Powerflex Engine Support Bushing - Race vs. Sport Review

Yes, as everyone always tells me, Im never just content. I loved how my Mini felt with the sport (yellow) Powerflex Engine Support Bushing installed but the second I installed it I kept asking myself what the race support bushing would feel like, so I bought a race (black) bushing to test and hopefully help anyone else with the same question.

Doing my research on which one of the bushings to buy, I always keep reading that the race bushing vibrated the car "a lot". It was hard for me to quantify how much "a lot" is so that is really the reason I decided to test both. I kept each bushing in for two weeks before I put a review down. I wanted to give each one a chance to break in a bit. Each one was tested with the black insert in as well.

I first need to say that this mod should be one of the top five mods a Mini owner does. It is relatively inexpensive, $70ish, compared to coils, chips etc.. and will take you about 30mis to complete. It is hard to describe how much better shifting is until you do this bushing switch or actually, you don't realize how bad the stock shifting is with the stock bushing in. 

With the Race (black) Powerflex bushing in, my car shifts like it is an automatic. Virtually all the slop is gone, the engine movement is eliminated and the shifting is so precise it will make you smile. 

You can't go wrong with either the Sport or Race Powerflex Engine Support Bushing installed. With that being said, the race bushing definitely isn't for every driver. 

The Race bushing does vibrate the car a lot around the 500-1000 rpm range. The best way to describe the vibration is if you start a car in 2nd or 3rd gear from a complete stop. That kind of vibration but louder. I keep my back seats down so I have a feeling it is amplified a little bit but regardless it is loud when you are in that rpm range.

Its the craziest thing though, just a small amount of pressure on the pedal to get it to the 1000rpm mark and all the vibration is gone, almost silent. If you are stuck in bumper to bumper rush hour traffic it could get a little annoying. I've been in traffic a few times and I don't really notice it that much anymore.

I have the black insert installed and one day I might take that out to see if the vibration is reduced, but right now I'm happy with it in and don't see the need to take it out, you will get used to the vibration. 

The race bushing is heavier so I'm sure the added material that makes it stiffer also makes it vibrate more:

Stock - 233g
Sport - 377g
Race - 381g

I am the only person that drives my car and I basically want my Mini to drive and feel like a Mini UK Challenge car. I've had straight piped STi's so loudness never bothered me, in fact, I love it. Now if this was a family car, use the sport (yellow) bushing. Since I'm the only one driving my Mini, the noise isn't an issue. Having a significant other and kids in the car who don't appreciate the incredible shifting might not tolerate the noise. 

I apologize for the long-winded way of saying, I'm sticking with the Race Powerflex Engine Support Bushing just for the simple fact that it makes the shifting of my Mini incredible. If you are worried about the noise then go with the Sport (yellow) Powerflex Engine Support Bushing. It is a lot quieter but I just think the shifting with the race bushing is a little nicer.

Regardless of what color you pick, do this bushing change. The improvement in your shifting will be amazing. ..... and you can feel like a Mini Challenge driver.

Email me with any questions!! - Email

Powerflex Engine Support Bushing Install

I never realized how much of a difference stiffer bushings make. I replaced a few bushings in other cars I've had and really liked the results. I haven't changed any in my Mini yet and after reading about the Powerflex engine support bushing and the benefits I decided to make that my first replacement bushing.

Everything online made the install seem ....... seem pretty simple. Just take out the stick bushing and push in the new Powerflex engine support bushing in. Well, after about 45 minutes I realized the instructions lied. 

Man, the stock bushing is really in there. There were a few holes so I could get a screwdriver in and pull out a side but 75% of it wasn't moving. I tried WD-40, PB Blaster and good old fashioned muscle. Finally, after close to giving up hope, I got the stock bushing out! 

After I got it out I could see why I was only getting one side out at a time, it's virtually hollow. No wonder it flexes so much. There really isn't anything in the middle.

Side by side, you can really see how much nice the Powerflex engine support bushing is, it's basically a solid piece of material. The weight difference is impressive too.

