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The 100-Six Forum

lower link bushing problem

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carrera1955 Robert L
San Salvador, salvador, El Salvador   SLV
Hi all,

I had posted on the 3000 forum an issue I had with my axle hubs and got that resolved with the help of Peter and other forum members. I am now having a problem installing the lower suspension arms, specifically the lower link rubber bushings. Is there any particular way they should go in. The mechanic doing my work pretty much butchered the bushing seats on the frame by pounding and trying to spread them so the arm would go in. The bushing appears to be way to wide to just slide in. After hammering out the seats and knocking out the lock washer where the fulcrum pin slides in, he finally got one side in. but the seat is a mess. The other side was worse, so bad that both bushing ended up tearing and we had to pull it out. I will forward pictures. I wouldn't think there would be any problem but now my seats are all messed up. I will send a photo of what happened to the bushings. I forgot to take a pic of the seat while I was at the shop.

Are the inner lock washers supposed to be pressed into the seat on the frame? Both came out and the bushing basically is sticking out of the hole where the lock washer should be.

Help please.

thanks,
Bob

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carrera1955 Robert L
San Salvador, salvador, El Salvador   SLV
Here is what happened to the bushing when I trepes to get it into the seat


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petnatcar Avatar
petnatcar Silver Member Peter Carbone
Watertown, NY, USA   USA
Hi Bob,

You certainly are having a disorderly amount of trouble with your car but don't loose heart.
We all suffer through repairs on these old cars.

The only problem I had when replacing the bushings in my lower control arms was that they were a tight fit but
not to the point of beating the crap out of them. Brute force only seems to cause additional damage and may weaken
the support bracket on the frame.
Be sure to clean that bracket and check for cracks along the welds.

Spray some White Lithium Grease in the boss before installing the bushings and
on the inside of the bracket so they slide in there a little easier.

I can't help think that you have the wrong bushings because they stick out so far.
Did you take photos or measurements of the original bushings?
You may have to grind some off the outside face of those bushings so they fit in between the bracket.
Use a belt sander to do that but only remove enough to get them to fit.

When installing the bushings do they touch in the middle of the control arm?
If they touch you will have to grind/shave some of that off so they fit in the boss in the lower control arm.
If they stick out to far they will never go into the bracket on the chassis and from your photos those bushings are way to big.

I would start with new bushings from a different company like
AH Spares and A-Head-4-Healeys in England, they seem to know what they're doing and
I've had very good luck with parts form these guys.

Not sure what else I can tell you but try to keep the brute force to a minimum and use the grease before sliding
the control arm into the bracket.

Not sure about the lock washer you mention.
Got another photo of that?

Good luck again,
Peter

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carrera1955 Robert L
San Salvador, salvador, El Salvador   SLV
Thanks again Peter,

I think the bushings were probably too big. I got them from Moss. One of the mechanics suggested grinding them down but I was the one that told him that there were correct for the car so they should fit. Additionally they had no way of doing that except with a knife and hand file smiling smiley. The lock washer I was referring to is the special washer labeled #2 in the diagram you posted (i was calling it a lock washer. ON two of the mounting brackets that washer was already installed from when the arm was removed. The bushings on the car were the original bushings. I still have them and there are indeed smaller, I thought it was due to age. (The car sat at a shop outdoors for about 25 years and then under cover at the same shop for another 8 years.)

From the foto you posted I should have only put one bearing in the arm and then slid the other thru the post? followed by the washer? The bushings I had installed would probably be too big to go thru that hole on the bracket.

All this is very useful. If there were other healeys here to look at the process would be much easier. The internet has helped me a lot. I was using the healey of a friend of mine. HE had a very original healey his father bought him new while in college in the US. never wrecked and no rust. Someone had stolen the seats and dash out of it while at a local shop here. He was in need of money a few months ago and offered it to me for $20K. Unfortunately I was so far into other projects I couldn't take if off his hands just then. Beautiful running 64. IT was sold to a beer magnate in a neighboring country. The other two healeys were sold years ago to outside buyers in Costa Rica and Panama. There is rumor of one left sitting somewhere but I haven't been able to find it. The only one left here that I know of is a non running but complete and legitimate 100M. I saw it about 20 years ago and it is still sitting. I keep in touch with the owner, and he has asked me to come and look at it because he wants to sell it. It belonged to his father who passed away two years ago. I remember when his father was alive, he wanted way too much for it.

Sorry for the stories, and thanks for all of the help. I think I will start over on this part and get new bushings all around. It will set me back a couple of months orering them, but they will be correct.

cheers,
Bob

petnatcar Avatar
petnatcar Silver Member Peter Carbone
Watertown, NY, USA   USA
Robert,

I'm glad I can offer some worthwhile advice.

