12.1 - IRS removal ( Alastiar Lauener,
Yes, it is standard practice to do the brake seals etc while subframe is removed, and set-up the handbrake properly. Use coppa ease on handbrake pivots etc. Set-up handbrake before adjusting cable., but we are away ahead here :-)
For removal of subframe, I found a (long) piece of 4*2 to push through the subframe as it is lowered, and lever the rear down, to stop it from tipping forward. It is very front heavy.
1st remove grease nipples from bottom of hub-carrier, otherwise they will get broken off! Note shims between diff and drivehshaft, this is your wheel camber. There are shims at inner end of lower arm, shims for bearing set-up on the wheel bearings and on the lower fulcrum on the hub carrier.
Take your diff to a shop to be done, it probably isn't worth the time (unless it is OK of course).
All the other parts (and I mean every bearing and seal), UJs, arm bearings etc are cheap, and worth replacing. A good rear end makes the car very driveable :-) Some UJ's have grease nipples, some don't.
The most difficult is the wheel bearings, The removal of inner race of the outer bearing on the hub (as opposed to aluminium hub carrier), is a b*****d whether steel or whire wheel hub, and may need shop help, depending on what you have access to. I have known it fall off, which probably means the hub is useless. everything else can be drifted, I used a hydraulic press.
On setting up, you must understand how the end float of the hub bearings works, you do not need the special tool referred to, it is just a spacer of an exact dimension (50 thou), you can use any spacer as long as you measure it. You cannot tighten the rear hub bearings just by doing up the big nut tighter. The endfloat is governed by a spacer and shims. Don't believe anyone who tells you otherwise. The book says shims are obtainable in 3thou sizes, but I have seen them in 2 thou sizes
The preload (as opposed to float) on the hub-carrier lower bearing shaft. When you drift out the lower shaft, use a dummy shaft. If you dont, there are thin shims in there in the centre, which will get dislodged otherwise, and then mangled as you push a shaft through. The taper bearings in here often have dried up with rust, as the seals can be poor, and the water gets in. Also, the bearings only revolve by a few degrees by comparison to normal bearings.
If you are buying in kit form of parts, beware there are two sizes of outer oil seals for the bearings, changeover 1B5166, 1B25707, 1B55701, 1B78500 depedning on 3.4/3.8/LHD/RHD.
Shock absorbers/springs can be done any time, and the set-up is really a personal preference.