Improved Foot / Car Interface

In specifying and modifying my MINI, I’ve paid a lot of attention to the man/machine interfaces:

  • Spec’ed leather seats – because I like the way they feel.
  • Ditched the rubber mats for coco mats – partially because of the feel of the rubber mats
  • Replaced my OEM tach/speedo domes with Optium to reduce glare.
  • Wrapped my steering wheel with a wheelskin for improved fattness and feel.
  • Replaced the OEM Armrest with the Euro Armrest to match my elbow position.
  • Modified my fire extinguisher mount to be exactly the right extension and height.
  • Carefully positioned my GPS, phone, radar detector controls, G-Timer, ScanGauge, driving light switch, etc. for optimal usage.
  • Replaced the OEM shift knob and e-brake handles with skull knob and aluminum UJ handles – for both feel and appearance.
  • Wrapped the Chrono Pack face with black satin vinyl to reduce glare and improve eye-appeal of the gauge cluster.
  • Added the Euro Parcel Shelf for easy-to-reach storage.
  • Added the MCAW window circuit to make it easier and quicker to control my windows.

But there was still one major interface I hadn’t done anything about – the foot/pedal interface…

cleanfloor.jpg

The OEM accelerator and dead pedal are a little slippery with some shoes… and the OEM brake pedal cover is rubber and is genuinely “squishy”…. which reduces brake feel and modulation. Especially given all the other things I’ve done to improve the performance and feel of my brakes (Carbotech pads, ATE rotors, stainless lines, bronze guide bushings, SuperBlue fluid…), I really want to get that last bit of “squish” out of the interface… and a little more bling is usually a good thing…

So last night, I installed a set of Outmotoring pedal covers. These come in sets for automatic and manual transmissions, and in a couple of different styles. The “classic” style has large round “cleats” on the brake, clutch (if you have one) and dead pedals for improved grip. The “race” style has more of a “waffle” pattern machined on the brake and clutch pedals, and the same round cleats on the dead pedal. Both styles have an enlarged, smooth accelerator pedal that helps with heel/toe shifting technique on manual transmission cars. They are machined from thick plate aluminum and have a satin bead blasted finish.

img_3301.jpg

Installation isn’t trivial, but is straightforward. You remove the OEM brake (and clutch, if you have one) pedal covers – they just pop off. You drill holes and screw or bolt the new pedal covers in place. This is mostly easy, except for drilling the metal brake pedal, which is a serious PITA due to the curvature of the pedal and the location you’re working in. It’s very difficult to get the drill perpendicular to the face of the pedal near the top… so the bit tends to “skate” as you attempt to drill the first pilot hole… it’s do-able, but it took a lot of attempts for me to get it. A right-angle drill would come in handy here.

In lieu of a detailed installation write-up, I’ll point you to Russell Cory’s blog – he did a great write-up that helped me!

Here’s the end result – I love the improved feel of the brake pedal, especially. And I love the more aggressive look!

img_3316.jpg

4 Comments

  1. I wondered how a full metal pedal is less slippery than a metal pedal with rubber ribs? Nice looking though.

  2. Good question!

    The OEM accelerator and dead pedal actually have plastic ribs, not rubber. And are slippery with hard soled shoes or wet rubber soled shoes. The OEM brake and clutch pedals have rubber ribs, but can still be slippery when wet (though not as bad as the plastic ribbed pedals). In contrast, the smooth aluminum accelerator pedal isn’t supposed to be “sticky” – you want your foot to slide easily off it to brake. But it’s not “slippery” when wet like the plastic is, either. The other aluminum pedals actually have raised metal “cleats” that grip your shoe sole quite well – much better than the plastic or rubber ribs… especially when wet… but you don’t want to use them barefoot… 🙂

  3. Interesting. I’ve never found them to be slippery but, here in SoCal we don’t get that many wet conditions.

    You surely have made your MINi your own with all the additions. Am I to presume you are British?

    BTW… I added your blog to my blogroll over at TwistyBlitz.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

You may use these HTML tags and attributes: <a href="" title=""> <abbr title=""> <acronym title=""> <b> <blockquote cite=""> <cite> <code> <del datetime=""> <em> <i> <q cite=""> <s> <strike> <strong>

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.