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Rebuilding the rear subframe


techboy
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On 4/10/2022 at 9:46 PM, kev said:

think you will make it to Carlisle import nationals?  

I'd really like to get the car there ... but I have serious doubts at this point.  I still want to do some work to the rear diff and I need to replace the bearings in the hubs that I haven't even taken apart yet.  Just very little time to work on it.  I may just come out in person though and be there.

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  • 2 weeks later...

Do the axles just pop out? I haven't tried to get them out yet. I'm draining the rear diff as we speak. I assume they'll just pull out.

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On 4/25/2022 at 7:50 AM, kev said:

They just pop out.  I use a prybar up near the lip against the differential.  It doesn't take much force.   

I do it that way too. Just be careful not to bend the dust shields on the axles.

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Reinstalling bushings and the assemblies back to the car body is best done by professionals who know the little tricks to helping them grip correctly and quietly. Some get grease on the inner diameter and some don't. It makes a big difference in the performance of the car. Done incorrectly and the bushings will slip around and contribute to sway like a large majority of the DIY'ers do. I chose to have pros finish my poly bushing assemblies and it was worth every penny.

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On 4/29/2022 at 12:58 PM, Tim_C. said:

Reinstalling bushings and the assemblies back to the car body is best done by professionals who know the little tricks to helping them grip correctly and quietly. Some get grease on the inner diameter and some don't. It makes a big difference in the performance of the car. Done incorrectly and the bushings will slip around and contribute to sway like a large majority of the DIY'ers do. I chose to have pros finish my poly bushing assemblies and it was worth every penny.

While I appreciate that advice ... there's no rear in my car, so I don't think too many pros are gonna be making house calls.  I was planning to grease them,  I did that on my GSX as well and haven't had any problems to date.

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You guys were right, no problems getting the axles out.  They popped out with little to no effort.  The axles don't look like originals to me.  I believe they were replaced somewhere along the line.

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If you look closely at the sticker on the them they say "Rockford Constant Velocity".  I Googled them and they are a driveline company out of IL.

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Those axles definitely don't look original. Even if there wasn't a sticker, they are way too clean. 

As for greasing the bushings I know there were specific ones that got grease on one side and not the other. Wonder if my old write up still exists ... 

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Seems the writeup is still there, but my links are broken. Link address does appear to still work if you copy/paste it into the browser. Maybe I'll find some time to fix that

Poly Bushing Install

Edited by psu_Crash
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On 5/3/2022 at 12:30 PM, psu_Crash said:

Seems the writeup is still there, but my links are broken. Link address does appear to still work if you copy/paste it into the browser. Maybe I'll find some time to fix that

Poly Bushing Install

Awesome!  Thanks Crash.  I'll definitely check this out when I get some time.

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This past weekend was all about the rear diff.

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Needed a lot of time with the wire wheel.

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When I was moderately happy with it, I hit it with some primer.

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Then I brushed on some Gloss Smoke Grey.  I used this on all my drivetrain parts on my Eclipse and it came out great and is holding up very well, so I figured I'd use it here again.  Looks much better.

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I need to order axle seals.  They appear to be in good shape and still supple.  I didn't tear them removing the axles, but it will just be easier to replace them now.

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Posted (edited)

I've since moved onto the lower control arms.  This is the first one I tackled.  Pretty grimy.

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That's better.

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Tossed on some primer.

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And now some coats of fresh paint.

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Now I gotta repeat for the other side.

Edited by techboy
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  • 5 weeks later...
Posted (edited)

I haven't updated this in about a month.  Honestly, I've been so busy with work, not much has happened in the past month.  I have off though June 13-17 so I am hoping a full week of 8 hour days in the garage and I should be able to get this back together - as long as I don't run into a.n unexpected problem.

Here's where I am at.  Memorial Day weekend I had a fire going, so I tossed in the rest of the old bushings

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I still need to clean them up a bit, but here's the sleeves all burnt off.

