Monday, 23 July 2012

Anti Roll Bar Linkages

Tonight I did a bit more of the suspension upgrade by fitting new Anti Roll Bar linkages

Getting them has been an adventure in itself, I  tried buying them from Bearmach who were out of stock and then found myself after getting a hole in the radiator in my Suzuki just 100m from the main Land Rover main dealers in Cardiff and was offered them for a cool £44.00 +VAT EACH! which I declined and picked up pair from Unipart for less than half of that

So to summarise the job...

Remove the split pin and the castellated nut that holds the linkage to the chassis

Removing the Anti Roll bar from the linkage with 2 sockets

Putting the new one back with plenty of copper grease on the screw in case I ever need to remove it again

And once tightened up as much as you can insert the split pin into the castellated nut as shown below and once pushed right into place bend one side over to lock it in place

Then put the new bushes in place. The ones I had chosen were the blue polyurethane ones in the middle below. To be honest the old ones on the left and the new ones that came with the new linkages both looked OK, but everyone tells me the polyurethane ones will be stiffer and for £8.00 that's a good inexpensive addition that makes sense  

Tightening things up again and then a quick final shot of copper grease to keep things tidy until I get a chance to coat things in something more permanent

 So here it is all together. In this view you can see the linkage at the end of the bar and it's attachment to the axle and where it attaches to the rear chassis

And in this slightly wider view you can see the complete anti roll bar running acroos the fuel tank 

Sunday, 15 July 2012

Boing and a bit

I decided to take Katy for a test drive to get some Anti Roll Bar bushes and try out the new suspension

It was a short journey over some twisty lanes between Cardiff and Caerphilly which is where Bearmach are based.

They didn't have what I wanted in stock so a wasted, but faster journey to Stratstone the local Land Rover dealer down the M4 to test higher speed stability. A main dealer that doesn't have parts open on Saturday what use is that!
I got some of what I needed at Unipart, but I still can't do that job  

Still it was a nice run and the stability is definitely improved. It's not where I would like it yet so more work to do

Saturday, 14 July 2012

Boing (Part1)

"Time for bed said Zebedee and bounced off"

That's what driving Katy has been like on some roads with a major amount of spring and a lack of dampening leading to a lot of body roll and some scary moments. It had to come to an end !

So the 1st phase of the job has now been to upgrade the rear suspension with a new set of springs and shock absorbers. Here they are, ProComp ES9000 Nitrogen Gas shock and Flatdog Azalai 130 Camper springs as developed for the editor of LRW magazine, who owns a Azalai 130 Land Rover

After a late start caused by a flat battery, The first part of the job was easy, simply lift the rear with a trolley jack to get some working access and be able to remove the shock absorbers. The bottom nut was a bit of trouble with the job of holing the sock absorber in place to stop it turning whilst undoing the nut. A second pair of hands made that much easier

The top one was it anything easier as the nut is well placed for easy access with a socket even if it does not look like it in this picture

Soon the old oil shock is sat next to the new. I can move the old one easily with my hands. the new one takes leaning on which is a good sign

After the first test lift we decided that the Anti-Roll bar should be disconnected first to give the maximum amount of articulation, so that's what I did.

The next job was to lift it again. The wheels came right off the floor and still the springs were firmly held in place. A quick check of the Haynes manual and a technique of separating the chassis and axle with a bottle jack was described. so a quick hunt around for a small one and it was inserted and extended.

Up to just about full stretch and all of a sudden with a loud bang the spring separated from where it was attached at the top. As both Steve and I were quite close we got quite a shock.

After that there was a clamping plate to unfasten at the bottom. This was not easy either because the helper spring was in the way, but by lifting that and holding it out of place with a screwdriver I was able to unbolt the clamp.

A quick look revealed it would be easier to remove with the wheel off so that;s what I did and we were soon left with the old and the new together on the floor.

Steve correctly suggested a good coat of liquid grease on anything metal before it went back, especially those hard to Waxoyl without dismantling bit's I'd missed before 

Putting it back would be much easier I thought.. well I was wrong. The hardest part was to get the clamp plate at the bottom back in. The bolt had to go through 3 layers of metal and then into a welded nut. Not easy to get the alignment when you can't see the holes because the helper spring is in the way as you can see from this picture of the stack together

Eventually I got it, and finally about 2pm the first spring was in. Just lift the axle and put the wheel back on.

Having learned from the 1st side the second was a lot easier as the first job was to remove the wheel.

The spring was then levered out at the top with a tyre iron and the job went smoothly without the need for a jack to provide pressure

I said smoothly. That was except the spring did not want to settle as nicely in the bottom plate. After about 10 minutes I gave up and decided it would probably settle the first time I hit a good bump.

Finally reattach the shock absorbers, put the wheel on, reattach the Anti Roll bar linkage the and all was done for the day. 

Mind you that spring that had not settled didn't need a bump. I jumped in the back to load up the tools and rubbish and it settled into place with a loud twang

I'm not sure how much better this will be. I need a test drive    

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