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Pedal Box Split Pin Removal: Secret of My Success

The bane of every Mini owners life: removal and refitting of the split pins that connect the master cylinders to the pedal box.. I write this whilst enjoying a beer...

A Few facts

Removal of the pedal box clevis pins is probably the most frustrating job to do on a Mini!

Just because 30k miles ago you left the split pins with the "eyes" facing to the left-right & towards you, this is no guarantee they still are

Unless you have used stainless steel clevis pins and "R" clips (in place of the split pins), all the time you spent making sure the split pins wouldn't drop out will now turn round and bite you in the arse!!!!



1) Get hold of the longest needle nosed pliers you can find!

2) Get hold of a set of piano wire cutters with the narrowest jaws

3) Get hold of a set of SMALL-nosed 90 degree bend circlip pliers (these are the secret weapon) combined with

4) A deep socket (13mm+) and extension rod, the socket to be capable of fitting over one handle of the circlip pliers

5) A medium F**koff hammer

6) Tenacity and fiath in me (you provide this)

Here goes (assuming BOTH Masters are removed)

The night before.... douse the pins in RELEASE AGENT (PlusGas etc)... the job I just did was on a car where condensation had rusted up the whole assembly

The next day....

repeatedly apply the pedal to further loosen the doused clevis pins (hopefully)

Lie comfortably in whatever position gets you hand access to the clevis pins (visible where the pedal pivot and the shaft down from the master cylinder lies), you might haveto take the seat(s) out too. You may (probably) have to remove the air pipe to the heater, tie back any offending wires. Feel around for the split pins in the end of the clevis pins (probably facing towards the centre of the pedal box) .....

FIRST you need to make the pins removable

Using the long nosed pliers and/or the circlip pliers try to straighten out the bent/folded-over ends of the split pins. IF you can get access to the folded/bent ends CUT THEM OFF flush to the clevis pin with the pianowire cutters

SECOND you need to extract the split pins (straightened intact or the remaining stumps)

This is done by using the circlip pliers. Ideally the split pin loop is on the side of the clevis facing AWAY from you (BIZARRE). Get one of the the bent noses of the circlip pliers jammed in the loop in the split pin.

As the split pin can rotate THE LOOP MAY point out IN ANY DIRECTION

Now fit the extension & long socket over the handle end of the pliers that leads to the jambed in nose. Hammer the end of the extension to pull the split pin out away from you. REPEAT for both pins

NOTE: IF the loop is on your side of the clevis it might not be so easy to pull on the handle of the circlip pliers, but access will be better ;)

THIRD you are left with 2 unrestrained clevis pins to remove...

You can lever the clevis pin or clonk it with the socket extension rod until it is flush with the cylinders connection U bracket EASY

NOW, undo the mounting nuts for the master cylinder and the brake pipes, press down the pedal, and hold it down. Grasp and twist the master cylinder until it fouls and sits atop the studs it used to be fastened down with.....

Look down the hole! you can see the clevis pins!!! Using a long flat screwdriver lever the clevis pins out by rotating the screwdriver once between the head of the clevis and the bracket, it will hit the bottom of the pedal box hole with a satisfying tinkle!!!

FOURTH Retreat with a beer grasping the freed master cylinder


SMART MOVE: get hold of some R clips and stainless washers and clevis pins (costs? a few quid)

STUPID/CHEAP MOVE: If you are a glutton for punishment refit new steel clevis pins washers and split pins

REMEMBER DON'T over-do the complex "metal origami" folding over of the split pins, the more twisted they are the more grief you get next time


Split pin removing pliers: I have heard mention of these legendary devices, if the clevis pins were rotated by 90 degrees (pointing towards you) and/or you could guarantee access to the split pin eyes, these might do a better job. HOWEVER I got the pins out in 5 minutes using the method described above at a cost of less than 10UKP for the circlip pliers (and 3 quid for the beer afterwards)

[Added by FB April 5, 2004.... DO Sign the Guestoobk if you liked this answer]


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