Rebuild wrinkle: front swivel hub knuckle spacers...

Discussion in 'Classic Mini' started by ImagoX, May 18, 2012.

  1. ImagoX

    ImagoX New Member

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    I'm rebuilding my front swivel hub knuckles using new pins, nuts, and spacers, and I'm having a problem...

    The Haynes book says when re-assembling with the new parts to put ALL the spacers (I got 6 for each swivel hub) between the lock washer and the nut, and then when they are in place the swivel pin should be "very lose with considerable up and down movement". Then eliminate spacers until the pin "moves with slight resistance and does not bind" when dry-fit (it says to grease it afterwards). If working on the lower knuckle, do not fit the internal spring (which I didn't).

    Problem is, on the FIRST swivel hub the best I can do with the top is a pin that's almost totally loose (no up and down movement but no resistance side-to-side), and on the bottom, when I put the spring back into the properly-spaced joint and re-tightened I ended up with a pin that binds when the nut is tightened fully - I'll need to crack it open slightly to allow any movement at all, which doesn't seem right.

    On the SECOND hub, even with all 6 spacers in place on the top fitting, the siwvel pin basically binds, and now I have NO spacers left-over for the botton at all.

    Can anyone out there who's successfully done this repair please tell me:

    1. Is the movement as-described in the service manual really this difficult to achieve, or am I doing something wrong (which certainly can't be ruled out, this being ME and all)?

    2. Is is absolutely crucial to have the movement as-described prior to grease, or is it perhaps best to have a bit MORE (or less) tension on the initial assembly on the assumption that things will inevitably "loosen up" after the first few driving miles?

    3. Is it typical for there to be a need for more than the default 6 spacers included in a rebuild kit, and if so, is this a part a satandard autoparts store might carry, or is the only option to order them from a specialist online?

    Any advice is appreciated!

    -Matt
     
  2. ImagoX

    ImagoX New Member

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    UPDATE: 7 Enterprises (my favorite place for parts and advice), tells me that their mechanics set the pins "tight enough that they can barely be moved with a gloved fingertip", far tighter than I was shooting for. I still ordered some extra shim sets though, including some special "extra thick" ones that they had created special which they advise starting with. Looks like I will NOT be re-assembling the front suspension this week as planned. (((sigh)))

    That reminds me...

    I (foolishly) did not photograph the front suspension assembly, thinking that there would be a diagram in the Haynes book of the complete assembly. Yeah, yeah, I can hear you laughing from here, thanks... :ihih:

    can someone please link me to (or take) a picture of your classic's suspension to aid in the final re-assembly? At this point, what with the parts painting and all, I've more or less forgotten how the geometry is set up (of course).

    Thanks!
     
  3. Jason Montague

    Jason Montague New Member
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    :cornut: BUMP! BUMP! One of our gear heads should be along shortly.:Thumbsup:

    Jason
     
  4. Minidave

    Minidave Well-Known Member
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    #4 Minidave, May 18, 2012
    Last edited: May 18, 2012
    If you're talking about the ball joint shims, it's when you remove them that the ball gets tighter, adding them makes it looser. You need a variety of shim thicknesses to achieve the final fit. In my experience if you can move it with a bare hand it's too loose, if you can just move it with a gloved hand, it's just about right. It should not be bound up tho......something will break.

    If you have a micrometer or dial caliper you can measure the shim thickness and adjust accordingly. On my friend's P'up 20 thou was too loose and 15 thou was too tight, 17 was just about right.......

    Shims come in 20, 10, 5 and 2 thou thicknesses IIRC, you mix sizes till you can stack them up to get the optimum fit.

    No other car uses ball joint shims that I know of, certainly not modern cars so the only place to get them is the same place you got your ball joints, but usually the new shims that come with the joint are enough to fit it properly, if that isn't working, maybe you don't have it assembled correctly?

    If so post up a pic so we might be able to see what's wrong....

