Author Topic: Suspension & brake rebuild - what else should I be doing?  (Read 238 times)

Offline ckwilliams

Suspension & brake rebuild - what else should I be doing?
« on: August 22, 2019, 02:10:57 PM »
Hi all, I'm in the midst of rebuilding the suspension and brakes on my 1991 JDM 1275. I'm replacing the shocks and springs, replacing the wheel bearings, replacing the original tie bars and control arms, adding new brake lines, and switching to smaller rotors so I can run 10" wheels.

Are there any other common repairs in this area that I should be doing while I've got everything else apart?

I just found that one of the gaskets on the right rear radius arm is disintegrating so it looks like that will be coming off for a fix also. Any ideas if this gasket is a standard size (available locally) or wait on it to get here from the UK size?

Thanks in advance for your advice!!

Offline MiniDave

Re: Suspension & brake rebuild - what else should I be doing?
« Reply #1 on: August 22, 2019, 03:53:03 PM »
If you're going to remove the rear trailing arm brackets, you probably should go ahead and remove the trailing arm itself, so you can check the pin that goes thru the arm, if it's rusty or shows damage from the needle roller bearings inside you need to rebuild it - the kits are not expensive and they include the seals and bearings that go on either end. The tricky part is that when you replace the bronze bushing that one end of the pin rides on you have to ream it to fit the pin, and to do that requires a special tool.

But, there's not much point in replacing the seal and not checking to see if the bushing and bearing are ok.

You say you're replacing the springs - are you installing new rubber springs or something else?

If you're doing regular rubber springs you need to remove the upper control arms, those also have shafts riding on roller needle bearings....if you find any wear in those you should replace them too - again the kits are not expensive from MiniSpares in England.

Pics are always welcome to show us what you're doing.
1989 Cooper Racing Green
2009 Clubman S
2004 Audi Allroad 2.7 TT

Offline ckwilliams

Re: Suspension & brake rebuild - what else should I be doing?
« Reply #2 on: August 22, 2019, 04:08:55 PM »
Thanks Dave. I'm taking out the old Mini Sport springs and installing new springs and hi-los. The old springs look like they've been in there a while and were not real effective. I decided against going with cones due to the Vegas weather and its effect on rubber.

The upper front arms are also on my list to rebuild. Any trick to reaching the inboard bolt that holds the plate on the shaft going through the arm? It seems like it should be a simple removal but I'm finding that to be wishful thinking.

The inboard seal on the right radius arm is the one that's about gone. I'll double check the bearings when I get it out. Hopefully they will be in decent shape.

I'll work on getting some photos taken. The photos won't show much progress unfortunately with the way things have been going with the project. (Two baby steps forward/four giant leaps back). It seems like the car likes to fight me every step of the way.

Offline MiniDave

Re: Suspension & brake rebuild - what else should I be doing?
« Reply #3 on: August 22, 2019, 04:16:59 PM »
Those upper control arm nuts and bolts are a PITA, no question. I think you can get them from below the car, from the front, with a long extension. The little 1/4" bolts are fun to get started again, the lower one has a nut so I do that first, then the big nut then start the inner one before I start tightening anything.

Which springs, the red or the blue ones?

I had them in my Clubman Estate, tho mine were black....the reds are the stiffest, the blue the softest, and the blacks were supposed to be somewhere in the middle.
1989 Cooper Racing Green
2009 Clubman S
2004 Audi Allroad 2.7 TT

Offline gr8kornholio

Re: Suspension & brake rebuild - what else should I be doing?
« Reply #4 on: August 22, 2019, 04:23:56 PM »
If you need a set of red springs and hi los Iíll make you a great deal on the ones I took out of my mini.  They were too stiff for daily driving.  Iíll look on eBay for the place I got the tools for the rear arms.  Has a bespoke rod for pushing out the old bearings and an adjustable reamer along with new rods and bushings.
I am the GR8KORNHOLIO! Are you threatening me?

Saussie Aussie 1965 Australian MK1 Mini.
"Beavis" - 07 MY/MY MCS, B/MY Konig Daylites, JCW sideskirts, TSW springs, TSW lower rear control arms -- Exploring the country with new friends since 11/09.

Offline gr8kornholio

Re: Suspension & brake rebuild - what else should I be doing?
« Reply #5 on: August 22, 2019, 04:28:44 PM »
Hereís a pic of item. Cant or donít know how to link cause I have the eBay app.
I am the GR8KORNHOLIO! Are you threatening me?

Saussie Aussie 1965 Australian MK1 Mini.
"Beavis" - 07 MY/MY MCS, B/MY Konig Daylites, JCW sideskirts, TSW springs, TSW lower rear control arms -- Exploring the country with new friends since 11/09.

Offline MiniDave

Re: Suspension & brake rebuild - what else should I be doing?
« Reply #6 on: August 22, 2019, 04:30:42 PM »
I'd like to see that link too....that looks like a pretty good deal to get the reamer and the tool to remove the bushings.
« Last Edit: August 22, 2019, 04:33:59 PM by MiniDave »
1989 Cooper Racing Green
2009 Clubman S
2004 Audi Allroad 2.7 TT

Offline gr8kornholio

I am the GR8KORNHOLIO! Are you threatening me?

