View Full Version : WTB - Defenders of Speed INTAKE & other 2nd GEN parts...

11-16-2012, 10:40 PM
Hello everyone. :)

Looks like I'll be joining the Mini club as of this upcoming week. I'm picking up a 2007 Cooper S (one of the better ones I've seen among the many lemons). :o

I'm looking to purchase the following components if anyone is selling theirs:

Defenders of Speed Cold Air Intake (and associated dry filter, modified uppper bulkhead, narrow T-bolt clamp)
Alta Turbo Inlet tube and/or Hot Side Boost Tube.
Sprint Booster (manual version)
Uprated Diverter Valve
Borla "S-Type" Cat-back Exhaust System

If there's anything else I may have missed, or perhaps you'd like to suggest any other worthwhile component upgrades, please feel free to contact me by pm. Thank you. :)

Tata Steva
11-17-2012, 12:02 AM
I have a brand new set of Turbo Inlet tube and Hot Side Boost Tube, not from Alta but from NM Eng ( arguably better quality than Alta...).
I got it when I had 2008 Clubman S, but never installed it on it. Once I got 2011 S, I decided not to put it on N18 engine after all...
If you are interested, shoot me a PM...

11-18-2012, 02:42 AM
I'm probably going to catch some flack for this, but here's my take on upgrades:

The Boost Tubes aren't worth getting apart from aesthetics - the numbers just don't support the cost. A lot of people say they get faster throttle response or turbo spool and whatnot, but repeated dyno tests have shown it's mostly a bit of a I-just-spent-a-lot-of-money-on-something placebo effect. Kinda like really expensive audiophile gear. (This is the one that'll probably get me the most flack). You can actually emulate the same performance increase by putting an 8" long piece of 3" diameter PVC or aluminium piping to replace the intake side muffler, and putting a neoprene plumbing plug into the entrance to the noisemaker on the other side. Not as pretty though.

The DoS CAI is my personal favorite of the CAIs, but you have to bear in mind that it (like all the others) will provide negligible performance increase (especially not the 5+HP that Alta claim from theirs). It does however get you a lot more turbo noise in the cabin (which is why it's my favorite). The stock intake isn't actually that restrictive, and the air it pulls in from the front of the car is as cold as the DoS. Others, like the Alta or open cone ones actually pull warmer air from the engine bay which should perform worse - but it still doesn't make that big a difference.

The Sprint Booster is junk - a lot of what it does is negated by the OBC. There's a lot of unsatisfied people with them - for all there's the handful who are. If you're looking for plug-and-play performance like that, get an AccessPORT from Alta. A used one will set you back in the region of $700, but it's generally rated as one of the best performance mods in terms of bang-for-buck. It's a tool that lets you reflash the ECU for performance gains. It's been repeatedly dyno proven (by people other than Alta), and it's much beloved on North American Motoring.

Plus you basically get a lifetime access to the Alta/Cobb Tunes, so as you upgrade your car with the appropriate parts (high-flow downpipe and uprated intercooler) you can uprate your tune to Stage 2 and 3 to match (and even 4+ if you start eking into meth injection). It also has options for 91 or 92+ octane fuel, as well as an Ultra Linear Throttle option (which does what the sprint booster claims to do).

Add to that you're also tied into their customer service for life (even with a used one), so if you ever have problems with a map you can email them your logs and they'll fire you back a couple of options to try for fixes. I have one, and I love it. It makes an amazing difference to the feel of the car - I hate the drive to the dealership, just because I have to uninstall it first.

Uprated diverter valve - Either DoS or Alta (I forget which) sell just the spring, which is massively cheaper than a full replacement. Don't both with any vent-to-atmosphere types (Forge, HKS SSQ, etc) as they throw the engine into CELs followed by boost cuts and limp mode - the system is pretty finely balanced by the sensors. Another one you'll find people excited to be buying and then a month or two later noting that they've uninstalled them again.

Cat-back exhaust system - again, I'm assuming you know this will prettymuch just give you more noise. The flow restriction on the exhaust line is 70% in the downpipe - and huge performance gains can be gotten from replacing it. A used RISS catless pipe can be had relatively cheap ($500), or you can see if you can get a local exhaust shop to fab one up. Catted cost a little more. The queen of downpipes is the Akrapovic, but that'll set you back about $1000.

