Sunday, July 12, 2009

Lotus rear hub bearings, pt. 4

Last week was a bust because I was suffering from a bout of vertigo. I've had it before, and I'll have it again. It actually started the Sunday before, but I just thought it was the result of all those trips under the car. I was good enough to ride on Saturday, but Sunday it was back. Today I still felt a little woozy, but I could work well enough.

The first thing to do was to hook up the brake line. Only reachable from under the car, very little room, completely hidden. My wrenches were too long to turn in the limited space so I resorted to a pair of stubby metrics the shop has. I could just get the 9/16 flare nut wrench to turn by flipping it, going half a flat with each swing. When I was done the brake pipe had turned with the flare nut, throwing it out of alignment at the back end. I had to pre-position it out of alignment so that it ended up aligned.

Next thing was the brake back plate. Four bolts threaded into tapped holes in the hub carrier. What could be easier? Well, the holes did not like up. Was it by design, the result of years of use, or a case of sloppy fabrication? After lots of head scratching I ended up putting in the one bolt that fit and tightening it, in hopes it would flatten the portion of the trailing arm between the backing plate and the hub carrier. It worked. Normally for a situation like this you put in all the bolts loose, then tighten. This was the exception.

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The final job for the day was to install the hub. I did a dry run without thread lock and without torquing the nut, to make sure everything was ready. I wiped down the splines with alcohol to remove any oil, then assembled it with thread lock -- on the splines, nit the threads -- and torqued the nut to 150 ft. lbs.

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