Can I remove and grease the shaft & bushings on the lower rear A-Arms without removing the whole suspension?

That's pretty much the whole question...

Can I support the suspension, and get the shaft out to check & grease it without total rear suspension disassembly?

Thanks -

Rocky

Original Post

I don't know. (But I have an opinion)

just by looking at a drawing, I would try.  

some thoughts;

Once off the floor and wheels removed, cut a 2X4 and drill so top end is attached to lug nuts and bottom resting on the floor.  I would hope the 2X4 would hold upright while removing inner long stud, then be a handle to assist swinging the bottom of the upright out of the lower arm.

I do see where the U joint might limit how far the lower upright is pullled out to allow the hollow shaft to be removed, but you should be able to lift up to reduce drive shaft angle.

NOW, how hard will it be to pull. the hollow shaft.   If it needs greasing, you can expect it to be difficult.   then poping the upper ball, disconnect the brakes and drive shaft so the upright can be worked on the bench

hub carrier lower S2 I6

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I have had mine out before, made new bushings (with the help of my buddy Wade Musil - S/N 4280) back in 2014.

We even put in a zerk fitting on the bottom of the shaft housing.

My guess is that the shafts are in good shape, but I am cleaning up the back end, and working the brakes, so it seems like now is a good time to take a look at it...

 

Rocky 

I've done it many times. Use a small floor jack to hold the assembly. Once the nuts are off you'll need a drift or something similar to drive the shaft out. Grease it up. The re-assembly is more difficult in getting things lined up. Holding those dust caps in place is challenging. 

I don't recall removing anything to do it. The brake lines are the thing to watch most. 

I could see making a center rod (in place of 22) that is just few thou's less than the arm spacing to hold the caps in place while swinging the upright back into the lower arm.  

then push the rod out with 22 once in alignment.

any ideal how much axial clearance in the stack of upright pieces "?"

 

(Note to self.   find a used long stud to make assembling rod)

 

The assembly is all very snug as it should be. You'll be using the floor jack to raise and lower the assembly while searching for alignment by whacking the shaft end (don't damage the threads, wood, aluminum hammer etc.) and holding things in place at the same time. It's not easy, but can be done with NO special tools.

FWIW, I used a wooden dowel to initially align the amazing number of parts (especially ensuring the coated washer aligns with the pin--15&18 in drawing above). Clamped it all together as I removed the dowel. Then I slid the assembly into position on the control arm and used the dowel to align the whole enchilada before sliding the shaft into place.

Installing Shaftxx

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WAY back in 2004 I purchased the greaseable shaft kit developed and sold by Pantera East. As you can probably tell, the grease flows through the lower support shaft, through the lower support shaft spacer, and directly onto the bushing surface. Seemed like a great idea after having to use a small sledge hammer to get the old shaft and spacer out.

Greaseable Shaft

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Rlee, you got lucky. Seized, unremoveable lower shafts are/were such a common problem, Hall and others once sold a specific kit to repair the damage from condensation. Because you had to use a Sawzall to cut clear thru one or both end of the assembly to r & r a stuck shaft!  In a few cases, a 20-ton hydraulic press could not move the rusted assembly and risked cracking the cast iron upright. Some seized and ignored lower shafts either broke the shaft end or the lower a-arm. Can you say, 'Deferred Maintenance'?

That modified shaft ass'y shown (Hall Pantera also sold them) has an 0.060" drilled passage and zerk on each end to deliver grease to the two lower bushings. The spacer also got grease distribution grooves. This size drilling does not weaken the shaft appreciably. Further drillings etc can be added to complete the change-over from OEM yearly disassembly & hand greasing  to external greasing. Mine is still working after 25 years.

Hi RLee -

Thanks for the great information and pictures.

Question for you - how did you separate the press fit tapered shaft on the upper Ball Joint from the Upright?

I don't want to tear up my upper A-Arm with a pickle fork...

