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2005 R53 Checkmate
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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
Hey all, finally got an R53 recently and have got on with stripping the car down and sorting everything so it’s somewhere near reliable. It had a large gearbox oil leak which was traced to one of the output seals and fixed. Since then it’s still got fresh looking gearbox oil appearing at the join between the bell housing and sump. When I’d run the car it would appear, not much but it was there.

The car had a new competition clutch about 5k miles before I bought it so assumed the main seal would have been done at the same time, and also this doesn’t seem to be engine oil. Got the gearbox off yesterday expecting to be replacing the input shaft seal, but the seal is dry. So I’m stumped. There’s clearly old oil and shite in here but I have no idea where it’s coming from. I noted the replaced gearbox oil was blue when I drained it, so it almost seems like this is old gearbox oil as it’s not blue.
Could it be that the oil was flung in here from the output shaft leak? And then it’s just dropped back out over time? I really have no idea what to do as if I clean it up, put it all back in and then it’s still leaking I’ll be ready to give up. Any advice on where to start?

Anyway pics:
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not worth the assumption that rear mains are done with clutches imo, got one here that wasn't and had clearly been leaking already,

the main seal pics aren't so clear really to me, I'd have removed the flywheel regardless, perhaps the flywheel bolts weren't loctited, it acts as a seal because they pass right through the crank, you'd know if a bolt came out oily under the head if a trail wasn't already obvious. Is there oil collecting in the starter? Joint between engine and box at the rear? These can indicate rear main/bolt leak as it flings to the back typically ime.

mess in the box is common, comes from sump, main, input, CPS, even from rocker cover etc, same as corrosion between the box and engine is from stat, pipe/hose, sensor weeps etc. I doubt d/shaft seal oil could get in there.
 

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2005 R53 Checkmate
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Discussion Starter · #3 ·
Thanks for the detailed reply! I’ve got my fingers in behind the flywheel and it’s a bit oily, but more of a mist than anything else. Sounds like I’m removing the clutch and flywheel to check. If it’s not leaking is it worth me just putting a new one in anyway? I don’t have the ‘special tool’ so just worried I’ll make it worse trying to install a new main seal.
I already dropped the sump to replace that gasket and it wasn’t that messy really on that side.
Same with starter in terms of fine mist, no obvious oil collecting anywhere either. The thing that confuses me is I’m assuming I’d smell it as engine oil, and it looked like gearbox oil leaking from the join. It was black, then after pressure washing etc the oil that was forming droplets looked clear/amber. The engine oil was completely black when I drained it, hence assuming it wasn’t engine oil and then assuming it wasn’t rear main.
So assuming the box casing looks ok once I clean it up, I can button that up and then look at rear main. If that’s ok as well then I guess I bite the bullet and put it all back together and pray it doesn’t leak again?
 

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fit one anyway imo, look at the seal face of the crank in case it's been marked, seal the threads, brake cleaner the whole lot so it's drier than a dry thing, and while the sump's off it's really a no brainer to not renew the end shells while there, they're cheap enough.
 

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2005 R53 Checkmate
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Discussion Starter · #5 ·
Will do! Sumps already back on with a new gasket, the bottom end looked really decent but I can always sort the shells another time.

Assuming I need new flywheel and clutch cover bolts, are they single use? Does it matter what brand as long as they are the same size? I noticed the competition clutch cover bolts are hex bolts and assume the flywheel bolts are different to standard, can’t seem to find them supplied anywhere though.

Is there a specific loctite I should use for the flywheel bolt threads?

Cheers again for the help. I really hope I put it all back together and it’s sorted. Going to sort the gearbox fork bushings etc while I’m there as well.
 

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2005 R53 Checkmate
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Discussion Starter · #6 ·
Just FYI I got the flywheel off today. It is indeed the rear main leaking. Absolute legend for telling me to check it. Just got to fit the new one without messing it up now!

the clutch plate has been fitted the wrong way round as well so at least I had it all off to check.

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be cautious regarding the clutch plate, as with lightened flywheels the sprung clutch hub may be designed to face forward rather than backward like on a stock type where a sprung disc is used, the R53 usually having a fixed disc has no hub as such, therefore less room perhaps to accommodate one....
 

