MiniTorque.com banner

1 - 20 of 461 Posts

·
Registered
Joined
·
1,283 Posts
Discussion Starter #1 (Edited)
Bought it 6 months ago after owning a Toyota MR2 for 9 years.

Modifications will be scarce, although I may need a new exhaust soon, and if I do I'll be on the slippery slope as I'm sure not paying Mini £800+ for an OEM one.

Here it is shortly after buying it:


Stripes - The horror!!!


Anthracite & chrome line Interior


Mark on rear light


Bit of Turtle Wax Safe Cut and it was gone


Spotted overspray on licence plate lights before buying, didn't put me off though


New lenses


Checked spark plugs, 1 miss-matched plug


Sorted


Standard brakes were fine but not brilliant, so...






Brake fluid counter had never been reset, despite it being done 6 months before I bought it


Changed fluid and reset counter


Mini DVR-HD camera installed


Changed the fuel filter


Transmission oil changed


I plan on doing an engine oil change between regular services


Despite the car having reasonable service history, I've been breathing in crap


Lot's of lovely new suspension bits, which turned out to be a little overkill as I found the spring cups & rubbers to be in much better condition than on previous suspension changes I've done



I've also just put on Koni FSD shock absorbers, but not driven it yet so will save that for later...
 

·
Wineeeeeeeeeeeee
Joined
·
2,286 Posts
Great car and great start maintenance is key! With regards to an exhaust use the search function there is a thread with all your options with videos :)
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
1,283 Posts
Discussion Starter #6 (Edited)
Well, the car is finally back on the road after the suspension change from hell.

I've changed the suspension on a few cars now, all without any problem whatsoever.

It all started when I noticed the passenger side strut was slightly mushroomed. I'd heard of this before buying the car but never knew exactly what I was looking for until recently.
So, first thing... ditch the god-awful runflat tyres that are probably a contributing factor.

£500 lighter and I have some nice Continental Sport Contact 5's.

I like the ride & handling as is (just not the harshness of the runflats), but figured as I was approaching 80K miles and the mushroom then I'd best look at refreshing the dampers.
Decided upon Koni FSD and keeping the height the same (although if anyone has JCW springs, let me know ).

Immediately I find that the droplinks I got from Fleabay are for Minis up to 03/2002 despite going through the compatibility selection on the item page
Refunded, but the first setback.

Notice in the pic above that the offside spring seat is loose. Drop a line to Koni UK, continue with installation (as old droplinks came off without having to be cut ) and I doubt they'd send out faulty stuff.
Got a reply, they're faulty and they'll send a replacement, another setback and have to remove it, and then reinstall replacement!!

Reach the first Mini difficulty - there isn't enough clearance to remove the front struts and get them out of the hub without removing balljoints (not with standard springs at least), and my spring compressors weren't much good on such short springs. So I ended up installing it all piece by piece inside the wheel arch

Second Mini difficulty, there's almost nothing to stop the springs from rotating. Normally when torquing the strut piston nut, I do so with the car on the ground and the spring seat prevent the spring from rotating, however on the Mini fronts there's nothing much to stop the rubber from sliding around, bad design?
Of course it's my fault for not having a 'strut removal socket', but I'd like to know where you can buy these in the UK. Removed old nut with a 21mm 'spark plug socket', and the Koni uses a 22mm nut and no spark plug socket in that size so have to improvise with an 'oxygen sensor socket' and modify it.

Anyway, only minor setbacks
Modified oxygen sensor socket


Drivers side done


Passenger side took only a few minutes until I was forced to stop, the dreaded pinch bolt


What an unbelievably piss poor design, I'd like to meet the guy that came up with this, and his boss that overlooks his work, I have a few words to say
Even when printing off diagrams from realoem.com to take to the Mini dealership so I could just say I want this this & this, I couldn't believe there wasn't a simple nut on the end of the bolt.
This then caused a chain reaction of further pain...

After several hours of crying I decided a 2nd hand hub would be less painful than drilling it out.

So I started on the rears, effortless. But I'm a little concerned with how the rear damper is attached to the rear trailing arm - obviously no health & safety at Rover. I'm no engineer but it doesn't look entirely safe to me - anyone that's changed the rears may know what I mean.


