Sunday, 16 August 2015

10th August 2015, More front suspension stuff.

When I was doing the subframe I thought the bottom arm ball joints didn't look too good so decided it would be worth having a good look at them after the Cotswold Show. It would also be a good opportunity to do the anti-roll bar as well.   This was another little job which turned out to be a good idea but getting them off proved to be hard work.  The two bolts that secure the steering arm to the bottoms of the struts were VERY tight and it took an 18" breaker bar with as much force as I could put on it to move them. They were hard work all the way to the end, one flat at a time. This was caused by the shoulder of the bolts being very tight, almost seized, where they go through the steering arms. Needless to say they went back nicely cleaned up and with plenty of copper grease!!

Next thing being difficult was the bottom ball joints where they fit into the struts. These had old style castellated nuts which were an odd non metric size with split pins.  One of the nuts refused to budge until I used a chisel start it but they finally came apart.  You can see from the picture the ball joints with the dried up grease that they definitely needed doing but had not developed enough play to give them away yet.

These have seen better days.
With the anti-roll bar off I found the ends inside the bushes where it goes though the bottom arms was also badly rusted and it had actually reduced the diameter quite noticeably so that bar went into the scrap bin as well.

"New" and nicely painted bottom arms and anti-roll bar went back on with the almost new polybushes I had saved from my old car.  I had the usual battle to get the bottom arms lined up in the subframe but a handy 2" ratchet strap pulled them in and sorted that problem.

With the front all back together a brief road test felt good so I called in at the local KwikFit depot to get the tracking alignment checked.  I thought it was off a little as the steering wheel was now slightly off-centre when driving in a straight line. KwikFit have a brand new very expensive specialised ramp system with a sender unit that fits on each wheel and links to a computerised display. All fantastic stuff but you have to tell it what kind of car its testing and the TR7 did not appear on its menu.  There is also no kind of manual option.  I spent about 10 minutes with the operator looking though all the makes and we eventually found Triumph cars listed under Rover and sure enough found the TR7 listed there. Only minor adjustment was required but they struggled to find a spanner to fit the TR7 steering arm nuts which proved to be a non metric size. No surprise there then!

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