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Discussion Starter · #8 ·
Yes, I wasn’t sure but suspicious when I removed it. I checked the instructions on the competition clutch website and there’s a specific note for the Mini Cooper S that says the plate should be the other way around with the hub facing the flywheel. Interesting to note. I guess I need to find somewhere to resurface the flywheel and pressure plate now.
 

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maybe speak to CG Motorsport, they did some QC work on CC items and refurbish their own also as I understand it,
 

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Discussion Starter · #10 ·
I’m leaning towards thinking the whole clutch and flywheel is toast now anyway on further inspection. It was definitely installed the wrong way around according to the install notes. I wonder if it’s been rubbing constantly for the last 5k miles which was apparently when it was installed before my ownership. There’s a lot of dust in here.

Is this toast? For 5k miles it doesn’t look great to me, although I’ve got no idea what it should look like. I was going to clean it up and stick it back in but now I’m thinking if that’s a waste of time I’d rather bin it off and go Helix with a TTV - I don’t want to be back in here again.

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If in doubt replace it. That way you know it is good. You don't want to assemble the car just to have to do it all again!

My understanding is that the clutch plate for a single mass flywheel is a different design and not compatible with a dual mass flywheel and vice versa. I cannot guarantee that all manufacturers are the same though, but my soon to be fitted single mass fly wheel does need the specific clutch plate.
 

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I've seen worse,

that would probably clean up and last a bit yet, certainly doesn't look dead yet, costly things these aftermarket kits so if not all scored up and particularly heat marked maybe see it if does clean, or compromise and renew the disc?

pics at least don't look terrible, maybe different in person as some things do, was the clutch operation satisfactory prior? If so there's a hint perhaps....
 

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If in doubt replace it. That way you know it is good. You don't want to assemble the car just to have to do it all again!

My understanding is that the clutch plate for a single mass flywheel is a different design and not compatible with a dual mass flywheel and vice versa. I cannot guarantee that all manufacturers are the same though, but my soon to be fitted single mass fly wheel does need the specific clutch plate.
You are correct, the dual mass clutch does not fit the single mass flywheel.
 

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Discussion Starter · #14 ·
I shot some brake cleaner at it, all the dust comes off but the heat marks are still there. It did work before it came off, although there was a fair bit of judder when getting the car moving, but I put that down to the setup more than anything else. The clutch disc backwards might have something to do with that as well.

I really don’t want to spend £750 odd, but I have been looking at the gtt flywheel and thought pairing that with a helix organic and stock pressure plate would be a perfect setup, so I’m in two minds. Really don’t want to take this all out again so maybe I should just do the swap and I know I’m good.
Only spent about 2k on stuff I wish I didn’t have to so far 😂
 

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well I'd 100% use the GTT combination over a TTV if going for a change, it withstands my 250whp combined with a dog box on road and track not that it used there much (if anywhere these days), it won't be so great at launches compared to what you have though, you know, generally dumping the clutch etc. I don't do stacks of miles though so couldn't say it'd take 50k in such an environment,

the only reason a DMF clutch won't physically fit a SMF conversion is if they've made the components to accept only their own clutch kits which ties you to them for repeat purchases, otherwise they will go, they'll just be snatchy or can judder etc, not advised really despite the fact that some choose to.
 

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for the heat marks try a scotch brite type abrasive wheel on a drill

an example of a TTV before, during, after:

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wasn't so bad in the end really, this went back in the car with an LUK cover and bearing utilising a Helix organic disc and was alright,
 

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Discussion Starter · #17 ·
Interesting re the scotchbrite pad. I’d love the gtt but on reflection I should see if I can make work what I already have. This car isn’t a daily, I literally bought it for track days and weekends so it would be nice to finally get out in it rather than having it in bits constantly.

I’ll give cleaning up what I’ve got a go and see what happens. If it all has to come out again at some point then so be it, at least I didn’t waste what I had. I reckon I’ll get some time out of it as is anyway, least it gets me out and about for now. I’ve rebuilt the subframe and pretty much everything else while I’ve been in here as well so keen to start putting stuff back together now.

Only annoying thing is Competition Clutch don’t answer the phone, I can’t see anywhere you can buy one of these discs separate from the full kit with flywheel. I’ve seen a stage 2 disc, maybe that would actually be better. I’ll see if they come back to my enquiry next week, if not this will all go back in. Hopefully I don’t come back crying😂
Thanks again for all the help!
 
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