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  #1  
Old 07-21-2011, 12:46 PM
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Default Axles on Lowered Minis

i've been doing some reading on the effects of lowering the mini and am a little concerned about the axle issue some people have had in the past.

i'm having a bit of trouble searching through the various threads and subforums to find all the information and though it would be a good idea to make one central thread.

for an overview there seems to be a possibility that by lowering the car you change the angle of the axle enough to put extra strain on it causing it to fail.

from what i've found in the forums this isn't widespread, but i'd like to better understand who it's happened to and what we think the causes are. i'm looking for
  1. how far was the car dropped
  2. how many miles was it driven lowered until the problem started
  3. how was the car driven (daily, track days, autox, long freeway hauls, etc)
  4. what was the root cause of failure?


i've seen the threads for glen, chase, jason, and alex. jason said his was exacerbated by track duty, alex by how low he was () and glen and chase by a combination of aggressive ride height, camber, caster, and wheel selection.

is this problem limited to you four or am i missing more people? also i haven't seen is any information on this happening to gen 2s yet, but then there aren't as many gen 2s that have been around and low for a long time.

one solution that's always kicked around but never followed through on is raising the engine. is there even enough room under the hood to do this?


i guess ultimately my question is is there a happy medium between ride height and healthy axles? or is this one of those "pay to play" modifications ie: it's gonna happen eventually and you just gotta save up for when it happens?
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Old 07-21-2011, 12:52 PM
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I think you can add Rally's clubbie to that list.
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Old 07-21-2011, 12:58 PM
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Replaced my right axle at 50k kilometers. Tucking 18". Daily driven with occasional track. R56. So second gen is effected, just not to many high millage low cars around.
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Old 07-21-2011, 01:12 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by hardingsan View Post
or is this one of those "pay to play" modifications ie: it's gonna happen eventually and you just gotta save up for when it happens?
I'd say this...
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Old 07-21-2011, 01:21 PM
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I've replaced the outside boots twice, and the passenger side axle once. I'm pretty low, I'll have to measure it one of these days. I have over 150,000 miles on it being lowered....

Nik
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Old 07-21-2011, 01:26 PM
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Me and Konky both had to replace ours as well. The boots on both of mine split and started throwing grease everywhere. Never tracked my car or drive it hard its definitly from lowering
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Old 07-21-2011, 02:00 PM
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interestingly enough, i never had any axle problems at all. i installed h&r springs only at 6k miles, drove the car daily and traded it in a 86k with no issues. i'm not an agressive driver, and i never tracked it ever.
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Old 07-21-2011, 02:36 PM
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I think just lowering on some springs is not a real issue, slamming it on coils is what makes the difference...
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Old 07-21-2011, 03:04 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by cooldaddy View Post
I think just lowering on some springs is not a real issue, slamming it on coils is what makes the difference...
This.

My first R53 had the M7 springs on it for ~40K of its life and no real issues after being driven hard daily (no track time). had some weird vibrations at first (went on around 30K) but nothing harsh or extreme.

Coils simply beg for that last nth of drop that really stresses out the bits (albeit with a nice stance). More low means save up and expect replacement me thinks.
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Old 07-21-2011, 04:17 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Pir8 97 View Post
I think you can add Rally's clubbie to that list.
I will add that my axle is only going bad because I tore the CV boot, accidentally, while working on the car and then proceeded to drive the car with a torn CV boot for 15k miles through winter and sandy environments. It'd probably be going bad even if I was at stock height. It's 100% my fault.

Camber should theoretically HELP the issue to some extent....not hurt.

I personally think it's a pay to play, and you just get ready for your axles to blow after a few years. Get ready for it and you'll be fine. Mine is going bad so I called up a friend and we're locating an axle from the junkyard. It's OEM strength and has plenty of life left in it at much less than OEM cost. I'll install it and probably get another year or two of slammed driving in before having to locate another. That's not too bad IMO if it's what allows me to have a good looking car.

Keep in mind that this issue appears to be much worse than it really is because nearly everyone attempts to use the cheap axles or remanufactured ones to save money which, in turn, leads to them blowing up within a few thousand miles. All of a sudden it looks like slammed MINI's will break their axles at 2k miles, which isn't the case if the axle is OEM quality.
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Old 07-21-2011, 04:43 PM
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For my axles it was just the front. The first axles that went were quit possible do to being lowered for a few years pretty low and very aggressive driving. My other two axles blew because they were super cheap axles that werent made correctly. So now i am using other axles that held up pretty good so far.

Next i am ordering some from drive shaft shop.

You mainly have to make sure your CV doesnt bust. Once it busts its like inevitable that the axle will go
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Old 07-21-2011, 04:47 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Rally View Post
Keep in mind that this issue appears to be much worse than it really is because nearly everyone attempts to use the cheap axles or remanufactured ones to save money which, in turn, leads to them blowing up within a few thousand miles..
this is one of the problems for sure; my friend Chad broke 2 aftermarket axles within weeks of install (track and autoX ate them up); OEM ones back in and on it for over a year now with the same autoX/track schedule (if not more)
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Old 07-21-2011, 04:50 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by cooldaddy View Post
I think just lowering on some springs is not a real issue, slamming it on coils is what makes the difference...
well then that's why my axle was not injured. horray!
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Old 07-21-2011, 05:43 PM
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Quote:
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I think just lowering on some springs is not a real issue, slamming it on coils is what makes the difference...
QFT. I've been on the Mach V springs on the R56 almost since the beginning and I'm at 86K now and have had no problems, even after tracking it.
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Old 07-21-2011, 07:41 PM
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While searching for new axles I came accross this page. High performance high dollar axles!

http://www.driveshaftshop.com/mini-2...-level-2-axles
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