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The only place for a coil spring is up Zebedee's arse.
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Joined: Dec 30 2015
Posts: 1164

The Duchess is now steering better than ever, but the wise old mechanic said that the next place to look would be the Radius Arm Bushes if I wasn't happy. This has got me wondering if there's more improvement to be had. Is there a way to tell how good/bad the bushes are from a visual inspection?
Then if they are suspect, does anyone happen to have one of these?
http://www.lrseries.com/shop/product/listing/7650/3809/LRT-60-004-BUSH-FITTING-TOOL.html
that maybe I could borrow?
If not, would it be something we could buy/share as a group?

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Joined: Jul 12 2016
Posts: 531

I seem to remember someone on here made up their own tool to do this and mentioned the possibility of sharing the plans for it.

I've no idea who or even if I'm completely making that up though!

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Joined: Dec 30 2015
Posts: 2813

I believe you are right, that would have been Clive.

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Joined: Mar 22 2016
Posts: 933

Marty has one, i missed one on ebay the other week £50

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Joined: Sep 14 2016
Posts: 267

Guilty as charged.

No problems with loaning out the bush changing tools. Just hafta number them up and write the how to use them notes.

Or I still have my old radius arms about the place so could clean them up, paint and re-bush to do a service exchange job. Like all such jobs its easier second time through.

Hard part is getting the front bolts out. Two of mine came out with a bit of welly two weren't ever coming so had to be cut. If I ever do another set on t'floor I'll set up to cut the bolts "just like that" and job done. Makes getting the bush out harder as the remains of the bolts need drilling out. Not good for a Black'n Decker guy but I have a full blown industrial size pillar drill in the workshop which would cope just fine.

Clive

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Joined: Dec 30 2015
Posts: 1164

I really should have insisted on keeping my old track rod, drag link (which wasn't very old) and rear hub. We could have quite a set of bushed/bearing'd parts to swap around between us...

So would changing the arms be challenging for the average muppet? Or would I be heading to the garage again?

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Joined: Sep 14 2016
Posts: 267

Apart from shifting the front bolts if they are corroded in the job is pretty straight forward provided you can support both car and axle solidly with enough height to swing (big) spanners, breaker bars, ratchets and torque wrenches. I had 6 ton ratchet type axle stands at full extension under the axle and a second set further back under the car taking most of the weight so the axle was close to full droop. Do-able but a bit more room wouldn't have come amiss.

I think I'd have found it much easier if I'd got my scissors type car lift up'n running. Can't reach full height in my garage but could have put axle a couple of foot or so higher if suitable supports were arranged.

Little gotcha is the pivot pin for the height sensors. Mine where, ahem, somewhat corroded. Not available separately, have to buy complete link STC2763. Pause job whilst new stainless steel replicas were made. As I now have drawings its no great problem to make more if need be.

Clive

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Joined: Dec 30 2015
Posts: 978

Yes, I have radius arm bush tool for pressing then in/out aswell.

I'm away working a lot until mid December now though, and it's a heavy bugger to send... But if you still need it by then, I'm happy to lend it out. After I've re-bushed the arms for my 98 :)

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Joined: Jan 16 2016
Posts: 104

I have just done the radius arm bushes on mine. Sod of a job. I had to cut through every bolt. I used a power hacksaw to help.
Once the arms were off I burnt out the old bushes using a propane torch and an old wood chisel. Good job I have got good neighbours.
I went for OEM bushes and tried to press them in. Bad mistake.
The bushes are a good 1/8" bigger than the hole. I tried chamfering the edge of the bush to get it started and ended up knackering a bush.
The job can't be done without the special tool and I didn't fancy buying it and then leaving it in the garage to gather dust for the next ten years, so I took the radius arms round to a local LandRover indy. They did it while I waited. All 4 bushes for £25.

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Joined: Dec 30 2015
Posts: 1164

So, how knackered were they and did you notice a difference?

