmas it was time to get my wallet out and splash the cash. First up was a rear 4 point cage from the excellent AMS Fabrication near Goodwood.

39771750123_64c10d66a2_c.jpgUntitled by Nicholas Horne, on Flickr

39771750103_77d4fbda52_c.jpgUntitled by Nicholas Horne, on Flickr

31795506437_ea6df3629e_c.jpgUntitled by Nicholas Horne, on Flickr

Really stoked with it and can't recommend Sam enough. He has Jigs for MINI and MX5s so give him a shout if your after some roll over protection.

I then went to Autosport and bought some new seats as the Monaco Pro was not at all comfortable fo me and I knew from having them in an MX5 that Sparco Sprints fit me like a glove.

39889058303_2cc547b3e1_c.jpgUntitled by Nicholas Horne, on Flickr

39889058283_ed8ec31c2e_c.jpgUntitled by Nicholas Horne, on Flickr

Mid fitting snack

45939380895_5578a468ee_c.jpgUntitled by Nicholas Horne, on Flickr

And in with the belts.

45939381695_0dc94ff5ae_c.jpgUntitled by Nicholas Horne, on Flickr

Now the belts I already had from my old supercharged MX5 and so I fitted them. The general consensus seems to be that they look terrible with the blue seats and I'm inclined to agree. Black belts added to the shopping list.

Next up is getting a livery applied to it this weekend but as usual it's decided to throw a hissy fit and is firing coolant out of the expansion tank. Bloody thing!!!!!!!!!!

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Really chuffed with this weekends progress. I've always loved the look of the Kanjo cars from Japan. Essentially illegal street racers and there's a good thread on them over at retro rides: http://forum.retro-rides.org/thread/177945/kanjo-style-introduction

Here's a couple of examples:

660d5b-GTA5%202016-11-01%2012-36-01-20.j

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thailand-honda-day-2018-kanjo-style-civi

So I wanted to emulate that style on the mini and my friend Josh has a vinyl plotter so we ordered a bunch of sticky back plastic and this is the result.

46850615662_5fc5d02f1c_c.jpgUntitled by Nicholas Horne, on Flickr

39937910623_dc50fd0eeb_c.jpgUntitled by Nicholas Horne, on Flickr

39937910793_f65e102ed9_c.jpgUntitled by Nicholas Horne, on Flickr

Got a few more bits to do, like a sun strip, but I need a replacement screen first. 

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Went out and got some proper shots of the car now the livery is coming along nicely. Big shout out to https://blackflag-labs.co.uk for helping make the livery idea a reality. 

46315164044_2ffdbcf3a1_c.jpgIMG_0764 by Nicholas Horne, on Flickr

46315161714_cd8f49cfd9_c.jpgIMG_0768 by Nicholas Horne, on Flickr

46315146054_3b74dc4dd4_c.jpgIMG_0782 by Nicholas Horne, on Flickr

46987132352_1c64acef1a_c.jpgIMG_0779 by Nicholas Horne, on Flickr

46987139222_091c26f811_c.jpgIMG_0772 by Nicholas Horne, on Flickr

46315143154_39af853cf8_c.jpgIMG_0788 by Nicholas Horne, on Flickr

46987137832_4268d7cb8f_c.jpgIMG_0775 by Nicholas Horne, on Flickr

32097416707_ec037abe30_c.jpgIMG_0789 by Nicholas Horne, on Flickr

46987136612_e404da108d_c.jpgIMG_0776 by Nicholas Horne, on Flickr

46315150934_f706982d32_c.jpgIMG_0777 by Nicholas Horne, on Flickr

47039042031_3405b412a1_c.jpgIMG_0791 by Nicholas Horne, on Flickr

I've also been accepted into the paddock for Players Classic @ Goodwood weekend of June 22nd which I'm really excited about. The players guys always put on a good show and Goodwood is such an awesome place.

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