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Pelican Technical Article:
Clutch Replacement

Jared Fenton
 

 
Time: 12 hours
Tab: $450
Talent:  
Tools:
Allen-head socket set, clutch alignment tool, Torx socket set
Applicable Models:
R53 MINI Cooper S (2002-06)
R52 MINI Cooper S Convertible (2005-08)
Parts Required:
Complete clutch kit
Hot Tip:
Purchase a kit with everything in it, not some simple version
Performance Gain:
Smoother shifting, no power loss
Complementary Modification:
Replace starter, overhaul shift bushings, replace flywheel
 
   

  This article is one in a series that have been released in conjunction with Pelican Parts' new book, How to Maintain and Modify your new MINI. The book contains 240 pages of full color projects detailing everything from performance mods to changing your brake pads. With more than 500+ full-color glossy photos accompanying extensive step-by-step procedures, this book is required reading in any MINI owner's collection. The book is expected to be released in 2015. See The Official Book Website for more details.
 

Check out some other sample projects from the book: 

Need to buy parts for this project? Click here to order!
   
     One of the most common repair procedures for the MINI is the replacement of the clutch assembly (See Figure 1). Unfortunately, it is a rather big process involving the removal of the transmission. The good news is that it’s really not a super-difficult job if you have some information, and a few hints and tips. The first step is to remove the front bumper assembly and the front subframe. See our articles on both front subframe removal and front bumper removal for more info. Disconnect the battery before you begin as we will be working around the starter.

     The first step is to remove the axles from the car. On the end of each wheel is a large 32mm nut that secures the axle shaft to the wheel housing. You’ll see that one side of the nut has a locking tab that fits into a slot on the axle. Use a standard screwdriver to pry the locking tab up. Don't worry about damaging the nut as you will want to replace this nut when you re-install the axles (See Figure 2 and Figure 3 ).

     You'll probably have to use an impact gun to remove the axle nut. These nuts are usually torqued down to well over 200 ft/lbs (See Figure 4 and Figure 5 ). The impact gun makes short work of this job. Otherwise, you’ll have to loosen these nuts with the car on the ground, with the tires fitted and a very long breaker bar. If you can borrow an impact for just this step, it will be worth it. Once the nuts are off, use a puller to press the axle shaft out of the wheel bearing/housing. You may also want to consider leaving the axles installed in the wheel housings and simply remove them from the end of the front struts.

     Now drain the transmission (See our article on changing transmission fluid for more info) and use a standard screwdriver top carefully pry the dust seal out of each side of the transmission. As you do, it will free up the drive axle. (See Figure 6 and Figure 7 ). Give each a good tug and remove the axles from the car. On the passenger side of the car, you will also have to remove the four bolts holding the axle carrier to the engine block.

     Now remove the clutch slave cylinder from the transmission. If you are replacing the slave, go ahead and remove the hydraulic connection. Otherwise, just set it aside still connected as it is somewhat difficult to bleed the air out (See Figure 8). If you are not going to replace slave cylinder install the special bleeding tool to ensure piston rod of slave does not come out while replacing clutch. If the piston rod does come out than you will have to replace slave cylinder. See our article on slave cylinder removal for more info.

     Move up to the top of the transmission and pry the gearshift cable ends off the transmission (See Figure 9). Also squeeze the metal clips securing the cables in the retainer and remove them as well (See our article on replacing gearshift cables for more info).

     In order to remove the transmission, most of the intake assembly must be removed. Refer to our articles on Water pump removal and cold air installation for more info. With the lower plastic air duct and throttle body removed you will have access to the bracket underneath. This bracket holds the throttle body in place and also holds the electrical harness box at the front. Remove the 10mm nut as well as the two 14mm bolts holding the bracket to the transmission (See Figure 10 and Figure 11 ). At the very right of the harness you will see a 16mm bolt underneath. This bolt holds the harness at the rear. This bolt is also one of the mounting bolts holding the transmission to the engine (See Figure 12).

     Now move up to behind the engine and remove the two 13mm bolts securing the exhaust manifold heat shield to the cylinder head. Pull back the heat shield covering the exhaust manifold and remove it. It may take a little maneuvering to get it out of the way (See Figure 13 and Figure 14 ). Now look down between the manifold runners. You'll see a small 10mm bolt holding the heat shield for the starter in place. Carefully remove this bolt. This will allow you to position the shield out of the way to access the mounting bolts and the electrical connections for the starter (See Figure 15). Now move down under the car and remove the electrical connection going to the reverse light switch (See Figure 16).

     The next step is to remove the starter. Remove the two 10mm bolts holding the cover shield just below the starter and remove the cover (See Figure 17). Also remove the 16mm bolt to the right of the lower cover bolt. This bolt secures the transmission to the engine on this side of the transmission. The other bolt is the one right above securing the starter to the transmission. Now remove the upper mounting bolt for the starter. This bolt isn't visible form underneath and will take a little maneuvering to reach. Use a long extension and ratchet to remove it (See Figure 18). Now remove the lower mounting bolt holding the starter (See Figure 19).

     With the lower starter bolt removed, you will be able to move the starter heat shield by sliding the locating grommet off the pin and access the electrical connections to the starter (See Figure 20). Make sure that you have disconnected the battery before doing this. Also remove the electrical connection to the solenoid above. This is a bit difficult to see and you may have to go by feel on this one (See Figure 21). Now remove the starter and the heat shield (See Figure 22).

     Now it’s time to remove the 16mm mounting bolts holding the transmission to the engine. There are 7 bolts in total, two of which you should already have removed. Work your way around the engine (See
Figures 23, 24 and 25) and remove all the bolts. Now place a floor jack under the transmission and jack stands under the engine with a block of wood to support them. Now remove the large 16mm bolt holding the two parts of the transmission mount together (See Figure 26). Now remove the upper and lower portions of the transmission mount. Refer to our article on replacing engine mounts for more information (See Figure 27). Keep in mind that the weight of the transmission will now be partly supported by the floor jack.

     Perform a last minute check around the transmission to check for any items that may still be hooked up and with the engine secured on the jack, slowly separate the transmission from the engine. It may help to carefully pry the transmission from the engine using a standard screwdriver. Take your time and pull the engine straight back until the input shaft of the transmission has pulled out of the clutch disc. Use extreme caution here as the jack will be the only thing supporting the transmission. It’s recommended that you have a friend help you guide the transmission off the engine and down out of the car (See
Figures 28 through 31).