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Joined: Jan 16 2016
Posts: 104

I am embarassed to say it but this all started when it failed the MOT. I always take it to the same place - which is an MOT testing centre not a garage and I know the lads quite well. It had passed every year for about the last 9 or 10 years and the last 5 with no advisories. This time however he said the bushes were well shot ......... WTF.
He must have used a pry bar on the arms when it was up on the lift. I couldn't see much wrong with them with a visual inspection but when I eventually got them off the central sleeve in a few the bushes was detached from the rubber.
The car suspension does seem a bit tighter since I did them. I also renewed the drag link, track rod and panhard rod bushes at the same time.
I did not get the tracking done right away, I counted the same number of threads on the track rod. Since then however a front wheel bearing has gone and I am wondering if the tracking has been the cause.
Presently welding up a home made hydraulic press to do the bearings.

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Joined: Dec 30 2015
Posts: 1164

Hmm, it looks like we did all the same stuff - except I didn't do the radius arms. Time for a closer look!

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Joined: Jan 16 2016
Posts: 104

The tool for putting them in is in two parts - there is a conical lead part in that compresses the bush so it fits the hole.
The bush is actually plastic on the outside. I originally thought it was a metal outer.
The panhard rod bushes are a doddle. I just sqeezed them in using a large vice and a suitably sized socket.

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Joined: Sep 14 2016
Posts: 267

Been steadily replacing all the front end joints and bushes over the year. Also did all shock absorbers, OEM rather than genuine which may have been a mild error. Only panhard rod bushes and (maybe) steering damper left to do. Nothing was objectively that bad but all clearly getting old. General feel of the car has become lighter and more responsive as parts were replaced. With almost 90,000 miles up I suspect the steering damper is getting to its sell by date too.

At the beginning of the year I was inclined to agree with road tester and other comments about the P38 having 4x4 handling. Good 4x4 handling but a touch ponderous and not having the road manners of a modern car. Now road manners are well up to modern car standards in any sane use. Any deficiency being due to the inevitable physical dynamics of a tall, two ton, car rather than suspension and steering underpinnings.

Current view on the sometimes derogatory comments about P38 handling is that they have the same source as motorcycling journalists complaining about the Yamaha GTS "funny front end" bike. Too lazy to evaluate how it works and exploit the advantages of its particular dynamics. A P38 will never handle like a V8 Bristol. Polar moments of inertia guarantee that. But it doesn't stop it being very good in practice for all sane use. Whatever the tech types may say rigid axles both ends aren't all bad.

Getting back to tooling the big distinction is whether you need a hydraulic press or whether the tool is self contained with a force screw. I believe the factory ones need a press. I made mine with a force screw. I actually took my bushes out with a press using adapters out of an affordable "universal" bush removal kit. Worked but those radius arms are 'kin heavy and, being bent, awkward to hold dead square on the press with one hand whilst pumping with the other.

Didn't help that my press is the hydraulic bottle jack with a prodder underneath type. Despite being up-engineered compared to the usual affordable import type with a much better prodder guide system its still not really as stable on the push as one would desire. If I were ever to use mine again on radius arm bushes I'd round up an assistant to hold the arm in place and make up a pusher with a central pin to align things properly.

Need to make a receiver tube for my force screw set to take the bush being extracted to make it complete set. Will be done in due course as will arranging a ball race under the the force screw nut. Or maybe just buy a screw, nut and ball race set off E-Bay. Cheap enough.

If you have a "universal" bush kit with a 12 mm force screw all you need is the compression tube for bush insertion. Something I can easily make should folk want one. Best to do batch of 10 or so to use up minimum order quantity of materials and amortise set-up time on manual lathe.

That said if I ever make another tool set for me it will use a 12 ton puller ram and be part of a comprehensive outfit including the tooling to shift steering joints et al too.

Clive

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Joined: Dec 30 2015
Posts: 1164

My only reference for live axles is my Jeep Cherokee, which is currently far superior to the P38 in every aspect of road holding and handling. Part of that is the 800kg advantage of course, but I'm sure there's something wrong with The Duchess as she's still unpredictable on off cambers and uneven roads.
It's far less dramatic than it was - there's much less kickback and oscillation at the wheel - but it's very unnerving to be driving down a narrow country lane against oncoming traffic and know that the car is quite capable of moving itself six inches to one side or the other depending on what surface it encounters. It feels like tramlining but higher amplitude and shorter period, if you see what I mean.

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Joined: Dec 30 2015
Posts: 2813

You've definitely got something that isn't right. I was only thinking last night, while hustling mine around some pretty narrow lanes with variable road surfaces and camber, how nicely it handles for a 2 and a bit tonne car. Mines done a lot more miles than yours too.