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I realized I never answered the question about the seized LCA bolt, I ended up taking it to a local shop so they could use a torch to get it out.  They did, but the threaded end got bent slight under the cherry glow, it's hard to see in the pic, but it's pitched at an angle.

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So, after doing what I could to save a measly 40 bucks I ended spending it anyway.

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I also ordered up new rear diff seal and a new bearing for the torque tube.  I think I have everything I need at this point, I just need to put it all back together and get the car back on the road for 2022.

ThdUBm.jpg

Edited by techboy
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Any progress is still progress! I remember fighting with that LCA bolt years back and being shocked at how much new ones were! 

I keep saying mine will be back on the road this year too. I never dreamed a "paint job" would take me 2+ years 

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I have to say, even thought of getting it back on the road is met with mixed emotions.  I still have a leak between the block and trans that I need to deal with that's been going on for years now that I can't seem to put my finger on.  So it's not like I'll just be able to drive off into the sun .... always something.

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22 hours ago, techboy said:

I have to say, even thought of getting it back on the road is met with mixed emotions.  I still have a leak between the block and trans that I need to deal with that's been going on for years now that I can't seem to put my finger on.  So it's not like I'll just be able to drive off into the sun .... always something.

I always have oil on the inspection cover if the trans.  I can't figure out why.  Back of block is dry and i have a new rear main seal (and housing).

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That can be a leak at the back of the valve cover too. It will run down and make it appear the rear main, housing or the trans is leaking. I recommend getting some UV dye for the oil. Then clean the snot out of it. Wait till dark, start it up and shine the black light. Found many leaks this way that were not at all coming from where I thought. 

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ya good call.  definitely not from back of VC, but I'll try that.  It leaks when just sitting there for months, not running.

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I mentioned in one of my previous posts I have off work this entire week, so I'm putting 8 hour days in out in the garage all week.  I took a lot of pics, so I got a lot action coming at ya all week.

This morning, I started by finishing up the rear diff and installing the new axle seals. I used a seal puller to remove the old seals.

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Both of them came out pretty easy.

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I didn't have a socket that was the same diameter as these seals, they are pretty big, and I didn't want to damage them, so I traced a seal on a piece of wood and cut it out quick on my bandsaw.  I used that to tap in the seal carefully.

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Here's a shot of one of the new seals installed.

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I then finished up by giving the diff another coat of the smoke grey paint since I had only single coated it before.

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Posted (edited)

Next up I turned my attention back to the torque tube to replace the bearing.  Here's the bearing:

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I first had to take apart the torque tube.  It you've never done it before, it's pretty easy, you just remove this nut and then use a plastic or other soft hammer and tap on the spline to knock it out the other end.

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This is what everything looks like apart.

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Here is the bearing we need to replace.  It's held in place with circlip as you can see.

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Pretty easy and straight forward to remove.

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I just used a spare length of pipe I had laying around in the garage to knock the bearing out.  Didn't take too many hits to band it out.  Here's the old and new.

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Before you press a new bearing in you want to make sure the surface your pressing into is perfectly clean, so I too some WD-40 and wiped this out real good and even gave a quick once over with steel wool.

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I actually used the same circular block of wood I cut out for the diff to tap this bearing in place.  Worked perfect.  Here's the new bearing in place.

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I didn't take a pic, but you obviously put the circlip back in place and the reassemble.  I then also gave this a 2nd coat of paint.

Edited by techboy
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Next thing I worked on today was the rear hub assembly.  These have been sitting on the ground since I removed the LCA bolts, but I hadn't touched them at all.  Today was my first attempt at taking rear Starquest hubs apart.  Learned a few things.

Let's start with what you need to rebuild these.  I bought all the bearings and seals for this job 3-4 year ago, heck maybe even 5 years ago.  It's been so long I forget where I got them, but here are the part numbers for outer and inner bearings, and the oil seals.  You need 2 everything to complete the job.