I always wished there was someone around to ask questions to when I was working on my car back in the 70's but
that was way before the internet so I just stumbled along but got it all sorted out eventually.

Originality was never in the cards for this car but I love it to much to give up on it.

Remember what they say about making repairs: when all else fails refer to the manual smiling smiley
Sliding that bushing in from the side does look easier as long as it's all the way in and between the sides of the bracket.

You may need to use a longer bolt and a fender washer to pull it into place then insert the fulcrum pin.

Be sure to check the brackets for solid welds. Now's the time to fix those if they are suspect.

Good luck and keep us posted.

Peter

Randy Forbes Avatar
Parrish, FL, USA   USA
1957 Austin-Healey 100-Six
1999 BMW M Coupe "Blue Car"
1999 BMW M Roadster "Black Car"
2001 BMW M Roadster "Gray Car"
Peter has it pretty well covered, so I'll just add some visual aids...

First of all, take away ALL of your mechanics hammers!!

Fitting the second (2nd) bush through the large hole in the mount; notice bushing width and (lack of) gaps



Showing the leading arm during the tightening down process



MAKE CERTAIN that the "key" in the washer lines up with the mount, But DO NOT fully tighten the nuts yet!!



BEFORE TIGHTENING THE FULCRUM PINS, find/make a 2" (or Metric equivalent) spacer



Place the spacer between upper arm and chassis__to set @ ride height__THEN tighten nuts fully & fit cotter pins
(perhaps not obvious, but do have the king-pin fitted, if only temporarily, between the upper and lower control arms)



Failure to follow the last couple of steps will guarantee the bushes will have a VERY SHORT life, and then you'll get to pay for the entire job once again!**

If you plan to continue using the the same__or any other__mechanic in the future, I strongly urge you to provide a Healey workshop manual when you take your car in.

Good luck!



The rubber bush is meant to flex a little bit up, a little bit down when in use. If you fully tighten up the fulcrum pins at full droop, when the suspension hits full bounce, it WILL SHEAR the rubber. That's why you want to tighten them in the middle of travel, so the arms can flex in both directions without ripping the bush.

carrera1955 Robert L
San Salvador, salvador, El Salvador   SLV
thanks Randy, those pictures are very helpful. I will attempt to go thru the process again. I have been trying to install this as a single unit, arms kingpin, and brake all together. Its rather heavy but I've used three guys. Very sage advice about the manual. I actually have two manuals, I gave one to the engine rebuilder and one to the body guy but only the engine rebuilder reads any english. I retrieved the manual from the body guy so I could go thru and mark pages for him. I don't think he ever opened it. The shop I have it at is the only shop that has ever worked on healeys but the last one was 15 years ago so they are really rusty.

One of the issues down here is that if something doesn't fit, they try and make it fit. Since I can't be at their shop every day I have to hope they don't get to far along without me present. I do a lot of the refurbishing and putting parts back together at my home during the evening then they pick it up for installation. The block on the shock is a great idea. I am going to have to run to the shop in the morning and retrieve the other set of arm and drum and then have them work on repairing the damage to the mounts. That means stripping the affected area of paint, straightening, then repainting. A days work for one of them.

Fortunately labor is cheap here, I pay $20 a day each to the mechanics. Usually its just one person who will work on it. But you get what you pay for. smiling smiley If you are there with them giving them guidance things turn out great. Yesterday I was little too late getting to the shop.

But your comments and pics are very useful. thanks again.

Randy Forbes Avatar
Parrish, FL, USA   USA
1957 Austin-Healey 100-Six
1999 BMW M Coupe "Blue Car"
1999 BMW M Roadster "Black Car"
2001 BMW M Roadster "Gray Car"
Robert, I'm glad I could help!

Yes, we tend to take things for granted up here, and I'm admittedly more critical than most, holding myself__and others, apparently__to a high standard, as I work on cars myself.

Though I've owned my 100/6 for just over 40 years, I spent most of my time working on these:


carrera1955 Robert L
San Salvador, salvador, El Salvador   SLV
Randy, you are now my hero. I would love to have an M coupe in estoril blue. Its on my need to have list. Right now I have an agave 72 tii. It sits at my home in the US. Wish I had it here.

Randy Forbes Avatar
Parrish, FL, USA   USA
1957 Austin-Healey 100-Six
1999 BMW M Coupe "Blue Car"
1999 BMW M Roadster "Black Car"
2001 BMW M Roadster "Gray Car"
In reply to # 205075 by carrera1955 Randy, you are now my hero. I would love to have an M coupe in estoril blue. Its on my need to have list. Right now I have an agave 72 tii. It sits at my home in the US. Wish I had it here.
Haha, the tii is quite a desirable model too!

