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Dents Removed at 15,500 miles

16 May 2009 - Filed under: Uncategorized

Sadly the MINI had picked up a couple of door dings in the near-side rear three quarters, they weren’t particularly obvious, just annoying. I was going to leave them, as often the minute you get these things sorted somebody careless will re-ripple your doors. However I then picked up a third dent in the same panel courtesy of a careless bin man moving a recycling container. The third dent was also small, but much higher up the panel where it curves away from the glass, it caught the light and was visible at most angles so I decided to get them removed.

I took the car to a dent specialist who I’d used previously, unfortunately on the first visit he informed me he couldn’t remove them unless I could find an easy way to gain access to the back of the panel. Usually a dent man will remove the interior trim to gain access, but this is considered a dealer job on the R56 due to the trims complexity. Another method is to drill a hole on the inside of the door shut, the hole is later plugged with a rubber grommet. This isn’t ideal as nobody really wants holes drilled in their car, it’s also not possible on the R56 as there’s numerous bits of reinforcing metal which run down the inside of the door skin.

In the end I discovered that clear open access could be found by removing the rear cluster. It’s not a particularly easy part to remove, I consulted BMW’s Technical Information System for instructions which made the task a lot easier. The first part of the job is to remove the trim which surrounds the rear light cluster, then the torx bolts which hold the cluster in place can be removed, finally the entire unit can be removed by releasing two clips accessible from inside the boot. I’ve included a copy of the TIS instructions in as PDF’s at the end of this post.

With the light cluster out the way the dent man was able to remove all three dents. Replacing the light cluster is a lot easier than removing it and using this method it left the cars trim and door sills intact. The total bill came to £45 so it wasn’t too painful either, certainly a lot cheaper than a bodyshop and the MINI is looking nice and pristine again. It has however had the nasty side effect of leaving me paranoid every time I park!

PDF instructions:
Removing the rear light cluster trim.
Unclipping the rear light cluster.

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