Another trailing arm rebuild thread

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68ragtop
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Another trailing arm rebuild thread

Postby 68ragtop » Tue Aug 26, 2014 2:08 pm

So after finding 2 loose spindle nuts were causing part of the floating from the rear end a while back it is probably a good idea and time to do a rebuild on the trailing arms. Now I know the trailing arm bushings are shot, but I'm also suspect of the bearings with the load the loose spindles probably put on them. So as Doc kindly lent me his tools for the job a while back I thought I'd better put in the order finally for the parts. The bits I'm figuring I'll definitely need to order are:

- trailing arm mount kit with rubber bushings
- trailing arm shim kit
- spindle nuts and washers (as nuts were suspect and washers were missing, as were the split pins!)
- half shaft french locks (as mine are missing half the tabs after the work to get at the spindle nuts.)

Next up are the things I'm guessing I'll need to get as well
- bearing shim kit (or Doc should I just mix and match from the ones I pull out and the ones with your tools and leave you the leftovers?)
- Bearings - This post has the part numbers from Bazza http://www.australiancorvettes.com/phpBB/viewtopic.php?t=8690 but is it cheaper/easier to get them here or just pay the $80 to get the kit with all 4 bearings and seals from one of the corvette vendors (Amazon has all the bearings for $35, but shipping is another $30!)?

And stuff I'm guessing I can reuse in the rebuild:
- Bearing spacer
- dust shield and deflector

So guys, any thoughts or changes I need to make to the order list?

Cheers,
Aaron

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Postby Fissan » Tue Aug 26, 2014 2:45 pm

Hi Ragtop
Maybe hold off on your order till you have pulled the spindles incase the threads or bearing journals are knackered.
Go a shim kit but wouldnt be too worried about the spacers they are a non moving part and should not wear.
What condition are your uni joints like on the 1/2 shafts?
Hand brake hardware while you have access with the spindles out
Cheers Bruce

If you cant hear it before you see it..It's not loud enough!!

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Postby DOC » Tue Aug 26, 2014 6:29 pm

You have a very good selection of shims, If you cant nail it with what I gave you, Take a measurement and I can cut a few thou off your spacer. (Yes just trade shims) Bearings can be gotten at bearing houses all over Brisbane, yes they cost more here. But if you only need 1 or 2 , You'll be better off buying them here. If you wish to replace all 4, Yes just order them. But don't worry as much about price as you should about brand of bearings.
I didn't give you the tools to pull the outer bearing off the spindles.
If you need them, yell out.

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Postby 68ragtop » Tue Aug 26, 2014 8:35 pm

Unis seem ok. Gave em a squirt of grease while I was in there as they are old style with the nipples. Yokes in the diff have a bit of play but hopefully I can ignore that for now.

As for the spindles there was about 2mm of play on one from the nut winding out and that was what made me think the bearings taking the load might be an issue. Might just look at them while out first and buy local if needed. Yes thread could be better but will clean up whats there with Doc's die.

And all this may be moot anyway as Naomi just reminded me I should probably focus the cash on troubleshooting what the squeal noise in the engine bay is as she hits over 2800 rpm, and it aint a belt.

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Postby Ollie68 » Tue Aug 26, 2014 9:40 pm

Have a look at these guys, I use them a lot for parts and there postage is actual cost, not like ecklers etc.http://www.bairscorvette.com/c3suspension-trailingarm&hardware.html
There are also local suppliers but you do pay more but you can talk to them on phone cheaply.
I often use http://stores.ebay.com.au/American-Suspension-and-Driveline
Give Dave a ring 03 53313270 or email amersusp@bigpond.com and its usually cheaper than evil bay :o

:D
Ollie

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Postby DOC » Wed Aug 27, 2014 6:40 am

Well Naomi may have a point, Not that you don't need trailing arms and wheel bearing to get down the road as well. and not that wheel bearings or trailing arm bushing are a big dollar thing.
But you might wish to put out the biggest fire first.

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Postby Bazzas77 » Wed Aug 27, 2014 9:24 am

I bought the bearings local for $100 .

IMO if your going to all the effort to do it , get all new bearings.

Its not hard work just a bit fiddly :o :-x

Sounds like Doc,s got all the tools you will need as well. :o :D

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Postby DOC » Wed Aug 27, 2014 8:11 pm

Over the years, I've pulled my rear spindles many times, If only just to inspect and re-pack. Buy all new bearings? if bearings are good, there good.' if there 30 years old or brand new, no difference. If there good and repacked with quality Timken grease. There good.
getting the outers off can be a pain if you haven't serviced them in awhile.
Learned way back when I was an Apprentice, (My boss and his brother both had Corvettes) Keep your wheel bearings greased in C-2 and C-3 Vettes.

