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Old 10-04-2010, 07:54 AM
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Default Rear Swing Adjustments

Well, the saga begins with the adjustable spring plates. My Swing axle pan may be unique from most of your IRS versions, so I've 'jumped-threads' to cover this specifically. It looks like I'll be in it for the long-haul.
I started replacing the spring plates Sunday after Church. 3-1/2 hrs. later, I still didn't have one side done yet. Here's the scenario:
First of all, all of the bolts were pretty tight, likely having never been detached before. I had to put some heavy pipe wrenches at the end of my socket handles to get them loose. Some PB overnight night beforehand would have helped.
If you are doing this, Be sure and allow enough slack in the e-brake cables to permit the axle to roll back when detached from the spring plate. Maybe this goes without saying, but the cable restrains movement of the axle. I had to detach them from the e-brake to allow enough motion, and I still stretched the heck out of the rear cable shroud.
The adj. plates and bushings came from Pacific Custom, and I shared ~6 e-mails with them to make sure they were the right ones. The stock swing axle spring plates are relatively thin, at ~3mm. The adjustables came in at 3/16" thick (~4.76mm), and at the bushing location, they are double thickness because of the adjustment plate. Multiple problems arose with this:
The torsion bars don't have enough spline engagement with the plates imo. Because the spline is pushed out by the thickness of the plates, over 1/2 of the spline is not engaged. Further, the thickness of the spring plate doesn't allow it to "twist" as a function of the drive axle position, something that was clearly designed into the stock plate. Since the axle has only one pivot joint at the transmission, the spring plate moving up and down needs to twist to some degree to accomodate the angle of the mounting hub, where the three bolts hold it to the plate. The new ones won't twist at all, even though I never got to mounting them.
Third, the double thickness of the spring plates won't allow the outer bushing plate to mount - not even close! The bolts aren't long enough to even touch the holes, and the slot that the spring plates stick out of is too narrow for the 3/8" double spring plates.
I plan on a discussion with pacific custom when they open. There may be a deeper bushing plate needed, but I'm more concerned that the plates won't twist to allow the suspension to travel properly, and without undue stress on the cv joint at the transmission. The bad news is I elongated the mounting holes in the spring plates to allow the wheels and axles to come forward a bit, so they probably won't exchange them. $100 lesson learned!!
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Old 10-06-2010, 03:08 PM
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The second round of adjustments went much better. Key to this was the purchase of longer (50mm) M10-1.5 bolts for the torsion end caps. I also used a lock washer as a spacer on each bolt between the cap and the frame. This provided enough space for the thicker spring plates to clear, albeit with a little bending of the cap...
Side 2 came off without a hitch. This is the 'culprit' side suspected to allow the wheel to hit the body once lowered. I could see the interference already. I elongated the holes in the spring plates on a mill to allow the axles to come forward enough to clear. We'll see tonight when the axle is attached back to the spring plate.
I also found it more helpful to measure the distance between the garage floor and the spring plate to determine where the original plate was. SOme say mark an angle on the frame along the bottom of the SP (springplate) when it's unsprung . I have a hard time matching the angle up, soI measured and matched the adjustable SP to that measurement, with the adjustment screws at full extension. That way, I can always get back to the original ride height, and have ~1.5" of adjustment. I'm going back to redo the first side as well. I ended up with the correct height, but with the adjustment screw all the way out. One outer spline notch should do it.
You'd never know I've done this 6 times in the past - I feel like an absolute rookie!!
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Old 10-06-2010, 04:57 PM
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I hate adjusting spring plates. I've only done it once, but it took a number of tries to get it "right". So no worries feeling like a rookie - it's a pain no matter how many you have under your belt!
Good to hear you're making headway, though - can't wait to see the photos of the new stance!
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Old 10-07-2010, 12:49 PM
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And it continues...
The Good:
When I got ready to install the adjustable Spring Plates (SP's) I had the slotted holes and axle slot opened up toward the torsion shaft by 1/4" to allow for more travel of the axle, and hence the wheel to keep it from dragging the rear of the wheel well. This worked out well. THere's more than enough room to wiggle it in there. Now I have to go back and re-position the wheel to minimize the tow-in, and keep the tire off the well.

The Bad:
The initial adjustment on the left side was successful...so of course, I re-did it!! The problem was that the adjustment screw on the SP was all the way out, and I wanted some level of adjustment. I removed all the gear, and unspring the plates. I measured the distance from the floor to the plate, then screwed in the adj. bolt to about a half way position. Then, I re-positioned the torsion bar to put the unsprung plates in the same location. Everything mounted back nicely, but when I dropped the car back on the wheels, the left side was way too high - about where I started this whole mess!! Ugh !! I took it around the block, but it's still way to high, and under cambered..YUCK!

The Ugly:
Who knows where the e-brake cables ended up. With all of the tugging and pulling, they are probably at the back of the tunnel by now - I don't relish going looking for them. Anyway, it looks like it'll be a while before I need them, since further SP adjustments will be required.

More Good:
I'm getting pretty good at this...It really does only take an hour or so to do one side!!
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Old 10-13-2010, 03:51 PM
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Well, I'm done...for the moment. I actually have a black eye as a result!! - The socket wrench came loose while tightening an axle bolt, and I punched myself...
The end result was that I adjusted each spring plate by two outer spline notches from where I started - a lot more than I thought I'd need, but that's what it took to bring the down.... The wheels fit the wells only after the holes in the spring plates were made bigger to allow the axles to swing forward a bit. The toe in may be an issue, but I'll watch tire wear and see how it goes.
The look of the lowered rear is MUCH better, and the improvement in handling is noticable. I did have to lower the adjustable plate on the left side a bunch more than the right, but something tells me that exercise will be repeated. For now, I have adjustment either way on both sides, so we're good.
So, we took her for a cruise. While motoring up a slight incling, the motor all of a sudden started missing and backfiring like it was the 4th of July!! I got home and filled it with gas ( no luck...I thought it might be empty) and then pulled the plugs. What a pile of carbon! I cleaned them off, and much better. This thing is rich! The Holley has automatic choke, which isn't hooked up, but hte choke plates stay about 2/3 closed. I removed them so the throats are wide open, and it seems better. Added a pint of STP Carb Cleaner to the tank and we'll see how it goes.
If it's not something, its everything!! Still, this thing rocks...without exception, I get gawkers at every light, turn parking spot etc., even with the crappy paint!!
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Old 10-14-2010, 04:13 PM
Nic Nic is offline
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Id did something very similar once, working on a motorcycle. I was trying to pull the cotter pin out of the axle nut with a pair of vice-grips.... towards my face. Pin came out and pliers hit me square in the mouth, busted lip and cut up gums. NOT a pretty site.
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Old 10-14-2010, 09:03 PM
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HA HA,
I put myself on cruches once...

I was using an improvised impact wrench (namely a combination wrench, and a hammer).
I didnt hit the wrench square, and the 20 oz Ball peen hammer deflected off the wrench and square into my knee cap.
After turning white as sheet, and I spent some time laying over the hood of a car, my wife hobbled me to the ER.

Oh the lessons we learn,....
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Old 10-15-2010, 01:19 PM
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...Maybe we need a new thread forum !!
This was actually the second incident. The first was smacking myself in the mouth with a crow-bar while trying to pry the spring plate off of thelower stop. I guess I'm blessed not to be dead under the motor by now!!
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