Saturday, 14 February 2009

Suspension upgrade part 2

After consulting my friendly MOT garage it turned out there are no rules concerning the fixation of the flexible brake hoses. As long as they aren’t overstretched, or rub against the tyres or other (moving) parts it will be OK. So I ordered a pair of new hoses from C&C parts (being my local brake-parts-supplier) yesterday. They were very quick indeed, as the hoses were ready for collection this morning. They certainly do look good!

So after finishing my Saturday shopping I spent the afternoon on the front suspension. First job to do was cleaning the wheel arches and suspension parts of last autumn’s road dirt and farm debris. After that I could start with putting the front struts under the car. But first I needed to enlarge the holes of the strut-brace mounting plate. As they sit (just a little bit) to close together they didn’t fit over the top mounts. I only had to remove a little bit of material on the inside to slide them over the top-mounts bolts, after which the struts could be mounted under the car;

As the studs in the top mount are a bit longish I thought it a good idea to gently lower the bonnet. A close inspection learned that the front bolts of the top mount only miss the bonnets louvers by a few millimetres!

With the struts in place it was time to clean the hubs, discs and callipers and put them back on, should be easy ... WRONG! Due to the struts coating all the bolt threads needed cleaning. And it looks like it is a pretty good coating as it took quite awhile to get them all clean. But the major setback was the fact that the stub axles are also coated. Of course the first thing you do is try if the hub assembly slides over. No it wouldn’t. So of with the hub and remove the coating. Sadly though when I removed the hub the inner bearing remained firmly in place. After a few attempts to get it off I tried the reverse, see if it could be tapped in place gently with a hammer and a drift. It could but it took me well over half an hour to get it where I wanted it (as I didn’t want to damage anything I only tapped rather gently). After that the disc and brake calliper followed within a few minutes;

I first wanted to remove the rust from the discs with some fine sand paper, but a closer inspection showed that it was only very slight surface rust. Last thing to do was fit the new flexible hose. Sadly the banjo-ends that connect to the callipers are much thinner than the original ones supplied with the brakes. This means I have to route them differently, making them 50-60 mm to long, thus touching the strut and/or the track-rod-ends. So I’ll have to visit C&C Parts again next week to have them shortened.

As the daylight was almost gone by now, I called it a day. Hopefully will find some time this week to finish the job on the other side.

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