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Re: Another trailing arm rebuild thread

Postby Bazzas77 » Wed Aug 27, 2014 8:42 pm

68ragtop wrote:So after finding 2 loose spindle nuts were causing part of the floating from the rear end a while back it is probably a good idea and time to do a rebuild on the trailing arms. but I'm also suspect of the bearings with the load the loose spindles probably put on them.
Cheers,
Aaron


after reading that doc , you wouldnt just renew and be sure ?

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Postby DOC » Wed Aug 27, 2014 8:48 pm

No, First I'd pull them out and have a look.
Aaron gave them a tighten, then has been driving around for a couple months, not to mention a track day, (In which he boasts of speeds in excess of 150K's.)
So, In short, What I've learned of bearing, If there good, There good.
No if's, and's or but's!
If there good, putting in a new one just increases the chance of getting a bad one.

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Re:

Postby billet » Fri Sep 11, 2015 11:18 am

DOC wrote:Well Naomi may have a point, Not that you don't need trailing arms and wheel bearing to get down the road as well. and not that wheel bearings or trailing arm bushing are a big dollar thing.
But you might wish to put out the biggest fire first.



Has this squeal been addressed?
Straight up I thought exhaust manifold/extractor leak

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Re: Another trailing arm rebuild thread

Postby 68ragtop » Fri Sep 11, 2015 2:15 pm

1 year later and trailing arms are still not done. Have every single part needed now (and still have Doc's tools) and plan is to finally start aftre the annual Concourse on the 20.

Squeal was sneaky in that it was a belt after all. With the A/C belt missing the remaining belts were not enough to drive the water pump as the revs got up so started slipping. Adding a belt back for the non working a/c gave more tension betweenthe crank and water pump pulleys and stopped the load causing the other to slip.

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Re: Another trailing arm rebuild thread

Postby DOC » Fri Sep 11, 2015 5:43 pm

Your in luck as My trailing arms were done not all that long ago, BUT, I do like to re grease those bearings every couple of years or so. So one day I might need to borrow my tools.

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Re: Another trailing arm rebuild thread

Postby Green69 » Fri Sep 11, 2015 9:40 pm

Hey 68 !

Looks like that we are going to do our bearings at the same time! post plenty of pics and I will do likewise. Better to share ideas and misery !!

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Re: Another trailing arm rebuild thread

Postby riverracer » Fri Sep 11, 2015 10:30 pm

68ragtop wrote:Squeal was sneaky in that it was a belt after all. With the A/C belt missing the remaining belts were not enough to drive the water pump as the revs got up so started slipping. Adding a belt back for the non working a/c gave more tension betweenthe crank and water pump pulleys and stopped the load causing the other to slip.

i went thru that same procedure about a year ago trying to track down a squeal...
Speed has never killed anyone,
Suddenly becoming stationary that's what gets you.

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Re: Another trailing arm rebuild thread

Postby DOC » Sat Sep 12, 2015 7:13 am

Yes, Squeals, Squeaks and rattles drive us all nuts with these old cars !

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Re: Another trailing arm rebuild thread

Postby 68ragtop » Mon Jan 11, 2016 12:42 am

So after starting this thread in August 2014 I thought it was time I actually took a crack at things so I've finally removed one trailing arm. Basically I looked over some old posts on here and watched 2 or three Youtube videos to figure it out. Pics of some of the bits along the way are below. Click on them if you feel you need to see a bigger version.

Have accumulated a few parts over the past year. Some I'll need, some I most likely won't but better to have them there than be waiting on Australia Post!
Image

Put the car up on ramps at the front and jack stands at the rear to make access a bit easier. Once it was all up put another set of jack stands at the front just in case the old SuperCheap ramps are cheaper than anticipated. Now it was up the first thing I did is soak all the the nuts/threads I'd be attacking with WD40 for a few days prior to doing the work. Maybe thats the reason most of them didn't give me too much grief.
Image

Took at look at the body mount while the wheel was hanging down. No issues there as the 68s had solid mounts, so no rubber to perish!
Image

Taking a look in at the bushing can see a bit of rubber hanging off it so definitely time to change it. You can also see the shims in there. Now on a 68 there is no hole in the chassis to stick a split pin through to hold the shims in place. Instead you are supposed to feed the bolt through the hole in the enclosed end of the shims while they are in place. Must have been too hard for whoever last did it as they just fed the open end of the shims in and I guess just hoped the pressure from the bushing to the chassis would be enough to stop them falling out. :shock: Guess I've been lucky with that one.
Also note one good thing about the 68.. no reinforcing around the kickup meaning lots of room to get in at the pivot bolt for the arm.
Image

Under the car I have adjustible strut rods so no having to bother with marking where the adjuster cams are before disocnnecting them. However the next thing I found was that the nut holding the top of the rod had wound out and was only finger tight. Glad I found that now!
Image