     Now it’s time to start disassembling the clutch mechanism. Locate the six E8 Torx bolts that hold the pressure plate to the flywheel (See Figures 32, 33 and 34). Usually, you have to lock the flywheel to prevent it form turning as you remove these bolts, however, they are torqued down to only 17ft/lbs. so they are easy to break loose while you hold the pressure plate with your hand. Use a criss-cross pattern when loosening the bolts. It's a good idea to invest in a good set of Torx sockets, both male and female. Don't try to use a regular hex socket on these bolts. They are very easy to round off. On this particular car, I found that one of the pressure plate bolts had been rounded off when I tried to remove it.  If this happens, use a Dremel tool and cut them off in about 1 minute.  Don't waste your time trying vice-grips or other foolish methods - you can cut them off, and you don't need to worry about damaging the pressure plate because you're going to be replacing it anyways. The trick is to cut the bolt head off flush with the pressure plate, then simply pull the pressure plate off and unscrew the remainder of the bolt.

     Once the bolts have been unscrewed, remove the pressure plate. Underneath the pressure plate is the clutch disc. This is the part of the clutch that makes physical contact with the flywheel until you press the pedal. It's also a good idea to have a tarp underneath as you'll probably dump a fair amount of clutch dust onto the ground (See Figure 35). Typically, if the clutch disc is badly worn, you’ll see that the friction material will be worn down past the rivets holding the disc together. Also, if your flywheel shows any signs of heat glazing or scratches, it's best to take it to a machine shop to have the face of the flywheel re-surfaced. This is also called 'turning' the flywheel. The idea is to give the new clutch disc a good surface to bite into. If the surface is heat glazed and not turned, it can begin to slip. Remove the eight bolts holding the flywheel on in a criss-cross pattern to relieve the torque evenly (See Figure 36).

     You'll want to lock the flywheel to remove the bolts holding the flywheel to the engine. These bolts are typically torqued down very tight and you'll find that the flywheel will just turn as you try to loosen them with a breaker bar. In our case, I simply used a BMW water pump removal tool with one of the transmission bolts and also one of the pressure plate bolts. However, any flat piece of steel with two holes will work. The factory tool bolts onto the other side of the engine at the harmonic balancer, which requires and extra set of hands to hold as you loosen the bolts. In our case, we used an electric impact gun to make quick work of the flywheel bolts. Again, loosen them in a criss-cross pattern to relieve the torque evenly and support the flywheel as you loosen the last bolt as it is quite heavy (See Figure 37 and Figure 38 ).

     The next step is to replace the rear main seal. This seal is an important one as it seals the gap between the crankshaft at the engine block. If this seal were to fail, it would start leaking oil all over the ground and likely onto the clutch plate as well, rending your clutch basically useless. This is one of those 'while you're in there' items that really should be replaced. Carefully use a screwdriver to grab one edge of the seal and pry it out a little at a time. The inside edge of the seal is metal, so it will likely take some time to get this seal all the way out. (See
Figures 39, 40 and 41).

     Now, fit the new seal into the gap between the end of the crankshaft and the engine block. BMW specifies to use of a special tool to drive the seal in, but you can do one of two things here instead. You can either find a section of ABS pipe roughly the same diameter as the seal and carefully drive the seal in or, you can cautiously tap the seal in one section at a time in small increments. The idea here is to install the seal with out cocking it inside the gap. Take your time and make sure it seats flush with the cylinder block. Getting the seal started around the crankshaft can be a bit tricky. Make sure that the lip is oriented correctly and don't touch the lip with bare fingers (See Figure 42).

     At this point, you’ll want to turn your attention to the transmission, and refurbish the throw-out bearing and arm. Remove the bearing from the plastic hub. This is the portion of the throwout bearing that has direct contact with the pressure plate. Now rotate the throwout arm to allow the plastic retaining hub to be removed (See Figures 43, 44 and 45). Remove the bolt securing the bearing fork to the throwout arm. Rotate the arm enough for the fork to clear the input shaft and pull it down enough to allow you to access the bolts securing the input shaft seal to the transmission (See Figure 46 and Figure 47 ). Now remove the three 10mm bolts holding the input shaft seal cover/guide tube to the transmission. Carefully pry the input shaft seal cover/guide tube up off the flange and you will see the input shaft seal directly underneath (See Figure 49 and Figure 50 ).

     Now you will need to remove the fork on the throwout arm. The fork is a tight fit on the throwout arm. I found that if I used a pair of channel locks, I was able to press the fork off the throwout arm. You need to pull the throwout arm off in order to replace the two plastic bushings that sit at the top and bottom of the arm. Now remove the plastic bushing at the top where the throwout arm fits. The lower bushing should also come out When you remove the throwout arm from the transmission. This also allows you a little extra room to remove the input shaft seal (See Figure 51 and Figure 52 ).

     Use a small pick or other means to carefully pry the input shaft seal out. This seal prevents transmission oil from leaking out past the input shaft and potentially onto the clutch disc. if this happens, it could cause the clutch to slip. Take care as you remove the old seal as the input shaft bearing retainer is directly below the seal and can be damaged easily. Clean the input shaft and slide the new input shaft seal down over the shaft in to place. Carefully press the new shaft seal into position using either the factory tool or a section of pipe roughly the same size as the seal until it sits flush (See Figure 53, 54 and 55).

     Now fit the new upper throwout bearing into the slot in the transmission casing. Take note of the tab molded into the bushing and the notch in the casing. Also press the lower bushing into position from outside the transmission (See Figure 56 and Figure 57 ). Re-fit the input shaft seal cover/guide tube over the new shaft seal. Use the new shaft cover bolts and tighten down the shaft seal cover to 6Nm (4.5ft/lbs.) (See
Figures 58 and 59).

     Lubricate the lower portion of the throwout arm with lithium moly grease before inserting it into the new lower shift bushing. As you push the throwout arm up through the lower shift bushing, fit the bearing fork over the arm and slide it down so that the hole in the fork lines up with the threaded hole in the throwout arm. After you press the fork into place, lubricate the top part of the arm with lithium moly grease before placing it up into the new upper bushing (See Figure 60, 61 and 62). Now fit the new bolt into the fork, securing it to the throwout arm (See Figure 63).

