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E Type Rear Suspension Rebuild by Ray Straughan

In late September 2012 I took the car off the road. As in the case of the year before when I did the engine, out came the Haynes manual. Copied out a hand written tick list and got started. First, up onto Jacks so the suspension hangs free. After that, off came all the bits. Exhausts, wheels, radius arms bolts, Anti roll bar links arms, flexi brake pipe. Then the tricky bit of getting the handbrake clevis pin out from the handbrake cable. Then unscrewing the cable out of the adjuster block. This is right at the top of the frame above the diff. Next the 4 prop shaft bolts. Next, a large block of wood is needed to place on a jack to take the weight of the suspension and frame. Onto the suspension mountings, two on each side. Out come the 4 bolts, the nuts are well hidden behind the body frame, a bit awkward but just accessible. Now with the weight on the jack, slow is name of the game. Down, bit by bit until the jack is down. Then from the rear came the whole unit.It is a very heavy piece of kit.

     

 Then the task of removing the brake discs and pistons. With the frame on itís back access was pretty good. The bottom fulcrum pin comes out so that the wishbone can be lifted out of the way. The radius arms were a bit of a hindrance when moving the frame about, so they came off first. Then out came the brake callipers, then the discs. Again a bit tricky but it can be done. It would have been an easier job if all the parts on the frame were dismantled but I did not want to go to all that bother. I knew that one of the rear pistons was not working as there was rust on one side of the disc. As you can see the pads were unevenly worn.

    

After a good clean down it was time to put together all the various new parts back onto the frame. New brake pistons, pads, handbrake pads, shock absorber bushes to name a few.

 

  

 The discs were skimmed and new bushes put into the radius arms. Geoff recommended a mechanic in Bishop Auckland who skimmed the discs for a £5 each. A friend of his did all the bushes for £25 (i supplied the parts) and that included burning and cutting out the old bushes. A coat of black smooth Hammerite made them look pretty good. 

   

The anti roll bar link bushes were easy enough. Using different size sockets they press out ok and back in again.

     

Just one little hiccup, a 1/2Ē (15mm for the young ones) bit of welding was required. Richard, who helped me put my engine in last year kindly did the job being a welder by trade, lucky me!!! 

 

The next little bit of bother was when I was putting the fulcrum pin back in the wishbone. I started tapping the pin through the wishbone, then through a 7 thou shim then through the aluminium hub carrier, then through a 5 thou shim and back through the other end of the wishbone. I caught a shim and chewed it to bits. As you can see in the picture the bits are shown. Another set of shims had to be ordered and I did it correctly the second time.

   

 Out came the Hammerite again just to tidy up a few bits.

  

 Nearly there, with all the bits back in place time to take a last look as I donít think it will be out again.

        

 Then, what was that? Something dropped on the floor! I donít believe it, a brake pad came off itís mounting. I suppose it was better that it happened now rather than when I got the suspension back in the car. So another set of pads came (foc) and back it went.

  

 Whatís this I hear you ask? Well as I said the suspension and frame is a hefty lump of metal. So trying to balance the lot on a trolley jack is a bit tricky. So Richard came up with this. The suspension frame was sat on a wooden block on top of this hand made trolley. This meant that the suspension could be moved easily right under the car. Then at the open end the trolley jack slotted in to lift up the frame onto the car. Clever eh?

 

 Here is the last bit of the rebuild. Just those tricky 4 bolts to put in the mountings as the nuts are behind the chassis. Then the handbrake cable to attach, another slow job. Prop shaft, exhausts, radius arms, anti roll bar link arms, brake pipe, bleed brakes.

 

All in all not too bad of a job. Even the weather didnít stop the work.

 

What next??? Watch this space.

 Rear Suspension costs: 

Rear brake pads

Handbrake pads

Brake reaction plates

Diff oil seal

4 Brake cylinders

Radius arm bushes

Anti roll bushes

Shims

Shocker bushes

Diff gasket

Grease nipples

Bleed nipples

Nuts & bolts etc  

Total cost - £512.37