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Friday, August 29, 2014

Doug's Domain

Doug Vetter, ATP/CFI

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Thursday, June 24, 2010

Rear Suspension Overhaul - Assembly Day One

Yesterday I picked up the parts from Don and paid him for a job well done. He managed to get all of the bushings, bearings, and ball joints installed without scratching any of the parts. And as it turned out, he did not have to drill the trailing arm to secure the RTAB because he was able to press it in without using any lubricant. That in combination with the sandblasted surface and Vorshlag shims should keep the RTAB well positioned. He also finished the differential earlier than expected, complete with new bearings, seals, cover, speed sensor, and all new hardware along with a fresh paint job. It looks brand new.

Today I began the day by visiting Eppy's to pick up a small set of 1/2" drive extensions because I knew I'd need them today in several places. I tried to buy SK to match the bulk of my ratchets but they only had a set of wobble extensions in stock. So I was forced to buy a small set of three extensions (3, 5, and 8") from an offshore vendor. I also stopped by Home Depot and picked up a couple three foot pieces of 1/8" thick aluminum angle to help with the RTAB console alignment and a future task involved in the front suspension I expect to tackle in a few months.

By the end of a five hour work session in 95 degree heat I had managed to install a bulk of the suspension. It went largely as expected with a few exceptions:

I managed to dial in both the camber and toe settings pretty well based on pictures I took prior to disassembly and applied the final torque on the control arm outer bolts. I could do this because they are ball joints and will naturally rotate as I lower the suspension down to normal ride height. I can't apply final torque to the inner bolts that secure the control arm bushings to the subframe because the preload on those bushings must be set at normal ride height and I can't achieve that until the wheels are reinstalled and they are lowered down onto a set of ramps for clearance purposes.

The remaining components to be installed include the parking brakes, wheel brakes, axle shafts, differential, swaybar and muffler. Tomorrow I'll install and adjust the parking brake and wheel brakes first because I'll need those functioning to prevent the drive flanges from rotating while I use a tool provided by my technician to pull the output shafts into each drive flange. Once that is done, I'll use my jack to lift and install the differential. The swaybar will be next next because it is easier to install without the muffler in place. Then I'll finish up by installing the muffler with new sealing rings and hardware. At that point, I expect to take it on a brief test drive around the block before I take it for an alignment sometime in the next few days.

Mileage: 193332, Labor: $950, Tools: $30