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Discussion Starter #1
So, after putting my 2001 Cooper into Derek Woodman to have the front suspension struts modified I then discover (and have Derek Woodman confirm) that my midland gearbox is indeed far too noisy and that I require a reconditioned box - at a grand total of nearly £2000 including VAT and fitting.

I have rung Lohen and 1320 for quotes on getrag five speed fitments (excellent knowledgeable service over the phone from both by the way) - but I don't think theyre going to be pretty!

No way I'm paying BMW prices, may well have to bite the bullet and get it reconditioned locally - at least it should be good for another 50,000 miles (?)

Mad isn't it? All this trouble and we still love the car to bits! I would rather fly around in my Mrs' Cooper than my 300bhp Saab convertible any day - perhaps I just like driving go-karts. I love the full-on handling of the cooper and will hang onto it for years to come!
 

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there are reconditioned gearboxes on ebay.


Also why not look at a cooper S box. ask 1320 the cost, but a cooper S gearbox may be available for abotu 300-350 then youneed new flywheel i believe and different driveshafts. But 1320 have done this conversio. Is a really strong box and will also improve your fuel economy on the cooper.
 

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Mini Mania uk also advertises recon up rated Midland boxes as well.You have many options just depends on how much to spend.If i lived in the UK and had your options with the intensions of keeping the car i would bite the bullet and have an S box just to get away from the Midlands once and for all.
 

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As another MC owner with the dreaded midland box i have looked at various options should/when it lets go.
There was a previous thread from Richard22b(i think right name) he had his replaced with a Getrag MCS + LSD 6 speed and that came in at around £2200. He was well impressed by the results and 1320 autos who did the work. This would be my choice(after lots of overtime):D
Not sure where you are in UK but MINI MATT in Telford offer an exchange recon box for £550. This can be fitted by a local garage or Matt has good rep so able to do work but ? price.
As already mentioned some available on ebay etc but unless it has been reconditioned then it could be another duffer.
As a long shot you can get lots of supporting evidence from web etc and goto BMW and dependant on age and mileage of car they sometimes make goodwill payment of parts or labour as common and well documented weak point.
Whatever route you take, good luck and let us know the quotes etc you get and the outcome.
 

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also check with your local parts people. If you are based in south east let me know as my mate can get amazing prices on gearboxes and engines. I still owe him for sourcing my Brand new MCS engine for just £1350.
 

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Discussion Starter #6
Thanks for all your replies guys. Unfortunately, neither Lohen or 1320 got back to me with quotes so I decided to get a quick straight-forward fix whilst the car is still driveable as it's needed for daily use.

Having rung around nationally and locally (I'm in the North West of England) it seemed that the average price was around £450 plus VAT for the gearbox and £120 plus VAT for the clutch assembly. Removal and fitting of the gearbox averaged out to around £200 plus VAT.

Imagine my surprise then when I rang these guys: ww.gearboxesandclutches.co.uk/
(not allowed to post full url as my post count is still low) on 0800 7835706
I stated what I needed to the receptionist who told me that someone would ring me back with a quote.

Within 10 minutes a guy called Paul (the owner) rang me back with a quote of £580 plus VAT for a recon gearbox and new clutch assembly fitted! I doubly checked what was included and he said that he could fit me in that day with the car ready tomorrow.

What swung it was the fact that he gave a 2 year NO QUIBBLE guarantee on both the gearbox and clutch and he let me have a little Corsa courtesy car for a couple of days whilst the work was being done.

It appears that they do a lot of work for the trade and recondition their own boxes on the premises.

Yeah I know, it's still a midland Box. But by my estimation I can afford to have this done 3 times for less than the cost of a conversion so this works for me, I have to say.

The box itself looks new, it has obviously been cleaned externally. The guys have taken care to refit all items in the engine bay snugly and tightly (looks like the battery box area had been removed) .

Mechanically, the gearchange is extremely smooth and quick and the clutch is now very, very light making the car drive like new. The drivetrain noise (which was previoulsy very noticeable inside the car) has now diminished to being almost inaudible.

So, a happy customer here - nice to get a good deal in this country for a change with quick, excellent service. I would highly recommend them to you.
 

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Discussion Starter #7
Just thought I'd bump this thread up a bit as a few people seem to be experiencing dying gearboxes on here.
Car is still going strong......... :)
 

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Thats correct we have now completed a few!

Whats better still is our OEM clutch supplier will supply a lifetime warranty including labour costs!
 

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Depending on where you are I'd suggest trying to get a recon box and have it fitted at ThinkMINI (Worcs) or 1320 (Bedford way). In fact if your flush you could consider having either of these do a 6 speed getrag conversion for you. I know that think have done one and I believe 1320 also have. Its expensive and quite a lot of parts need changing but it means you'd have a bullit proof box thats being worked at well under its designed capacity. Consider whether your keeping the car...is it worth paying 2x 1000 for a 5 speed recon twice, or £2000 now for a 6 spped that you shouldonly need doing once? if your gonna sell before the next 30,000 miles is up then just do the recon
 

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Discussion Starter #12
Depending on where you are I'd suggest trying to get a recon box and have it fitted at ThinkMINI (Worcs) or 1320 (Bedford way). In fact if your flush you could consider having either of these do a 6 speed getrag conversion for you. I know that think have done one and I believe 1320 also have. Its expensive and quite a lot of parts need changing but it means you'd have a bullit proof box thats being worked at well under its designed capacity. Consider whether your keeping the car...is it worth paying 2x 1000 for a 5 speed recon twice, or £2000 now for a 6 spped that you shouldonly need doing once? if your gonna sell before the next 30,000 miles is up then just do the recon
Richard, not sure if you read this entire thread fully.

The whole thing cost me £685 with a free loan car. The box has been reconditioned with uprated seals and bearings - Paul assures me it will last well in excess of the 30,000 miles you quote - so no (in my opinion) its not worth paying £2000.

But of course its all to do with individual perspective. If youre an enthusiast and have the money - the getrag conversion may well seem worth it to you.
 

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That is indeed a great price , its a bit hit and miss with the midlands box they are either good ones or not ,regular oil changes help , abusive driving can kill them quickly regardless
There cant be many places that would give you such a good deal an stay in business
 
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