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CVT Transmission Repair/Rebuilding

  #1  
Old 03-19-2008, 12:12 PM
Igor Stolper
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CVT Transmission Repair/Rebuilding

As a lot of you know the CVT style automatic transmission in the first generation minis is problematic. I own two minis that have both had transmission issues. I also own an auto repair shop and am now intimately familiar with the rebuilding and repair of these CVT transmissions. The first car that I had transmission issues with was previously at a dealership and the former owner was told that it needed a transmission replacement for about $7000. I pulled the transmission pan off, found a broken wire to the solenoid, repaired the wire and fixed the car for about $150.00. I highly recommend that you take your car for an inspection before you replace the transmission. We have all the equipment etc to perform diagnostics and if neccessary a complete transmission overhaul.

Igor Stolper
Advance Auto Repair
2435 16th St
San Francisco, Ca 94103
(415) 552-1831
 

Last edited by Igor Stolper; 03-19-2008 at 12:15 PM.
  #2  
Old 04-08-2008, 07:12 PM
Tiki999
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Do you know of anyone in the Los Angeles area with same expertise?
 
  #3  
Old 08-06-2008, 03:10 AM
ratfink77
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Igor knows his business. He helped me fix my CVT problem over the phone. I think he can even get CVT parts for the DIY-er.
 
  #4  
Old 11-14-2010, 08:13 PM
gknorr
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Originally Posted by ratfink77 View Post
Igor knows his business. He helped me fix my CVT problem over the phone. I think he can even get CVT parts for the DIY-er.
What was your problem and what was the fix?
 
  #5  
Old 12-22-2010, 11:53 PM
Invisiguard
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Bump for this!

got an 03 thats making some noise, I'll be contacting you tmr, hopefully you have a minute to check it out before the weekend!
 
  #6  
Old 12-23-2010, 05:48 AM
gknorr
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Originally Posted by Invisiguard View Post
Bump for this!

got an 03 thats making some noise, I'll be contacting you tmr, hopefully you have a minute to check it out before the weekend!
What's the noise? How many miles on the car?

I called Igor about my "EP" light coming on very intermittently (once every few months), and he was helpful in suggesting what it might be. To really pinpoint it though, a diagnostic tool would have been needed to get a code from the transmission.

Let us know how things turn out!
 
  #7  
Old 02-13-2011, 06:54 PM
blefebure
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Hello, I own a 2002 Mini with a CVT Transmission . While lowering the Valve Body down from the tranmission there were (2) nylon ***** that fell out from somewhere, does anyone know where they go or a transmissioin diagram that's out there somewhere.
Thanks
 
  #8  
Old 02-13-2011, 10:08 PM
gknorr
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Originally Posted by blefebure View Post
Hello, I own a 2002 Mini with a CVT Transmission . While lowering the Valve Body down from the tranmission there were (2) nylon ***** that fell out from somewhere, does anyone know where they go or a transmissioin diagram that's out there somewhere.
Thanks
The most detailed diagram I've found is this one:

http://www.automaticchoice.com/Catalogue/zfvt1-27t.pdf

That one's pretty good. Minimania also has some diagrams and parts listings for the CVT.

What's your reason for lowering the valve body? Repairing something else in the transmission?
 
  #9  
Old 04-10-2014, 11:19 AM
M.C.E.
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Originally Posted by Tiki999 View Post
Do you know of anyone in the Los Angeles area with same expertise?
MINI Cooper Experts in Glendora 91740
 
  #10  
Old 07-07-2015, 01:54 PM
bigramdizzle
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cvt expert

im also expert with cvt problem...have a list of used cvt parts from belts to drums to housings to valve body
if interested please shoot me an email or pm
im located in east bay area ca 94545
 
  #11  
Old 08-02-2016, 08:07 AM
fxplorrs
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Cvt

All:

Can Someone tell me the transmission code image attached?
I have a 2005 mini cooper s, CVT, 67,000 miles. When it is hot with AC, it shifts awkwardly at 2,000 rpm between 2nd and 3rd. not all it time?