The first car in that line up is mine; I first encountered it in January 2005, and it was the Very First "customer's car" for Sports Cars Plus, LLC. At that time, I just did the trunkfloor and differential mount reinforcement. At the end of that year, the owner sent the car back to me to fit a then new to market Eurosport TwinScrew Supercharger package. I just flat fell in love with it! The owner was going to pick it up and drive the car back home, and to be sure he didn't have any trouble, INSISTED that I use the car for a week in my daily commute__a little over 200 miles__I was compelled to do as he asked...

Years later he'd sell the car (to another close friend, a girl no less) and several years later she decided to sell it to finance a new business. I was the first person she contacted, initially to prep the car for sale, but then she and my wife cooked up a deal and, to make a long story short(er), I've had it since February 2014.



A couple of days ago, I just completed a bunch of work (>$10k worth) on an '01 Coupe, and will soon be starting on another '01 Coupe__BOTH are from Southern California (I'm in SW Florida)__so you see I've developed quite a reputation for working on them.

If you should suffer some insomnia, every car I've worked on has its own album in my gallery. Currently, my own server is down for repair, so the site is being hosted by a friend (the one tasked with building me a replacement). The permanent address is spcarsplus.com but you have to make a few clicks to reach the gallery right now. You can access it directly here (though this will most likely be a temporary link): http://spcarsplus.com/piwigo/

[/highjack] winking smiley

rusty1c Avatar
rusty1c Peter D
Antioch, CA, USA   USA
1961 Austin-Healey 3000 BT7 "RUBY"
1963 Chevrolet C10 "Rusty"
Robert and Randy,
When I was restoring my Healey, 4 years ago, I had the same trouble with the lower front end bushings. I had ordered them through Moss and then through Victoria British. I had trouble with both sets being to long to allow the bushing bolts to seat in the proper position. I finally got some from AH Spares and they went right in and the bolts seated perfectly in the locking tabs. Unfortunately I had to destroy my old bushings to get them out so I had nothing to go by for reference when the new ones came in and I found them to long. I notified both Moss and Victoria British of the problem. Moss said they would look into it as they had several different suppliers. When I talked to Victoria British they said they didn't have a technical department so they were no help at all.
Peter
rusty1c

carrera1955 Robert L
San Salvador, salvador, El Salvador   SLV
thats an awesome collection you have Randy. Sounds like you are an M coupe expert.

also Peter, I will be looking for new bushings on the AH website. Thanks for the advice and heads up. I will keep you all posted. I have another difficult question and issue with my engine, but I am going to wait to ask for help, so I don't wear out my welcome on this site. smiling smiley

petnatcar Avatar
petnatcar Silver Member Peter Carbone
Watertown, NY, USA   USA
Don't be bashful.

What's the problem?

carrera1955 Robert L
San Salvador, salvador, El Salvador   SLV
Okay, here goes,

as background, this 1959 BN6 had been sitting for years, probably about 30, and parts were being taken off for a "Cobra Healey". At any rate I finally convinced the owner to sell, 25 years after i first saw, it. It had all the drive train but was missing all of the interior and electricals, chrome, but had two hard top.

There was not vin but it had the body batch number. The engine was painted blue and did not have a number on it. the holes where the engine number plate rivets would have gone were nto there either. I got the vin and engine number thru the British Motor Museum in England. They were very good about figuring out the vin number based on the original color of the car, yellow, which I found under layers of paint. This was their email. Great people and great service.

"Dear Bob
I think I have managed to track down your vehicle and here are the details
The car with chassis number BN6-L/4618 has body number 4119, was shipped to Salvador and was duotone - Primrose Yellow with Black roof.
I hope this helps with your restoration
Regards
Jan"

But based on the pistons in my engine, I was told by a US machine shop, that the engine in my car was probably not the original one because the piston rods are the bolt clamp type, and based on my engine number they should be the pressed pin type. Since there is no number on the engine i am not sure what type it is.

But here is the issue; when the engine was opened here, everything looked to be in great shape but one of the pistons was stuck. The engine builder poured detergent on the stuck piston and let it sit for several days. Of course the detergent ate the piston. I have not seen the piston, but the builder told me, and I really dont want to see it. He said he could find another pistion in england or germany (that was two years ago). The engine has been sitting that long. My question is where can I get a similar clamp on piston. If I find a set of pressed pin pistions with rods, will they work on my crank and block, or what piston replacement options do I have. At this point I am willing to just get a single used replacement clamp on to get the engine running. Suggestions?

This is the engine number recorded for this car is 26D-U-H/77604, but I am told that based on the type of pistons in the car, they dont jive with this numbers.

carrera1955 Robert L
San Salvador, salvador, El Salvador   SLV
Some pics of piston and engine in question


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