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post #1 of 7 (permalink) Old Jun 19th, 2012, 12:51 PM Thread Starter
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DIY DIY clutch job info

hey all

My g/f just grabbed an 04 Cooper (base) to go to / from work..... however this was her first manual and after 2 months of "learning" the already worn down clutch (from the previous owner) is toast.

I got a few quotes around my area for a clutch / pp / release bearing replace & brake flush (cuz it was probably never done)..... and the lowest I got back was near $1800 (without the actual parts.... just labour and fluids).

Now I'm a big VW / Audi guy myself, and I've changed countless clutches / flywheels on 1.8T's, VR6's, VRT's, 2.slow's..... I just finished a Peloquin LSD install on my 24v turbo as well. So I figure I'll do this one myself since she can't afford a 2 grand repair and I can grab an OEM clutch kit for $250.

I have a ridiculous amount of tools but do I need any Mini specific tools for a clutch job? Just want to make sure before I order stuff. I saw a shifter linkage tool.... $50... worth it? (I'm all about the right tool for the job btw.)

Also I was going over some DIY's that I found on the subject and I'm slightly puzzled..... why must the entire service carrier be removed and coolant drained just to drop the trans? Does the subframe need to be dropped just cuz there's no clearance to tilt the trans out? (I tried to link the DIY but I'm not allowed to yet.... it's MeV Engineering & Performance clutch, flywheel and LSD DIY.) If the subframe is dropped I'd need a new alignment, no? I'd like to avoid unnecessary expenses.

Also when I was calling for quotes a couple mechanics advised to replace the shift fork while the trans was down. Is the fork a common issue / problem with these trans, should I do that while I'm there as well?

Does anyone have torque specs for the trans?

Anything else I'm missing?

Thanks in advance for any guidance you guys can provide.

Last edited by cuzracecar; Jun 19th, 2012 at 03:46 PM.
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post #2 of 7 (permalink) Old Jun 19th, 2012, 01:16 PM
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Always happy to help out a fellow Canuck.

Generally, Coopers aren't a good car to learn manual on owing to the cost and effort of the clutch replacement. Furthermore, they tend to be finicky cars. Anyways...

Be prepared to inspect and likely change the flywheel. You'll also profit from having an OEM clutch alignment tool on hand. The aftermarket issues tend to be imprecise. You probably have one, but a transmission jack will be handy, 'cause if your lady don't find you handsome, at least she'll find you handy!

You've got to remove the subframe because there's simply no room to operate in there. You can't get at the transmission and clutch bell housing because it's buried deep. The PS pump and assembly also need to come out (attached to the subframe). A good step-by-step for the subframe removal is here:

Front Swaybar Install How-To - North American Motoring

The above DIY will probably answer a lot of your questions.

I don't know if you came across the following during your Googling, but this one is a good guide for a clutch DIY:

MeV Engineering and Performance

Good luck with it!


Quote:
Originally Posted by cuzracecar View Post
hey all

My g/f just grabbed an 04 Cooper (base) to go to / from work..... however this was her first manual and after 2 months of "learning" the already worn down clutch (from the previous owner) is toast.

I got a few quotes around my area for a clutch / pp / release bearing replace & brake flush (cuz it was probably never done)..... and the lowest I got back was near $1800 (without the actual parts.... just labour and fluids).

Now I'm a big VW / Audi guy myself, and I've changed countless clutches / flywheels on 1.8T's, VR6's, VRT's, 2.slow's..... I just finished a Peloquin LSD install on my 24v turbo as well. So I figure I'll do this one myself since she can't afford a 2 grand repair and I can grab an OEM clutch kit for $250.

I have a ridiculous amount of tools but do I need any Mini specific tools for a clutch job? Just want to make sure before I order stuff. I saw a shifter linkage tool.... $50... worth it? (I'm all about the right tool for the job btw.)

Also I was going over some DIY's that I found on the subject and I'm slightly puzzled..... why must the entire service carrier be removed and coolant drained just to drop the trans? Does the subframe need to be dropped just cuz there's no clearance to tilt the trans out? (I tried to link the DIY but I'm not allowed to yet.... it's MeV Engineering & Performance clutch, flywheel and LSD DIY.) If the subframe is dropped I'd need a new alignment, no? I'd like to avoid unnecessary expenses.

Also when I was calling for quotes a couple mechanics advised to replace the shift fork while the trans was down. Is the fork a common issue / problem with these trans, should I do that while I'm there as well?

I also noticed the OEM transmission fluid is ridiculous expensive.... $150 per 5L? Are there quality alternatives that u Mini guys use that cost less?

Does anyone have torque specs for the trans?

Anything else I'm missing?

Thanks in advance for any guidance you guys can provide.
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post #3 of 7 (permalink) Old Jun 19th, 2012, 11:05 PM
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Some links here may also help you as gearbox removal requires similar work to a clutch replacement:
Early MINI Rover Midland Gearbox - Forums
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post #4 of 7 (permalink) Old Jun 20th, 2012, 11:42 PM Thread Starter
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tyvm guys. I pieced together a few of the DIY's posted and it's all torn down now.... just waiting on the parts to arrive at the bmw dealer

cheers
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post #5 of 7 (permalink) Old Jul 7th, 2012, 03:02 PM Thread Starter
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ok so I had a head gasket lift on my other car so I had to sort that out first. Just got back to the mini and everything is repaired / replaced.

Slight problem now - the car won't turn over. I tried putting it in gear and rocking back n forth (in case the starter seized or whatnot), swapped the battery, checked connections and grounds.

When I turn the key there is a single "click" that's audible but the motor doesn't crank at all. I'm assuming that click noise is the starter solenoid.... which leads me to the immobilizer possibly?

I know in my VR6 I had an immobilizer issue and there was the exact same "click" noise and no crank. Is this the same in Mini - a single click? Or does this immobilizer start / crank the motor but then die out? I disconnected the ECU when I removed the battery box, could this have trigger the immo?

what can be done? am I stuck towing it to the dealer for an immo defeat? or is there something else I may be overlooking?

I tried to link a few pics of the job but I can't (15 post min). Sorry.
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post #6 of 7 (permalink) Old Jul 9th, 2012, 05:16 PM Thread Starter
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turns out the starter died somehow....

we push started it and it runs and shifts great - took it around the block and on the highway and no problems whatsoever.

I'm just missing how the starter doesn't work now, when it was fine before I removed it?? I dunno if all Mini's are built the same but there seems to be a lot of shotty engineering and design flaws - from what I saw taking it apart. I mean... a cooling fan for the power steering? Lol just put it further back or in a different place altogether then you won't need a fan and have all those problems I see on the net. The newer models are probably improved upon.... hopefully. I've worked on my fair share of BMW's as well and there seems to be very little that's consistent between the two.

I don't wanna knock on you guys but personally I'll never buy a mini knowing what I know now.

Hope that helps somebody.... somehow. Take care mini2! and thanks for the assistance.
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post #7 of 7 (permalink) Old Jul 9th, 2012, 05:28 PM
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The early Mk1 R50 Mini is actually a Rover design taken over later by BMW which explains the difference in engineering.The later Mk2 Mini has major revisions by BMW including the steering pump! The forthcoming Mk3 Mini next year will be the first totally BMW designed Mini but will maybe loose some of the quirky character of the original design in the quest for BMW levels of reliabilty and refinement......

[ame="http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Is-9aI7utFQ"]MINI Cooper Prototype Preview 1997 - YouTube[/ame]
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