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Discussion Starter #1
I'm rebuilding the rear suspension on my 1970 GTV and am up to the point where I try to remove all of the old bushes. I've seen the posts on removing the trailing arm bushes by cutting them out but I'm not sure how to remove the T-bar bushes without damaging anything that I might have to reuse.

Does anyone have any suggestions ?

Chris
 

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If you are talking about the t-bar to body bushes, it takes a special factory tool to remove them.
Unless they are really bad it's best to leave them or get a complete t-bar from a late spider. It fits perfectly and the bushes will be like new !
 

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I went down this road several months ago on my 71 Spider. I had replaced all the other bushing and even purchased new Trunnion bushings. However, at the advice of people here who know, I ended up leaving the originals in place as - despite the condition of the rest of the bushings, they were actually fine.

If you do decide to remove them take care to keep track of everything, during dis-assembly. There will be one or more Wankel rotor shaped spacers on either side of the trunnion bar. If you put back the Trunnion without changing the bushings, you'll want to make sure that those are put back in the same locations. It's easy to forget which go on which side and they are individual to each car so mark them clearly.

If you decide to replace the bushings, then note that there are alignment marks on the bushing housings and the Trunnion bar that should line up. I put a dot of red paint on them so I could get them right. This is important since you won't be able to rotate the the bushing housing after they are reinstalled and you need to maintain the alignment of the 3 holes in the bushing housing and the frame, and the alignment of the 'tail' of the Trunnion on the diff pumpkin.

Finally make sure the width of the Trunnion with the new bushings installed is the same as it was with the old bushings. Remember those wankel shaped spacers? If the width is off, you'll need to get different ones. People here have them; and will cheerfully sell them - the trick is figuring out which ones you need on each side of the trunnion so that its centered in the frame.

Faced with all this, my original trunnion bushings, which didn't look bad at all anyhow, started looking better and better.

If you need a new set I have a pair I bought from IAP, that I'll sell you cheaply.

FWIW
 

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Discussion Starter #4
Thanks for the input - yes it is the T-bar end bushes I'm seeking advice about. You've confirmed my suspicions - these are a specialist job. The conical bushes, or what was left of them, just fell out.

I've noted and marked the spacers that centre the T-bar and also the orientation of the end bush housings. Most of the 40+ year old rubber components are badly worn and I'd like to replace them, if possible. I may just end up installing one of those nice aluminium T-bars that Alfaholics sell. Re-shimming it should not be a big problem as the new T-bar comes with a selection of shims.

I've also got a new set of rebound straps and frustratingly, none of the holes line up :( The old ones have been cleaned and will be reinstalled until I can get a new set made up with the holes in the correct places. The bucket full of muddy water is the third soaking ....

The trailing arm bushes will be removed as best I can.

Chris
 

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I did mine, it was quite a few years ago and although I did take pictures it was in the days before digital cameras so I'd have to actually find them and scan them which I'm not in the mood to do right now so I'll just explain as best I can from memory.

I removed the bushings from the trunion bar by drilling out the rubber, twisting them off (still in the housings) then cutting a notch in the inner race to pull it off the bar.

To get the outer race removed from the housing required something not for the faint of heart (you may or may not want to do this) I took a die grinder and ground out the diameter of the seated end (where the bevel is) just enough to allow me to get a socket in and contacting the outer race (I believe it was an inch and a half or there-abouts) I was then able to press the old bushing out.

When installing the new bushing it bottomed on the ridge that was left so I had no worries of it migrating - I had determined this would work prior to doing the hack job. If you look at it you'll be able to see what I'm talking about.

Anyway, all back together and it's been about 8 years and 50,000 miles with no trouble but when you take that die grinder in your hand you'll be wondering if there isn't a less mid evil way of doing it. The metal is very soft however and cuts easily. Takes only a few minutes - use a good sharp square ended bit.

Edit: I found the pictures so if you are interested in doing this let me know and I'll scan/upload them.
 

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Chris,

I did mine last year. I also struggled with the "is it worth it" question. The old bushes didn't look bad, but I went ahead, mainly out out of stubbornness. These are probably the pictures kcaboilot is talking about since it sounds like he and I used a very similar approach.

First, you need to expose the surface of that outer sleeve since its is what is stuck/frozen against the bushing holder itself. I did this the same way I did the training arms - by drilling hole after hole in the rubber in a circular pattern around the inner sleeve. you'll eventually be able to use a razor knife and pliers to rip the inner sleeve out.
Then I could use the recip saw in a sort of "router mode" to clean to remaining rubber off the outer sleeve. You'll see the technique of you try this. (There may be better ways to remove the last of the rubber.)

