Vibra-Technics Motor Mount

After destroying two upper motor mounts and two exhaust flex joints in successive track weekends, I decided to try a more robust motor mount to see if I could reduce some engine movement. Vibra Technics makes two versions of this mount for Gen 1 MINI and this is the track (harder) version.

My first thought when it arrived was that it belonged in a museum. It was beautiful.

Installation is actually fairly simple. Get the car up on jack stands in the front. Remove the right road wheel and fender liner. Support the engine from below with a jack to relieve pressure on the mount. Remove the grounding strap from the mount carrier and the vapor return line which is in the way. Loosen but do not remove the nut at the top of the mount. Remove the four bolts holding the mount support to the top of the engine. Remove the nut at the top of the mount and carefully remove the upper mount support. Remove the stock Torx bolt from the bottom of the mount. Remove the side bolt and the stock mount should pull free. Installation is the reverse of removal.

I also replaced the lower dog-bone mount earlier with a semi-solid mount from Torque Solutions.

So what was the net result? I accomplished my first goal, completing over 200 track miles without breaking anything. An interesting side effect was to lower lap time by almost a second. To be fair, I made two changes to the car for this weekend: I replaced the motor mounts and I ADDED 50 lbs to the rear end of the car. I think the combination of better balance and less wheel hop gave me higher apex speeds. Here’s a lap.

How is it on the street? It’s probably not a combination you want to use on your daily driver. NVH is definitely increased. Depending on your RPM, the vibration through the steering wheel could make your fingers go numb. On the track, or any time you are constantly working through the revs, I can’t say I noticed. But cruising at steady speed — brutal.

Since the upper mount can be changed in about 30 minutes once you figure it out, I swapped back to a new OEM top mount and left the lower mount. That does have some increased NVH over stock, but it’s a good compromise. And next time I have a track weekend, I’ll drop the Vibra-Technics back in before heading out.

Daily driver on the track?

I often hear from my non-track friends, “I want to go to the track, but I don’t really have a track car.” Well here’s a video of me driving my daughter’s 2009 BMW E90 328i automatic with all-season tires. Sure it’s 10 seconds off the pace of my track car, but what a hoot. So, yes, take your daily driver to the track.

Shenandoah Circuit, yes, in the rain….

One more BMWCCA DE, one more soggy weekend. All three events this year were wet at some point this year. The Shenandoah circuit is usually a very fun circuit, but I got caught out on the wrong tires. My worn Falkens were no match for the amount of water on the track and became rock hard once the temperature dropped. Still a bad day at the track is better than most days at work.

Lap of the Extended Jefferson Circuit in the Rain

Continuing the theme of recent posts this soggy summer, here’s a wet lap of the Summit Point Extended Jefferson Circuit.  The most challenging part was the new turn 4 which is the transition from the old circuit to the new(ish) extension.  There isn’t enough grip to get enough weight transfer to turn-in, so you end up turning in early and just managing your way through the apex. You also had to be careful about getting back on the power at the top of the hill between turns 6 and 7.  If you had any steering input still in when you got back on the power, the car would sort of slide off the top of the track to the outside. Some of the data inserts are a little funky, like one corner shows corner speed of zero. Still loads of fun though.  Here’s the lap: