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Anybody who has or has had the left pull, PLEASE READ.

4248 Views 35 Replies 23 Participants Last post by  mr.bill
I think you buggers have made me paranoid? ;)

Got my MAY build Cooper last weekend. The car is FANTASTIC, I love it and when I get around to scanning my photographs you'll be able to see it.


On driving down the A1 on Sunday night my worst fear appeared to be coming true - the drift to the left - at least, I think it is...
My first question is this: Even when there's no obvious camber in the road, is it still possible that there is one? i.e. for drainage.

Being on the A1, I was sometimes able to get it to drift to the right by driving in the right-hand lane, though more often than not it would drift to the left when letting go of the wheel - the same was true when driving in the middle of the road. However, it was sometimes possible to see an obvious left camber even in the right-hand lane! Maybe I'd have to drive south in the north-bound lanes to test this properly. :eek:

I phoned the dealer, who obviously said to bring it in for a drive (it's in on Saturday) - he knew about the problem on early builds and said all new cars are fine. I might suggest he let me take out a BMW as I'm quite open to the fact this may all be in my head having read about this 'left pull' on here over the past few months.

Ok, next questions. If he says it doesn't pull and after I've driven another car which I think is as straight as a die, at least compared to the MINI. What should I do? It's like my word against his - some graduate ex-old-banger driver against Mr BMW know-it-all. What could I do?

Any advice would be greatly appreciated - I can't believe I’m making this post :(


p.s. I know this should be in faults & fixes, I just wanted to attract as much attention as possible. :eek:

Note: This is my first car with power steering and I must say I'm a little disappointed with the slight 'numbness' compared to the 100% solid feel (warts n' all) from driving cars without.
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Left-drift update.

Just as an update to my original post - the dealer drove the car on Saturday - said it certainly needs tweaking, so booked it in on the 8th June for a KDS - no need to send to Thorne as they have their own KDS machine :cool:
Also, what better day to have it in the garage - Cooper S launch day :cool: :D

Re: Where did you get it fix zoom180 ???

batman said:

I just got my Mini 2 days ago, and I already felt there is a slight left drift on the freeway. It is not that obvious when I am driving slow. However, if you let go the steering wheel, it will SLOWLY drift to the left.

Funny, I notice mine the most at slower speeds, like when coming to a stop at a red light. Especially if I goose the brakes a little extra at the very end of the stop. Gives a sharp turn left under those conditions -- very noticable. I think it's because I tend to hold the wheel loosely at such slow speeds. It's definitely there on the freeway too, but I've learned to keep my hands at 10 and 2 religiously, being the father of two little kids. It can get a little hairy, but that can be part of the thrill.

batman said:

if possible, can you let me know the name of your dealer ?

Well, it's Crevier in Santa Ana. But I'm waiting to bring it in. I hesitate because whenever I bring it to them, they say mine's the first one they've gotten to work on.

When I brought it in that first time (early April), they said they'd try a wheel alignment and claimed grandiosly that they had the most advanced alignment machine in the world. Later they admitted they didn't know how to set it for the MINI's specs, just for Beemers. Kind of like going to a dentist who's very good but has never worked on your particular species before.

What I oughta do if I were a bit more cynical is send you in first and find out if you were satisfied with their fix, then bring mine in.

Anyway, congrats on getting your MINI. Hope we can have a honk & wave sometime if we ever cross paths... hmm, hope the "crossing paths" part is not the result of us both drifting left at the same time! :eek:
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Thanks for the information !

Thanks zoom180

I still have less than 200 miles on my car. I just called my salesman and left a voicemail about the car's left drift. I think I will not take it to a dealer before the break-in period (1200 miles). Please keep in touch and let me know what you are going to do with your car. Now, I just going to deal with all the attention I get in the park lot (you know I mean !)
Which front suspension struts do your cars have?
Apial said:
Which front suspension struts do your cars have?
Don't know how to answer, but my build date is Feb 2000 if that helps. How about you Batman (and others)? And Apial, why do you ask? I know the fix is to the front struts, but are there more than one kind?
still testing my car

My is built late April 02. Just went out for a ride. Still in break-in period. Not sure it has a left drift. My is not very obvious. I don't know yet. Maybe it is just in my mind (I hope !).
zoom180 said:

Don't know how to answer, but my build date is Feb 2000 if that helps. How about you Batman (and others)? And Apial, why do you ask? I know the fix is to the front struts, but are there more than one kind?
There have been at least 3 different front suspension struts in use. I have had all 3 types fitted, and only the latest type do the job satisfactorily. To check yours out have a look at Photographic evidence of Left Pull fix.

