6a Front Suspension - back to standard height?!

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Dennis Nicholas
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6a Front Suspension - back to standard height?!

Post by Dennis Nicholas » Mon May 27, 2019 10:36 pm

RichM wrote:
Mon May 27, 2019 7:06 am
Dennis Nicholas wrote:
Mon May 27, 2019 3:55 am
Just a reminder ......don't forget the spacer washers between bottom wishbones and damper mounting bracket......power steering only so may be missing if it was previously manual steering.
Thanks Dennis, do you mean these? There is a spacer welded/cast onto one flange of each mounting bracket. Was a PAS car originally so hopefully correct part?
IMG_3407.jpg
Those spacers for the damper pivots should be on the INSIDE of the brackets with the bits that fit into the brackets pointing to the outside.....the 5s had a 1 1/4 inch wide bush but later Reliant did a mod opening up the bracket holes to 5/8 inch and fitting these spacers in which returned the bolt size to 1/2 inch. the "washer" side prevented the bush from wearing the brackets on the inside (look and you may see the small round wear circles on the inside where the bush metal centre has worn them away. Each of the "washer" thicknesses is 1/16 inch thick so together = 1/8 inch and the damper bushes were 1 1/8 inch wide instead of 1 1/4. don't settle for anything different and put the spacers in the correct way. (of course that could just be a washer for behind the nut/bolt head as I see from the pic that there looks to have been a spacer on the inside of the next bracket down?)
Seems like you could really do with buying the workshop manual, which is on a disk, and printing out bits as required........it really is worth every penny and saves hours most of the time.


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6a Front Suspension - back to standard height?!

Post by JoeySully » Mon May 27, 2019 10:59 pm

Image

Looks like he has spax shocks which have the wider bottom bush holder/bush. They spacers wont fit on the inside.



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6a Front Suspension - back to standard height?!

Post by Dennis Nicholas » Mon May 27, 2019 11:10 pm

Really is worth preserving the brackets.........have eyes and bush ground down 1/16 each side??


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6a Front Suspension - back to standard height?!

Post by JoeySully » Tue May 28, 2019 7:29 am

The spacers are essential. Putting the standard ones on the outside is a waste of time as they are thinner than the bracket. Some, including me have had thicker one made to fit outside but even these will have issues. They will eventually rotate in the lower/upper bracket and make the bolt hole u shaped over time.
Maybe cutting down the shock eyes would work but it seems a shame to mess with them. I think i will weld the thicker washers to the ouside, not too well... juse enough for them to be stuck and not rotate in the eye



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6a Front Suspension - back to standard height?!

Post by gtcse8 » Tue May 28, 2019 8:23 am

The spacers, part no 24 in the WSM are only shown and referred to as being fitted at the top. ie chassis eyes only?. see para B5.1 (a).
My WSM is a very early one and may not be as uptodate as others.
I know that most cars have them fitted in the bottom pan too now.

Reading the Old service bulletins from Reliant to the Main Dealers these were fitted as a result of change of manufacturer of the shockers and the New shocks had narrower bushes fitted, IIRC this was around the introduction of the 6A because of complaints of cars bottoming out and the shockers failing.


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6a Front Suspension - back to standard height?!

Post by JoeySully » Tue May 28, 2019 8:48 am

yes the later cars had narrower bushed shocks. here is a monroe shock alongside the Spax from GW.
20150630_183835.jpg
20150630_183835.jpg (207.51 KiB) Viewed 213 times
Se6a original Monroe are ~1" wide
The Spax ones are ~1.25" wide.

I'm not sure how it could work if you have washers inside at the top but not the bottom ? Maybe you have a manufactured lower bracket ?



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6a Front Suspension - back to standard height?!

Post by scimjim » Tue May 28, 2019 8:53 am

Service Bulletin 1976/009 introduced the new dampers and plain washers at SE6 # 1385.