Thanks -

Rocky

 

 

 

Tapered ball joint studs remove so ridiculously easy, I'm almost ashamed to admit it took me 30 years to find this out. You need a garage air compressor and an air hammer. You add a blunt shaft to your air hammer, get everything ready by removing the specific wheel/tire and loosening the ball joint nut (but don't completely remove it). Hit the usual pounding spot on the upright with a burst from  the air gun. The tapered ball joint shaft will be loose before you can get your finger off the trigger!

Works on front ball joints and tie rod ends, too. I have retired my 8 lb ball peen hammer.

rocky posted:

Hi RLee -

Thanks for the great information and pictures.

Question for you - how did you separate the press fit tapered shaft on the upper Ball Joint from the Upright?

I don't want to tear up my upper A-Arm with a pickle fork...

Thanks -

Rocky

Rocky, I don't have an air hammer. So, I made up a little turnbuckle thingy, reversed the nut,  and pressed out the ball joint. I may have rapped lightly on the upright to get the ball joint to pop out once under pressure.

Ron

Ball Joint Toolx

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Even though I don't have an air hammer, a regular old hammer and a block of wood, and rapid pounding will also separate the ball joints.

Getting the bushings out was another nightmare, but....  mission accomplished!

Progress is slow but steady!

Rocky

Question for you experts... 

I am having a little trouble – I thought I’d ask if anyone has a solution…. 

Got the bushings pressed in.  Drilled for zerks.

Now, I am taking some advice from some experts, and doing a trial fit of the sleeve, washers and endcaps, but….

- The sleeve I bought (slightly extended to eliminate the thin washers) doesn’t seem to fit (I am sure the small washers are removed) – the assembly is too long.

Now, here’s the wacky part…  the original parts don't fit either!  (I checked one sleeve, etc. on both sides).

          - SO:  Either I have to really smash everything together, or….. 

                    - shrink them in the freezer?

          - machine some material off the sleeve? 

When I look at the washers, I find one is .046” thick, and the other is .036”.  So my opinion is these are shims, not “fixed dimensions” and are chosen at the factory to give you the right endplay somehow….. 

          It is still weird that I can’t get the original parts together, though.

 Any thoughts or suggestions appreciated.

 Rocky

while not an answer from an expert, this is an opinion of a ex-?

Getting the stack of the 12s, 13s, (17s) and 19 back into the a/arm is neseccary, however having a thrust clearance (end play) is needed.   I have no ideal how much that should be.  (My WAG would be 0.005")   Doing a stack of the sleeve 19 (17s) in the upright with thrust washers 15s, making it flush on one end, should have it proud the amount of the clearance can be seen on the other end.

Or just get a bigger hammer to make it fit

 

rear lower arm stack r1

 

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The design of the rear upright pivot is such that to seal off weather, both o-rings in the stack must be compressed. So it may not be 'free play' that's causing your trouble. Those rather stiff outer o-rings must be squeezed a bit to get the assembly in between the lower legs but still keep water out. You do NOT want the system to just slip together! If they do, water can get in.

It's also incredibly easy to have the short locating dowel slip out of its hole in the thrust washer; if your washer(s) have a series of small dents in the bronze surface near the pin hole, they came from the washer being mis-registered during assembly. Note the bronze surface on the thick washer should be facing a solid surface; that's the function of the thin washers. Without them, the bronze side of washer should rub on the smooth surface of the upright.  When I tear miy uprights down, it takes pry bars and a 12" c-clamp to force the parts back together. ******* grease helps.

About the 

bosswrench posted:

It's also incredibly easy to have the short locating dowel slip out of its hole in the thrust washer; if your washer(s) have a series of small dents in the bronze surface near the pin hole, they came from the washer being mis-registered during assembly. 

Regarding the locating dowel bosswrench mentions, these are the thrust washers I removed during my rebuild. Obviously, the gorilla previously owned/worked on my Pantera only got one installed correctly. Anyway, the dowels that caused the damage were worn down to nubs and had to be replaced. So, I was VERY careful to locate the dowels in the thrust washer during assembly--grease and a big clamp for sure.

