Sunday, 26 July 2015

Work begins... fixing Charlie

So the time has come to bite the bullet and actually start buying some parts to get Charlie fixed. After having an inspection at Bowker MINI dealership and letting the Lancashire Mini Register give it the once over, it was clear what the priorities were.

Firstly I had to get that suspension mount sorted. That had come up as a red flag with everyone. Looking around for parts, it immediately became apparent that these MINIs are a lot more expensive to maintain than classic Minis. Which does seem a bit strange, given the supply and demand situation...

Also on the first job list was to replace the torn balljoint and a wheel bearing.

So what did I find? 

4/3/2015 - prices correct on this date.

R53 item quotes
All companies were asked for the same items.

Top Mount £34.99
Wheel hub £76.99
Ball joint £19.99

Top Mount £90
Wheel hub £70
Ball joint £15

MINI Dealership Parts
Top Mount £67.92 +vat
Wheel hub £178.32 +vat
Ball joint £46.67 +vat

Raynors Motor Factors
01282 691222
Top Mount £na
Wheel hub £67.86
Ball joint £12.85

BBC Superfactors
Top Mount £32.33 +vat
Wheel hub £46.24 +vat
Ball joint £9.96 +vat

Mini Sport
Top Mount £66.88 +VAT
Wheel hub £221.29 inc vat
Ball Joint £56.71 +VAT

Top mount: £96
Wheel hub £211
Ball joint £54

What was most surprising to me was that Lohen and Mini Sport both charge more for items than it would be to buy them straight from the Dealership. Even more surprising is that these companies tend to get a discount off the Dealership price, but then still take their own cut so they're more expensive than buying straight from the dealership. Anyway, that's one lesson learnt - and shared!


Needless to say I found a cheaper motorfactor in the form of BBC Superfactors, but all the parts still cost just 23p shy of £100 - but that's still a hell of a lot cheaper than the £220 some companies were asking for for just one part! And then I had to get them fitted too!

I headed to a local friendly garage (Tyre Bay, Nelson) and bartered with the owner who did me a deal - I think he was unaware of how much time and effort it might actually take to do these jobs, but heyho, a deal is a deal and a fixed price is a fixed price. All in all I think he charged me about £60 for all three jobs.

This all sounded like a good deal, and after the fitting there was a definate improvement in the handling - however, for some reason I was now getting a knocking noise that wasn't there before and the ABS warning light had come on on the dashboard.

So I took it back a couple of days later and the big man got out his OBD reader to have a look but he wasn't sure of the problem. I suggested perhaps the ABS sensor was damaged when the new bearing was fitted, so I thought I'd look in to the price of a sensor and was blown away - RRP is £80.69. Well I knew the brakes were ok and it was just likely to be a faulty sensor - so at that price I decided to leave it and just add it to the list of jobs to be done. 


 Wheel off
 Brake pads look ok
New bearing/hub

 New bearing/hub
 Retaining bolt
 The old bearing in-situ
 Taking off the brake disc
 Popping the balljoints off.

 Remove the hub from the driveshaft
Slide on new bearing/hub

Refit the nuts and bolts in the reverse order that you undid them in.

Find out what that knocking noise was in the next instalment....

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