1st Gen "How To" Lighten up! R56 cast aluminum rear trailing arm conversion for the R50/53 MINI

phpb9fUkH.jpg
One of the best places to reduce weight to improve handling and ride is where there is unsprung mass. This includes wheels, brakes, and suspension...
By Ryephile · Jan 24, 2018 ·
  1. Ryephile

    Ryephile New Member

    Apr 9, 2009
    299
    121
    0
    Yes!
    Metro Detroit
    Ratings:
    +121 / 0 / -0
    Sully submitted a new Article:

    Lighten up! R56 cast aluminum rear trailing arm conversion for the R50/53 MINI

    Read more about this article here...
     
  2. fishmonger

    fishmonger Well-Known Member

    May 13, 2015
    786
    473
    63
    Madison, WI
    Ratings:
    +514 / 0 / -0
    I just went online to price the parts for this job. Unless you source trailing arms and ABS sensors and bracket used, that $750 price tag moves up to $1150.

    That said - anyone know if Helix still sells that referenced part? Do I absolutely need that? I can't find it on their website. Doing research elsewhere now to get more info on what that adapter actually does before I spend any money on an upgrade my car doesn't really need... but when did that ever stop me before :D
     
  3. Dave.0

    Dave.0 Helix & RMW Powered
    Lifetime Supporter

    May 4, 2009
    22,041
    11,824
    113
    Burbs of Philly, PA
    Ratings:
    +11,977 / 2 / -1

    Helix does sell them, but so does DT. I sourced my trailing arms from Colin Greene (Greene Preformance). My arms came with everything (junk yard take offs) I needed except some nuts and bolts which I got from my local MINI parts guy. No need to use old bolts twice. Colin also media blasted them for me before he shipped them so everything looked brand new.

    My friend picked also picked up his set at MOTD this past Spring from ALLMAG for a decent price. Below you will find a link to R56 trailing arms for $169 each from Dustin at ALLMAG.

    https://www.allmagautoparts.com/collections/mini-cooper/r56+axles-and-suspension
     
  4. Dave.0

    Dave.0 Helix & RMW Powered
    Lifetime Supporter

    May 4, 2009
    22,041
    11,824
    113
    Burbs of Philly, PA
    Ratings:
    +11,977 / 2 / -1
    FYI- I am ocd so I also replaced my brake cables with new R56 cables. You can “rig” the R53 to work but why not do the whole job right the first time.
     
  5. fishmonger

    fishmonger Well-Known Member

    May 13, 2015
    786
    473
    63
    Madison, WI
    Ratings:
    +514 / 0 / -0
    actually, a pair of these arms with brake sensors can be found for $99 shipped. can blast them myself, not a big deal, but good to know the part that isn't a Mini off the shelf part or take-off can still be sourced. Having that stuff custom made would complicate this job more than I care for. And absolutely right about those bolts - most of these are torque to yield and cannot be used twice, like caliper mount and wheel bearing mount bolts

    Never thought about the brake cables. good to know. That whole job, should I decide to do it, will include Powerflex bushings on the main trailing arm bracket, as well as a second set of control arms from Helix to match the lowers. Brand new wheel bearings as well - fronts are new as of 2000 miles ago
     
  6. clifforddward

    clifforddward Active Member

    Dec 2, 2013
    104
    76
    28
    Cary, North Carolina
    Ratings:
    +76 / 0 / -0
    Did the R56 parking brake conversion when I did my trailing arm conversion...a simple few hour job when done at the same time.
     
  7. cristo

    cristo Well-Known Member

    Jan 4, 2015
    2,635
    336
    83
    Male
    physician
    York, Pa
    Ratings:
    +350 / 0 / -0
    Be careful with the bolts.
    The threads are easier to strip on the
    aluminum trailing arm than the steel one.
     
  8. cristo

    cristo Well-Known Member

    Jan 4, 2015
    2,635
    336
    83
    Male
    physician
    York, Pa
    Ratings:
    +350 / 0 / -0
    This advice of course also applies to
    everyone with a later model MINI that
    already has the aluminum trailing arm.

    Be careful with that lower bolt when
    changing the rear shocks.
     
  9. Dave.0

    Dave.0 Helix & RMW Powered
    Lifetime Supporter

    May 4, 2009
    22,041
    11,824
    113
    Burbs of Philly, PA
    Ratings:
    +11,977 / 2 / -1

    I got all new hardware and did not use the old bolts.
     

Share This Page