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Solid front mounts
"I've bought a front subframe solid mounts kit from Mini
Spares (the one called "towers & teardrops"), but didn't find any "teardrop"
shaped items inside the package. It consists of two pairs of large diameter
conical bushes, pair of steel washers (towers I suspect), and two pairs of
smaller ring-shaped bushes. The question is are the later front mounts or maybe
I got a wrong kit?"
The large diameter ~2" ones are for the towers. These can be fun to fit, but make sure you do one side at a time. Loosening the rear lower mounts can help. The front mount will need undoing completely to allow the tower to drop.
Everything else is for the 'teardrop' replacement. You'll need one big washer and one tubular bush per side. The tubular bush replaces the teardrop and the big washer goes on the front through the hole on the valence. The top teardrop locating bolt is not used.
If you fit towing eyes like I have, that have a hole in them and a bolt through the mount, then you'll need longer bolts.
Front tower mount torque settings (new 12/05/03)
Speaking of the front tower mounts, in response to a question from David Hardingham of the A's of Herts, Beds & Bucks Mini Owners Club, Rover suggest a torque setting for the big bolts of 67Nm, or 49lbft in old money.
It should be pointed out however that this is for MPi Minis, ie post 1997, but seeing as the bolts have been the same since 1976, there shouldn't be any issue in using the same setting for models from that time onwards.
Unfortunately a search for the same information for the twin tower bolt subframes (ie pre 1976) remains pretty fruitless, aside from the webmaster's Lord Of The Rings references... "two bolts to hold the frame and in the darkness grip it"
"I need to convert my hydrolastic '66 mk1 to dry
suspension. Will the front and rear subframes from late model bolt up or do
I need early dry subframes? Also will the rear radius arms from late model swap to early?"
You need subframes from a pre-76 car. You can buy them new FWIW. The front s/frame can be identified by the two mounting bolts in each tower instead of one for the post-76 (Mark 4 w/reversing lights) car. No change in spec for the radius arms over the years that I can see (but don't guarantee it).
Rear subframe mounting bolts
The problem with these bolts is that the factory installed ones that are way too long.
I have seen some that stick out 1 inch from the captive nut. All those fine threads are exposed to water over the years and develop a healthy coating of rust. They jam in the nut after a few turns when you try to remove them, and off goes the head. I have soaked them for several days with penetrating fluid with little success.
I ended up cutting the excess off. Loads of fun that. I
made sure that the replacements did not extend more than a couple of threads
past the captive nut, and I smeared the exposed threads with a waterproof
grease. I use what are referred to as Grade 5 fasteners here in the USA. These
have excellent tensile and shear properties. They bend a little rather than just
Rear subframe removal
Chock the car, put the rear up on axle stands making sure not to trap the subframe
Then disconnect the brake cable at the rear where it passes the subframe
Disconnect the brake pipes at the union on the subframe
The battery -ve cable will also have to be disconnected - either disconnect at the starter solenoid and withdraw all the way into the boot, or (simpler) cut off the battery clamp and fit a new one afterwards
Support the subframe with a trolley jack, use a piece of timber to spread the load
Disconnect the suspension damper lower mounts from the suspension arms
If you're this far, you might wish to consider replacing the dampers too. In this case the petrol tank will have to be moved to provide access to the damper top mount too
Undo all the subframe mounting bolts. CAREFUL - once these are loose the subframe is free to move - it is quite heavy!
The subframe can now be lowered to the ground.
I found it quite straightforward to refit the replacement subframe with the suspension arms fitted - this allowed me maximum access during subframe build-up:
Place the subframe back on the piece of timber on a trolley jack
It can then be rolled under the car and lifted back into place
Align the mounts and fit some new mounting bolts
Refit the dampers, reconnect the hand/brake and battery cable
All in all I did this in less than a couple of days, including refurbishing the replacement subframe.
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