Suspension overhaul

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Re: Suspension overhaul

Postby epipete » Tue 30.06.2015, 22:31

Grant wrote:Thanks epipete.
Yes, I am talking about the stud (#35). Sounds like you are suggesting splitting the top wishbone to remove it. Maybe I could then slide the stud to the right to remove the left side wishbone, and then slide the stud to the left to remove the right side wishbone, vs trying to remove the stud completely. Is this what you are saying?


Yep :D

If there is no play in the Stud (and that's most unlikely) then as Simon says why remove it. Any bushes that you might want to change are in the wishbones. Any rust you might want to treat should also be more accessible.

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Re: Suspension overhaul

Postby Grant » Sat 04.07.2015, 04:30

Thanks Pete, I'll give it a shot.
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Re: Suspension overhaul

Postby dapinky » Sat 04.07.2015, 22:27

Grant, I have replied on your other post before i saw this one - info is the same - it stays in place and the end bits come off! The raft needs to be removed to get the pivot pin out completely and it is very rarely ever necessary.
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Re: Suspension overhaul

Postby Grant » Mon 13.07.2015, 20:07

Well I have successfully gotten one side out, but no such luck on the other side. The bolt holding the two sides together is seized. Any tips, as it is really difficult to get a socket on either the bolt or nut, and I am afraid I am starting to round the nut using an open end wrench.
StuckBolt.jpg
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Re: Suspension overhaul

Postby dapinky » Mon 13.07.2015, 20:46

Grant,

It is possible to take the pair out joined together - not as easy as seperating them, but still possible.....

...if you undo both ends of the pivot bar then you can ease the bar forwards, slip the rear wishbone off, then ease it backwards and slip the front one off so they can be withdrawn together.

If you find that there isn't enough room to manoevre the bar to do this, then just by removing the rear wishbone arm it may give enough room to get a decent spanner onto the nut at the back of the offending bolt.

Failing that, the options are to either remove the shock/spring unit to gain access, or to get at it with a drill/grinder/dremmel and replace the bolt (which is worth doing anyway).

If for any reason you end up damaging the wishbone joining bracket, it can be repaired with welding as it is only a support bracket - and if all else fails I've got a couple of sets of old (but servicable) ones in the garage.
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Re: Suspension overhaul

Postby lotusflasherman » Mon 13.07.2015, 22:02

Grant wrote:Well I have successfully gotten one side out, but no such luck on the other side. The bolt holding the two sides together is seized. Any tips, as it is really difficult to get a socket on either the bolt or nut, and I am afraid I am starting to round the nut using an open end wrench.


I say to my son when he's taken my tools and not put them back "The right tools and the right technique makes a 5 minute job take 3 minutes, without the right tools it takes 5 hours"...

In my experience - generally there is much more friction on a bolt than the nut so go for the nut to undo. Cleaning up the threads first and applying a bit of penetrating oil helps too.
A set of dies to run up the thread with the correct one is a good way to remove rust, paint etc so once the nut is loose it isn't a struggle all the way, unless it's a nylock of course!

Never use an 'open ended' unless really necessary - if there are threads sticking out and a deep socket can't get on a 'crows foot' is better than an open ended.

When it comes to sockets - the man who invented bi-hex should be :smt021

Best sockets are those that load the faces, not the points - loading of points can lead to rounding of nuts, particularly with bi-hex. (Nothing wrong with having round nuts in the right place :lol: )

sockets.jpg


I've also found that having a mix of imperial and metric sockets useful - e.g. a corroded 13mm bolt can often be undone by banging on a 1/2" socket (12.7mm approx) - and if a 1/2" hex wont go on a 1/2" bi-hex probably will...

I've also got a collection of 'thin wall' sockets where I've ground the outside down to enable them to get into awkward places and a 1/2" square drive breaker bar that's 23" long and gets about 180 ft lb torque on a nut fairly easily.
Sometimes the bolts shear, sometimes the 'thin wall' sockets explode, but generally things comes to pieces without too much argument ...

