Author Topic: Anyone seen this happen before - lost all drive on outer hub/driveshaft  (Read 1254 times)

Offline thebluepotato

Assuming that my driveshaft didn't split in half, I think my circlip has come off inside the outer boot at the hub.  Driveshafts do spin under load, but that outer left is not....and you can wiggle the driveshaft.  Has this happened to anyone?  I think we were pretty thorough in locking that shaft down....but concerned that this may happen again.  Normal driving, new 1293 engine, new everything, but original circlip with original driveshafts from my 998 set up.

Attaching a small video below of what I am seeing  9.gif

Offline MiniDave

You sure the outer cv hub is not moving with the shaft? I couldn't tell from the vid....I agree that the shaft should not move like that, but the axle can and does move in and out - that's the job of the pot joints....to allow the shaft to lengthen and shorten with the suspension movement.

Were you hearing a noise when you drove, or were there other symptoms? I have had the circlip not hold on an inner joint going into the transmission, but not an outer one like this. I think I'd pop that axle out and have a look.....

Be sure you get the right circlips, they're different between the inner and outer.....
« Last Edit: April 11, 2018, 10:01:25 AM by MiniDave »
1989 Cooper Racing Green
2009 Clubman S
1969 Jaguar XK-E FHC
2004 Audi Allroad 2.7 TT

Offline thebluepotato

You sure the outer cv hub is not moving with the shaft? I couldn't tell from the vid....I agree that the shaft should not move like that, but the axle can and does move in and out - that's the job of the pot joints....to allow the shaft to lengthen and shorten with the suspension movement.

Were you hearing a noise when you drove, or were there other symptoms? I have had the circlip not hold on an inner joint going into the transmission, but not an outer one like this. I think I'd pop that axle out and have a look.....

Be sure you get the right circlips, they're different between the inner and outer.....

Sorry - was a big vague with my post....driving normally without any symptoms and heard a slight "whiiiir-pop" after taking a right turn - and lost all drive...coasted into neighborhood.  Had a buddy come by and shaft is spinning under light load (both) and wheel is not being engaged.  I can move shaft up and down (left and right) inside outer boot, so it is disengaged at that point.  Right shaft is connected as it should be.

I ordered a new circlip with MM, but interesting to see that they are now "thinner" than the originals and says for both outer and inner - not sure why this is and that concerns me.  Have no idea if my 998 circlips are wrong or not, but I bought a new one and will take a micrometer to it later this week to compare.  But the one I got is here for reference:
https://www.minimania.com/part/17H8596/Classic-Mini-Cooper-Circlip-Axle-To-Outer-And-Inner-Cv-Joints

But I agree, inner and outer are different.  Am I the only one who is now just seeing this with the new circlips?

Ironically, my aftermarket heater value at that time failed - a new one from Mini Sport and complete junk.  Sprayed coolant all over the right side of engine bay.  This happened just before I lost all drive, but I cannot see how they are connected.  I have a new one from MM ordered and they assure me they are the "better" ones......  ::)

Again, just confused by the drivesaft popping out.

Offline MiniDave

Yeah, I didn't think there was enough room for the axle to move to disengage - are your wheel centers covered? I once had an axle nut come off and gave the same symptoms....loss of drive etc.

I have not ordered any outer circlips, I only have the inner pot joint ones, that go into the transmission....I have not heard of thinner circlips.

They did have a run of bad heater valves, back end would come off - I had one too. If you bought it a while ago the new ones are fine.
1989 Cooper Racing Green
2009 Clubman S
1969 Jaguar XK-E FHC
2004 Audi Allroad 2.7 TT

Offline MPlayle

It is possible to "accidentally" put an axle in backwards.  I know from experience.

The splines on both ends are almost identical.  The length of the splined sections are different: the longer section goes to the inner pot joint, the shorter to the outer.  The shorter side should also have a thick "stop ring" near the inner end as well as the circlip at the outer end.  The "stop ring" keeps the outer end from sliding too deep into the outer CV joint.

