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Rear spring assemblies  Rating:  Rating
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 Posted: 12-09-2012 11:57 pm
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Jim Picot
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I'm about to pull down the rear suspension and, among other things, fit new springs. But reading the workshop manual, you need to "punch out" and replace the peened bush. Replacement requires the use of a special tool, VR2061, which folds over the top of the new bush to keep the spring seat and insulator attached to the spring.

This seems an awfully crude method  - I presume when Vauxhall designed this for their Viva, they never dreamed anyone would keep the car long enough to want to do this.

Is there another way? A suitable screwed fastener? Or how does one correctly peen the bush without the special tool?

Anyone's experience here would be greatly appreciated!

Jim

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 Posted: 12-10-2012 03:57 pm
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Art DeKneef
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When I did mine in order to remove the metal bush I lightly used a drill bit to remove the metal enough until I could remove the bush. Having a drift the approximate size helped in removing the bush.
 
This wasn't the correct way to peen the bush but I used a rounded metal bar and hammer in order to round over the edges to hold them together.

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 Posted: 12-11-2012 10:02 am
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Jim Picot
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Hi Art, thanks for the info. But I am having trouble sourcing most of the parts in the rear spring assembly. I can probably clean the old ones up ok, but the bushes are hard to find, and of course have to be destroyed to get the old assemblies apart.

Any idea where I might find the bushes? I'm waiting for an answer from Delta at the moment.

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 Posted: 12-11-2012 05:01 pm
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Art DeKneef
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I'm pretty sure I got them from Delta. But that was more than a few years ago when I worked on that set of springs.

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 Posted: 12-11-2012 08:35 pm
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Jim Picot
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Yep, Delta have them still, along with the spring seat and attachment screw. They're all ridiculously cheap given their scarcity! (I hope Delta don't read this and jack up the prices...)

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 Posted: 09-25-2013 11:13 am
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Jim Picot
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Post Script - Job done.

No problem drilling out the bush with a 1/2" drill - quick and easy.

Then I used with a 20 mm dia x 250 mm long bar under the bush to support it while I pressed down on the bush from above with a ball-pein hammer in the 20T press. No good - the crown of the hammer face made it impossible to keep it vertically aligned. A socket fitted over the hammer didn't help.

So I ended up holding it by hand and wacking the hammer face with another hammer. Success! It wasn't as pretty as it might have been, but it's tight and secure.

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 Posted: 11-18-2014 05:08 pm
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Eric
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Sorry if this has been covered elsewhere, but I'm planning on replacing the rear shocks and springs. My plan was to use jack stands on the small plate just forward of where the lower control arms attach to the body. Is this appropriate? Also, do I need a spring compressor, or will the spring already be unloaded adequately to remove?

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 Posted: 11-18-2014 09:17 pm
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Jim Picot
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Eric, raise the car on a jack (via the back axle is good) and put jackstands under the body on the chassis rails - as far back as you can get them. I think this is where you are referring - just forward of the lower suspension arm mount brackets. The dampers should be straightforward to remove (notwithstanding rusted nuts etc!).

To remove the springs, you won't need a spring compressor - use the jack under the axle to compress the springs. Remove the lower spring mounting nuts, then lower the jack to take all compression off the spring, and the spring is clear of the suspension arm. Then the top nuts should be easy to remove and the springs will just come out.

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 Posted: 11-19-2014 12:00 am
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Eric
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Jim..thanks for the info. So what is the issue with the bushing on the spring referred to in earlier posts?

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 Posted: 11-19-2014 02:50 am
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Jim Picot
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When you get the springs out, you'll see the problem. The top of the spring is clamped between a spring seat and a spring retainer, with an insulating rubber in between. The assembly is held together by this bush, which is peened over to hold it all together. You cannot re-use the bush, it must be destroyed to take it apart - you can drill it out with a 1/2" drill.

You can get the bushes very cheaply from Delta Motorsports (it's just piece of rod machined to the required size & shape), but you will need to follow the instructions above to peen it over to hold everything together.

Depending on their condition, you may be able to re-use the seat and retainer, but you can get them new. However, the insulating rubber is not available. Mine was actually in excellent condition, despite being 40 years old! I suspect that their location away from damaging sun and petrol products means they don't deteriorate.




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 Posted: 11-19-2014 02:58 am
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Eric
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Jim- thanks for the explanation. It makes sense now. I'll order some bushings from Delta. Did you use the heavy duty performance springs or the original spec when you did your replacement?

