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[T3] Finally bit the bullet- report on a weekends toil

I finally got round to replacing the rear suspension rubber bearings this
weekend and boy was it hell!
I kind of assumed it would be relatively easy as I thought that was the
reason for so much lowering with VWs. Well maybe it is with the swing axle
cars but my IRS was a real pain, and I mean that literally as with all that
hunched over wrestling, every muscle in my body is aching bad and I can
hardly sit down :-(

It took about 5-6 hours for each side! The whole weekend! I almost gave up
early on when I re-read the Haynes (which is crap on detail for the later
cars rears BTW) and discovered that I had to remove the diagonal arms to
succeed. That would mean taking off the brake lines and handbrake cable-
forget it!

A bit of lateral thinking later and I found a way around this but it still
entailed removing the diag arm pivot pin- a 1/2hr job each side in itself!-
and the drive shaft CV joint at the stub axle and the dampers. Then I could
swivel the arm free of the spring plate and rest it on an axle stand.

Luckily for me the torsion bars were both free and as I'm continuously
amazed with this car, spotless and straight from the factory looking despite
the rust and dirt on the outside. I checked the angles of the arms and
adjusted them 50' down each side (1 notch) as they were a bit less than
The only thing I found a little wrong was that there were small rust through
holes in both the outer rubber clamping plates where the rubber fits. Are
these still available? (stupid question ;-)

Re-assembly was relatively easy but getting the spring plates back up and
onto the lugs was interesting- particularly working alone. Jacking up the
plates with the car attached, gradually tightening the bolts, trying to
jimmy the plates  while jumping up and down on the rockers to get them onto
the lugs! What fun-  I don't plan on doing it again any time soon! Probably
easier with the right tools though.

Anyway I think it was worth it- not only in demystifying that part of my
car, but also the wheels look a lot less splayed out than they did- plus I
reckon I needed the exercise and will sleep well tonight!

Mark Seaton,
'73 Fasty, London

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