If in backwards, one end can be pulled out as the suspension travels.  When it happened to me, it pulled the inner pot joint apart as I had seated both circlips.

Also, the shaft lengths varied based on the type of inner joint.  Hardy-Spicer and yoke style shafts are different lengths than the pot joint shafts.  I believe the splines may still be the same and each end, but the yoke style will be too short for use with pot joints.

Did you possibly go from yoke style (or Hardy-Spicer) to pot joint transmission outputs?


Offline Willie_B

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Are the outer cv's and the brake hub new? I have seen wear on both finally lead to the teeth gone and no drive.

Offline croc7

Re: Bad heater valves.  Word around the campfire is that the heater valves that have the letters 'MSC' embossed on the side of the valve are the improved versions.

Offline thebluepotato

Thanks guys for the input - so got it apart and here is what we found:

1) Driveshaft is in correct - with stop ring on shorter/ on outer end at hub.
2) Spline looks good and hubs are new and no noticeable wear. 
3) I am using the same drive shafts from my 998 which I believe are Hardy-Spicer type shafts.  Using Cooper S brake/hub conversion units (very common) from Mini Sport that work with this type of common driveshaft.  Unless I am missing something here.  Inner Pot joints are also new and no wear.
4) We took a micrometer to the circlip thickness and there was only a minimal difference in the produced ones today (slightly thinner) vs one we put on (original circlip) which was a tad thicker.  Not sure this will make any difference.

So the only thing at this point is maybe the circlip was too thin or just was not installed 100% and locked into position.  Not sure that sits well with me as I already have put some miles on the mini - gentle driving - why would it pop out - out of the blue?  Seems really strange.



Offline thebluepotato

Re: Bad heater valves.  Word around the campfire is that the heater valves that have the letters 'MSC' embossed on the side of the valve are the improved versions.

Perfect - just installed the MSC one....old one did not have that.   Appreciate the intel!

Offline MiniDave

Hardy Spicer and pot joints are two different things, Hardy Spicer are U-joints, pot joints are a version of a CV joint.

So where did it come out? Did it pull out of the outer CV joint or the inner pot joint come out of the transmission?
1989 Cooper Racing Green
2009 Clubman S
1969 Jaguar XK-E FHC
2004 Audi Allroad 2.7 TT

Offline MPlayle

Re: Anyone seen this happen before - lost all drive on outer hub/driveshaft
« Reply #10 on: April 13, 2018, 09:33:23 PM »
It is my understanding that the drive shafts are different lengths depending on the inner joint.  They are also not interchangeable between types.

Changing the front brakes from drum to disk and reusing the drive shafts works fine as long as the type of inner joint remains the same.  If going from Hardy Spicer to pot-joints on the transmission, then different drive shafts are required.  You will need to get the pot-joint length shafts (left and right).


Offline thebluepotato

Re: Anyone seen this happen before - lost all drive on outer hub/driveshaft
« Reply #11 on: April 14, 2018, 08:11:23 AM »
Bare with me here as I am not that technical......so, to clarify, the LHD shaft pulled out from the outer hub.  Inner pot joint stayed in tact.

And I stand corrected - I have (and had originally) the conventional pot joints/CV type.  See pics below.

Attaching pic below of my original driveline....had a 998 with pot joints and conventional CV/driveshafts.

My understanding is that The same inner CV and drive shaft is used on both the 998 and 1275 respectively.  So again, old/new inner pot joints are essentially the same.

I replaced my old pot joints with new ones here:
https://usa.minisport.com/adu4378-mini-inner-pot-joint-1974-01.html

As far as the outer - this is the out CV that came with the kit:
https://usa.minisport.com/gcv1013-mini-disc-brake-type-outer-cv-joint-1984-01.html

This is the entire kit I have:
https://usa.minisport.com/mini-cooper-s-75-complete-disk-brake-hub-kit.html

I had those 'Joltfreak' Honda disc brake conversions on my old setup (you can see in the pics) - but assume when I replaced with the Cooper S conversion, it should be the same at the outer hub. 

