How to replace MINI Cooper Left and Right CV Axles 2002-2006
How to replace MINI Cooper Left and Right CV Axles 2002-2006

Hi everybody. Today I’m working on a 2006 Mini Cooper S. This car needs new axles. This car is actually leaking from both the left and right side axles so I’m going to show you how to replace both axles today. And while it’s possible to just replace the boots, it can be a little bit hard to get the CV axles apart and put them back together without damaging anything. The outer boots aren’t too bad but the inside boot on the passenger side is pretty hard to disassemble and reassemble without losing a lot of little needle bearings and parts like that, so it’s usually a pretty good idea to just replace the entire axle. Aftermarket replacement axles have gotten really cheap so it’s almost a no-brainer. As always I’ll put a link in the description where you can find the parts and the tools I use for this job. The most important tool for this job is a big hammer so make sure you have a big hammer before starting this job. And the way you know you need axles, you can just inspect the boots This outside one is okay, it’s all solid and in one piece. A really common place for them to start leaking is from the inside passenger boot because this is where sometimes oil drips on this boot and makes it soft and it usually starts to fail right here on the inside part. When I push it I can hear air and you can see a little bit of grease falling out. The first thing we need to do is remove the wheels. To do this job we’re gonna loosen the outer tie rod end and the lower ball joint and then we’ll take the axle nut off, and then we’ll pop the axle out on the passenger side. There’s a carrier bearing about halfway down. We’ll need to loosen that as well but now you can see the axle is just starting to leak. You can see the seal is torn away near the where it attaches and if I squeeze it, I can get grease and air to come out So this one is just starting to fail. The main place where we’re likely to have a problem for this job is behind the nut here for the axle. We have to use a hammer to tap it out later on and sometimes it’s seized onto the hub in which case you may want to spray some penetrating oil behind here after you take the nut off and let it sit overnight, or we may need to resort to the use of an axle puller like this one. I’ll put a link in the description where you can get this. This is the safest way to push the axle out without mushrooming over the threads. This nut on the end is 32 millimeter. It’s not that hard to get off. We’ll remove the other wheel and the other axle nut. Next we’ll remove the outer tie rod end. This is a 15 mil. It helps to have an extension on it. And then underneath here we’ve got the outer ball joint, and there’s an 18 Mil on the bottom and a couple of 13s here. There’s two ways to take this off. We could take these 13s out and tap on it and hope that the ball joint comes out from the steering knuckle here, which it usually does, or you could remove the 18 on the bottom here and then hit right here with your giant hammer and that will cause it to pop out. If you do it that way, you need to be careful with the brake rotor not to dent it. About half of the time if you take these two 13s out and tap here it’ll fall out, so we’ll try it that way [Impact tool noise] I’ve removed all the bolts before I start heating anything with a hammer– –that way we might get lucky when I hit here to remove the tie rod and it might cause some of the other bits to vibrate loose. So now I’m going to take my hammer and hit the tie rod end. That popped out okay. I’m gonna look underneath here, yeah it looks like it might have moved a little bit, we might get lucky so I’m going to tap with the hammer right about here – there we go. As you can see there’s a bit of rust corrosion here so if you have trouble getting this part to come out, take off the 18 on the bottom. Then I’m gonna get a slightly smaller hammer and see if we can tap the axle out of here. Yeah it’s hung up a little bit. You don’t want to tap this too hard because if it’s seized up with corrosion, you’re just gonna mushroom it. So what I’m gonna do is spray some penetrating oil and then use my axle puller. So this is pretty straightforward–it just goes on where you screw the wheel lugs on. On this car we have a stud conversion kit installed. I’m gonna stick a screwdriver here to keep the whole thing from turning, and then wind this sucker down. Of course don’t push on this if the bottom ball joint is still attached or you going to be pushing against a wall. There it goes-it’s actually starting to move now. [Tool noise] That worked pretty good so yeah be sure to pick up one of these. Once we’ve pushed the axle out we can just pull the strut forward and the axle drops down and out. We’ll repeat on the other side. This one’s being a little more stubborn. I’ll keep hitting it and it should pop free eventually-there we go. That came loose. Alright, let’s see if we got any better luck with the axle on this side- we got lucky here – this one taps right out. Then we’re gonna pop this axle out from the transmission. When you take the axles out, it may leak fluid. The fill point is roughly in the same line as the axle hole, so chances are if you pull the axles out nothing’s going to happen, but there’s a possibility that it might leak out. If you want, you can take out this bottom plug and drain the fluid first. Then this top plug is where you put it back in. And the way you do it is you just use a pry bar