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TR4A can you change lower inner front suspension bushes without removing shock

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Hi everyone. This is my first posting. I own a 66 TR4A (live axle) and I have often relied on the amazing expertise one can find in this forum. I hope I can become a contributor as I do more stuff to my car and gain experience

 

One of my inner lower front suspension bushes is gone. It is funny, as the rest, including the outer and upper ones are OK (they were installed new when I bought the car 18 months ago). I think it is because there has been fuel leaking on the rubber (it is just below the carburettors). I want to change it (and the remaining three lower inner bushings, for consistency) and was wondering if I can do that without having to remove the damper and spring. In theory,if I leave the damper in place and unscrew the spring tray from the lower wishbones, I presume the damper would keep the tray and spring in place, so I would then leave the damper, spring and tray hanging from the upper mounting, remove the pin screws in the lower suspension arm and take out the lower suspension arms (one at a time). I would like to avoid having to compress and remove the spring as it is dangerous.and I only have to change the lower inner bushes (please believe me that the rest of the suspension and trunnion bushings are good). What do you think?

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Hi (have you a name,

Welcome to the forum.

 

Removing the damper is very easy.

Removing the spring is safe if you have a reasonable compressor. 10 ro 12mm Studding with double nuts.

 

As one of the newish bushes has failed this must put suspicion on the remainders.

 

If it was me I would dismantle and refurb all of it as you come across.

 

As for your question - anything is possible but you are making work for yourself.

 

Roger

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Roger is being polite. The idea of doing the repair in the manner

you suggest is . . well . . crazy.

The uncompressed length of the spring is more likely to pull the

shock absorbed apart rather than be retained by it.

 

It may be only one bushing that has 'gone' but you would be well

advised to change from your rubber bushings.

 

AlanR

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Having partially dismantled my TR4 front last week , I can only endorse Roger and Alan advice. A beefy internal compressor is required !!

 

Whilst refreshing my memory with workshop manuals , various , I stumbled across the fact that the spring fitted load is 925 lb ( Haynes ) and

the spring " rate " is 310 lb in ( Olyslager ) either way ..it's a lot that would let go with a big bang , inflicting pain and damage, disablement or worst, God forbid.

 

Other safety advice , ensure the car is well chocked at the rear and put more than one axle stand under the chassis.

 

The inboard nuts on the spring pan are fixed to studs , the other 4 middle and outboard are effectively nuts and bolts.( One is a bump stop and you might have an anti roll bar attachment on the front edge ).Once the spring pan is unlocked ,nuts removed, I suggest you keep it roughly horizontal ,

It has to be man handled , joggled ,wiggled outwards over the edge of the chassis. Once clear of the chassis you can unwind / release the compressor slowly in a controlled manner , until the tension has gone. There is quite a bit of weight in the suspension , so think ahead as to how you will support it , so you don't have to stretch the brake line to the caliper or drain the brake fluid.

 

Don't forget to order fresh nyloc nuts , in advance for re-assembly. Don't be tempted to re-use.

Bob

Edited by bob-menhennett

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A lovely spring compressor "churchill tool style" you find at eBay

 

&:-)

Edited by Z320

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Thank you all. Just to clarify,and to address the comments saying this was a crazy idea, (i) I was not implying it can or should be done, but just asking if it is feasible or if anyone has ever done I, (ii) after all, shock absorbers do cope with the tension of the spring in Macpherson struts (probably they are designed specifically to cope with that, but just to remark.it is not unheard of), and (iii) probably needless to say, the car would be on stands and the suspension hanging from the muntings, so there would be little tension on the spring. Anyway, I take from your comments that no one has ever done this and that there is a risk that the shock absorber may not cope with the traction forced exerted by the spring and that the risk.is just too high. I will definitely get a suitable spring compressor (not a standard one). On replacing the rest of the bushes, I will change all the four lower inner ones, but the rest are well. In that sense, while I also thought about fitting PU bushes, I took.the approach that it may be better to keep all homogeneous, as the outer and upper bushes are rubber.

