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1985 Escaper full suspension and steering overhaul tips, tricks, and questions


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I trust my skill levels if I have the right tools and information. I have never rebuilt calipers or turned rotors. I have the fsm and have seen how to change the bearings. Keeping as many stock parts as possible would be cool, but at what cost? I do like to learn new skills, but I do want the job done correctly and in a somewhat timely manner. I need a bucket of brake cleaner? haha! where do I get that from?

Edited by hamkid
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Turning the rotors is a machine shop deal, many auto parts stores have the lathe.

Try the same place for Safety Solvent. A gallon of cleaner, a bucket, a wire brush AND gloves will get it done.

Wal mart has spray cans of carb cleaner and brake cleaner as a last resort

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The gallon of brake parts cleaner is sorta pricey, do I have to buy the safety solvent? What exactly does safety solvent do?

Also, these rotors are on rock auto for $18.30. Should I even bother with turning the rotors?

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I can't imagine why you would need a gallon. Also you have to be really careful with brake cleaner. Can't touch anything rubber , ball joints and all the bushings, and wear gloves and face protection if your laying on the ground trying to clean something. Extremely toxic. I bought one can when I did my Ford brakes and there is still a bunch left in the can

Yes those rotors look good and probably cheaper than the cost of having your old ones turned

Linda S

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The "gallon" is only a small joke. But the front is badly cruded up and then there is the rear axle. Hot soapy water, wire brush, and a spray can of carb cleaner might be enough. Walmart Super Tech carb cleaner works well and is cheap.

 

Brake cleaner comes 2 ways chlorinated and non-chlorinated. Chlorinated works best but has bad fumes, and will strip all the oil out of your skin.

 

Its called "safety solvent" for a reason, in the old days you used gasoline and lots of booms resulted. It runs about $23 a gallon.

 

The rotors look good. When the time comes use DOT 3 or 4 brake fluid, do not use DOT 5

 

Note: Brake cleaner, carb cleaner and brake fluid don't mix well with paint and plastic

 

Edited by WME
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Nobody turns rotors anymore. It’s cheaper to buy aftermarket imports.

If you want to save money, here’s a hack that works for me.

Rock Auto has an excellent data base for parts. Their prices are reasonable, but shipping can kill you. So I find the part stock number on “rock” then order through Amazon which usually includes free shipping. If you have “prime” it takes 2 days.

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Looks good. FWIW you have KYB shocks, a working one should take 40 lbs + of pressure to collapse it.

If you try and remove the shock beware all of the force from the torsion spring is on the lower control arm. Block it up with a jack or something before removing the shock

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Should I service the torsion bar spring? It’s the step after removing the ball joints in the  fsm. I’m pretty much following the manual and replacing everything.

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Are you going to replace the lower control arm bushings. If you are then you will need to relax the torsion bar so you can unbolt its bracket from the LCA.

The bar has no moving parts so it won't need "servicing".

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Just seconding WME... if you’re replacing the lower control arm bushings, or the arm itself, you will need to loosen the big bolt at the rear end of each torsion bar to relieve tension: great idea to measure the length of the bolt (the part that extends past the upper nut) FIRST, so you can set the original tension when putting all back together, end up with factory ride height. If you pull the TAs completely off, make sure to add alignment marks on each bar, front/back... all in the manual, I’m sure. 
 

Good work, keep it up!

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FWIW, My hot rods get ProForged, second choice is Moog, for a Toyota 3rd is Beck/Arnley, all the others are last choice.

 

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I went with the Mevotech BJs at RockAuto when I did all this a year or two ago; satisfied with the quality so far. My parts list on pg 2 or 3 of this thread: 

 

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Thanks! I removed the upper ball joint and the upper arm bushing bolts. Before I go any further I need to ask about Camber adjusting shims. Not sure where they are or what they do. The manual says to record the thickness and position of them. Please help.

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So you’re planning on removing the upper CAs? The shims are small (~1” square) thin and roughly u-shaped with a tab; they will usually be straddling the two bolts that hold the upper CA in place, on the back side of the frame bracket. When you start removing the two bolts, the shims should be able to be pulled free. Record how many were in place on each bolt; these things keep the front wheels in proper alignment by slightly adjust the position of the upper CA. (Alignment recommended after this is all completed anyway, however.)
 

For what it’s worth, I didn’t try to replace the bushings in the upper arms: most folks agreed it was a PITA, better to just replace the whole unit. 

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I think...

 

1) the bushings in that CA look like they’ve been replaced recently, so maybe just leave it alone...

 

2) The two bolts pointing right at the camera/phone in the second-to-last photo are the ones that release the arm, the ones with the shims on the backside. 

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3 hours ago, hamkid said:

The nuts for the torsion bar spring are rusted pretty good. If I need to can I jack up the lower arm and disassemble everything?


Jam nut stuck to the main nut? My rig was rusted worse than I’m seeing in your pics, and I eventually got em free. I think you need to get some heat and PB blaster on the tensioning bolt/nuts, then go after them with two good wrenches, opposing directions. It’s not easy to work up in there, no doubt.

 

Or, if you can get a good box wrench on the top jam nut, wedged against frame or something solid, then maybe you can spin the big adjusting bolt from below w/impact in reverse (or cheater bar + socket). 
 

I never tried what you’re suggesting, jacking the arm etc; could be dangerous, maybe somebody else will chime in. 

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Yup it’s like the lock and adjust nuts mutated into one ha. I put heat on it today, just gotta be more patient I guess. I just got the fittings for my air gun so I guess I will try with that. I’m not gonna risk jacking up the arm. Just gonna follow the manual. Thanks for all the replies!

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Do the lower bushings look as good as the uppers?

Big torque requires 6 point socket and tools. A 12 point will round off the nut and bolts under high torque

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The upper bushings only look good from the outside. When you look at them inside the mounting bracket they are in need of being replaced. Pretty sure this thing has never had any service and since I’m taking it all apart I’m gonna change everything.

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The manual says to take off the lock nut and then measure height of bolt. Can I just measure with the lock nut on?

 

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Edited by hamkid
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28 minutes ago, hamkid said:

The manual says to take off the lock nut and then measure height of bolt. Can I just measure with the lock nut on?

 

D592CD75-C00C-4211-BC73-37F43A531301.jpeg

 

Yep. Just keep in mind, later on, when you're setting the correct tension with the adjusting nut, to add on the extra height of the lock nut.

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Got it loose enough to release tension. The two nuts are still stuck together. Does the bolt on the anchor arm come out? I wanted to replace all the hardware. I still need to remove torque arm and the spring. 

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Edited by hamkid
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Time to scrubie scrubie and then use Rustoleum Hammered paint on the suspension parts you can, the caliper needs Hi temp caliper paint (red looks good)

 

 

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Wheel bearings...SKF or Timken. What make bearing does your MH have now? They seem to have done good.

KYBs are the bang for the buck shocks. Thats the brand you have now.

Edited by WME
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