So, what I'd recommend?

Well, what I was recommended when I asked, and what I learned from the forums, is that it's generally preferable to skip power and go for handling first. The S is a solid performer for its size, and it's not like you really get to use a lot of the high performance off the track, unlike handling boosts. (I ignored this and got the AccessPORT first... no regrets.)

Get an uprated rear sway bar and one of the poly torque arm inserts. Both are relatively cheap (the NM torque arm insert is around $60), and have been proven time and again to make a huge difference to the handling of the car - the insert stops the engine moving around as much, reducing torque steer and improving shifting; and the sway bar tightens up the back end in corners.

But for performance: I cannot sing the praises of the AccessPORT loud enough (unless you were planning on a custom dyno tune - which the AccessPORT also supports, depending on your tuner), followed by the downpipe and intercooler upgrades. The intercooler is a huge cost dump , regardless of who you go with (Alta, Helix and Forge are the top 3 brands in no particular order), but is another proven horsepower upgrade. Basically, "tune, downpipe, intercooler" have always been the holy trinity of performance for the R56.

As for aesthetics: DOS CAI for cabin noise, and downpipe / cat back exhaust of your choice or noise for everyone else.

Like I said - probably going to get some flack (goes with having opinions), but i'm 95% confident in what I've said and that it can be backed up with dyno numbers. The NorthAmericanMotoring.com forums are also a very good place to do your research.

Hopefully that ramble was of some use to you!

11-18-2012, 02:54 AM
Noo... I wrote up a really long reply to this, and it seems to have been eaten by the gremlins. Here's a quickie retread:

Boost tubes: Not worth the money, I'm afraid. Dyno tests are showing that the perceived benefits suffer a lot from buyer-justification. Not to mention you can actually emulate the same performance gains by doing an intake muffler delete with some 3" aluminium/pvc piping; and then blocking off the noisemaker with an expanding plug.

Sprint booster: Again, not worth the money. It's just not enough of an upgrade for the cost, and a lot of it is actually negated by the OBC correcting for it. If you want some plug-and-play performance, the Alta AccessPORT is the way to go. A used one will set you back around $700, but it's a pretty amazing bit of kit. The original version of this post had a long ramble about all it can do for you - so here's the short version: dynoproven (by people other than Alta) performance gains, a wide variety of tuning options (91 or 92+ octane, ultra-linear-throttle, Stage 1 - 3 as you get other upgrades, lifetime access to the Cobb and Alta tunes as they get updates, lifetime access to their support team if you have problems they'll email you out customised maps to fix them, and support for custom tunes from either Alta or independent tuners.). It's raved about on North American Motoring - check out the 100+ page thread there for more.

Uprated diverter valve: Save yourself some money and get the spring from Alta. It's the only part that actually changes, and it's significantly cheaper to DIY it than buy a whole unit. Avoid any vent-to-atmosphere types like the Forge or HKS SSQ, as they throw CELs followed by boost cuts as the sensors aren't able to rectify the sudden pressure drops with what was requested. It's one you see people excited to install, then uninstalling several weeks later.

Borla Catback: I'm assuming you know that this is a sound only upgrade (70% of the restriction in the exhaust line is the downpipe, 25% is the second cat and resonator) - and it's a good one. Do a listen around of the other exhausts if you haven't yet, but cat-back exhausts are entirely a matter of personal opinion. (I have a soft spot for the NM one myself)

DoS CAI: Again, I'm assuming you know this is a sound only upgrade. The stock air box isn't very restrictive, and the air it pulls from the front of the car is just as cold as that from the DoS. The DoS is my favourite of the CAIs though - I love the unique design, and I love the boost to the in-cabin turbo noises it gives; just don't expect any real change in performance. And, obviously if you're picking the DoS, avoid the open-filter designs like the Alta or NM as they pull warm air from the engine bay - although again, this makes negligible actual performance difference. Equally, I'm dubious of the ram air intake that's available - I was always under the impression that ram intakes were compeltely pointless on a non-naturally aspirated engine. But it would be cold air. I guess.

Ok, so all that said... what would I recommend?

