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…
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.
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!