Engine Drivetrain 1st Gen Cooper S Intermittent Clunking?

Discussion in 'Tuning and Performance' started by UKXPAT, May 9, 2010.

  1. UKXPAT

    UKXPAT New Member

    Nov 12, 2009
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    In the last few days I have started noticing an intermittent clunk when pulling away from stand still. Seems to be coming from the front right side. It seems to happen as the car weight shifts. Not particularly load, but you can hear it in the car. It just clunks once as you let out the clutch normally and start moving. Any ideas?
     
  2. Metalman

    Metalman Well-Known Member
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    Are your motor mounts OK?
     
  3. UKXPAT

    UKXPAT New Member

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    I don't know. Is there a simple check?
     
  4. BlimeyCabrio

    BlimeyCabrio Oscar Goldman of MINIs
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    Sounds like a motor mount to me, also...

    Visually inspect the mount - is it leaking?
    Also - open bonnet, have someone stand beside the car and watch the engine as you let the clutch out and start rolling - see if they can hear it, and watch how much the engine shifts fore/aft.
     
  5. am0eba

    am0eba New Member

    Dec 16, 2009
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    I had this symptom, and it turned out to be the front control arm bushings. Have also had the hydraulic motor mount fail twice.

    For the motor mount failure, look for seepage of dirty, sticky crud from the top of the hydraulic mount, and on nearby frame, etc.

    _Dave_

    Edit: with all your mods, you should also consider drivetrain issues. In addition to the control arm bushings and motor mount, I also had to have a wheel bearing and a stub axle replaced while this sound was being diagnosed. I only mentioned the bushings above because that's what finally made the noise go away.
     
  6. BlimeyCabrio

    BlimeyCabrio Oscar Goldman of MINIs
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    Yep - on a 2004 control arm bushings are also a likely culprit.
     
  7. UKXPAT

    UKXPAT New Member

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    Hopefully not the control arm bushings, as my friendly local MINI dealer charged me a fortune to change those in January. I complained then as the car only had 40K on it:mad5:

    I'll check out the engine mount. Any recos on an upgrade should I end up swapping it out?:idea:
     
  8. BThayer23

    BThayer23 Well-Known Member

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    Stock hydraulic unit is about $100, lasts about 40k, and rides smooth till you drive it hard again. TSW makes a polyurethane damper for about twice the price, lasts till the polyurethane wears out (150k? 200k?), and holds the engine in place when you're trying to heel-toe from 4th to 3rd, get right back on the gas, and not let that Elise scamper away from you on the back straight. If you enjoy the subtle vibrations of the classical masters as you cruise around smooth suburban streets at a medium pace, you might not enjoy the extra stiffness of TSW's damper.

    For what it's worth, I hate the way the engine flops around when the OEM damper fails, even around town, so I bolted on the TSW unit and love it.
     
  9. N2MINI

    N2MINI MINI of the Month

    Dec 4, 2009
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    Hey Ben,
    In my hot rod days we wanted solid mounts to keep the engine tied to the frame to help with throttle/car response.. Any adverse side effects other then vibrations ( loved that part in my '68 SCJ Mustang Fastback) to fab-ing up a solid bracket on the cheap to replace the OEM mount..
     
  10. BlimeyCabrio

    BlimeyCabrio Oscar Goldman of MINIs
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    One thing I'd start worrying about with solid steel engine mounts (other than NVH) would be safety... the OEM mounts are engineered to fail in a predictable manner in a catastrophic collision to let the engine drop...
     
  11. BThayer23

    BThayer23 Well-Known Member

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    Well as far as safety's concerned, the critical connection is the bolt connecting the bottom of the engine mount to the frame. It's an E12 female torx M10 bolt, and it's not very thick (part # 22116766753 on RealOEM). But the vibration from the 4 cylinder would be crazy.
     
  12. BlimeyCabrio

    BlimeyCabrio Oscar Goldman of MINIs
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    That bolt would probably fail "even better" with a solid mount. :devil:
     
  13. Metalman

    Metalman Well-Known Member
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    Yep, and it would probably fail at a most inopportune time as well (not when it was supposed to fail).:nonod:
     
  14. UKXPAT

    UKXPAT New Member

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    So I happened to be in the neighbourhood of my MINI dealer today so popped in to see if they could check the clunk out, as the noise has been getting more regular. Their senior mechanic, who has worked on my car quite a bit, checked it out and says it's the engine mount. I had checked it out and saw no leaking crud myself, but he says you don;t always get that at failure. He said it's not unusual at 6 years old, or 40K, to see them fail. He did not reckon it was linked to the extra power I have. Just a coincidence.

    So the question is, do I replace it with OEM and get a 2 year warranty on it, or replace it with something else? I had been told that the 2004 OEM mount was one of the better units fitted to the cars.

    Another question is, is this a pretty easy job to swap out?
     
  15. k-huevo

    k-huevo Club Coordinator

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    Assuming this 2004 model was built after January and has the metal encased damper, replace with another OEM. The parts warranty only applies if installed in a MINI service department.

    The swap is not a difficult task. Be sure to use the correct frame bolt for that model damper; the later version bolt is longer than the earlier one.
     
  16. UKXPAT

    UKXPAT New Member

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    How do I find my build date? I am pretty sure it's the newer engine mount. You don;t have any pictures do you?
     
  17. bee1000

    bee1000 New Member

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    Not entirely true. Independent shops get the same deal. When my 2nd mount failed, the shop just had to take the busted part and a receipt from when they installed it and the dealer gave them a new one.

    I'm not sure how they would deal with someone doing their own work, but do know that other shops get the parts warranty, not just the dealer. :Thumbsup:
     
  18. ScottinBend

    ScottinBend Space Cowboy
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    Build date is on the driver door jamb and the later model engine mount is a metal looking "can" instead of the rubber "ball" that the earlier cars had.

    You should also consider getting the powerflex engine bushings.
    MINI Cooper Powerflex Motor Mount Kit
     
  19. UKXPAT

    UKXPAT New Member

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    Just found that out. Mines an 02/04 mfg date. Has the silver cannister type of mount. So is the better one or the worse one?
     
  20. UKXPAT

    UKXPAT New Member

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    So assume these bushings do not go anywhere near the engine mount we are talking about, so where do these fit?
     

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