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Old 31-08-2021   #1
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Dropping the rear axle

Hello everyone.
My B will shortly go off road for the winter and be tucked up in the garage. One of the jobs I'd like to look at is cleaning the rust off and painting everything at the back end (arms etc). Rather than spend the winter flat on my back on a cold garage floor with rust and paint dropping on me I wondered about dropping the whole back axle off the car. I've looked through the manual and it doesn't look the hardest job in the world with the only specialist tool being a jig to hold the axle when it is lowered off. Has anyone tried this or have words of warning or encouragement?
Thanks in advance
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Old 01-09-2021   #2
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Re: Dropping the rear axle

One thing that came to mind is placement of the front axle stands as if the weight of the rear axle comes off I had visions of the car just tipping on its nose. I'm not sure if there is a forward enough point to put the stands that would stop this so might consider ramps for the front wheels rather than stands.
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Old 01-09-2021   #3
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Re: Dropping the rear axle

Don't think there is the slightest chance she will tip. Then engine an gearbox are directly over the front axle which will still be in contact with the ground. The front overhang is not too long either so you should be able to get the back end quite high.

Crack off the rear wheel nuts. Reverse up some standard ramps. The wood blocks and jack from both sides.

Suggest for the jacking you get a 3" by 3" short fence post. Cut it in half (minimum length of 12 inches) and then router a groove so the sill lip goes into the groove and the block supports the cur on the floor_pan/sill surfaces. You can stick some rubber to the support surfaces for extra protection.

For other normal jacking I use Ice Hockey Pucks. Dirt cheap, can be stacked (NO MORE THAN 3 MAX).
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Old 01-09-2021   #4
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Re: Dropping the rear axle

Thanks for that. I was more thinking of the case where I'd got the front up on stands too and the stands were on the front of the sill. Leaving the front wheels down is an option and would probably make it more stable while I was working on it.

I had a similar idea to the fence posts and chopped up and routed some fat old timber to make sets of blocks that let me adjust the height.


I do like the hockey puck idea, they're a lot cheaper than the bits of rubber flogged for use in jacking
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Re: Dropping the rear axle

Axle renovation project has got started. The service manual guide is good, due to the age of mine it doesn't have brake compensators but other than that it is going to plan. Progress stopped today as I can't find my 15mm socket to undo the ARB.

Never having done anything of this sort before does anyone have any suggestions as to what I should treat and paint the arms with after I've got them off the car?
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Old 1 Week Ago   #6
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Re: Dropping the rear axle

The wheel arms arms are cast iron. Unlike steel the will surface corrode but not rust through. Any issues will be with rubber bushings.

So now we are down to axle tube and other ancillary flanges. The picture you post shows surface but not serious corrosion. A little time and effort with a wire brush etc. followed by quality surface rust treatments will protect preserve your "B"'s integrity.

With regards to the springs then yes you can clean them up and treat them but to do this properly they have to be removed so just replace them. This will also show your MOT tester that you are taking matters of maintenance seriously and will potentially buy you a little slack for other otherwise advisory items. On this point it is my experience that decent MOT test stations that treat and test vehicles on an overall and historic maintenance history will nod in your direction. But make no mistake next year they will strike back hard if you are seen to be taking the piss.

For our "B" last year the MOT tester said that the rear springs were getting quite rusty. Went on to say that other more picky testers (read but not stated those garages looking for work) would advise if not fail.

What did I do?

Simple. Went home and replaced the rear springs and shocks. Even tarted up/treated the anti-roll bar surface corrosion.

As a respected (by me) MOT tester and trusted mechanic (by me) said they test on face value. Honest ones are their to protect your and others safety but even then one tester's opinion will vary from another's. That said a known track record with a testing station/tester helps to build a trust that is inspected every year. But make no mistake if something is clearly andMOT failure or advisory you will get gonged!!!!

I liken the annual MOT to your annual dentist visit. If the tooth needs pulling or filling then this will happen. If tooth and gum care is marginal then the dentist will lecture you and advise you. Go back next year with the same issues then you will wish you never went back to the same dentist (if you are stupid) or you will get your finger out and fix issues and rebuild trust.
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Last edited by s130; 1 Week Ago at 21:28.
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Old 6 Days Ago   #7
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Re: Dropping the rear axle

Quote Originally Posted by s130 View Post
With regards to the springs then yes you can clean them up and treat them but to do this properly they have to be removed so just replace them. This will also show your MOT tester that you are taking matters of maintenance seriously and will potentially buy you a little slack for other otherwise advisory items. On this point it is my experience that decent MOT test stations that treat and test vehicles on an overall and historic maintenance history will nod in your direction. But make no mistake next year they will strike back hard if you are seen to be taking the piss.
Thank you, I think this makes a really good point. For my own peace of mind I was intending to put in new springs as it seemed daft not to having gone to all the effort of getting the axle out. I hadn't thought that it does demonstrate to the tester my commitment to the car. I was taking a view that I would address all advisories from last year as a matter of course and this, I would think, will also show that commitment. I'll probably replace the flexible hoses while I'm there.

