Sunday, 6 September 2009

DHC report nr. 42; Front suspension frustration

Progress on the DHC has been a bit slack over the past few weeks. Won’t bother you with the reasons for this. But as my holiday started this weekend I thought it a good idea to get some work done. So to get my motivation back I started with something simple like reassembling the front suspension. As all the parts were already coated or cleaned it shouldn’t take more than a few hours to get them back together. How wrong one can be!
Right from the start it went wrong. The first job to do was to get the damper inserts into the struts. Usually this shouldn’t take more than a few minutes, but the lock-nuts refused point blank to go back in the struts. Their thread just didn’t want to engage with the thread inside the strut tube. A closer inspection of said nut quickly revealed the problem;

Clearly the thread got damaged somewhere, but I can’t remember how. But luckily I do have a few spares so out came another nut. This time I made sure the thread was good but the result was the same. The thread just didn’t engage properly, every time I thought it was engaging the nut would tilt. But a frustrating hour and a half later, in which I swapped lock nuts and struts, and cleaned and re-cleaned threads, I got a result. I managed to get the lock nut in a few threads by hand, after which I had to change to the special (Koni) tool to get it in further. But it soon became very heavy work indeed. As I was afraid to damage the thread of the struts I removed the nut again. Number two was also ready for the litter bin;

Luckily the struts’ thread wasn’t damaged so it was time for number three, which went in with only very little persuasion. Strangely enough the other strut suddenly went very smooth too. But now I was pretty fed up with them so I decided to finish them! From here everything went slightly smoother, only cleaning out the bolt threads for the calipers and the disc shield proved rather time consuming.

Before putting them back in I thought it a good idea to check the Sierra bearings I put in two years ago. There were a few people who had their doubts as to how I had mounted them. But I’m pleased to say that they still are in pretty good nick and still work as I meant them to.

And after a stubborn plastic ring, that for no obvious reason didn’t want to fit in its designed hole, a bit of a hassle with one of the springs and a pair of gaiters that went on to smoothly (so slid of immediately afterwards), and lots of perseverance I managed to get everything back together in the end!

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