Tell me if I am missing anything here.



Offline MiniDave

Re: Anyone seen this happen before - lost all drive on outer hub/driveshaft
« Reply #12 on: April 14, 2018, 09:32:50 AM »
You're right, the 998 and 1275 axles should be the same, the gearbox basically is the same right thru production - the differences in axle length caused by using different styles of inner joints.....pot joints, HS, rubber u joints.

If the axle pulled out of the outer CV (I'm surprised it could do this, as I didn't think the length would allow it to come out that far, except possibly on an extreme bump or something) all that really holds it in place is the outer clip. It usually takes a pretty good whack to seat those, and an equally good whack to get them off again when disassembling the joint, so maybe you didn't have it seated properly when you first put it together and it took that long to work it's way out again? Just a guess.....

You can tell if it's seated properly because 1) there is no movement 2)you can see the inner ring on the axle is up tight against the inner part of the CV joint, you can see this by pulling the boot back.
« Last Edit: April 14, 2018, 09:36:41 AM by MiniDave »
1989 Cooper Racing Green
2009 Clubman S
1969 Jaguar XK-E FHC
2004 Audi Allroad 2.7 TT

Offline thebluepotato

Re: Anyone seen this happen before - lost all drive on outer hub/driveshaft
« Reply #13 on: April 14, 2018, 09:57:02 AM »
You're right, the 998 and 1275 axles should be the same, the gearbox basically is the same right thru production - the differences in axle length caused by using different styles of inner joints.....pot joints, HS, rubber u joints.

If the axle pulled out of the outer CV (I'm surprised it could do this, as I didn't think the length would allow it to come out that far, except possibly on an extreme bump or something) all that really holds it in place is the outer clip. It usually takes a pretty good whack to seat those, and an equally good whack to get them off again when disassembling the joint, so maybe you didn't have it seated properly when you first put it together and it took that long to work it's way out again? Just a guess.....

You can tell if it's seated properly because 1) there is no movement 2)you can see the inner ring on the axle is up tight against the inner part of the CV joint, you can see this by pulling the boot back.


Dave - yes to everything you say above.  We checked again and made sure that sucker was on good.  We suspect the circlip that was on my 998 was this newer ones that are being sourced from other vendors....used an old one that was just ".xxx thicker and hoping this does the trick.

Found this blog:  http://waynesminiprogress.blogspot.com/p/drivetrain-overhaul-part-5-driveshaft.html

And pics attached, you can see where we think there may be an issue - again, not my CV joint in these pics.

But in those pics - if you look at the beveled edge (on the where the gear/bearing cage is) where the circlip pushes through, that edge is different on my Cooper S brake kit.  Slightly different than say an OE CV.  Not sure if this had anything to do with it.

Just got back from Napa Auto for some oil and made it in one piece - no issues whatsoever....but it is in the back of my mind now.  Will this happen again....just undermines my confidence :)


Offline MiniDave

Re: Anyone seen this happen before - lost all drive on outer hub/driveshaft
« Reply #14 on: April 14, 2018, 10:05:16 AM »
The beveled edge is different how? I couldn't tell in the pics......

We installed these new outer heavier duty CV's on Don's Pup too, but no issues. Maybe it was just the thinner circlip then.....hope that's it.
1989 Cooper Racing Green
2009 Clubman S
1969 Jaguar XK-E FHC
2004 Audi Allroad 2.7 TT

Offline MPlayle

Re: Anyone seen this happen before - lost all drive on outer hub/driveshaft
« Reply #15 on: April 14, 2018, 11:11:29 AM »
As Dave says, the axles would be the same between 998 and 1275 when both were equipped with the same inner joints.

Since it was the outer that separated, I am inclined to agree it was the outer circlip either not seated completely or not holding.

