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Rear Subframe Rebuild

6856 Views 114 Replies 12 Participants Last post by  Leebluegtv
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Since getting the Spider about 5 years ago, I’ve been slowly collecting the bits I need to rebuild the rear suspension which I started today. I thought I’d document the progress on here adding to the thread as and when I do something. I’ve decided to go down the route of rebuilding a complete subframe and fitting it to the car rather than swapping parts in situ so the car will be off the road for the minimum amount of time.

First of all the parts you need. I’ve got the following…

Spring pans
V6 ARB and Powerflex bushes
Dog legs
Wheel bearings
Hubs
Refurbed brake calipers
Powerflex bushes
Brake hoses
Brake compensator
Subframe
Various nuts, bolts and washers etc
Eibach springs
Drop links
Ball joints
Brackets for handbrake cables, brake hoses, exhaust hangers etc

I’ll add to this list if I think of anything else I need

Still to buy…

Rear shocks
Rear discs
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Discussion Starter · #62 ·

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Discussion Starter · #63 ·
Dog legs.

More progress today. Put the bushes in the dog legs and got them fitted. Not much to report as it was fairly straightforward. I greased the inside of the dog leg, greased the bush then wrapped in PTFE tape, greased again and pushed in the bush. I was able to do it all by hand. I tried wrapping the metal inserts/tubes in PTFE but it came off when I pushed them in so I gave up and just used plenty of grease. The PTFE is supposed to stop squeaking. There’s a good video on how to do it on Rick’s Garage YouTube channel. Point to note… there seam to be two types of grease that Powerflex supply. One comes in a white packet and is a whitish coloured grease. The other in a silver packet looks more like copper slip. Once all the bushes were in, I fitted the dog legs to the subframe… plenty of copper slip and they went in quite easily. I’ve put a couple of shocks on but they’re an old set I’ve been keeping as spares but I’ll be getting new ones before the subframe goes on the car.
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Still plugging away at mine. Just brake lines to do now. It's too heavy to get back out to the garage... gonna have to build the rest of the car in the living room!

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hi mate can i ask how you managed to get the subframe in your living room and how you will get it back out. I imagine its not so heavy without any parts attached.
 

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hi mate can i ask how you managed to get the subframe in your living room and how you will get it back out. I imagine its not so heavy without any parts attached.
Stripped out in the garage then lugged inside in bits. The frame is (as you can imagine) the heaviest bit, but easily manageable single handed when stripped.

But now it's all together it is so heavy that, I can lift it, but can't really move it. About 50kg at a guess. So I don't think I could get it out without doing my back in and smashing door frames/floors on the way x-D

Should be OK with a second strong pair of hands to help.
 

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Discussion Starter · #68 ·
Could do with an actual guide on removing rear subframe 👍
Hopefully coming soon when I’ve finished putting my subframe back together
 
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In addition to above, the brake lines will need to be removed, easiest place will be from where they connect just in front of the subframe, this way you will have all the pipes attached to the subframe when you lower it out. The two ABS sensor leads will need to be removed, if it is a GTV, then there is a connector under the rear seat on each side, so disconnect and feed wire through to wheel arch. Disconnect a couple of tubes from the subframe, one is battery tray drain, can't remember the others. but that is it. Not a particularly hard job, if you are handy with a spanner then should not cause you any problem. I would advise a good soaking of all the bolts in penetrating oil in advance, as I have heard many people say that seized nut are an issue. Good luck and get the car as high of the ground as you safely can, as will only make life easier. Also an ideal time to give the rear underside a good check over on condition.
 