My name.is Enrique and I live in Madrid, Spain. We are lucky that corrosion,save for the salt on the roads in the winter, is way less of an issue here. By the way, and while I acknowledge that would be long to another thread, in case it is usefulfor anyone, I just fitted a Dynamator and it is a great improvement over the dynamo. Thank you all

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Bob, thank you, most useful tips. I have indeed ordered new nuts and also new bolts, as it is likely that they can be damaged when extracting the old bush. By the way, is it very difficult to fit the new rubber bushes in the suspension arm "eye". I have seen videos on how to fit Poly bushes but not rubber ones... I presume lots of soap to lubricate. Will I need a threaded rod with spacers to push the bush in by bolting, or will a wood block and a hammer work?

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Hi Enrique,

I think everybody has been trying to be helpful.

 

I too think the damper would hold the spring but it is a great deal of uncomfortable work working around all those dangling parts.

Simply remove the parts that come off and do the bushes at ease.

 

Good luck with the work.

 

Roger

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Guest ntc

Bob, thank you, most useful tips. I have indeed ordered new nuts and also new bolts, as it is likely that they can be damaged when extracting the old bush. By the way, is it very difficult to fit the new rubber bushes in the suspension arm "eye". I have seen videos on how to fit Poly bushes but not rubber ones... I presume lots of soap to lubricate. Will I need a threaded rod with spacers to push the bush in by bolting, or will a wood block and a hammer work?

Just the opposite no lube just hot water and vice.

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Hi, Roger. Thank you. I agree it is better to avoid having to work with a compressed spring hanging around... All of you have been tremendously helpful and I very much appreciate your comments. I will let you all know when I go ahead and, hopefully, complete the task successfully

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I think getting the inner nuts off the studs in the wishbones would be virtually impossible with the suspension extended. the arms need to be horizontal to get enough clearance. I use a length of heavy studding, at least 13mm with a heavy washer at the top and a heavy square plate at the bottom which is drilled to locate it on the damper studs as a spring compressor. Make sure the studding is long enough before you start.

Cheers Richard

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Hi Enrique,

 

sorry me, I was impolite.

 

I wrote an articel some years ago for the german TR-friends TRiki

how to remove the old rubber and press in the new poly bushes, Transformers to the new forum in 2015.

Text is german but I hope it is self-explaining by the photos.

 

http://tr-freun.de/phpBB3/viewtopic.php?f=95&t=13271

 

It is a very easy job with a small column drilling machine to use as a press,

some grease and a 12 mm bolt to use as a guide. Machine is always switched off.

 

Good luck

Marco

Edited by Z320

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Once again, many thanks for your knowledge and tips. Don't worry, Marco. You weren't impolite and your article is very helpful. Richard, you are right that the arms need to be quite horizontal to access the nut closer to the chassis, so yet another reason to use a compressor and do things properly

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Just to clarify. Your spring compressor needs to be of the type that passes through the centre of the spring. The external ones will not work properly and are unsafe. Marco makes and sells an excellent compressor.

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Enrique

Excellent advice from the guys.. Trying to " bash the bushes " in with a hammer will work but there is a much higher risk of damaging the bushes in the process.

Either of the methods to wind the bushes In slowly ( vice or threaded rod , nuts and washer with a socket spacer ) offer a much more controlled option.

Good luck with it and stay safe.

Bob

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Hi

I did my front suspension on my 4a in the summer and posted a few tips on a previous post (look up suspension creaking). reproduced below. I am a fairly amateur mechanic and found the skill level medium. Just slow care, thought and a proper spring compressor.

 

Have just done my front suspension. I do NOT advise using standard spring compressor unless you want a couple of broken fingers. Use the proper tool or it is relatively easy make a threaded rod with steel plates and nuts top and bottom because basically that is what the special tool is. A few tips.

