1st Gen R53 Cooper S '06 Mini S Front Suspension

Discussion in '1st Generation: 2002–06 R50, R53 & 2004–08 R52' started by matchframe, May 16, 2016.

  1. matchframe

    matchframe Member

    Aug 3, 2009
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    My son has a 2006 Mini Cooper S. Last night he hit a curb pretty hard on the driver's side front wheel. He was able to make it back home and after I drove it down the street, I came to the conclusion that he was lucky to drive it home. I pulled the wheel today but since it is raining, I can't dive into finding out exactly what is damaged. The only obvious thing I saw was part of the sway bar linkage was rubbing on the driver's side drive shaft. I am posting a picture of that. Other than that, I really can't see right off what is damaged or broken. Any ideas?

    d4180e61-3efa-49b6-a459-19bb1fa5729e_zpserasnfud.jpg
     
  2. matchframe

    matchframe Member

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    Looking through the Bentley Service manual and two other manuals, I have almost come to the conclusion that the ball joint that holds the lower arm to the frame may be broken. That would explain why the wheel and drive shaft have moved back to where it rubs against the sway bar link.

    Does that sound like a possibility?
     
  3. Red Bull

    Red Bull Active Member

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    Check the lower control arm bushings. If that's it behind the sway bar end link in the picture, it looks like it might be worn out. Also, check the strut mount for damage and mushrooming.
     
  4. matchframe

    matchframe Member

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    The rain stopped long enough for me to get a closer look. What I found it the lower control arm is bent back. With the geometry changed, that put the sway bar link rubbing on the drive shaft.





    IMG_8746_zps60ijoawb.jpg IMG_8749_zpsymqejnwm.jpg IMG_8751_zpsrmaeoyzz.jpg

    You can see how the arm is disfigured at the bend. I estimate the arm at the wheel side is moved back at least 1/2 an inch.
     
  5. matchframe

    matchframe Member

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    The bushing looked ok. I will go check the strut mount. Where you are talking about is where the top of the strut mounts?
     
  6. BlimeyCabrio

    BlimeyCabrio Oscar Goldman of MINIs
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    Lower control arm bending is a common failure mode on these cars when you whack the wheel hard like that. That's probably your primary issue, and may be the only real issue. Also possible the bushing at the rear of the arm is damaged or worn out, as others have said. Also possible to bend the upper strut mounting plate and the strut tower itself.
     
  7. matchframe

    matchframe Member

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    Ok, thanks! When I order the control arm, I will get a new bushing for it as well. Next time I am checking out the car, I will look at the strut mount and tower for damage.

    Thanks!
     
  8. Red Bull

    Red Bull Active Member

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    Check out the description and black and white picture/diagram of the strut mount protection plates

    http://new.minimania.com/part/NMS7300/Mini-Cooper-Suspension-Strut-Tower-Reinforcement-Plates

    If the towers are mushroomed, so are the strut mount plates, along with possible broken rubber bushings. The strut towers are weak and hard hits cause this issue. There are other types of plates available to prevent this, some mount underneath between the mount and tower, and others are like the ones in the link, but can also mount an optional strut tower bar to connect the two towers.
     
  9. Rawhyde

    Rawhyde Active Member

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    Consider getting Powerflex control arm bushings. You'll get much longer life, crisper handling, and no additional noise or vibration. Since you took such a hard hit, it might be a good idea to install a fresh set of ball joints while you're in there.
     
  10. matchframe

    matchframe Member

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    That is a great idea for strengthening the strut tower! Definitely have to get a set of these!
     
  11. matchframe

    matchframe Member

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    Good idea! Thanks!!
     
  12. matchframe

    matchframe Member

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    Looks like the strut tower is mushroomed. Definitely going to order a set of strut mount plates.

    IMG_8759_zpsr5yemcct.jpg
     
  13. Red Bull

    Red Bull Active Member

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    WOW!! :eek: ... that's the worst case of mushrooming I have ever seen :crazy:
     
  14. MCS02

    MCS02 Moderator
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    That is very bad! Time to get a block of wood and a BIG hammer!! Defiantly get the PowerFlex bushings, the stock ones don't last long.
     
  15. M1N1

    M1N1 Well-Known Member

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    I think that I may have a used, but good, control arm. Get the part number off yours, and PM me. I will take a look in my garage when I get off work tonight. If I still have it, you can have it for the price of shipping.

    Ray.
     
  16. M1N1

    M1N1 Well-Known Member

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    Control arm. Off to work now.
     

    Attached Files:

  17. Rawhyde

    Rawhyde Active Member

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    This kind of thing is why MA is the best MINI forum on the web. I hope karma pays you back tenfold for this act of valor!
     
  18. matchframe

    matchframe Member

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    That is so cool! Thanks!

    PM sent

    Bill
     
  19. matchframe

    matchframe Member

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    Update; I received the Control Arm Ray sent me. Thanks so much! I will be ordering all the other parts I need to get the Mini back on the road today.

    When my son hit the curb that did the damage to the control arm, the driver's side wheel was also damaged so I looked through Craigslist for another wheel. I ended up buying a set from a local guy for $200. I did not need all 4 wheels but I could not pass up the deal. Now I have backup wheels if he damages another one.

    IMG_8893_zpsah7khy9b.jpg
     
  20. matchframe

    matchframe Member

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    All of my parts has arrived. Look what showed up yesterday!

    defenders_zpsyaikahgs.jpg

    defenders1_zpsjuzpdwfa.jpg

    Hoping the weather stays good this weekend to finish up all the work. It will be good to have the Mini back on the road.
     

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