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Toolmanweb 2003-2016

Rear Suspension
07 Jul 2003
Jacked up the back of the car and rested it on axle stands. Removed the wheels and the drum on the drivers side. The brakes on this car gave obviously had some work done in the past as the shoes are in good condition and the cylinder looks new. The brake pipes are also in good condition and the handbrake lever works ok. Tried rotating the hubs and there seems to be a lot of play before the prop shaft starts to rotate. It feels like the half shaft is loose on the splines - if that's possible? The rear of the chassis has lots of surface rust but I have not found any holes yet. The car is fitted with a tow bar and I think that my next job should be to remove this and start cleaning everything down ready for painting. One thing I noticed is that at sometime in the past the brake shoes must have worn down to the rivets as there is a groove in the surface of the drum about 1mm deep. If you look at the brake shoes in the pictures section you can see that part of the lining material is hardly touched and this patch lines up exactly with the rivets. I think that the groove is too deep to be machined out as the manual states that the maximum amount that can be removed is 20thou. Looks like I will be on the look out for some new drums then!.
10 Jul 2003
Removed the brake shoes, and handbrake cable at the lever end. Unbolted the spring/shock assembly and the two large trailing arms on the drivers side. There is a lot of corrosion on the bracket where they attach to the axle. Managed to source some brake drums to replace my worn one. I also got a set of brake shoes and the springs and clips thrown in together with the securing screws which were missing on my car. I need to remove the rear axle so that I can assess the amount of wear in the diff assembly and whether the worn trailing arm mounts are repairable or not. I also need to sort out a leak from the diff cover plate. This axle seems in a fairly bad way and I might be better trying to source a second hand replacement in better condition!
08 Aug 2003
Been away with the caravan for a fortnight so not much progress made. Made some enquiries about a replacement axle. I have found 2. The first is in Doncaster where I live but is off an automatic, the second is a LSD axle from a manual car but is in Kent about 300 miles away! I have also posted a question on the Yahoo group regarding sourcing new trailing arm mounting brackets but have not received a reply yet. Used the angle grinder to remove some of the tow bar mounting bolts. Still a few more to go before I can remove it yet.
15 Aug 2003
Received a couple of replies about the mounting brackets and they don't seem to be available. Decided to buy a second hand replacement. The lure of the Limited Slip Diff got to me and thanks to a very nice man called Steve in Kent I now have one (See Pictures). Its in much better condition than my own. Got it back home yesterday and managed to strip all of the old cut off trailing arms and twisted brake pipe with no problems. All of the nuts and bolts came undone with WD40 and not much effort - says a lot for the condition.  It came with a pair of steel wheels fitted but no tyres though I don't know if they are off a Scimitar. Its weeping oil from the propshaft flange though I will have to look into what is causing that though the axle breather was blocked - it's not now!
20 Aug 2003
After posting a question on the Yahoo Scimitar site I have decided to leave the axle oil seals alone and see what they are like when its refitted. I have continued to strip the axle down removing the wheels, hubs and brake components. The wheel cylinders seem in good condition so hopefully I will be able to reuse them. The biggest problem has been the spring/shock mounting bolts. They had been cut of by the previous owner and were stuck solid. I have been applying heat over a 3 day period with my gas blowlamp and eventually after mistreating them with my biggest hammer they have come free. The surprising thing is that they are not rusty at all, just very very tight! I have started degreasing and cleaning the outside of the axle in preparation for painting with the usual black smoothrite.
29 Aug 2003
Finished cleaning down the axle today. The diff cover plate is cast aluminium and this came up nice and shiny. Gave the axle 2 coats of Hammerite. Removed and cleaned the brake adjusters and wheel cylinders - they seem in good order with no sign of any leaks. Re fitted them with new nuts and washers. The break shoe retaining springs and clips were cleaned and treated to some 3 in 1 to protect them from rust. Just need to fit some new break pipe and the brake shoes. I need to clean and paint the brake drums before refitting.
