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  • Writer's pictureGeorge Tsakonopoulos

R53 Charge pipe frequently asked questions.

Updated: May 6, 2021

Do I need to change something on the car?

No, our kit is a plug and play unit. All the necessary hardware for installation comes with the kit.

Does it fit?

Yes, without modifying your car at all. It keeps the OEM mounting points.

Why there is no tap-support on the charge pipe? Why the bolt that goes to supercharger is missing?

That bolt supports the whole assembly! It will leak!

TPE Precision’s charge pipe doesn’t have this little tap. The reason is that even in the OEM setup, that tap actually doesn’t support the charge pipe at all. The whole assembly is supported by the bypass assembly and the TH.body mount. Not only it will not leak but you will see increase in boost pressure (1 psi on average.)

Why you don’t have integrated nuts-inserts for the TH.body?

It is true that we don’t have that and installation could be a bit of a challenge for non-professional mechanics. In order to add inserts we need to alter some thickness on the top of the charge pipe. First problem is that space is so restricted. Second problem is that we will affect the actual design and 3d print process. There is a reason why the charge pipe is as it is (with no inserts). 3D Printers have some limitations.

I have an aftermarket airbox, is it ok?

Yes this kit can be fitted with the OEM or any aftermarket airbox.

I have an aftermarket cooler, does it fit?

Yeap no problem at all!

I have an aftermarket bypass, does it fit?

Same, yes!

I see you give spacers with your kit? What’s that? Why I need them?

Your car already has these spacers!

Part Number: 51117053000 (compensating plates), Number 2.

It is a BMW-MINI part that all R53 MINI have. We give 5 spacers, three of them go at driver’s side and two at passenger’s side (Left hand drive cars). The spacers we provide are made from stainless steel (OEM steel) and they are reversed engineered OEM spacers. That means they are exactly the same shape and thickness as OEM unit.

Is bonnet affected?

Absolutely not !

I have an oil cooler at front, is it going to be affected?

TPE Precision charge pipe is designed to work with the OEM configuration. It is up to the user to determine if the position of an aftermarket component will affect the fitment.

Does it fit with an aftermarket radiator?

The answer is NO. We have customers that tried and actually made it fit… But they had to do modifications on their car. We are against any modification on the vehicle especially on structural or safety related parts. Of course modifying in any way our product or parts of your vehicle violates the guarantee of the product.

What you offer guarantee? What do you guarantee exactly?

We stand behind our products. It is not common to see guarantees on aftermarket products.

We give one year guarantee irrelevant of miles.

We guarantee power and torque increase (not exact figures as every car- tune is different),

Lower IATs 3 to 5 degrees C, increased boost pressure 1 psi on average.

One year guarantee also goes to the product itself, we guarantee no delamination, cracks etc. Thus we provide a full money refund if our product doesn’t meet any of the above.

*keep in mind that we will not cover products that:

Are installed in a wrong way and not from a professional garage.

Products that altered in any way. That includes reflective tapes, sanding down or any kind of ΄΄improvement’’ Vehicles with aftermarket radiators.

Vehicles without the OEM spacers. Vehicles with altered in any way the cooling system, the crash bar and-or the front bumper.

** Additionally before returning your money, we will ask you for boost pressure, IAT, AFR readings plus close photos of the charge pipe fitted on your car. (We are not try to be hard with you, we just want everyone to be as fair as we are).

Higher boost pressure? OEM leaks all the time!

Our charge pipe has a tighter tolerance compare to OEM unit. The OEM unit has an average tolerance of 3.5 mm around the supercharger inlet and charge pipe. Our charge pipe has an average of 0.3mm. Not only it will not leak but you will see boost pressure increase, 1 psi on average.

Is it tested?

Yes tests started two year ago. First tests were carried away in our own demo car.

Tests included:

Many dyno sessions, highway driving, traffic, spirited driving.

Most of these happened during summer months under the extreme heat of Greece.

Then we send our kit to 1320 MINI in England. At the moment many of our customers daily drive their car in the following countries UK, Germany, USA, Greece and UAE. Thus we have a clear picture that this charge pipe performs in cold and very hot environments with no problem at all.