here for the driver side. Just stick it in here and then pop it out. So I’m just gonna pull smartly– — there it goes. Then I’ll put my funnel down here as I take the axle just in case anything leaks out, but no it looks good. So we got the axle here and you can see the grease here where it was starting to leak. For the passenger side, I’m gonna have to take off the power steering fan and the lower engine mount as well to get up to the bracket here. Well actually I could probably work around it without taking the mount off. Pinch to pull the wiring harness off. Alright we can see the bracket a little bit better now. So these are a couple of 13s. Actually there’s three. The the first two are pretty easy to get to, the third one is sandwiched up here on the back side. I like to use a straight ratcheting wrench to get up in there, and then I reach up over at the top here with my other hand. I go in the gap here between the engine and the axle. You can also attack this from the top from the wheel well I believe, but I do this way. The bolts usually come out pretty easy if I just spin it with with the tips of my fingers. So there’s that bolt. These bolts aren’t in all that tight they come out pretty easily. And resist the temptation to just crank on them and over tighten them when you put them back in. Once you’ve got all three bolts out, you can just pull in the axle and it slides right out. There is the carrier bracket here. You have to kind of rotate it and get it to clear as it comes out. It likes to hang up on things on the way out There we go. Here’s the axle. All right, let’s check out the new part. Sometimes they have the carry bracket attached and sometimes they don’t. This brand of axles has been pretty good. Axle technology has been around awhile — I don’t know if it’s really worth it to buy a much more expensive brand unless you’re looking for beefed up performance axles for extra horsepower application. Yeah, this one does have a carrier bracket attached so that’s good. If you get a new axle that doesn’t have the carrier bracket for the bearing, it’s not too hard to replace. First you’re gonna grab your old axle, tap off the dust shield. Then we’ll stick the axle in the vise. And it’s flopping around, I guess it doesn’t matter because this is the old one. Maybe we’ll just pull it out… yeah Game of Thrones… We’ll take some snap ring pliers – a little awkward but eventually you’ll get it. It’s a little bit stuck – I’ll hit it with the hammer at the same time — there we go. Then we just tap it off with a hammer. This hammer is kind of small – let me get a bigger hammer [Magical sounds] That’s better. Okay loosen the vise. So this part just slides right off. This part here though, it doesn’t want to clear the bearing so you have to kind of force it. Just kind of pry it over. There it goes, got it. Then we’ll do the opposite for the new axle. There we go. Then we’ll grab the bracket, then just tap. It helps to turn the axle so the little flat spot is where you get your snap ring pliers access. Some of the aftermarket axles and don’t have this flat spot but you can still work it. It’s just a little bit more crowded. There we go. And then after you’re done, tap with a hammer and make sure it’s fully seated. Then we can reattach the dust shield. Sometimes this doesn’t fit, it’s not a big deal. All right, all set. Now we’re ready to install this axle. This carrier bearing likes to kind of rotate as you put it in, the opposite of the angle it needs to be, so before we get going too far we’re gonna have to spin it around by hand, just like I just did, and make sure it’s facing the right way, before I put the shaft into the transmission. Once you get everything lined up, it should just slide right in. There we go. Now go ahead and put the screws back in. I’ll put all three in by hand first. This last one here can be a little bit hard to reach. I’ll kind of put the screw up from the bottom and guide it in with just the tips of my fingers and get the threads started. I like to use a ratcheting wrench for this because it just speeds things up. You’re dealing with a space here where you got maybe a couple of clicks worth, a few degrees worth of motion here and with a regular wrench I’d be here all day. It doesn’t need to be all that tight. Next, we can put the axle back into the hub. Before doing that, I’ll put a little bit of anti-seize on here to make it easier to get off next time. I’ll put the ball joint back into the bottom of the knuckle and put the tie rod bolt back in Push up on the tie rod in whilst tightening so it doesn’t spin. Then we can put on the axle nut. Then we need to punch in here to keep it from backing out. You can use a big center punch or an old bolt works fine as well, and just pound it in. Like that. And we’ll do the same for the other axle. This one’s much easier to install. All we got to do is slide it in and then what I like to do is put it inside the steering shaft here. I’ll put the screw on and then kind of hammer it back in. There’s a little circlip on the end that holds it in place and you got to overcome that. Pound it in just like that. So all we have to do now is put the wheels back on, and if you drained the transmission fluid, put the transmission fluid back in. So that’s all there is to it. That’s how to replace the drive axles on a first-generation Mini Cooper. Oh — be careful if you have a 5-speed transmission or an automatic transmission. They all use different axles, so make sure you order the right axles. Thanks for watching and bye-bye