Installing the new bushing was rather easy. You just cover the bushing with the supplied grease and push both sides in. I used a small floor jack to push the support up so I could push the engine forward to reinstall the 11mm bolt. I also put in the optional black piece to add a little more stiffness. 

After everything was put back together I took my Mini for a drive. There is a little more vibration in the steering wheel, probably due to the black insert, but it's extremely minor. The shifting felt a little crisper which was what I was looking for. 

I'll take it on a longer road test, but initially, the shifting is very nice. Given how stiff the bushing is, engine movement is minimal now with this new Powerflex engine support bushing. 

Milltek Catless and Resonator Delete Midpipe

My Mini came with the upgraded JCW exhaust so getting a new exhaust was always out of the question. I hated the idea of having two catalytic converters within a foot of each other though. Heck, I hated even having cats but that's a different story.

One day after looking at some exhaust parts I got the idea of trying to fit a catless and resonator free midpipe to my setup. I was able to get a UK spec midpipe from Miltek for sale online and it was exactly what I was looking for, no cat and no resonator. The plan was to cut out my stock midpipe and replace it with the new Miltek one. 

I found a local exhaust shop and after 3 hours, my exhaust hack was complete. There were a few hiccups but nothing major. The JCW pipe width was the same as the Milteck pipe, 2.75" so to make a slipfit connection the new pipe had to be stretched so the stock pipe would, well, slip in. 

I decided to get the two pipes welded at the rear axle. Originally my thought was to have it a slipfit back there but realized I wasn't going to be switching pieces around. 

The last road bump was the heat shield. Thankfully that material is flexible because we had to bend a bunch of it to stop the pipes from rubbing, again, no big deal.

All in all, I love how it turned out. I have the JCW Bluetooth system so if its too loud I can just close the flap. After starting it up and taking it for a drive, loudness isn't going to be an issue. Its a little louder than stock but the pops and bangs are more frequent and a bit louder. I love it! 

Eventually I will get a new downpipe but for now. I love how my Mini sounds!

CravenSpeed Short Throw Shifter

New week, new mod! 

This week's addition was something I have done to every manual car I've ever had, install a short throw shifter. I installed the awesome adjustable CravenSpeed short throw shifter.

I was never a big fan, ok, hated, how tall the stock shifter was. It felt like I was shifting a NASCAR at times. The range of height adjustment for the new shifter is pretty amazing. I have it set to its lowest level and it is perfect. I can't imagine ever raising it. If I needed to, then you just unscrew a collar, pull up and screw it down to lock it. Pretty simple. 

You don't realize how sloppy and how big the range of shifting travel is on the stock setup until you get a new shifter. This shifter reduces travel drastically! I don't think my shift knob goes past the diameter of the little shift circle housing. I don't know the exact travel reduction but I'm guessing its about 30-40%.

One underrated feature of the new shifter is the supplied bushings. Those are a must install. They eliminate the loose sloppy feeling found in the stock shifter. When I shift it almost feels like a magnet is pulling the lever into gear. The slop and delay is gone when you shift between gears giving me a clean and accurate shift. 

Overall, besides lowering springs/coilovers and a rear sway bar, this is definitely a "must do Mini mod". The shifter is one of the most used parts in a Mini so might as well give feel back to the driver. The CravenSpeed adjustable short throw shifter does just that. 

Yes, the Mini is a go-kart already, but now its really a go-kart!!

Good-Bye Ugly Wheel Gap!

I've had my Mini close to a year now and ever since day 1 that horrible wheel gap bothered me. I finally had enough and got her lowered! 

Further Performance in Minneapolis did a very professional job of installing my Bilstein B14 coilovers and also my NM 22mm rear sway bar and end links. 

Granted it is still winter in Minnesota so my Blizzaks are still on but I can instantly feel the advantage of having a lowered Mini. The slop in the steering wheel is instantly gone. When I turn, it turns. The delay of when I turn to when the car turns is gone.

With the soft sidewalls of my winter setup, it is really hard to get a true sense of what the coilovers and swaybar will mean to handling but I'm pretty excited about the results so far. 

Once I get my summer rims and wheels on I will lower the rear a little bit more. Then drive the heck out of it!