Changing the rear suspension gaiter is fairly straight forward, but can be confusing if you haven’t done it before.
Before changing a rear gaiter, does your suspension go “crack” when it stands up in the mornings? If so and it’s from the same side as the busted gaiter, you should replace the pushrod and ball cup assembly too. This will stop the noise and prevent the pushrod or cup breaking on the road.
To change a rear gaiter, jack up the rear of the car and support on axle stands.
- Remove the wing and wheel on the offending side.
- Put the suspension height lever in the lowest setting to depressurize the rear suspension.
- Put a bowl or similar under the gaiter to catch any fluid spilled when it is removed.
- Undo the clip around the large end. There should be a rubber ring between the clip and the gaiter.
- Clean as much dirt away from this end of the gaiter / suspension cylinder as possible.
- There is a U shaped wire clip securing the pushrod and ball cup assembly to the suspension arm. The end that pokes through the suspension arm should be bent over to prevent it coming out. You need to straighten this out then remove the clip.
- Sometimes it is rusted into the suspension arm, in which case you might be able to bend the clip enough to disengage it from the push rod, enabling the pushrod and gaiter to be removed, leaving the ball cup attached to the arm.
- Now lift the suspension arm to push the piston back into the suspension cylinder. Release the arm and the lower end of the pushrod / ball cup assembly should now be free of the arm.
- Disconnect the nylon return pipe from the top of the gaiter.
- Prise the gaiter off the suspension cylinder and remove the gaiter / pushrod assembly from the car.
- Remove the ball cup assembly from the end of the pushrod. If the rubber dust cover on this is perished, these should be changed.
- Take a careful look at how and where the gaiter is attached to the pushrod, as it will need to go back the same way.
- Turn the gaiter inside out to access the clamp. Remove the clamp and the gaiter from the pushrod.
- There should be some cloth or cloth tape wrapped around the gaiter under the clamp. This is usually missing these days, but recover it if it is there.
- Clean up the pushrod.
- Turn the new gaiter inside out.
- Lubricate the pushrod with a little WD40 or similar and push the gaiter onto it small end first, until it is over the grooves around the pushrod, where the old gaiter was.
- Check the rotational alignment of the gaiter. The port for the nylon return should be at 90 degrees to the hole in the pushrod that the wire clip goes through.
- Wrap the cloth strip around the gaiter, or if it was missing, use cloth tape or a strip of rag.
- Clamp the small end of the gaiter to the pushrod. You should use Ligarex for this but make sure there are no sharp edges left on the buckle that may wear through the gaiter when it is pulled over.
- Pull the gaiter back over so that is the right way out.
- Put a blob of grease into the ball cup and refit it to the end of the pushrod.
- Refit the assembly to the car.
- It can help to put the U shaped wire clip back in before putting the large end of the gaiter onto the suspension cylinder, as this will hold the gaiter and pushrod in the right rotational position.
The rest is pretty much the reverse of the removal, as they say.
Hopefully we’ll be able to add some pictures to this at some point in time.
We are having problems getting people to send old exchange parts back to us for reconditioning when they buy reconditioned or re-manufactured items. For some items this is becoming a problem with supplies of old parts suitable for reconditioning running dangerously low. Of course not all old parts are suitable for reconditioning, so supplies will slowly diminish anyway, but this makes it even more important that as many parts are sent back for reconditioning as possible.
Until now the refundable surcharge has been a token amount, but we find most people just absorb the cost rather than send the old parts back, or maybe just never get around to it, so we are having to increase the surcharge to provide enough incentive for people to send the old parts back.
We were discussing this with some of the main suppliers in Europe last week and they are having the same problems. It’s not about the money, we do not make anything from the surcharge because whatever amount it is gets refunded, it’s about keeping the system working. Therefore the surcharge has to be greater than the cost of sending the old parts back or else it all grinds to a halt. All our surcharges will have to rise because of this, unfortunately.
If you have old parts that should have been sent back to a supplier somewhere, not just us, please send them back as soon as you can to help keep the system working.
If parts have to be made new from scratch due to lack of items to recondition, you will not like the quality or the price, so it’s in all of our interests to do our part in keeping the system working.