Thanks
Frank
 
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cvt transmission.pdf (649.9 KB, 174 views)
  #12  
Old 08-02-2016, 09:21 AM
gknorr
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Originally Posted by fxplorrs View Post
All:

Can Someone tell me the transmission code image attached?
I have a 2005 mini cooper s, CVT, 67,000 miles. When it is hot with AC, it shifts awkwardly at 2,000 rpm between 2nd and 3rd. not all it time?

Thanks
Frank
Have you reset the adaptations yet?

Also, if you haven't changed the fluid recently, that would definitely be something to do. It's one of the few things I'd actually recommend going to the dealer for since they have the right fluid and the computers to reset the adaptations. It should cost about $200-250 for the fluid change and adaptation re-learn procedure, at least as of a few years ago.
 
  #13  
Old 10-11-2016, 01:04 PM
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04 mini project dead i think

.
 

Last edited by retromini04; 10-13-2016 at 01:37 PM.
  #14  
Old 10-11-2016, 01:20 PM
gknorr
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Originally Posted by retromini04 View Post


I spoke to Igor and he recommended a rebuild, he would do for $5,000 plus I would have to ship the car across the country and back. I just can't justify this...I wish I had done some research before buying this. Car is in great shape but I can't believe it is like a no win no matter how many people I talk to. Igor told me that if I put a used transmission in and have to take it to Mini dealer and they say there is a problem then what are you going to do. The same even with a rebuild if I installed myself. I think I am just screwed. I have never ran into this before on a vehicle and it blows! I guess I have no choice but to sell it or make a couch out of it.
My swap to a 6-speed manual at Way Motor Works cost less, including transporting the car one-way (I drove it back). If you're willing to do some of the labor, you could save even more. PM me if you want to learn more about the route I took.
 
  #15  
Old 01-03-2017, 07:41 PM
fxplorrs
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Gknorr:
I took my mini to have transmission oil and filter replaced. Can you take a look at the write up? and is the oil wrong type?

Thanks

 
  #16  
Old 01-03-2017, 08:15 PM
gknorr
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Looks like this is for a second gen (R56), so it will be different than the CVT in the first gen base Coopers, which is what this thread is covering.

Based on what I found, the factory fluid for your transmission is JWS3309, and the Febi fluid they put in looks like it is the correct fluid.
 
  #17  
Old 01-03-2017, 08:59 PM
fxplorrs
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Gknorr:
Thanks for the reply. You mean a R53? this is a 2005 mini cooper s with the Aisin transmission.
 
  #18  
Old 01-03-2017, 09:07 PM
gknorr
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Originally Posted by fxplorrs View Post
Gknorr:
Thanks for the reply. You mean a R53? this is a 2005 mini cooper s with the Aisin transmission.
Interesting - was just basing off of cross-referencing the gasket number. I think the fluid is still the right one for R53s too.
 
  #19  
Old 05-06-2017, 03:05 PM
fxplorrs
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Gknorr:

My friend has a 2006 mini cooper base model. CVT transmission. It has 82,000 miles, never change fluid and does not have issues. I was going to change it with Redline synthetic fluid. What is your experience?
I was told that if a transmission fluid has never been change, the old fluid will hold particles in place, changing new fluid will dislodge particles, therefore it can cause issues?
Thanks
Frank
 
  #20  
Old 05-06-2017, 07:36 PM
gknorr
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Originally Posted by fxplorrs View Post
Gknorr:

My friend has a 2006 mini cooper base model. CVT transmission. It has 82,000 miles, never change fluid and does not have issues. I was going to change it with Redline synthetic fluid. What is your experience?
I was told that if a transmission fluid has never been change, the old fluid will hold particles in place, changing new fluid will dislodge particles, therefore it can cause issues?
Thanks
Frank
Different people have different opinions on auto trans fluid and changing it. Since the fluid's job is to lubricate and cool, I'm on the side that says following the CVT maker's recommended change every 28k miles is the way to go, and if you've missed a few fluid changes, it's probably still best for the box to have fresh fluid in it.

