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Suspension Question

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Old 07-10-2018, 02:40 PM
familyman333 familyman333 is offline
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Suspension Question

I recently purchased an '06 R52 S and just completed a 3,500 mile road trip. It now has just short of 130k miles. My question is this..do all Mini's ride this hard? I felt every bump and hear every rattle. I suspect that the struts are original so should I replace them? I've already been told that the towers are fine. On a side note, is it a common problem for things to come loose and rattle significantly? I am mainly concerned about the center dash area where the climate control and radio are located. How do I check to see if those things need to be tightened up?
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Old 07-10-2018, 03:46 PM
Fly'n Brick Fly'n Brick is offline
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First off, you got yourself THE very best model of them all hands down. Now,did you acquire it from a dealer, individual or used car lot? Did you get any kind of service history and/or PPI?
If this is your first 'sports' car of any kind you may notice a strong difference in the ride compared to Detroit or far East iron. The very short wheel base has a lot to do with it. You will discover that these little guys hate gravel roads with a vengence.
If you can locate thru a local car club or help from the forum locating a reliable BMW/MINI independent shop nearby, you will want to have them give it a thorough looking over. There well could be worn suspension bits that do need replaced, especially the strut tower bushings.
Getting into the dash board is pretty messy. There are old step by step demos way beck in the Gen 1 archives.
Did anyone point out fuel requirments? You must use Top Tier 91 or higher fuel. The outcome of not doing so can cost $. Saving a few pennies on fuel will cost that out later.
Ours has numerous long distance road trips and has a few rattles of it's own. They're mostly heard with the top up but who drives around like that?
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Old 07-10-2018, 04:20 PM
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Welcome! A 3,500 road trip sounds like a fun way to break in your new car.

If the suspension is original at 130K then it's probably shot, especially the front control arm bushings. One of the main sources of a harsh ride are runflat tires. Does the car still have runflats? Also, what size tires are on the car?

MINI's are known to become full of rattles and being a vert might make it worse. You say the strut towers are still good so if you don't already have strut tower defenders, add some to make sure they stay that way.

If you replace the struts, and don't want performance struts, Koni FSD's or whatever they're called now are supposed to ride and handle better than stock. Just make sure your car doesn't have lowering springs if you go with FSD's.
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Old 07-10-2018, 04:26 PM
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Whine not Walnuts Whine not Walnuts is offline
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At just over 50k my struts were toast. I have seen numerous posts here over the years from Vendors saying the you should replace at 50k and I always thought that was BS. Nope, it was not. So if by some chance you have the original suspension on your car a Mack Truck would probably feel like a Cadillac to you.

On rattles, a Gen1 MINI has more shakes, rattles and rolls then Fats Domino had thrills on Blueberry hill and a Vert has even more, A big source of rattles are the trim tubes that go from the center console up on both sides of the radio. The bottoms are like a bugle whereas they are curled out so that you cannot pull them up through the console holes but rather have to pull them down. If you wrap some masking tape around the horn part you may have less rattles. The curled portions are only about 1/4" below what you see when they are installed/tightened down so you do not have to put allot of tape on them.
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Old 07-10-2018, 07:15 PM
familyman333 familyman333 is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Fly'n Brick View Post
First off, you got yourself THE very best model of them all hands down. Now,did you acquire it from a dealer, individual or used car lot? Did you get any kind of service history and/or PPI?
If this is your first 'sports' car of any kind you may notice a strong difference in the ride compared to Detroit or far East iron. The very short wheel base has a lot to do with it. You will discover that these little guys hate gravel roads with a vengence.
If you can locate thru a local car club or help from the forum locating a reliable BMW/MINI independent shop nearby, you will want to have them give it a thorough looking over. There well could be worn suspension bits that do need replaced, especially the strut tower bushings.
Getting into the dash board is pretty messy. There are old step by step demos way beck in the Gen 1 archives.
Did anyone point out fuel requirments? You must use Top Tier 91 or higher fuel. The outcome of not doing so can cost $. Saving a few pennies on fuel will cost that out later.
Ours has numerous long distance road trips and has a few rattles of it's own. They're mostly heard with the top up but who drives around like that?
Thanks for the feedback. I did have the car checked out by a local specialist and had some of the suspension components repaired. I was told the struts and strut towers were good for now but I really wonder if the struts are worn out. I have had many forced induction vehicles and know that 91+ octane is required.
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Old 07-10-2018, 07:24 PM
familyman333 familyman333 is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by RB-MINI View Post
Welcome! A 3,500 road trip sounds like a fun way to break in your new car.

If the suspension is original at 130K then it's probably shot, especially the front control arm bushings. One of the main sources of a harsh ride are runflat tires. Does the car still have runflats? Also, what size tires are on the car?

MINI's are known to become full of rattles and being a vert might make it worse. You say the strut towers are still good so if you don't already have strut tower defenders, add some to make sure they stay that way.

If you replace the struts, and don't want performance struts, Koni FSD's or whatever they're called now are supposed to ride and handle better than stock. Just make sure your car doesn't have lowering springs if you go with FSD's.
Thank you for the feedback. I do not have runflats. Tires are brand new and are 205/45/17. From what I've seen the strut and spring are one unit. Is that correct?
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Old 07-10-2018, 07:26 PM
familyman333 familyman333 is offline
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Originally Posted by Whine not Walnuts View Post
At just over 50k my struts were toast. I have seen numerous posts here over the years from Vendors saying the you should replace at 50k and I always thought that was BS. Nope, it was not. So if by some chance you have the original suspension on your car a Mack Truck would probably feel like a Cadillac to you.

On rattles, a Gen1 MINI has more shakes, rattles and rolls then Fats Domino had thrills on Blueberry hill and a Vert has even more, A big source of rattles are the trim tubes that go from the center console up on both sides of the radio. The bottoms are like a bugle whereas they are curled out so that you cannot pull them up through the console holes but rather have to pull them down. If you wrap some masking tape around the horn part you may have less rattles. The curled portions are only about 1/4" below what you see when they are installed/tightened down so you do not have to put allot of tape on them.
Thank you for your feedback. I was wondering about the trim tubes. I'll try that with the tape.
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Old 07-10-2018, 10:53 PM
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The struts and springs come apart so you can just replace the struts and maybe the top mounts if the rubber is cracked. It can be dangerous if you don’t have the correct tools so have a shop do the actual spring removal and re-assembly if you’re not familiar with the procedure. The R&R of the whole strut isn’t too hard if you’re handy with tools, it’s just the R&R of the springs from the struts you have to worry about.
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Old 07-11-2018, 08:56 PM
WayMotorWorks WayMotorWorks is online now
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They are pretty stiff, but with 130k you likely do need struts. We find the Koni FSDs ride the best
https://www.waymotorworks.com/koni-fsd-shocks.html

Also if the car has runflat tires go to regular tires and you will be much happier.
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