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Discussion Starter #1
Hi All,

I just took my 2007 Cooper S to have 4-wheel alignment check and correction.

The guys tried to adjust the toe on the rear right side but said they couldn't adjust far enough to get it good. However they did adjust the front for me.

Apparently to adjust the rear toe the bolts holding the trailing arm bushing to the body can be loosened. There are elongated slots in the bushing bracket so it can be slid on the bolts. They suggested the trailing arm might be a little bent but were not 100% sure why they couldn't get it adjusted correctly.

Possibly could they be not adjusting right? At first they said the control arms are adjusted, but then said they were wrong and it's the trailing arm as above. Is it the R53 with adjustable control arms?

Has anybody had a similar experience? Comments welcomed!

I can swap the trailing arm (is it difficult?) but would like to know this is the problem first.

 

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There's either something wrong, or they don't know what they're doing. How to tell though?
The other thing is, they've actually made it worse, so maybe a clue.
 

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May I ask who did it? Presuming that is on a Hunter? The after/current is terrible TBH.
This is my 2005 R53 after on the Hunter at STS Tyre Pros in East Grinstead on 5th Feb which was done after I'd fitted a set of AP coilovers plus new OE front top mounts.

The front camber is out, maybe because that tower is slightly mushroomed? The solution would be a set of Silver Project adjustable top mounts. Currently I'm living with it. Everything else is spot on.

I've had the rear camber set at -2 intentionally.

Don't know where you are in Kent but think I'd have a chat (01622 812789) and maybe a visit with Kevin Palmer on Seven Mile Lane in Mereworth - Palmer Works S. He doesn't bother with a website, too well known already. Knows rather a lot about MINIs. Good bloke.
 

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Discussion Starter #5 (Edited)
This is all very useful!

It w as done by STS Tyre Pros Rainham, Kent. After calling them today I can not recommend anybody visit there.

I had a look at both rear bushings today where they bolt to the car body. As they said, the right side is adjusted all the way trying to correct that positive toe.

I also had a look at the left side and it is in the middle of its adjustment range.

Do you guys think it is possible to adjust the left side to get the rear wheels parallel? It needs 1.5 degrees total adjustment. How much range do those elongated slots offer?

(Edit: To answer my own question yes it can be done and the rear wheels will be parallel. BUT either it will put a thrust angle on the back, or if you adjust the front to match the car will drive straight but be kind of angled on the road like a crab. Not ideal and doesn't fix the root cause.)


I phoned Rainham Tyre Pros to ask these questions and they were quite defensive rather than just answering my questions. They didn't want to explain much and it seemed like they just wanted to cover their arse / ass.

Yesterday when I pointed out the rear right toe is worse than when they started, they said that's because it measures relative to the other wheels so following the front adjustments it makes the rear figure change. Today when I suggested they could adjust the left side to compensate they said the wheels are measured independently so it wouldn't work. Whatever suits them at the time I guess. In fact the measurements are independent, which you can see as the front was all adjusted but the toe on the left rear stayed exactly the same as they didn't touch that.
 

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Discussion Starter #7
Okay I think I have found the culprit! Short answer it looks to me like the bushing has slipped in the trailing arm bracket.

The weather is just horrible today. So rather than getting under the car I knelt on a bag and took some photos up the car's wazoo.

Finally I noticed that on the left trailing arm bushing (which seems good) I can see the rubber ears popping out near the domed washer and that washer is quite proud of the bracket. However on the right side I can see the rubber on the trailing arm side and the washer is pulled in to the bracket a fair bit more.


 

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I called Kevin Palmer just now. He told me the rear toe is not adjustable, only the camber... not too helpful really.
:eeksurprise:


Wheel alignment link
Rear Suspension
On 2002-2006 models, rear toe is adjusted by an eccentric bolt and plate that secures the lower transverse link to the trailing arm. The rear toe and camber angles on the Mini have a considerable amount of cross-talk. If the rear camber is in spec but at the fringes, a toe adjustment could push it over the edge. Also, check ride height before doing a drastic adjustment.

On 2007-2013 models, rear toe is adjusted by changing the position of the trailing arm mounting bracket on the unibody. The procedure involves loosening the bolts 1.5 turns and moving the bracket with a special tool that has an eccentric cam that fits into a hole and can move the bracket small amounts.

Rear Camber
On 2002-2006 models, the rear camber is not adjustable. If the rear camber needs to be adjusted, it requires replacement of the lower control link with an adjustable part. 2007-2013 models have a rear camber adjustment on the lower control arm.
 

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Well that does look like your problem. The bushing is f**ed.

Rear Camber
On 2002-2006 models, the rear camber is not adjustable. If the rear camber needs to be adjusted, it requires replacement of the lower control link with an adjustable part.


Where did this come from????? My man at STS in EG in Feb asked me what rear camber I wanted. So I told him -2. So that is what he set it at, as you can see. Here is my 'before' with the 'after'. THE REAR CAMBER HAS BEEN ADJUSTED - ON A 2005 R53. So unless my man was f**king Gandalf how did he manage that??
 

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Discussion Starter #11
THE REAR CAMBER HAS BEEN ADJUSTED - ON A 2005 R53. So unless my man was f**king Gandalf how did he manage that??
In a duplicate thread over one NAM someone just mentioned that Mini added adjustable camber from Jan '05 onwards.

With so many variations and models of Mini I can understand why mechanics can get confused. A shame it is so hard to find clear and correct info.
 

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Rear Camber
On 2002-2006 models, the rear camber is not adjustable. If the rear camber needs to be adjusted, it requires replacement of the lower control link with an adjustable part.


Where did this come from????? My man at STS in EG in Feb asked me what rear camber I wanted. So I told him -2. So that is what he set it at, as you can see. Here is my 'before' with the 'after'. THE REAR CAMBER HAS BEEN ADJUSTED - ON A 2005 R53. So unless my man was f**king Gandalf how did he manage that??
I think it means (1st gen) rear camber can't be adjusted in isolation. Altering toe also adjusts camber on 1st gen Minis.
 
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