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Thread: 4 Wheels Down Mini Cooper S

  1. #1
    Join Date
    May 2020
    Location
    Friendswood
    Posts
    3

    Question 4 Wheels Down Mini Cooper S

    We are new to the forum but have had our Prevost for several years. Does anyone have experience towing a late model Mini Cooper S manual transmission 4 wheels down? I am looking at the 2015-2017 range and would use the roadmaster base plates. I am concerned about the steering lock or any other potential issues. We currently tow a 2014 Ford F150 but trying to downsize for some trips. Thank you for any assistance.

  2. #2
    Join Date
    Oct 2019
    Location
    Montgomery
    Posts
    34

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    I tow a 2017 Mini Cooper S convertible. 6 speed manual tranny - no steering wheel lock to worry about. Just shove it in neutral and be sure the emergency brake is off, lock the doors w/ the key fob and off you go. It won’t even register miles while being towed. I use a Blue Ox baseplate and AirForce 1 braking system. Also installed a receiver hitch on the back to carry bicycles behind the cooper. Love it.

  3. #3
    Join Date
    Apr 2019
    Location
    Arlington
    Posts
    150

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    I have never pulled a Mini, but did pull a manual diesel Jetta in neutral for years and 10's of thousands of miles with no transmission issues. Just assumed that in neutral nothing could happen. After a faulty Blue Ox base plate design caused the font sub frame to fail, we had to look for something else to pull.

    In doing that research, I found out that all manual transmissions are not created equal. There are various ways to ensure that transmission oil gets to all moving / rotating parts. In some transmissions, these systems are driven from the output shafts, in others they are driven by the input shaft.

    If your transmission uses the output shafts you should be good to go. If it uses the input shaft then you could have parts of the transmission running with inadequate lubrication.

    On another note, I owned a 2017 John Cooper Works Mini. Wonderful car. Unfortunately, someone hit me from behind and at above highway speed and drove me head first into a concrete barrier which stood its ground. Woke up on the hospital but was in pretty good shape considering. The drivers area was almost untouched even though the rest of the car was half its orginal size. For small cars, they are very stout and safer than many larger cars.

    Love the Air Force 1 system. Moved it from the Jetta to the Wrangler and still going strong.
    Mark and Debbie Fratto
    1998 Country Coach

  4. #4
    Join Date
    Apr 2018
    Location
    Crossville
    Posts
    122

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    This is a reasonably up to date guide to what is towable 4-down.

    https://www.motorhome.com/download-dinghy-guides/

    Like Mark said, not all manual transmission cars are towable. Same can be said for 4 wheel drive vehicles.

    It is always good to read the owner's manual for any vehicle about "Recreational Towing".
    Les Stallings
    Crossville TN
    2006 Country Coach XLII

  5. #5
    Join Date
    May 2020
    Location
    AUGUSTA
    Posts
    41

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    I pull a 2008 Cooper S Convertible 6-speed, it is the best toad, super lightweight and fun when you get where you're going! It is a great bus rescue device as well, I can carry the tow bar and the car guard in the back with the top and back seats down (just).
    --
    Chip Lamb
    Augusta, GA USA
    1997 Prevost XL40 Liberty
    1987 BB WL35SB
    804-357-4926 / chip@collectorsco.com
    Appraiser/Broker/Dealer/Inspector

  6. #6
    Join Date
    Oct 2019
    Location
    Montgomery
    Posts
    34

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    I did do research on the MINI prior to taking the dive. MINI does not recommend this vehicle as a toad, while I have found many who tow this car with no issues whatsoever. I went to the MINI dealership and visited w/ a shop foreman. He said the reason the standard transmission is not on ‘their ok’ list is two fold. The most important issue is while under tow, the CV joints will be spinning and MINI feels this accounts for wear that could end up with warranty claims that they want no part of. The second part is while the CV joints are spinning along, the odometer is not reporting. I.e. the wear concern I suppose. The shop foreman says its a popular tow and he would have no reservations. So, I found a car (which was not easy) and so far I am very pleased.

  7. #7
    Join Date
    May 2012
    Location
    Beverly Hills
    Posts
    3,744

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    We have two members that I know successfully towed Minis.


    Gil and Durlene
    2003 H-3 Hoffman Conversion

  8. #8
    Join Date
    Mar 2013
    Location
    Chicago
    Posts
    3,025

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    If I was an automobile manufacturer I would specify in the purchase agreement that all warranty would be void if you use it as a toad everybody's getting away with murder it's just like they said all that wear and tear behind the vehicle and the odometer is not rolling. How are you going to deal with that as an automobile dealer trying to sell a new car and give us some kind of a reasonable warranty. I don't blame mini one bit or what they tell you and why they tell you. The turbos are unbelievably quick and a blast to drive. U can pull um. Rodger Foster had a bunch of fuel siphoned out of his tank on his bus right after fueling up one day while they went in to eat and when they got back out on the road he realized his gauge was down he thought it was broke because he knew he just got fuel. Well he ran out and he was almost 2 a ramp for a rest area. He was pulling a Mini Cooper for a toad. So he put the bus in neutral and release the brakes and started up the Mini Cooper and pushed himself into the rest area with that little thing now that's some cool stuff right there that's bus folklore!! If the manufacturer didn't like the idea of people pulling them for toads that would make a great for a commercial for that car.
    1990 Peterbuilt 377
    3406 B Caterpillar
    13 Speed Roadranger
    No Norgrens
    708 243 7871

  9. #9
    Join Date
    May 2020
    Location
    AUGUSTA
    Posts
    41

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    Quote Originally Posted by Joe Camper View Post
    So he put the bus in neutral and release the brakes and started up the Mini Cooper and pushed himself into the rest area with that little thing now that's some cool stuff right there that's bus folklore!! If the manufacturer didn't like the idea of people pulling them for toads that would make a great for a commercial for that car.
    Now that's funny!
    --
    Chip Lamb
    Augusta, GA USA
    1997 Prevost XL40 Liberty
    1987 BB WL35SB
    804-357-4926 / chip@collectorsco.com
    Appraiser/Broker/Dealer/Inspector

  10. #10
    Join Date
    Apr 2019
    Location
    Arlington
    Posts
    150

    Default

    That is a fantastic story! If you ever get a chance to drive one of the John Cooper Works cars dont pass it up!
    Mark and Debbie Fratto
    1998 Country Coach

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