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Old 3 Days Ago   #16
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Re: Dropping the rear axle

Top job!

On a scale of 1 to 10, how much of a ball ache was it?

(Asking for a friend...)
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Barchetta LE (no 2468), 1998, Silver with Red Hood/Leather, Hardtop, Wind-stop, Novitec SS Exhaust
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Talbot-Matra Murena 2.2 (Prep 142), 1983, Aquamarine
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Old 3 Days Ago   #17
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Re: Dropping the rear axle

Quote Originally Posted by gar074 View Post
On a scale of 1 to 10, how much of a ball ache was it?

(Asking for a friend...)
As an enthusiastic but inexperienced mechanic I found it quite straightforward, I just followed the guide in the service manual. The only exception being that I removed the springs and shocks before dropping the axle as I wanted to reduce the weight that was dropping as much as possible. I held the arms up with some ancient climbing rope as you can see in the diagram.

I had two main areas of concern:
  • I'd be undoing nuts and bolts that hadn't been undone for a while and might, otherwise, never need undoing. I was concerned that I'd end up snapping bolts and have the world of pain that come with that. So far the only one that has snapped was the exhaust clamp and who cares about that. However, the possible next part of the process will be to remove the arms from the axle and the bolts there look like they might give trouble. I can't start those yet as my 22mm socket doesn't really get fully onto the nut so I'm going to get hold of a deeper one and then we'll see how that goes.
  • There is one specialist tool that mounts on a trolley jack and clamps to the axle to hold it steady when being lowered. I ummed and ahhed whether to try to make something similar but in the end just put something soft under the hubs so they didn't slam into the floor and used a trolley jack with a large block of wood on top of it and lowered away. The whole assembly is understandably heavy but I was able to lift the whole thing single handed on to the bench although another pair of hands would have been helpful.
I'm currently working out how to remove the clips from the axle that hold the brake lines, just want to be careful not to break them.

The obvious point is that I haven't put the whole thing back on yet so there may well be problems ahead but I'm pleased with how it has gone so far and I think the clean up process will be easier now that it is at a more comfortable working height for me. There is also the benefit that I can have a very good look at the underside of the back end.

The next painful part will be working out how many parts I need to get ordered. Shocks and springs were already on the list but I'll definitely do the flexible brake pipes too as they look horrible. The danger of this sort of job is the temptation to go a bit further than you intended. I have thought that if I wanted to get the arms powder coated I'd need to remove the hub and then I might as well replace the hub bearings and remove the ABS sensor (which I've seen the guide for and which worries me as I thing I could easily break) and so it goes on.

I've taken a lot of photos throughout the process and thought I might write up a guide but at the moment that guide would mostly say "Do what the service manual says" but we'll see as I go through the rest of the process
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