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Aligning rear lower arms to chassis - Suspension/Brakes/Wheels/Hubs/Steering/Geo - The Lotus Forums #ForTheOwners Jump to content


Aligning rear lower arms to chassis


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Hi all. Is there any trick to aligning the lower control arms to the chasis side of them? Specifically getting the bolts to slide smoothly through.

With the car jacked up I can get the bolts into the bushes through the front chassis hole, but can I  buggery get the chassis holes at the back to line up with the bushes, either jacked up or with the wheels on the ground.

Where is the sweet spot to give the thing a twist or a nudge, or is there not enough weight on them?

In the garage no-one can hear you scream 

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Last time I refitted, I used a tapered punch in from the wrong side,then pushed the bolt in, but had to apply lateral force to the punch as I had to get one face of the taper to be horizontal (well, aligned to the holes). I hope there's an easier way, as it wasn't easy and knowing I have the same job ahead of me again, I'd quite like somebody to tell me of the easier method. Worst case, it works as a method but it's not easy or quick. Edit: I should add, I judged alignment by looking from the correct side, then slid the bolt in, then judged it fro the wrong side and carried on hammering the bolt home.

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If you're referring to the lower links, I have resorted to using a large pipe wrench on the link and twisting it to align the holes. It works well but the metal teeth on the pipe wrench will mar the finish on the lower link. A piece of heavy rubber or similar non-slip material to put between the link and wrench will help prevent that.

1995 S4s

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Well its done by hook or by crook. I shortened the old bolts and tapped them through from the "wrong" side to at least get a start, then when things were looking good bashed the new ones all the way through popping the old ones out. Thanks for the replies.

1 hour ago, andydclements said:

 I hope there's an easier way, as it wasn't easy and knowing I have the same job ahead of me again, I'd quite like somebody to tell me of the easier method.

Exactly, I don't think I have seen a Lotus prescribed method anywhere? It's hardly an everyday job, but each time I do it I feel there is potential to damage the soft bracket tabs on the chassis.

1 hour ago, lotus4s said:

If you're referring to the lower links, I have resorted to using a large pipe wrench on the link and twisting it to align the holes. It works well but the metal teeth on the pipe wrench will mar the finish on the lower link. A piece of heavy rubber or similar non-slip material to put between the link and wrench will help prevent that.

Unfortunately I dont have any wrench that beefy, also working on the ground jacked up so don't have much space to lever properly. It does sound like a good method if you have the space and gear though

56 minutes ago, ian29gte said:

I seem to recall starting with getting the rear bush bolt in first, then using a tapered steel bar, or maybe a large screwdriver to get the front bush in line with the lugs.

Either way, it was a bit of a ballache.

That sounds good also, though I would have to make a tapered bar to fit. It also helps having some shoulder room to do a bit of levering.

 

I have made a right old mess of the old rubber bushes with all this on/off action but planned on replacing them at the earliest opportunity with polybushes  -  with the lower link pin that should be next years nightmare job lined up anyway! :lol:

In the garage no-one can hear you scream 

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13 minutes ago, Loose Cannon said:

 

Unfortunately I dont have any wrench that beefy, also working on the ground jacked up so don't have much space to lever properly. It does sound like a good method if you have the space and gear though

 

 

Next time your missus drags you off to a car boot sale, keep an eye out, there's always old pipe wrenches on the second hand tool stands, they look useless, but for twisting and loosening stubborn chassis/suspension components they're the dogs bollocks. 

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if i remember correctly, it was much easier to undo the top link from the hub, then attach the lower link.  This way the hub rotates(in one location in space only) to easily connect the lower link.  

chris

90SE

just because I don't CARE doesn't mean I don't UNDERDSTAND

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I compressed the assembly with a second jack then it lined up a charm. Can't recall if I had the top link from the hub undone at the time as @ragingfool35 suggests - it's likely (since my lower links are stuck at the hub end)

Vanya Stanisavljevic '91 Esprit SE | '97 XK8

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Yes it was completed eventually with a 2nd jack, however  "lined up like a charm" would be a generous description! More like "just about lined up and bashed the bolts in hoping the threads would survive"!

Not one of the most elegant jobs to do on a car, and makes you wonder what somebody like McLaren would would make of the process.

 

In the garage no-one can hear you scream 

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"I think they're going to need a bigger hammer." ? :getmecoat: 

All we know is that when they stop making this, we will be properly, properly sad.Jeremy Clarkson on the Esprit.

Opinions are like armpits. Everyone has them, some just stink more than others.

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8 hours ago, Loose Cannon said:

Yes it was completed eventually with a 2nd jack, however  "lined up like a charm" would be a generous description! More like "just about lined up and bashed the bolts in hoping the threads would survive"!

Not one of the most elegant jobs to do on a car, and makes you wonder what somebody like McLaren would would make of the process.

 

Well, "like a charm" in Esprit context, a.k.a. "OMG WE DIDNT EVEN NEED A DREMEL!" 

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Vanya Stanisavljevic '91 Esprit SE | '97 XK8

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Just now, ian29gte said:

 

OMG! We didn't even have to take the engine and 'box out!

I think that particular criticism would be more fairly levelled at a 348 or 355 tbh.... :)

Vanya Stanisavljevic '91 Esprit SE | '97 XK8

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  • 2 weeks later...

I did it like Chris wrote. Made it fairly easy contrary to not taking off the upper link arm.

Another note is that my original LOTAC poly bits and bobs were a little longer that the rubber items, so that made it a bit harder to install them.

I aligned with a thinner screwdriver from the opposite side, and that too, made it easier to push home the new bolt.

Kind regards,

Jacques.

Nobody does it better - than Lotus ;)

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