Restoration Part 22

Rear Subframe

The new rear subframe was painted with rubberised paint as a trial to see if the subframe lasts longer than when painted with normal paints such as chassis black or Smoothrite.

The radius arms had to be replaced as the bushes in the original arms were worn. A repair kit is available but one of the bushes has to be reamed to fit. It is easier to buy exchange arms with the bushes already fitted.

The brake drum back plates were replaced as the originals were badly corroded. The brake adjuster was also replaced at the same time as it had seized.

All the mountings and suspension parts were cleaned and checked and refitted with new bushes. I used deflex poly bushes to firm up the suspension. New knuckle joints were fitted and the suspension trumpets were replaced with adjustable items to allow the ride height to be set slightly lower than normal.

The whole subframe and suspension was assembled using copperslip on all the nuts and bolts to ease future repairs.

The hubs and brake drums, without any internals were then fitted and the whole subframe was offered up to the car and bolted into place. It took 3 hours to get the 8 bolts in and fastened. It was very difficult lining up the bolts with the captive nuts on the rear kickplate mounting points.

The font subframe had already been fitted so it was just a matter of cleaning painting and checking all the suspension components. New deflex poly bushes were used throughout. As at the rear new knuckle joints and adjustable trumpets were fitted. The upper arm bushes and pivot rod was checked for wear but they were in good condition so were greased and fitted. All the swivel joints were replaced. They were shimmed to give the correct movement as detailed in the manual. The bearings were checked and reused as they were in good condition, the front braked are 10" Cooper S items and had just new disc and bearings fitted in the recent past.

The steering rack was checked for wear and an exchange reconditioned rack was bought and fitted this was quite difficult. It took all night at one Thursday session. The Subframe had to be loosened on it's mounts to give enough clearance to slide the rack in place the U bolts were difficult to locate into the holes and fit. In hindsight I should have fitted the rack before the subframe. It would even have been quicker to removed the subframe first


The steering column was then fitted together with a temporary steering wheel, the wheels fitted and the front panels fitted the car was rolling on it's own wheels ready for final finishing and painting.

I am going to have a professional paint job so to amuse myself while the car is away I will refurbish parts from the car and work on panels from my other Mini.

That's another story.