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In addition to above, the brake lines will need to be removed, easiest place will be from where they connect just in front of the subframe, this way you will have all the pipes attached to the subframe when you lower it out. The two ABS sensor leads will need to be removed, if it is a GTV, then there is a connector under the rear seat on each side, so disconnect and feed wire through to wheel arch. Disconnect a couple of tubes from the subframe, one is battery tray drain, can't remember the others. but that is it. Not a particularly hard job, if you are handy with a spanner then should not cause you any problem. I would advise a good soaking of all the bolts in penetrating oil in advance, as I have heard many people say that seized nut are an issue. Good luck and get the car as high of the ground as you safely can, as will only make life easier. Also an ideal time to give the rear underside a good check over on condition.
One thing would worry me is the subframe bolts as i understand they use a captive nut inside the frame and if these break your in a world of ****.
 

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One thing would worry me is the subframe bolts as i understand they use a captive nut inside the frame and if these break your in a world of ****.
Yes in the body, soak them well with penetrant and use a gun on them and they should be ok. It’s important upon assembly to get them aligned correctly and not force the bolt home for obvious reasons of stripping threads etc
You also don’t want to putting weight on a corner
 

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One thing would worry me is the subframe bolts as i understand they use a captive nut inside the frame and if these break your in a world of ****.
I had one come free for the front subframe and got very, very lucky that it did not move in the frame. A small drilled hole in the frame sidewall and inserted flat screwdriver managed to hold the loose nut in place while it got tightened. I'm not looking forward to the next time it has to come out. I can foresee the use of a stainless rivnut (or two).
 

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I had one come free for the front subframe and got very, very lucky that it did not move in the frame. A small drilled hole in the frame sidewall and inserted flat screwdriver managed to hold the loose nut in place while it got tightened. I'm not looking forward to the next time it has to come out. I can foresee the use of a stainless rivnut (or two).
Sort of **** that puts me of. My plan of thinking is come beginning of new year rear rebuild starts basically most of suspension parts if not all replaced. Will begin by removing rear exhaust and inspect the subframe see how bad it looks with it being low mileage heres hoping its ok. Removing brake lines worrys me too cause had to get heat on fronts to remove them buggers. After will start stripping suspension bit by bit, by time im done will probably think sod it and drop it lol
 

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My GTV is on about 58k and I had no issues with the subframe bolts and none of the others whilst getting the rear end stripped. The only one I gave up on was the small bolt that holds the abs sensor in, but one day when I can be sure to know I can get a replacement sensor I may have go knowing that if wreck the current one I have a replacement.
If you are going to refurb the rear then you may as well replace all the brake lines and flexis as then you don't have to worry about damaging them when you remove them ?
 

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Discussion Starter · #76 · (Edited)
Springs.

Prepped the springs for fitting today. I’m fitting a pair of Eibachs that have been used before and the rubber bit on the first couple of coils had seen better days so I removed it completely and shrink wrapped the first coil and put some of this on the next coil.


The rubbers I gave a good clean and scrub before liberally applying some Autoglym rubber protector.
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The bump stops I’ve got are the shorter type (because I’m using lowered springs) that I believe are from a phase 1 but not sure. They got a good coat of the Autoglym too and the inside of the flowerpots got a good spray with this to protect it.
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I also put the bushes in the spring pans and will hopefully get them fitted tomorrow.
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Discussion Starter · #77 ·
Spring Pans

Got the spring pans on today. Nothing major to report… the bushes go in the same as all the others and they just needed a bit of persuasion into place with a rubber mallet. Point to note:you may need to grind away any bits of weld so the bushes sit flat. I did this prior to painting. I haven’t fitted the springs yet as I’m waiting on some bump stop pads. The insides go a liberal coating of Dynax UC like the flower pots for protection against corrosion.
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Discussion Starter · #78 ·
I also put the hub carriers on so I could get the hub nuts and old wheel bearings off. One came apart no problem, one needed my big impact driver and part of the wheel bearing is still stuck so I’m leaving that to soak in PlusGas overnight. If it still won’t come off I’ll get medieval with the angle grinder. The backing plates have seen better days so I might try and get some better ones rather than refurb the old ones. I’ll start the hub carrier refurb tomorrow.
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Discussion Starter · #80 ·
Forgot to post this with my description of fitting the spring pans. Apologies for the Johnny aged 5 drawing and childish hand writing.
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