36 thoughts on “How to replace MINI Cooper Left and Right CV Axles 2002-2006”

  1. Mod MINI says:

    I show you how to replace driver and passenger axles for first generation MINI Coopers 2002-2008.
    Get the axle puller here:
    Get the BFH here:
    Get the SFH here:
    Axles for R53 manual:
    Gen 1 MINI Cooper Parts:
    Mod MINI Tip jar:
    See all the Mod MINI Videos on my channel:

  2. Will Bradley says:

    Wow what timing.. I just bought an r53 and I suspect it needs new axle/s and a new bearing. dull grinding noise from the driver side (UK) wheel.. jacked it up and passenger side is smooth.. freely spins, driver side slight grinding when rotating but doesn't change pitch/volume with speed (bearing or CV?). Also had a noise whilst turning that was only after a particular turn angle and apparently only whilst with acceleration.. like a rhythmic, repetitive thud. However, checked the tire pressures for the first time since buying the car and front left tire was 20 instead of 33 PSI.. pumping it up appears to have eliminated the rhymic sound whilst turning.. now worried if perhaps the axle has a problem. If I'm changing a bearing then may as well do the axles?

  3. Taiyo Nakashima says:

    That is a BIG hammer!

  4. TheTangent Show says:

    Hey man I'm super glad you're up loading. Question for ya my clutch started squeeling and then started leaking oil any idea where that could be coming from? Got a clutch kit coming in but not sure what to do. Even tough it keeps breaking(r53) I just can't seem to break up with it haha

  5. TheTangent Show says:

    Also if you had any videos about the power steering pump that'd be great mine keeps leaking

  6. Gary B says:

    Great, tidy content as usual Kurt. I find myself watching these no matter what. As I’ve said before your videos have inspired my R50 and R53 projects 😊👍

  7. David Miranda says:

    Just in time! My inner boot passenger side just broke, and got grease all over. Yuck! Ordering the pair right now, just need to get the BFH and I'm golden, so thanks for this video!

  8. Donross13th says:

    Getting ready to tackle the driver side, perfect timing for video. BTW, where did you get that creeper?

  9. tewilk says:

    I had to do my passenger side axle due to a rip in the boot. I had a heck of a time getting the ball joint out with hammer. After buying from HF an air hammer… it was a breeze so adding this comment so it might help others. Seems like the ball joint was seized pretty tight due to rust.

  10. Mike Watson says:

    Love your videos! But I need to ask… How the helllllll do you work with those knitted gloves on? You lose so much touch/dexterity I would imagine! Cheers 🙂

  11. Adil Dbg says:

    Always good stuff, thank you 🙏

  12. Stephen Fry says:

    You make it look so easy but I know it is not. Good video!

  13. Joe Abegg says:

    Bahah love how you made this video after i did both axles on three seperate r53's! Quick tip for anyone doing it; if the car is on coilovers just undo the top of the strut, endlink and tie rod. you can pull the hub far enough that way to remove the axle. That way you dont have to mess with the balljoints. Just be aware of the brake and abs lines. Also on my daily I eat a set of axles about every 10k so I applied grease or anti seize on anything possible to make the next time easier! This video brings PTSD of endless hammering on balljoints… Good Luck!

  14. Ron Peters says:

    Wonder if replacing the inner ball joints would be good at the same time. It seems easier to get them out when the axles are out.

  15. Thai Dang says:

    Woah! Production quality has gone up. Those special effects! Haha great video as usual!

  16. Mal P says:

    Interesting video, I've the R55 clubman S & just tackled this job afew weeks ago.. both shafts, both seals, & a f/wheel bearing

    The only difference is my carrier bearing has 2 bolts & theirs no cooling fan to remove.

    Anyway, yes my cars fluid poured out, I'm surprised your didn't leak the fluid.
    Anyway now in getting quite alot of sqeaking & abut or grinding sound from my front rh/wheel even tho it's all been replaced bearing & full shaft, I've checked the free movement & it's quiet as a mouse when on Axel stands. Any idea what could cause any of this.