10 Sep 2003
Removed the other rear wheel and brake components. Finished removing the old tow bar from the car with the help of my trusty angle grinder. This was so badly corroded that I could bend it in half with my hands!! Removed the trailing arms and started to remove the chassis links that run under the axle, again using the angle grinder. Removed both of the back boxes on the exhausts. It looks like there is some corrosion in the rear of the chassis but I will tell better when I have removed the petrol tank. I have managed to source a second hand stainless tank for a very reasonable price from a man in Blackpool together with some door and rear hatch seals, a rear wiper arm, front indicator lenses, and the spare wheel support plate. Went to the festival of transport in Darley Dale on Sunday(14/09/03) and got talking to the owner of the only Scimitar at the show. A nice white SE5a in good condition. He is looking to change his Dunlop alloys for some Wolfrace ones so I might be able to source replacements for my painted wheels, watch this space.
22 Sept 2003
Eventually managed to remove the old axle. This was achieved by completely removing the exhaust on the drivers side and then with the axle on a trolley jack, dragging it sideways to clear the exhaust on the passenger side. The prop shaft flange bolts came undone quite easily in fact one of them was loose. I think that the car has had some work done on the diff in the past as there is lots of gasket compound around the cover plate bolts. I have also managed to remove the old petrol tank though I had to cut through the retaining straps with the grinder first. Surprisingly the rear strap retaining bolts came undone quite easily. Poking around under the car with a screwdriver revealed no major problems with the chassis! There is a little bit of rot in the diagonal supports but this is confined to a section only a couple of inches long. I hope to be able to patch this in situ. There is more corrosion on the ends of the rear bumper mounting plate though and I can see this repair being a little tricky!
29 September 2003
Ordered new parts for the rear suspension from Queensbury Road Garage. Nigel there is very helpful.
I have ordered:
  • New Springs
  • Avo adjustable shocks (Fixed spring height)
  • All new nuts and bolts
  • A full set of poly bushes including trailing arms and watts linkage centre mount
  • Stainless steel tank straps and insulating rubber
They will arrive tomorrow (30/09/03)
19 October 2003
Cleaned down and hammerited the watts linkage and the centre bearing. Had to weld up a hole in one of the arms as I nicked it with the grinder when removing a stubborn mounting bolt.
04 November 2003
Assembled the watts linkage with new nuts & bolts and plenty of copper grease. I have been unable to remove the metalistic bushes from the trailing arms so they are going to a local engineering company for them to do it for me. This is the first part of the restoration that I have been unable to do myself. I will paint them and fit the poly bushes when I get them back.
16 November 2003
Got the trailing arms back and they have made an excellent job of them. Not only have they removed the stubborn bushes but they have cleaned them up as well. I have given them a generous coat of hammerite and will fit the poly bushes some time this week.
17 November 2003
Fitted the poly bushes and the stainless steel inserts using my usual 'bolt and a load of washers' method. They went in a treat and the results are very pleasing to the eye (see the picture). Next up is the fitting of springs to shocks.
18 November 2003
Assembled the springs and shocks together using my friend Gareth's spring compressors. The amount of compression required to fit the rear springs to the shocks is roughly half that required  for the front springs.
24 November 2003
Brought new unions for the rear brakes and replaced all of the brake pipes on the rear axle. Fitted the new flexible pipe to the axle mount.
7 December 2003
With a great deal of heaving and tugging managed to position the new axle in place under the car. Jacked up one side and fitted the chassis bridging plates with new nuts bolts and washers (finger tight at this stage) and plenty of copper grease. Did the same to the other side. Fitted the trailing arms and spring/shock assembly to the drivers side of the car. Loosely fitted all of the nuts bolts and washers again with plenty of copper grease. Compare this view to the one at the top of the page to gauge how much better this now looks.
13 December 2003
Connected the hydraulic brake pipe and the handbrake cable. Fitted the suspension arms and the spring/shock assembly on the passenger side. Drained the diff and refilled it with a multigrade 80/90 hypoid gear oil. Managed to fit the watts linkage arms to the chassis and the centre bearing to the diff. Bolted the prop shaft to the axle. Tightened up all of the bolts to the correct torque settings.
15 December 2003
Finished tightening the watts linkage bolts and fitted the handbrake cable clevis pins with new split pins. Adjusted the slack out of the cable and tightened the brake adjusters to the point where a bit of drag is felt on the drums. Smeared plenty of copper grease on the exposed sections of handbrake cable.
20 December 2003
Brought a Gunsons Eezibleed and the correct cap for my master cylinder to do the brakes. Had a little difficulty getting a good seal on the master cylinder but succeeded by using my oil filter wrench to tighten it up. Bled the air out of the rear brakes but the pedal is still no good. I think I need to do the front brakes again as the master cylinder drained when I removed the rear flexible pipe with the rear axle. I will have to do this when the car is back on its wheels as I cant get to the front wheels at the moment.