     Rotate the throwout arm fork out to slide the new throwout bearing over the guide tube so that the arms of the fork fit into the slots on the underside of the bearing. Lubricate the shaft splines prior to installing the transmission back into the car with some lithium moly grease (See
Figures 64, 65 and 66).

     Just a quick note here, but it is important the keep the throwout arm and bearing rotated back towards the transmission when installing the transmission. Inadvertently, I had moved the arm forward while I was trying to get the input shaft of the transmission to line up with the clutch. I wasn't able to do, requiring me to lower the transmission out of the car and inspect to see what the problem was. If you move the lever forward enough, it will cock the bearing on the input shaft as seen in Figure 67. It's a good idea to zip tie the throwout arm lever to the stand off for the clutch slave cylinder to keep it in place prior to installation.

     Now back to the engine. With the new rear main seal fitted, it's time to remount the flywheel to the engine. Take note of the small mark on the end of the crankshaft. The Flywheel will have a mark on the mounting face to corresponds with this mark. It’s important to make sure that these marks line up as you mount the flywheel. With the flywheel mounted, thread in all the bolts snug and set up the flywheel lock so you can torque the bolts without the engine turning. Now torque the mounting bolts using a criss-cross pattern to 90Nm (66 ft/lbs.) each (See
Figures 68 through 71).

     Now place the clutch disc onto the flywheel. It's important to note the direction in which the disc is facing. There will be writing on the disc surface indicating the direction. On some clutch kits, the disc with say "gearbox side" In our case, the clutch reads "Getriebeseite" which is German for “gearbox side”. Make sure the side with the writing is facing the direction of the transmission (See Figure 73).

     Now take the new pressure plate and orient it so that the three open holes on the outside diameter fit onto the three dowel pins on the flywheel. You'll also want to use the clutch alignment tool pressed through the clutch disc in order to position to clutch disc in the center (See Figure 74).

     Most clutch kits come with a plastic clutch alignment tool to center the clutch disc when you tighten down the pressure plate. In the case of the MINI, the kit does not include this tool. At the time of this writing, the factory alignment tool was well over $100. However I found a cheaper solution. Kingsbourne makes a plastic alignment tool (p.n. GM6) that fits General Motors 2.8L V6 engines as well as the Saab 900SE and 9-3. This tool is around $10 through Pelican Parts. The catch here is that you have to apply force on the tool to keep the disc centered as you torque the pressure plate bolts to the flywheel to 23Nm (17 ft/lbs.) (M8) (See Figure 74) - (for M9 bolts, torque to 28 Nm (21 ft-lbs.).

     Now place the transmission back on your floor jack and lift it up into position to be remounted. In my opinion, this is the most difficult part of the job. I recommend having a few friends help you to position the transmission. The idea is to get the input shaft on the transmission to slide into the clutch disc on the engine. It's helpful to thread some rope through one of the holes of the transmission to help rotate it forward. The casing of the transmission makes it a little difficult to get centered exactly on the bottom of the floor jack. The idea is to rotate the transmission enough to locate a few of the mounting bolts. Once the mounting holes line up, thread in the mounting bolts. This will allow just enough space for you to fit a standard screwdriver inside the transmission to turn the flywheel slightly with the starter teeth. Sometimes, the splines on the clutch disc and also the input shaft of the transmission will not mesh perfectly. Turning the flywheel slightly while a helper pushes on the transmission will usually allow the transmission to slide into place. Once seated flush against the engine, re fit all the mounting bolts and torque them to spec (See
Figures 75 through 78). After that, all that’s left is to reassemble the various components of the transmission, suspension, drive axles and front subframe.