If it doesn't a nut splitter is useful. I've got oxy acetylene which I'll use to expand a nut by heat when the component is in a vice on the bench but never use it for anything still on the car.
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Re: Suspension overhaul

Postby Grant » Mon 13.07.2015, 22:44

Thanks Dave and Phil. I'll give it a shot with those tips.

You guys are awesome!

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Re: Suspension overhaul

Postby Grant » Tue 14.07.2015, 02:37

Well it was a battle, but the bolt is out! I was able to slide the long stud to the right and then pull the left side of the wishbone out to get access to the back nut with a socket. Then it was jut a matter of muscle. Lots of it.
Thanks again guys!
image.jpg

Now to address the stuck bolts that attach the ball joints to the upper wishbones. The nuts came off easily, but the bolts won't budge.
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Re: Suspension overhaul

Postby dapinky » Tue 14.07.2015, 09:21

Grant wrote:Now to address the stuck bolts that attach the ball joints to the upper wishbones. The nuts came off easily, but the bolts won't budge.


That is (unfortunately) a very common issue with those bolts - they get very friendly with the balljoint housing and don't want to be parted.

I did it the easy way and replaced the balljoints (they were only £15 each at the time I bought them, but I believe that prices have reverted to stock list now, so they are probably a lot more.

The bolts are higher tensile units and the inner and outer are different lengths (items 20 & 23 on page 31.01 of the parts guide) - again, easily availlable to buy from a local supplier if you need (or decide) to replace them.

As such, I can't advise on the best way to remove them, but I expect it will involve penetrating fluid, heat and a hammer! Trying to drill them out is going to require a good drill and patience due to the material they are made from.
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Re: Suspension overhaul

Postby epipete » Tue 14.07.2015, 09:54

dapinky wrote:As such, I can't advise on the best way to remove them, but I expect it will involve penetrating fluid, heat and a hammer! Trying to drill them out is going to require a good drill and patience due to the material they are made from.


And very long drill bits! I had the same problems, lots and lots of penetrating oil and brute force, I'm afraid.
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Re: Suspension overhaul

Postby lotusflasherman » Tue 14.07.2015, 14:17

Grant wrote:Well it was a battle, but the bolt is out! I was able to slide the long stud to the right and then pull the left side of the wishbone out to get access to the back nut with a socket. Then it was jut a matter of muscle. Lots of it.
Thanks again guys!

Now to address the stuck bolts that attach the ball joints to the upper wishbones. The nuts came off easily, but the bolts won't budge.


I've got a big engineering vice on my workbench so I'd be putting a deep socket on the bolt head and using the vice to press the bolt out - the deep socket gives it somewhere to be pressed into. If I wanted to reuse the bolt I'd put a nut back on lined up with the end of the bolt thread as a 'protector'. When it's wound up full and still being obstinate a big thump with a big hammer might shock it out, rather than heat. Oxy acetylene is good for getting a lot of heat there quickly to expand the balljoint casting and not the bolts but I wouldn't be too happy about the service life of the balljoint cup and grease after that.

Be warned that using the vice as a press is similar to a taper breaker - lot of energy stored there and it can come free with a BANG. When it does the whole wishbone assembly may fall out of the vice so watch out for your toes...
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Re: Suspension overhaul

Postby Grant » Tue 14.07.2015, 19:18

Sounds like another fun battle is ahead of me, but it sure would be nice to get them out and replace them.
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Re: Suspension overhaul

Postby Grant » Thu 16.07.2015, 15:47

Well, I gave the vice a try and the bolts did not want to budge. Been soaking with PB Blaster (penetrating oil) everyday as well. Has anyone had luck hammering these out? Or would I be better off finding a machine shop to press them out?
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Re: Suspension overhaul

Postby RichardK » Thu 16.07.2015, 22:26

Guys,

NEVER heat up the ball joints (to release the seized bolts) with a torch - I had the same problem with the seized bolts through the top ball joint when I was refurbing my driveshafts. I asked the garage mechanic to try to remove them from the ball joint with a press - He used a gas torch instead. He was making good progress until the resulting explosive release of the metal cap left me deaf in one ear for about an hour and we found the metal cap embedded in the wall. By shear luck everyone was out of the line of fire......It would have caused serious injury or death.

