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Author: Subject: Bugger - Mini giving me bach ache .....
Jasper

posted on 5/8/10 at 01:44 PM Reply With Quote
Bugger - Mini giving me bach ache .....

I've been worried for some time now that the Mini is giving me back ache. When I came back from a 3 day rally in France it was killing me, and now I'm driving it again after a 2 week holiday it's starting to hurt again.

So what do I do? Put up with it or sell it and buy something more easy on the back? Pizzed off about it TBH ...... it's not like I'm a geriatric, but I have had a few back problems in the past.
The suspension is all fine, in fact my Mini seems to sit a bit higher than most, it hasn't been lowered and the Koni shocks are all in good condition. The ride doesn't seem particularly hard, if anything it's quite bouncy. I've already spent 200 at the Osteopathy getting it clicked back out, then I get in the Mini again and it locks back up.

I'm not sure if it's a combination of heavy steering, cramped seating position (I do have my seat all the way back on the rails and angled back so it's resting on the rear side pockets as I'm 6'2"and it does have a steering column lowering block), and old fashioned suspension.

What I don't want to do is spend time and money trying to sort out the MPi, or sell it and buy an older Mini with 10 inch wheels and fit quality aftermarket seats on extended runner, then find it still gives me back ache.....

My gut reaction is to sell it and think about something else in the long run...... I've just been offered a completely original 1960 Series 2 Lambretta TV175 full restored and just one 'Best in Show' last weekend for 3800 - about 2k less than it should be, from a mate......





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Daddylonglegs

posted on 5/8/10 at 01:53 PM Reply With Quote
I'm 6' 4" and restored an old Mini city for my oldest lad as his first car. I fitted in it OK but could have been more comfortable!

I have suffered from a back issue for many years after an injury and one of the worst things for it is having the knees higher than the pelvis. It puts huge strain on the lower back if it is for any length of time. I have to be careful how I set my seat for driving in the tin-top.

I would guess that your knees are above your waist in the mini and if so I would bet that is why it gives you grief.

HTH

JB





It looks like the Midget is winning at the moment......

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MK9R

posted on 5/8/10 at 01:54 PM Reply With Quote
i had something similar with my mondeo, i altered my seating position and it sorted it out. I moved the seat forward a lot so my legs weren't stretched out so much and that seemed to do the trick, it felt quite alien to start with, but soon got used to it.





Cheers Austen

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MikeR

posted on 5/8/10 at 02:05 PM Reply With Quote
i'm 6'3" and used to drive a mini 1000 daily for up to an hour each trip (i was 18 to 21).

I found i couldn't drive a 'modern' 1990's mini, the 1970's ergonomics with old bus steering wheel and seats was great. The 1990's was just wrong.

This was before i wrecked my back so may not be relevant, but see if you can try sitting in an 'old' mini and if its any better.

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Peteff

posted on 5/8/10 at 02:18 PM Reply With Quote
Take your wallet out of your back pocket . Change the driver's seat for something you can sit on, it's easy enough in a Mini.





yours, Pete

I went into the RSPCA office the other day. It was so small you could hardly swing a cat in there.

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Jasper

posted on 5/8/10 at 02:26 PM Reply With Quote
If it was just the seat I'd swap it out, but I really don't think it is, the seat is comfortable and I use a lumbar cushion, it's something more fundamental than that.

What JB says about knees above the hips makes sense to me, it's just doesn't feel right at all....

Maybe the older Minis are better, lighter steering with smaller width and diameter wheels ...





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phelpsa

posted on 5/8/10 at 02:38 PM Reply With Quote
Do you have the seat too upright? That can put strain on the muscles in your back.

I find that having my knees in line with my hips with my back reclined until my arms are a little bent reaching the wheel is the only comfortable way to drive.

The other issue could be... how well aligned are the steering wheel, seat and pedals? Are they causing you to twist awkwardly?

[Edited on 5-8-10 by phelpsa]






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Jasper

posted on 5/8/10 at 02:58 PM Reply With Quote
I have the seat back as far as it can go, both for angle and direction, and still my knees are above my hips by some distance. The pedals are directly in front of me though, they're not offset.





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Humbug

posted on 5/8/10 at 03:03 PM Reply With Quote
How about:

- put blocks of wood on the pedals
- put a spacer on the steering column/wheel
- remove the driver's seat
- sit on the back seat?

Alternatively, give the Mini to me... I'm just a touch under 6'2" so I might be able to drive it OK

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Surrey Dave

posted on 5/8/10 at 05:27 PM Reply With Quote
It's that 'orrible short wheelbase /rubber suspension bouncing action.

I had a Mini when younger it was OK , I thought it would be a good Idea to have another one in the eighties ! , B****y awful needed 3 pitstops to get to Dorset!

Mind you a mate of mine had some nice Bucket seats in one ,quite comfortable but only one seating position................

Have you got a steering column lowering bracket to stop the sit up bus steering position that pulls on your shoulders?

