ZX axle replacement or not???

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Tel
Posts: 21
Joined: 14 Jun 2001, 02:45
Location: United Kingdom
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ZX axle replacement or not???

Postby Tel » 09 Jul 2001, 03:15

Hi, all,
I have a ZX TD Aura; recently I noticed a metallic banging noise coming from the o/s rear. This sounds like the same sound you get if you were to drive over a loose metal grate / manhole cover, it normally consists of 2 bangs in close succession.
I checked the axle and could see no visible movement that would make this type of sound, however I then chocked the wheels & firmly applied the handbrake and rocked the car in reverse & 1st gear. As the car raised at the back I heard the knock, and also as it settled. The noise seems to be coming from inside the axle. At present the noise seems to have disappeared, but I’m sure it will be back. The rear wheels have always appeared to have a lot of negative camber, but most ZXs seem to look the same.
I guess the bearings in the axle have, or are about to fail, as the car has covered 140,000 miles.
Would it be easier to replace the complete axle assembly, providing I could source a reasonably priced 2nd hand one,I would probably try to get an axle off a Volcane or similar with rear discs if this would fit? I realise that I would have to fit the rear brake compensators as well.
Or is bearing replacement an option worth taking?
Has anyone out there any experiences of renewing the bearings, including: Tips, Tricks, Horror stories, etc.
Replies greatly appreciated, Tel.
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Dave Burns
Posts: 1934
Joined: 14 May 2001, 05:30
Location: United Kingdom
My Cars:

Postby Dave Burns » 09 Jul 2001, 05:51

Hello M8 :o)
I have performed all the task's that you write about, the rear suspension rear mounting's come apart easily, I have Jacked up ZX's with both the rear mounting's shot and the subframe just hang's down, you don't get much noise from these though, any noise you do get is more like a thud or heavy slapping sound, unless the rubber has gone all together in which case there would be a metal to metal noise, but the rubber usualy only comes away from one side, the rear suspension front mounting's are what actualy prevent's the rear subframe parting company with the car, and it's usualy these that make all the noise, they consist of a steel pressing that bolt's to the car chassis and bonded in to it is another pressing that bolt's through the subframe, there is a steel pin riveted through the case for safety purposes, when the bond between the rubber and the case begins to fail, it allows the mounting to flex beyond it's normal tolerance resulting in the lower pressing striking the safety pin and causing a metalic knocking noise,(if you download the Andyspares catalogue .pdf file there is a picture of it on page 11, you can see the pin riveted over) the noise will be at it's worst when the mounting is on lightest load, so if the bad mounting was on the left it would knock worst when the car corner's to the left unloading the suspension on that side allowing the two part's of the mounting to travel apart until contact is made with the safety pin. the rear axle on the 205 is of the same design, they were fitted with either needle roller bearing's or a combination of needle roller and nylon bush. My 205 had covered about 160,000 miles and needed major work on the brakes for the next m.o.t so rather than fork out for new drums I did what you are contemplating Tel and decided to stick a disc brake axle on it from a 205 GTi, I didn't put the pressure limiter on though and even on the odd emergency stop or two the back end never attempted ot get loose, to have the brake pedal always at the top(if you know what I mean) and not have all that pedal travel from drum brakes is great I would go for it If I were you, I had that 205 diesel from new and when I fitted the rear discs it had better brakes when it was 7 years old, unfortunately it wasn't until I had put the axle on and got it all working with new pipes and cables that I realised there was play in the trailing arm's, I didn't spot it when the unit was free of the car because of the tension that it was under from the torsion bar's, the outer bearing on one side of the fresh axle had got water in and the needle rollers were completely rusted away, this had also severly damaged the arm shaft so I took the old axle to bit's and got the arm and shaft out and it was ok, but on the other side of the old axle it was the same as the fresh axle, water again had got in and the bearing had completely disintegrated, you couldn't tell it ever had roller's in it and yet I never got a whisper of noise from it, when I pulled the inner bearing's out there was nothing wrong with them but I put new ones back in simply because I had bought a complete set, still there Tel ok, jack the rear of the car up and support on the axle cross tube, get a lever under the wheel and yank it up and down while you feel for play at the point where the trailing arm enters the axle cross tube, it's 00:50 here and work in the morning anyway I have probably boared you enough for one day so im off.
Regards Dave
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Tel
Posts: 21
Joined: 14 Jun 2001, 02:45
Location: United Kingdom
My Cars:

Postby Tel » 10 Jul 2001, 04:10

Dave once again thanks for your reply,
you seem to know an awful lot about these cars, hope this isn’t all from first hand experience ha ha!!
Regarding bearing replacement, I would like to replace the bearings, as then I would know that the axle would be as good as new. Although the bearings are inexpensive the problem is, as you experienced, if the bearings have collapsed or deteriorated the swinging arm shaft is going to be damaged, it would just be my luck to find this is the case with mine.
Don’t know how much the breakers up here will want for an axle, the one I go to regularly is a right tight tw*t so it’s anyone’s guess (only go there as he has next to new cars in, but boy do you pay for it!). Probably be twice the price if it has disc brakes instead of drums, you know how they work. Would any axle off a ZX fit? Would an axle off a ZX estate fit? (Seem to recall seeing one the last time I visited) Is there any difference between a petrol axle and a diesel, i.e., width, stronger torsion bars etc? My axle has the small drums, but I have noticed later model cars seem to have larger drums, a possible upgrade as the small drums are cr*p.
However from your advice the axle might not need replacing it could well be the subframe mountings making the banging noise. Have looked at the picture on page 11 as you suggested. I see what you mean about the riveted pin thing. The banging noise has, as I said in my 1st post, disappeared at the moment. When the noise was present it only seemed to happen when you went over a bump/pothole. Try as I may I can’t get it to come back on.
If the noise reappears and I can identify it as the subframe mounts I think I will just replace these for now, and keep my eyes peeled for a nearly new, cheap as possible axle.
Thanks for now, Tel.
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Dave Burns
Posts: 1934
Joined: 14 May 2001, 05:30
Location: United Kingdom
My Cars:

Postby Dave Burns » 11 Jul 2001, 04:09

Hi Tel
Yep unfortunately all first hand, bl***in car's he he, don't think you would have a problem with hatch back axle's but dunno about the estate, if a front mounting is on it's way out you can usualy get it to talk by jacking the back end up and lifting the wheel with a lever and then letting the wheel drop back down, if it's bad it should knock, don't jack up with the cross tub or any part of the subframe because for this test you don't want the mounting to have any weight on it.
Dave
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Tel
Posts: 21
Joined: 14 Jun 2001, 02:45
Location: United Kingdom
My Cars:

Postby Tel » 11 Jul 2001, 04:38

Dave, your a glutton for punishment doing all those jobs, will have a go with the lever under the tyre trick when I get a minute, and it’s not raining! Will post back and let you know the results.
P.S. Haven’t seen the lad with the non hot starting VW yet,(Can you remember the post?) he's on his hols at the moment,dying to get to the bottom of that just for my own curiosity.
Regards, Tel.
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