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Mini Cooper S R56 – 300bhp project

When we purchased our 2007 Mini Cooper S it was in a sorry state. We purchased it having been told the bottom end had gone. Being that we intended to do a full engine build on the car with a 300bhp target this wasn’t really an issue for us.


So we set abbrokenchainsout stripping the car down and removing the engine. When we had the engine on the stand we set about removing the cam cover to find that the chain guides were all smashed and the chain was devoid of all tension which as most of us know is a common R56 N14 issue.

On further inspection there seemed to be no valve damage so we flipped the engine over and removed the sump to get access the main bearings. We removed a couple of the carriers and to our delight there was no damage to the bottom end. Clearly the noise from the engine was a noisy chain and guides knocking around, which was a pleasant surprise.

Heavily coked inlet valves

Having fully stripped the engine it was apparent that it was in good condition considering it had covered 100k miles! However, looking at the state of the inlet valves I’m sure it was considerably down on power. During dyno testing we regularly see a 20+ bhp gain by having the inlet valves walnut blasted.

The Engine was then industrially cleaned. The head was treated to Supertech valves, valve springs and titanium retainers. The blocked was bored to 77.5mm, 0.5mm oversize. We installed lower compression 10.5:1 forged pistons with matched forged rods.

New oil pump

The short engine was rebuilt using competition bearings throughout. A new oil pump was installed, obviously not worth risking the whole build on a 100k old pump! New OEM chains guides and modified tensioner were installed. The rest of the engine was reassembled, gearbox refitted with JCW dual mass flywheel and clutch plate, we were keen to keep the feel of the drive as OEM as possible. However, 300bhp is probably on the limit of the OEM clutch, time would tell!

Once the engine and gearbox were back in the car we installed all the OEM air box, exhaust and intercooler, we wanted to run the new motor in before we started any power increases.

After the Mini had run flawlessly for 1000 miles we had it back in to the workshop to start the fun.

We replaced the standard turbo with a JCW Borg Warner which we intend to hybridise later down the line.

Turbo & Downpipe Install

Exhaust wise we went for a scorpion downpipe mated to the Akrapovic evolution system, which is in our opinion the best exhaust you can buy for your mini. The Scorpion and Akrapovic are both available in our online shop (Akrapovic) (Scorpion).

AEM Intake

After much deliberation about an intake solution we went for the AEM kit. AEM claim 15-17bhp gains! We will see what it does on our car.. That said the kit is fantastic, it looks and fits amazing and the build quality is exceptional, worth the money in our eyes.


Manic Intercooler

The Intercooler we fitted is the Manic Motorsport cooler that we have been developing with Peron and Manic. It really is a quality UK built item and surpasses the other intercoolers we have seen, Fitment is perfect and doesn’t require the usual trimming and destroying of the OEM from bumper. The Intercooler performs amazingly, completely eliminating heat soak. It really is a fantastic product. Again it’s available here.

Finally to make the hardware run optimally we remapped the car using the best software available, Manic. We flashed the STG3 map running mode C which is the most aggressive.

The result of all this is a fantastic quick drivable car with excellent torque. It really is a very quick car which out paces many of the big engined German coupes and saloons.

Dyno results to follow!

If you would like any further information about our Mini tuning packages then feel free to drop in or give us a ring on 01142 701025 or alternately email us at







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