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Rear Subframe - Heritage Or Reproduction?


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#1 ggdtr5


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Posted 21 February 2018 - 05:00 PM

I need a new rear subframe, the existing one is beyond economic repair😡
What is the difference between a heritage subframe and a reproduction- apart from around £200

#2 GreaseMonkey


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Posted 21 February 2018 - 05:08 PM

Heritage will have better quality metal and fit. 

#3 Tupers


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Posted 21 February 2018 - 05:50 PM

Ive fitted more pattern rear sunframes from Mini Spares than I care to remember and Ive never had an issue with fit or quality.

The only thing Id recommend is that you strip off the paint that comes on it and zinc prime and paint it in 2K black for longevity.

#4 richmondclassicsnorthwales


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Posted 21 February 2018 - 07:28 PM

I have built lots of subframes using pattern and Heritage over 35 years, the first batches back in the 80's were a bit touch and go, but nowdays, all good as far as I am concerned !


One thing here is that you will have all sorts telling you that copy frames are bad and they cause a Mini to "Crab",       absolute tosh.


Copy frames are heavier in weight than Heritage for one point to mention - more metal ! . Secondly, if they are so bad, why do the sales for copy frames outstrip Heritage ?


Yes, there is the price issue, but they are fine to use, most Mini,s on the road have a copy frame. You will have some who say there are insufficient welds, as I say,

massive can of worms with this one topic,  wouldn't surprise me if you have at least 15 comments on this issue, if not more.


Tupers mentions stripping off the paint the copies are supplied with, to be honest, I have always painted / sprayed all frames with 2k paint at least with 3 coats, then once all dried and hardened and ready to re-fit, Waxoyl in all the crevices and then build up the frame. Then finally on the car use Waxoyl again, and when re-fitting all the bolts, use waxoyl on all the threads when going back in.


You would be fine using a copy frame, but as I say umpteen amounts will say "Oh no, Don't", but you can. If you do go for a Heritage, make sure again to use the 3 coats of paint and the Waxoyl approach, will be good for many a few years


Consider replacing and repairing Radius arm bushes if worn, rear brake cylinders, brake shoes, backplates, adjusters - everything which is associated too while it is all apart, all new bolts and bushes, it will look after for years to come, it's good knowledge knowing all that lot is sorted out and won't bother you.

Edited by richmondclassicsnorthwales, 21 February 2018 - 07:48 PM.

#5 ggdtr5


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Posted 06 March 2018 - 08:17 AM

Ok I bought a reproduction subframe!!
Thought I would give some feedback on the quality/fitment.

It Looked ok some of the formation of the shaped metal was a bit rough i.e. creased.The welding looked adequate but I had already decided to do a bit of additional,welding anyway i.e seal welding etc.

However the biggest problem was that the new subframe was approx 5mm smaller between the front subframe mounts so it did not match up to the tapped holes in the heelboard. I had to fit an additional spacer to make up this difference before the subframe would fit properly - this also involved fitting corresponding washers at the inboard end of the mounting pin as well.
The rear mounting points were spot on.
Not best pleased at having to do this but a least it fits now and I will now get it powder coated. Whether the heritage one would have been better I do not know!
One could say you get what you pay for or was I just unlucky - however there should be no excuse for the basic dimensions between the mounting points to be other than correct.

I think I will also fit the adjustable rear mounts so I can get the tracking and camber set up on completion.

Just sharing my experience with others

Regards Graham

#6 Steve220


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Posted 06 March 2018 - 08:45 AM

Secondly, if they are so bad, why do the sales for copy frames outstrip Heritage ?


This isn't a rich man's game, people will inherently got for the cheaper option. I took one look at a pattern part subframe at a show and wasn't impressed with the quality, but i do hear the same thing - they're rarely square and often don't fit properly. You get what you pay for. I personally would rather save and get a genuine heritage frame, have it dipped and blasted then painted in 2k.

#7 Alice Dooper

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Posted 06 March 2018 - 10:22 AM

I bought a Minispares rear powdercoated one last month and was very pleasantly surprised. The gauge of the metal looked about the same as my rotten original, everything built up with no issues and it was even a straight forward fit with only1 grunion needed some very mild adjustment. Think we would have had more bother refitting the original.

#8 MiniMoe2008


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Posted 06 March 2018 - 01:23 PM

I bought an aftermarket one from DSN classics and works fine. I did however have it painted again because you could tell from the quality of it, it wouldn't last long without some type of protection. I POR-15 it.

#9 Cooperman


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Posted 06 March 2018 - 01:43 PM

I have used both without any real problems.

Before assembling I paint the sub-frame with black gloss tractor paint: 


Valspar 4431-16 Gloss Black Tractor and Implement Paint

When a new sub-frame is fitted is is wise to check the front to rear alignment, camber and rear toe-in.

#10 cradley-heathen



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Posted 06 March 2018 - 08:22 PM

I have fitted tons of non-genuine rear subframes and never had a problem with any of them.


I'm sure if the non-genuine ones were finished in gloss rather than matt (as the genuine ones are) they would look more appealing.


I'm going to need a new subframe for my own project, I will be fitting a non-genuine one for sure (unless I find a brilliant second hand genuine one) but as others said, I will be painting it in 2k before fitting and waxoyling it. but I would do that no matter what the origin of the part.

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