Trailing Arm Bushings Bolt Right In...

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Tom Wells
Posts: 468
Joined: Fri May 08, 2015 7:34 pm

Trailing Arm Bushings Bolt Right In...

Post by Tom Wells » Sun Nov 05, 2017 2:17 pm

When I was under the car prior to the Reptile Roundup tightening bolts and inspecting things, I found the Jaguar IRS trailing arm bushings were beginning to crumble. After 37K miles, not unexpected for even the best (Pete and Jakes) plastic bushings.

So I thought, when we get back, I'll replace them. It'll be simple. They will Bolt Right In. You know the punch line: WRONG!

First, I e-mail Fred the builder to ask if he would identify the parts or at least a source. As usual, he didn't respond. He doesn't answer the phone either. Maybe I should switch deodorants?

After we return, I think I'll just remove the arms, measure the bushings and order some.

First, I find the front bolts won't come out until I move the sidepipes:
ArmFrontMountWeb.jpg (601.26 KiB) Viewed 812 times

So I remove the pipe hanger bolts and loosen the three collector bolts to get the front trailing arm bolts out. Then I remove the bushings, find the dimensions and connect to Energy Suspension's web site. I locate bushings and sleeves that seem to match the measurements and order a set of four. They are due in next week, but I'll probably be in Georgia visiting family when they do arrive...

While examining the remains of the bushings more closely, it looks like they came from Pete and Jakes, but I've already ordered from Energy, so what the heck. They'll work fine.

I decide to take the rear bushings out, as it looks like all I need to do is remove two bolts.

Wrong again, of course.

A closer look reveals that the outer end of each bolt, the head, is trapped between the wishbone and the hub. So the lower pivot shaft of the hub has to be removed, and the hub rotated out of the way:
AllApartWeb.jpg (630.47 KiB) Viewed 812 times
AllApartWeb2.jpg (598.95 KiB) Viewed 812 times
Just jack up the rear, remove the wheel (after removing the spinner) and then remove the hub pivot rod.

While removing the driver's side trailing arm bolt, I find it was too short to make the Nylock secure. So here we go again: buy a bolt that's too long, shorten it, then cut the head to 1/2 thickness because it will interfere with the hub pivot if I don't. Just the usual extra work (Bolts Right In!) Thank goodness for the Dremel and its reinforced metal cutoff disks.

As you can guess, the fun isn't over yet. After removing the trailing arms, it looked like the ends were different front to back. Sure enough the front is wider than the back:
Trailing Arm Width Web.jpg
Trailing Arm Width Web.jpg (392.3 KiB) Viewed 812 times
And the sleeves that fit inside the bushings are different widths:
ArmSleevesWeb.jpg (512.06 KiB) Viewed 812 times
This means that when the new bushings and sleeves arrive, the back ones need to be narrowed about 3/16 of an inch. Then maybe the thing can be reassembled.

The new parts should arrive this week, so I'll update the thread if/when I figure out whether the parts are the correct ones, and modify them to fit if they are...


Tom Wells
Posts: 468
Joined: Fri May 08, 2015 7:34 pm

Re: Trailing Arm Bushings Bolt Right In...

Post by Tom Wells » Sat Nov 18, 2017 9:47 pm

Well, the flu bug put me out of commission from Monday to Thursday. I tried to work Thursday, got 1/2 hour in and deflated - couldn't go any more.

Friday was a better story: I got the thing done.

Here's a better idea of where the rear trailing arm bolt is supposed to go:
TrailingArmBoltLabeled.jpg (1.74 MiB) Viewed 740 times
First, the new bushings and sleeves were the correct ones. I used the 1/2" bolts clamped in the vise to hold the sleeves while I cut them off with a Dremel. Then slid the bushings on and cut them with a very sharp stainless knife. Having the vise hold the pieces was the key to getting a flat cut - almost like having a lathe (how much would a small lathe cost anyway?)

Then the arms were bolted in place at the rear first - the front didn't line up and tried to go on as if the bar was twisted - which it wasn't. Raising the wishbone with a jack changed the arm's angle enough to allow the plastic hammer to tap (or was it whack?) it into place.

Put the exhaust system on, installed wheels and tires and took off for Starke to look at the FIRM's track, a round trip of 130 miles give or take. Car ran fine except the exhaust system rattled, so tomorrow I get to loosen the 5 bolts per side, wedge the pipe away from the frame, and retighten each sidepipe starting from the collector at the front instead of from the rear as I did yesterday. Live and re-learn, I say :-s

Saw Ken there; later found out his engine blew on a run after my visit. I'll let him tell that story. The photo he sent showed a large lake of oil being approached by a fellow with a large bag of Kitty Litter or other brand of oil absorbent. I guessed he'd need to go back for more. Ken now has a reason to build a bigger engine says the spinmeister \:D/


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