June 27, 2014 at 7:24 pm #250
Jim Walton wrote an excellent piece on front suspension spring perch failure, available in the TECHNICAL section.
On my own car, I’ve been lucky to not have an actual failure when driving. However, while changing out tie rod ends (available, by the way, at very reasonable cost, from Victoria British.. seems like same as Austin-Healey, or?), I discovered a real anomaly on my right-hand spring perch. These parts are mounted in rubber, to allow the base to articulate with suspension and spring movement. This one had apparently broken at some point, and some bright bulb had elected to just weld some metal supports to tie the perch base and the lower attachment bolt together.
Of course, this prevents any movement of the base as the spring articulates for road conditions. I also discovered that the RH tie rod was actually hitting the perch base when the wheel was in full extension, which of course could create a very dangerous condition.
Thanks to Jim’s personal guidance, and his previous article, I could see that driving the car in this condition could literally be suicide. As it turns out, Jim’s own bad experience with these mounts prompted him to contract to have new ones specially fabricated (including a few spares for other owners), and machined from a single piece of metal (rather than the stamped steel used in the original), and then joined at the bottom by some sort of special flexible polymer. Here’s what the new perches look like:
These machined parts aren’t cheap, but much cheaper than having them fabricated by scratch, and there is no alternative if yours are bad.
Of course, one thing leads to another, so in the process of replacing those spring perches, I wound up disassembling the aft end of the trailing arm, and found the needle bearings inside had literally disintegrated into multiple pieces. Fortunately bearings ARE available, and when all was said and done, I’m pleased with the appearance of the front suspension, and handling has been greatly improved:
- This topic was modified 5 years ago by phil auldridge.
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