Rear Subframe Removal
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After an awful lot of effort trying to get one bush in, I resorted to a persuading device. Unfortunately this damages the alloy core and wasted a bush. So I admitted defeat, bought a replacement and popped to my local garage. It took them less than 15 minutes! So there's a top tip...
Next step was to remove the old subframe. With the help of a tame race mechanic, the result is below!
The right side came down okay, the left not so, so we took off the trailing arm and really went to town on it. Part of the alloy bush insert ripped off in the process, but we sorted that.These things do corrode to the body after 20 years.
The rear of the car looks a bit weird now. The only troubles we had was one backing plate bolt decided to be circular inside instead of hex, so I had to drill it out. Fortunately the plate spins vertically after persuasion allowing room for the subframe to slip past. Another drama:
The T section of the rear brakes used to have a small connecting pipe that sharply bent towards the flexible subframe hose. Unfortunately whatever ham fisted mechanic had "replaced" this section had bent the pipe so much it's probable that the car had very limited rear brakes. So a new one is being made up before the subframe can go back on.
Slightly annoyingly, the subframe that is ready to go back on, is from a touring which as it turns out, doesn't have an exhaust mounting bracket like mine. But nothing that can't be fixed... oh and heat guns - my saying of that day - are very much under rated! Not quite as good as oxy torches, but still pretty awesome at persuading bolts off.
Trailing Arm and Rear Beam bushes
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After a lot of research, I've begun the much feared process of the rear bushes replacement process. I have a new set of trailing arms and rear beam ready for a disc conversion. So I bought a trolley jack and set about removing the rear beam. So I thought!
There's quite a lot to do, and a very good guide on the E30 bible, otherwise known as the e30zone.net for the trailing arm bushes and rear beam. In a nutshell, I need to take the exhaust off, disconnect the driveshafts, disconnect the propshaft from the diff, remove the diff, remove the trailing arms (possibly take the fuel tank out first), undo the brake lines, and then finally take the beam off...
In a couple of sessions I managed to removed the driveshafts (cable tied so they didn't dangle), got the exhaust off and disconnected the driveshafts. Not exactly lightning fast work sadly.
After trying a G clamp and getting nowhere, I tried the clever DIY tool method from http://www.e30zone.net/e30zonewiki/index.php/Replacing_Trailing_Arm_Bushes and after a visit to screwfix and £10 worth of tools, the result is below!
Basic tools, first time I've bought 'threaded bars', well worth it. I've gone through two already though so glad I bought a pack of 5. The nuts chew through the thread.
I'd drilled into the rubber which probably made it come out easier. Winding the bush out into the large socket, then jigsaw-ing the overhang, then pulling the rest out. Very satisfying to see the bush out after 20 odd years.
Then with the help of a bit of fairy liquid, the new bush popped in relatively easily. Chuffed to bits! 3 more to go though sadly...
So next step is then the other 3 bushes, then getting the diff off and the old rear beam. It's pretty chilly outside these days so I'm making slow progress on the weekends.
Mirror and rear beam E30 disc conversion
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Had my first project sponsor! Massive thanks to James Wallbank for his generous donation, and here is his contribution:
The new addition is a Longacre 17 inch mirror. It gives pretty good view all around the back of the car and to the passenger side front window!
Invested in some flame retardant padding, keeping with the colour scheme:
This is located anywhere my helmet might hit above, or my right leg. Not so much my ankle though, otherwise I'm ruuning out of room near the loud pedal. On the plus side, I now have a comfy arm rest.
Also this week:
So I bought a replacement rear beam complete with disc brakes, calipers (in great condition), pads, braided hoses and trailing arms. Only by dismantling the entire thing in the back of my Fiesta allowed me to single handedly take it out! Heavy stuff. So after reading countless rear bram removal guides on the interweb, I'm going one slow step at a time. Slow being the correct word...
I burnt, hacksaed, burnt, hammered, hacksawed and burnt again for good measure. The rear beam bush that bolts the beam to the car was going nowhere. So I gave up, went to B&Q and bought longer blades for my jigsaw. After 15 mins, the result was the below!
A bit of how powered jigsaw followed by ensuring I hadn't gone through to the beam itself, on both sides inside the bush, and eventually I was able to prise out the bushes that had sat quite happily in that beam for 20 odd years. I'll replace with original Lemforder ones to ensure the back end is not to stiff, rather than polybush firmness. These cars apparenlty don't respond too well to hardcore stiff suspension at the rear as traction becomes an issue, so I'm taking a recommended alternative route. I'm considering sticking to inboard springs rather than coilovers for the same reason.
Next up I'm ordering the replacements, plus the 4 trailing arm bushes. With thos in, I'll be ready to take the old beam off... very scary!
Race battery bracket
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Just a small update, I've finally secure the race battery with a fabricated bracket. I'm not 100% happy with it, but it's solid and secure enough to drive around roads for now.
I might give the roll cage turret struts a lick of hammerite or a spray of primer. Also thought I'd show the story so far, against how it started...!
Slow progress! But getting there. I'm looking at getting a rear beam with disc brake conversion after all, the beauty of that is to replace all that makes it worth replacing the brake lines (you need 4 for discs) plus the tricky suspension bushes at the same time. So that could be the next update.
The scary thing is, after than I need sports suspension, race transponder and 4 race tyres, and I'm done! Wow...