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Rear Trailing Arm Bracket Replacement
 
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Pelican Technical Article:

Rear Trailing Arm Bracket Replacement

Nick Czerula

Time:

2 hours2 hrs

Tab:

$300

Talent:

****

Tools:

16, 18, 20mm sockets, floor jack, jack stands, wheel chocks, safety glasses, torque wrench

Applicable Models:

R56 MINI Cooper Hatchback (2007-11)
R56 MINI Cooper S Hatchback (2007-11)

Parts Required:

Rear trailing arm bracket, bracket fastener (not reusable)

Hot Tip:

Support trailing arm when installing new bracket

Performance Gain:

Repair faulty bushing and prepare vehicle for alignment

Complementary Modification:

Replace rear control arms

The MINI R56 rear suspension consists of the following components:

Rear subframe. The subframe is bolted to the body and the upper and lower control arms are anchored to it.

Trailing arm on each side. The front of the arm is bolted to the body using a bushing and a bracket. The rear wheel bearing is bolted into the rear of the trailing arm.

Upper control arm on each side. The inner end of the upper control arm is bolted to the rear subframe. The outer end is attached to the trailing arm above the wheel-bearing opening. A rubber bushing is used at the control arm-to trailing arm attachment point.

Lower control arm on each side. The inner end of the lower control arm is bolted to the rear subframe. The outer end is attached to the trailing below the wheel-bearing opening using an eccentric bolt through a rubber bushing. The eccentric bolt is used to set rear wheel camber.

Stabilizer bar anchored at the rear subframe and attached via stabilizer links to the rear trailing arms.

McPherson coil springs and gas-filled struts mounted to the body and the trailing arm.

Inspect the rubber bushings attaching the trailing arms to the body, the control arms to the rear subframe and the trailing arms, and the subframe to the body and to the differential. These bushings should be solid and lack dry rot. Replace a bushing if it shows signs of failure. You can use a large screwdriver or pry bar to try to move components against the rubber bushing and watch closely for signs of rubber deterioration and looseness.

The rear trailing arm bushing connects the rear trailing arm to the body. It is a trouble area for higher mileage R56 models, as it wears out over time. Replace the bracket if it shows any signs of failure.

Keep in mind that when your car was serviced before, parts may have been replaced with different size fasteners used in the replacement. The sizes of the nuts and bolts we give may be different from what you have, so be prepared with different size sockets and wrenches.

Protect your eyes, hands and body from fluids, dust and debris while working on your vehicle. If you're working with the electrical system, disconnect the battery before beginning. Always catch fluids in appropriate containers and properly dispose of any fluid waste. Recycle parts, packaging and fluids when possible. Do not work on your vehicle if you feel the task is beyond your ability.

Vehicle models change and evolve, as they grow older, so the vehicle shown in our illustrations may vary slightly from yours. If something seems different, let us know and share your info to help other users. Do you have questions or want to add to the article? Leave a comment below. When leaving a comment, please leave your vehicle information.

This picture shows the rear trailing arm bushing (green arrows) connecting the rear-trailing arm (red arrow) to the body.
Figure 1

This picture shows the rear trailing arm bushing (green arrows) connecting the rear-trailing arm (red arrow) to the body. The bushing is not serviceable separate from the bracket. Replace them as a unit.

Raise and support the rear of the vehicle on jack stands.
Figure 2

Raise and support the rear of the vehicle on jack stands. For more information please refer to our Pelican Parts Technical Article on Jacking Up Your MINI. Remove the rear wheel from the side of vehicle you are replacing the bracket on. Remove the rear strut from the trailing arm. Remove the 18mm lower strut fastener (red arrow). Then pull the strut out of the trailing arm and allow it to hang. For more information please refer to our Pelican Parts Technical Article on Replacing Your Rear Struts.

Unclip and remove the wiring harnesses from the trailing arm.
Figure 3

Unclip and remove the wiring harnesses from the trailing arm. First pull the plastic clip straight out (red arrow). Then pull the metal harness mount (yellow arrow) off the trailing arm. Next, mark the location of the bracket to the body (green arrows). Marking the body allows you to get the bracket in a similar position for vehicle alignment. An alignment should be performed when the bracket is replaced.

Next, loosen the 20mm bracket fastener (green arrow).
Figure 4

Next, loosen the 20mm bracket fastener (green arrow). I like to use a long ratchet with a shallow socket (red arrow). Just loosen it a few turns. You will remove it later.

Then remove the three trailing arm 16mm fasteners (green arrows).
Figure 5

Then remove the three trailing arm 16mm fasteners (green arrows). The forward most fastener can be accessed through a door (green arrow) in the splash shield.

Pull the trailing arm down and away from the body.
Figure 6

Pull the trailing arm down and away from the body. Remove the trailing arm bracket fastener.

Then remove the bracket (red arrow) from the trailing arm.
Figure 7

Then remove the bracket (red arrow) from the trailing arm.

Install the new bracket to the trailing arm with a new fastener.
Figure 8

Install the new bracket to the trailing arm with a new fastener. Install the fastener finger tight. Jack the trailing arm up (red arrow) until the bracket comes in contact with the body. Install the body to bracket fasteners, align your marking and tighten the fasteners. Then jack the suspension to a loaded position. Be sure that the strut doesn't snag the trailing arm. Tighten the bolt for the bracket to the trailing arm. Reassemble the strut and wiring. Then have the vehicle professionally aligned.

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