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Old 1st March 2009, 11:28 PM
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Default Front suspension lower arm rebuild.

I have pulled the lower arms and steering spindles out of my 6.9 and am in the progress of rebushing and putting in new "supporting joints" in the steering knuckles.

Here is the gear required for each side



Of somewhat more concern is the absolute crappy state of the front and rear lower arm inner bushes and in this photo you may be able to make out how far off centre the bush actually is - it is more obvious in the flesh.



Compounding it is that the rear arm bushes appear to be 90 degrees out from what the manual says so that the rear of the arm is free to move verically very easily.

Here is a picture of the three bushes showing their cutouts in their "installed" orientations.



I will also be replacing both "supporting joints" in their respective steering knuckles and according to the manual they are driven out with hammer and mandrel. There is limited space for pressing in the new ones so will see what eventuates. The left is leaking a little grease but seems tight while the right is loosish.



The rear split bushes wiggle out easily enough with a screwdriver but the front bushes have flanges on both ends that effectively end up pressed on. From a 126 site I was a member of some time ago I saw the idea of stripping off some of the outer ring of rubber and then slipping a hacksaw blade between the flange and the inner rubber ring and cutting through the central tube as shown here.



If the bush is reasonably sound (as was my left one) this needs to be done at both ends and then the bush is driven out - I have used a 4WD tie rod end puller that I own but threaded shaft, nut and sockets would do the same job.



I finally have an explanation on why my car handled beautifully around right hand corners and like a hunk of crap around left hand corners. The left hand bushes have been replaced at some stage and the front bush had some life left in it even though the rear bush had been put in incorrectly with the split in the metal jacket placed vertically instead of horizontally.

The right hand arm was presumably totally original and apart from a little sloppiness in the large ball joint here is what is left of the rubber joints.



Scarey isn't it? I wonder how many 116's are running around with joints like this?

I would also appreciate if anyone has any wisdom on how to press the new "supporting Joints" in without a trip to the dealer.


Bill
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Old 2nd March 2009, 01:28 AM
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Default Re: Front suspension lower arm rebuild.

Hi Bill, I never cease to be surprised at the poor and worn condition of suspension parts you have found on your 6.9. This is not meant as a criticism I am singling your car out for - it's just that Chris, the previous owner, had made genuine attempts at having the car properly serviced and looked after and it had been a relatively low mileage motor car.

The work that you have illustrated so well would more than likely be necessary on any number of 116's. Unfortunately, it is some considerable time since I was involved in the replacement of front suspension bushes to the degree that you are advocating. In my experience, I had no end of trouble removing the lower link components from the car as the majority of bushes (their metal parts) were rusted solidly to the various adjustment/retaining bolts, and most of them had to be cut out with an oxy.

It was very messy, and considerable "dressing up" of the steel arms was required before any new bushes could be refitted. I must confess to having no problems with refitting and locating the bushes correctly - it seemed to be self explanatory, but I do remember that fitting some of the larger lower link bushes was a "two man" operation, with Parks lending assistance at the time. Sorry I cannot be of more help in this instance. Regards Styria

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Old 2nd March 2009, 09:50 AM
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Default Re: Front suspension lower arm rebuild.

Fortunately nothing was corroded and all came apart easy enough - although the large bottom ball joints took a lot of force with a ball joint splitter that could not be positioned perfectly due to the geometry.

Fortunately the ball joint splitter was good quality and held together.

Bill
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Old 8th March 2009, 09:28 PM
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Default Re: Front suspension lower arm rebuild.

I have been away in the deep south for a few days but before I left I deposited my steering knuckles with their large ball joints ("Guide Joints") with Herbert from "The Star Shop".

I tried to drive out the obviously worn RH one with a large engineers hammer but nothing was going to budge so before I suffered apoplexy or even worse - damaged something other than myself - I took the easy road.

He was going to change them on Saturday for an entirely reasonable sum of money and hopefully my wife will pick them up while passing on Tuesday.

All the other bushes have been replaced and I have a pair of new adjustable bolts (Although there was nothing at all wrong with the ones I removed) and have ordered the four remaining locking nuts from Diesel Motors (Total cost $44 for four nuts).

I resisted the present West Australian trend to media blast and powder coat the running gear but did clean and de-grease the metal work, mask up the new bushes , and then give it a blast with some shiny black paint.



I really am looking forward to it all going together and, after a wheel alignment, seeing what the progress feels like.

Bill

P.S I might be a bit harsh but is it possible that some of the problems you guys have been having with wheel alignment might come back to the state of your lower arm bushes.
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Old 23rd September 2010, 05:33 AM
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Default Re: Front suspension lower arm rebuild.

Found this in the archives what an excellent and informative thread. With GB being on the "sick list", I'll be adding to this thread in due course. Regards Styria
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Old 28th September 2010, 04:58 PM
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Default Re: Front suspension lower arm rebuild.

Yes - sometimes you forget what you have done yourself.

Those who have driven my car always comment on the freedom from slack in the front.

Anyway due to a rear constant velocity joint starting to break up I am going to do a complete re-bush of the rear end as well and replace the drive shafts with new 560 shafts as well as putting 560 bolt up flanges into the diff.

No doubt there will be a pictorial on that as well - but first I have to fix a leaky ram in my car hoist.

Bill
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Old 30th September 2010, 05:55 AM
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Default Re: Front suspension lower arm rebuild.

I had hoped to have the front end rebuilt prior to Gleaming Beauty being shipped off to Michel's for the rust repairs and repaint. However, due to the sheer volume of work in stripping all body parts, there just wasn't enough time to attend to the front end properly - it's no good just doing the job half-half or in stages.

However, I am looking for opinions and/or solutions for a curious front end problem that seems to afflict several 6.9s of fellow members - and that is 'sagging' of the right hand side of the front suspension on at least four cars I know of, including mine. With two of the cars, for sure, the right tyre will in fact touch and slightly deform the lip of the front guard under certain cornering or 'dip in the road' conditions, and for the life of mine I cannot see the reason for this to happen. Could it be -

1) A weak or soft front strut ?
2) A worn top strut mount ?
3) I can't see how, but could it be bushes ?

It's strange, given the fact that one single valve controls the height of both sides of the car and, as I said, I am at a loss to understand why. I don't think it is an optical illusion, especially given the fact that the right tyre can, in fact, touch the guard. Some years ago, I had peculiar high speed cornering characteristics when negotiating left hand sweepers on Freeways, but replacement of the top strut mount cured that problem. Those mounts are still available at significant cost and there is very little likelihood that they could be remanufactered. They are quite unique in shape and size and the way they fit to the body of the car. Regards Styria
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Old 30th September 2010, 06:39 PM
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Default Re: Front suspension lower arm rebuild.

If my 6.9 is left parked with the wheels pointing to the left it will slowly appear to sink at the right front first.

I always thought my right front strut had more oil "leak-by" but another explanation may be the different castor of the two wheels if left with partial (about half) left lock applied.

The height change in the bonnet as the front suspension goes from lock to lock is quite considerable and noticeable from the drivers seat.

I had not thought of replacing the right front upper mounting but it is a possibility.

Bill
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Old 30th September 2010, 07:45 PM
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Default Re: Front suspension lower arm rebuild.

As a rule, Bill, that uneven height is also quite pre-dominant with the wheels in the straight ahead position. Once I get the car back from Michel's, and once I replace all the lower and upper link, as well as the crosas chassis bushes, it will be interesting to see if that problem (state of affairs) will have been rectified. Regards Styria
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Old 1st October 2010, 09:43 AM
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Default Re: Front suspension lower arm rebuild.

My money is on a worn top strut mount or bush.
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