When mine separated, it was the inner joint that came apart when going over a speed bump.  My issue was due to having the drive shaft reversed and the short-splined end also missing the stop ring.


Offline MiniDave

Re: Anyone seen this happen before - lost all drive on outer hub/driveshaft
« Reply #16 on: April 14, 2018, 12:00:06 PM »
I've had a pot joint come out as much as a half inch or more and not disengage the splines or start wobbling, and that also was due to a bad circlip - I bought spares - $24 for 4 circlips from a US supplier - plus shipping of course, but I needed them! With the new circlip it's not moved a bit.
« Last Edit: April 14, 2018, 12:04:25 PM by MiniDave »
1989 Cooper Racing Green
2009 Clubman S
1969 Jaguar XK-E FHC
2004 Audi Allroad 2.7 TT

Offline thebluepotato

Re: Anyone seen this happen before - lost all drive on outer hub/driveshaft
« Reply #17 on: April 14, 2018, 02:57:29 PM »
Good lord, Dave!  That looks scary, but yes - mine was outer and I am also inclined to think it was the circlip.  Time will tell....and I may have taken a few rolling speed bumps (the longer/wider/not as tall one) at a faster pace - will slow it down a bit as things get settled in.

Just found a paint bubble/crack on my rear boot, so now I have another issue to sort out....it never ends!  But happy this car is on the road again!

Offline MiniDave

Re: Anyone seen this happen before - lost all drive on outer hub/driveshaft
« Reply #18 on: April 14, 2018, 05:32:12 PM »
Basil looks fantastic!
1989 Cooper Racing Green
2009 Clubman S
1969 Jaguar XK-E FHC
2004 Audi Allroad 2.7 TT

Offline BruceK

Re: Anyone seen this happen before - lost all drive on outer hub/driveshaft
« Reply #19 on: April 14, 2018, 05:49:04 PM »
Basil looks fantastic!

I agree!   Love the color.
1988 Austin Mini
2002 MINI Cooper S
2007 Triumph Bonneville

Offline thebluepotato

Re: Anyone seen this happen before - lost all drive on outer hub/driveshaft
« Reply #20 on: April 15, 2018, 10:17:12 AM »
He's settled much lower now and I need to either 1) put on the chrome strip around arches/body line....or 2) get some smaller arches just to fill out the stance.  Decisions....decisions.

Offline MiniDave

Re: Anyone seen this happen before - lost all drive on outer hub/driveshaft
« Reply #21 on: April 15, 2018, 10:27:56 AM »
I like the chrome strip idea.....
1989 Cooper Racing Green
2009 Clubman S
1969 Jaguar XK-E FHC
2004 Audi Allroad 2.7 TT

Offline jedduh01

Re: Anyone seen this happen before - lost all drive on outer hub/driveshaft
« Reply #22 on: April 15, 2018, 10:47:31 PM »
I hope your planning on being up in Kingsport Tennessee Later this coming week!!!!
  I remember meeting your car and the previous owner say... 8.5 - 9 years ago at the FIRST CMU meeting !!

would Be cool to come full circle + meet you  the blog poster about your love for this car!

Motor ON.


Im 99% sure its just not fully seated circlip..

Offline thebluepotato

Re: Anyone seen this happen before - lost all drive on outer hub/driveshaft
« Reply #23 on: April 16, 2018, 01:40:49 PM »
I hope your planning on being up in Kingsport Tennessee Later this coming week!!!!
  I remember meeting your car and the previous owner say... 8.5 - 9 years ago at the FIRST CMU meeting !!

would Be cool to come full circle + meet you  the blog poster about your love for this car!

Motor ON.


Im 99% sure its just not fully seated circlip..

I know - been while.  But he is too unstable on the roads right now....needs a more planted alignment....I think I will be at the next CMU event - THE BIG 60.

Plus I heard they will have it at KOA again....which is nice.

-Peter