     I wish I could say this was an easy job, but it's not. It's not impossible, but there's a lot of stuff to remove and a lot of tricky spots. One of the things that you want to do is purchase a complete kit that contains everything that you need for the job: all of the nuts, bolts and bushings, as this will be a huge timesaver. The only place that currently sells such a kit is PelicanParts.com.
Shown here is a complete clutch kit including the dual mass flywheel for the MINI Cooper S.
Figure 1
Shown here is a complete clutch kit including the dual mass flywheel for the MINI Cooper S. Shown here are the flywheel, pressure plate, clutch disc, rear main seal, Input shaft seal, throwout bearing, throwout arm bushings, flywheel bolts, pressure plate bolts, input shaft seal cover bolts and the throwout arm fork bolt.
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Start by removing the large 32mm nuts securing the axle shafts to the wheel housing.
Figure 2
Start by removing the large 32mm nuts securing the axle shafts to the wheel housing.
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Use a standard screwdriver to pry the locking tab up.
Figure 3
Use a standard screwdriver to pry the locking tab up. Don't worry about damaging the nut as you will want to replace this nut when you re-install the axles.
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You'll probably have to use an impact gun to remove the axle nut.
Figure 4
You'll probably have to use an impact gun to remove the axle nut. These nuts are usually torqued down to well over 200 ft/lbs. The impact gun makes short work of this job.
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Shown here is one of the axle nuts removed.
Figure 5
Shown here is one of the axle nuts removed. At this point, remove the brake caliper and rotor assembly and use a puller to press the axle shaft out of the wheel bearing.
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Once the axles have been removed, You may want to remove the brakes and wheel housings  to allow a bit more space to work.
Figure 6
Once the axles have been removed, You may want to remove the brakes and wheel housings  to allow a bit more space to work. Disconnect the ABS sensors from each housing and remove the clamp securing the housing to the strut. See our article on front brakes for more information. Now remove the front bumper and front subframe. (See our articles on each for more info).
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Drain the transmission (See our article on changing transmission fluid for more info).
Figure 7
Drain the transmission. Use a standard screwdriver top carefully pry the dust seal out of each side of the transmission. As you do, it will free up the drive axle. Give each a good tug and remove the axles from the car. On the passenger side of the car, you will also have to remove the four bolts holding the axle carrier to the engine block.
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Unbolt and remove the clutch slave cylinder from the transmission.
Figure 8
Unbolt and remove the clutch slave cylinder from the transmission. If you are replacing the slave, go ahead and remove the hydraulic connection. Otherwise, just set it aside still connected as it is somewhat difficult to bleed the air out.
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Remove the shift cables from the transmission by prying them up and off.
Figure 9
Remove the shift cables from the transmission by prying them up and off. It helps to use two screwdrivers here to evenly apply pressure to each side of the joint. Once free, squeeze the metal clips holding them into the black plastic retainer and pull the cables out.
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With the lower plastic air duct and throttle body removed you will have access to the bracket underneath.
Figure 10
With the lower plastic air duct and throttle body removed you will have access to the bracket underneath. This bracket holds the throttle body in place and also holds the electrical harness box at the front (yellow arrow). Remove the 10mm nut as well as the two 14mm bolts holding the bracket to the transmission.
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Shown here is the plastic box holding the electrical harnesses for most of the engine/transmission.
Figure 11
Shown here is the plastic box holding the electrical harnesses for most of the engine/transmission. You will need to position this up and out of the way to access the transmission mounting bolts underneath.
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At the very right of the harness you will see a 16mm bolt underneath.
Figure 12
At the very right of the harness you will see a 16mm bolt underneath. This bolt holds the harness at the rear (green arrow). This bolt is also one of the mounting bolts holding the transmission to the engine.
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Remove the two 13mm bolts securing the exhaust manifold heat shield to the cylinder head.
Figure 13
Remove the two 13mm bolts securing the exhaust manifold heat shield to the cylinder head.
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Pull back the heat shield covering the exhaust manifold and remove it.
Figure 14
Pull back the heat shield covering the exhaust manifold and remove it. It may take a little maneuvering to get it out of the way.
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In between the manifold, you'll see a small 10mm bolt holding the heat shield for the starter in place.
Figure 15
In between the manifold, you'll see a small 10mm bolt holding the heat shield for the starter in place. Carefully remove this bolt. This will allow you to position the shield out of the way to access the mounting bolts and the electrical connections for the starter.
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Now move down to under the car, but don't forget to remove the electrical connection for the reverse lights (green arrow).
Figure 16
Now move down to under the car, but don't forget to remove the electrical connection for the reverse lights (green arrow).
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Remove the two 10mm bolts holding the cover shield just below the starter and remove the cover.
Figure 17
Remove the two 10mm bolts holding the cover shield just below the starter and remove the cover. Also remove the 16mm bolt (green arrow) to the right of the cover. This bolt secures the transmission to the engine on this side of the transmission.
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Remove the upper mounting bolt for the starter.
Figure 18
Remove the upper mounting bolt for the starter. This bolt isn't visible form underneath and will take a little maneuvering to reach. Use a long extension and ratchet to remove it.
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Now remove the lower mounting bolt holding the starter.
Figure 19
Now remove the lower mounting bolt holding the starter.
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Now position the heat shield to the side by sliding the locating grommet off the pin and access the electrical connections to the starter (green arrow).
Figure 20
Now position the heat shield to the side by sliding the locating grommet off the pin and access the electrical connections to the starter (green arrow). NOTE: Make sure that you have disconnected the battery before doing this.
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Don't forget to also remove the electrical connection going to the solenoid (green arrow).
Figure 21
Don't forget to also remove the electrical connection going to the solenoid (green arrow). This is right above the connection in Figure 20.
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Remove the starter from underneath the car and set it aside.
Figure 22
Remove the starter from underneath the car and set it aside.
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Remove the two lower 16mm mounting bolts holding the transmission to the engine.
Figure 23
Remove the two lower 16mm mounting bolts holding the transmission to the engine.
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Remove the mounting bolt on the front of the engine which also holds the bracket for the alternator wiring and let the harness hang free (green arrow).
Figure 24
Remove the mounting bolt on the front of the engine which also holds the bracket for the alternator wiring and let the harness hang free (green arrow).
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Remove the two remaining mounting bolts (green arrows).
Figure 25
Remove the two remaining mounting bolts (green arrows).
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Support the engine on jack stands and place a floor jack under the transmission.
Figure 26
Support the engine on jack stands and place a floor jack under the transmission. Now remove the 16mm bolt securing the transmission to the mount.
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Now remove the upper and lower portions of the transmission mount.
Figure 27
Now remove the upper and lower portions of the transmission mount. Refer to our article on replacing engine mounts for more information.
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Perform a last minute check around the transmission to check for any items that may still be hooked up and with the engine secured on the jack, slowly separate the transmission from the engine.
Figure 28
Perform a last minute check around the transmission to check for any items that may still be hooked up and with the engine secured on the jack, slowly separate the transmission from the engine. Take your time and pull the engine straight back until the input shaft of the transmission has pulled out of the clutch disc.
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In thisPicture you can see the input shaft of the transmission free of the clutch.
Figure 29
In this picture you can see the input shaft of the transmission free of the clutch. As you lower the transmission free of the car, you will need to rotate it in order to clear the driver's side frame rail.
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Show here is the clutch assembly on the end of the engine with the transmission removed.
Figure 30
Show here is the clutch assembly on the end of the engine with the transmission removed.
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Here is a front view of the engine compartment with the transmission removed.
Figure 31
Here is a front view of the engine compartment with the transmission removed. The engine is supported by a jackstand underneath along with the58 engine mount on the passenger side frame rail.
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Shown here are the locations of the six E8 Torx bolts that hold the pressure plate to the flywheel (green arrows).
Figure 32
Shown here are the locations of the six E8 Torx bolts that hold the pressure plate to the flywheel (green arrows). Usually, you have to lock the flywheel to prevent it form turning as you remove these bolts, however, they are torqued down to only 17ft/lbs. so they are easy to break loose while you hold the pressure plate with your hand. Use a criss-cross pattern when loosening the bolts.
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Shown here is a close-up of one of the E8 Torx bolts that hold the pressure plate to the flywheel.
Figure 33
Shown here is a close-up of one of the E8 Torx bolts that hold the pressure plate to the flywheel. It's a good idea to invest in a good set of Torx sockets, both male and female. Don't try to use a regular hex socket on these bolts.
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On this particular car, I found that one of the pressure plate bolts had been rounded off when I tried to remove it.
Figure 34
On this particular car, I found that one of the pressure plate bolts had been rounded off when I tried to remove it.  If this happens, use a Dremel tool and cut them off in about 1 minute.  Don't waste your time trying vice-grips or other foolish methods - you can cut them off, and you don't need to worry about damaging the pressure plate because you're going to be replacing it anyways. The trick is to cut the bolt head off flush with the pressure plate, then simply pull the pressure plate off and unscrew the remainder of the bolt.
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Once the bolts have been unscrewed, remove the pressure plate.
Figure 35
Once the bolts have been unscrewed, remove the pressure plate. Underneath the pressure plate is the clutch disc. This is the part of the clutch that makes physical contact with the flywheel until you press the pedal. It's also a good idea to have a tarp underneath as you'll probably dump a fair amount of clutch dust onto the ground.
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If your flywheel shows any signs of heat glazing or scratches it's best to take it to a machine shop to have the face of the flywheel re-surfaced.
Figure 36
If your flywheel shows any signs of heat glazing or scratches it's best to take it to a machine shop to have the face of the flywheel re-surfaced. This is also called 'turning' the flywheel. The idea is to give the new clutch disc a good surface to bite into. If the surface is heat glazed and not turned, it can begin to slip. Remove the eight bolts shown here (green arrows) in a criss-cross pattern to relieve the torque evenly.
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You'll want to lock the flywheel to remove the bolts holding the flywheel to the engine.
Figure 37
You'll want to lock the flywheel to remove the bolts holding the flywheel to the engine. These bolts are typically torqued down very tight and you'll find that the flywheel will just turn as you try to loosen them with a breaker bar. In our case, I simply used a BMW water pump removal tool with one of the transmission bolts and also one of the pressure plate bolts. The factory tool bolts onto the other side of the engine at the harmonic balancer, which requires and extra set of hands to hold as you loosen the bolts.
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In our case, we used an electric impact gun to make quick work of the flywheel bolts.
Figure 38
In our case, we used an electric impact gun to make quick work of the flywheel bolts. Again, loosen them in a criss-cross pattern to relieve the torque evenly and support the flywheel as you loosen the last bolt as it is quite heavy.
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Shown here is the engine with the flywheel removed.
Figure 39
Shown here is the engine with the flywheel removed.
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The next step is to replace the rear main seal (green arrow).
Figure 40
The next step is to replace the rear main seal (green arrow). This seal is an important one as it seals the gap between the crankshaft at the engine block. If this seal were to fail, it would start leaking oil all over the ground and likely onto the clutch plate as well, rending your clutch basically useless. This is one of those 'while you're in there' items that really should be replaced.
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Carefully use a screwdriver to grab one edge of the seal and pry it out a little at a time.
Figure 41
Carefully use a screwdriver to grab one edge of the seal and pry it out a little at a time. The inside edge of the seal is metal, so it will likely take some time to get this seal all the way out.
