Here’s a proper update to elaborate on the previous post’s repair work;
Upon arriving at my house, Iain and I decided it would be best if we first attempted to straighten the panels that were already on the car, this would eliminate any issue of miss-matching seam sealer and would keep the OEM under seal. We had great success with the inner arch, wing rail and bumper brackets, so much so that we didn’t need to use any of those panels off the purple section I’d previously sourced.
Next was to make sure the car was straight, fortunately I was lent a CD with all the e36 jig info which gave all the alignment and measurement information needed to check the car was still true, and it was the only casualty was the bumper support cup on the end of the chassis leg. We at first tried to pull this straight, and although there was a small bit of success we weren’t happy with it, it was not time to face facts and one again the grinder was out.
First a bit of spot the difference;
As you can see the only part used was the end cup, this was now to be welded onto my existing chassis leg. It was handy getting the whole sections as it allowed us to take measurements and cut correctly... measure twice, cut once.
Once welded, the welds were cleaned up with a grinder.
I wasn’t ready to prepare the surface and paint yet, so I used cling film to temporally protect the bare metal surface from the elements.
Today all the front end mechanics were done, new wishbones and anti-roll bar drop links fitted. I also took the time to strip down the front end and re-build everything using anti-seize compound and also re-lubricated the poly bushes which were surprisingly dry considering they’d only been fitted over a year ago.
Unfortunately the power steering pump pipe got a bit bent by debris that was dragged under the car, so was replaced.
The plastic power steering pump pulley also took a knock, this too is to be replaced... obviously!!
Next it was time to replace this;
Believe it or not this DID NOT
get bent in the accident, it got bent with the straps used to winch the vehicle onto the tow truck, there is a lesson to be learnt here as only after researching this did I find it was a common occurrence due to the arms been so weak and designed to fail in a knock.
All the online jargon said due to running a large case differential there was no way this arm could be replaced without the whole rear arm been dropped or the differential lowered out of the car. Now I’ve replaced one before with a medium case differential and that was a royal pain in the back side, so I couldn’t see this task been any easier.
After removing the outer and inner control arm bolts it was obvious the diff was going to have to be moved, but I wasn’t convinced it’d have to come out. Instead I removed the two lower diff bolts (pictured below) which hold it to the rear support bracket, after that I used a trolley jack to lift it up, and a pry bar to move it across and the bolt just to say come out.
Job done, without half the hassle that was expected bonus!
New arm in place, ready for the car to be re-geo’d.
As well as all the above, I also got round to starting the prep work on the inner panels but it started raining so quickly covered them back up and will hopefully get to resume work tomorrow!!