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The Mini Cooper drive flange as used on all Mini originally intended to use 12" or 13" wheels is an integral part of the front suspension. In addition to providing the connection between the axle and the wheels (thus the term "drive flange") it also provides the outer thrust surface for the wheel bearings. This is the main area for concern with the flange. If the bearings are allowed to work loose or simply just wear out the inner race of the bearing will spin and wear a very machined grove into the drive flange. The grove worn into it is typically so well machined that it is often overlooked and assumed to be as manufactured. In extreme cases the internal splines may also slip, allowing the CV joint to spin freely.
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