[Edited on 5/8/10 by Surrey Dave]

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jimmyjoebob

posted on 5/8/10 at 06:04 PM Reply With Quote
Try fitting a different driver's seat - if it solves your back ache you will also have saved yourself the headache of showing timewasters your car (I am currently bitter after wasting weeks trying to sell a mk2 golf)!





If at first you don't succeed, hide all evidence you ever tried!

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Tartanpimpernel

posted on 5/8/10 at 06:37 PM Reply With Quote
take the car with you next time you visit the Osteopath, sit in it and get them evaluate the problems with your posture in the car....

just an idea

-c-

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Jimbob

posted on 5/8/10 at 06:57 PM Reply With Quote
I did 3000 miles in 8 days in my 79 mini with the bus wheel and old style seats, i could manage about 300 tops in sportspack seats so could be something in that and easy to try some
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RazMan

posted on 5/8/10 at 07:19 PM Reply With Quote
I have chronic back problems (3 slipped discs, stenosis and spondylosis) and I had my osteopath look at my seats during my build and he advised me on the padding required. Side and lumbar support are the main priorities. Also try and sit as straight-legged as possible, leaning back a little - difficult in a Mini though.





Cheers,
Raz

When thinking outside the box doesn't work any more, it's time to build a new box

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turboben

posted on 5/8/10 at 07:47 PM Reply With Quote
You used to be able to get L shaped brackets which bolted into the seat brackets and moved the seat back further. I know because I always had to remove them as my legs are designed for a mini!
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Jasper

posted on 6/8/10 at 11:59 AM Reply With Quote
Cheers for the feedback guys, I can't get the seats back further without removing the structural rear side bins that house the seatbelt tensioners, so not an easy solution.

And I don't want to start fitting different seats to the car as it will ruin the look and value. And yes, I have got the steering column lowering block.





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r1_manx

posted on 12/8/10 at 09:27 AM Reply With Quote
So you have the steering column lowering bracket/block, but you might want to try the competition upgrade offered here:

http://mk1-performance-conversions.co.uk/shop/page30.html

It gives even more lowering adjustment, and is also a lot stronger than the minispares drop brackets. I have gone for one of these. Furthermore, if you can source an Austin Maestro/Montego steering column, they match the classic mini spline pattern on the rack, and they are slightly longer than the mini columns. It may mean a little bit of modification swapping over wiper/indicator stalks, but worth a look. And another thing, Ford Escort Mk2 Universal Joints....they fit the spline pattern on the classic mini rack too! So you could mod your column with the UJ fitted in-line, and this will give you plenty of lowering adjustment. I am currently modifying my mini steering setup as my bucket seat is going to be mounted low down in the car, so I want to lengthen and drop the column to achieve a nicer driving position. Oh and one last thing, the Cobra range of seats are generally very comfy, and you can get nice leather trimmed ones that aren't a boy racer style bucket seat, so you can retain the classic look. This may help your back issues. I hope this has been useful. I bloody love minis, even when they cause a bit of pain, which is pretty every time I work on it!





If im not in action, im in traction!

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Jasper

posted on 12/8/10 at 09:31 AM Reply With Quote
Cheers mate, trouble is doing all that to a Rover Cooper Sportpack will kill it's value, I would still be better selling that one and buying an old Mini I can then bugger about with, which might still be a plan!

Or buy a nice 60's Alfa





If you're not living life on the edge you're taking up too much room.

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r1_manx

posted on 12/8/10 at 10:13 AM Reply With Quote
You could do the mods without wrecking the standard setup, just keep your original seats and steering column or whatever bits come off to be changed, then when you sell her just swap it back to standard and you'll still get full whack for it, shazaam!





If im not in action, im in traction!

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scootz

posted on 12/8/10 at 03:50 PM Reply With Quote
You have my sympathy!

T'was such problems that forced me to sell my Lotus Exige in 2006... only the second brand-new car I had ever bought and had to let it go after 6 months!

If it wasn't for my back, then I reckon I would still have that car (and probably would never have got into the kit-car scene!).





It's Evolution Baby!

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:{THC}:YosamiteSam

posted on 12/8/10 at 05:53 PM Reply With Quote
ask yourself this

is your back aching when out of the mini at all?

if it is then its not the mini

once a bad back always a bad back - it never gets better - been there

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scootz

posted on 12/8/10 at 06:58 PM Reply With Quote
Not sure I agree!

Even the most restrictive of seats can be very comfy and supportive, but it's the act of getting in / out that's causing the problem. Hence you're fairly comfy in the car, but aching when out!





It's Evolution Baby!

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andkilde

posted on 13/8/10 at 12:43 AM Reply With Quote
I would experiment with seating and column position. I'm 6', my clubby GT had seat extenders and a drop bracket and I had lower back issues as well. I had no trouble in the van with upright wheel and old style seats with no extenders, so...

After a bit of sleuthing I decided the wheel was a bit too far away with the lowering block and extenders and I was tilting forward at the pelvis slightly to reach the wheel. I binned the accessories got used to the goofy, splayed leg upright "normal" position, and my back woes went away. A deeper dish steering wheel or an extender block might have worked as well, never got around to trying it though.

Cheers, Ted

[Edited on 13/8/10 by andkilde]

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