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post #2 of (permalink) Old 20th November 2011 Thread Starter
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Wink Re: How to change the rear axle bushes on a Renault Megane Mk2.

Ok, so as i can***8217;t find out how to just post a new thread I had to post a question then answer it myself . . I hope this helps:

Trying to replace the Rear axle bushes on my wifes Megane Mk2 and, as I have a fair amount of home taught skill and love tinkering, I thought I'd ignore the scaremongers and give it a go. As it turns out, not that hard if you take your time.
Time wasn't a big problem but I wasn't going to spend a fortune on proper bush extractor tools so I thought I'd whip out the axle beam and change the bushes in the comfort of my garage.

Firstly, buy the replacement bushes (OEM 49 from main dealer) and put them in the freezer ***8211; stick them in a bag and mark them up as dog bones if the missus objects to car parts in the freezer . . she***8217;ll never look!

Removing the axle was quite straight forward as long as you give yourself plenty of room:

1. Chock the front wheels
2. Loosen the rear wheel nuts
3. Jack up the back end and support on axle stands on the sill jacking points.
4. Remove the rear wheels and let off the handbrake
5. Remove the under-axle plastic cover.
6. Disconnect the brakes:

I was going to unbolt the calipers from each side then unclip the brake pipes from the axle beam to free it off, but Renault in their wisdom (thanks) included a bracket which is welded to the beam so you have no choice but to undo the 2 brake pipe unions by the bracket on the drivers (UK) side to free off the axle beam..

Before disconnecting the unions I tried the usual trick of trapping a sheet of plastic under the brake fluid reservoir cap but the fluid still leaked out of the pipe. In the end I found some washer tube, sealed one end by folding and cable tying it then softened the other end in a cup of boiling water and slid it over the disconnected flared brake pipe. Repeat for the second pipe.

7. To disconnect the hand brake cables you may need to remove the calipers anyway (two bolts each side) and squeeze the handbrake lever on the hub to allow the cable to be disconnected. Feed them back and disconnect from the axle.
8. Place a trolley Jack under the axle beam to take the weight.
9. Disconnect the bottom shock absorber bolt each side
10. Remove the springs and cups
11. Disconnect the brake wear sensor wire each side (there is a connection point near the axle bushes)
12. Mark up the position of the bolted axle mounts each side then release them gradually by undoing the three bolts each side.
13. Lower and slide out the axle beam. Note it is very heavy but can be lifted by one person however care must be taken to not rest the beam on the brake discs. Better to enlist some help!
14. Remove the bush brackets from each side of the axle beam.

15. To remove the bushes without the proper tool: (Note these buggers are tough!) You***8217;ve got 4 options:

***8226; Knock them out: Result: I used as much force as I could with a sizeable lump hammer and various drifts ***8211; nothing moved!
***8226; Cut the middle alloy bush out by using a hacksaw on the rubber part then remove the outer ring: Result: The saw binds on the rubber and you get nowhere.
***8226; Drill the rubber out: Result: Lots of burnt rubber but little effect on the bush.
***8226; . . . and finally:
***8226; Grab a fire extinguisher or bucket of water then burn the bush out. You only need a plumbers torch for this and after about 20 minutes the combination of melted bush and expanded bush seat will finally yield to a couple of smacks from a lump hammer. (Apologies to the Green party for using this method). Luckily the seat is powder coated so unaffected by the heat.

16. Clean up the inside of the seat using sandpaper but do not try to enlarge the seat with a file.
To reinsert the bushes I fabricated a puller for under a tenner! Compare that with prices on ebay !

You will need:
***8226; A threaded bar and two nuts (as big as possible to fit through the bush ***8211; you are going to put it under a lot of tension so the bigger the better)
***8226; 2 Metal plates with a central hole to take the bar (about 50mm square and 3-4 mm thick)
***8226; 2 bits of 22mm MDF roughly 100mm square. This is less compressible than softwood and won***8217;t split (In the images I used an offcut of dense chipboard as well)

1. In one piece of mdf drill a central hole big enough to fit the protruding part of the bush (about 50mm dia should do)
2. In the other piece of MDF drill a hole big enough for the threaded bar.
3. Lubricate the bar with 3in1 oil
4. Gently heat one bush seat to expand it slightly
5. Remove one bush from the freezer
6. Coat the inside of the seat and the bush with WD40
7. Assemble the lot as follows: (See Images 1 to 3 attached)

***8226; One nut on one end of the bar
***8226; then a metal plate,
***8226; then the MDF with the small hole
***8226; Then the bush: Note the lipped end of the bush goes against the MDF
***8226; Put the bar through the bush seat (from the inside of the axle beam) then assemble the other side as follows:
***8226; The MDF with the large hole
***8226; The second metal plate
***8226; The second nut. Tighten this one until the whole assembly is centred on the bush seat.

8. Gradually wind up the nuts to draw the bush in. This will take a lot of effort but slowly and surely is better than a jerky action as this could shear the threaded bar. Spray WD40 on the bush as necessary. If you have wound the nut up a few turns and the bush doesn***8217;t move, a gentle tap with a mallet will push it in an release the tension, then repeat the process.
9. Repeat for the second bush
10. Reassemble everything in the reverse order. Note the shock absorber bottom bolts should be left finger tight and finally tightened once the car is back on its wheels.

Good luck
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