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Dropping the Subframe

Dropping the Subframe

Jan Wikstrom

In my strictly personal opinion, when working on brake calipers or the final drive it's a lot easier to take the rear subframe out and do the job on the bench than to bloody your knuckles and fray your patience under the car. Additional benefit: you get to survey everything, including the final drive mounts on top (found mine loose the first time) and carefully check things like needle bearings and shimming.

I've taken this subframe out three times, and can report that it's an easy job except that you need somebody to help steady it on the jack when you raise and lower it.

  1. Undo exhausts and take out tailpipe+rear muffler assemblies.
  2. Remove rear shock absorbers.
  3. Undo the rear pivot of the whatchamacallit lengthwise arms (the front rubber bushing is tough to get off; this way you can leave the arms in place. Charming British touch: the bolt head has one flat filed down to provide clearance when you pull it out past the shock absorber mount.
  4. Disconnect brake line (starboard side) and tape ends; disconnect handbrake cable and retracting springs.
  5. Take load with garage jack on wooden block forward of axle line.
  6. Remove eight bolts holding rubber mounts to rear subframe.
  7. Lower away while friend steadies the frame.
  8. Place a couple of long planks or the like on the ground at the ends of the centre plate under the final drive; now lift the hubs off the ground and drag the whole shebang back out from under.
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