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Now, fit the new seal into the gap between the end of the crankshaft and the engine block.
Figure 42
Now, fit the new seal into the gap between the end of the crankshaft and the engine block. BMW specifies to use of a special tool to drive the seal in, but you can do one of two things here instead. You can either find a section of ABS pipe roughly the same diameter as the seal and carefully drive the seal in or, you can cautiously tap the seal in one section at a time in small increments. The idea here is to install the seal with out cocking it inside the gap. Take your time and make sure it seats flush with the cylinder block. Getting the seal started around the crankshaft can be a bit tricky. Make sure that the lip is oriented correctly and don't touch the lip with bare fingers.
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Now it's time to move over to the transmission.
Figure 43
Now it's time to move over to the transmission. Inside the transmission is the mechanism that is directly responsible for actuating the clutch. The throwout bearing runs along the face of the pressure plate.
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Remove the bearing from the plastic hub.
Figure 44
Remove the bearing from the plastic hub. This is the portion of the throwout bearing that has direct contact with the pressure plate.
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Now rotate the throwout arm to allow the plastic retaining hub to be removed.
Figure 45
Now rotate the throwout arm to allow the plastic retaining hub to be removed.
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Remove the bolt securing the bearing fork to the throwout arm.
Figure 46
Remove the bolt securing the bearing fork to the throwout arm.
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Now rotate the arm enough for the fork to clear the input shaft and pull it down enough to allow you to access the bolts securing the input shaft seal to the transmission.
Figure 47
Now rotate the arm enough for the fork to clear the input shaft and pull it down enough to allow you to access the bolts securing the input shaft seal to the transmission.
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Remove the three 10mm bolts holding the input shaft seal cover/guide tube to the transmission.
Figure 48
Remove the three 10mm bolts holding the input shaft seal cover/guide tube to the transmission.
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Carefully pry the input shaft seal cover/guide tube up off the flange.
Figure 49
Carefully pry the input shaft seal cover/guide tube up off the flange.
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Remove the shaft seal cover/guide tube and you will see the input shaft seal directly underneath.
Figure 50
Remove the shaft seal cover/guide tube and you will see the input shaft seal directly underneath.
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The fork is a tight fit on the throwout arm.
Figure 51
The fork is a tight fit on the throwout arm. I found that if I used a pair of channel locks, I was able to press the fork off the throwout arm. You need to pull the throwout arm off in order to replace the two plastic bushings that sit at the top and bottom of the arm.
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Now remove the plastic bushing at the top where the throwout arm fits.
Figure 52
Now remove the plastic bushing at the top where the throwout arm fits. The lower bushing should also come out When you remove the throwout arm from the transmission. This also allows you a little extra room to remove the input shaft seal.
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Use a small pick or other means to carefully pry the input shaft seal out.
Figure 53
Use a small pick or other means to carefully pry the input shaft seal out. This seal prevents transmission oil from leaking out past the input shaft and potentially onto the clutch disc. If this happens, it could cause the clutch to slip. Take care as you remove the old seal as the input shaft bearing retainer is directly below the seal and can be damaged easily.
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Clean the input shaft and slide the new input shaft seal down over the shaft in to place.
Figure 54
Clean the input shaft and slide the new input shaft seal down over the shaft in to place.
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Carefully press the new shaft seal into position using either the factory tool or a section of pipe roughly the same size as the seal until it sits flush.
Figure 55
Carefully press the new shaft seal into position using either the factory tool or a section of pipe roughly the same size as the seal until it sits flush.
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Now fit the new upper throwout bearing into the slot in the transmission casing.
Figure 56
Now fit the new upper throwout bearing into the slot in the transmission casing. Take note of the tab molded into the bushing and the notch in the casing.
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Fit the new lower bushing into the transmission casing as shown.
Figure 57
Fit the new lower bushing into the transmission casing as shown.
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Re-fit the input shaft seal cover/guide tube over the new shaft seal.
Figure 58
Re-fit the input shaft seal cover/guide tube over the new shaft seal.
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Use the new shaft cover bolts and tighten down the shaft seal cover.
Figure 59
Use the new shaft cover bolts and tighten down the shaft seal cover.
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Now lubricate the lower portion of the throwout arm with lithium moly grease before inserting it into the new lower shift bushing.
Figure 60
Now lubricate the lower portion of the throwout arm with lithium moly grease before inserting it into the new lower shift bushing.
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As you push the throwout arm up through the lower shift bushing, fit the bearing fork over the arm and slide it down so that the hole in the fork lines up with the threaded hole in the throwout arm.
Figure 61
As you push the throwout arm up through the lower shift bushing, fit the bearing fork over the arm and slide it down so that the hole in the fork lines up with the threaded hole in the throwout arm.
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As you press the fork into place, lubricate the top part of the arm with lithium moly grease before placing it up into the new upper bushing.
Figure 62
As you press the fork into place, lubricate the top part of the arm with lithium moly grease before placing it up into the new upper bushing.
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Now fit the new bolt into the fork, securing it to the throwout arm.
Figure 63
Now fit the new bolt into the fork, securing it to the throwout arm.
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Rotate the throwout arm fork out to slide the new throwout bearing over the guide tube so that the arms of the fork fit into the slots on the underside of the bearing.
Figure 64
Rotate the throwout arm fork out to slide the new throwout bearing over the guide tube so that the arms of the fork fit into the slots on the underside of the bearing.
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Shown here is the completed throwout arm assembly with new bearing installed in the transmission.
Figure 65
Shown here is the completed throwout arm assembly with new bearing installed in the transmission.
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Lubricate the shaft splines prior to installing the transmission back into the car with some lithium moly grease.
Figure 66
Lubricate the shaft splines prior to installing the transmission back into the car with some lithium moly grease.
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It's important the keep the throwout arm and bearing rotated back towards the transmission when installing the transmission.
Figure 67
It's important the keep the throwout arm and bearing rotated back towards the transmission when installing the transmission. Inadvertently, I had moved the arm forward while I was trying to get the input shaft of the transmission to line up with the clutch. I wasn't able to do, requiring me to lower the transmission out of the car and inspect to see what the problem was. If you move the lever forward enough, it will cock the bearing on the input shaft as seen here. It's a good idea to zip tie the throwout arm lever to the stand off for the clutch slave cylinder to keep it in place prior to installation.
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Now back to the engine.
Figure 68
Now back to the engine. With the new rear main seal fitted, it's time to remount the flywheel to the engine. Take note of the small mark on the end of the crankshaft (green arrow). This is the alignment mark for the flywheel.
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Shown here is the flywheel mounted on the end of the crank.
Figure 69
Shown here is the flywheel mounted on the end of the crank. The green arrow points to the alignment mark on the flywheel. You'll want to orient the flywheel so that these two alignment marks are in the same position when you mount the flywheel. Take care as the flywheel is rather heavy.
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With the flywheel mounted, thread in all the bolts snug and set up the flywheel lock so you can torque the bolts without the engine turning.
Figure 70
With the flywheel mounted, thread in all the bolts snug and set up the flywheel lock so you can torque the bolts without the engine turning.
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It's a good idea to use all new bolts when mounting the flywheel back onto the engine.
Figure 71
It's a good idea to use all new bolts when mounting the flywheel back onto the engine. For the Cooper S, torque them using a criss-cross pattern and torque each bolt to 90Nm (66 ft/lbs.) (for Non-S, torque to 80Nm (59 ft-lbs.)).
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Now place the clutch disc onto the flywheel.
Figure 72
Now place the clutch disc onto the flywheel. It's important to note the direction in which the disc is facing. There will be writing on the disc surface indicating the direction. On some clutch kits, the disc with say "gearbox side" In our case, the clutch reads "Getriebeseite" which is German for gearbox side. Make sure the side with the writing is facing the direction of the transmission.
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Now take the new pressure plate and orient it so that the three open holes on the outside diameter fit onto the three dowel pins on the flywheel.
Figure 73
Now take the new pressure plate and orient it so that the three open holes on the outside diameter fit onto the three dowel pins on the flywheel. You'll also want to use the clutch alignment tool pressed through the clutch disc in order to position to clutch disc in the center (green arrows). Thread in the new Torx bolts that hold the pressure plate to the flywheel (purple arrows).
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Most clutch kits come with a plastic clutch alignment tool to center the clutch disc when you tighten down the pressure plate.
Figure 74
Most clutch kits come with a plastic clutch alignment tool to center the clutch disc when you tighten down the pressure plate. In the case of the MINI, the kit does not include this tool. At the time of this writing, the factory alignment tool was well over $100. However I found a cheaper solution. Kingsbourne makes a plastic alignment tool (p.n. GM6) that fits General Motors 2.8L V6 engines as well as the Saab 900SE and 9-3. This tool is around $10 through Pelican Parts. The catch here is that you have to apply force on the tool to keep the disc centered as you torque the pressure plate bolts to (M8 bolt) 23Nm (17 ft/lbs.) (for M9 bolts, torque to 28 Nm (21 ft-lbs.).
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Now place the transmission back on your floor jack and lift it up into position to be remounted.
Figure 75
Now place the transmission back on your floor jack and lift it up into position to be remounted. In my opinion, this is the most difficult part of the job. I recommend having a few friends help you to position the transmission. The idea is to get the input shaft on the transmission to slide into the clutch disc on the engine.
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It's helpful to thread some rope through one of the holes of the transmission to help rotate it forward.
Figure 76
It's helpful to thread some rope through one of the holes of the transmission to help rotate it forward. The casing of the transmission makes it a little difficult to get centered exactly on the bottom of the floor jack. The idea is to rotate the transmission enough to locate a few of the mounting bolts. The green arrows show the dowels that need to line up.
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Here's a view of where you can thread the rope or chain to move the transmission.
Figure 77
Here's a view of where you can thread the rope or chain to move the transmission.
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Once the mounting holes line up, thread in the mounting bolts (green arrow).
Figure 78
Once the mounting holes line up, thread in the mounting bolts (green arrow). This will allow just enough space for you to fit a standard screwdriver inside the transmission to turn the flywheel slightly with the starter teeth. Sometimes, the splines on the clutch disc and also the input shaft of the transmission will not mesh perfectly. Turning the flywheel slightly while a helper pushes on the transmission will usually allow the transmission to slide into place. Once seated flush against the engine, re fit all the mounting bolts and torque them to spec.
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Comments and Suggestions:
john Comments: This worked out great for my 03' base model. Thank you. Only thing is I couldn't test drive it for more than a mile cause it over heats now. Any thoughts on what I messed up on? I replaced the thermostat and the fans work.
September 18, 2014
  Followup from the Pelican Staff: My guess, air is trapped in the cooling system. Try bleeding it again, I bet you will find the issue there. - Nick at Pelican Parts  
Elementary Penguin Comments: You list "lithium moly grease" to lubricate the shaft splines. I haven't been able to find "lithium moly grease" at least not in the same color as in the images. Can I use "white lithium grease"? Is it the same thing. Many thanks.
August 31, 2014
  Followup from the Pelican Staff: No, the clutch kit usually comes with the grease. Give our parts specialists a call at 1-888-280-7799. They can help you find the right grease. - Nick at Pelican Parts  
Kyle Comments: Any idea how similar this is to doing it on a 2008 cooper base? n12b16a with 6 speed. Thanks.
July 9, 2014
  Followup from the Pelican Staff: It's quite different. I would grab a repair manual. It will list the special tools and each step of the procedure. Give our parts specialists a call: 1-888-280-7799 They will help you find what you need.
- Nick at Pelican Parts
 
