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Thread: R53 clutch conversion confusion

  1. #21
    JKo
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    Quote Originally Posted by CarsOrBikes View Post
    Most of the release bearings have a plastic mount, I think Helix might be metal and ACT are metal, worth having in the long run assuming the bearing element actually lasts but really, LUK are it for aftermarket clutches really imo. All they make is clutches. Valeo are into all sorts and are a budget option, even their radiators can be shit and were responsible for hundreds of failed transmissions when they leaked internally. If you are one of the many just always buying the cheapest it's probably a good option for you. All the Valeo kit ever was, was a budget kit, never intended for performance use, it just 'gets' used that way and hasn't failed which of course is good, it doesn't ever make it a performance option, luck is not the same as quality or suitability. Each of us will assess or review things differently. We all drive differently on road or track, very differently sometimes.

    Valeo deliberately made their kit to only work with their parts, that for me is out of the question when it comes to recommendation. Also they do not make this kit as a performance solution! Period. It just happens to be fractionally lighter than stock which is indeed nice to have, the lighter the better as far as I'm concerned. For a general daily it's going to be 'just a clutch' to many drivers, and it is cheaper than the other kits with DMF's, so again, people only fit this option because it is cheap. It's 'a way out'. I would never seek a cheap option for my own car with money invested in other areas then picking a budget option for the driveline, however it is popular.
    I think we all know that the Valeo kit is the budget option here. But I guess it was worth a yet another rant.

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  3. #22
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    There's no ranting going on at all. It's just information that the OP primarily, and other people reading can consider, also bearing in mind this forum isn't one that requires registration in order to read through it.
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  4. #23
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    Little update for anyone who's interested. I went with stock in the end, flywheel, pressure plate & disc. Taking my own sweet time doing a bit here & a bit there, I've reached the point today where I'm ready to refill the gearbox & put the subframe back on. That's going via renewing just about everything from the crank position sensor o-ring, water pump & it's o-rings to renewing the gearbox seals & bushes, servicing the supercharger, rebuilding the front suspension & a hundred other little jobs. Probably finish up over the bank holiday weekend I should think.

    Since I've done all this on fairly minimal tools & on the driveway (Oh for a ramp & a compressor) I've ended up through necessity being imaginative with some elements. I polybushed the rear control frame bushings & since I own neither a press nor a vice, figured out I could assemble the bush & carrier on a floor jack & press it in against the underside of the car - actually worked a treat. Similarly, the gearbox is a pig to refit & for that I used a ratchet strap over a steel bar mounted on either suspension turret on rubber bungs & winched it up. Again, first time & on. Nothing you'd find in the manuals but worked for me.

    For a 14 year old car, it hasn't really fought me much, mostly I think as a result of most things being covered in oil. Parallels with the original Minis where every single owner eventually had to replace their rear subframes but never the front ones for the same reason.

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  6. #24
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    Quote Originally Posted by Rusty Mini View Post
    Little update for anyone who's interested. I went with stock in the end, flywheel, pressure plate & disc. Taking my own sweet time doing a bit here & a bit there, I've reached the point today where I'm ready to refill the gearbox & put the subframe back on. That's going via renewing just about everything from the crank position sensor o-ring, water pump & it's o-rings to renewing the gearbox seals & bushes, servicing the supercharger, rebuilding the front suspension & a hundred other little jobs. Probably finish up over the bank holiday weekend I should think.

    Since I've done all this on fairly minimal tools & on the driveway (Oh for a ramp & a compressor) I've ended up through necessity being imaginative with some elements. I polybushed the rear control frame bushings & since I own neither a press nor a vice, figured out I could assemble the bush & carrier on a floor jack & press it in against the underside of the car - actually worked a treat. Similarly, the gearbox is a pig to refit & for that I used a ratchet strap over a steel bar mounted on either suspension turret on rubber bungs & winched it up. Again, first time & on. Nothing you'd find in the manuals but worked for me.

    For a 14 year old car, it hasn't really fought me much, mostly I think as a result of most things being covered in oil. Parallels with the original Minis where every single owner eventually had to replace their rear subframes but never the front ones for the same reason.
    Sounds good to me. Ive got to do the clutch on mine over the next few weeks. Im in the middle of fitting new front suspension and need to drop the subframe anyway to fit the poly lower control arm bushes. I have been reading up on it and it sounds a bit of a big job, so glad someone else found it pretty straight forward. Annoyingly I had most of the front end apart a few weeks back when I did the supercharger oil change, radiator, waterpump, dave.f airbox mod, 15% pulley & new bypass valve etc. But back then I didnt realise the clutch was on its way out as I would have done that at the same time. doh!

  7. #25
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    Quote Originally Posted by Rusty Mini View Post
    Similarly, the gearbox is a pig to refit & for that I used a ratchet strap over a steel bar mounted on either suspension turret on rubber bungs & winched it up. Again, first time & on. Nothing you'd find in the manuals but worked for me.

    For a 14 year old car, it hasn't really fought me much....
    You sir are a god for doing this on the drive. I did the clutch on mine last week and my god what a horrible job. Every single bolt on the passengers side of the car fought me all the way - I had to us lots of heat, gripper sockets & scaffolding pole on most of them. Things like removing the outer ball joint, took ages. And I must have wasted a day trying to get the control arm rear bush out of the passengers side. The drivers side however, everything came undone easy. By far the worse bit was re-installing the gearbox. So fiddly. Like you, I used ratchet straps, some chains, a trolley jack and a bar over top of the engine. Even so, what a nightmare, must have taken me 2 hours.

  8. #26
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    Two hours is faster than me

    If I were doing it again, I'd definitely take the engine & box out together. It's hardly any more work & would have made life much easier. But it's all a learning curve, right? Since I last posted, I've had the subframe out again as I failed to realise the inner ball joints are handed to account for the headlight levelling sensor retaining bracket & had fitted them on the wrong sides.

    Rather than swap them over, I ended up drilling a hole in the nearside bracket which worked well enough. Then when I took the car for an alignment, the guy couldn't do it as the outer track rod lock nut had fused with corrosion to the inner rod thread, so had a long think about dropping the frame for a third time to replace the track rods but in the end I swapped them in situ which is easy enough until you get to reinstating the bellows clamps & with that, the car is done, MOT'd, back on the road & guzzling petrol with the best of them.

    One thing making my teeth itch is the HK amp. Mine's grenaded itself as I gather they often do, so I found a long post on NAM where a clever guy reverse engineered an HK amp from a 3 series BMW & got it to work with the Mini. For forty quid & a bit of patience, I've done the same & it works but the sound is a bit...poor if I'm honest, so reluctantly, having looked at bypassing the amp altogether & written that idea off, I've concluded the best option is to take a chance on another HK amp but they're hard to find now.

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