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How to Replace the Trailing Arm Bearings
simondenison
17-08-2011
<b><font color="black"><font face="Verdana">Multipla Trailing Arm Bearing Replacement 110 Elx Jtd 2001 with 127 k miles</font></font></b><br />
<br />
<br />
<font color="black"><font face="Verdana">I only noticed that I’d got worn bearings by chance, I didn’t have the tyres touching the
Old 07-05-2012   #15
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Re: How to Replace the Trailing Arm Bearings

Well worth drilling and tapping a grease nipple into the trailing arm when you get it off.
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Old 07-05-2012   #16
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Re: How to Replace the Trailing Arm Bearings

On the Citroen CX, putting a grease nipple in the trailing arm was a common mod which prolonged the life of the bearings seemingly indefinitely . On the Fiat the nipple would have to feed the grease into the sleeve which is a bit more difficult to achieve. I can't remember well enough how much gap there is between the sleeve and the arm - maybe Bikedoc can advise.
On the hammer front, I do literally mean a sledge hammer and a big drift, pref only slightly smaller than the bolt itself. A small one risks spreading the bolt end and seizing it tighter in the sleeve. It's a case of being brave and making the first blow count and break the 'seal'. Once it moves, you're on to the home run ! Hopefully.
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Old 07-05-2012   #17
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Re: How to Replace the Trailing Arm Bearings

Don't be afraid to use plenty of heat to crack that bolt out.

I seem to remember the gap being around 5mm between the plastic sleeve and the metal sleeve between the two. It would be hard to somehow inject direct into here. It might just be the case that the whole thing needs to be filled with grease!

From what I remember it looks a bit like this?

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Old 08-05-2012   #18
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Re: How to Replace the Trailing Arm Bearings

Well, the puller only succeeded in ripping the welded-on bolt off.
Took nearly the full pressure of the pump to do it mind!

I managed to find a five-foot long 2" diameter steel bar to use as a drift.
Took the right wheel off and had it sticking out under the right arm, resting on an axle stand and lump of dense foam.
Many blows with a full sized sledgehammer only moved the bolt approx 1/2mm...and started to bend the side of the subframe outwards.
I had to put the steel pipe I cut for the puller over the bolt head, and knock the subframe back into shape again, as the arm was seriously loose by this point.

Getting the big drills out next...
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Old 08-05-2012   #19
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Re: How to Replace the Trailing Arm Bearings

I think at this point I'd be scouring the scrap yards for subframes!

Good on you for trying though! I like the never surrender style.
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Old 08-05-2012   #20
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Re: How to Replace the Trailing Arm Bearings

I'm amazed your bolt is so tight in the sleeve. Did you heat the bolt up and try to get some penetrating oil in - both ends would be best, but you'd still need to grind the head off. If it has moved the bolt within the sleeve the .5mm, it may be worth driving it back and forth with the sledge from both ends - maybe that will dislodge enough rust to free it ? From the sound of it though, the play could be from the subframe bending.
Maybe the sleeve has worn a step/shoulder on the bolt and driving the bolt back through the wrong way may re-align things ?
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Old 09-05-2012   #21
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Re: How to Replace the Trailing Arm Bearings

I'm pretty sure it's just rusted solid.
I was hitting the bar so hard that a friend had to lean on the left passenger door to stop the axle stands slipping across the smooth concrete floor!
Once the bolt is drilled and the arm's dropped, I'm sure the sleeve (and what's left of the bolt) will knock out of the bearing(s) without too much effort.

I think I'll fit the grease nipples in the bolt, one at each end, and drill a very small feed hole through the centre, then out, to link up with holes in the sleeve, which will feed the grease to the inside of the bearings.
It'll also ensure some grease gets into the space between the bolt and sleeve.
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Old 11-05-2012   #22
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Re: How to Replace the Trailing Arm Bearings

Okaaaay...

Left bolt head drilled off in-situ, then I decided it'd be a lot easier to lower the subframe on the left a bit, for more access to the other end of the bolt.


Then I thought, S*d it! Might as well have it right out, will save a lot of hassle/struggling in the long run.

Had to drop the exhaust onto the floor, unclip all the brake lines/cables, remove pipe/wire brackets, calipers etc, basically everything that's attached to the subframe.
Wasn't that bad a job actually...except the dreaded ABS sensors of course
Broke one, and admitted defeat with the other and just snipped the wire.

Front Bushes are totally shot...


...but the rear ones are fine, as are the front bores...




Right pivot bolt is as seized as the left, so I've drilled the head off that, and cut the threaded ends down as far as possible with a hacksaw, ready for drilling.

So, off to Allparts/Euro Car Spares/Vauxhall garage in the morning to hunt down some bushes.
Might go to Fiat first, just for a laugh (and a moan).

What's the deal with the ABS sensors?
Can you 'bypass' them somehow, or can I just solder the wires back on?
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Old 12-05-2012   #23
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How to Replace the Trailing Arm Bearings

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Old 12-05-2012   #24
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How to Replace the Trailing Arm Bearings

After the slight hiccup in proceedings (see subframe topic here https://www.fiatforum.com/multipla/2...ml#post3018653), got the old outer races out of the trailing arms.
Everything cleaned up OK, despite what the right side of the left arm looked like...