21 December 2003
Re fitted the exhaust on the drivers side with new u-bolts. I need to make new hanging brackets for the rear strap type mountings. I have some 3/16" aluminium which will do nicely.
12 January 2004
Managed to obtain some stainless steel and made new exhaust hangers for the rear boxes from that instead of the aluminium. Bolted them in place with new u-bolts. Refitted the rear wheels to the car.
14 January 2004
Fixed the new brake pipes to the rear axle with some heavy duty tie wraps.
16 February 2004
Got out the Eezibleed again and did all of the brakes this time. Seemed to get a reasonable pedal but I will know better the next time I take the car out of the garage. The last time was quite dodgy as I had to pump the pedal to get the car to stop at all. At least the handbrake was OK.
01 August 2004
It seems the replacement rear axle I fitted, although being in good external condition, has a few internal faults. Since the car has been back on the road it has a groaning noise from the rear drivers side when doing over about 10 miles per hour. The noise is louder when cornering to the right and quieter when cornering to the left.  I think this is a worn rear wheel bearing and will need to be replaced. I have tried lots of new grease in the bearing and although it is a little better the noise is still there. Unfortunately I understand that they are 'a swine' to remove so I will wait till the car is off the road for the winter and have a go at replacing it then.
Imgp1158resize.jpg (152931 bytes)26 December 2004
I decided to sort out the axle bearing so I went off to machine mart and invested in a slide hammer. I had previously got a full set of bearings and seals for the axle from Graham Walkers. Unfortunately when I came to use the hammer to remove the half shaft assembly the pulling bracket would not fit due to the large securing nut. I got round this by welding some bolts to a pair of old wheel nuts and then using these to bolt to the slide hammer. I firstly removed the road wheel and brake drum (I had to slacken the brake adjuster to do this) and the handbrake cable. I removed the brake pipes from the wheel cylinder and removed this from the back plate together with the brake shoes.
Imgp1155resize.jpg (157788 bytes) After undoing the 4 nuts and bolts that secure the back plate assembly to the axle (which were not very tight!) I was then able to use the adapted slide hammer to remove the half shaft assembly. With a few good blows from the hammer the shaft came loose pulling the old bearing and race with it. 
Imgp1159resize.jpg (167623 bytes)I then tried to remove the hub from the half shaft. I undid the nut and attached my hydraulic puller. Despite my best efforts including much use of the hammer and my blowlamp the hub would not budge.
29 December 2004
Clearly I was not going to be able to remove this hub myself so after a quick hunt through the yellow pages I called 'Arnett's' a local engineering company to see if they could help. They said that they had a press and it would be no problem. I took the assembly down straight away with the new bearing as well so that they could fit this for me when they had removed the old one.
30 December 2004
I returned to Arnett's to pick up the half shaft and removed hub and was greeted by the manager. Apparently there was a story to be told. They had put the shaft in their press and as is normal practice they had removed the castellated nut and refitted it the other way round to minimise thread distortion. The usual pressure required to remove the hub is around 15 tons but there was a loud bang at 20 tons and they thought that it had come free. However the nut had in fact split in two and it eventually took 32 tons of pressure to remove it! This had mildly distorted the threads on the end of the half shaft but they had run the correct size die over them and then fitted the new bearing.
Imgp1160resize.jpg (140282 bytes)31 December 2004
I removed the old inner oil seal from the axle tube again using the slide hammer and supplied special attachment. I then cleaned it all up removing the grease nipple and all of the old grease. I also removed quite a bit of rust from within the tube itself using a long screwdriver and lots of old cloth. I then fitted the new seals using the old ones to drift them in. I pushed the half shaft back into the axle tube taking care not to damage the seal and it engaged with the splines in the diff very easily. I then fitted the outer bearing race in the axle tube using the thick steel spacer plate as a drift. This must not be driven all of the way in as there must be some play across the axle. I then refitted the metal shims, spacer plate, brake back plate, paper gasket and outer seal retainer with new nuts and bolts. Tightening these up pushed the bearing to its final position and I was able to feel a small amount of play when the hub was refitted. I was able to retrieve a nut from my old axle to replace the one that split and this was fitted with a new split pin. It was then just a matter of refitting the brakes, drum and road wheel.