Sadly I missed taking pics of the next few steps (I blame the 35 degrees it was out in my shed making me want to just getthings done as quick as possible) but basically in the order I did them they were:
Remove the rear wheel
Remove the hard line on the brake caliper starting with where it connects to the rubber line coming from the car. I used some old pipe fittings I had to plug things and prevent a lot of brake fluid cleanup. It woudl be a good time to look at replacing the rubber lines with braided but they seem to be in great condition so I didn't bother.
Remove the coller securing the end fitting of the rubber brake line to the trailing arm and back the fitting out.
Let off the handbrake seeing as now the car is in the air and remove the handbrake cable from the trailing arm. This had 3 steps, popping the end of the cable out of the lever from the brake, popping a collar on a spring out of it's fititng on the arm (of course it was old brittle 30+ year old plastic so it shattered as soon as I tried), and finally popping the cable fitting out of the front most mount on the arm.
Remove the two bolts securing the back of the caliper and remove the caliper from the arm. Now these two bolts were stubborn as hell but extra leverage on the spanner, and some rattling with an impact wrench solved that. A block of wood in between the the pads means I don't need to bother fitting things back in the bores later. The caliper could be left on and all this done on the bench later and maybe I'll do it that way with the next one, but it was a lot easier to get the leverage on the stubborn bolts with in in there unless you have a very good vise to secute the arm in. The other bonus of removing the caliper an dthe rotor is the arm will be much much lighter when you come to drop it out of the car.

Image
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Once the caliper was off I just pulled the rotor to stop it falling off later. The rivets must have been drilled out previously as it appears that park brake mechanism has been renewed at some stage. Also removed the nut at the bottom of the shock and the bolt at the top to allow it to be pulled. The bottom of the shock was stubborn coming off it's mount and finally gave way in a hurry leading to a lot of blood, a fair amount of swearing, and many many restorative whiskys. F( Good news is the rubber busings look good on the shock at least.
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A few healing days later I stopped swearing at the shed and headed back to the state I left the car. Started again by removig the bolt holding the strut rod to the arm and prying it out of the mount letting it just hang loose by the top mount.
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Next the spring. Rubber aren't perished but aren;t great either. I used the trolley jack under the spring to lift it up enough to put slack on the bolt. As I have a composite spring it has a metal plate at the end with a lip that was perfect for the jack to catch. I've read elsewhere about people using c clamps on the spring to stop the jack sliding when lifting it. I also have a softer spring than stock so it was relatively easy to lift the few inches necessary.
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Once the bolt was out I let the spring hang back down again. Now looking at the rubbers being chewed up in placed I'm thinking I should probably find some replacements. Nylock nuts were just used on the bolt too so a new nut is in order (or proper bolts with a castle nut and split pin maybe?)
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Next I supported the arm with the jack and removed the bolts holding the half shaft to things. Nice and easy as I did this a year back and used anti seize on the bolts when I put them back in. New french locks to go on when it all goes back together. Uni's all seem ok and will grease them before reassembly. Diff yoke has a bit of play but it's not something I want to tackle right now.
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Finally down to the last bit. Out with the split pin and the the nut backed off really easily. Tied one set of shims together with a twist tie so that could identify them as the outer shims when it comes to reassembly.
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Lots of room in a 68 to get a hand in there and slide the bolt out nice and smoothly :)
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Slowly pulled back on the arm and wiggled it back and forth and eventually it slid out. Looking in the frame it's nice and clean with no rust which made me happy. :-)
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Final arm out. Is reasonably clean so may just do a quick clean and a shot of satin black over the top before it goes back in.
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Bushing in the front was shot so glad I'm replacing it now.
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Good to see the split pin is still there unlike the first time I ever looked at them and found it missing and the nut backed out a few mm. The actual spindle assembly still feels ok, although not completely smooth as it rotates which makes me think the bearings may not have liked the loose spindle last time.
Image

Next step, working out how to replace the bushing and pulling the spindle to get in and look at and probably replace the bearings. Oh, and pull the other arm with hopefully less blood and swearing.

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Re: Another trailing arm rebuild thread

Postby Ollie68 » Mon Jan 11, 2016 4:54 pm

Good write up 68ragtop,
I've done a few sets of trailing arms and they are a unique beast.
Take your time and double check the bearing preload before final assembly.
Also I think ( and I will stand corrected ) the trailing arm shims have the open end inserted into the frame over the trailing arm pivot bolt and the large split pin goes through the solid hole. I'd drill a hole either side in the chassis to fit a correct split pin.
Well done :o
:D
Ollie

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Re: Another trailing arm rebuild thread

Postby Bazzas77 » Mon Jan 11, 2016 9:55 pm

Sounds like they used 69+ shims in the 68, as Ollie says drilling a couple of small holes for a split pin would be theasiest and safer way to put it back together. If you can get a drill in there ?

