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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
Took the Mini ('02 MC 5spd 120,000km) out the other day and within 30m I could hear some new and very uncool sounds coming from the driveline that seemed to get worse over the next 20 mins of driving. There is a ticking like sound and some growling/humming like sounds that occur in all gears; it goes away with no load coasting or clutch in; it is appears under acceleration or deceleration; based on this its not the engine and not likely the half shafts (that appear ok); It still otherwise shifts well, so I would guess the transmission bearings. For now parked while I decide what to do. (I checked the oil, level is ok and its fairly clean; some bits of metal on the drain plug magnet, so something is coming apart.)

I'm inclined to sell it and get something more reliable and cheaper to fix when it does break; its 6 1/6 years old now but in otherwise good condition. Dealer cost to replace a transmission based on the forums is pricey; used units are not cheap if you can find them; and the remanufactured unit at Minimani is not cheap either.

However, the parts for a rebuild look to be no more than a few hundred dollars (Minimania, Pelicanparts). Cost of my labour aside, this is a pretty cheap option. So, for those that have been down the replace / rebuild transmission route (5spd Midlands), can you weighin with your thoughts and experience?

1) If you had it replaced, how much and who did it (yourself, dealer or other)?

2) And if you went the rebuild route, how much did it cost for parts, where did you get them and how much for labour (if you didn't do it yourself)?

If you did the rebuild yourself, how hard was it and how long did it take and any special tools required? Are there parts that don't come with the rebuild kits (bearings) that I should get? And lastly, would you do the rebuild again or recommend for/against doing the rebuild?

Thanks in advance for everyones comments.
 

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Discussion Starter · #3 ·
Based on a suggestion on another forum, I checked the half-shafts a little further. Put the car up on jack stands (and loaded the front axles a bit so the CV's weren't hyper extended) and had a listen with the car running in gear. Lots of noise from the drivers seat but after some poking around with an auto stethoscope at the half-shaft CV and bearing area, they are pretty quiet. Listening at the transmission casing though ... sounds like some bunch of marbles in a can. So it appears the bearing(s) are in the process of self destructing.

Not too many comments back regarding rebuilding other than yours; it appears some have done it, but the vast majority in looking thru the threads just bite the $$bullet$$ and have the dealer replace it. Quote from the dealer here is $4200CDN installed, apparently for a new one. Between this and the $2000 clutch this summer, not to mention the cooling fan failure that almost toasted the motor a year ago, the door latch and window problems a couple years ago, and wheel bearing earlier this year, its unlikely I'll keep it.

The Mini may be fun, the Ultimate Driving Machine and all that, but fun has a price with the Mini and its too high for me. It will be traded as soon as its fixed; and not for another Mini (or any BMW for that matter). Very disappointed in BMW.
 
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