Arie053 Comments: Thanks for the clear explanation, i do have one question.
I have Some difficulties getting my gear into 1st and reverse. I noticed That i have a lot of space in the upper Bush of the coupling reveal. Is it sufficiënt to replace only this Bush and can it be done without disassembling the gear?
Note. The slave and master cilinder are allready replaced.

Thanks in advance.
June 21, 2014
  Followup from the Pelican Staff: I don't think so. The bushings are part of the cables. - Nick at Pelican Parts  
matt Comments: The LUK brand clutch purchased from you guys for an early build 04 MCS came with the plastic clutch alignment tool.
June 7, 2014
  Followup from the Pelican Staff: OK, thanks for the info. - Nick at Pelican Parts  
tony Comments: Hi, followed the guide as well at using the Bentley manual but didn't read well enough about slave cylinder..big mistake..had to buy a vacumn pump to bleed. Decided to remove engine and transmission as I also wanted to change the water pump and oil in the supercharger as preventative measures. Glad I did, found the coolant lines to/from the oil filter were badly rusted. Removed them and found them blocked with sludge. Needed an air-line to clean out. Car is a 2002, we have had it for 8 years and I have changed the coolant every 2 years. I don't know if this is a common issue, but thought it may help others if they check when so much is pulled out already for a clutch job. Also, recommend ordering gear oil from Pelican Parts, took me too long to source locally. And try to get hold of a reverse torky set before you start...I didn't...more time wasted.
Hope this helps others.
June 6, 2014
  Followup from the Pelican Staff: Thanks for the additional info and feedback. We appreciate it.
- Nick at Pelican Parts
 
