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post #407 of (permalink) Old 23rd May 2009
Chris Browne
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Laguna rear bush replacement

Thought I would share my experiences with forum members. I decide to buy the press tool from E-Bay - looked brand new and cost 70 - and also decided on genuine Renault bushes (51 per pair) rather than save a few quid on cheaper ones and risk them not lasting very long. My original ones lasted 98,000 miles. I used 4 axle stands for safety (you could get away with 2) a 2 ton trolley jack, the press tool, 24mm and 16mm 1/2" drive sockets and ratchet, 24mm ring spanner, wire brush, copper grease, penetrating oil and a few blocks of wood. On a hard level surface, jack up each side of the car at the rear, using the cars sill jack so the rear wheels hang free - ie. no load on the rear springs. Lift the car as high as you can and put an axle stand just forward of the jacking point behind the lip of the sill on the rail which runs lengthways behind the sill - make sure the axle stand bears on a load bearing part of the chassis - thin pieces of ply wood on top prevent the metal of the stand digging into the underseal. Chock the front wheels. Remove both rear wheels. Place trolley jack, with a block of wood, under the centre of the beam axle to support its weight. Unclip the hand brake cables and ABS wires from each side of the axle beam. With a 16mm socket, undo the long bolts which go through the centre of both bushes and also locates the stabiliser bar which holds the brake pipes bracket and take them out. Make sure you do not allow the brake pipes to stretch or kink as the stabiliser bar is now loose. Next, with the same socket, undo the three bolts each side which hold the retaining brackets over the bushes. The inside bolts were very tight as they are the only ones exposed to road dirt and the threads were very rusty. The other bolts were completely clean and came out easily. Remove both brackets (don't mix them up as they are right and left hand) and clean off road dirt from brackets and bolts with a wire brush. The bushes are now exposed. I carefully lowered the trolley jack, expecting the axle to move but it did not as it is suspended on the shock absorbers at full entension and the bushes were still pressed hard against the chassis by the weight of the axle. I placed the trolley jack under the thick part of the near side brake disc, with a wooden block and lifted the axle beam. The axle pivots on the shock absorber and as the back of the axle lifts, the front of the axle containing the bush moves down making room to get the tool in over the old bush. You will need to manouevre the axle by pulling it to get it into a position where you can insert the long bolt into the centre of the puller. All the time, keep checking that you are not putting strain on the brake pipes, ABS wires and headlamp levelling mechanism. Make sure the puller is square over the old bush and wind it out with a 24mm socket beneath and a 24mm ring spanner above. Once the old bush is out, clean up the hole with a wire brush and lubricate the hole with copper grease. Place the new bush over the hole, reverse the puller and pull the new bush into position, again making sure everything is square. Repeat the process on the off side, jacking up the offside of the axle, on the thick part of the brake, disc to gain access to the bush. Refit the two brackets using the three bolts each side but, at this stage, don't do up the bolts for the last 3/4" of thread. The brackets need to be located on the bolts but loose. You then need to manouevre the axle, one side at a time so you can get the long centre bolt through the centre of the bush. Again you need to jack the rear of the axle beam to take the strain off the new bush which, when the axle is hanging free, will be pressed hard up against the chassis. Lifting the axle also brings the new bush square with it's hole making refitting of the bolt much easier and reducing the chance of cross threading it. Don't forget that this bolt also holds the stabiliser bar so don't forget to refit it. Fasten the centre bolt up tight and repeat on the other side. Finally fully tighten the three bolts per side which hold the brackets. Refit the handbrake cables and ABS wires into their brackets, refit the road wheels and lower the car to the ground. Get yourself a well deserved beer or cuppa! The near side is the most difficult because of the location of the brake pipes and headlamp levelling mechanism and took about an hour and a half. The off side is dead easy and took about twenty minutes. Total cost of job 121 and I will sell the tool back on E-Bay and make some money back. With the tool, the job is easily within the ability of a DIY mechanic. Wouldn't like to do it without it though. The car is completely transformed now with no knocking from the back axle and it handles much better.
Currently in Chris Browne's garage:
2002 Renault Laguna 2.2DCI Initiale Sports Tourer
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