I've recently replaced my head gasket (Payen) and had my standard head refurbed by the TCK, including 12tho skim (block was not skimmed). The head needed work and there was coolant blowing from the front. I didnt replace the head studs when I put it altogether but followed all the correct torque practises and it all seemed fine until I've noticed a small amount of coolant weep again. So I'm now suspicious that maybe my head studs have stretched and from various discussions on here there's a lot of positivity around ARP stud sets.
Other than being a bit pricey and generally only used for race engines (which mine is not) I've spotted a problem for JDM mini's!
On a standard Mini the front 5 head studs are the same length but on JDM Mini's with AC fitted from the factory there are 3 longer studs. The coil bracket fits on one, and the alternator top bracket fits on the other 2 (see pic). These studs have a much longer than standard fine-thread ( est. 1 3/4" versus 1" for the standard) so that the extra things can be added above the head nut.
What this means is that a JDM Mini owner can buy ARP's 9 stud kit (Kit #: 206-4201) but 3 of the studs can't be used. I suspect this somewhat negates the point of moving to a ARP quality set.
I've been chatting to ARP about having the correct sized studs (and threads) made as a custom order and they are going to quote but initial est. cost looks to be eye-wateringly expensive. As much as I have lavished silly money on my Mini over the years, hundreds of $'s/£'s for 3 studs is just too much to get my head round . Most of the cost isn't the stud but because of the one-off setup of the multipart process they apply to them to get them to their quality standards. That cost is fixed regardless of how many studs they make.
So my thought is, if there are more of you in JDM-Mini land who are considering getting ARP head studs in the future then we could club together and get the price down per stud. They will still lileky be expensive but compared to not being able to use ARP studs at all, it might be something that some of you may be interested in. It's just a thought, Let me know if there's any interest either on this thread or message me.
...or maybe someone has already done this?