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Suspension rebuild....................... and other things !


Guest Anonymous

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Guest Anonymous

Any links for a how-to for rebuilding front and rear suspension on an '02 (non- tii) ????

Recommendations on where to get parts too please !!!

Front head light switch on a '71. How the heck does that come out after removal of the dash ?!?!?!??!? I looked and looked and poked around with no luck. The knob does not unscrew like the others.......... sorry if covered somewhere already, just thought I'd ask here with this post.

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Guest Anonymous

Along the same lines - I just received a urethane swayubar bushing replacement kit for my '76 from BavAuto. The bolt they sent is 20 mm shortewr than the one that came out. I can't even get the nut on the bolt with the bushings, much less after running it thru thru the control arm and sway bar. When questioned, BavAuto assured me I would need to compress the bushings, once in place, to get the nut on.

Has anyone had this experience?

Thanks!

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Guest Anonymous

Gonna submit this for a FAQ, but I'm waiting since Rob has other things to worry about right now.

I used urethane bushings (from BavAuto) and got used control arms (from 2002AD), so my techniques were a bit different than if using rubber bushings. Mostly, I didn't have to worry about preloading the bushings, and the bushing installation was almost certainly much easier.

Anyway, I preassembled my "new" control arms with the new bushings and ball joints. To get the old bushings out, get a torch (I borrowed a fitting that goes on a small propane bottle) and heat just the center metal cylinder of the bushings. Once they get good and hot, the rubber will start to melt around the metal. At that point, grab the cylinder with some pliers and carefully yank it out, or use a large bolt or old socket to drive the cylinder out. Then you can deform the bushings and push them out with a big screwdriver.

The ball joints, if original, will be riveted on. To remove them, drill a hole well into the rivet shaft with a bit slightly smaller than the rivet diameter (1/4" works well) following the "dimple" on the lower head of the rivet. Then drill just through the head of the rivet with a larger bit (I think I used a 5/16" or 3/8" bit). Be careful not to drill too far, or you'll enlarge the hole in the control arm. Then chisel the heads off with a cold chisel and beat on the bottom of the ball joint to separate it from the arm.

I hit my "new" arms with a wire wheel in my drill, some primer and black paint at this point.

Installation of the new bushings is easy — my kit came with some special "Teflon" grease, but I was surprised how sticky it was. Since urethane bushings operate by spinning in their bores (rubber bushings are supposed to "stick" and twist, thus their added dampening action), and since there wasn't enough of the special grease anyway, I instead used regular high-temp axle grease (as supported in the archives on Roadfly and the FAQ board). Essentially, it seems that the type of grease shouldn't matter, so use whatever you prefer. Just lube up both surfaces of any metal-to-urethane joint and slide everything together.

The new ball joints just fasten to the control arms with the bolts provided. Easy.

Now, for disassembly:

I started with the front of the radius rod. The front valence is in the way on this one, so you'll probably be limited to a regular box-end 22mm wrench unless you drop the front subframe down. I didn't need to drop it; just get on the wrench with a "cheater bar" (pipe, old metal table leg, etc.) if you need to. So remove the cotter pin (carefully! They may be rusty, and it's a pain to drill them out), then get the castle nut and washer off.

Remove the cotter pins on the control arm nuts (the pivot point [25mm or 1"] and the rear of the radius rod [22mm]) and remove the nuts and washers. You may need a backup wrench on the pivot bolt, and it's a high-torque joint (110 ft-lb), so a braced breaker bar and a second breaker bar or air wrench would be helpful. Be sure to keep the proper nuts and washers with the proper assembly, as they're similar enough to cause some confusion. The drawing from one of the shop manuals is a big help keeping everything straight.

Drive out the pad retaining pins and remove them and the anti-rattle spring, along with the pads (mark which goes where). Remove the bolts holding the caliper on the strut (19mm, I think) and swing it out of the way — support it with a piece of wire from the spring. Remove the dust cap, cotter pin and castle nut (24mm) on the spindle and pull the hub off. Set it aside on a rag or cardboard so the rotor doesn't get greasy or scratched.

Remove the bottom nut of the end link of your sway bar and pull the link assembly apart. You may want to get replacement urethane bushings for the sway bar as well — the end link bushings can come from most any parts store, but you may need to go through a specialist like Ireland for the bushings on the subframe.

Cut the safety wire on the three bolts at the bottom of the strut (mine was missing on the driver's side!) and remove the three bolts (14mm). The outer two are easy, but you may need to wrestle with a box end wrench to get the inner one. These are expensive bolts ($7 each!), but they're critical to the safety of the front suspension — if they break or loosen, things come apart in ugly ways. Get new ones from one of the usual suspects (you'll need six), even if you don't break the old ones getting them out.