1/ The inboard springpan to lower wishbone attachments are studs not bolts. It is very difficult to get onto the nut and the stud will probably unscrew anyway so save loads of time and hassle; just take out the 2 bolts that hold the bumper support to the chassis. The bumper support can then be moved sufficiently out of the way to make life easy. (Spray WD40 on the nuts 30 mins before)

2/ When you put the spring pan back temporally fit a couple of really long bolts ( or 10mm threaded rod) where the middle bolts are. This guides the spring pan up nicely onto the wishbones

3/ I bought a battery impact wrench and it made life a lot easier.

4/ Try and get a friend to help you as you will need 3 hands on a lot of the tasks

5/ Consider changing the aft lower wishbone fulcrum support bracket with the modified and stronger one with 2 studs (available from Moss)

6/ Consider installing the kit to beef up the forward wishbone support bracket as this is weak part of suspension ( simple welding required)

7/ Consider putting spax fully adjustable shock absorbers on. Brilliant units

8/ As previously mentioned if the trunnions are at all suspect or have not been regularly greased during their life change them. A good friend of mine was involved in a fatal accident (not him) in the 60's when his trunnion failed.

9/ Get the Moss parts catalogue because their diagrams/drawings of the suspension are really good and helps one understand the system.

10/ Good trolley jack required

11/ Good quality axle stands required

12/ The new bushes will go in with a lot of effort either in a vice or bush installing tool.` USE LOADS OF COPPER SLIP, Do not worry that the bush starts bulging and going out of shape, it will eventually go in with a very satisfying sort of globbing/sucking sound.

 

The job looks daunting but it is really just a case of being methodical and always double think about safety,

 

With a friend the first side will take 4 hours, then have a cup of coffee, the second side will take 2 hours with all the trick learnt earlier.

 

Your front suspension will be transformed,

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I decided to re place both the steering and suspension with SuperPro bushes both front and back including the rack and couldnt beleive the difference it made to both the handing and ride. I only wish I had done it years ago, well worth the effort and cost.

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One other thing to check while you have it all in bits is that the lower inner Wishbone mounting bracket has two bolt fixings not the single ones originally fitted.

Stuart.

post-3753-0-58610900-1511782397_thumb.jpg

post-3753-0-04949000-1511782400_thumb.jpg

 

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Now who would possibly want to have a single stud in that position :rolleyes::rolleyes:

 

Check it NOW. It will beak when it wants not when you expect.

 

Roger

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I have not been told that before...

It was the first year with my TR4A,
first holiday the the car, first day of the trip,

in a small village in a dark forest, weather-news announced rain.

I turned the wrong way on a crossing,
run backwards fast, steering full left turn, then tippend the brake sharp.
Sad idea, very sad idea. Very, very sad...

My wife was not amused, not at all.

Repair next the road, lucky about a VW pitstop in walking distance but 500 m.
Until the rain came, lots of rain, a storm. Both wet to the underware.

But....my wife is still with me, the car too. I am a lucky man.

Always on the road with a spring compressor and a new bracket in the boot.

 

Believe it or not.

 

Repair with a M10 bolt at the pitstop, head grinded flat

 

post-13222-0-23813700-1511852287_thumb.jpg

 

Later, for the lower drill in the frame I used a DIY template.

 

post-13222-0-51582600-1511852305_thumb.jpg

Edited by Z320

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So, bracket is good (2 bolts). Threaded high tensile steel 14 mm rod + nuts (4 + 1 opposite thread, so it locks the upper nut) + washers, all to build the internal compression tool, are on their way. Trolley jack + scissor jack (to support and compress the suspension arm) + axle stands + wheel chocks, are in the garage. No impact wrench, but I prefer to "sense" the nut to avoid rounding them. Vice and grease ready. Good advice, plenty. Skill and patience lacking, but getting better with age, so hopefully planets will align this weekend and I will be able to get it done

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Hi Enrique,

 

doing all that work, I would also check the clearance of the trunnions

and the thread of the falcrum pin and change the seal between.

 

Ciao &:-) Marco

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