Oh and dont forget the bearing holders are left and right side fit only, ( not interchangable right Ollie?) :-x

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Re: Another trailing arm rebuild thread

Postby 68ragtop » Tue Jan 12, 2016 1:23 pm

Yeah I had 1 68 type shim (holes at both ends) and the rest were all 69+. Will be replacing them all with new stainless so may look at the drill the chassis option.

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Re: Another trailing arm rebuild thread

Postby 68ragtop » Wed Jan 13, 2016 12:55 pm

Bit of cutting with the dremel and the center of the bushing crush tube was ready to be pressed out easily. Measured the width of it all before the grinding began so that once the new bushings are in I can compare the width and easily work out if any shims need to be switched around.
Image

Problem is I don't own a press to push the tube out. No worries, a bench vise and a couple of correctly sized sockets were easily substituted.
Image

And looking at the way the rubber popped out and was chewed up and deteriorating it looks like I'm pulling them at teh right time.
Image

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Re: Another trailing arm rebuild thread

Postby Ollie68 » Thu Jan 14, 2016 10:29 pm

Bazzas77 wrote:Sounds like they used 69+ shims in the 68, as Ollie says drilling a couple of small holes for a split pin would be theasiest and safer way to put it back together. If you can get a drill in there ?

Oh and dont forget the bearing holders are left and right side fit only, ( not interchangable right Ollie?) :-x


Your not wrong Bazza, anyway it was a good way to learn and I've done two more for other friends as well :o all the correct way around :)
:D
Ollie

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Re: Another trailing arm rebuild thread

Postby ScottW » Fri Jan 15, 2016 7:44 am

Anyone know where I can source the right size split pin here in oz? I gave mine a wheel alignment the other week and added the stainless shims, but I can only find one split pin, and it isn't pretty...

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Re: Another trailing arm rebuild thread

Postby Bazzas77 » Fri Jan 15, 2016 8:11 am

I looked around for some of those XXOS pins but no luck, the american parts stores have them but I kept on forgetting to add them to the lists of stuff I was getting so I used stainless wire as a temporary hold. The wire is still on my 77 now .:)

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Re: Another trailing arm rebuild thread

Postby 68ragtop » Fri Jan 15, 2016 2:05 pm

If I end up leaving mine 68 style and not drilling holes in my frame I may have 2 spare in the next month or so (I think there were split pins in the stack of parts).

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Re: Another trailing arm rebuild thread

Postby 68ragtop » Mon Jan 25, 2016 9:57 am

Well no split pins in the parts stack sorry.

Next question for people out there. The two rear discs could do with a skim. Now is it ok to take them to someone now while they are off or get them done on the car once everything is back together?

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Re: Another trailing arm rebuild thread

Postby Trudgeo » Tue Jan 26, 2016 5:28 am

Hey Azza,
You CAN take them off and get them skimmed, but I would clean the HUBS really well and the back of the discs mounting surfaces and get them ON CAR machined myself.......for a true runout machine! :) :o

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Re: Another trailing arm rebuild thread

Postby Ollie68 » Wed Jan 27, 2016 8:21 pm

A)
Pay special attention to any run out on the discs as they can pump air into the callipers if there is any run out at all.
Go with on car machining or shim the disc to reduce any run out.
:D
Ollie

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Re: Another trailing arm rebuild thread

Postby 68ragtop » Sun Apr 10, 2016 8:29 pm

Well 2 and a bit months later I found a bit more time for this today. Pulled the park brake hardware off the arm. One drum shoe has cracked a bit so might just replace them. Next tried separating the arm and bearing carrier through the use of a block of wood and a big hammer. worked fine for the left but the right side is good and stuck. Not made easier by a bit of tennis elbow style nerve damage recently meaning I can't use my normal right hand to grip the hammer or anything else heavy. But at least it's progress. Now can at least clean up the 1 bare arm to get ready for a paint and find someone to press out the bearings from that carrier.

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Re: Another trailing arm rebuild thread

Postby 68ragtop » Tue Apr 12, 2016 9:41 am

Next challenge. The rubber has nicely separated from both the inner and outer metal bushing casing so it popped out nicely on both. What is not so nice is the inner bit (right where the new ones want to sit) seems nice and firmly attached to the trailing arm in a surface rust kind of way.

Recommendations on best way to get this out so it can be cleaned up and the new complete bushing dropped in? Cutting? A big hammer and a drift? Find someone with a torch to heat and loosen things a bit? Soak in WD40?

Image

Or do I just abandon the rubber bushings I have and get some poly ones that I can separate and fit into the existing leftover bits?


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