Dep-O Magazine

Mind The Gap

Gerard Hughes March 14, 2012 4 Comments on Mind The Gap

A sneaky afternoon at the lockup, and I managed to get the new suspension cones onto the Mini – I could call them Hi-Los, Adjustarides, or any other of a hundred trade names, but they’ll have to be height adjustable suspension cones/trumpets in the name of impartiality. At the front, I set them 5 mm shorter than the standard cones, which by my reckoning meant a ride height drop of around 20-25 mm. This fits nicely with Mini modifying law which says 5:1 – 5 mm shorter cone, 25 mm off the ride height. I stood back, then grabbed hold of the car and gave it good shaking to make sure it had all settled, and then stood back and had another look. It was acceptable.

At the rear, I couldn’t really remember the ratio. I’ve been around Minis for so long, sometimes the facts and the stuff I’ve made up for my own amusement gets a bit muddled. I must have once told someone new to the game that the rear ratio for lowering a Mini is 1:1. You know, it’s funny. Watching someone else sweat and skin their knuckles for a couple of hours, then laugh uncontrollably as they drop the car off the jack and the tyres sit tight against the arches. And the jack is buried in the floor.

So I pondered it for a bit. Then I plumped for 2:1. That sounded reasonable. Shorten them by 20 mm, ride height down by 40 mm. So I wound down the jack, and noticed it was stuck fast. And of course, you’d struggle to get your pinky between the tyre and the arch. Ah yes, it’s 3:1 on the rear, meaning the car had gone 60 mm closer to Mother Earth.

Mini - fitting Adjusta-rides

The grown up part of me just wants to dismiss the Mini’s stance as plain ridiculous. But the child has a different opinion. The child thinks it looks brilliant. I’m starting to wonder if this is some form of a mid life crisis. What next? Am I going to start wearing inappropriately tight trousers without a belt? Pretending to like music that you can’t hum along to?

I’ll wind it up a notch or two the next time I’m at the lockup. The child may well think it looks cool, but the grown up’s lower back won’t tolerate a lack of suspension for anything, not even impressing the teens. No-one will be paying too much attention anyway – not when I put those bright orange reverse rims on…

Mini - fitting Adjusta-rides

Mini - fitting Adjusta-rides

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