DIY brake ducts

Another informative set of “how-to” pics, this time adapting the dummy brake ducts in the GPs front bumper to be functional – all you need is drills, pipes, paint and bravery!

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(these are part numbers 51 117 182 627 and 51 117 182 628, if you prefer not to modify your only ones!)


Ric writes “I removed the bullet to allow more air to enter. If you wanted, you could not do that”




Ric writes “The air is forced in behind the rotor and out thru the wheel. This is not quite as effective as the JCW brake ducts but is GP specific and can be returned to stock. No cutting of radiator housing etc”

18 thoughts on “DIY brake ducts

  1. You could leave stock silver “intakes” with their propellers (bullets) in place for
    the stock look. I went with black just to see what it would look like. I was happy with the look, so I left them. I bet some one would want them RED.;-)
    I took the bullets out for better air flow.

  2. Great detail. The ducts apear to be a presure fit. Any tricks to getting them out and back?


  3. Five clips hold the intakes ducts in place. You can use a butter knife to depress the clips and remove the ducts. The clips hold the whole apparatus (ducts and tubes), even at speed. 🙂

  4. Let me get this straight…..the tube piece on the rear of the stock “intakes” looks to be a simple piece of 45 degree pvc tubing……what size, I wonder…..cut to length, and fitted through a hole in the panel behind, leading it right into the rotor.
    Very creative and easy! Plus, an awful lot cheaper than the JCW pieces, if obtainable.
    Nice! I say again! Good job, Ric!

  5. Peter, you pretty much have it. The tube is 2 1/2 id electrical PVC. I used a 3″ hole saw which gave me a tight fit. These ducts put air on the inside of the wheel/rotor but the air outlet is not as close to the rotor as the JCW setup. I have a set of the JCW ducts and they will get more air to the rear of the rotor. I opted
    to design these because the JCW units require much cutting and modification making it difficult to return my GP to original. PM me if you need more information.:-)

  6. Ric:

    My MINI dealer wouldnt order the GP ducts even though I bought the car from them. No GP parts ordered unless damaged orginal turned in. Did you have a problem getting the ducts from a MINI dealer?



  7. I think Jerry that MINI have got more strict about GP parts over time – Ric may have had an easier time if he ordered them a while ago …

  8. My friend ordered a set for his GP today. Gave the dealer his vin# and was good to go. Parts will be here Thursday. I think your parts person:
    a. Does not know how to order GP parts.
    b. Does not want to fool with it.
    c. Does not care.
    d. all of the above.

    Let me know if I can help. Good Luck!

  9. I am thinking about doing this myself, and wanted to ask a couple questions:

    1. How much did the ducts cost you?
    2. What did you paint them with?

    Rock on!

  10. 1. Not sure of the exact price of the ducts, can’t find my receipt. Around $60 ea.
    best I remember.
    2. Painted with Krylon Fusion which is made for plastic.

  11. I was starting on this, but I found a vent-shaped opening behind the little hole in the air-horn, so I just opened it up all the way without the tube. This will bring a lot of air in behind the wheel. It isn’t directed anywhere in particular, but then I’m not sure how much the short tubes would have helped. In race cars, they tend to run flexible tubing right onto the brakes, where the tubing is attached directly to the brake blowing on the caliper.

    I didn’t change the outside of the horn at all, so it still looks completely stock unless you look inside the horn and see air instead of the plastic plug. I don’t think the little center bullet will hurt too much: a laminar airflow should just pass right around it.

    Anyway, another, somewhat simpler option.

    As a note, be careful with the hole saw. Unless the drill bit in the center is really seated, the hole saw will escape and potentially scratch exterior parts.

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