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2010 R56 N18
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53 Posts
Discussion Starter #1
Hi,

I want to replace the front wishbones on my 2010 R56 as I suspect all the ball joints are worn. I've already had the bushes replaced with Powerflex, so I'm hoping it's possible to replace the wishbones without needing to drop the sub-frame or replace the bushes again.I'm not sure if there's enough room to slide the wishbone out of the bushes once the ball joints are separated.

Does anyone know if this is possible? Thanks.
 

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I did it a couple of months ago on my '08 R56. I have the Powerflex caster bushes fitted, it was tight but they just slid out without having to touch the subframe.
 

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2010 R56 N18
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53 Posts
Discussion Starter #3
Great, thanks!
Do you recommend any particular brand of wishbone (or know any to avoid)? There seems to be a bunch of options online.
Also, what changes to the handling did you notice after fitting the caster bushes?
 

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I just bought what the local motor factor sold. As for the caster handling I've only done one very wet trackday so far with them back in Feb, there were three other Minis on track at the same time, I lapped 2 and overtook the other in a 15 min session but that was probably more down to tyre choice than anything else. I'm going to Anglesey circuit on the 17th so might be able to notice a difference there if it's dry🤞and report back.
 

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2010 R56 N18
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53 Posts
Discussion Starter #5
Cheers. I've ordered Comline wishbones, Meyle ball joints Febi tie rods and NM Engineering drop links. Hopefully they do the job and freshen up the steering. 🤞

I'd be interested to know how you get on with the caster bushes. Some people seem to say they make a big improvement and eliminate tram-lining/torque-steer etc and others seem to think they can make the handling unpredictable. When I got mine done I didn't realise the caster adjusted version was available, so just got the standard Powerflex version. I certainly noticed an improvement over the knackered rubber bushes they replaced but I still get a fair bit of tram-lining and torque-steer. But then I'm running Manic stage 2 and a stock diff. So I guess that's to be expected to a certain degree. 😄
 

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I think I used first line and they did the job, no issues further down the line.
(sorry r53)

but yes to superpro camber along with everything else they do under The R56
fitted almost the lot with bilstiens in one hit-so difficult to attribute benefits further down the line
 

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2010 R56 N18
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53 Posts
Discussion Starter #7
I took the week off work to finally look at replacing the front control arms etc.
I've run into some trouble with the inner ball joints. I can't get them to separate, so I'm wondering what the trick is?

I've used this type of separator on the outer joints without much trouble but there isn't enough room to fit this around the inner joint:



Would a pickle fork style do the job?:




So far I've tried WD40, a copper hammer, a pry bar, colourful language and even applying some force up on the ball joint thread with a trolley jack and they won't budge. :cry:

Thankfully the tie rod ends and rear control arms have been much more complaint.

I'd be grateful of any advice from people who've done this? Thanks.
 

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2010 R56 N18
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53 Posts
Discussion Starter #9
Thanks but I really don't want to drop the subframe.

I've managed to sort out the front left control arm. I ordered THIS pickle fork set from Amazon. With a combination of the middle size fork, a lump hammer, WD40 and applying some pressure with a trolley jack from below, I managed to pop the inner ball joint out. I totally destroyed the ball joint in the process but I guess that's to be expected.

The old control arm came out fairly easily but I think the fact the inner ball joint was wrecked and and the rear bush was a Powerflex made that a lot easier. Fitting the new control arm was a different story. There's very little space between the subframe and inner axle boot. So getting the ball joint at the correct angle to drop into the subframe while also getting the arm at the correct angle to slide into the rear bush is very tricky. In the end I used a clamp like THIS to pull the arm into the bush the last bit which helped a lot with the angles. I also took the opportunity to re-lube the rear bush with some Powerflex grease.

Hopefully the other side will be easier now that I've figured out the process. Here's how it looks so far:

IMG_2626.JPG


IMG_2627.JPG


Another complication on the left side of the car is that there's a ride height sensor for the xenon lights on the front control arm and rear top control arm. On my car both were totally rusted up, the bolts sheared during removal and the plastic casing of the sensors was splitting. I haven't been getting any error codes but it didn't look like they had much life left, so I've ordered replacements.

Once the control arms are sorted it's time to swap the skinny drop links for some nice adjustable ones.
 

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2006 R53
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Nice work fella. To be honest I didn't realise yours was a second gen

Sent from my SM-G986B using Tapatalk
 

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2010 R56 N18
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Discussion Starter #11
Cheers. The front control arm design on the Gen 1 is far superior in my opinion. Independently replaceable inner and outer ball joints. Outer ball joints that can be roll centre adjusted with spacers. Very nice. Oh well.
 

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2010 R56 N18
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Discussion Starter #12
The xenon level sensor jobbies arrived today, so I got to work on them. As I'm replacing the rear upper control arms with Forge units, I wasn't able to use the standard mounting bracket that the rear sensor arm attaches to. So I had to make a custom bracket. Here's what I came up with:

101149


I'm not sure how durable it'll be but it seems to do the job so far. I think I managed to keep the linkage angles about the same as they were with the stock control arm but it probably doesn't matter that much.

The front sensor was a simple drop in replacement, so not much to see there.
I had to re-install my rear left wheel studs as they all came loose when I removed that wheel. I installed them with some special high temp red Loctite a couple of years ago so I'm surprised that happened. Fixing that wasted some time but I'm glad I caught the issue. I took the car on a quick test drive and the steering seems a bit more precise but I've ended up with too much tow out on the left, making the car pull to the left a bit. So I'll tweak that tomorrow before starting work on the right side.

So despite hitting a few stumbling blocks I'm happy with how things have turned out so far. I was hoping to be a lot further on than I am but I'm not a mechanic, so this is all a learning experience.
 

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size the new arms using the old arm as a pilot, push the bolts through both ends of both arms adjusting the new arms to match the length then install so you know the alignment is sound and also equalise the thread numbers to centralise the arms, add a reference mark at the adjuster or more perhaps, you know where you are then ;O)
 

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2010 R56 N18
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Discussion Starter #15
Very smart :cool:
Thanks. (y)

size the new arms using the old arm as a pilot, push the bolts through both ends of both arms adjusting the new arms to match the length then install so you know the alignment is sound and also equalise the thread numbers to centralise the arms, add a reference mark at the adjuster or more perhaps, you know where you are then ;O)
Thanks. That's exactly what I did for the rear upper control arm, so I know that's OK. The lower arms were already done, so I didn't need to touch them. My toe issue was on the front left as I've replaced that tie rod. So I just needed re-adjust that. I did that this morning and now the car drives straight again. I'll be getting the car professionally re-aligned after I've finished replacing all the worn out parts. So I just only the geometry to be good enough to get me there.
 
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