On Saturday, myself and a mate, Adam, started work on the rear.
First problem I ran into was that the hinge bolt for the trailing arm is 24mm, and I didn't have a spanner to fit, so reassembled the car and went off to get one. With the rear safely jacked and the springs compressed, we started. Working on the passenger-side, I undid the 24mm nut and we started trying to coax the bolt retaining the arm out, but quickly found that even with a 2lb lump and the the exhaust where it was, we didn't have the swing to hit the bolt hard enough. So, I removed the exhaust to give us some room.
I had managed to get the bolt out of the other spare axle with a lot of banging while it was on the ground, so it seamed reasonable that a lot of banging would be required here also. The bolt can seize in the rubber bushes as there is a ferrous ring between the bolt and the rubber, and no good way of getting oil in to lubricate it.
After an hours worth of hammering, turning and oiling the bolt, there was no movement and the realisation was dawning that the bolt on the other side or the axle was 3 inches from the petrol tank... So it had to be tank out and axle to follow!
Away came the tank, which luckily had only 10L of petrol. Any more and it would have been too heavy, and we would have lost an awful lot through the breather pipe which needs to be disconneted from the side.
There are a couple of tricks with removing the tank, most of these are pipe related...
Start by accessing and disconnecting the fuel pump pipes and electrics from the boot.
From underneath, free-up the brake lines clipped with plastic spacers/retainers attached to the tank.
Disconnect the hand-brake cable clipped to the tank on both sides.
Remove the plastic tank retainers (they are push-fit plastic hollow bolts), 4 of which are located to the right and left of the main tank bolts. They can be knocked through from the spare wheel 'sump' in the car, and the other is under the passenger seats; remove the noise reducing carpet to find them.
Start by loosening the 3 main bolts on the tank itself, and remove the onr located in the wheel arch holding the filler pipe.
Push the filler nossle pipe through the rubber seal over the wheel arch.
Locate the breather pipe on the front-right-hand corner of the tank, and prize open the pipe clip and remove (keep a spare)... Warning... If there is much more than 15L of petrol, you are in risk of loosing a bunch through spillage. Need to have 10L or less in the tank when doing this. Keep the inspection lamp well away also!
Using a trolley jack to support the tank, remove the 3 remaining tank bolts, and lower the unit 6 inches.
From the top of the tank again, find the blue fuel-return pipe which runs into the top of the tank, it's a bit hidden, remove by pulling.
Drop tank to ground.
Locate the breather pipe which was removed earlier and replace on the tank to keep gas and fluids sealed in.
So, after all of that, we took the 2Lb lump hammer to the bolt again. It was starting to mushroom at that stage, an angle grinder would have resolved that; it was no use anyway. No matter how much WD40 was used, there was no movement, so it was decided to remove the complete axle...
This part is quite simple, except for the weight of the axle with the trailing arms (~70Kg).
We disconnected the two brake lines running into the Load Apportioning Valve (LAV), and stuffed paper into the holes as gravity was providing a good flow of brake fluid from the reservoir...
**Top Tip: Don't let the reservoir drain of fluid, keep it full of FRESH fluid, and keep the cap on the reservoir to prevent moisture entering. The reason for topping up is that the master-cylinder sits at an angle, and air may become trapped in the top part of this, and cannot be easily flushed. **
Open the brake drums and remove the pads and springs leaving the slave cylinder attached.
Now, at this stage Geoff (AKA Psycho) and Toad turned up to give me a hand... We had been pondering how to free up the hand-brake cable from the rear of the drum, and a stout screw-driver wasn't shifting it. Geoff discovered that the brake lines are pressed into the brake drums, and a simple tap of a crowbar is all that is needed to free them...!
While all that fun was going on, I found that the LAV on the rear of the old (soon to be replaced) axle was seized solid, and the spring had partially worn through the clips, hence the reason I always found the braking very poor on the car...
We un-did the 4 bolts holding the axle onto the chassis, dropping it quite easily to the ground.
After cleaning up parts of the axle, we found a number of rust spots on the unit, some were quite severe and we became worried about the future of the axle in it's current state. It was decided to clean up the newer one and use it instead, so we scraped and painted it with silver Hammerite.
While the new axle was on the ground, we swapped the brake lines over from my as the origin of it was unknown and dirt could have ingressed. Don't forget that this was a drum to disk conversion in all essence.
The new axle was stripped of the trailing arms before fitting, so fitted quite easily (about 20kg). We also left the anti-roll bar off as a result, but this turned out to be a good idea as when the springs were fitted to the trailing arms, the bar can put quite a bit of pressure on the rigid brake lines just above the LAV, and may snap them if you are not careful.
Reconnect brake lines into the LAV and open the bleed valves on the callipers, and let the system bled through using gravity. This lessens the air locks. **Continue to refill the reservoir with brake fluid and collect the old fluid in a clear container so you can see when it runs clean.** Tighten and double check all bolts as you go. Use lots of Zinc paste (if you can afford or borrow it) on all bolts when replacing parts as the arms seem to collect a bit of water.
Compress the springs and fit, use a trolley jack to raise the arms to fit the dampers to the lower bolt... Refit petrol tank and forget about the return pipe... undo all the last 30mins work trying to recover... Refit the breather pipe from the top. It can be a squeeze getting it past the anti-roll bar, but make sure that you get it to go OVER the bar, as underneath it will get crushed by the axle when you drop the car from the jacks...
So that's as far as I got last night when I gave up at 12pm. I have just ordered a new set of handbrake cables. The ones which run into the drum-brakes are different to the disk-brake versions (p/n RHS 60813055 LHS 60813056). I also need to fit the exhaust and recheck the brake fluid.
A BIG thanks to Adam and Toad for dropping over to assist me... More to follow either Wednesday/Thursday, depending on parts and weather.
Last edited by McGuinn; 21-06-04 at 10:34.
Reason: It's a bit messy!