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Thread: Rear sub frame swap - off for galvanzing, may turn into a project thread

  1. #181
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    Timing was a bit off, we spent 6 hours at it today. Frame mounted, tank and guard fitted. Final pieces of trim refitted plus for the first time in 10 year, there is a rear heat shield. All the interior sorted with ABS leads and fuel tank pipes/pump lead refitted. Finishing up tomorrow with the pads and exhaust. Almost there.

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    The end is clearly in sight. Time for a beer.
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  2. #182
    Me? Post? Never! Club Member Annabella's Avatar
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    Looking pretty damn good under there. Keep it up.

  3. #183
    Me? Post? Never! Club Member mwilkinson's Avatar
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    Mamouth job, but totally worth it. Your thread is going to be invaluable to my rebuild.
    1996 Facelift J-Spec 6spd Single Turbo (600bhp) - Gunmetal
    Sold - 1995 Jspec 6 Speed Manual BPU (Lambo Grigio Avlon)

  4. #184
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    The final progress entry - because its finished. I'm grinning ear to ear typing that. What a relief. Its been a bit of a haul.

    For anyone thinking is it a worthwhile thing to do, I'd say a rust bust is always worthwhile doing on an old car. As for the frame and arms, checking over mine when it was off sure the frame was rusty but it'd be good for another 30 years and the ball joints on the arms after 110k miles were in remarkably good, stiff, shape. The differential rear mount bushes were the only thing that looked like they could probably benefit from a change as they had gone rather spongy which could lead down the line to transmission hop; something not unheard of on Supras.

    As for rust there sure were surprises there. The worst rust by far was hidden a long way under the factory protective coating which had failed in parts. Some as far as 3 inches in from the paint/coating boundary. You'd never know unless you aggressively went looking for it. I'd recommend anyone who doesn't have any signs of coating lift tackle it now and put a rubberised coating between the arch and the coating. I used ABRO spray, Its a USA product and people on US renovation sites rave about it. There were bad water traps I wasn't expecting, the rubber air vent ducting behind the vents traps a serious amount of water behind it that just site there and it will rust. Also the cabin air vent by the tank filler has a terrible foam gasket, or at least mine did, that just soaks up water and it just sits there, promoting rust. These were the main areas of rust which in the wheel wells I needed to get patch welding on the areas of corrosion that had sat previously unseen under the hard factory protective coating. The floor above the sub frame had started to rust, nothing major but full on surface rusting that was on the verge of heading somewhere more established. A rust priority for everyone needs to be to protect the wheel well inner and outer panels as they are not any longer available from Toyota. The frame and above frame areas could well have seen out another few years before requiring attention.

    Sourcing parts has been an expensive and a chore of a task as different suppliers say they can no longer source certain parts, though interestingly the parts others couldn't source TCB managed to get for me. TCB aren't miracle workers though but they came through on all but one of the missing parts I needed for this project. I did have to buy a second hand sway bar for the same price that new ones used to cost but to be fair, it was almost like new condition. I did have to recycle some parts that are just not available anymore such as the frame front mount bracket and ABS lead top control arm brackets (that probably came originally as part of the sensor kit).

    Products I used were sand grinding discs, sanding discs, POR 15 paint and chemicals, Simonize spray matt, tough and gloss black paints, Aquasteel, Dinitrol 3125 and Hydrochloric acid. Loved the POR paint as a little goes a very long way but being so thin does mean it runs easily. The POR metal prep chemical didn't seem to do much but to be fair it does state that its best applied in temperatures exceeding 20C which it didn't get near to in October and November. Aquasteel is an old favourite of mine in rust treatment ahead of painting. The hydrochloric acid bath was used to clean up some small parts of their surface rust before prep and paint. The Dinitrol was sprayed on the top of the frame bushes where steel protruded, any inaccessible bolts and brackets and also the floor area above the frame as it provided a touch dry wax film protective coating. The Dinitrol was also sprayed in the water trap areas indentified earlier.

    if I'm asked was it worthwhile then overall it needed doing. You aren't going to be able to buy the suspension parts forever and already some were not easily tracked down. So, renewing the arms and bushes with OE is probably not going to be even an option quite soon. My car does under 1k miles a year so I'm expecting my new arms will still be like new arms in 10, 15 probably even 20 years time. There were things that would need taking care of sometime soon anyway, the wheel bearings were original and ready for a change; one was corroded and starting to rumble. Rust never stops once it's there so the sooner its tackled the less painful its likely to be. My car has been on UK roads since 1998, I think another 5 years unattended would have then required major, rather than minor, restorative work on the wheel housing areas.

