24/11/11 - Removing the shock
So its slowly onwards with the work. Those of you who what the forum will have seen me comment on the problem of corroded bolts and difficult access. The most challenging in a suspension upgrade is the bolt at the top of the rear shocks. This is left in the mud and muck and suffers the constant pounding of the suspension. Typically its rusted in place and the inner steel bush sleeve is cold welded to the bolt through the impact.
When I first "tested" the bolt on the drivers side, there was no movement, so I have been soaking it every day with various penetrating oils. Tonight I decided to "go for it!"
This shows how difficult it is, this shot is taken by placing a small camera inbetween the chassis rail and the body!
The only spanner/socket I could get in the gap between the bolt head and the brakepipes/fuel tank is a dreaded Ring Spanner, just ripe for rounding off the bolt head!
With lady luck smiling on me I applied some weight and slowly slowly off it came. I was really surprised that there was no difficulty with the bush sleeve being stuck to the bolt. Once I got the whole thing off I could see why, there was not sleeve at all!!
Now its impossible for a sleeve to fall off and there was no evidence of any sleeve at all. The shock bush just rattled around on the body of the bolt. That will explain the noisy suspension, however I find it hard to understand how this has passed the MOT year after year as the shock top is completely loose on the bolt and they should check for "worn bushes" shouldn' t they!. I have had the car for a good few years and I therefore wonder how long its been like this. The good news is that becuase the sleeve is not there, I therefore had no problems with it rusting onto the bolt!
At this point the axle dropped down and I could take the spring out of the other side, here is the left, next to the right. They are both 3" lift springs, you can see that the drivers side(left in the picture) has sagged more than the passengers (right in the picture)
Now I can see the true damage to the axle, the top Radius arm mount is completely ripped apart
Just the shock the other side to remove and the axle will be free to start being repaired.