When I had the Redline fluid in mine, the shifts were smooth, and it seemed to work fine. My transmission ended up dying about a 1000 miles after the fluid change though. At 120k miles, I don't think it'd be fair to blame the fluid. However, I did not do the adaptation re-learn procedure after that fluid change, and that very well could have been the culprit that finally made it die. But again, many people have had it fail before that mileage, so it's hard to really pinpoint what the true cause was in my case.

All that to say, the Redline fluid should be fine, but I'd say if you want to be really safe, use the factory ESSO fluid. If you do change the fluid, you MUST reset the adaptations and do the proper adaptation and clutch re-learn procedure. Don't take a chance not doing it like I did. You need to have the BMW software (INPA) to reset the adaptations.

Given my own experiences, the CVT fluid change is one of the few things I recommend just having the dealer do. I had my dealer do it once, and the cost was around $200, including the Esso fluid (which was probably a little less than half that amount) and labor. You get the factory fluid and they take care of the adaptation relearn procedure, and fluid level checking, which requires the fluid to be at a high enough temperature, and loosening the top fill plug. It's not has straight forward as on many more conventional auto transmissions.
 
  #21  
Old 11-12-2017, 08:15 PM
fxplorrs
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gknorr:
Since my last post regarding my 05 mini cooper s Aisin automatic transmission.
1. when it is cold, transmission shifts fine.
2. After warm up, slips 1-2, and 2-3.
3. Have changed oil multiple times and adaptation.
4. Research that it might be valve body issue?
5. ordered a re-manufactured valve body from Revmax.
6. installed by Brracing in Palo alto. (great shop)
7. with new vale body, even when it is cold, slips 1-2 and 2-3, If slowly accelerate, able to shift, but not smooth?
8. EP code on dash on re-mauf. valve body. I did not have that code before.
9. Called Revmax, (Frank from Revmax said it happens, they only test the valve body and not re-build?) He said he would send solenoid to test, never received. He blamed it on the torque converter?
10. Car is sitting in the garage, seems like my re-manuf. valve body is worst than my original? wasted 700 + 1000 for the job?
11. I am thinking about re-building my original valve body and replace all the solenoids, Brracing recommend this approach, since he has success with this method.
12. Wanted to get some input before i make a decision. any comment would be appreciated, My wife like to keep the car, it is in great shape, 70,000 miles.

Thanks
Frank Sheng
 
  #22  
Old 11-15-2017, 07:17 AM
gknorr
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Originally Posted by fxplorrs View Post
gknorr:
Since my last post regarding my 05 mini cooper s Aisin automatic transmission.
1. when it is cold, transmission shifts fine.
2. After warm up, slips 1-2, and 2-3.
3. Have changed oil multiple times and adaptation.
4. Research that it might be valve body issue?
5. ordered a re-manufactured valve body from Revmax.
6. installed by Brracing in Palo alto. (great shop)
7. with new vale body, even when it is cold, slips 1-2 and 2-3, If slowly accelerate, able to shift, but not smooth?
8. EP code on dash on re-mauf. valve body. I did not have that code before.
9. Called Revmax, (Frank from Revmax said it happens, they only test the valve body and not re-build?) He said he would send solenoid to test, never received. He blamed it on the torque converter?
10. Car is sitting in the garage, seems like my re-manuf. valve body is worst than my original? wasted 700 + 1000 for the job?
11. I am thinking about re-building my original valve body and replace all the solenoids, Brracing recommend this approach, since he has success with this method.
12. Wanted to get some input before i make a decision. any comment would be appreciated, My wife like to keep the car, it is in great shape, 70,000 miles.

Thanks
Frank Sheng
I don't have any experience with the Aisin trannys on the Cooper Ss. Did you get the code for the EP read on the dash. That will give a little insight into what the computer thinks is going bad and might help to pinpoint the issue.

I think Revmax may be correct in suggesting that another possible culprit is the torque converter. Have you discussed the problem with a shop that specializes in transmission repair? If not, I'd definitely recommend calling a few shops to see what they think.

The Aisin box is a more traditional automatic transmission and transmission shops should be more adequately trained to diagnose and fix individual parts on that one. In contrast, the CVT in the base Coopers is fixable, but no shops will touch the internals because they don't have the training for it. That's why people end up having to put an entire new transmission in when that one has problems.
 
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