Q What’s the best way to tow a Mini from the front? I have a 1985 Mini auto that recently broke down, and it was towed via the front subframe beam. Unfortunately, the subframe then cracked by the stabiliser bar at the front. I’ve since had the front subframe replaced at great expense by a local specialist, but I’m worried in case the same thing happens again. I’ve seen that some Minis have a towing eye fitted as standard. Are these up to the job? And are they easy to fit? Jake Duffy A There are indeed various towing eyes available on the market that are ‘up to the job’. Rover made two types of towing eye. The first one (21A1241) has basically a metal hook with the open end of the loop welded to the shank, with a 3/8-inch UNF thread along the extended shank. This replaces the bolt fastening the front teardrop mount to the front subframe. It needed an extra nut threaded on the shank and a decent flat washer before being fitted through the mounting and subframe, then a retaining nut threaded on to the rear of it. The two nuts clamped the shank tight to the subframe. But this towing eye is a little weedy to say the least. It is okay to get you out of a tight spot, but is recommended only for use with tow ropes. The later version (KPU100160) is far more substantial. The shank and loop are forged steel, the shank being threaded internally. It is therefore fastened in place with a bolt placed through the subframe from the rear face, through the tear drop mounting and then wound in to the eye’s shank. We have seen various other designs out there, from Japanese specialists and the likes of DSN and MiniMail here in the UK. A bit of shopping around should get you something that fits the bill.
“There are various towing eyes available on the market that are ‘up to the job’.”