What I was told way back when I first got into looking into this was to consider this: the only place you'll really enjoy uprated power is on the track, wheras uprated handling is good every day. I promptly ignored this and bought an AccessPORT, and while I can't say I regret that, I do see the point.

The NM torque arm bushings are thrown about as the best bang for buck mod - they're only $60, and they make a drastic change to how the engine behaves. They damp down a lot of the engine motion, reducing torque steer and making shifting smoother. They're one of the handful of mods I've actually seen no complaints about. Additionally, for around $200 upgrading to a stiffer rear sway bad (19mm is good, 21mm is overkill) significantly alters the cars feel under handling, and drastically reduces body roll - another mod I see no compalints about. Beyond that you could look at new springs or even coilovers - but you're heading into the $1000+ territory again.

For power, I can't sing the praises of the AccessPORT enough. It provides a healthy boost at stock, and it scales with you as you increase your hardware, without requiring expensive dyno tune time. Obviously, it's a canned tune so it won't get you every fractional pony out of the engine, but it'll get you most of the way there. But there's a holy trinty to power, a mantra that's oft repeated on the forums: Tune, Downpipe, Intercooler. And they're your three major upgrade points.

A cheap catless downpipe like a used RISS will cost you in the region of $500, and the 'holy grail' Akrapovic pipe will set you back around $1000. Another brand or a custom fab can be anywhere inbetween. A high flow cat, or a catless pipe, will make a huge difference to the flow in your exhaust (as well as giving it a much meatier sound under load), improving everything from turbo spool to throttle response. They will throw a CEL, but a good tune (including the AccessPORT) will prevent that occuring; and is essential to actually gain benefit from them.

The intercooler is going to be similarly expensive - Alta, Helix and Forge are the three go-to brands here. They can effect much larger changes on the charge air temperatures than the tiny stock intercooler, and subsequently have a dramatic effect on power output. Again, a tune is essential to make the most of them.

Beyond that you start getting really expensive - uprated turbos, methanol injection, and upgrating pistons and heads.

Oh - and if you don't already have one, get an oil catch can. I have the BSH one, which is one of the cheapest ($180), but one of the well thought of. As for why? The PCV system in the engine vents the crankcase fumes into the intake, the idea being to burn them more completely and improve emissions. In practice, this coats the back of the intake valves in a layer of crap that then gets baked on by the heat of the engine. In a standard engine, the fuel is injected in the intake, and gasoline being a lovely solvent keeps it all sparkling. The prince engine is direct injected - so the gunk stays there, and gradually makes a royal mess of the intakes. Cleaning it by yourself is difficult but doable, and cleaning by the dealer is crazy expensive. The best solution is a catch can, which condenses all the crap out, to stop it happening in the first place (or at least severely delay it). Look up "carbon buildup" on either the NAM forums, or even youtube to see some pretty horrible pictures of what happens.

I may well get a lot of flack for my opinions in this - but I'll stand by the research I did. There are enough independent verifications of my opinions on the various forums, that I'm reasonably confident in what I've suggested. I do, however, encourage you to get on the Mini2 and NorthAmericanMotoring forums to do your own research on everything you buy before you buy it.

Hopefully this was at least useful, even if you end up ignoring it all ;)

11-19-2012, 01:41 PM
This is what you need:



11-19-2012, 07:49 PM
I agree :D

This is what you need:



11-20-2012, 09:41 PM
Thank you everyone for the valuable input. :)

I wasn't looking to purchase all of these parts at once, of course, but they are pieces that I'm interested in looking at throughout the course of my ownership.

I have a limited budget to work with for the moment, but will review my current options, including a discounted FORGE intercooler ($130) I found shipped new from the manufacturer.

11-20-2012, 11:35 PM
Hey an2,

Thanks for the frank and informed post. It's informative and helpful. I appreciate your taking the time to write.

11-22-2012, 07:37 PM
including a discounted FORGE intercooler ($130)

... Are there any more? :eek:

11-22-2012, 07:44 PM
... Are there any more? :eek:


Here we are. :) Apparently the exact same product as the FORGE intercooler, without the branding.

I'm still on the fence as to what to consider as an initial mod. It seems many would consider the intercooler a good first step.

(Thanks again for your incredibly detailed response, an2!)