Wednesday, 30 May 2007

DHC front suspension upgrade part 2

After 't Kreng was in working order again I could continue with the front suspension upgrade on the DHC. As the struts were already assembled it should have been just a matter off taking the old units off the car, clean everything and put it back under the car.

But than of course there are all those small jobs that need to be done such as getting rid of the surface rust on the sub frame, and the old and rather deteriorated rubber bushes.

These were replaced with new (poly) bushes. The surface rust was attacked with a wire brush and waxoyl. I know, not the most elegant solution but it will keep the dreaded tin worm at bay for the next few years.

After the sub-frame was done it was time to put the struts back on the car, together with the ARB. Putting the last one back under the car can be a real pain, especially when using (new) poly bushes for mounting the ARB to the TCA's. The trick is to use two trolley jacks (one under each strut) so the car's weight is supported completely on the struts, thus maximising the distance between the mounting holes for the ARB. This way it is quiet easy to get ends off the ARB through the holes in the TCA's. After that putting the bolts on the ends off the ARB is an easy but rather time consuming job. First put a flat washer and a bolt behind the bush on the ARB's threaded end and tighten it up. After this the ARB is fixated to the sub frame using ratchet straps. The flat washer can then be replaced by the original dished washer, and the ARB can be tightened down.
With the easy part from the ARB sorted, it was time to turn my attention to the mounting points on the sub frame plus the anti dive blocks. To make life easy I again used ratchet straps. From the outer end off the TCA (between ball joint and ARB) to the towing eye at the back of the car to be precise. Pulling the TCA's  backwards was necessary to align all the holes (sub frame, anti dive block bush plate and bracket) so the bolts can go in. Sounds rather straightforward which it is. Until I had to pull the last bolt out because one way or another it was too short. After that the bugger I replaced it with just refused to get in, but even that one went through in the end.

With the suspension parts all firmly in place it was time to put the brakes back on. As the original TR7 brakes are not quite up to the job off slowing the car down within a reasonable distance, it was logical to use the old brakes that came off 't Kreng.

As they had seen some rather hard action over the years I brought them to a local firm (C&C Parts) to be reconditioned. And they did a rather nice job on them. The calipers were cleaned, (industrial ) nickle plated, original chrome plated pistons replaced by stainless steel ones and of course new seals and dust covers.

After that it was just a matter of putting the hubs with the discs back on, followed by the calipers and some new stainless braided hoses. Last jobs were bleeding and putting some fancy alloys on. Can't wait to take the car out to see how she handles now, but that will have to wait till after I return from La Carrera Caledonia this weekend.

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