If you have the Mk1 or Mk2 type then the dealer will, after checking alignment etc, fit the Mk3 type.

Type 3 struts improve the handling by making it less twitchy/unstable as well as curing the pull, so you should have no worries.
left pull

left pull?if you have a pull to the left you will not be LEFT in the cold for much longer.MINI has found a fix in
the form of some chassis parts.only problem parts will not be avalible for apx 1 month keep faith :
Re: left pull

Gary Cooper said:
left pull?if you have a pull to the left you will not be LEFT in the cold for much longer.MINI has found a fix in
the form of some chassis parts.only problem parts will not be avalible for apx 1 month keep faith :

Gary - your name has great heritage with the car! :D :D
bet you must get asked all the time if you are related
My ONE is going in om Wednesday to be checked over :rolleyes: :rolleyes: :eek: :eek: :(
Well I've just swopped over MINI ONES with my brother to compare MK1 suspension with MK3.

I tried the MK1. The steering just wanted to pull itself into the left hand bends, but the right handers needed more steering effort.

The other thing is that I thought the road noise was louder too. On the straights it continued to tug to the left.

My brother immediately noticed the difference. Not only was it well balanced, but he also liked the smoother feel.:cool: He has headed off to his dealer to get his fixed. His MINI was a Nov 01 build car.Lets see if they try to fob him off!

I have now driven 4 out of 4 pre Nov 01 build cars that ALL pull to the left. Don't anyone tell me that they have a car that is pre-November build and it drives straight. I can't comment on the Dec,Jan,and Feb cars as I have'nt driven one, but I wouldn't be surprised if they are the same.

The problem is not a quality issue it is the design that is wrong. If you don't believe me, then go and drive a post-March build MINI with the MK3 struts. Then you'll realise the difference. BMW wouldn't go to the trouble of making 3 different front suspension types if it was not a design issue would they?

BMW can be relied upon to get it right eventually, unlike some other manufacturers who can't be bothered.

Well done BMW!
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to garycooper

how do you know of this fix? As of yesterday my dealer claims there is still no fix. I am getting tired of their run around regarding this.

I haven't been around for a few weeks so apologise for the late comments.

The White gator you can see is the bumpstop, the old suspension would have had this, it was just covered by the black gator, which I would have thought the new suspension should have had. The bumpstop probably changed slightly as the top mount has changed.

The top mount, this is where most problems came from, there were quality (manufacturing and assembly) problems with the bearing. Redesign to solve those problems. (and some last minute tuning by the comments on noise)

The shiney Anti Roll (or stabiliser) Bar link is only there because it comes with the strut from the supplier (look at the top connection it is difficult to get too with the spring in place), this part should be identical, try measuring it with an older car.
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i'm not crazy

I didn't even want to mention it for fear of sounding like a hypochondriac. I thought of it more as a drift than a pull but I took my Cooper S in yesterday to have them check on a few other things - so I asked them to look at the alignment while it was there. Got confirmation today - she will probably need "the fix" - which is new struts.

A MINI corporate guy will be at the dealer on Thursday to check her out and authorize the fix. I'll let you know if I learn any more.

who still LOVES her car...
Perhaps this is a stupid question; but are Mini's now
in production being built with the redesigned steering?

I assume this was resolved & put into production
at some point. Is there a date when this was implemented?

Sorry if this "old news" but my car is set for June 14th
build & I am a little worried.
The new parts were supposed to appear on the assembly line in the second week of March. If you look at Apial's gallery, you can find some photos of the new upper mounts and the original mounts. A quick visual inspection under the hood will tell you if your car has the new parts installed.
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