Rebuilding rear swing arms

Started by MPlayle, May 24, 2023, 09:08:08 AM

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MPlayle

Background: I have been diligent about lubing the suspension on my Mini Van since I got it, but the prior history is unknown.  On the recent Ozarks drives, I got suspicious about the overall condition of both the front and rear suspensions.  (I already had determined the front ball joints were going to need addressing before too long.)

The plan: I am going to rebuild both the front and rear suspensions.  For the front, I am going to put in new rubber cones, new knuckle joints, rebuild the upper arms, replace the ball joints with the "maintenance free" kind, and replace the shocks.  For the rears, I am going to put in new rubber cones, new knuckle joints, new shocks, and rebuild the swing arms.  I am also going to reset the front toe as it has a little too much toe out as evidenced by tire wear on the inner edges from the spirited driving in the Ozarks.

I have ordered the parts I will need including the rebuild kits for the front upper ams and rear swing arms.

The rear swing arms come with a bearing for one end and a bronze bushing for the other.  I know the bushing needs reamed to fit.  I have been told by Dave that Dan has a special made tool for that job and he might be open to loaning me the tool.

The questions: During reading up on the process for the rear arms, there was a notation about certain years having bushings at both ends and I seem to recall someone mentioning that some years also had bearings at both ends.  Does anyone know background details and if I could go with bearings at both ends?  Also, I have extra pare bearings for the front arms - are these the same as the bearings for the rear arms?

My thoughts: I could save the reaming process by going with bearings at both ends and possibly use some of the spare bearings I have if they will work (are the correct size).

Comments?



Tim

The bushed hole is a different diameter to the bearing hole in the rear arms.  Also, the front bearings and rear bearings are different sizes.  The bearings that come with the rebuild kits are offshore no-names typically.  You can order quality ones locally.  I'll look up the bearing number once I'm home and let you know what I bought for mine.  They were cheap enough and I know they won't let me down.

Tim

Scargo

My only comment is, luckily you can probably pick up all the parts needed for your "Suburban" from your local Chevy dealer.

MPlayle

Started some of the tear down today while waiting for the parts order to get out of FedEx customs hold.  It seems anytime an overseas order has the word "kit" on the parts list, customs wants a complete detailed list of the "kit" contents and itemized costs of the order.  They are also "lazy" about processing the information when they get it as apparently MiniSport provided it on Friday and I provided it on Saturday but as of today it was still "on hold" pending the information already provided.

Back to the teardown: Car is up on stands, wheels are off, got the steering rod ends loosened to adjust toe-out when I get the rest of the front finished, got the rear shocks out, got the rear trumpets/cones/knuckle joints out (came out all as one unit well stuck together).  I had to struggle with separating the cones from the trumpets and knocking out the knuckle joints.  Thankfully I still had a long steel rod to run down the trumpet to use to knock out the knuckle joints after letting them soak in penetrating oil for a bit.

Next is to review the Haynes manual for how to remove/disassemble the rear radius arms.

MiniDave

Don't do it if they don't have play/wear in them, just grease them up and call it good.
Complete failure at retirement

1989 Cooper Racing Green
2009 Clubman S
2014 Audi Allroad

MPlayle

What I don't know is how to tell if there is play/wear in them other than taking them apart and visually inspecting them.

How do you determine if there is play/wear?

MiniDave

Unhook the shock, let the arm droop too take the spring tension off and grab the end and try to move it in and out and see if there is play in it. Move it up and down and see if it moves smoothly.....
Complete failure at retirement

1989 Cooper Racing Green
2009 Clubman S
2014 Audi Allroad

MPlayle

Thanks!

I already have the shocks and springs out.  I suspected needing new springs and found I definitely need new knuckle joints in the rear - rubber dust covers had pulled loose and the ball of the joints were dry and what little grease was present was dirty.  (I haven't yet inspected the cups as they are still in the radius arms.)


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