You are looking to get to the final result in the first picture.

begin by making two cuts close together (next pic) withe the saw. I found it almost impossible to avoid scoring the inner surface of the trunion housing by going a little too deep. It won;t hurt anything as long as you don't get into it much.

next, you can peel back the metal in between to two cuts you just made with a screwdriver and a hammer (oneof he most valuable tools combos in the shop :D ).

Then you can "shrink" the diameter of the bushing's sleeve by prying it away from the housing with the screwdriver/hammer.

now the hard stuff is done. I could just get ahold of the sleeve with big pliers and "reason with it" to wrench it out. there's also a little slot in the sleeve at the bottom that's up against that pesky lip at the bottom of the housing (its the reason you can't just press these out). you can just slip a screwdriver past the casting's lip to get on it and hammer away. (see one of the pics)

I don't know if all these pics will go in one post, so I'll put up the rest separately if needed.

good luck !

Cheers,
Jeff
 

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last pic. you can see the slot, or notch, in the sleeve I'm talking about. It may be helpful to get a pry tool on it to help drive out the sleeve if pliers from the front don't do it.

Jeff
 

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I have done it, once. Here is shortly how it went in my case; first I burned rubber bushes out with a gas burner, then cutted inner races out with a grinder, finally welded big nuts inside of outer races and pulled them out of the housings with thread rod. Whole process took pretty much time, but it was quite easy to do.
Attached picture of outer races with welded nuts for pulling.
 

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Discussion Starter #9
Thank you gentlemen - you've inspired me to have a go.

Though I must say, the aluminium T-bar looks very nice .....

Chris
 

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Discussion Starter #10
I ended up buying an aluminium T-bar from Alfaholics. Very light and much easier to fit - as the man said, 'a thing of beauty ...'. How could I resist?

Now to finish cleaning the underside of the car and I'll reassemble the rear end. For better or worse and having fitted it with new bushes, I'm going to reinstall the rear anti-roll 'bar'.

Front suspension is next.

Chris
 

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Discussion Starter #12
It was very easy to install and shim. With new poly bushes between it and the diff housing and new rubber bushes on the antiroll bar and trailing arms, the rear should do much less steering than it has done in the recent past.

Some of the rubber in the original 41 year old bushes was very brittle and I'm surprised that the rear wasn't rattling around even more. In the words of that great Canadian heavy metal group, Anvil, nearly 'metal on metal'.

A bit more cleaning and I'll finish the rear and move on to the front.

Chris
 

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The picture showing the alignment marks on both the T-arm and 3-hole buhing holder appear to indicate they are not directly across from each other. Is this due to wear or is there a degree of off-set in the alignment? Logic tells me they should be pressed on directly in line but just to be sure.... Thanks!
 

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Your logic is correct. The marks should be lined up.
The reason is that when the vehicle is normally laden, there is no torsional stress on the bushings.
 

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The marks align under torque but as is apparent don't when unloaded. I didn't replace mine ultimately but my plan was to mark the relationship with paint dots for reassembly. I believe that this will be important since the bushings don't move easily (or at all? ) on the T-bar. Thus alignment will be important to get the 3T-bar holes aligned with the chassis when you go to put the T-bar back in place
 

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The marks align under torque but as is apparent don't when unloaded. .... Thus alignment will be important to get the 3T-bar holes aligned with the chassis when you go to put the T-bar back in place
Wait, this is in contradiction to what PapaJam just said.(Your logic is correct. The marks should be lined up)
Lokki, you're saying the marks do not line up until after installation, which makes it kind of hard to know 'how much' to offset the marks during re-assembly.
When I did mine 8 years ago, I aligned mine to each other and have had no feeling of being out of align or in any way incorrectly installed since. The rearend tracks beautifully just as it should.....
 

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I would bow to those with superior knowledge but on my car the marks were lined on when on the car but were not lined up when off the car - as was shown in the picture (not mine) above. This would mean the T-bar bushingsvwere under slight torque when installed. I don' t know that it needs to be. It probably makes no practical difference actually, as the bushings will still twist the same distance.

The only important thing is that the 3 holes in the chassis and the bushing mounts line at at the time they're reinstalled. That's why Alfa put the marks there to begin with.
 

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to replace or not to replace

Today, a friend pointed out that something in the back of my Alfa seems loose. The T-arm end bushes are the only parts that have not been replaced.

I went to inspect them; they don't show any abnormal movement, but the play between the flexible discs and the bushes is around 1/8'' on each side. That seems a bit much.

I have two workshops manuals: one specifies a .004'' max clearance, the other one 1 mm (.040''). Neither is an official Alfa manual. Which is correct?

Both manuals advise that if play is excessive, a C shaped shim should be placed between the end of the T arm and the flexible disc and then it has to be welded to the T arm. Would it make sense to add shims between the body and the bush housings?
 
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