Saussie Aussie 1965 Australian MK1 Mini.
"Beavis" - 07 MY/MY MCS, B/MY Konig Daylites, JCW sideskirts, TSW springs, TSW lower rear control arms -- Exploring the country with new friends since 11/09.

Offline ckwilliams

Re: Suspension & brake rebuild - what else should I be doing?
« Reply #8 on: August 22, 2019, 06:18:21 PM »
Dave: I'm putting in the reds with the standard height ProTech shocks. The plan (ha, ha, ha) is to be able to dial them in a bit to get the best balance of ride stiffness. The roads around here are pretty good so the ride shouldn't be impossible to dial in. The springs I pulled out were black, but they were older and weren't real responsive. It may have been the old shocks (mix of ProTech on rear and Gaz on front, both sets worn out) and/or the springs that caused the issue. The old springs are larger than the new ones with a little less than 1/2" difference in height.

gr8kornholio: Thanks for the link. I'll definitely give that a look if I need to rebuild the arm. Wish it had a quicker shipping time though. Unfortunately, I've already picked up a set of the springs.

Offline gr8kornholio

Re: Suspension & brake rebuild - what else should I be doing?
« Reply #9 on: August 22, 2019, 08:07:46 PM »
Yea he was away when I ordered mine also. And I already had the repair kit. Well at that rate I could loan you the tool, shouldnít cost that much to mail it to you. Also Iíll try and find my other repair kit.
I am the GR8KORNHOLIO! Are you threatening me?

Saussie Aussie 1965 Australian MK1 Mini.
"Beavis" - 07 MY/MY MCS, B/MY Konig Daylites, JCW sideskirts, TSW springs, TSW lower rear control arms -- Exploring the country with new friends since 11/09.

Offline ckwilliams

Re: Suspension & brake rebuild - what else should I be doing?
« Reply #10 on: August 22, 2019, 10:02:10 PM »
Thanks! I'll let you know what I find when I start digging in the arms.

Offline 94touring

Re: Suspension & brake rebuild - what else should I be doing?
« Reply #11 on: August 23, 2019, 07:22:25 AM »
On that ream tool, how does it align itself?  Can't tell from the pics if it fits onto the long rod (removal tool?) to sit on the needle bearing side while reaming the bushing side. Otherwise you can ream it off center. 

Offline gr8kornholio

Re: Suspension & brake rebuild - what else should I be doing?
« Reply #12 on: August 24, 2019, 02:25:09 PM »
Uhh. Not sure, it doesnít attach to anything. It is adjustable and tapered and appeared to cut smoothly but now you got me wondering.  Iíll have to dig it and the instructions out.
I am the GR8KORNHOLIO! Are you threatening me?

Saussie Aussie 1965 Australian MK1 Mini.
"Beavis" - 07 MY/MY MCS, B/MY Konig Daylites, JCW sideskirts, TSW springs, TSW lower rear control arms -- Exploring the country with new friends since 11/09.

Offline MiniDave

Re: Suspension & brake rebuild - what else should I be doing?
« Reply #13 on: August 24, 2019, 02:44:07 PM »
Mark, they usually have a bushing on the end opposite the bushing being reamed to keep the tool aligned.
1989 Cooper Racing Green
2009 Clubman S
2004 Audi Allroad 2.7 TT

Offline 94touring

Re: Suspension & brake rebuild - what else should I be doing?
« Reply #14 on: August 24, 2019, 02:48:39 PM »
I know Brad had an issue recently where his bushing was slightly off center.  We shipped him my ream tool and it got him back center.  Maybe he can chime in but I think the pin wouldn't slide through till it was re-reamed.

Offline MiniDave

Re: Suspension & brake rebuild - what else should I be doing?
« Reply #15 on: August 24, 2019, 02:54:22 PM »
I also had that problem, had to install new bushes and do it again with your reamer.
1989 Cooper Racing Green
2009 Clubman S
2004 Audi Allroad 2.7 TT

Offline Willie_B

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Re: Suspension & brake rebuild - what else should I be doing?
« Reply #16 on: August 24, 2019, 03:28:27 PM »
I know Brad had an issue recently where his bushing was slightly off center.  We shipped him my ream tool and it got him back center.  Maybe he can chime in but I think the pin wouldn't slide through till it was re-reamed.

The bushing was not quite right so the shaft was too tight. Put a little side load on the reamer to enlarge it slightly and that did the trick. Still a bit tight but I figure that will smooth out with use.

Offline gr8kornholio

Re: Suspension & brake rebuild - what else should I be doing?
« Reply #17 on: August 24, 2019, 03:56:05 PM »
Thatís how I did mine. Kept reaming a little at a time until it went through. Feels good but it technically could be off. May have to check those before put the subframe back in the car. I have an extra set of bushes.
I am the GR8KORNHOLIO! Are you threatening me?

Saussie Aussie 1965 Australian MK1 Mini.
"Beavis" - 07 MY/MY MCS, B/MY Konig Daylites, JCW sideskirts, TSW springs, TSW lower rear control arms -- Exploring the country with new friends since 11/09.