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Thread: R53 MINI Cooper S - clutch replacement cost?

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    R53 MINI Cooper S - clutch replacement cost?

    Hi all,

    My wifeís 2004 Cooper S clutch has been getting worse recently, slipping under load and a bit of shuddering now so time to replace it. Itís original at 90k miles and I really donít want to DIY it so wanted to ask what would be a reasonable price to have it done at a garage? The starter motor gear whines a bit on engagement / throw out sometimes too so may need attention.

    Given I generally fix all my own cars, Iíve no idea about garage prices - any pointers appreciated. Also, anything to have done at the same time? Assume itíll be internal slave cyl inside the bell housing though havenít checked yet. Not sure if itís a DMF either... better start investigating

    Cheers
    Stu
    Too many cars...

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    Regular Stace's Avatar
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    It is a DMF

    Where in the country are you?
    Dunlop Direzzas. Officially better than aero.

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    Thanks, the DMF is probably whatís giving the shudder then. Iím in Cheshire, near M62 J7. Have used a garage in Warrington for odd things before so will check with them for a price on Mon and see a sign for a MINI specialist, Graham Martin in St Helens which is nearby so could check with them too.

    My Volvo clutch cost about £300 in parts but took me three or four weekends cos I kept replacing other bits and fixing things whilst I was at it, this one needs to be quicker
    Too many cars...

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    Regular Stace's Avatar
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    With these it's so tight it's often quicker just to take the front off and the engine out. Has it got aircon?

    I've asked someone Lancashire way who's in to these who he'd suggest for the job
    Dunlop Direzzas. Officially better than aero.

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    Thanks, Stace. Yes, it has AC which probably adds to the hassle of the job I expect. If I did book it in at a specialist, I'd potentially ask them to service the supercharger too as that's on my list at some point.
    Too many cars...

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    Update: I watched a time lapse YouTube vid of the procedure to confirm I definitely donít want to DIY this, then called a few local garages this morn for quotes. Now booked in with a local transmission specialist recommended by my usual local garage (he didnít want the job) for just after after Easter.

    New DMF, clutch and rear main seal = £790 fitted inc vat. They said itís 6.8 hrs labour, would take me about a week. Price not as awful as some quotes but certainly more than costly enough
    Too many cars...

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    Regular Uncle Benz's Avatar
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    I usually split the subframe, leaving the front half in place with the cooling pack on it. I leave the steering rack and pump in the car too, as disturbing them is often fatal. The rack bolts can sometimes be an arse to remove though.
    Northloop.co.uk - at the forefront of political debate since Tuesday.

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    Cheers, UB - does the price sound about right for the job? Wish I lived nearer to you and could bring this and any other broken cars I have to you for remedial work
    Too many cars...

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    Regular Uncle Benz's Avatar
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    Price sounds reasonable. Do get them to clarify the brand of parts they will be using. LUK would be my preferred. If they want to use something like National Clutch I would ask them not to.
    Northloop.co.uk - at the forefront of political debate since Tuesday.

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    Thanks, I was sure it was LUK parts plus a genuine BMW rear main seal but contacted them yesterday just to make sure and theyíve confirmed it is.
    Too many cars...

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    Update on this which has turned into a saga...

    The garage collected the car on Tuesday, started work on it which ran into Wednesday when they hit a snag with a seized/corroded clutch hydraulic line that needed replacing (BMW only part). Ordered the part and fitted it.

    Reassembled and found the couldn't get the clutch to bleed, suspected master cyl needed. So replaced that on Thursday, tried again to bleed and still having trouble which led to slave cyl leaking then.

    Today they set about replacing the slave cyl, found the bolts holding it seized into the lugs on the gearbox casing and unable to be released with heat for fear of snapping lugs. I authorised them to do what was necessary to remove the cyl without damaging the box and fix the new slave in place with a bracket or whatever to secure it.

    They did that, then this aft, they still couldn't get a decent clutch pedal (though no air in system as it's all new parts!) so now suspect the clutch fork is bent (extra hydraulic pressure now or perhaps long term fatigue?) so have the box back off to investigate. Hoping for a fix on Monday as my wife is using my recently purchased BMW for work and I'm on the train! I knew letting the trusty Volvo go last weekend would come back to bite me! :-(
    Too many cars...

  12. #12
    Nightmare!

  13. #13
    Regular Uncle Benz's Avatar
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    These are a c word to bleed. You can only bleed them successfully if you fully compress the slave piston oll the way in and clamp it there. Two long bolts and a bit of scrap bar will be needed. Unless you fully compress it you can't get the air out of the chamber. The bleed nipple is right next to the inlet pipe, so the fluid won't go into the unit if you leave the piston extended.

    Massively unlikely to be a bent fork imo.
    Northloop.co.uk - at the forefront of political debate since Tuesday.

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    Thanks, UB - thatís very helpful info, I did some googling and can see what you mean with various photos of people having made tools to compress the slave for bleeding. Makes sense given the design but not something Iíd come across as Iíve never worked on one like that.

    Iíll pass that onto the garage and hopefully they will get it bled ok on Monday and I can get the car back without any further outlay on parts. Iím wondering now if the trouble bleeding that led to replacing the hydraulic parts was entirely necessary but am happy theyíve replaced them as it saves me a job in future anyway.
    Too many cars...

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    Regular Uncle Benz's Avatar
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    I'm scared to ask if this is all fixed now?
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    Quote Originally Posted by Uncle Benz View Post
    I'm scared to ask if this is all fixed now?
    Haha! I was going to update actually as the car was finally ready today and my wife collected it. All seems fine, clutch action very light and positive, no funny noises so fingers crossed it is indeed fixed. They left the old parts in the boot at my request to have a look at as I wasnít able to collect in person myself.

    I have to say the garage were very good in terms of daily communication, keeping me up to date with progress and parts required etc.

    In the end itís had DMF, clutch, release bearing, clutch fork (!), RMS, master and slave cyl and a replacement hydraulic line between the two. Quite a lot of bits! The original price of £790 crept up to just over £1,000 all in which I didnít think was too bad considering but they did have the car a week due to getting hold of dealer only parts overnight in some cases.

    Iíve asked them to quote on fitting my VW Caravelle with a new clutch and DMF in place of the (non standard) solid flywheel it has now as the vibration in first and reverse has been winding me up and putting me off using it. Not sure a 5 cyl diesel suits a solid flywheel as itís not the smoothest of power units!

    Thanks again for the advice
    Too many cars...

  17. #17
    Regular Uncle Benz's Avatar
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    Glad it's all fixed. So circa just under £200+vat of extras. If the extras were a complete clutch hydraulic set and a fork then I don't think they charged anything for their additional time. They probably put fifty quids worth of fluid through that clutch system too. Lol!
    Northloop.co.uk - at the forefront of political debate since Tuesday.

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    Cheers, UB - yes, the additional parts were quoted at about £230 inc vat as the job went along so thought they were very decent about the labour cost. So much so, my Caravelle is booked in for a similar job with them next week and once thatís done Iíll ask if they do auto boxes as I want the oil and filter changed on my recently acquired E46.

    In other MINI news, if developed a coolant leak just before the clutch went which is now back on my Ďto doí list to sort out. Symptoms are minor coolant accumulation in undertray and a water sloshing noise in the heater matrix area when you start up and rev it. Apparently the thermostat housing is a common failure so will look there, radiator, hoses, clips etc then water pump which I believe is driven off the back of the supercharger? How odd. Hopefully an easier fix than the clutch!
    Too many cars...

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