Thrust WashersLocating dowel

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bosswrench posted:

The design of the rear upright pivot is such that to seal off weather, both o-rings in the stack must be compressed. ...

Those rather stiff outer o-rings must be squeezed a bit to get the assembly in between the lower legs but still keep water out. You do NOT want the system to just slip together! If they do, water can get in.

. . it takes pry bars and a 12" c-clamp to force the parts back together. ******* grease helps.

I really appreciate sharing your experience and knowledge.   Please don't take my comments as a challenge or disagreement, they are just my thoughts actually just more of a rambling.

Over the years I worked devices requiring o-rings.  I have observed there are actually significant considerations to achieve a proper seal.   Over compression was a common failure mode that sometimes was caused directly be the designer.  The groove geometry, oring cross section and durometer not being totally compatible.

I recall one investigation into a "it is suppose too hard to assembly" where choosing a smaller cross section made assembly "normal" AND increased the operational time before leaks reoccurred

Me not being able to observe what seems to be the smallest component of the assembly causes me anxiety.   Just another of the details I wish I could put my hands on.  

Guess I need to take a benzodiazepine and try not to think about things so much

 

No problems here, JFB. I've idly wondered if those 40-yr-old o-rings have hardened up over time, but no one checked durometer on such things back in the day so we have no baseline. Modern repros may or may not be identical. They 'seal' by being squashed a bit between two flat, greasy surfaces- not exactly the best system.

I honestly don't know how they "seal" at all.

Water can get in through the center of the "cups", and It's not obvious to me that the O-Rings seamlessly mate to the machined surfaces on the bottom of the uprights.

 

BUT...  My problem was not due to water intrusion, it was due to the inability to get grease into the bushing / sleeve interface for 4 years - even though I thought I was...

 

Rocky

 

I am using the Pantera Performance Kit.

You drill the uprights and bushings, and the sleeve has a grease groove to route the injected grease around the bushing.

The sleeve is slightly extended to eliminate the need for the two washers that remove endplay.

Pictures are coming...

 

 

My system is a bit different. I gun-drilled the lower studs about 4" deep x 1/8" ID on both ends and put in zerks ala Hall. To grease both sides of the central spacer from this point to keep condensation & corrosion at bay, I drilled holes thru the spacer, grooved it and filed notches on both its flat ends so grease has a path to both sides of the spacer, the bushings and the long pivot stud.

Otherwise with this setup, grease has no clear path to both sides of the spacer, as it's ends ride hard against the end caps due to nut torque. The OEM spacer is the actual bearing surface riding in the bushings for the rear suspension, while the long stud is only a tie-bar for the assembly and doesn't move once tightened.

 OEM spacers are hardened high-carbon steel which is very sensitive to rust/corrosion, while the long shaft is low-carbon steel but still rusts every chance it gets. I have a couple of stock spacers that are so badly pitted, they would tear up any bushings I installed. The 'grease' was like brick dust.

So I made grooved, drilled spacers of 316 stainless to cure the condensation problem that corrosion-locks the ID of the spacer to the OD of the pivot stud. There also seems to be a lot of dead space inside the assembly- it takes quite a few slow pumps of grease to purge all the air out past those o-rings; pumping too fast might rupture the rubber.  So far it all seems to work fine- everything is nice 'n greasy on disassembly.

Here's some pictures….

Pantera Performance Kit and instructions.

Pantera_Performance_Kit

Picture showing upright drilled and grease transmission groove in the sleeve.  I verified that my hole in the uprights intersects the groove when the sleeve is in the proper orientation.

Upright_Update_Aug_2019 [2)

Picture showing the "stack-up" I used for assembly.

Drivers_Side_09_Aug_2019 [5)

Harbor Freight 8" bar clamp and floor jack.

 

Drivers_Side_09_Aug_2019 [7) [Large)

Viola!  Upper ball joint dust boot also replaced.

Drivers_Side_09_Aug_2019 [10) [Large)

On to the other side.

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