After over 7 months of waiting, my MINI has been fitted with Mk3 front suspension which actually works!!!!!
The steering is now so straight that the car will travel in a straight line for at least 1/4 mile with no need for correction. Hard braking from 60 mph may be performed with no need to correct the steering. Turn in is just as sharp as before and very quick. In a word, BRILLIANT!
Some of you may be wondering what work was done. The front top suspension mount, the shock absorber strut, the springs, and link arm have all been changed. This process took 2 days to complete. One day was taken up by the car having to go to Thorne for the suspension alignment to be done on the BMW KDS machine.
The most obvious difference is to be seen in the engine bay. The tops of the front suspension design has changed radically from a protruding top to a sunken design with an allen headed bolt top.
An additional white plastic gater top has appeared on the top of the struts.I hope this aids identification for you.
Better still, take a look at my gallery for all the pictures.Click here for the pictures.
All has not gone well though. On return of my MINI, I started up the engine and now the airbag warning light has come on and refuses to go out. Also on turning at almost full lock to the right, a terrible scraping metallic rattle noise came from the nearside wheel!
(mr.bill,this car needs an exorcism, I think.)
After telling the dealer that he would be seeing me again, I went to investigate. His suggested loose airbag wire under the drivers seat was discounted, so tomorrows visit is still on.
The rattling metallic noise was found to be a disc backing plate that had been bent backwards so that it almost made contact with the track-rod end. On full lock the two actually touched and made a noise like a Steel Bands drum being scraped. A quick bend and all was silenced.
These pictures are conclusive proof that there HAS been a steering problem with earlier (OCT 2001) build cars. I have been told that this MK3 design was being fitted from week 9 build on the MINI production line. Can anyone confirm that the Mk3 design suspension parts shown in my Gallery are the same as their post week 9 build MINI?