Nigel Comments: Great article which I followed step by step; although the neighbours thought me a little strange for being under the car with my laptop nearby. May I add that you need to double check the alignment of the steering wheel prior to re-attaching the steering knuckle/arms or you will damage the clock spring BMW call it a slip ringin the steering column and cost yourself $246 here in Australia, or about $190 in the US. I have learnt this lesson well. I say again - a great article which I highly recommend.. Cheers.
May 27, 2014
  Followup from the Pelican Staff: Thanks for the additional info and feedback. We appreciate it.
- Nick at Pelican Parts
 
replacement Comments: Do you recommend anything special for clutch break-in? Is it required? Wondering how soon I can autocross in good conscience after replacing...
May 27, 2014
  Followup from the Pelican Staff: I would give it an easy 1000 miles before taking it racing. Especially a stock clutch. - Nick at Pelican Parts  
mao7630 Comments: Great article. I followed your steps and just finished re-installing the transmission back to the place and re-fitting all the mounting bolts. However, the throwout arm fork doesn't rotate as used to be, so I cannot re-install the slave cylinder. I believe that I properly installed the throwout bearing along the guide tube to fit with the throwout arm fork. Do you have any suggestions? Mine is 2003 MINI Cooper.
May 6, 2014
  Followup from the Pelican Staff: If it doesn't feel right, my suggestion is to remove the transmission to be sure it is installed correctly. You don't want to have a failure once the vehicle is running again. - Nick at Pelican Parts  
AviatorBimmer Comments: Hey Pelican, quick question. If wrong gear oil is used on the manual tranny, can it cause damage to the transmission, such as buzzing and whining noise inside the tranny while driving the vehicle? My son had his 2004 Mini Cooper base clutch replaced and the mechanic used the wrong oil after draining it. Now the tranny is making grinding noises whereas it was not prior to having the clutch and oil changed.
February 23, 2014
  Followup from the Pelican Staff: The incorrect fluid can damage the transmission. I would install the correct fluid, see if the noise subsides, if not, ask your mechanic to inspect the issue.- Nick at Pelican Parts  
mike Comments: Great article in the process of my clutch replacement, i was wondering where i would go about finding the bmw water pump removal tool? or if there is a similar option i could use.
February 21, 2014
  Followup from the Pelican Staff: Give our parts specialists a call at 1-888-280-7799. They can help you find the right tool. - Nick at Pelican Parts  
Lencho Comments: Can a machine shop re-surface the OEM Dual-Mass Flywheel?
I was told it was very difficult to do. What is the cost to re-surface it?
January 2, 2014
  Followup from the Pelican Staff: It can be done, the method is different from standard flywheels. You will have to contact a local machine shop for pricing. - Nick at Pelican Parts  
patrick Comments: I'm sorry to ask this but I order couple things from you guys I'm very please with all the parts for my mini 2007 mcs turbocharged and delivery time but I have a question related to the alignment tool,I bought the valeo clutch kit and didn't came with the centering tool I was reading your work and you mention that you can use another centering tool from GMC well I wanted to check with you if that would work for my mini I notice that valeo clutch for my vehicle year has 28 spindles instead of 14 spindles as for the super charge model2002-2006 I really need help here and I really need that tool to have my clutch installed please any help or advice?will you be able to check the part compatibility for me?thanks so much in advance I'm hoping to hear back from you guys keep the good job!!;
November 20, 2013
  Followup from the Pelican Staff: There factory clutch alignment tools here: http://www.pelicanparts.com/catalog/shopcart/MINI/POR_MINI_PRJ025_pg2.htm They work the best. If you click back to page 1, there are standard model tools, but none with 28 splines. - Nick at Pelican Parts  
Driven97 Comments: Just finishing up with mine, thanks for the great writeup. A few tips that would have helped me:
In Figure 25 there is a semi-rigid gray plastic hose disconnected that is not in the guide. It gets in the way of getting the front bolt out. It's easy to take the two small allen bolts out for the map sensor it goes to in the rear, and lift the mounting cup up slightly. I broke my mounting cup when trying to lift the trans back on.