    The order for the top joint should be, the cup, the ball, the shims, the lock tab, the cap, then the rubber boot.....
     
  5. ImagoX

    ImagoX New Member

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    Haynes says install the lock washer THEN the shims, then the swivel pin/nut cap - are you saying the opposite?

    Also, 7Ent. says that they only include 6 shims (3 sets of 2 in different thicknesses) because they expect you'll re-use some or all of the ones you had on there to begin with. I discarded mine, thinking they were kaput. Of course. Hence, I ordered some extra sets. :)

    Thanks for the confirmation on how stiff the swivel in should be - I would have put it in FAR too loose based on the Hayne's description "the pin should move freely in all directions with SLIGHT RESISTANCE". :idea:
     
  6. ImagoX

    ImagoX New Member

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    FYI - in case anyone's interested, here's a rebuild video on this very subject:

    [ame=http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=KyDE4oqbZnc]Miniaddicts TV Ball Joint fitting - YouTube[/ame]

    Interestingly enough, the guys at Seven advised specifically to NOT lap in the swivel ball as shown in the vid. Apparently, in their experience, the "rough", non-polished surface allows for greater grease penetration against and into the nut cap walls, as the imperfections allow tiny spaces for the high-pressure grease to travel.

    Given that my LAST set of knuckles (which were polished-looking when I broke them down) were basically IMPOSSIBLE to grease (they were so tight that the grease simply could not be forced into the joints) I'm actually going to try it Seven's way this time around. The vid IS useful to show the degree of "slack" in the movement of the joint, though...
     
  7. LIL PIGG

    LIL PIGG Club Coordinator

    Sep 20, 2010
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    wow Matt, I didn't know you were having trouble. A few MOMs told me you were having some kind of trouble at the British Car Show, but I never saw a post. I don't get on this form that much. The other forms have more activity. You have my number, please call if you need something. If I don't have the answer I can get it. Emails, text or call. I am here to help if you need it. I can stop over also, I don't live that far away. my goal is to get Minis on the road and help out if I can.
     
  8. Minidave

    Minidave Well-Known Member
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    Matt, the ones I was working on had an inward pointing tab that positioned the lock ring, different than those in your video, my guess is that they've changed them over the years. I put the shims under the lock tab so that the nut wouldn't bear on the shims and wad them up, however - the shim material is probably harder than the lock tab, so again, follow the instructions in the vid if yours are that type.

    If your look like those in the vid, follow their example and you'll be good to go. The only real reason to lap them is if the manufacuting quality is such that there are burrs or something causing them to hang up, if smooth enough - no need.

    The other way to look at it is by lapping them in you probably won't have to re-adjust them in 10,000 miles because they've worn in somewhat.
     
  9. ImagoX

    ImagoX New Member

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    Good point re: re-adjusting them... Maybe I'll go the extra mile and lap them in. The variability in the knuckle cap IS making it a BEYOTCH to set the right pressure - I'm either too loose or binding with nothing in-between. After watching the vid, I'm wondering if I should shoot for "a tad too loose" and then count on the pressurized grease to take up the slack (???). The Haynes book is no help, of course.

    Still looking for a pic of the assembled front suspension elements if anyone has one...

    -Matt
     
  10. Minidave

    Minidave Well-Known Member
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    On brandy new ones I'd be tempted to go a scooch too tight, as they will loosen up over time, as long as they're not locked up tight.
     
  11. LIL PIGG

    LIL PIGG Club Coordinator

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    [QUOTE

    Still looking for a pic of the assembled front suspension elements if anyone has one...[/QUOTE]

    I could bring my Mini over for you to look at. let me know. text or call me.
     
  12. Minidave

    Minidave Well-Known Member
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    What parts are you trying to see?

    [​IMG]

    [​IMG]
     
  13. ImagoX

    ImagoX New Member

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    I got it, thanks guys...
     

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