Overhauling the radius arms
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Its been a while since I worked on the Mini due to the cold weather. With the weather warming up I ventured into the garage and hauled my multigym into the house and put my workbench together so that I could start stripping down the Mini radius arms.
I have already bought a new subframe and painted it with black Hammerite. It came coated in a primer so the Hammerite is just an extra layer of protection. I plan on undersealing it as well because Hammerite has a tendency to chip when hit by stones.
In the picture on the left you can see the new sub frame leaning up against the old one. Quite a difference isn't there? Mini rear subframes do not last very long so you have to do all you can to extend their life because replacing them is a bit of a job.
Back to the Mini's radius arms. I started by scraping all the gunk from the arms with an old screwdriver. Then I used a wire brush to get rid of as much flakes of rust and hardened dirt as possible. I removed the brake pipes and was careful not to get any dirt in the hole.
The flexible brake pipe went into a flange on the radius arm and it had seized up. I used a couple of spanners and some WD40 to work the nut off which worked for the first arm. However on the second the nuts rounded off. I had managed to move them apart slightly so that I could get a junior hacksaw into the gap. Expecting a lot of sawing I was happy to find it sliced through the pipe in under a minute. I was throwing the pipes away anyway so I could of saved myself a lot of time if I had just loosened each pipe and then sawed the end with the nut right off!
This is the trumpet and rubber cone that makes up part of the rear suspension on a Mini. As you can see from the picture, the cone has perished and is a little more compact than it should be. Plus the rubber has hardened and the metal base has rusted to the point of falling to bits. I will be getting two new cones shortly.
The trumpets are ok but I am tempted to replace them with adjustable models known as Hi-Los or Adjustarides. These will allow me to adjust the suspension as I see fit.