As to 'quality surface rust treatments', is there anything you'd recommend? Apart from the axle, ARB and arms I'd like to protect the exhaust hangers. The first step, as you say, is the wire brush (one of the reasons for dropping the axle was to make it easy to get it properly cleaned up) but what next to ensure a good covering that will survive the assault of stone chips and the like?
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Old 6 Days Ago   #8
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Re: Dropping the rear axle

I used to use and trust a product called trust Trustan. I have a very little left but have not seen it for sale for quite a few years now. It is a red paint base anti-rust treater and primer. On our 130TC (1988) from new there was rust in the boot floor too rear panel seam. Nothing massive. We just painted this with Trustan, working into the seam and 33 years on no problems at all. We never even bothered to top coat as the boot floor rubber mat covered it all up. Also wanted at that time to keep an eye on things and apply more treatment if required with having to possibly mess with a fresh top coat. After a couple of years or so completely forgot about it. To this day the red product is there and everything is fine.

We also had on the inside back edge of one door jamb a couple of small rust bubbles. These were treated with Trustan, top painted and no problems ever since.

If you can find this product I would us it.

See also https://www.autoexpress.co.uk/produc...onverters-2021
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Last edited by s130; 6 Days Ago at 08:50.
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Old 6 Days Ago   #9
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Re: Dropping the rear axle

If it's removed from the car why not find a local place that does shot blasting and get the rust thoroughly cleaned?


It likely won't cost much more then a tin or two of good rust converter and will get a much better overall finish

Edit: think I mis read the thread looks like you've only droppt it down on the mountings rather then tottaly removed it if so disregard my previous post
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Last edited by chris3234; 6 Days Ago at 09:30.
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Old 6 Days Ago   #10
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Re: Dropping the rear axle

Quote Originally Posted by chris3234 View Post
If it's removed from the car why not find a local place that does shot blasting and get the rust thoroughly cleaned?


It likely won't cost much more then a tin or two of good rust converter and will get a much better overall finish

Edit: think I mis read the thread looks like you've only droppt it down on the mountings rather then tottaly removed it if so disregard my previous post
You got it right first time, the whole back axle is coming off the car so that could be an option. I'll ask around to see if there's someone local I can use.
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Re: Dropping the rear axle

Presently doing this job myself in-situ with the back axle, though I have used a powered wire brush of various sizes to remove the surface rust and crud. Presently hand painted all the wire brushed areas with two pack primer, before I start mask everything up that needs to be masked before spray painting top coats. Will be replacing both shocks, springs with top and bottom mounts. My bump stops will be continued to be used and not changed as in good order. Have to admit the DTR stainless rear silencer was a PITA to remove until the propane blow torch got it to move. Shall post some pics as well.
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Re: Dropping the rear axle

Good effort on cleaning all that up and priming it! As I said at the start, my main reason for taking the whole axle off was so I didn't have to lie on the floor with a wire brush so I have great respect for you getting to where you've got to. I look forward to seeing it when it's finished.

Luckily for me my exhaust came off OK, it's a stainless steel one of some sort (I'm not sure where it came from, I got the impression from the previous owner that he'd had it put together bespoke but may be wrong) and the only casualty was the bolts snapping on the clamp joining the back to the front which I expected to have to replace anyway.
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Re: Dropping the rear axle

Quote Originally Posted by Wiltshire Chris View Post
Good effort on cleaning all that up and priming it! As I said at the start, my main reason for taking the whole axle off was so I didn't have to lie on the floor with a wire brush so I have great respect for you getting to where you've got to. I look forward to seeing it when it's finished.

Luckily for me my exhaust came off OK, it's a stainless steel one of some sort (I'm not sure where it came from, I got the impression from the previous owner that he'd had it put together bespoke but may be wrong) and the only casualty was the bolts snapping on the clamp joining the back to the front which I expected to have to replace anyway.
Thanks. Sure will update the thread when I applied the spray coats. Will be doing after masking and after under sealed the undercarriage as it seems on my B a bit hit and miss what coverage they applied at the factory.

Extensively checked my rear arches with a light chipping hammer, all seems good with no concerns, will just overcoat the under seal. Removal of the liners was a doddle compared to my Fiat Coupe liners that where a PITA.

Noted on your SS exhaust you have a mid silencer as well. Mine just has the front and rear silencer, and a SS pipe between them.

Still contemplating in rubbing down the rear brake calipers and painting them once I replaced the discs and pads. Thinking red or silver.
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Re: Dropping the rear axle

Quote Originally Posted by FiatFleetFamily View Post
under sealed the undercarriage as it seems on my B a bit hit and miss what coverage they applied at the factory
I'd agree with that, there's a few bare patches on mine that'll get the treatment.
Quote Originally Posted by FiatFleetFamily View Post
Extensively checked my rear arches with a light chipping hammer, all seems good with no concerns
That's good news, I had to pay for mine to be sorted. I knew it needed doing when I got given the car so I can't complain.
Quote Originally Posted by FiatFleetFamily View Post
Still contemplating in rubbing down the rear brake calipers and painting them once I replaced the discs and pads. Thinking red or silver.
I've got that on my list too. I've got some E-Tech paint in graphite ready for the job. Seems silly not to now that the things in pieces.

Good luck with it all
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Re: Dropping the rear axle

Well it's off the car now!
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