Suspension Overhaul

April 2008

One of my front shock absorbers had been leaking and had finally given up.  I contacted AVO and they said if I send the shocks back to them (minus the springs), they would try and fit new seals etc.  This would cost about 30 to 40 for each shock (which is much cheaper than buying new ones).  As my father has now sold his Lotus Cortina, he very kindly let me use his garage (the first time in 18 years!!)  Which is making the job a lot easier!! (Thanks Dad)

Scim1.jpg (138413 bytes) Scim2.jpg (138561 bytes)  First job was to jack the car up and put it on axle stands and making sure it was safe ready for overhaul (as a Scimitar on your head is bad for your health!). 

I set about removing the shocks and then removed the springs.....which was great fun! 

  OS_suspension_2.jpg (133938 bytes)  OS_suspension_1.jpg (134248 bytes)  OS_suspension_3.jpg (152322 bytes)  Old_shock.jpg (162051 bytes)  Remove_Springs.jpg (118774 bytes)  Remove_Springs_1.jpg (134277 bytes)  Old_Shocks.jpg (123789 bytes)  Remove_Springs_2.jpg (114696 bytes)

With the shocks removed and stripped, I took a trip to AVO in Northampton to deliver my old shocks for repair.

AVO.jpg (107209 bytes) AVO_1.jpg (117549 bytes)  The following day I was told that my old shocks were beyond economical repair and would offer me a new set for a very good price indeed, so I took them up on the offer.  The shocks would take about a week for delivery, so meanwhile I had plenty of time to do some other jobs on the suspension.

Rollbar_Droplink.jpg (124094 bytes) Looking at the anti-roll bar drop links, I guess they had seen better days!  So a quick phone call to Graham Walkers and I oreder all the parts I needed to overhaul my suspension.

When the new drop links arrived the next day (amongst other parts), I noticed that there were no cup washers or sleeves, as per my old set of drop links.  I rang Graham Walkers and they said they can no longer get the cup washers and I won't need the sleeve as the new bushes fit tighter to the actual drop link. 

DropLink_Washers.jpg (104946 bytes) Old drop link with cup washers between rubber bushes.

Old_Drop_Link.jpg (91611 bytes) Old drop link Removed (Note: three cup washers and sleeve).

New_Drop_Link.jpg (62630 bytes) DSCF7529.jpg (95986 bytes) New drop links from Graham Walkers.  I would have to use my old cup washers.

Cup_Washers.jpg (110414 bytes) Cup washers after a quick clean and paint job.

NS_Suspension.jpg (142245 bytes)  NS_Suspension_2.jpg (141625 bytes)  Next job was to remove the top and bottom wishbones ready for cleaning and inspection.

I received a phone call from AVO to say my new shocks were ready to collect, so another trip to Northampton was in order:

New_Shocks.jpg (125681 bytes)  New_Shocks_2.jpg (103433 bytes)  New_Shocks_Springs.jpg (137351 bytes) My new shocks!  (My old springs were quite soft, So I decided to get new uprated springs from Graham Walkers)

Other parts from Graham Walkers were drop links, ball joints, track rod ends, trunnions, trunnion kits: 

Suspension_Parts_3.jpg (138340 bytes)  Suspension_Parts_2.jpg (127709 bytes)  Suspension_Parts.jpg (136500 bytes) Shiny stuff

Ball_joints.jpg (107743 bytes) New ball joints

Track_Rod_Ends.jpg (105461 bytes) New Track rod ends

Trunnion_1.jpg (92302 bytes) Trunnion_2.jpg (87062 bytes)  Trunnion_3.jpg (86375 bytes)  Trunnion_4.jpg (92171 bytes)  Trunnion_6.jpg (91621 bytes) Trunnion_7.jpg (103714 bytes)  Trunnion_8.jpg (103469 bytes) New Trunnions (Note, the trunnions are marked L & R, they won't fit if you try and fit the left hand trunnion to the right hand side as the threads are different!

Apparently there is a risk that the end cap can come out and can possibly let water in, so as per recommendations from various people I soldered the end caps.

Trunnion_6.jpg (91621 bytes) Before

Trunnion_soldered_2.jpg (81867 bytes)  Trunnion_soldered.jpg (72067 bytes) After

Once the wishbones etc has been degreased and cleaned, they were ready for a repaint:

Re-paint.jpg (143387 bytes)  Re-paint_2.jpg (166267 bytes)  Re-paint_3.jpg (174588 bytes)  After inspection and cleaning, the parts were ready for a re-paint.  The red springs were a bit bright for me, so I decided to re-paint them black.

Re-paint_4.jpg (136873 bytes)  Re-paint_5.jpg (116196 bytes)  A few hours later, the parts are looking good in satin black.


Special Thanks to the staff at AVO for their advice and support:

and to the staff at Graham Walkers:

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