I figure these tips might be useful for anyone else looking to go what i like to call beast mode mini, "BMM"
beast mode mini:
for this one I put in a 2.5 inch lift kit. These things are not too expensive and moderatly difficult to install, see the parts list at the end but essentially you,
drop the struts from the strut towers and since you have it dropped you should be installing new struts and if the car is old with original suspension get new strut mounts.
Before dropping the struts, get your self a package of the plastic wheel housing retainer screws, you will break many removing the wheel well.
They are called "#6 clip" Mini Cooper Wheel Arch Fastener #6 Clip Oem Gen1 R
so you drop the struts and strut mounts, note before taking them off take a look if the strut mount tower is shroom'd up (a bit rounded), if so once you have the strut out bang down the tower
with a block of wood, sounds like a hack but i did this on mine and the wheel is straight and it drives perfectly straight down the highway at high speed.
tip on getting the front struts out:
#1 pay attention as to the orentiation of the spring and assemply as it is on the vehical and how the spring is positioned on the strut, before removing. (take a picture, or mark it)
1. use a torch to get the "strut pinch bolt" this is the large bolt at the bottom of the strut area, it connects the wheel assembly / knuckle to the strut. Heat this up,
I broke one of mine and had to take it to a machine shop. I heated the other side and it came right off. just becareful not to heat the cv boot, or heat up the breaklines. I used bungie cords
on mine to pull the brake lines up and out of the way, and used as small trowel to be a heat shield for any areas that could melt.
2. get a sping compressor, and compress the spring as you remove the strut.
3. use a small pry bar to easy the strut out of the body.
Once you have the struts out, i changed them with new Monroe struts, to do this I used a 21mm spark plug type socket.
the type of socket that has a bolt on the end I could get a 19mm open end wrench over.
Trying to use vice grips on a round socket is a hack, and grinding it is not an option. Also It made life easier to heat up the top of the strut spring retaining nut.
use an allen wrench and spark plug type socket, along with cresent wrench to take the nut off.
then take the spring assemply and put it on the new strut.
tips on getting the rear off:
1. loosen the top two bolts, and remove the bottom large bolt. I heated the bottom, the top came right off, and I would not recommend trying to heat these.
Also note the gas tank is on the drivers side infront of the tire, so becareful with fire.
1. in the front, put the lift-kit spacers in the strut housing first, and just barely start all three nuts, let the spacer dangle.
2. using the spring compressor, with the nut end up top of the strut wiggle the strut under the body,
you might need to use a pry bar and roll the strut mount into the body little by little. turning the wheel helps too. This is a two person job. Once you have the strut in place you drop the lift-kit
spacer down onto the strut and then install the lift-kit spacer to the shock mount, and then you lift the whole assembly into the shock tower and secure.
3. For the rear, slip the new shock assembly into place from the front of the car towards the rear. once you can see the top of the shock insert the spacer and then lift the
assembly to the top (note the shock mount has a certain orentiation, it basically tilts outwards // from the body you should make noe of the orientation before rmeoval,
but if oyu forgot spin it into place till it fits. once you have it positioned insert the upper mounting bolts that come with the kit. my kit came with a nut / bolt assemply but i only used the
longer bolts on the back because my rear shock towers are threaded. To put the bottom shock bolt on, I used a 2x4 as a leaver to push the rear control arm down and get the shock bolt in.
MINI COOPER LIFT KIT - Journeys Off Road
amazon struts / shocks / strut mount assembly ... I just got OEM, and they work great... for all the suspension 300 bucks.