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Front Suspension Rebuild

I was lucky to have received a spare Europa TC front suspension setup with the car, as it turns out, I needed the lower A-arms and one spindle.   Always get a parts car if you can.  I'm a little  concerned about the fragile, expensive, rear suspension.

Below is a pic of one of the front hub bolts after the dust cover was removed.  Yup. that's sand in the bearing area.  Lots of it.  Yes, the car was stored for years on a beach.  Why do they have a hole in the dust cover?

This is why I needed the parts - scored stub axle, (bottom in picture) plus bent lower A-arms.  They always seem to get whacked.

You don't need a press to remove the A-arm bushings.  Just sockets, bolts and proper sized washers.  Oddly enough, one of the Europa rear shock bolts was perfectly sized, and one of the washers was precisely the right OD.  First I assembled the socket bolt and washers as shown below.  The washer under the head of the bolt must bear on the outer sleeve of the bushing while passing within the A-arm's bore.  Tighten it up then heat the A-arm with a propane torch.  Don't be shy with the heat!

Once it is hot, tighten again - the bushing will move if you heat it enough and tighten enough.  I never had to tighten beyond what felt sensible, though a few times I needed to get it a bit hotter.  I never got it hot enough to cause the rubber to smoke.  I did require two custom tools  and two extraction stages to get the bushing out, by the end it took less than 10 minutes each.

And to think, I almost bought a hydraulic press!  Another Budget Bonus!  

I elected to use the TC A-arms I had, as the S2 lower arms were quite bent.  I may straighten and box those for the inevitible time when the TC arms become bent.  I would have to say that these pieces are one of the weak points of the Europa.  

The TC arms weren't without issues either.  Here's a shot of the weld used to repair where the hole had worn and become elongated.  At this point I had already pressed the new bushings in with a vise.  Nise.

Here is a shot of a TC and an S2 A-arm.  Note the extra gusseting on the TC arm.