I've done about 50 miles in the last few days & there are no serious problems so far. There is a persistent knocking underneath which I saw today to be the exhaust hitting the front cross-member of the rear suspension. Also the usual knocking at the front from the shock absorber bushes being pegged in the (wrong) outer bottom holes. So a bit to do, but not too bad.
I had a look in the boot yesterday at the tool roll which I think I must have bought; I don't remember it being in the car when I got it. I noticed these items which I've never seen before:
They're extensions for the seat mounts, complete with longer screws. I'll certainly use these under the driver's seat as I like sitting a bit higher.
BOP's rear suspension requires a complete overhaul; some parts of it are badly welded & I wouldn't want to keep it like it long term. I have therefore been checking the suspension removed in one piece from Hazel recently. I replaced Hazel's with a totally refurbished rear set up a few months ago, bearing in mind how these parts need thorough inspection as noted elsewhere on this forum.
I was surprised to be able to punch holes through each bottom link (admittedly with a hammer & screwdriver), but there's a lot of noise inside from flaked metal moving around. Again, it shows how prone to deterioration these links are, together of course with the de-dion elbows (which in this case are fortunately excellent). The sections shown in the picture are those on the upper surface which are difficult to see; the lower surfaces are good. I'm hopefully getting some very good used ones so that I can get this part of the restoration done in the near future.
Moving onto the front; there was the usual knocking from the bottom of the shock absorbers. This was of course down to the previous owner putting the split pin in the outer hole, rather the the correct inner one. I believe the outers are there to put a rod in & enable the washer & bushes to be levered back, which is what I used them for.
All very crusty & I'll get some new bushes & shockers, but in the meantime not that much effort got things right & this knocking has stopped!
There was also some bad knocking from underneath, which was the exhaust banging on the rear suspension's front cross member. The front 'Y-pipe' was too low, so I jacked it up to slightly bend the bracket under the gearbox & re-fitted the other sections. The banging stopped immediately, so another quick result!
Some light metallic noise from the rear turned out to be the absence of the valance/wing fixings & the valance was clattering against the wing. I had some suitable spares & managed to stop this as well. Most annoying noises fixed for virtually no cost, except my 'enjoyment'.... I wish they were all like that!
It's been a while since I posted an update on here. I have driven BOP over the summer but it felt sloppy & I decided to rebuild the rear suspension like I have done with both Hazel & the 2000, which are both much sharper now (& probably safer).
BOP was over the pit & I noticed what I though was water under the back end, but it turned out that it had dropped most of the brake fluid out of the calipers, so it wasn't going anywhere! At least I was taking the suspension out, so what's a caliper rebuild whilst I'm on?
I got a bit of a shock when I had a good look at the previous owner's 'repairs' to both the off-side de-dion elbow & the leading part of the lower link:
I'm not sure the word 'repair' is relevant here . There was around 10mm extra width in the bottom of the elbow too, which must have contributed to the slop. At least some of the bushes were better than this (just a little...):
The new one is of course on the left of these 'before & after' top links!
BOP is now totally suspension-less at the back end. I am supporting it with axle stands & bars at the rear jacking tubes, with extra wood planks across the pit & up to the car's floor. I've also got an extra axle stand at each side just touching the back of each sill (just in case) & part of a tree stump under the rear sill as well. It's a lot of car to be overhanging!
I did notice a trace of oil on one side of the diff, so I'm replacing the differential seals as well. The front to rear brake pipe twisted a bit when I disconnected the rear end & it's a bit pitted, so I've taken that out, too! Might aswell do both rubber brake hoses at the back & the short fixed pipe to the n/s caliper whilst I'm on...
When I got underneath, the o/s bump stop mounting wasn't great, nor was the steel web in front of it, so both have been replaced.
I've scraped off the loose underseal & sprayed new 'shutz' all over, so that should keep it weatherproof for a while.
I'm looking forward to getting it all put back together, hopefully over Christmas, although the diff may take a while further to refurbish!
I know you can and do weld the elbow mounts but the MOT does state that high stressed suspension components in many cases should not be welded/ modified.
As a long time tester I can't believe he couldn't see that as it is the lowest point.
Look what can happen now when the MOT test gets scrapped and people put barn find cars on the road for a quick profit.
I've now got the differential drive shafts out & will remove the collars to fit the oil seals (no.59 on the diagram below). Please wish me luck - I don't expect it to be easy!
A hub-puller doesn't seem to work very well, but I've found a home-made tool for the job which I must have acquired from somewhere, so will try that when I've found a suitable bolt to go in it.
In the meantime, there look to be o-rings on the outer faces of the differential covers, which haven't come in the seal kit & don't seem to be available anywhere. They are the seals marked no.55 on the factory diagram:
No55 is just an ordinary "O" ring, so if the specialist suppliers don't stock them you may be able to match one up somewhere, or if the old ones are in good condition reuse them, they never leak from there. They usually stick to No62, so if they stay stuck they go back together easily.
For anyone that hasn't had rear brakes apart, this is what a caliper piston looks like when the seal is perished/worn & the fluid is leaking past it. Most of the brake parts have been removed from the caliper at this stage:
The actual piston is the lower left part that is wet with brake fluid. When I removed the caliper cover, it was full of fluid!
The offending article is the seal itself. When the piston is removed (with the help of an airline), they look like this from the side:
The edge of the new seal on the right is much more defined than the old seal on the left. That's how a tiny (& cheap) part can render the brakes totally useless!
Another interesting matter is that of the rear springs. AS with 'Hazel' my series 1 V8, I am putting uprated springs in the back, but am having difficulties that I don't remember having last time. The springs are around 20mm longer than standard free play noted in the manual & are a pain to put in. Even with the lower link as far down as possible (it's restricted by the amount of free play at the front end), I'm having to use spring compressors which is not easy in practice because they tend to foul other things.
They look to have the standard number of active coils (5 & a bit) but are just too long.
I do expect a ride height of about +20mm so in a way it makes sense, but this could be achieved with a stiffer/progressive rating. As I say, I can't remember problems on the other car.
This was the original ride height, so it will be interesting to see how it looks when I get it done.
I have now managed to get the springs & shock absorbers back in by using spring compressors. It wasn't too difficult when I put my mind to it .
& the rebuilt de-Dion tube has been fitted:
I'm going to put the drive shafts & wheels on next (the diff is incomplete as the differential drive shafts are at a friends getting their seals replaced). It does occur to me just how much force there is on the shock absorbers. Without the diff & drive shafts supporting the wheels, when the car is lifted the whole rear suspension's weight is carried by the shocks! I suppose this is the case with most cars, but it seems strange. Of course when the car is on its wheels, there is no such force on the shocks.