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Day 151: Rear subframe removal and a surprise!

Hodgepodge

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For some reason,  dropping the rear subframe seemed a little more daunting than dropping the front.   Maybe it was because I haven't had to crawl under the back end of this car much so far.   I also did not have a complete plan for how I was going to do this and did not have a punchlist for completion like I did with the other items I've removed so far.    

 

And then there was something that has never happened before.  At the end, I got a prize!   If you hate long winded blogs, skip to the last couple of images to see what it was.   

 

I was unable to get the exhaust system apart and the driveshaft was still attached to the differential, so these two items were also present.  I removed them after the rear subframe was dropped.  

 

HIgh level steps.

Remove E-brake cable.

Disconnect rear brakes

Remove shock absorber connections

Remove differential mount bolts

Remove two bolts on each side of car to release crossmembers.

Lower subframe.   

 

 

So, I'll go through the steps with some images and maybe turn this into a little article too.  I got enough images, I think.    If anyone reads this and thinks I did something backwards or wrong, let me know.  

 

Here's the process:  

 

Remove the rear wheels from the car (i.e. loosen the wheel lugs with the car on the ground, then do next step). 

Jack the car up and put it on jackstands that are supporting the car at the outer jack points in the rear.  (I had to hang my 6-ton jack stands half way off the edge of the car in the rear, which was a little odd, but it was very stable.) 

You want the jack stands to be as outboard as possible so the subframe can be removed from under the car without hitting them.  

 

Inside the car, remove the E-brake boot and remove the two nuts on each of the e-brake cables so the cables are free. 

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With a straight circlip tool remove the circlip from the hand brake and pull out the large pin to release the brake handle from the car.  This might not be a circlip with holes, but the straight circlip tool will still work.   My hand brake did not fall apart.  

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Under the car, just in front of the front crossmember on the rear suspension, you will find sort of a joint where the car brake cable guide meets the suspension cable guide.  Tug on that to separate the guide and pull the E-brake cable out from inside the car.

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Use a 14mm and 11mm/7/16 inch wrench to disconnect the hydraulic brake lines where the flexible lines from the body meet the hard lines on the rear suspension.   Bag the little spring-like holders.

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Ok, here's the order I used.   It might have been easier to do things in a different order, but I will never know.  

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Under the car, remove the nuts from the differential mount to the body but leave the bolts in place for now.  

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Remove the 17mm front bolt on the leading suspension arm.  My leading arms were bent so they sprang a little when the bolt came free. 

If you have an extra set of jack stands, place them unddr the drums of the rear wheels.  This will prevent them from falling abrubtly in the next step.  It isn't the end of the world if they do.   The springs might drop out.     

Inside the trunk, remove the two nuts holding each rear shock absorber in place.   Once the shocks are free, you can retract them by hand in teh wheel wells to make them easier to deal with.  

Place your floor jack under and slightly in front of the output shafts of the differential.  See the image above.  That location or a little further forward should work. 

With a breaker bar, break loose the 21mm nuts holding the rear of the leading arms to the body but do not remove them yet.  (These are the last nuts you will remove.)  

At the differential, remove the bolts we left in place earlier. 

Make one last check that the jack is where you want it.  

Go ahead and remove the 21mm nuts we loosened earlier.   The arms may come off with the nuts.  

Carefully lower the floorjack making sure that the subframe drops evenly from side to side so it does not get hung up on the bolts that those 21mm nuts attach to.  If it does get hung up, raise it a little and wiggle the subframe until it comes free. The springs will drop out if they haven't already. 

 

Here is an image of the lowered subframe including the driveshaft and exhaust.    Note the extreme outboard position of the floor jack.  

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I dragged the whole thing out from under the car but will place this on a furniture dolly so I can move it around more easily.   That;s it!  

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Oh, wait!    The surprise!   It is actually in the image above.  Do you see it sitting on the crossmember? 

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  Holy crap!  It is a 1980s vintage magnetic hide-a-key with a somewhat rusty spare key inside!   

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The original purchaser of this car must have put this key there and, sadly, he took the secret to his grave.  His daughter sold me the car.  Thanks buddy!   

 

Well, I hope that was useful, or at least interesting!   

 

Thanks,

 

Scott

 

 

 

 

 

   

  

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

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8 Comments


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key is cool but I was hoping for a S on the diff, limited slip

nice work!

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72ITB, There is about an inch of crud coloring the diff (That case is aluminum, right?) so I won't know for a couple of days.  Not likely, though. 

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Not aluminum. Only the rear cover is aluminum. Also, I don't think it is good that you can push your shocks down and they stay that way. They are probably on their way out if you can do that. You probably already had plans to replace them, but just wanted to put it out there that it isn't a good thing.

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Nice writeup!

 

I may end up dropping the front and addressing all my oil leaks in the near future.

 

.. I found a key in the ugly car leaning against the seat support under the seat :) -- after getting one made from the half extracted from the trunk tumbler!

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4 hours ago, Blackwhiteandblue said:

Not aluminum. Only the rear cover is aluminum. Also, I don't think it is good that you can push your shocks down and they stay that way. They are probably on their way out if you can do that. You probably already had plans to replace them, but just wanted to put it out there that it isn't a good thing.

 

When I bought the car, after looking over every inch, I took it for a very brief test drive and then put it on the trailer.  It was like riding around in a bouncy-house!   Front end dipped what felt like a foot when I hit the brakes.  Scooted like a scolded dog when hitting the gas.  If you go back to day 28 in my blog, you can see all the stuff I purchased within the first month of owning this car including the IE stage 1 suspension kit and new Bilsteins.  And that's only about half the parts I've purchased so far!  

 

https://www.bmw2002faq.com/blogs/entry/1341-day-28-still-waiting-on-partsand-some-space/ 

 

 

 

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3 hours ago, Hodgepodge said:

 

When I bought the car, after looking over every inch, I took it for a very brief test drive and then put it on the trailer.  It was like riding around in a bouncy-house!   Front end dipped what felt like a foot when I hit the brakes.  Scooted like a scolded dog when hitting the gas.  If you go back to day 28 in my blog, you can see all the stuff I purchased within the first month of owning this car including the IE stage 1 suspension kit and new Bilsteins.  And that's only about half the parts I've purchased so far!  

 

https://www.bmw2002faq.com/blogs/entry/1341-day-28-still-waiting-on-partsand-some-space/ 

 

 

 

Ah! I forgot about that. I have been following your blog since you started. We started around the same time, but you are much further ahead! 

 

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Well thanks for following my blog.  I'm only ahead because I a have a ridiculous personal deadline:  O'Fest!   Holy crap, 4 months!  

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I just discovered a long forgotten spare key (from PO) in my ride as well! Funny how it feels like finding treasure. 

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