The Mini Cooper uses a pair of axles -- called halfshafts -- that connect the wheels to the transmission. These axles are made up of CV joints and other movable parts that all require service. If any of these parts break, then the entire axle has to come out of the Mini so that it can be either repaired or replaced. This process seems intimidating at first, but it can be done at home with a few basic tools.
- Skill level:
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Things you need
- Jack stands
- Tire iron
- 1/2-inch ratchet and socket set
- Drain pan
- 3/8-inch ratchet and socket set
- Bungee cord
Park your Mini on level ground and set the parking brake. Lift the front of the car with the jack. Put jack stands underneath the Mini's chassis. Take off the front wheels with a tire iron.
Put the drain pan underneath the transmission. Unbolt the drain plug on the transmission with the 3/8-inch ratchet and socket and let the transmission fluid empty into the pan. Unbolt the hub nut on the centre of the rotor with the 1/2-inch ratchet and socket.
Unbolt the brake caliper from the steering knuckle with the 3/8-inch ratchet and socket and hang it by the fender with the bungee cord. Pull the rotor off of the steering knuckle with both hands. Unbolt the tie rod end and the lower control arm from the steering knuckle with the 3/8-inch ratchet and socket.
Unbolt the ABS sensor from the steering knuckle with the 3/8-inch ratchet and socket. Unbolt the steering knuckle from the front strut with the 3/8-inch ratchet and socket and an open-end wrench. Pull the axle out of the transmission with your hands, then pull the steering knuckle and axle out of the front suspension as a pair. Pull the steering knuckle off of the axle.
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