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Site Last Updated 06/12/2016

Toolmanweb 2003-2016

Front Suspension
I now turned my attention to the front suspension and decided to work on one side at a time due to my limited space. I removed the front suspension on the passenger side and dismantled it for assessment. I needed the following- New spring & shock, New upper fulcrum and mounting bolts, New lower shock mounting plate and bolts, New wishbone bushes, New flexible brake pipe and New trunnion fitting kit. All of these parts were ordered from Queensbury Road Garage (see links page). The hardest part to remove was the brake caliper as the head of one of the nuts became rounded off. I eventually removed it by welding an old wheel stud to it.  After removing everything all re usable parts were cleaned down and given a coat of smoothrite prior to re assembly. Fortunately the track rod end, top ball joint, brake disk, brake caliper, brake pads and trunnion were all ok so I could re use them. Re-assembly was satisfying and it was good to see things going back on the car instead of being removed.
02 June 2003
Started stripping the drivers side front suspension. On first examination this seems much the same as the other side but time will tell.
05 June 2003
Stripping the suspension revealed that the front track rod end is seized (water getting into a split rubber boot) and the upper fulcrum mounting bolts are seized. Looks like its out with the blowlamp and liberal use of the hammer to release them. They should have 9/16 hex heads on them but it seems that these have been changed in the past and the only thing that will fit them is an old 13mm ring spanner hammered on! At least the brake caliper bolts came undone OK on this side.
08 June 2003
I have eventually managed to remove the upper fulcrum by heating the bolts with a blowlamp and using my impact driver and an old 13mm socket. Even then the only way to remove the last nut was to knock the whole fulcrum so it rotated anti-clockwise. Its all now removed (including the flexible brake pipe). I have cleaned it all down with a wire brush and given it a good coat of hammerite. Also ordered the new track rod end and shock mounting bolts today (the old ones are badly rusted and the heads are damaged).
15 June 2003
Fitted the new track rod end, cleaned down all the re usable suspension parts and gave them a coat of smoothrite. Fitted the new poly bushes and tried to assemble the wheel hubs. Unfortunately there seems to be a problem with the wheel bearings not fitting correctly on the stub axle. Mmmm needs some investigation - to the works manual then!
17 Jun 2003
Thanks to all on the Yahoo Scimitar group for their advice. Turns out that the previous bearing had micro welded itself to the stub axle and the current bearing does not fit correctly because it left a ridge. Managed to carefully remove this with the wet stone on my bench grinder (finer that a grinding wheel) and re finish the axle with some fine emery paper. Hooray it's now a good push fit. Re assembled the shaft on the vertical link and fitted the hub. Assembled the lower wishbone and fitted the new trunnion mounting kit.
18 Jun 2003
Some good progress made today. Fitted a new cooling pipe for the radiator and new upper fulcrum. Assembled and fitted the upper wishbone, vertical link and lower wishbone. Connected the earth strap track rod end, brake caliper and roll bar link. Fitted a new shock and spring assembly. Just need to make a short length of brake pipe up from the new flexible brake pipe to the caliper and the front suspension rebuild is complete.
19 Jun 2003
Fitted the new brake pipe, brake pads and road wheel and shot loads of new grease into the upper ball joint and the trunnion. The car now sits on its own wheels. Looks a little high at the moment but there is quite a bit of ironmongery to refit in the engine bay.
01 Aug 2004
Since MOT the car has done about 700 miles so I thought it was about time to check the fixings on the front suspension. I was surprised how loose they all seemed. I re tightened them to the correct settings . The steering was starting to seem a but vague and felt rough when turning lock to lock. This was traced to a loose pinch bolt at the bottom universal joint where it fixes to the rack. Whilst I was working on the car I checked and topped up the oil in the steering rack. Took the car to our local Qwikfit and had the tracking adjusted (set to parallel).
29 March 2005
Replaced the top steering column bush. This involves the following.
  1. Slacken the nut on the wheel (do not undo it completely at this stage or you will loose a tooth or two at the next stage)
  2. Pull on the wheel. It should disengage from its splines quite easily.
  3. Remove the nut and wheel and the plastic shroud beneath them.
  4. Undo the two screws that hold on the indicator unit and move it out of the way together with the self cancelling mechanism.
  5. Put the key in the ignition and turn it to the auxiliary position.
  6. Remove the road wheel on the drivers side and with the car on axle stands undo the pinch bolts on the steering link.
  7. Remove the link firstly from the rack end (by knocking it rearwards) and then from the column end.
  8. Temporarily refit the steering wheel and use it to pull the inner column into the car.
  9. There is actually a collar near the bottom of the column and once this passes by the ignition switch (the reason for inserting the key) it can be used to pull out the top bearing.
  10. Refit the inner shaft with a liberal coating of grease and then remove the wheel again.
  11. Push the new upper bearing into the outer column locating the tags in the correct holes.
  12. Refit the steering shaft with new pinch bolts.
  13. refit the indicator unit, plastic shroud and the steering wheel.
This worked for me.