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Secret Compartment, Upper Glove Box,FIX

Stock Problems/Issues Discussions related to warranty related issues and repairs, or other problems with the OEM parts and software for MINI Clubman (R55), Cooper and Cooper S(R56), and Cabrio (R57).

Secret Compartment, Upper Glove Box,FIX

  #1  
Old 02-10-2018, 09:39 PM
RaymondS
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Secret Compartment, Upper Glove Box,FIX

If your upper glove box (secret compartment) only opens a little bit, here is the fix. Shut up, it's not a secret, you're reading this post.

I'm new to mini's but I enjoy ripping things apart. I'm not one to post up "how-to" posts but I figured my first post should be valuable to someone. I just purchased a 2011 R56 and the secret compartment above the glove box would only open about an inch. I spent about 45 minutes removing the glove box and eventually lost my cool and ripped it out. That's fine. I was going to replace it anyway with a new one that I ordered on eBay. Unfortunately the new one ALSO would only open about an inch. After playing with the glove box for about an hour I figured out the issue, and I figured out how to correct it.

1) Remove your upper glove box. This is going to take more time than anything else, take your time.

2) Once it is fully removed, on the left hand side of the hidden glove box you'll see this little aluminum piece. This appears to be the cause of all your (and mine!) problems. It rotates just slightly and if you hit a bump while the box is closed the piece I circled bounces into a position that prevents the box from opening. The only way to get the metal piece back into the proper position is to rotate the metal piece back into the upward (shown here) position...OR...remove this damn piece that appears to do nothing but wreak havoc on our hidden glove boxes.

This piece is your problem. Here is is in the proper "up" position. Your box can open and close properly.


Here is the same piece rotated in the downward position. In this case, the compartment could not close properly. If your metal ****-piece has fallen out of place when your box is open, you can no longer close it. If your metal ****-piece has fallen out of place when your box is closed you can no longer open it. Make sense? Good.

3) Now I have not been able to find any reason why this little spring loaded piece is here. It is not attached to any other mechanism and does nothing other than cause a problem. Use some needle nose pliers and gently remove the metal spring. Each end goes into a hole on the glove box, so removing it takes about 1.4 seconds. It's easy.... If you aren't in the mood to be gentle...just rip it out. F*^$ that piece it's garbage.

4) Now position the metal piece as shown, and lift it out of its seat, and out of the box entirely.



5) DONE. Your box will function normally. I'd suggest adding a little brake grease or WD40 to all of the gears and then reinstall it back into your car and you won't have any issues.

6) Take your metal piece and spring to your closest Mini dealer and ask them why this exists, demand they locate the engineer. If you ever find out who engineered this, put them in contact with me. I have several questions for them...like why is this here? why would you do this to me? who hired you? can I have your job?


UPDATE: Your metal spring may be in a slightly different position, I took these photos after fully removing it and I was too lazy to put it all the way back together just to get a photo for you.
 

Last edited by RaymondS; 02-11-2018 at 07:21 AM.
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  #2  
Old 02-10-2018, 11:56 PM
AnOldBiker
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Welcome to the forum

I haven't figured this out yet, but do the auto industry hire the smartest from the universities or the hungover drunks that like to play pranks now and then? No matter what manufactured vehicle I've owned, there are comments I can make about each them like this.
 
  #3  
Old 07-24-2018, 03:06 PM
Carrboroman
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I just bought on ebay a cheap glove compartment, so I could change the color of the trim and it was blocked. Turns out that that spring has to be *inside* the metal piece, as it will retain it in the correct position.
 
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Old 07-24-2018, 03:20 PM
RaymondS
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Originally Posted by Carrboroman View Post
I just bought on ebay a cheap glove compartment, so I could change the color of the trim and it was blocked. Turns out that that spring has to be *inside* the metal piece, as it will retain it in the correct position.
Yes, I believe I mentioned that in the very last sentence of my original post. The issue is that the spring never stays in place - which is why we all have this issue. If you just remove all that nonsense (spring and metal piece)...it will always work...because those two pieces have no actual function that I or anyone else has been able to identify.
 
  #5  
Old 07-24-2018, 03:29 PM
Carrboroman
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Originally Posted by RaymondS View Post
Yes, I believe I mentioned that in my original post.
Sorry I thought this got me confused about it:

Originally Posted by RaymondS
Now I have not been able to find any reason why this little spring loaded piece is here. It is not attached to any other mechanism and does nothing other than cause a problem.
Originally Posted by RaymondS
If you just remove all that nonsense (spring and metal piece)...it will always work...because those two pieces have no actual function that I or anyone else has been able to identify.
I totally agree, it seems to me the purpose is actually to lock the box (from factory? no idea why, given you'd need to dismount the thing to unlock?)..really, if you rotate the metal piece, the spring will actually keep it in "lock mode" so to say...even the rail plastic has a shape that seems made to hook, preventing further movement...go figure.

edit:

to elaborate, the piece seems indeed made to lock the rail,



hooking in the plastic fins of the other part (red arrows):



in my case, positioning the clip this way is preventing movement whatsoever, the other box is the same and I probably have been lucky these years.




Anyway, if that thing could be accessible, it would make somehow sense, but this way...maybe it is just for when shipping the assembled unit, so the part won't pop up when opening the box...who knows.
 

Last edited by Carrboroman; 07-24-2018 at 03:57 PM.
  #6  
Old 04-21-2019, 06:03 PM
DaveCN
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How to remove?

Great info, but how do you remove the upper glove box if you cannot open it? All the info I can find has the first step as "open the glove box"
 
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