2nd Gen R56 Cooper S Symptoms of worn control arm bushings?

Discussion in '2nd Generation: 2007+ R55 through R61' started by TygerRRT, Mar 4, 2012.

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  1. TygerRRT

    TygerRRT New Member

    Sep 1, 2010
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    What are they?
     
  2. jeffster06

    jeffster06 Active Member

    Apr 23, 2010
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    Most time the symptoms are overall sloppy feel in the front end. There is an easy way to check them though. just kick the wheel from the front of the car. If it shifts backwards your bushings are bad.
     
  3. KittyMini

    KittyMini Club Coordinator

    Jun 24, 2009
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    Also, if you stop short and there's a clunk, that's another sign.
     
  4. Metalman

    Metalman Well-Known Member
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    Haha....
    You just made me think of the Kramer episode on Seinfeld about "Stopping Short"....:D
     
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  5. Ofioliti

    Ofioliti New Member

    May 9, 2009
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    ... always curious
    Videos:

    [ame=http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=JtElI_WknGs]Diagnosing BAD FCABs (Front Control Arm Bushings) on Mini Cooper R53 - YouTube[/ame]

    [ame=http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=IxjFH4k65aM&feature=related]Mini Cooper - Tire Movement from bad LCA Bushings - YouTube[/ame]
     
  6. KittyMini

    KittyMini Club Coordinator

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    Lol- the Vandelay Industries one was on the other night.... Classic!
     
  7. jiminni

    jiminni New Member

    May 7, 2009
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    Like said earlier, a sloppy feeling, funny thing is though, most people over time get used to driving their car that way and really never notice it, unless REALLY BAD. Then when they are replaced, you go, "Wow! That's how it used to handle". Best way to check, if you can, get it on a lift, grab the arm and push and pull and watch the bushing, a bad one will have slop in it, a really bad one, you will actually see it torn. Oh and if it's is bad, more than likely your ball joints are too. Plus more than likely so are the motor mounts, might as well check everything while your at it.
     
  8. k-huevo

    k-huevo Club Coordinator

    May 6, 2009
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    This is a second generation forum, the newer model control arm rotates evenly within a central axis, the second gen bushing shares the same external dimensions, but the internal bushing is thicker with far less lateral movement allowed than the first generation's. The only way to know for sure if the bushing is torn is to look. If caught soon, a fluid stain would one indicator, but even a damp spot is not necessarily conclusive. In close with good lighting is about the only way to tell.

    Second generation owners can relax on this issue, lower the car more than an inch, spend lots of time driving down railroad ties, then maybe a cause for concern.
     
  9. ScottinBend

    ScottinBend Space Cowboy
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    May 4, 2009
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    Another indication is when braking hard to a complete stop, the cars feels like it settles backwards after stopping other than just staying put.
     
  10. KittyMini

    KittyMini Club Coordinator

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    That was my "clunk" feeling I was trying to say :D
     
  11. k-huevo

    k-huevo Club Coordinator

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    Irrelevant symptom for the 2nd generation, there's not the same room to move as the 1st generation.

    Shown below is evidence of weeping damping fluid from the bushing. This on an R56 so low the tires rubbed holes in the liners.

    [​IMG]
     
  12. Minidave

    Minidave Well-Known Member
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    Dec 22, 2009
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    Weeping? These bushings have some sort of fluid damping in them that can leak?

    My 2009 has an intermittant clunk in the front end too, it's most noticeable at very low speeds such as in a potholed parking lot or coming in/out of the driveway, and is exacerbated by really cold temps.

    Thoughts?

    So far the dealer says they don't see anything wrong, although they thought it might be an inner tie rod joint and replaced one of those - that really tightened up the steering but didn't fix the clunk.
     
  13. k-huevo

    k-huevo Club Coordinator

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    Yes, the control arm bushings for the first and second generation MINIs are fluid filled.

    The backside of the other bushing has a small crack beginning to seep.

    [​IMG]
     
  14. JMC40

    JMC40 Well-Known Member

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    #14 JMC40, Mar 5, 2012
    Last edited: Mar 5, 2012
    I had the same thing on my Mitsubishi, it ended up being two things, worn out sway bar bushings and end links. I was also getting it from the rear with the same things needing to be repalced. But it is a different car so not sure if it is relevant...:)
     
  15. Minidave

    Minidave Well-Known Member
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    Interesting, and not a place I would have thought to have a liquid damped bushing.....

    Now I'm going to have to have a hard look at mine.....

    And JMC40, I did have a pretty good clunk from the sway bar end links in the rear - I changed the sway bar and the mounting holes for the end links were bigger than those on the original bar, so the link studs could move around in the holes and work loose over time - I made some bushings to take up the slack and all is good now - the front is original tho, and all is tight there.
     
  16. TygerRRT

    TygerRRT New Member

    Sep 1, 2010
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    Awesome response! Thanks so much. Do I need to replace them before getting a 4 wheel alignment?
     
  17. KittyMini

    KittyMini Club Coordinator

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    I would think that's a good idea.
     
  18. Eric@Helix

    Eric@Helix New Member
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    It can't hurt, although if everything else is healthy, your alignment should be good after fixing your CTABs.

    The easiest way of telling if your R53 CTABs need replacing is to look at your odometer: if you have 60k or more, you need 'em. Replace them with Powerflex bushings: they're cheaper than stock and will outlast the stockers by a factor of 2.
     
  19. ScottinBend

    ScottinBend Space Cowboy
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    LOL....mine were shot (destroyed....!) at about 20K
     
  20. Crashton

    Crashton Club Coordinator

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    #20 Crashton, Mar 22, 2012
    Last edited: Apr 6, 2012
    I went to 90,000 or so on mine & I was blissfully ignorant how bad they were until the good folks from Helix replaced them at the Dragon last year. Wow what a difference that made! Well worth the money. :D
     

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