General Well, it's that time again! Rear trailing bearings

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General Well, it's that time again! Rear trailing bearings

You can use the new axle spindle bolt to pull in the new bearing races, if you fit them one at a time. The bolt isn't long enough to span both of the races at once, but copes with one just fine.
Had a go and I now understand the siezed bolt issue.
Wheel side bearing was goosed, dry and rusty like so many of pictures on here.
I have inner races out and I am will get back to it when I get a chance. We have access to another car for a week or two. Want to think about how to finish off, so she does not fail again. Also want to clean up the subframe paint that is exposed.

Bolt was fully locked in the sleeve.
I had not seen the threads with this part of the story, where the 16 mm bolt will not budge.
Tried wobbling aligning and all sorts but it was locked solid. Mindful BikeDOc had 8 te puller and weld broke rather than getting the bolt out.
I had a 1 inch socket on a toque multiplier used for getting truck wheel bolts off and the inner nut turned a bit more but it was just stretching the bolt.
Cut the hex head of the bolt and smashed while bolt under tension - still stuck. Nut would not turn the headless bolt.

Considered taking subframe off, but decided to continue on car to cut the bolt ends.
Used 125 mm 1.2 mm cutting disk on my cheapo grinder to cut from underneath car on both sides of the arm in gap between subframe.
Cut most of the washer / bearing cover.
Pushed sleeve out easily with the rusted bearing end first.

Rusted end inner race that sits in the arm was a pig but just walked it as advised by other from the other end with long screw driver at 3 and 9 oclock.
Tried cutting with dremmel and smacking fist to split it but failed.

No damage to subframe or radius arm but as said by others it is slow work.
Face shield and goggles. A few disks broke up but they are not as scarry when they go as I was thinking.

Anit Roll Bar ARB off this side
Shock abs bolt removed
Exhaust off 4 hangers
Cover over hand break cable off

Break line, abs and hand break left in place but clips loosened and bracket unbolted

Next is rust proofing, putting in new bearing kit and putting it back together.

I will post some pickies a bit latter when I get them sorted.
photos so far of doing it without removing subframe.
My bushes are OK and generally subframe is pretty rust free, so I did not want to drop subframe at this time of year. Might have been faster taking off the car
as cuts would have been quicker ... but I would have needed a helper to do this. I have had one off before for bushes and with help that was about an hour to take off from memory.


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Great photos Oletimer. Thanks for taking the time to take and then post them. I know what it's like trying to take half-decent pictures when your hands are covered in **** :)

Water ingress into those arms is a killer. I reckon if you could stop it, the bearings would last forever. As far as I can see, there are 3 ways that water can get inside the arm casting:

  1. Past the outer edge of the rubber seal that goes on the very outer ends of the bearing bore
  2. Between the main spindle bolt and the same rubber seal
  3. Through the hole in the bottom of the arm casting
On an old arm that's had some abuse in getting old bearings out, I reckon (1) is easily breached. If the end face of the casting isn't perfectly clean and flat, the seal doesn't stand a chance. Perhaps a thin bead of silicone sealant applied on assembly might help out?

(2) is a tricky one. A new spindle bolt will help a lot as it guarantees a smooth surface for the seal. A smear of red rubber grease might prolong the life of the lip seal? Not much can get in that way anyway as the arm ends are (or should be :) ) a very snug fit into the subframe.

(3) For better or worse, I put a tube-end bung in the holes in my arm castings. It could be argued that they act as a drain point, but I'd say if you've got so much water inside them that you need a drain point in the first place, then you're already a long way towards losing the battle. I think that hole is there purely to facilitate manufacture of the arms and nothing to do with drainage.

Now the arm is apart - I am thinking about this. My bolt was siezed in the sleeve. The rust on mine and other failed ones goes well past the bearing on the sleeve but it is starting at the outside and tracking in.

Thinking it is not 3 (big hole in subframe) else the inside bearing (nut end) would fail as well. The big hole in the casting is not at the low point so water is only getting out by air changes/evaporation rather than direct liquid draining ?

I am thinking water capillary into the sleeve and along the bolt gets the water tracking into the assembly. The head of the bolt is very near the tyre so it is going to get wet. Could then track around the rubber seal.