When the 6a was introduced (#1551) the top hat spacers with larger holes in the damper mounting brackets (5/8” instead of 1/2”) were introduced and dealers could only order the later brackets and spacers, so earlier cars would be modified if they needed replacing.


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6a Front Suspension - back to standard height?!

Post by RichM » Tue May 28, 2019 9:39 am

Just popped out to the shed to check the shocks. To confirm, all 4 spacers are present, two still on the brackets, and two still on the shock bolts, though one showing damage.
IMG_3537.jpg
Spacers on bolts
IMG_3537.jpg (335 KiB) Viewed 196 times
They were all fitted to the outside of the brackets as mocked up below due to wider spax shocks as discussed above.
IMG_3542.jpg
Mock up
IMG_3542.jpg (273.12 KiB) Viewed 196 times
The wear mark Dennis is referring to on the inside of the bracket is from the shock/bush.
IMG_3407.jpg
Spacer & Wear
IMG_3407.jpg (349.04 KiB) Viewed 196 times
As far as I can tell then, these are the options;

1. Buy new narrower bracketed shocks to utilise original spacer set-up.
2. Grind down existing shocks to utilise original spacer set-up.
3. Cut and re-weld brackets to plate at width suitable to retain orig spacer set up and wider shocks.
4. Fit spacers to outside, possibly tacked in place to prevent spinning & wear of brackets (doesn't prevent wear to inside edge of brackets).
5. Fit improved spacers to outside which match the thickness of the bracket. Tack in place as above (doesn't prevent wear to inside edge of brackets).
6. Put it back as it was (number 4 basically) and worry about it when it all needs re-doing again in a couple of years.

Number 6 looks attractive..... :lol:



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6a Front Suspension - back to standard height?!

Post by JoeySully » Tue May 28, 2019 9:55 am

I would go with option 1 Buy new narrower bracketed shocks to utilise original spacer set-up.
Maybe someone will give a few quid for the old ones for and earlier car.

I'm very tempted to do the same... they are just not made to fit the later cars. I have lost many hours now faffing about with them and getting costly washers made up that really don't really solve the problem.



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6a Front Suspension - back to standard height?!

Post by scimjim » Tue May 28, 2019 10:12 am

As long as the holes aren’t oval, I’d go with number six (tack the spacers in place to prevent any movement) and budget for new lower mounts in 40 to 50 years time?


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6a Front Suspension - back to standard height?!

Post by Dennis Nicholas » Tue May 28, 2019 11:06 am

Perhaps it is time to persuade the damper manufacturers to give us the right size eyes and bushes!!! The eyes are after all only welded on bits of pipe in most cases.
Last time I had new dampers was on my GTE 6a (sold some time ago when GTC came along). I liaised with PROTECH as the first of their Scimitar customers and they said no problem with the bushes.....they adapted some Jaguar ones to be the correct size for the brackets with spacers in the correct position......all at same cost as just buying off the shelf. Mr Avon was then designing the damper for them (he of Avo etc) I settled for their height adjustable and single damping adjustable. Saved all the problems of non standard. One of the other manufacturers, GAZ, did say they would fit bushes of the required width (they had narrower damper eyes anyway if I remember), so it is not beyond the manufacturers ability at the standard price.
One suggestion I got from a professional who I feel should have known better was to put the washers on the outside/or just bend the brackets further open and force the wider bush into place.......not what I considered a good engineering practice.
Good job my surgeon did not just suggest filling my hip socket with bodge filler and surface the ball with filler to cure the Arthur-IT-u/s but did a proper replacement job (even if he refused to fit grease nipples) 8) :D

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6a Front Suspension - back to standard height?!

Post by scimjim » Tue May 28, 2019 11:41 am

What’s the problem with putting the top hat washers on the other way round to accommodate wider dampers? The minor wear to the inner faces is exactly the same as every other vehicle in the world suffers? The top hat spacers were introduced to accommodate the thinner dampers, not prevent wear on the inner face.