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Re: Suspension overhaul

Postby Grant » Thu 16.07.2015, 23:04

Wow, I wouldn't expect the ball joint to explode, but I am hoping to avoid heat anyway so as not to damage the ball joints or boots. Hopefully I can find a shop to press them out. I am guessing I will have no luck pounding them out with a hammer either.
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Re: Suspension overhaul

Postby lotusflasherman » Fri 17.07.2015, 00:52

Grant wrote:Wow, I wouldn't expect the ball joint to explode, but I am hoping to avoid heat anyway so as not to damage the ball joints or boots. Hopefully I can find a shop to press them out. I am guessing I will have no luck pounding them out with a hammer either.


If the vice technique didn't work they must be really stuck. How hard did you wind it? I normally put a tube on the vice handle for extra leverage if it wont budge..
You could try a few big blows with a hammer but the bolts probably won't be reusable after that. Once they start to move and the 'rust bond' is broken it's not usually much of a problem.
If you haven't got replacement bolts I'd suggest you go straight to a shop with a big press rather than pounding them...
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Re: Suspension overhaul

Postby epipete » Fri 17.07.2015, 09:05

I'd imagine the rust is worst at either end of the bolt, hopefully the middle of the bolts are quite 'clean' - but I could be wrong.

Apart from using penetrating oil I also soaked it for a while in Phosphoric acid to breakdown any rust, I don't know if this helped but I did eventually get them out, it did allow me to remove the shims which in turn provided me with greater leaverage and accessibility; frankly though, given all you have done so far without any joy I think you might just want to replace the ball joint. £29 each from SJ Sportscars.
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Re: Suspension overhaul

Postby Brit-Car-Nut » Fri 17.07.2015, 14:39

Pete: I am surprised you didn't check the current Lotus price before suggesting SJs (or anyone else). The ball joints are only £19.47 each directly from Lotus.

Here is a basic breakdown of the parts he will probably need: I used the highest priced camber plates as a worst case scenario but included the part numbers and prices for the other sizes.

These are prices in the UK, before VAT and any other taxes or shipping charges. In the US they will be much higher because only a few companies stock M100 parts.

He might also need replacement Upper wishbone front halves since the bolts are hardened and not easy to drill or cut.

B100C0116F is the Right Hand and B100C0117F is the Left Hand (£88.32 EACH) and the rear arms are B100C0115F for £9.85 each

Inner bushes are C100C6003F at £12.52 each.

Upper Ball-Joint Parts.jpg
Prices from July Lotus Price Guide.
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Re: Suspension overhaul

Postby dapinky » Fri 17.07.2015, 15:30

Brit-Car-Nut wrote:I am surprised you didn't check the current Lotus price before suggesting SJs (or anyone else). The ball joints are only £19.47 each directly from Lotus.

I did say that I paid £15 each, but that they may have gone up (a bit!)

Brit-Car-Nut wrote:Here is a basic breakdown of the parts he will probably need: I used the highest priced camber plates as a worst case scenario but included the part numbers and prices for the other sizes.

The camber plates are really easy to make up yourself - it is only a square of 4mm steel (I used stainless for mine) with a carefully drilled 8mm hole - if you measure what your current camber is, there is information in the Workshop Manual as to how far the bolt needs to be moved (inwards or outwards) to achieve the correct angle of Camber - then centre-punch the steel plate in the correct place and drill the hole - if you want to be hyper accurate, you can get the camber exactly right, and not just within the ranges defined by the Lotus adjustment plates.

Brit-Car-Nut wrote:He might also need replacement Upper wishbone front halves since the bolts are hardened and not easy to drill or cut.

Yes, they are hardened, but an angle grinder will soon get through the heads to retrieve the wishbone.


Brit-Car-Nut wrote:Inner bushes are C100C6003F at £12.52 each.

Or you can get a set of Polyurethane bushes for £39.
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Re: Suspension overhaul

Postby Artaban » Sun 19.07.2015, 19:21

Don't want to hijack the thread but thought some may be interested in some (not all) of the bolts washers etc that have been replaced in my recent suspension rebuild.

Image

Getting near completion
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Off to Blink Motorsport near Oulton Park circuit on Wednesday to get all the alignment done.
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