Apologise for creating a new post on an old well documented subject - but the existing posts are all over the place and a couple of years old. Bought a 2004 Mini Cooper for a song, as a bit of a project, as the seller said it needed a new gearbox. The car has 70k on it. Have driven the car for a few weeks now and the only problem is that it jumped out of 1st gear, whined a bit in 5th gear and the clutch pedal was very stiff. It has the Midland 5 speed box fitted - so in view of the notorious reputation and to allow me to sell it on - I wanted the box and clutch replacing with a refurbished one. It was my intention to buy the box and do the job myself. Having priced the parts up and doing a bit of research I thought I would try Minigearboxes Ltd in Coventry. Rang them Friday afternoon and booked it in for the following day - drove down to Coventry from Derby dropping the car off at 8.45am. I then went for a walk around Coventry City centre (can recommend the Transport Museum) and at 10.55am got a call to say the car was ready. Test drove the car and then the 60 mile return journey home and the car was completely transformed. Spoke to the owner of Minigearboxes - John - who does the job himself, and he obviously has a vast knowledge of this car and has specialised in refurbing and refitting them and has got it off to a fine art, having supplied and fitted well over 1000. I for one am a very satisfied customer - I appreciate it is very early days, and a replacement gearbox is major surgery that could develop problems but from speaking to him I have every confidence that any problem would be resolved with the warranty given. John is also doing replacement engines and is worth talking to for any other used parts you require.
Please don't expect suits and ties and a state of the art BMW 'laboratory' if you take your car there - but a good, genuine, down to earth, friendly service for a fraction of what it will cost elsewhere.
I have no connection with this business other than being a satisfied customer who believes in 'plugging' a good service that may be of use to other members
The Following 2 Users Say Thank You to billysally208 For This Useful Post:
Is the clutch lighter now? We have a 2004 Mini Cooper and thought the clutch was gone as its so heavy and the biting point is at the top of teh pedal travel, but reading up on it it seems like its a trait of the 1st gens? Shame as its the only thing my Wife doesn't like about the car and we may have to consider getting it replaced in time. If you dont mine me asking how much was the new g/box and clutch?
Hi,The clutch was really hard to press before yesterday, to the extent that my ankle hurt when I got out of it - it is a little lighter now the clutch has been replaced but I would still describe it as firm compared to the Vectra and Kia Sedona I am also driving at the moment. Like you I did the usual research and apparently that is quite a common trait with the older minis, and they showed me the clutch that came off the car and it was almost down to the rivets on the clutch plate - so it obviously needed doing.
The recon gearbox and clutch was £600 - he is advertising on Ebay at the moment item number 161101111007 (sorry they won't let me post the direct link) - but he is a very helpful guy and I'm sure if you only needed a clutch he would fix you up!
Glad to hear John at Minigearboxes is still doing a good job, he used to be a member on here and I have recommended his Mini gearbox services many times. He can even fit the later 5-speed Getrag or 6-speed R53 Cooper S Getrag to earlier Midland R50 MINI's for a reasonable price if needed. mini gearbox, gear fix - Mini recon gearboxes | BMW MINI cheap gearboxes
Bit of an update -after a few days use and a couple of hundred miles on - the clutch definitely is a lot lighter and more comfortable to use - can't really explain why but perhaps with use and having flexed the spring in the clutch plate a few hundred times, it is now 'broken in' - but certainly a big improvement on what it was but not as light as my other cars.
Thanks for the update. Whilst I had the Wifes Mini off the road to fix the power steering pump problem, she borrowed my car (Pug 307cc). She said the clutch was so light she found herself almost kicking the floor as the pedal went down so fast and easy.
Now she has got back in to the Mini she is saying its just too hard a pedal. At 93k I guess I'm going to have to think about getting the clutch replaced. Our local specialist Minitech will change it for £350 inc new gearbox oil. She loves the car and if putting a new clutch in it would resolve the problem, itt makes mor sense to do it even if its not slipping yet?
Replacement clutches do always seem to feel lighter.
At that mileage if it is an earlier pre-July 2004 Mini Cooper with a Rover Midland gearbox it also pays to have the gearbox checked out very throughly when the clutch/g.box oil is changed (bearing whining noises, metal in oil, etc).......as the work/labour involved is the same for both clutch & gearbox replacement jobs. However if you have the later July 2004 onwards 'facelifted' 2004 Mini it should have the stronger 5-speed Getrag box which seem less likely to have wear problems. More Here: Early MINI Rover Midland Gearbox - Forums
The Following 2 Users Say Thank You to mab01uk For This Useful Post:
"In July 2004 the first generation MINI had a "facelift" to coincide with the launch of the MINI Convertible. The new models had different (smooth) grill surrounds, new front and rear bumpers and headlights. Inside the face lifted MINI has a three piece rather than five piece dashboard, a new Getrag gearbox for the One and Cooper, and many other revisions. The Cooper S also jumped from 163 to 170 hp as standard."
You will need 2 litres of MTF94 (Manual Transmission Fluid).
My local Land Rover Dealer stocks it but not the MINI Dealer!! Brand does not matter as long as it is MTF94 spec. oil.
If its never been changed expect to find quite a bit of metal debris stuck on the magnetic drain plug! BMW say it is 'filled for life' but they don't pay for a new gearbox when they fail outside of warranty......the gearchange normally feels smoother after a g.box oil change.
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