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1985 Escaper rear suspension overhaul tips, tricks, and questions


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What are you looking to do? I have the same machine. I sanded some rust, changed the diff oil, checked the drum brakes, and installed new air bags and shocks, and was good to go. I'm from the midwest so doesn't look grim to me. Just want to treat the rust on the frame at some point. I used Air Lift bags and am happy with them. Others have found replacements that fit your current mounts. Air Lift does not use the same mount as your current bags but the install was not difficult.  I went with Bilstein shocks front and back. On the pricier side. I chose not to replace my leaf springs after installing the new air bags. My leaf springs are on the flat side when air bags are not inflated. After replacing my suspension components (except leaf springs) the ride continues to be on the stiff side. Tire pressure is another piece of the suspension equation. Higher pressure provides slightly better mileage, but far stiffer ride. Not sure whether the leaf spring piece would offer a dramatic improvement as I did not go there. 

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Posted (edited)

I want to replace leaf springs. New air bags, possibly with auto air adjustment. Shocks. Possibly replace brakes if the condition they are in is anything like to front ones. Also, the differential gasket needs to be replaced. Replace the lugs on the driver side.

Edited by hamkid
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WARNING Rear axle lube is the worst smelling fluid in a automobile, wear throw away clothes😝

 

 

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Looks like your about to learn how to change a pinion seal. If the u-joint flange is grooved there is a speedi sleeve available to fix things.

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Thats what they make bailing wire and coat hangers for.😁

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The dropout is heavy but can be handled by someone who is expecting the weight.

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The center section, AKA the pumpkin, contains the diff and comes out in 1 piece. You remove the axles first and then undo all the nuts and pull it out.

Why do you want remove the pumpkin?

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I wasn’t sure if I needed to take it off or replace the seal with it on? I thought there was a seal that needs replacing on the axle side as well? I do not want to take it off if I don’t have to.

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Posted (edited)

So I went down the YouTube rabbit hole of rear diff videos. Working on the diff seems like a lot of work. I’m just gonna replace the pinion seal, work on the suspension and replace the lugs.

 

Edited by hamkid
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Here are the directions I was given 10 years ago. Old emails can be a god send

 

No just drop the driveshaft down and remove the flange nut, remove the flange, replace the seal and reinstall the flange and nut. <before removing the nut mark the nut and flange to reinstall them back into the same positions>  The nut probably will be of the staked type and will need to restaked upon reinstallation. Use a center punch to make the marks and to remove the staking and to restake on the nut

 

Linda S

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  • 5 weeks later...

Yep good plan.

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Just pull it. The 2 threaded holes are for a bolt to go in, as you tighten them they pull the axle. Note there is a thin paper gasket between the axle and hub, try to save it. Remember 2 bearings, 2 seal and hand pack the bearings.

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Posted (edited)

Should I consider replacing the breather plug on the diff? Also, what is the deflector and do I need to order it along with a slinger?

Edited by hamkid
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Did you follow the Utube video and count the turns when you removed the Nut?? Crush sleeves are fussy about reuse.

I don,t have my FSM anymore, but I think think the deflector is on the back of the drive flange and it keeps the road carp away from the front seal. If its not bent or damaged reuse it.

What shape is the slinger in?? If its not torn it should be reusable.

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Posted (edited)

Didn’t count the turns, it was on too tight. I had to use the impact. I watched some more videos and I think I might be screwed except I have a picture of the pinion that shows how many threads were showing with the nut on. Hopefully it will be alright. I don’t know what the slinger looks like yet, I haven’t got the seal off. 

C85B86F7-322F-48A3-9C31-5AD80C8CD84E.jpeg

Edited by hamkid
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First take the old one to a hardware store and see if you can match it from the grade 8 section. Does the new one fit? Can't really expect it to look the same as 30 years ago but fitting is the main issue. Your old one looks like a flange nut. Is the underside smooth or rippled. Rippled has a locking effect. I don't know how much this new nut cost but I'm pretty sure a hardware store one is going to be cheaper

Linda S

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