Serious update time. Front suspension arms. Rather than take off the current arms (poly bushed), and fit solid bushes then have to sell poly bushes separately and then have someone else have to press them in, I decided to do a straight swap.
Got some used arms from eBay.
Ordered two new ball joints and had the Pure Motorsport solid bearing kit ready to fit.
Bought the Sealey SX027 ball joint tool and had my brother in law stick in on the lathe and nicely turn out the inside and shave the lugs to make it fit.
Got too impatient, didn’t listen to the advice on this forum about adding heat, and just jumped in with two feet as usual. Mounted the SX027 on the dugga dugga and Setting 1 or 2 didn’t make a blind bit of difference.
Setting 3 balls out power was chosen, at that point the ball joint said fuck you and your modified tool and all the lugs snapped off. That was £12 well spent.
I dropped the arms off for aqua blasting with everything still attached. Then dropped them back at my garage for the rubber pressing out and the solid bushes and bearings pressing in:
Decided the best plan of attack was to go nuclear on the ball joints and show no mercy. Ragged all the rubber boots off, cleaned the grease off, and had my BIL weld a couple of sacrificial M24 nuts onto them.
Out came the dugga dugga for Round 2, and out they both came without a fight
I’d ordered another SX027 tool (the same eBay seller must have thought I was an idiot) and set about modifying it again with a Dremel and burr. Took a bit longer but made it fit:
Copious amounts of copper grease later the new ball joints are in and they’re ready to go on the car. For anyone else attempting this, don’t use the SX027 for removal, just go route one and weld a nut on. Saves so much hassle.
We agreed that the best approach at this stage was probably not to change too much all in one go, especially the shakedown will be at the Nurburgring at the end of the month. So the current geo will be restored after the work is done just so that I have a known baseline. After the 'Ring trip I can report back on how it felt, look at tyre wear and see if I need to take advantage of the additional camber/castor that the EE brackets offer and whether the roll centre and bump steer correction change the behaviour of the car in a way that I want to tweak the geo.
I had my passenger side ball joint start winding out slightly when I first changed it out, no matter how hard I hung off it when tightening it with red Loctite. Ended up emptying half a tub of Loctite bearing lock in and that quickly solved my issue.
I've decided I'm getting a new passenger arm if I ever need to do anything with that joint again
The plan was to re-use the track rod ends with the extended steering rods, but Paul rang me today and said they’ve seen better days. Plus one of the upper swivel ball joints needed replacing. So I’ve ordered a pair of each.
Genuine Renault part numbers 7701474795 and 7701474796
Couldn’t find OEM upper ball joints so got some eBay ones on the way.
It’s proving to be an expensive upgrade this cup racer front end malarkey