Back to the front, whole damper & hub removed


As expected from a mushroomed strut, a mushroomed top mount. To think, Mini could probably have solved the mushroom problem by using stronger top mounts


Wasn't expecting a bent droplink though


Got some under tower plates to prevent mushrooms in future (and to help fix the problem)


And some tower defenders, which personally I don't think will do anywhere near as good as the under tower plates, but got them mainly to help with the fixing


Test fit of defenders before the fixing


The fixing in progress




After, a million times better


Replacement hub arrives. Looks nothing like the one in the photo on fleabay. Complete with brake disc, thanks!!!! I know why they gave me a free brake disc, because they know what a pain removing the retaining screw is, thanks again Mini, poor design.
Also, wheel bearing on the replacement looks like it's from the Titanic. So I'll simply remove mine and put it on this one Will take a lot of leverage, so need a 13mm socket to fit my big ratchet, and Halfords only seem to sell 13mm bi-hex sockets and it promptly rounds the nut of the last bolt.
Right, I'll take the easy option and put on a new wheel bearing

£26 later


Nearly ready to go, at least I'm close to getting the car back on the road


Give the car a short drive, grinding/scraping noise from passenger front wheel. Immediate thought was the dust shield, then the ABS light came on along with the flat tyre and traction control
Could be abs sensor from the hub from the Titanic, or cheap-ass wheel bearing

And I think I find out why most wheel bearings are £50+
I think I must have knocked it against the drive shaft upon installation, but if I did then only slight. What is the magnetic ring made from? paper?


So, decide to bite the bullet as I need the car working, and purchase a genuine abs sensor and wheel bearing, mainly because they had it in stock so I could get the car back on the road.
Sensor was just over £100, bearing £160


And with that, the warning lights are gone and the car is back on the road

I can't really compare how the Koni FSDs to the originals as it's been so long since I've driven the Mini
And it'd be unfair to compare to the original dampers with 78K on - and once off the car, I could push down the strut pistons on the rears and they never returned
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
1,283 Posts
Discussion Starter #8
Have you got any more info on the mini DVD camera btw?
Cheers, what info do you require?
It's not DVD, it's a DVR, records onto SD card.
I got it from Dogcamsport, but they don't sell it anymore. It starts recording as soon as I start the car and stops when I remove the key, no buttons to press or forget about. Records 720P or 1080P.

However, if I was after another one I'd get a BlackVue DR500 as the nighttime quality is MUCH MUCH better than the Mini DVR-HD.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
1,283 Posts
Discussion Starter #11
Remove SD card from the recorder, insert into a card reader attached to computer, drag off the files it's recorded, simples :)
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
1,283 Posts
Discussion Starter #12
Great looking car, off to a great start, do your self a favor and get rid of the FSD and put it on some coils.
Well, I hate to say it, but I think you were right.

I'm used to lowered sports cars, but found the SS+ and runflats absolutely hateful.
Much better with proper tyres.
And now I think the FSDs are a little too soft. Don't get me wrong, they're not too wallowy, and they are very comfortable.
I feel I could go a little firmer now that the strut towers can take it with the new under tower plates.

Maybe in a couple of years some coilovers, ones that are 'for the road' and set to lower only 20mm will be good :)

I'd still like to try JCW springs in the meantime though, anyone got any? :)

Maybe standard SS+ dampers would've been fine, just that I found mine were shot after removing them, I pushed down the piston on the rears and they never came back up :eek:hmy:
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
1,660 Posts
Welcome to wrenching on MINI's, crap like that is common, especially if the previous owner hid some surprises... :) Good to see it all sorted now!
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
1,283 Posts
Discussion Starter #17
Main problem I'm finding is that some parts of the car are very poorly designed.
Don't think I'll find any hidden surprises from previous owners as I guess most were typical Mini owners, never looked under the bonnet :)
The garage monkeys they let loose on the car, now that's another story...
Already had to drill of the head of the front brake disc retaining screws, on way too tight. And the pollen filter wasn't changed when it was supposed to.
Hopefully that's it.

The original owner did put in a claim under warranty for the clock. Which was apparently 'fixed'. But it still doesn't keep good time. Was going to post for help on here about it, but given recent threads I think I won't :D
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
1,660 Posts
Also seems to be common, mine loses 2 min a week despite the battery being in good condition. And yes, the car is full of illogical engineering solutions...
 
1 - 20 of 461 Posts
Top