No sign of any rollers at all, and only 1/3 of the inner race left

Surprised the MOT didn't pick it up in Oct.

Assembled all the replacement parts, did the first one twice as I put the spacers/seal retainers in back to front the first time

Put the grease nipples near the ends of the arm tube, so they feed into the gap between the seal and bearing on each side.
As the arm is hollow throughout, it's the only way to do it really.


Wire-brushed and scraped all the loose paint and rust off (nothing major luckily), just need some Jenolite and a can of black Hammerite now, should have it back in by tomorrow afternoon.

If anyone needs any specific pictures posting, make it quick...
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Old 13-05-2012   #25
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How to Replace the Trailing Arm Bearings

Yaaaaaaaaaaaaaay!

Managed to salvage the knackered ABS sensor scenario.

First I tried to Dremel out the plastic of the snapped off sensor, so I could get to the wires to solder some rplacememnts on.
That didn't work, so I started to drill out the rest, resigned to the expense of a new sensor.
After a few seconds, the sensor end dropped out into the back of the disc.
I fished it out and looked at it, realising there might still be enough of it to salvage.
I cut away the plastic to get to the wires, by now, just the thin rectangular part was left.

Soldered some thin equipment wire to the exposed wires, and put a micro Deans connector on the other end.


Then I put connectors on the the ends of the wires on the car, both sides, and on the sensor cable I had to cut to get the right arm off.
Connected them up, switched the ignition on... [ABS SYS FAULT]...damn!
Maybe I need to reset the system by disconnecting the battery I thought...no joy.

Then I thought that maybe the sensor has to be in place, close to the hub.
I placed it in position as best I could, and tried again, still no good.

OK, maybe the sensors are polarity critical?
I couldn't be sure which wire was which (one Grey, one White) with the broken one, as the wires encased in the sensor body plastic aren't insulated.

I made a back-to-back connector to 'reverse' the wires, tried again...BINGO! No message, ABS light went out.
That's £50+ saved.

Stuck the sensor in place with Silicone Sealant, should do for a few years...
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Old 14-05-2012   #26
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How to Replace the Trailing Arm Bearings

...and it's all together again, phew!
Feels like a new(ish) car now
Best of all, I finally have four wheels that are all the same.
I'd replaced the others with slightly wider ones from the Coupé, after my pothole encounter.
The left rear tyre rubbed on the inner arch, due to the knackered trailing arm bearings, so I had to use the original in that position.

Right, what's the next job?
Spare wheel hanger?
Rear wiper?
EGR valve?
Reversing lights?
Oil leak?
Tailgate switch?
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Old 03-06-2012   #27
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Re: How to Replace the Trailing Arm Bearings

Hi Bikedoc

Can you recall wot sized drill bit you used to drill out the bolt as i am having the same problem as you with one of the bolts not coming out any help you can give me would be great.

Thanks
dave
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Old 07-06-2012   #28
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Re: How to Replace the Trailing Arm Bearings

Sorry for the late reply Dave.
The bolt diameter is 16mm.
The largest drill I have is a 15mm, so once I'd drilled through approx 20mm below the head, I had to cut through as much of the remaining metal as possible, with a hacksaw blade (in the gap between the subframe and the trailing arm).
At the other end of the bolt, I cut it first, as close to the subframe as possible, to limit the amount of drilling needed.

Then a bit of mild violence with a crowbar broke the last little bit.
It's best not to drill with a 16mm bit, and use a smaller one, as if you're a little off with the drill alignment, you'll damage the subframe, and the new bolt will be able to move in the hole.


You'll need to start with a small drill of course, and gradually go up a size at a time to the large one.
Start with around a 6mm bit, then go to 10, then 12 or 13, then the 15.
The larger the drill bit, the larger the 'chisel edge' in the centre, which doesn't actually cut, so you need to start with the smaller size.
It also gives you a chance to 'steer' the bits a little, to correct any off-centre drilling.
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Old 10-08-2012   #29
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Re: How to Replace the Trailing Arm Bearings

Finally got around to starting on my bearings today. The nut came off no problem, but whacking the bolt with a lump hammer (with the nut loosely replaced, to hit against) I could only shift the bolt about 1mm. I could turn the bolt, but it didn't turn easily: it felt like something else was turning with it. Looked like the same problem as BikeDoc.

I didn't have a long bar to use as a drift, so I put it all back together, drove to work and borrowed various sizes of steel bar. On my second attempt, I used a 5ft bar (diameter just small enough to fit through the nut) with the nut hanging off the end of the bolt. I poked the bar through the wheel on the opposite side and rested one end of the bar in the nut, flush against the bolt. A few whacks with a lump hammer and the bolt was moving. Easily removed then.

Knocked off for the evening now, with just the last 'outer race' to remove.

I don't suppose the bearings should look like this after whacking the sleeve out !

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