Each year our area at the SOC attend the restoration show, and each year we take on a project in a day. We find from our area a job that is needed on one of our cars and that is what we work on for the day. In previous years we have renewed the soft top and worked on the seats, this year we took on replacing the rear sub-frame mounting bushes. Tony and I were lucky enough to not just to have our car the one chosen to be worked on but as I love to work on our car and enjoy learning how to do all the new jobs – the suggestion was made that I would do the work under the instruction of Bill and Paul (our experts).
We took the car over on Saturday to set up the stand and get the car up on the axle stands all ready for work to commence on Sunday.
Sunday – best get the overalls on then!!
Then we got started, wheels off first, didn’t really need to take them off but it gave the folks that came to have a look at what we were up to a better view.
Quite early in the day while I was cleaning off the under-seal from the bolts, (you need to do this before you try and undo them as you can’t really get a spanner or socket onto them correctly) a couple arrived on the stand from Canada!! Tarn asked Lesley where the people who do the Stag Owners Facebook page were and was pointed in my direction – thats me on my knees! It was great to meet Tarn and her husband, she has been a regular on our page since we started it just over year ago, it is wonderful to meet friends from Facebook especially when they are from other parts of the world. Tarn is going to be doing the same job on her car so was interested in how it was going.
So on with the job, now I had 2 expert mechanics helping me with this job – and as we are working with the rear suspension it’s really important to work safely so we had the car firmly on axel stands and had the trolley jacks under the subframe arm so we can lower then under control when the time comes to remove the old subframe mounting bush.
So heres some of the highlights from my day as a learner mechanic!! – Not all the steps we did are here and there may be some terms that I don’t get quite right but these are not instructions its the parts I remember from the day (and what a day it was!!) – get yourself an expert or manual if your taking this on.
First as I said, clean all the nut and bolt heads to get them nice and clean so you can get the socket cleanly on them before you try and undo them. I was surprised that I managed to crack them myself (just give the spanner a little gentle tap with a hammer if they are a little stiff).
The bolt on the anti vibration strap can be undone, the bolt nut on the bush itself needs a helping hand inside the car to stop the top of the long bolt from turning as I undo the nut. Once they are off I can then take out the 2 small bolts that hold the bush to the subframe, will need a socket and spanner here as need to hold the nut on the top still with a spanner whilst undoing the bolt with a socket. – Now heres a tip from Paul, when undoing these 2 bolts about half way it got really tight to undo, this is where the exposed thread on the bolt is now coming through the nut and all the dirt on the thread is now clogging up inside the nut and causes it to be really hard to turn. So just reverse and tighten the nut, once the thread is exposed again (above the nut) give it a good spray with WD40, then reverse again and begin loosening again. Its still a little tight when we get to the “dirty” part of the thread again but better than before – and this time I can get the nut fully off. (if its still tight or won’t undo – just repeat the process) – good tip!!
Next Paul and Bill took the lead to lower the subframe arm so that we can get the old bush out and the new one in. The long bolt needs to be removed that goes through the bush from inside the car, as the hole under the seat is quite small thats when a telescopic magnet comes in handy!!
All the old parts that we will re-use are cleaned up, get all the dirt and old under-seal off and spruce up with a wire brush. All the bolts are given a smear of copper ease, and the new bush – just to help it slid through the hole it fits into.
The new bush goes into place and then the 2 small nuts and bolts on either side hold it into place (all the nuts were checked for tightness by Paul after I had done them up – need to make sure that they were tight enough but not over tight)
The long bolt needs to go into place – including all those huge washers that fell out when we removed the old ones – make sure you take note where they come from and put back in the same order. This takes many hands, one inside the car to thread the bolt down through the hole, one to check that the bolt is coming down through the washers and new bush, and lastly one to jack the subframe arm back up so that the bolt will locate through the bush enough to get the nut on the end of the thread.
So all that done the strap is located too and then nut located on the strap and subframe, and there you have it the new one is on!!
Paul then sprayed Dinitrol on the bush, nuts, bolts and all round to protect all that new metal against the elements.
So one side done, we moved round to the other side and repeat!!!
I had a wonderful day, Tony (the other half) and I have done a few jobs on the car and enjoy learning about how to maintain these wonderful cars. The guys at the club are so helpful and supportive to us, happily passing on the knowledge to us learners!! Bill and Paul thanks for a great day!
PLEASE NOTE – these are NOT instructions on how to undertake this job just some pics and words of our experiences, always consult professionals when undertaking any repairs or restorations. (please refer to the disclaimer on our about page)