Fitting radius arm bushes - the hard way and the easier way!

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tandemsandy
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Fitting radius arm bushes - the hard way and the easier way!

Post by tandemsandy »

So last weekend I set about replacing the radius arm bushes on Vinnie. I learnt the hard way and it took days to do just one side. Today I did the other side and did it in hours, so let me share my pain so you don’t have to go through the same!
So, firstly the hard way. Everything had been wire brushed and plusgas’d for days beforehand. Vinnie was jacked up and on an axle stand. The 27mm nut came off the radius arm easily. The nut came off the bottom of the ARB link easily, but then I’d replaced those rubbers in January. The 3 nuts that secure the radius arm to the wishbone took some persuading. They were well rusted so it took a slightly undersize socket hammered on, and a 3ft breaker bar to get them off. Now to remove the bolts. Mmmmmmm., completely seized. Lots of help from the blowtorch didn’t do much. Trying to turn the heads and 2 sheared off but one grudgingly came out. Only resort now to drill them out. Undid the 2 allen bolts on the upper ball joint so I could move the knuckle out and get access with the drill. Many many hours, numerous drill bits, much hammering and even more swearing later and they were out. I’d say it took over 5 hrs to get them out. Now the radius arm was off it got derusted and painted.
So, putting it back together should be much easier. Ha! Nice new rubbery rubber bushes are much bigger than old squashed and perished ones. Dished washer, new spacer & inner bush, feed the arm through the chassis, outer bush on, dished washer on, and no threads visible to get the nut on. Bugger. Then many hours with a ratchet strap pulling, big bars levering, trying to get the nut on the end. I gave up for the day. At work the next day I had a cunning idea, which worked a treat.
So all told it probably took 15-20 hrs to change the bushes on one radius arm .

Today I did the other side, all in 8 hrs. A different strategy this time – leave the bolts in place.
Vinnie jacked and supported, radius nut off, ARB link disconnected. The 3 nuts were much worse this side, nothing for any socket to grip, so I took the angle grinder and carefully ground up the side of each nut until almost through to the bolt threads, then a small sharp chisel to knock them round until they unscrewed. The nuts looked like this…
Image

Now to lever the radius arm down off the bolts. A crowbar and thin chisels are the trick. There is a gap at the front where I drove a wedge in. Make sure the bus is well supported and stable, it took some serious abuse with a club hammer to drive the wedges in. After an hour of abuse the wedges pushed the radius arm off the bolts, which left this…
Image

So radius arm cleaned up. Bolt holes cleaned out with a 10mm drill, bolts cleaned with a wire brush. Raise the suspension with another jack under the wishbone. New spacer & inner bush on the radius arm, feed it through the chassis (make sure the ARB top washer & rubber are on), and locate onto the 3 bolts and secure with new nuts & washers. Now for my cunning idea - don’t try and fit the new outer bush, put the old one back on, dished washer & nut. The perished old bush will be much thinner than the new one and you’ll have some threads to get the nut on.
Lower the suspension in case the next bit makes the jack unstable. Fully tighten the nut which will pull the suspension forward and compress the inner bush. Now get your ratchet strap round the lower arm and around the chassis to keep the arm pulled fwd…..
Image

Get the strap as tight as possible, then raise the suspension again to get the radius arm as near horizontal as possible. Now undo the nut and remove the old bush. Pop the new one on making sure it seats into the hole properly, dished washer on, and there should now be enough thread to get the nut started. Tighten it up, release the strap and job’s a good un. Refit bottom rubber & washer on the ARB link, torque everything up, wheel on, pack up.


Hope that’s of some use. You may be lucky and have bolts that will come out, but if not, good luck!
Rob & Sandy
Sandy & Rob live with Vinnie, an '84 1.9 DG Leisuredrive

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edoh
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Re: Fitting radius arm bushes - the hard way and the easier way!

Post by edoh »

brillig!
thanks for sharing -
:ok
Owner of a red T25 fixed hi top campervan - colour - spikey red - petrol - water cooled - 1.9 dg engine rhd - 1990 g reg n still going strong!-

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Fudgy666
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Re: Fitting radius arm bushes - the hard way and the easier way!

Post by Fudgy666 »

I've obviously decided to do it the hard way ! :(

Was all happy and a little smug until I spotted a small difference

Image

The Radius Rod washers are on the wrong way round ! I even knew that the convex surface was meant to be facing the rubber bush, I just decided to ignore my own self :rofl

DOH !!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!
1982 T25 2.0L Aircooled(CU) with Twin Solex's No idea what version/type of camper conversion

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CovKid
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Re: Fitting radius arm bushes - the hard way and the easier way!

Post by CovKid »

So are your droplink washers (according to a loud few) but I fit them that way too. Makes no sense whatsoever to have them facing out as the rubber would have nothing to press against. :wink: Radius arm - definately out.
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Re: Fitting radius arm bushes - the hard way and the easier way!

Post by toomanytoys »

:ok
Last edited by toomanytoys on 31 Jul 2014, 13:14, edited 1 time in total.

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Re: Fitting radius arm bushes - the hard way and the easier way!

