Article on The Internet Mini Encyclopædia
Don't go buying new ball joints, just remove a shim or 2 at the bottom of the ball holder IF the ball joint and sliding surfaces are not pitted/worn.
[Ed: If you can buy them, always renew the ball joints at least every 2 years, you don't want one breaking!]
Ball joints (swivel), replacing
Undo and split top and bottom swivel tapers and track rod end
Undo, remove and support calliper (saves fluid loss)
Pull off complete hub assembly and pull driveshaft out of inner diff cup
You can then stick the whole thing in a vice on the bench and life is easy-peasy
Don't shim TOO tight, and make sure the lock tab is bent over ALL the way round, else the MoT will fail it and you risk a nasty crash!
I have used feeler
guages, a outside
micrometer and a
torque wrench to calculate the shims needed: torque the nut up, measure
the gap the shims have to take up them play around with combinations of
shims until you get slightly less than you needs... a good starting point
Grease up and reassemble
An hour per wheel max.
Ball joints (swivel), Metro type
All metros had different ball joints to the mini, they were complete units which can't be disassembled.
However pre-84 metros used the same taper as a mini so
metro hubs will fit a mini if you use pre-84 metro ball joints.
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NEW Ball joints (from Peter Kay 28 12 02)
"My experience with new ball joints is that many of them have 'high spots' on the ball, cap or both.
This shows up as requiring differing pressures, at different points, as the ball is moved around when trying to check for the required free movement without play.
This is normally the reason that a joint becomes 'loose' after a very short time, requiring the removal of shims, when the high spots wear off.
The solution is to lap the joint:
With a joint that has been lapped in, they will last for years IMExperience."
07 June 2003
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