Interchangeable rear trailing arms!

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CharlieeBoy
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Interchangeable rear trailing arms!

Post by CharlieeBoy »

Hi folks,
I thought I'd change my rear trailing arm bushes, bearings, brakes, the whole lot this week. I had the springs off last week and the platforms on the trailing arms were absolutely eff'd, so I got some repair panels off Just Kampers.
I drilled out the spot welds this evening and underneath them is knackered too. I did happen to notice though that the arms without the platforms on appear to be exactly the same either way up..
I was thinking of welding my new platform repair panels to the underside of each arm and swapping them side to side!
A much cheaper solution that buying a new pair of arms, or fabricating the missing metal I thought! I'm also thinking it would also solve my 3.5 degrees of negative camber that I can't adjust out on the bolt slots.

Has anyone else had a go at this? I can't see that it'd be a problem, but one of you lot might have some experience with it!
Cheers, Charlie 8)

RogerT
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Location: Central Scotland

Re: Interchangeable rear trailing arms!

Post by RogerT »

I would ask myself whether having a big patch of fubar’d metal on the underside of the swing arm would compromise its strength, mr Vw built it a a box shaped thing for a reason after all, rather than a box with a hole in the bottom.
As for your camber, I’m guessing negative means in at the top out at the bottom? Are your bushes completely gone - that might account for it. On the other hand... how’s your rust situation? I had a big camber problem which turned out to be the outer swing arm mounts slowly detaching themselves from the crossmember and starting to burrow up through the body. Worth exploring.
'88 Transporter with hitop camper conversion, 1.6td.

pkrboo
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Re: Interchangeable rear trailing arms!

Post by pkrboo »

They are reversible except they aren't, if you look. On the inside there is a piece of metal strengthening on the spring plate side. So yes but no.

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CharlieeBoy
Posts: 6
Joined: 15 Aug 2020, 00:21
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Re: Interchangeable rear trailing arms!

Post by CharlieeBoy »

Yeh, that's negative camber.. It looked like a boy racer :lol: . The damaged metal and my negative camber problems are from the van being over-lowered by the previous owners, and the bump stops have beaten the arm into a bad shape, I'm sure the bushes are a big part of that too.
If I turned the arms over though I wouldn't leave the fubar'd metal alone, I can graft on a piece of good steel to give it strength, I'm thinking more of the time it would take me to cut out the nasty bit and re-fabricate the formed steel the same shape the arm should be underneath the spring platform.
As for the rust, I've been lucky so far. The swing arm brackets on the body are like brand new, they just need a good painting and waxing.
I'm gonna get the new bushes in the arms later and dry fit the arms on upside down and do some measuring.
Fingers crossed!

pkrboo
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Re: Interchangeable rear trailing arms!

Post by pkrboo »

Have you looked at the inside piece of metal. They aren't actually reversible without work to make or move the strengthening piece. By which time it would be eaiser to repair what you have.



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CharlieeBoy
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Re: Interchangeable rear trailing arms!

Post by CharlieeBoy »

Pkrboo you were right, there are strengthening piece inside the arms! So after all that I'm gonna repair the damaged bits. At least I've got the good sides I can use as a reference to what shape it should be :) shame about that, I thought it'd be a good solution! Should have it all done by the end of the weekend anyway :ok
Cheers all!

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