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SECURE DRY STORAGE FOR YOUR SCIMITAR

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6a Front Suspension - back to standard height?!

Post by JoeySully » Tue May 28, 2019 12:11 pm

20150630_183935xx.jpg
20150630_183935xx.jpg (90.88 KiB) Viewed 164 times
the standard ones used on the outside are not thick enough to securely attach the damper. You end up with the bush pushed to the left or right. in the end the bush squashes against the inside of the suspension mount and wears away, the metal sleeve of the bush never really come in contact with the outer metal bush as they should and will result in wear of the inner face of the lower bracket or the bush sleeve. This sleeve should be tightly torqued to the upper and lower mounts so that it cannot rotate.
20160807_155506.jpg
20160807_155506.jpg (95.75 KiB) Viewed 164 times

using wider custom top hat bushes on the outside returns in the inner face to resemble the earlier setup but with this washer loose the top hat will be able to turn in the eye of the wishbone.. maybe not at first but soon after once the rubber at the sides of the bush wear down.

I have spoken to Spax this morning regarding my other issue I have with mismatched collets but did not get time to talk more about this issue. They will return my call later today and I will highlight the problem again as it did in 2016.
The other issue i see with these shocks is the part number stamped into the base leave a pointy edge that means the powder coating is very thin and allows moisture in behind and quickly rusts the shock bottom.

this one is 12 months old and did less than 1000miles.
20160807_155638.jpg
20160807_155638.jpg (122.02 KiB) Viewed 164 times



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6a Front Suspension - back to standard height?!

Post by RichM » Tue May 28, 2019 12:41 pm

I agree that there should be a 'correct' solution available off the shelf.
I also agree that the powder coating on the Spax shocks is pretty poor. Mine are obviously older than yours but even so I am surprised at how badly the coating has fared.
When I called Spax to ask about the possibility of getting different springs on my shocks and getting some replacement bushes etc. I found the guy quite abrupt and patronising. I left the phone call feeling that they couldn't have been more unhelpful to be honest and I felt like chucking my shocks in the bin where I feel they belong given their quality, suitability for the car and company support.

However, given that it looks like I may also end up buying some new Vert Links at £250-£300 a pair (ouch!) I have to be realistic and accept that the Spax will have to stay for the time being.
So that leaves me most likely with option 6 for now. It's a shame to stick with a poorly engineered solution but I simply don't have an infinite budget and have already had to buy new fulcrums; trunnions; wishbone & arb bushes; bolt kits; track rod ends; de-greaser; primer; paint; a months pass away from family time and d.i.y........add the links and the £££££ very quickly add up.

But then again, is anything on the Scim a perfectly engineered solution? :lol:



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6a Front Suspension - back to standard height?!

Post by scimjim » Tue May 28, 2019 12:54 pm

Interesting that the two close up pictures seem to show very different spacers? Rich’s appear to be wider and will abut the damper sleeves when it’s all tightened up?

Powder coating suspension components has always been a recipe for disaster - my Spax on 8 ball seem to be okay but I covered them in wax when I fitted them, the bare alloy protechs on G97 are still great :D


Jim King

SECURE DRY STORAGE FOR YOUR SCIMITAR

Current: SE5 (8Ball), TI SS1 (snotty), 1600 SS1 (G97), 1600 SS1 (C686CCR), 2.5TD SE5a (diesel 5a), 6 x random other SS1s.
Previous: SE5, 3 x SE5a, 2 x SE6a, 3 x SE6b, GTC, 2.9i GTC, 3 x 1600 SS1, 1300 SS1, Mk1 Ti Sabre, Mk1.5 CVH Sabre
Chief mechanic for: 1400 K series SS1 (Megan3), 1400 CVH EFi SS1 (Grawpy), 1300 SS1 (Number One) & Sarah's coupe.
CURE THE FAULT - NOT THE SYMPTOMS

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