Monday, May 6, 2019

mini love - part 50

I was very happy to complete the supercharger swap. The other major maintenance for the Mini is the diagnose of the vibration and shake which has been gotten worst started as a subtle tremor triggered by hard braking at the end of a long straight at the track. I suspected it is due to the CV joint(s) of one or both axles.

MINI charges $500 for each of the two front remanufactured axles. Unlike other cars like the Vanagon which I can procure the parts to perform the rebuilding myself the Mini axles are not serviceable by home mechanics. I opt to purchase a set of Chinese made new axles. They cost a mere $166 for the set with free shipping. As Desire is not highly modified I feel these axles should be adequate and serviceable.

I was not expecting the axles would arrive in time for the next track event that I plan to attend. They arrived in just 2 days so I was very happy.

the axles sure have the made in China appearance to them

the nice thing about the DSS brand is the axle came with everything you need unlike some other axles

onto the Quickjack Desire went again

Before diving in and remove the axles I performed a test while the Mini is up on the Quickjack. I stared the engine and put the gearbox into second and spin the front wheels. I want to see if the vibrations on the road was caused by imbalance of the tires. Immediately there were a lot of jerking and vibrations. I immediately knew the reason. It is the traction control intervening. I switched off the ASC (traction control) and the jerking and vibration immediately disappeared.

Not just that the car is silky smooth. This is a strong evidence that the axles are the likely cause of the vibration and not the wheels. With this test I was confidence the new axles will cure the ills.

these Wilwood DP-10 street pads worn quite evenly for using on streets

Last time I tried to remove the axle I could not separate the spline ends from the bearing hub as they seized together. Because of it I planned ahead and bought this 4-lb sledge hammer from Walmart for this job. Failure is not an option this time.

Even with the 4-lb sledge hammer the right axle put up a good fight. There is something about a job like this that you have to know what size hammer to use. Too big or too small you can mess the job up. I reckon 4-lb to 5-lb hammer is the right size for the job.

after many well aim and determined blows I got the spline end to move with respect to the bearing hub but each mm was still a battle that need to be gained

the left side axle did not seize as bad

the left axle remove and side by side with the new axle; I inspect the dimensions carefully

you can see the rust on the spline ends which is the reason it is seized to the bearing hub

the spline teeth in the bearing hub is also quite rusty; I notice the rubber boot for the outer ball joint is torn and I don't have the replacement part on hand

I had a hard time seating the left side axle into the differential until I reshaped this c-clip

to remove the right side axle these parts have first to be removed

the right side spline end has a lot more rust and it was the reason it put up a very good fight

I used this spark plug socket to drive out the axle and it took some punishments

The right side axle is known to be problematic with aftermarket rebuilds due to incorrect position of the carrier bearing. I place the old and new axles side by side to compare them and the new axle checked out.

I went ahead and replace the lower engine restraint since I have a new one on hand. I reassemble the Min back together. It took me a long time as I didn't want to make a mistake. I went for a low speed test drive around the blocks and immediately even at low speed the difference is unmistakable. It is amazing how CV joints can creep up on you and before you realize they the causing NVR problems.

Once I was sure there is no gross mistake or oversight in the work I went for a high speed test drive. All was well and the car is now silky smooth. Definitely the problem is diagnosed and repaired.

I was not about to claim victory. I wanted to carefully inspect if anything is amiss and check for potential fluid leak at the drive axle.

back onto the Quickjack Desire went again
good that I double checked my work; these two clamps were not clipped back into position

no leak at the right side axle at the differential

no leak at the left side axle at the differential

next I set out to install the new set of Raybestos ST-41 racing brake pads

I also inspected the rear brakes as well as the suspensions.

the rear rotors now have considerable wear while there are some life lift on the rear brake pads

I noted the crack on the rubber dust boot for the caliper piston

the dust boot on the other side is also cracked

I routinely use this rubber mallet to check the suspension for loose fasteners

I now have a iPhone Xs Max. I was not looking forward to have to shop for a new phone holder for the RAM Mount again as they are likely don't have a form factor one for this new phone. I dislike the X-mount for track use. In a whim I thought may be the cradle for the iPhone 6s Plus may fit - though the chance is like 1/1,000,000. There has never been in iPhone's history a new phone share the same dimension with an old model.

Guess what? the iPhone Xs Max fits into the iPhone 6s Plus cradle! This is an impossible odd.

Desire received a clean bill of health for a two-day HPDE at the track

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