*keep in mind that 4 cars had this kit, prior to product release for 2 years.

Do I have to retune my car?

As with any modification, it is better if you retune your vehicle.

Our charge pipe has nearly 45% increased internal volume.

Additionally your AFR is going to be towards the lean side after installation.

Thus in order to see the full benefits a retune is recommended.

Why so expensive?

It is a performance product with plug and play fitment. The RnD that goes behind plug and play products is very extensive. In order to have this kind of fitment we utilized the following:

3D scanning, CAD, Feasibility study technics, 3d printing.

The material we use is carbon reinforced nylon. Please don’t confused it with cheap PLA-ABS prints. The printer we use it is an industrial-professional printer and not a DIY-home printer. Last but not least this product will offer you whp, wtq, increase boost pressure and lower IATs.

*every print is 48 hours long, after that we need to spend nearly two hours cleaning every single charge pipe.

Is 3d printing any good? What’s the material?

3D printing has come a long way the last years.

The material we use is carbon reinforced nylon. It is mainly used in JIGs and fixtures in the industry. It is a very strong material that many OEM companies like VW and BMW use to assist their production line.

This material has a working temperature of 140 degrees C. Please don’t confuse it with maximum temperature. Additionally it is fuel and oil resistant and extremely lightweight!


Please see the link below form a previous blog post:

Plus we give a full refund …. Isn't it good enough ?

Lower IATs? How?

Our charge pipe is a complete redesign unit. There is a tapered design from the TH.body to the supercharger inlet, with very smooth transitions. That alone reduce turbulence flow and frictions.

Why BMW-MINI didn’t design it like that? An OEM needs to follow very strict budgets and timelines.

Imagine if BMW was spending one year to develop one charge pipe. A charge pipe with very high manufacturing cost and tight tolerances.

What if it leaks, break down after some miles, lose all the power-loose boost, increase IATs etc?

We do offer one year guarantee.

Why you didn’t make from aluminium?

Please don’t be confused, this is not a simple tube… You need 5 axis machining and welding in some locations. That means that you also need JIGs and fixtures in order to be sure that the fitment it will be plug and play. We could go with this approach but the final price would be at least 4 times more than the current one!

* In high end applications, 5 axis machining is our approach. Usually these products worth if not more the same as a good R53 !

Why not from cast?

We did try casting as well, during developing period! The main problem with casting is the wall thickness. Usually wall thickness in cast parts needs to be at a minimum of 5mm. Simple there is not enough space in the MINI engine bay. If you want the maximum internal volume-performance gains you need a thinner wall.

Why not from carbon fiber?

We tried that as well! Actually we have another charge pipe (not for sale) that it is carbon fiber.

Problem is the … cost. People tend to forget that the R53 MINI used to be an expensive vehicle and benchmark for other companies. Unfortunately R53 MINIs are old cars and accessible easier than ever before…

That means there are not many customers willing to spend, for one performance mod, half the vehicle’s value.

(With this carbon fiber beauty we saw 12 whp increase without tune, 7 degrees lower IATs, 1.5 psi boost increase) NO WE DON’T SELL IT.

Where is the catch?

Simple there is no catch!

We intentionally have a very low price and such a small profit.

Please keep in mind that our main business model is to develop high end automotive products for other companies. This charge pipe it is a small show case and of course a part that we developed for our own vehicle.

We offer CAD services, 3D scanning, feasibility studies, and product development services.

Additionally we do offer CNC machining, laser cut, water cut, tube bending throughout our partners network.

Some of the projects we have being involved with:

High end racing parts.

Product development utilizing injection molding.

Packaging studies for vehicles.

High end aluminium, magnesium, titanium prints.

High end carbon fiber parts like manifolds, intercooler pipes etc.

What is your background?

BSc in Mechanical Engineering.

MSc in Automotive engineering.

Trilingual (Irrelevant? Maybe!)

Working experience in the naval and automotive sector.

Owner of TPE Precision from 2018.

Professional experience in:

CAD, 3D Scanning, 3D Printing, Feasibility studies, automotive packaging, vehicle legislation.

I hope I answer all your questions.

Please feel free to ask any questions!

Write us on social media:


Sincerely yours,

Tsakonopoulos George.

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