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 Posted: 11-19-2014 03:01 am
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Jim Picot
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I got the springs from the UK - Martin Robey, I think. They are standard spec.

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 Posted: 11-19-2014 03:04 am
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Eric
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I see. Delta offers a "heavy duty" spring. Not sure if this offers any advantage.

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 Posted: 11-19-2014 03:08 am
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Jim Picot
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Depends on what you intend to use the car for. For normal road use, personally I'd stay with the standard springs.

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 Posted: 11-23-2014 10:06 pm
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Eric
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Hey Jim ..just a update. Rear shocks went in as easy as could be. The old ones were totally shot. The car still has a lean to the left, however, as it did before the shock replacement. Should I try replacing the rear springs? How difficult is replacing the front shocks and springs? The shop manual recommends a spring compressor for the front .

Thanks
Eric

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 Posted: 11-24-2014 10:20 am
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Jim Picot
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Hi Eric, the shocks won't determine the ride height, only the springs and whatever packing they have. The condition of your bushes may also affect it they are badly deteriorated on one side. If the rear springs are original, then they may well have sagged, not necessarily to the same degree if the car has been used driver only for much of its life. Replacing the rear springs is pretty easy, provided the seats and retainers are in good nick. You will need to drill out and replace that bush we talked about.

Front shocks aren't much harder than the rears, but the springs are a little more involved. Yes, you will need a spring compressor - I made do with a set I bought years ago.

I'd recommend you get yourself a workshop manual, not just the Jensen manual (if you can find one), but a Vauxhall Viva HB manual - exactly the same suspension, and more user-friendly instructions than the Jensen one. You can pick one up pretty cheaply on ebay in the UK.

Have you checked the condition of the bushes front and back, and also the ball joints at the front?

I ended up doing EVERYTHING on mine, everything is brand new. But it still leans on the drivers (right hand) side. I may need to slacken and re-torque the main wishbone bolts. Failing that, the new springs might not be that well matched, so might need to be swapped around. Better to have the passenger side a bit low so the drivers weight evens things out.

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 Posted: 11-24-2014 01:46 pm
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Eric
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Hi Jim. On the rear, all the bushings looked okay from the outside. With the shocks off, the springs seemed very weak, so replacing these seems entirely reasonable--next weekends project! Will tackle front suspension next..looks like both the KYB and Monroe shocks have been used successfully up front. Thanks for the help!!

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 Posted: 11-24-2014 03:04 pm
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Jensen Healey
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The "lean" is usually worn or incorrectly installed rear bushings. The car must be lowered onto ramps or blocks before the trailing arm bushings are tightened.

KYB gas shocks will raise the front of the car about 1/2 inch. The gas exerts near 40lbs of lift each. I have non-gas Konis on the front and measured the difference from the KYB Gas-a-Just monotube shocks.

I have not measured the rear.

Kurt

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 Posted: 11-24-2014 03:44 pm
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Eric
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Kurt, so the lower arms must be bearing the weight of the car before tightening bushings? What's the overall process for upper and lower bushes? Can they be replaced with the car on jackstands with final tightening done after lowering the car onto ramps, or is there a better way?

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 Posted: 11-24-2014 10:34 pm
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Art DeKneef
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You can replace the bushings with the car on jack stands. Brace it high enough so you can slide underneath to work. A jack stand under the axle is good.

Keep in mind the long arms will be under some downward pressure. So before you remove the bolts you want to support the front of the arm before taking the bolt out completely. Also, depending on age and condition the bolts might be a little rusted and need some persuasion getting them out.

If the bushings are original or bad, replace all of the rear bushings. Not a hard job, just time consuming. There have been other posts about getting the steel tubes out of the bushings and arms.

Yes, the car must have it's weight bearing down on the suspension when you do the final tightening. What I did was put the car on car ramps at all 4 wheels. This let me slide underneath on a creeper making it easy to underneath plus gave me the added benefit of having the car's suspension under weight when it came time for the final tightening.

You might want to check and see if you have a suspension shop nearby that can make springs. They should be able to test your springs and see how they are. Somewhere around here and in my notes somewhere I have results for a bunch of springs I had tested some time ago. I'll have to look it up.

And the rear suspension will be a piece of cake compared to doing the front suspension.

Art

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