I have ordered up some waterproof/resistant grease (Morris K99 ) based on googling. Plan to smother everything especially the outside and bolt head.
I am putting in the grease nipples as advised on here!

Then making sure I grease the bolt in the sleeve as maybe this is not done in factory ?

Would welcome comments on this approach. Basically a waterproof grease, making sure bolt is well lubed and slathering grease on the outside of the assembly.

Back to work ...

Cheers Lee
Glad to see this one's got your grey matter working! ;)

Splashing/soaking of the swing arm and associated bearings is guaranteed. The whole lot is in harm's way and movement of water is going to be chaotic and random. I wouldn't want to be that swing arm....

It seems to me that the integrity of the bearing seal is very reliant on the quality of the surface of the faces of the subframe around the holes that the swing arm bolt passes through, where the rubber seals press up against it. That's why using slitting discs to get the old arm/bolt out is such a risky op. I was very lucky with mine as I could hammer the old bolts out.

The seal also relies on the walls of the subframe pressing being perpendicular to the bolt axis, which is a big ask as the press tool that made that bit of the subframe has to release from the part, once it's formed. Yes, the pivot bolt will pull everything up to the metal tube spacer, but the seals have to cope with the movement of the swingarm, though admittedly that is quite a small angle of movement.

It's a shame that this seems to be an Achilles Heel on the Multipla as it's not a common feature to have properly-independent suspension on a car in this price range and other than this and the subframe bush problem, it's a nicely designed and engineered setup. I'm sure it contributes to the decent handling of the Multi - when it's new, anyway!

Do a dry-run assembly of the arms to the subframe to mark up the swingarm casting for drilling and fitting of the grease nipples. There's not much of an 'arc' to get the holes in the correct place. When the back of the car is jacked up off the ground, the trailing arms swing through a much larger angle than when the car is on the ground and the nipples can then clout the subframe pressing if they're in the wrong place. Mine are a bit marginal but I just about got away with it, as long as I take the yellow caps off when I jack the car up.


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They do handle well.

Pressure washing probably best avoided too.

What do we think about big globs of grease on the outside to help seal it all up? Can it hurt anything ?

Thanks for the location advice on the grease points.
All I can say is Multipla nipple porn looking at your powder coated beauty.
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Took mine to my local garage who put it on their ramp, jacked the rear up and had a look at the n/s/r trailing arm as I looked on. Even though there is obvious camber there was no undue movement from the arm, either by wiggling the wheel by hand or being levered with a long bar. Both mechanic and myself both now puzzled as to the issue but glad that it's not dangerous or about to collapse.
Will it take eventually scuff the edge off the tyre and put more load on wheel bearing? Seems logical and I am sure I did it in past.

My other multis had bearings done by mechanic with no drama, they are not always bad to do. I think they were 100 k mark.
One we drove around for ages not realising it was goosed. Think wheel bearing and tyre issues followed, if memory serves me right.
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Put her back together yesterday afternoon all seems good.
A. Nipple installed.(just 1,on outside as running out of time. Not much risk on inner one.)
B. Copper slip all over the bolt inside the sleeve
C. Water resistant grease on bearing to try to stop it washing away

Jack used to get arm level to get bolt through ... a bit of a fag.
Spring compressed with ratchet straps.

All in all if you just have one side to do, keeping subframe on the car is ok even if you have to cut out the bolt.
If middle of summer and other work needed on subframe then worth doing.
Getting wheel alignment after dropping subframe was on my mind too. Ahh
Should mark it before dropping.

Loosening the other sides bolt and copper slipping it is on my to do list.also need to get waxoiling.
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Couple of pics from doing the work.

1 Seal. On mine I think water tracked from - there is a bit of a recess to the inner part of the seal where it sits on the machined washer. There was some corrosion trail on it. The outer is more lipped - the inner is smooth. Water proof grease used on it. Silicone heavy plumbing grease / vacuum grease would have likely been OK too.

This "rubber" seal does not touch the subframe - I am not sure I would worry if the flat surface of the frame was scuffed, I think it is just thickened up area. WMF - I may be missing something but that is where I got up to.

Pretty easy not to scuff subeframe though. Thinking about it when I was cutting the bolt , I "aimed at the metal washer to keep away from sleeve.

2. Nipple installed following WMF pickies and wise words about it clonking stuff when back on car. I think 25 mm was where I go to.