Push down the control arm and clean any grease out of the hollow in the steering arm that the ball joint nut fits in. This is a 19mm nut that gave me all kinds of trouble on both sides, but hopefully you'll be able to remove the cotter pin and get the nut off without incident. Use a two-jaw puller to break the ball joint free of the steering arm (you can rent it from AutoZone for a refundable deposit or do as I did and just borrow your friend's along with the garage space and tool chest).

Swing the steering arm and tie rod end out of the way. The shop manual said to disassemble it, but I didn't need to, saving me the need of getting the car lined up afterward. Then carefully knock the control arm away from the radius rod and pivot bolt, again watching for all the washers and other spacers.

Remove the subframe-to-radius rod bushing the same way as the control arm bushings, but be careful to apply heat from the front and avoid catching the rubber on fire or you'll burn paint on your valence panel. The control-arm pivot bolt is the perfect size for driving the metal sleeve out of the bushing (toward the rear) once it's heated up. Then push the bushing rearward with a big screwdriver. It will deform and push out easier if you cut the thick front of the bushing in several places with a utility knife and tear chunks off it with big pliers.

Install the front half of the urethane subframe bushing according to the same process followed for the control arm bushings — but lube up the rear half and metal sleeve and put them on the radius rod itself after the domed washer (convex side always goes toward the bushing). You need the "wiggle room" to maneuver the radius rod into position, as the urethane bushing won't deform like rubber. Just make sure it seats properly as you install the radius rod.

Reinstall the washer and bolt on the front of the radius rod but don't torque it down yet. Carefully fit the refurbished control arm over the radius rod and pivot bolts. Go slowly and evenly, as it's easy to get it bound up. Install the washers and nuts, but again don't torque, to allow for easier motion until you're farther along.

Remove the protective plastic cover from the new ball joint and attach it to the steering arm with the provided new nylock nut. Torque it to the recommended spec. Reattach the steering arm to the strut and gently torque the bolts down (they’re only about 25 ft-lb). Install new safety wire, pulling the bolts so they want to tighten.

Torque down the large nuts, according to the specs in the manual or the FAQ. If you're using rubber, this has to be done with the weight of the car on the wheels, so lower it onto ramps or something else sturdy.

Reattach the end link with the new bushings and torque it down.

Reinstall the hub and rotor assembly — it may be a good idea to repack the outer bearing while you're there, or even replace both inner and outer bearings and seal, as they're fairly cheap. You can rent a race and seal driver from AutoZone if you opt to replace things.

Tighten the castle nut to finger tight, then reinstall the caliper and pads. Put the road wheel back on and tighten the lug nuts as much as you can with the wheel in the air, then check for play in the wheel bearing by grabbing the to and bottom of the tire and trying to rock it (increase and decrease camber, if that helps to picture it). There should be a very small amount of play but not much. Once you get it right, slacken it to the nearest point you can insert a new cotter pin. Glop some grease into the dust cap and hammer it back on.

That's it. Hopefully the other side will be the same as the first, just faster!

Let me know if you have any questions…

-Dave

Colorado '71

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Guest Anonymous

I have buy the same kit last summer, and have had this issue too, plenty e-mails back and forth from bav auto, and they finaly admited that the bolt should be longer, and that it was their fault. They asked me to send the bolt back to them and they will send me the "correct" one, and this problem will be fixed on all other kit...it seems that they sleep on the switch my friend...

I ended up by machining my own bolt, wich frustrates me since i have paid for this kit, and that i have driven from Quebec to Bavauto (~6h, on vacation)to save few bucks...

Pat Allen

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Guest Anonymous

remember the web site.The kit was $600+ and contained

most,if not all the parts for an 2002 front-end rebuild.Anyone know where Tom and I might find such a kit.I just got my 02 last month,everything is worn out.

David Dill

89 735iL

71 2002

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Guest Anonymous

Pat,

Thanks for your info. The rep I spoke with assured me that he had done the same procedure with the shorter bolt and that compression of the bushings was necessary. I now realize that compressing the bushings is the job of the suspension, not of the installer. I'll probably just use the original bolt = less hassle.

Don't BAV - Be A Victim

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Guest Anonymous

Hi Tom. You should contact Chris Pawlowicz from the Ottawa chapter. He sold his 2002 and has tons of used and new performance parts. Including front coil-overs as well as front and rear urethane bushing kits and some new ball-joints. Email me for his email address.

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Guest Anonymous

well, you see, they give 2 different stories, doesnt make sense for the sway bar to compress those, well, on mine, they were like 1inch too short. Id think with the weight of the car standing on 1 bushing alone will compress it 1/4 of an inch...

Anyway...pay to be a victim...

Pat Allen

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