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March 2006

Suspension Overhaul

Last year I had a caution on the MOT for some play in the suspension bushes. Well I knew what the problem was (incorrect sized sleeves in a sperical bearing) so resolved to finally fixing the problem prior to this years test!

The problem comes from the adjustable track control arms using the sperical bearing and a pair of spacers to hold everything in place. The spacers are designed for a Sierra Cosworth (which uses M12 bolts) and not a standard Sierra (which uses M10) hence the play in the bearing.

There are a couple of ways I could have resolved this but I went for the most permanent solution and got new spacers machined by a local engineering company Anglia Precision Engineering 01733 703230 who did the work in a morning for me!

The next stage was fitting the new components the passenger side (which I had taken the faulty spacer out of) proved to be very easy and was completed in about 30 minutes. The drivers side well....

The drivers side has actually siezed the parts together so as you tried to undo the bolt you were turning the bolt, bearing and spacer as one. After a lot of frustration I decided to strip the panels apart and then attack it with a hacksaw.

So off came the front bodywork, brake pipes, all the rivets holding the ali sheeting to the car so I could finally get in with the hacksaw. To do the job you need to thread the blade through the chassis frame and finally I got the thing removed. When it was removed (2 hacksaw blades needed) it was apparent that the bearing had the sleeves fused solid to it so the only thing to do was to buy a new joint.

Of course in the middle of doing this I noticed that the chassis under the ali panel was happliy going rusty so that got treated to the full Deox get / primer / top coat work as well - so once that had all dried I finally put the car back together and then had the suspension alignment reset.