Tag: Suspension

A Few Things…

Additional work has been completed since the suspension rebuild, none worthy of a single blog post, but here goes;

Front Springs

After I had replaced the rear springs as (see the previous post), It can only help to replace the front rusty, flaky ones too. I picked some 250lb  springs up from Protech then, it was a simple job; remove the retaining bolts – viciously cut off the old springs with an angle grinder, then slip on the new (shorter) springs and re-installing. The ride height was matched side to side but needs another look as the whole car seems a bit low.

After a couple of drives with the new springs – the car bucked around a little when on bumpy surfaces – so I clicked the dampers down one level all-around. 
MAP Sensor Damper
When completing the Ignition system a couple of years back, a Danst Engineering damper was added to smooth out the pulses created by the intake system and provide a good reading to the MAP sensor. I fitted it below the inlet manifold sort of hanging on the vacuum lines. Then after watching a youtube video from Japan about a Toyota AE86, and seeing a nice setup, I decided to copy it. Basically, the damper was moved to the edge of the cam cover fastened by p-clips and plumbed in with fresh silicone hoses.
Look, I’ve added an arrow to help you spot it!

More Wheels
When I got my current tyres fitted (Nankang NS2R), the man in the workshop noted that one rear wheel had hit something pretty hard and dented the OSR wheel rim (inside and out) – this presents itself as a rumble at higher speeds. 
This gave me an excuse to find more wheels (again) after waiting and watching I found some 13inch Minilite replicas (these cars are supposed to handle better on 13’s) I collected them and got them on – the car feels lighter on its toes and I think they look great!
I’ll probably go back to the 15inch wheels for another year or so to wear the tyres out, then get some new 13inch tyres and switch to these full time.

Winter Project – Rear Suspension Rebuild

Since first getting a look at the tired state of the rear suspension (Live Axle), I’ve really wanted to get in there and overhaul the lot including;

New Trailing arms and bushes
New coil springs (front ones too) – The dampers were replaced about 18 months ago.
Clean and paint the chassis and Panhard rod.

So with a bit of free time over the winter, I got to work.

I got the car lifted onto axle stands;

Removed rear wheels, Seats and Seatbelts, Boot Box and interior side panels.

I then had a go at removing all of the rear suspension bolts to release the components;

Removed Panhard rod and Rear Dampers (and the rear end of the top trailing arms).

Here I hit a problem ALL of remaining bolts were seized/rusted into their respective Metalastic bushes!

This called for drastic action – Getting in there with an angle grinder – armed with many cutting discs.

After tracking down and borrowing a nice powerful generator from a friend, I got to work, taking a whole day to remove the trailing arms. They ended up unserviceable.

It’s a good job that I already had a new set of arms ‘in stock’ fitted with poly bushes.

After removing these stubborn little critters – I could see the state of the chassis in its full glory – Urk!

The next 2 days spent in the garage were dedicated to cleaning/wire brushing everything I could get to, removing as much loose dirt/powder coat/rust as I could. It’s surprising how much can be scraped off – I had to sweep up the bits and muck plenty of times. At this time I also removed the original (150lb I’m told) rear springs and fitted (as is the trend) shorter 175lb rear springs – they at the very least look a lot better, and should cure the ‘bottoming out’ problem that happened sometimes.

Now that I could see where and what to paint, I gave all of the ‘dodgy’ areas their 1st coat of POR15 and went back to admire it the next day – it really feels like we are getting somewhere.

Over the Christmas break, I got some time to give the rear end another coat of POR15 and fit up the new poly-bushed rear trailing arms and re-painted (by my Mrs) Panhard rod – things were really starting to come together. The trickiest part of the operation was aligning the holes in the bushes with the openings in the brackets – this was solved using a tapered punch – as it was pushed into the bush through the brackets it (sort of) self-aligned.

This was all followed up with a good dose of Dinitrol to try to prevent the new nuts/bolts/bushes becoming one solid lump of rust. A few areas were also treated to additional silicone sealant – mainly around the gaps where the suspension brackets and seat belt mounts meet the inner aluminium panels.
So although I have spotted a small teething problem (the wiring connections to rear lights are temperamental) everything seems to work successfully.
The car has now moved again under its own power and is looking good for it.
Update: I replaced the rear light wiring plugs with some waterproof ones – had to run an extra earth wire to ensure a good connection, but all is well.

Wide Track…

So, at the back end of last summer while taking a trip out for a coffee I managed to slide my car into the kerb.

The damage was limited to;

Scratched LHF Wheel
Misshapen LHF Lower Ball Joint
Misshapen LHF Lower Wishbone plate

Updated: Slight bend in left steering rack track rod

To remedy this;

Wheel scratch covered with touch-in paint
Lower ball joint replaced
Lower Wishbone removed and Plate Straightened with a big hammer

This did not feel like final repair, so I started looking at getting a Wide Track kit to fit in place of the current front suspension.

Now, there are a few manufacturers of these kits, but just before Christmas, in the WSCC magazine, there was an Ad declaring that the Genuine Westfield Wide Track Kit was at a special price to members.

I called and placed an order immediately.

The Kit took a short while to arrive while the factory was switching to a new supplier. But when it did, wow, nice quality.

I soon got around to bolting the bits together that didn’t need a car nearby. This included new upper and lower ball joints (obtained from an online parts shop)
Then, the on the firsts reasonable day of the year, the car was brought around to my house for this transplant (it’s on those concrete slabs to get enough space to slide the jack under).
Removing the old units proved pretty simple, the only sticky parts being the ball joints sticking into the hub. 11mm of thread was cut from the steering track rods to allow the rack extensions to fit tightly and give enough tracking adjustment.
The biggest struggle was fitting the new Westfield poly-bushes into the new wishbones centrally, a few tries were needed per bush. Update: I’ve since learnt that one should clear some of the powder coat inside the bush housings.
Anyway, after whole day of working including a brake bleed, and setting the camber to 1.5 degrees,  this was the result. Update: The camber has since been reset and tracking set – the brake bleed was front brakes only, as the rear bleed nipple was seized.
After this year’s MOT test, I’m planning to re-check the tightness of everything and re-check the tracking and camber.