The 'CV Joint' connect the axle to the drive flange on the front of the Mini. It transfers tremendous loads at severe angles. Three designs of joints were used in the Mini thoughout it's history. The first '18 spline' type was only used in '59 & '60 and are no longer available. The replacement type- 19 spline has always been the most common as it is the one used on all Minis with front drum brakes and were even used on the vaious Coopers with the samll disc brakes. The nut size on the end of this joint uses a 1 1/8" socket. The third type of joint is the much larger version as used on all other models and it uses a 1 5/16" (or 34mm) socket for the nut.
A worn CV Joint is typically caused by poor or no maintenance. The grease in them must be of the best quality and MUST BE KEPT CLEAN. When the grease is allowed to absorb brake dust and road dirt because of a torn rubber boot it will act like a grinding paste to destroy the inner balls. To determine the condition of your CV joint simply requires jacking up the front wheels, turning the steering to full lock and rotating the wheels. They should turn freely with no feel or sounds of "clicking". Even the slightest sound means the joint is on the way out! You can also simply listen for this 'clicking' sound at slow speed full lock turns as you drive through a parking lot!
The Special assembly pictured here includes the CV Joint and the axle, easy installation at very reasonable costs.
The inboard CV joints ("pot joints") came out in 1973 and use an axle that is not the same as those used earlier. Besides a difference in length, they also use a CV type circlip on the inner end to mate up with the pot joint. The early axles do not have the groove for the circlip -- a fast way to tell them apart. The two types of axles are NOT interchangeable. If your differential uses pot joints you need pot joint axles (the outer end is the same for both types). If your differential uses either the Moulton-type rubber cross pieces or the metal hardy spicer inner u-joints, you need the axles that fit them. (Both use the same axle.)
Pre pot joint lengths (approx.): right = 15 1/2", left = 12 3/4"
Pot joint lengths (approx.): right = 17 5/8", left = 12 3/4"