Post by CovKid »

:ok
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Fudgy666
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Re: Fitting radius arm bushes - the hard way and the easier way!

Post by Fudgy666 »

Sorted !!!!! Washers are now on the right way around. :ok

Image

Image

Really lovin the Ratchet Strap idea posted by tandemsandy, it saved me loads of time. :ok :ok :ok :ok :ok

If you use a good heavy duty strap you don't even have to bother putting the old rubber bush on first. You can just pull it all together using the ratchet.
1982 T25 2.0L Aircooled(CU) with Twin Solex's No idea what version/type of camper conversion

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slowcoach
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Re: Fitting radius arm bushes - the hard way and the easier way!

Post by slowcoach »

Excellent thread from yesteryear. There's a lot less info on early radius rods than the later screw in type- zipping the small nuts off with the grinder will be my first offensive too after reading this.

I'd read somewhere about not disturbing them at all for fear of breakages, and taking out the lower control arm bush instead to drop all the suspension from the inside line, but I'm not keen on releasing those front springs, after the nightmare I had getting them in there a few years ago. Onward and upward..
===================
1984 TRAKKA Conversion Subaru EJ20 5 Speed

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slowcoach
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Re: Fitting radius arm bushes - the hard way and the easier way!

Post by slowcoach »

Searching through radius rod threads to find some more info on my present job.

I'm early rods. Passenger side no problem, rod came off with just cutting the 3 nuts and moderate whacking shoock it loose. Had it in my hand by 10am after an 8:30 start! Got cocky though...

Driver side different story. Nuts cut off (bad shape), rod is stuck on there like a right barsteward. I plan to drive in more wedges to try again this morning, I really hope it budges. but..

If I keep them together and dont manage, how do I take the whole assembly out still together, WITHOUT taking the spring out? Getting that spring in is just another battle I dont want to do again (have no compressors this time). If I keep the damper attached at both ends, maybe that will stop it popping out? What's the trick?

Got a deadline of this week so can take my family out on Saturday, wife's birthday. Alignment booked for Friday. Help!
===================
1984 TRAKKA Conversion Subaru EJ20 5 Speed

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slowcoach
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Re: Fitting radius arm bushes - the hard way and the easier way!

Post by slowcoach »

slowcoach wrote:Searching through radius rod threads to find some more info on my present job.

I'm early rods. Passenger side no problem, rod came off with just cutting the 3 nuts and moderate whacking shoock it loose. Had it in my hand by 10am after an 8:30 start! Got cocky though...

Driver side different story. Nuts cut off (bad shape), rod is stuck on there like a right barsteward. I plan to drive in more wedges to try again this morning, I really hope it budges. but..

If I keep them together and dont manage, how do I take the whole assembly out still together, WITHOUT taking the spring out? Getting that spring in is just another battle I dont want to do again (have no compressors this time). If I keep the damper attached at both ends, maybe that will stop it popping out? What's the trick?

Got a deadline of this week so can take my family out on Saturday, wife's birthday. Alignment booked for Friday. Help!
Ahhh so update.. managed to get them apart with a sharpened heavy chisel and lump hammer. don't think the neighbours will have enjoyed the clonking ! I can see air between them, so homeward bound. The bolts will be staying put. Think they're in for the long haul Image swapping lower control arm bushes too. Got one done. Lining them up again to get the bolt back in is hard. Might be easier without the radius rod there.
===================
1984 TRAKKA Conversion Subaru EJ20 5 Speed

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slowcoach
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Re: Fitting radius arm bushes - the hard way and the easier way!

Post by slowcoach »

Image

Image

Image

Got the LCA bushes aligned and in using two trolley jack's to twist and lift to align the bolts through the hole. Awkward but done. Driver side rod needs to go back in.

With those bushes and radius rod bushes changed, going to be an interesting ride to the alignment place :roll: I'll put a spare on one side, the tyres are brand new so don't want to scrub them up. About 4 miles I guess.
I didn't need to pull in the radius rods to get the new ones on, the nut threads. Pass side least..
===================
1984 TRAKKA Conversion Subaru EJ20 5 Speed

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Re: Fitting radius arm bushes - the hard way and the easier way!

Post by slowcoach »

I managed a semi successful alignment at the garage. They couldn't get the van data up on their system which was frustrating as they could have told me that when I booked it and gave the details, but hey ho. The caster has been set evenly on both rods and self centers fine. Camber has been left at zero, and the tracking changed to 2mm in (1mm each side, was previously 2mm on each). It drives really well now, and I've gone down a tyre width to 205 from 215 so feels lighter too. Happy with all the bruises and aches achieved in the process ;)

The mechanic was pretty surprised there's no locking nuts on the radius rod ends.

I've not got a torque wrench that I trust to any degree any more- what sort of tightness should they be? The bushes can be squished quite a bit, but that doesn't seem right so I backed off a bit. Should they feel like they hit an end stop at all (inner sleeve would limit?), or is it just a compression/squeeze on the bushes?
Thanks all
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1984 TRAKKA Conversion Subaru EJ20 5 Speed

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