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How to Checking suspension joints and pivots

Here you can get how to Checking suspension joints and pivots, Checking the front suspension and Checking the rear suspension ect.

Almost all joints and pivots in a modern suspension system have rubber or plastic bushes, with the possible exception of steering swivel joints. Because of the constant movement of the suspension parts, the bushes gradually wear out, soften and perish. Oil contamination also causes them to deteriorate, and if they’re allowed to deteriorate too much, they become loose and the steering and roadholding suffers.

It is essential to form a daily check on the condition of all joints within the suspension system. If you discover any joints or pivots to be worn or damaged, replace them (See the way to replace anti-roll-bar bushes ) or have them replaced at a garage as soon as possible.

Checking the front suspension

Examine all the swivels on the suspension and steering links. Jack the front of the car up, allowing the suspension to hang, and support it on axle stands. With weight off the suspension, inspect the rubber bushes for cracks, softness or distortion.

Check all the mountings and rubber bushes at the ends of the dampers and therefore the anti-roll and stabiliser bars. Check all ball joints by levering with a bar.
Then check the suspension in its normal loaded position by jacking up each suspension arm successively. Use a robust lever to try to move jointed components apart – any movement means the joint must get replaced at a garage.

Get a helper to force the suspension upwards, employing a long lever placed under the wheel, and look for play or distortion altogether the joints and bushes.
Open the bonnet and check the top mountings on MacPherson-strut assemblies. Check the top pin bolts and rubber bushes: also the entire mounting plate and surrounding area for rust. On some cars a reinforcing plate can be welded to the upper mount of the MacPherson strut, if rust has not weakened the rest of the structure. This work must be done by a garage.

Check the swivel pins on the steering swivel members with care: they take tons of road shocks and are exposed to water and dirt. Pull against the top and bottom pins with a stout lever wedged against a solid chassis member. Grip and twist the track control and stabiliser arms, to see if there is movement in the ball joints.

Examine the rubber-bushed ends and joint dust covers. If there’s loose movement, or if covers are split, renew the joints (See Replacing track-rod-end ball joints ). In joints that are held by large pins or bolts, lever sideways while checking for movement. Check the condition of the rubber bush and therefore the state of the bolt. If they’re worn, have them replaced.

Checking double wishbones

The wishbones support the steering swivel member at their outer ends, and therefore the lower wishbone provides a mounting point for the volute spring and damper. Examine the steering swivel pins for wear (See Checking steering swivel pins ). Check the condition of the bolts and bushes that hold the inner ends of the wishbones to the car chassis. Renew any worn parts.

Checking the rear suspension

The rear suspension is simpler than the front, and most of the bushed joints are easy to inspect. Jack up the rear of the car and support it on stands with the front wheels chocked. Lever against the varied components while looking carefully’ to see if there’s any movement in the joint or bush. Check the joints at the top of the radius arm, or the other rod which locates the axle. Wipe each joint clean, and check if it’s perished, cracked or contaminated by oil.

If you think that a bush is damaged, check further by levering hard against it – make sure the other end of the lever is resting against a strong part of the suspension or floor pan. Take care to not crush brake pipes or cables. It helps to have an assistant lever against the joint while you watch it for movement. Make sure, too, the pivot bolts are tight, which the mounting brackets and the areas around the brackets aren’t corroded. Probe them with a screwdriver and tap them lightly with a hammer to see if they’re sound.

If any weak metal is found, take the car to a garage and have the rusty areas repaired – assuming the value of the car makes that well worth the cost. Usually, removing the rear suspension locating arms is straight-forward – unscrew the pivot bolts and lift out the arm. Take it to a garage to possess the old bushes removed and new ones fitted, if they’re available. If they’re not, the entire arm assembly must be replaced.

Checking torsion bars

Many cars have torsion bars within the suspension instead of coil or leaf spring at the front, the rear or at both ends. The inner mounting is on the ground pan and is usually well covered against deterioration, but can fail due to corrosion fatigue in due course. Check the soundness of the metal at the anchorage point. The outer end, where it’s fixed to the suspension member, can be attacked by mud, stones and road debris. Check its bushes along with all the others.

Checking rear trailing arms

Examine every link and joint, including the damper mountings, for worn, distorted and oil-contaminated bushes. Check the axle locating arm by trying to twist it in its bushes. There should be little or no movement. Do not be afraid to lever hard against the mountings – road shocks are often severe, and therefore the bushes need to be perfect. If there are any worn or damaged components, have them replaced by a garage.

Checking an independent rear suspension

Jack the wheel off the bottom and support that corner of the car with an axle stand placed under a chassis member. Remove the wheel if necessary, and examine all the rubber bushes as they’re distorted by the weight of the suspension. Replace any that are cracked or are badly distorted.

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