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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
I couldn’t decide whether this was the right section, or the drive line section. Mods feel free to move if not in the right place.

I’m having driveshaft issues. I’ll break it down into sections.

Car: Aug 2002 R53 on APs and running pretty low.

First problem was the inner CV on the near side (passenger) shat itself and sprayed CV grease everywhere. This was combined with a really bad vibration at speed. I decided to replace both shafts. In fact while it was in bits I decided to polly bush the rear wishbone mounts, fit new wheel bearings and change the ball joints as well. I also had a set of R56 brakes to go on but ran out of time on the day.

Fitted everything up and car felt amazing to drive. I’ve done about 80 miles in it since the swap. Today I went down to my mates workshop to do the brake swap and when we got it up on the lift noticed the gearbox and passenger side of the subframe was wet. The bloody shafts had come out of the box. Pics below:

Passenger side:



Drivers side:





So. Passenger side shaft is the worse of the two and seems to have destroyed the gearbox seal. It was a J&R shaft as recommended on here.

Drivers side I can’t remember the brand, it was the only one I could source at short notice. It turns out that the one I ordered is for a post 2004 car. I didn’t know there was any difference and anyway that one has only come out a bit.

So what did I do wrong? THe passenger side one pushes back in easily which suggests either the end is broken or the gearbox input is shagged as it should be hard to push them in right? How has the drivers side one come out? There’s no clip on those to hold them in the box.

I’m properly pissed off as I’ve spent a fair bit of wedge and the car is now abandoned outside my mates workshop.

Please help me MiniTorque, you’re my only hope. Lol.
 

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2005 R53, 2005 R53 lightweight, 2008 R55S, 2012 R58FJCW, 2014 R60SD All4, 1996 Mini Cooper 35SE.
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can't explain the o/s that's just weird, the n/s could well be just the clip, and is fairly common, pull it out and see if the clip is there? Sometimes they need a very good positive shove to click in, but ideally a new clip, before now I've had to have a box shop strip one and de-burr the clip groove and generally tit about with it to get the thing to stay, arse of a car that one, and nobody's fault.
 
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Discussion Starter · #3 ·
Thanks for the reply. I’ve done some double checking tonight and both shafts are the correct length according to the descriptions on eBay.

How do you guys push them in? We were using a drift on the outer end to hammer them home in the box.

Anyone know where I could pick up a new gearbox seal on a Saturday, ECP and GSF don’t list them.
 

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2005 R53, 2005 R53 lightweight, 2008 R55S, 2012 R58FJCW, 2014 R60SD All4, 1996 Mini Cooper 35SE.
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I'm surprised ECP don't but the dealers will be open to lunchtime and are likely to have them surely, get a new clip or two. Have you not got a local box specialist? Long shot but worth an early call perhaps? I'm sure I've read about aftermarket shaft issues on here before.
 

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2005 R53, 2005 R53 lightweight, 2008 R55S, 2012 R58FJCW, 2014 R60SD All4, 1996 Mini Cooper 35SE.
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6,636 Posts
If you get on it very early, and get a dealer open to 3 or 4, they can vor them before 9:30 and get a delivery (certain centres) by lunchtime ok.
 
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Discussion Starter · #8 ·
I am going to lift it eventually. I bought the car already lowered on APs but it didn’t come with the spammers to adjust the collars. I need to find some from somewhere.

Pretty sure my current issue isn’t due to the ride height, but I understand that lowering murders the CV joints as they’re constantly running at an angle they normally would only see on occasion.
 

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2005 R53, 2005 R53 lightweight, 2008 R55S, 2012 R58FJCW, 2014 R60SD All4, 1996 Mini Cooper 35SE.
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I hadn't thought about your ride height, but definitely as above, lower wrecks shafts constantly, so much stuff about this. The car for track doesn't need to be on it's arse, it just needs good suspension. The spanners are cheap and on ebay etc, and you could even try your local bike shop (motorbike) in the hope of borrowing some unless you have the rounded type (pointless), anyway that still mat not explain the o/s, it might require fitment of OE shafts, several have said this helped iirc.
 

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Discussion Starter · #10 ·
I’ve got loads of C spanners but the collars on the APs are weird. They have holes in them rather than notches.

Cheers for the tip re gearbox seals. Picking up a pair this afternoon from Cooper Reading.
 

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Driveshafts are a bit of an odd one on our cars. Come people seem to have no bother whilst others have constant issues
It's not been documented but I bet wheel weight is also a factor, I've nearly always had sub 8kg on my cars
Going low, heavyweight wheel/tyre combos and the cheapest aftermarket shafts available cannot be a good recipe for longevity

When coloured mirror caps sell at a far higher price point, than proper engineering
you can see all that is wrong with the mini aftermarket world today ::getcoat::
 

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2006 R53
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I think you've probably got a point there. Problem is, there isn't really much in the middle ground price-wise. JR are cheap and seem to work ok for some people, but fail near instantly for others, stock are excruciatingly expensive and are also known to fail. With Gucci shafts like the RMW failure rates by volume seem fairly high but they are usually subjected to far more abuse
 

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I've had J&R send me shafts with the wrong bearing bracket on (Cooper instead of cooper s) and this causes the inner shaft to be pulled out of the gearbox by an inch or so and not seal properly. Check that the number on the braket is the same as the OEM one.

Will also add my RMW shafts have taken some good stick and are holding up fine with 400whp. Not the cheapest solution but beats crawling under the car changing them all the time.

There are a lot of variables with people's cars and driving styles so what works for one person might not necessarily work for you.
 

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Discussion Starter · #15 ·
I've had J&R send me shafts with the wrong bearing bracket on (Cooper instead of cooper s) and this causes the inner shaft to be pulled out of the gearbox by an inch or so and not seal properly. Check that the number on the braket is the same as the OEM one.
Now that is interesting. We noticed the number on the bracket casting was different but compared the brackets and they looked the same so didn’t worry about it. Sadly the old shafts got collected by the scrap collector the other day so I can’t double check.
 

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The inner shaft shouldn't even move it's fixed to the bracket which is fixed to the block so either the braket is wrong or the shaft is too short, unless you undo the bolts from the braket I can't see it moving surely, it's not like the outers where there is loads of play in the CV for them to move in or out.

My guess is the braket was lined up so the bolts would go in and that pulled the shaft back out the box, check the number on the braket or undo the bolts on the braket and see if you can push the shaft back in.
 

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Discussion Starter · #20 ·
The bearing in the bracket comes out really easily and moves up and down the shaft. I guess that’s the fault with this one. That bearing should be holding that shaft into the box.
 
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