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Discussion Starter #1
I've never been happy with the shift on my Mini, having had an EP3 and an FN2, the mini has always felt a bit spongy.

It had new cables a couple of year ago, do e about 20k since.

Is there a set of stiffer/solid bushes available like there is for the Hondas?

I know the answer is Coolerworx, but hobo....
 

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Coolerworx only gets rid of the lash in the plastic lever ball, and the ball and pin connection for the neutral gate, that's assuming you take the neutral gate lever off and Loctite the pivot bolt, grease it and check/set the pinch, the bolt can come loose. Not to mention disconnecting the spring it doesn't need. The selection ball and pin at the bottom of the stock lever matters less.

So that is where you will have some play, you can usually detect very free play just moving the lever gently which is in the lever itself, then other free play which is typically the linkage on the box, this can be improved with cleaning and lubrication and checking the plastic bush in the neutral linkage arm, turning it 90 degrees, it only significantly wears in one (vertical) direction elongating the hole the pin sits in, you can see this directly by hand if you unclip the cable and move it by hand. Then removing the selection linkage pivot bolt and arm, and clean and grease the plastic bush, plus check the rectangular bush isn't broken, renewing either one as required then if the cable gaiters are all broken up, get some oil down the cables. ATF is good for this, works if you have someone working the lever for the cable you're oiling so some gets pulled down.

Essentially the linkage or cables if stiff will make the lever feel a little lazy if not heavy, stiff, or vague. I use a heavy spray grease after other lube, it does make the lever feel a little slow after it dries but the play is less although more positive, and the linkage less inclined to continue to corrode quite so soon, check and repeat say 6 monthly or with annual service at the minimum. Until this is right it's not worth looking at other solutions ;O)
 

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Discussion Starter #4
There's a tiny bit of free play in the lever itself when in gear, but it doesn't "click" into gear.

I think I'm being overly conscious of it comparing it to the MX5, and the Hondas....

ETA - polybush inserts upper an lower, an one of Mike's refilled top engine mounts.
 

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MIN-Tily Challenged
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7,392 Posts
Age of car and gearbox is....?
Are you comparing against a mx/Honda of same miles and age

It's tricky to compare, I was always happy with mine at 140k and ten years old, polybushed and vibra mounts with Whalen knob but then I owned the car from new so perhaps we also degraded at the same speed...?

I can confirm that's bollocks, as I drove a factory fresh F56 Cooper last week which apart from being 5 doors should be an awesome example of 2019 engineering.... it felt awkward and awful wallowing sloppy suspension with a vague shift, and a gutless hairdryer engine compared to my 2014 F56 SD with adaptive suspension I was quite shocked after reading all the glowing press reviews,
 

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considering the cables move with the engine you should feel minimal difference in shift, only a minor tug sensation perhaps if your hand is on the lever as the throttle is on/off

some cars the outer cable unclips, or hasn't been put back correctly

one aspect of the OEM shifter you could explore is (once the above is good) remove the gear knob and try the feel without it's weight, yes it will feel shit with nothing on it, but I spent some time in one with a modified nylon knob which felt wrong initially but remarkably easy to live with when I had the car for some 500 miles, so just a thought ;O)

the MX5 of course is a direct connection to the box and will feel different to any cable set up
 

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Discussion Starter #9
Mini's an 05 I've taken in from 40k miles to 75ish, with new cables at around 60k iirc.

EP3 was an 55 from 60k to 80k.

FN2 was new, did about 20k.

Mazda is a 99, bought on 100k, on 115ish now.

Only drive the mini once a week, maybe my muscle memory is off and I'm spending too much drive driving the shit box focus...
 

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104 Posts
I had to remove my air box (to gain access) and clean and lubricate the selectors on the top of the gearbox. Been good ever since.

Thorough clean out using WD40 on a toothbrush (old brush not my good lady's borrowed from the bathroom) selecting every gear and cleaning. Once clean and selecting freely I then lubricated with spray grease, remembering to get some up and into the cables. WD40 is not a long term lubricant as it only stays wet and oily for a short time.

Two hours work.

You can also modify your air box to fit a K&N cone (Dave F and Oranje Stealth style) whilst it's off the car!
 
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