    I took the car to the garage this afternoon to fill the tank with fuel, ran like a dream. Even treated it to a hand wash at a drive through to get 5 weeks of dust off it and the non-English gent taking the money there said it was the best car he had seen all day. I'm surprised how quiet the HKS Racing exhaust is compared to the MIJ one I discarded. I was expecting loud but not a bit of it. Just the alignment to get set on Tuesday by a mobile outfit. I set the arms to the same cam setting as on the old frame and it seems from the run out everything is good so I'm not expecting any major adjustments will be needed.

    In terms of how hard a job it is, I have to go from my own cosseted location of indoors with access to a full rise ramp and a professional mechanic assistant. I'd say anyone can do it with patience and attention to detail. There are parts where you need a second pair of hand but for the most part, it was me grinding, treating, painting, then coating.

    The end, thankfully.

    Time involved so far on this project:

    Me 80 hours
    Mechanic mate 16 hours
    Welder 10 hours (including travel time)

    Total approx. 105 man hours

    Costs to date

    Bushes, arms, pipes, tank guard, tank straps and fittings
    Amayama 780
    Toyota Oxford 2,880
    TCB 450

    Other Parts
    Wheel Bearings 190
    Discs 100
    Brake pads 120
    Handbrake shoes 45
    Drop links 60
    Sway bar 120
    Fuel pump 70
    Fuel tank breather pipe (self fabricated) 25
    HKS Exhaust 720

    Frame (second hand) 600
    Frame prep 220

    Materials
    Paints 140
    Chemicals 65
    Sanding discs 15
    Exhaust putty, gaskets and hangers 30

    Outside labour
    Welder 200
    Mechanic support (FOC)
    Wheel alignment 44

    Total spend so far 6,870


    Pictures before and after.

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  5. #185
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    Probably worthwhile adding tools used:

    Halfords 170 piece socket set (can't talk it up enough, took everything thrown its way)
    15lb sledgehammer (for seating the frame bushes)
    M6X1, M8X1 and M12X1.25 taps (to remove residual zinc from the frame threads or restore the thread after drilling out bolts for the hanger)
    5mm carbide drill bit (to drill some irremovable M6 bolts)
    Point nose pliers (handbrake cable and split pins)
    12mm allen socket (for the rear diff mount bolts)
    30mm hex socket (for the hub lock nut)
    3/8" drive impact extractor for 6mm to 13mm bolts (needed to draw out some of the 10mm and 11mm bolts with corroded heads)
    200NM torque wrench, 1/2" drive
    350NM torque wrench, 1/2" drive
    1" paint brushes (several)

    Mechanic matey sent me over a couple of pics taken outside his house yesterday when I dropped him off. A Supra always looks better from above rather than from below.

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  6. #186
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    The alignment was checked this morning and he went away saying it was all spot on and nothing needed adjustment. So it seems setting the cams to the same position as those on the frame I removed set the car alignment up nicely. For those undertaking an arm change rather than a full frame swap just take a picture of the cam (bolt head side) and reposition by aligning the hole in the cam face relative to the centre of the bolt to the exact same position as before. Then you wont be far off and possibly hit it bang on.

    Car is now tucked away in the garage for the Winter or a sunny dry day.

  7. #187
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    Cars just had its annual garage service and they then take it off for the MOT. The MOT tester always notes the car as the prelude to Summer and apparently always comments is it really another year gone by. It came back that the work was noticed and fully appreciated with the tester looking over and chatting about all the underside work more than bothering to test anything (seeing its all new parts he probably figured there would be little point). Cleanest car he'd ever looked at underneath. It feels quite rewarding to have all the hidden work appreciated, even if it's only going to happen once a year.

    The garage mechanic also mentioned a delivery driver turned up who was all over the car. Someone who had been looking for a TT6 for years but in the end had to opt for a 300ZX as he couldn't find a Supra. The ZX is a good car, just not quite a Supra.

  8. #188
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    Time to work on the rest of the underneath of the car. I'll be putting the car up on my ramp in March and replacing a lot of bolts for new and then it'll be off to a garage to fit all the new front suspension arms. I've decided not to do this myself this time as I have other projects on the go. Today I mated up all the new suspension parts with nuts and washers which comprise:

    Upper and lower control arms
    Drop links
    Track ends
    Lower arm brackets
    Cam bolts
    Anti-roll bar, bushes and bush brackets

    In addition to the suspension parts the O2 sensor is being replaced and a replacement 1st and 2nd cat with a fully intact heat shield will be fitted as the current system 2nd cat shield has been speed hump damaged over the years. The front already has new wheel bearings, new discs, brake pads and dust shields recently fitted so when these components are fitted the underside renewal/refurb will be completed with just an annual on ramp inspection following after that. The final cost will likely run to 9k total for the underside work.