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Here are the hubs separated from the control arms.  Much like the TT, you're going to remove the nut you see below.  It's big, I think it was a 30mm if I remember correctly.  Your impact will take it right off.

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You then have to tap the spindle out the other side.  Here's everything apart.

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There was a lot of old nasty dried up grease down inside here.  Gross.  Probably been there 30 yeras.

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I used a wood paint stick to scrape it all out best I could.  It came out in chunks.

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You can then use a 12" extension or something similar and knock the bearing and oil seal out the other side.  Clean everything up and should look something like this.

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Here's the old bearings and seals out.

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Now we reverse the process.  Put the bearing in first and make sure you put the open side of the bearing INTO the hub.  Yout can't mess it up b/c Mitsu has a lip in there the bearing rests against once it's all the way seated.

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Repeat with the oil seal.  This takes a little bit more finesse to keep straight, but if you've done this sort of thing before you'll be fine.

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I then pulled out the wire wheel and started cleaning everything up.  My son is done with school for the summer, so I gave him the drop of painting them up.

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I forgot to take a final picture of them all painted up, but they came out great.

Now, the spindles.  So here's what I learned about them.  The outer bearing is pressed on and I could not get it off.  The SOS calls for a special tool.  I stopped by Autozone to see if they had something I could rent to get them off, but they did not.  They actually recommended a local shop about a mile from house that they said could do it, so I paid them a visit.  It was about 4 till I got there, so they couldn't do them today, but they said they could press off the old bearing and put the new ones on, so I left them with everything.  Usually like to do things myself, but I made an exception here b/c I didn't have the equipment to do it right.  I also dropped the brake dust shields off to be powdercoated.

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That's as far as I got today.  Tomorrow my goal is to start inserting the poly bushings and start getting subframe back together.

 

 

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I figured today if I was going to get the subframe back together I needed to start with getting all the poly bushings in.  So, first thing I did this morning was clean up all the sleeves from the brush fire.  Just ran them on the wire wheels and sprayed them down with WD-40.

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First point of attacked was the crossmember.

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I tapped the 1/2 sleeves in place first. I actually coated the outside of them with some clear silicone to help them adhere to the crossmember. I don't want them to be able to move or shift at all, so a figured a water proof adhesive would do the job.  I then used a thin coat of multipurpose grease on the inside of the sleeves to help the bushing slide in and reduce sqeaks. 

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Some light taps with the plastic hammer and it both sides went right in.

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Next, I moved onto the control arms.  These are the sleeves I burned the rubber off of, and the one bushing that comes with a sleeve in the kit.

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If you're familiar with this job, you'll notice there is one set of control arm bushings missing.  The reason for that is I didn't realize on some of these bushing you are supposed to leaves the outer sleeve in place ... when I removed the front control arm bushing I removed the whole thing and pretty much destroyed them in the process.  I only realized it when I went to insert the poly bushing and it was all sloppy.  After that, I was more careful to read the directions.  So, for the front the bushing I had to reorder a set of OEM rubber ones and press them in.  These are the outer sleeves I should have LEFT IN the control arm.  Don't make the same mistake as me.

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These are the OEM ones I pressed in a few weeks ago.  I had a difficult time finding these.  I may have bought the last available set.  Sorry.

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Let's get back to the poly bushings. Here are the rear lower control arm bushings.  This is the set that comes WITH new sleeves.  This is only bushing you DON'T reuse the sleeve.

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Thin coat of grease, no problems tapping these in place.

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Moving onto the outer bushings, where the hub attaches and the dreaded LCA bolt runs through.  Same process.

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Insert your old sleeves.

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I didn't mention this before, but for each one of these I have been cleaning out the bushing housing with my dremel and mild sandpaper flapper just to remove any debris, rust, and paint drips.

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Control arm complete with all new bushings.  Repeat process for other side.

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