    I've also been noticing a sound from the Lh/rear wheel & it's already got a new wheel bearing but it still continues any ideas what it could be?

  17. Qwerrrz says:

    Clone of my car haha.

  18. fprintf says:

    I wish my 2003 R53 was that clean underneath, I have oil that has seeped everywhere. Time to watch some videos about how to fix all those leaks before I do anything more (already did the valve cover gasket and the crank sensor o-ring. Thanks for the instruction!

  19. HollywoodPlays says:

    Great Videos, these videos have helped me out so much really appreciate you taking the time to make them. I have a 2004 mini cooper s and it is making a knocking sound at low speeds, only in like 1st and 2nd. It feels like its coming from the driver side somewhere in the front end. And I really only notice it once I stop and start to go up through first again, like a steady knocking that fades away after about 15mph. Any thoughts?

  20. ne2i says:

    that's a cool floor creeper you got there.

  21. Ferdinand Bardamu says:

    My Mini R50 sometimes makes a hissing noise when I push the gas pedal. Is it something I should worry about?

  22. 91Thop says:

    Hey mod mini I love your videos they have helped me A LOT working on my own car, I have a question tho I need both axles and EVERYONE keeps saying go OEM or they will fail i would love to use the ones you did for cost reasons have you had good luck out of that brand of axles?

  23. David Adamovicz says:

    I used this video to swap my axels and did my hubs as well. After this my ABS, DSC, and tire pressure lights went on. Is this from a wheel speed sensor? I'm not sure where to look or what to check. Thanks for all your videos!

  24. miguelholes77 says:

    Have you ever tried FEQ axles ? Are they a brand you recommend or should I stay away from putting on my r53?

  25. DimasRoque Mascorro says:

    Question…. I came across this: when I ordered my axles I was asked if it was a 40 or 35 mm.
    I have an 06 mini S 6 speed trans. The guy6at the auto parts couldn't answer the question and I had no idea???? Any thoughts on this? Thanks👍💪😎

  26. Miguel says:

    Hi this is Miguel! I just want to let you know that your job is pretty amazing! it help me a lot doing my miniCooper s maintenance thank you for your videos!

  27. Peter Nicholls says:

    Going to attempt this this week. Wish me luck

  28. fiveyorks says:

    Not sure hammering the bearing on the axle is a good idea. If it can be done by pressing, it would be better…

  29. Peter Nicholls says:

    It looks easy. I’m finding that the bolts and subframe are become one with each other on my r53 thanks to lots of rust. It’s a nightmare

  30. DimasRoque Mascorro says:

    Question: bought the axels and have a issue, the axels began making noice after about a week of use… Sounds like the the center support bearing is about to go down. Are this pre lubed????

  31. Silveralow 60 says:

    Mod MINI I need your help! Replaced my drivers side axle and it keeps backing out of the tranny. It’s from a 6 speed r53. Replaced the clip on the end and it still comes out by hand. Help!

  32. Vasilis Rroshi says:

    Gsp loebro is The oem suplier for axles ….i think is The safest way to go….

  33. MessyGarage says:

    Question on the axles. I ordered the same ones from you link and there are slight differences in what I received and what was taken out. The end that goes into the transmission seems to have a different patter of the diagonal grooves that what was removed. It didn't want to slide in super easy and I didn't want to force so I took it out for now and am trying to see if they sent me the wrong axles. Another difference is in the larger plastic covers on the axle are totally cylindrical on the new ones but have indentations on the old ones (like what the ones in the amazon listing show). Is there a good way to tell if I have the correct axles? working on a 2003 cooper S with 6p manual.

  34. Dakotah Anderson says:

    Pretty clean oil pan for an '06!! Great video, I'll be referencing it again soon. Thank you!

  35. Anyang Pollo says:

    Hey Kurt, I’m on to the axles now : ) all good on the passenger side, but the axle won’t budge on the driver’s. I’ve soaked it a few times with penetrating oil,and tried an hour later. I’ll try again tomorrow after soaking it again before I go to bed, but what happens if it’s still stuck? New carrier ? I’m bummed because I have the subframe our(doing other stuff) so it was perfect timing. At least it’s just the driver side so it won’t matter much if the subframe is back in. Sucks to be in a time crunch. of in a time crunch. They’re paving my neighborhood so I gotta put the subframe back in tonight or tomorrow : / Thanks for the help!

  36. RHKP76 says:

    Another great Mini R53 repair video. Saved me $100 in labor. Thank you.

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