Same goes for the coolant temp sensor just behind there. Helps to disconnect it, as I broke that too. But then again I tried to gorilla force bench press the trans back into place.
November 15, 2013
  Followup from the Pelican Staff: Thanks for the feedback. Glad we could help.
- Nick at Pelican Parts
 
Andy UK Comments: Great guide, I have a slightly different gearbox and engine to the one in the write up, but very easily transferable. Even got the wife to help line the transmission back up!! Thanks for the guide.
November 3, 2013
  Followup from the Pelican Staff: These articles are based on US models. Glad it was still helpful. Thanks for the feedback. - Nick at Pelican Parts  
DragonSpiker Comments: Everything work great, but, when trying the car on, it seems that the release bearing got lose. Do we have to bring down the transmission again, is there any tricks to get the release bearing in place, with out dropping the trans.?
September 16, 2013
  Followup from the Pelican Staff: Not really. There is no way to access it well enough to service it with the transmission installed. - Nick at Pelican Parts  
DragonSpiker Comments: Super Article, you're the man
thank you very much for sharing, all this info.
dragonspiker
August 26, 2013
  Followup from the Pelican Staff: Thanks for the feedback. Glad we could help. - Nick at Pelican Parts  
JohnRMac Comments: Great article. Should this apply to a Countryman R60 model? My car has the All4 option so I can imagine that disconnect will be additional
July 6, 2013
  Followup from the Pelican Staff: This tech article does not apply to your vehicle. - Nick at Pelican Parts  
Ducdog Comments: Thanks very much for the articles - been a big help. One comment though - I find your references to bolt sizes a bit confusing. It may be helpful to mention the actual bolt size M6, M10 etc and then the head size if necessary 10mm on an M6, 16mm on an M10 etc...
Thanks again.

Another possible tip.... I used duct tape to hold the slave cylinder together once it was out. Easier than trying to bolt something in place.
July 3, 2013
  Followup from the Pelican Staff: Thanks for the additional information. We appreciate it. - Nick at Pelican Parts  
blondie Comments: Hey guys, 2003 mini base model 82k miles ~ clutch pedal went to the floor and can not get the car to move. Mechanics tell me it is the clutch. So working with a mechanic to repair. One of my mechanics states " it is mechanical not hydraulic" and does not want to touch in case it is the transmission. What do you recommend I have ready for my mechanic he is 150 miles from a mini dealer. I plan on buying both clutch kit, flywheel, slave cylinder and rear seals since we are dismantling the car. Anything else I should be prepared for?? input cylinder or master cylinder?? be kind, I am just a dumb girl asking questions of the pros smile ~ wink
June 26, 2013
  Followup from the Pelican Staff: If replacing the salve cylinder, replace the master as well. Sounds like you have everything else covered. - Nick at Pelican Parts  
jcain Comments: Okay, my last comment didn't post to the correct page even though I was on the tech article about clutch slave cylinders.

Quirky software you got here.
May 21, 2013
  Followup from the Pelican Staff: Thanks, got it. - Nick at Pelican Parts  
jcain Comments: Oh, by the way. Instead of the GM puller you can use a caulking gun. Most everyone has one or two around their house.
May 21, 2013
  Followup from the Pelican Staff: Not a bad idea. Only issue would be the risk of damaging the slave cylinder. It is made out of plastic and too much pressure on the fitting side could damage it. Using the puller allows you to pull against the mounting flange that is designed to take stress. - Nick at Pelican Parts  
Aevar Comments: Question. How should I align the flywheel in step 69 if using an aftermarket flywheelvaleo smf conversion?
March 10, 2013
  Followup from the Pelican Staff: A conversion kit should come with instruction. There is a good chance they made it similar to the MINI parts so the alignment is the same. You will have to check when you get the parts. - Nick at Pelican Parts  
Pam's car Comments: Question. I had the clutch replaced on my car. I picked it up and now my very quiet car sound like an 18 wheeler driving down the road. I can't even hear the engine to shift gears! I'm being told that the right bearing now needs replacing? Did they damage it when they replaced my clutch by not tightening the shaft?
February 13, 2013
  Followup from the Pelican Staff: Hard to say. I would have the shop look their work over and see if they can find how it failed shortly after the repair. - Nick at Pelican Parts  
Mike D. Comments: Wonderfull article. It's just a shame I found it after I've completed my clutch project. I, like Mark mentioned, did not have to remove the heat sheild or starter either. As a matter of fact no intake manifold or components were dismantled to acheive my task as well. I did find it helpfull, after studying the situation, to just take a little more time and remove the entire radiator support. It drasticly helps with the Eng. /Tranny removal. Take your time. Double check everything. MED
February 10, 2013
  Followup from the Pelican Staff: Thanks for the kind words on the article. On some of the early cars there are some differences in the clutch replacement, so you may have to use a bit of trial and error to figure out what you need to replace and/or remove. I'm going to copy your comments here to the forums and perhaps some other people may have additional suggestions for other people about to try this task. - Wayne at Pelican Parts  
Mark Comments: Thank you for the article. It was invaluable. I did find that it is not necessary to remove the starter, only the two mounting bolts.
November 15, 2012
  Followup from the Pelican Staff: Thanks for the tip. You can hang the starter of out the way when removing the trans. - Nick at Pelican Parts  

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