2nd Gen "How To" Replace springs-shocks-struts (Gen2)

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Safety should be PARAMOUNT in this work! Insure that car is secure on stands before getting under the Mini. Wear safety glasses when working under...
By RonsMinnie · Jan 30, 2018 ·
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  1. Steve

    Steve Administrator
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    Apr 23, 2009
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    I just loaded another how-to in the Library.

    Ron (RonsMinnie) documented the process when he replaced shocks, struts and springs on his Clubman. The project also included a new rear sway bar and end links. This one is worth checking out just to get a look at the pit crew chief (hint - it's the last pic).

    How To: Replace springs-struts-shocks
     
  2. Steve

    Steve Administrator
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    This article now has an addendum. Ron switched to coilovers so he added a few notes on the process.
     
  3. Gilboyto

    Gilboyto MINI of the Month - March '10

    Jun 15, 2009
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    Great read I just checked this out!

    May be a dumb question, but if I want to replace the rear sway bar and I have to lower the rear subframe some to remove/install the new one, is an alignment necessary after doing so?
     
  4. SMOG

    SMOG ZOOOOOMMMM
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    Thanks for this "How To" Ron, I was getting ready to do the same FSD addition and was looking for tips:Thumbsup:

    I can see that spring compressors would have been handy, and they are inexpensive:biggrin5:
     
  5. SMOG

    SMOG ZOOOOOMMMM
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    Koni FSD

    I just put on the Koni FSD shocks on my 2011 MCS w/"Sport Suspension", and what a welcome difference they made! They did not change the ride height but they certainly did smooth out the ride. No more crashing on small bumps/dips in the road and it still corners like it should. I could not have done it without the spring compressors.

    Do your MINI (and your backside) a favor and put on Koni FSD's if you are not wanting to change ride height.

    I had only 8K miles on the MINI so the OEM's were still good as far as the stealership was concerned. Sort of makes ya want to weld them to the dealership doors since they like them so much:D
     
  6. Minidave

    Minidave Well-Known Member
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    Why?

    Is there some history behind that comment about welding them to the dealership doors?
     
  7. SMOG

    SMOG ZOOOOOMMMM
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    No history, just tired of dealerships selling a product that clearly needs work after purchase.

    For instance, how many of you guys would like to have real gauges on your MINI? Oil pressure, coolant temperature, voltage, and a gas gauge that works and not some vague reference to a fuel supply.

    Then how about a speedometer that is accurate? If the speedo is off by a few miles per hour then the mileage rating must be off as well, perhaps adding more miles to your MINI then you are actually going?
     
  8. Herleman

    Herleman New Member

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    I have to add an "OH SH*T comment, and how to fix the result.

    Well, all went well with my Koni FSD install until I got to the last rear shock. When I removed the bottom shock mount bolt frm the aluminum suspension arm, all of the threads came with it leaving me with a not so smooth hole in the arm, and no way to attach the shock.

    I finally drilled the arm with a 14mm drill, and used a grinder to flatten the outside of the arm where the original bolt end came through it. I obtained a grade 12, 14X1.5 mm (aircraft grade) steel allen head bolt 120 mm long. inserted it through the hole and finished with a locking Grade 12 nut on the inside edge. It is holding properly and it seems to be an effective way to recover from the thread damage. I bought both a 120 mm and a 130 mm bolt. The 120 was the right length. I considered a helicoil type insert, but they are rather short in comparison to the original threading and I was afraid of the potential for the shock bolt to loosen -- not a good thing.

    This sure beat spending $400 for a new suspension arm. Total cost was about $10.

    I kinda thinnk it stronger than the original.
     
  9. Minidave

    Minidave Well-Known Member
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    #9 Minidave, Oct 12, 2012
    Last edited by a moderator: Oct 12, 2012
    Yes, but your anger is mis-directed - the dealer has absolutely nothing to do with the design and build of the car. If it doesn't meet your needs, that's one thing - but dont trash the dealer for the manufacturer's faults.
     
  10. daddyandmadi

    daddyandmadi New Member

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    I appreciate the write up as I need to tackle this. 8 Hours maybe out of my skill set. I do have a good indy who can tackle it I guess.
     
  11. SMOG

    SMOG ZOOOOOMMMM
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    The fix that Herleman did for the rear trailing arm thread mishap was a good one and in all likelihood is probably stronger than the OEM setup. The OEM uses a 3 sided (lobed) bolt that I am sure is designed to tap the hole as the bolt is being installed making for simple assembly when new and installing the strut.

    I took off the FSD's that were on one of my MINI's, the one with the "Sport Suspension", because for some reason the fronts developed a klunking noise after a few hundred miles. I sent them back to Koni to see what was wrong and they said they were defective and replaced them. So I put them back on the car for a second time.

    After another 500 miles they started making that Klunking noise again so I gave up on Koni FSD's with the Sport Suspension springs and changed everything. Now the FSD's are sitting on my bench waiting to go back to Koni and if they replace them I will put them on my Cooper with the standard suspension. I sure liked the way the FSD's rode but they do NOT like the Sport Suspension springs! I discovered that Bilstien makes a different strut for the "Sport Suspension" springs that MINI puts on their 2nd Gen cars; they must have figured something out that Koni did not.

    I went with Bilstien B8's and Swift Spec-R springs and now it handles like a real tuned suspension. Flat handling, the ride is about as stiff as the Sport Suspension but with good shocks/struts that take out the jarring ride. It did drop/lower the car almost an inch. We took it across the USA from Seattle to Virginia and no klunking noises at all:D We drove The Dragon, took a bunch of nice back roads, found some terrible roads (particularly in St. Louis while locating a dealership to get an oil change) and nothing came apart or did anything bad. Love the setup!!
     
  12. SMOG

    SMOG ZOOOOOMMMM
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    You are correct, it is the designer and not the dealer, although the dealership did back my one week old MINI into a pole that required replacing the bumper cover and a repaint of the bumper and fender area.
     

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