Lightweight Suspension Spring Change

The new springs arrived and were left to soak in used engine oil to lubricate and, more importantly, protect them.  The new springs were compared with the more cambered old spring and that appears to be of the correct shape, so I’ll be keeping it as a spare (it has been soaked too).

The rear chassis was cleaned up and painted with Schutz to give it plenty of protection as well as to smarten it up.  The axle was recoated with black Hammerite, except for the diff pan, which was stripped clean and resprayed with white Hammerite – it seemed a shame to leave it black since our convoy light actually works!

Refitting the springs was relatively straightforward – I fitted the shackles loosely, followed by the back end of the spring.  This made lifting the front end of the spring into the hanger relatively easy.  The spring bolts were fully inserted and the nuts fitted, but the shackles and nuts were left loose for now (important).

With the springs attached to the chassis, the axle was lowered onto the springs and the U-bolts refitted through the spring plates underneath.  With the wheels refitted, attention was turned to the front end.  The original plan was to remove the springs for inspection, bush replacement and oiling, but I don’t have time before Billing (even with the new dates), so I tried just to loosen the spring bolts to allow all four corners to resettle before tighteneing.  While the front bolts in the dumb-irons freed off easily, the shackle bolts were stuck fast.  Not wanting to damage the bushes, I elected to leave them well alone and oiled the springs liberally in place.

With the front wheels refitted, I rocked the vehicle heavily to settle everything as best I could before tightening the bolts and nuts fully.  A test drive showed the lean is gone and the ride is massively improved.  I have also refitted the front wheels so that the directional tread of the tyres is the correct way around, which the tyre fitters had messed up last year on the front end – it was blind luck that we had two tyres facing each way – so all four corners now have correctly oriented tyres.

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