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  9. #189
    Me? Post? Never! Club Member mwilkinson's Avatar
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    Looking forward to the progress on the front refurb in due course.
    1996 Facelift J-Spec 6spd Single Turbo (600bhp) - Gunmetal
    Sold - 1995 Jspec 6 Speed Manual BPU (Lambo Grigio Avlon)

  10. #190
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    All the arrangements to complete the underside overhaul are now in place. The front refurb with all new suspension parts has been booked with a local garage to commence on the 1st of May to coincide with its annual MOT and service visit. I've also booked the car into Center Gravity on 14th May to have the geometry set on all the new front and rear components as part of their chassis tune up service. Once completed, there are no ongoing work or parts purchase plans for the Supra other than to refurb and tyre up a set of stock 17 inch wheels that I have sitting in storage at the moment.

    Feels very much like job almost done, probably because I've decided not to actually do any of the work about to be undertaken myself. I'll post up some pics if I get the opportunity to take any during or afterwards.

  11. #191
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    Had the car up on the ramp today to do a brake fluid change and look over ready for its upcoming MOT. I also took some pictures of the parts being changed out and the current cats with battered shields that are being replaced with a set off a recent import that got itself decatted.

    FRONT END BEFORE PICS

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  12. #192
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    For the second phase all parts ready to fit:

    New Parts - OEM
    Front top control arms: 500
    Front bottom control arms 540
    Lower arm brackets 65
    Bolts, cams, nuts & washers 132
    Front strut bumpers 44
    Front strut dust Insulator 66
    Front anti-roll bar 276
    Front bar clamps 30
    Front bar bushes 18

    New - Non OEM (Blue Print)
    Tie rod ends 48
    Drop links 42

    Recycled
    1st and 2nd cat (pre-facelift) 160
    New gaskets 38

    Total Parts Spend 1,959.

    The parts were purchased over a period, from Spring 2017 to Autumn 2018.
    Last edited by rider; 15-03-19 at 12:07.

  13. #193
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    Rear End Parts & Materials Spend 6,870

    Front End Parts & Materials Spend 1,959

    Garage Labour Front End 962

    The car is back and the only thing left now is the visit to Center Gravity for the chassis tune up service this Tuesday. I'll hopefully get lots of pictures of the underneath and the work Center Gravity do on Tuesday that I can add into the thread. Spend so far on the underside is 9,971 give or take a bit with no labour cost on the main part of the undertaking.

    There were some additional service/maintenance jobs done by the garage of fit a new O2 sensor, new clutch fluid and fill with new coolant that are in the garage labour total.

  14. #194
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    Final episode today.

    The drive over yesterday to a B&B close by to Center Gravity showed the steering to be a bit skitty and light relative to what it had been before the new front arms were put on so it was obvious that there would be some major realignment required this morning. I arrived at CG just ahead of the appointed 08:30 and the father and so-in-law team of Peter and Chris turned up a little ahead of schedule to.

    After a cuppa the car was taken for a lengthy test drive and Peter diagnosed all the adjustments that would be required from running various speed and road condition tests. Aside from the skitty steering feel and wayward movement of the car over bumps he also picked up something I hadn't that the nearside rear was planting less power than the offside rear.

    After the run there was then 4 hours on the ramp optimising the toe, camber and caster. I elected to go for the Grandad Tourer settings so the car was given minimal toe to maximise the rubber contact and I also said I preferred heavier steering with better self centring so the caster was set higher than OEM spec at 4 degrees. Then back into the car first as a passenger and the ride comfort was transformed with bumps now just lifting or dropping the car rather than moving it sideways as before and when I drove it the steering feel was fully restored.

    Once all the adjustments had been made the cars ride height was good across the car and all four sides were 10mm lower than the stock new settings due to spring compression over 22 years of motoring allied to a touch less toe than stock. The weight distribution was within spec so no shimming of the dampers was required.

    In all I was there for 5 hours. Well worth the money for anyone with a poorly aligned car or anyone wishing to set a car up more for cornering over straight line comfort if using the car on tracks or thrashing around lanes.

    Well over 10k poorer and only the MOT man will know. Project closed.
    Last edited by rider; 14-05-19 at 18:13.

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