Clementine's Garage
Clementine the Cat
 
Image of flower
Yellow R4
 
Réparateur d'automobiles

Can of worms opened ( tin worms )

NickoJ

Enthusiast
Messages
24
Location
Shropshire UK
Over the last few days I have started to investigate the seriousness of my R4 tin worm infestation. Having removed the rear suspension as a unit I can now reveal that a succession of previous repairs has instead of helping to cure the problems simply provided a source of food for the little blighters.
As ever with restoration projects the true extent of the job only becomes apparent during the strip down.
So far I can see that I will need extensive repairs to both rear chassis ends both rear seat belt anchorages, removal of previous ugly patches and reinstatement of chassis especially around inner suspension mounts. All of which I am sure is typical of the marque.
The righthand rear outer suspension mount was welded to the chassis including the heads of the bolts in such a way that I could only remove the suspension by cutting much of the mounting away, the chassis end will have to be completely renewed. Also when removing the trailing arm outer bush and what was left of the mtg bracket I discovered that the arm itself is holed,I also had to remove two large metal washers that had been hammered into the torsion bar location point presumably to take up excess movement. Are the torsion bar location bushes replaceable as it seems that I may have to strip the whole assembly down.
If anyone has got to the end of this post I would appreciate your input as to how to tackle this project, I have attached a few photos more are available should you feel the need for a good laugh.
 

Attachments

  • IMG_20200325_094813.jpg
    IMG_20200325_094813.jpg
    99 KB · Views: 4
  • IMG_20200325_093816.jpg
    IMG_20200325_093816.jpg
    102.4 KB · Views: 4
  • IMG_20200325_092827~2.jpg
    IMG_20200325_092827~2.jpg
    104.2 KB · Views: 3
  • IMG_20200324_130541~2.jpg
    IMG_20200324_130541~2.jpg
    143.5 KB · Views: 3
  • IMG_20200321_121906.jpg
    IMG_20200321_121906.jpg
    103.6 KB · Views: 3

JdeW

Enthusiast
Messages
695
Location
Laarbeek The Netherlands
Well that'll be a serious rebuild, and indeed typical R4 hotspot problems.
At firstglimps the cast steel trailer-arm has to be replaced and furthermore a lot of cutting and welding new steel has to be performed. Don't be surprised to find more surprises.
In the restoration section you find articles https://www.renault4.co.uk/renault-4-restoration.htm
This french site has usefull articles https://www.la4ldesylvie.fr/tutoriels-de-mecanique-et-bricolage-sur-les-renault-4
In the Projects section you'll find restoration and full restorations like mine GTL https://www.renault4.co.uk/forum/threads/r4-gtl-1985-restoration.8252/ or Jurjenz TL https://www.renault4.co.uk/forum/threads/r4-tl-restauration.7670/

Looking forward to see your progress.
Best regards, Joop
 
Last edited:

NickoJ

Enthusiast
Messages
24
Location
Shropshire UK
Hi Joop thanks for the links in your reply I'll be needing all the help I can get.
 

JdeW

Enthusiast
Messages
695
Location
Laarbeek The Netherlands
Sorry, I forgot all my formalities, Welcome to the forum :D
Those are just a few links, remember there's a ton of information and experience here by other forum members and are willing to provide information, tips & tricks, etc. etc.
Just dig first into the various articles and make a plan before grasping to the angle grinder and weld torch.
And we all love R4 rust, engine sludge and overall progress pictures.
 

NickoJ

Enthusiast
Messages
24
Location
Shropshire UK
Hi Joop thanks again the french connection looked interesting but not being very tech savvy I don't know how to translate it into english.
What I'm really looking for is info on how to refurb the rear torsion bar setup. The inner mounting brackets on my car seem to be approx 90 degrees apart which seems a lot to take up when refitting to car?
Regards Nick
 

JdeW

Enthusiast
Messages
695
Location
Laarbeek The Netherlands
Hi Nick, refurbishing the rear axle is very labour intensive and I've never found a factory settings document.

The 90 degrees inner brackets offset is normal as seen on my replacement axle.
rearaxle.jpg

Normally on refurbishing the rearaxle one uses the old axle setup and take measurements and add markings.

The basic setup of the torsion bars isn't the main problem because they can always be altered for adjusting the rear vehicle height. The torsion bars left and right are different and normally the bars have markings which correspondent with the markings on the inner bracket
Torsionmark.jpg
But that's just for the basic setup and normally the torsion bars are removed first and remounted last.

What matters is the setup of the outer support - trailing arm - inner bracket with the outer and inner bushes (silent blocks) and therefore one uses the old components to create a template. Note the various points, lines and angles from components of the trailing arm.
templating.jpg

On reassembling one first mounts the refurbished trailing arms, prime the trailing arms and then easily place the torsion bars.
When you try to mount the complete axle, so both trailing arms and both installed torsion bars, then you'll have to work against the load from the torsion bars and the load from the 4 bushes (silent blocks), which is back breaking and not the right way.

But looking at the pictures provided, I think you have to seperate body from chassis. Despite the bodge job on the rear axle parts and judging the severe rust on the outer mountings I'm sure the inner mountings are also affected as well as more rear parts of the chassis and body.

Maybe finding a replacement rear axle isn't a bad idea as well, I'd to do it on my car as well.

Like I said, don't be surprised to find more surprises, when you seperate body from chassis, the front corners might also be tin worm infected as the rear allready is.
 
Last edited:

Jnr-Renospeed

Enthusiast
Messages
140
Location
Newington
Yes as JdeW said, finding a good replacement axle would be a more effective 'repair' and you won't be chasing problems in the future.
 

harbourseal

Renault R4 Lunatic
Messages
1,021
Location
Breda The Netherlands
Viewing your own axle makes me think only 1 thing. Take the torsion bars out and chuck everything else in the bin. The axle stub that holds the silent block to the chassis is not repairable and it will fail in the very near future. Try and find a good replacement.
 

NickoJ

Enthusiast
Messages
24
Location
Shropshire UK
Hi all thanks for your input once again, how would I go about sourcing a good replacement rear axle setup? I'm presuming it would probably come from France, is it possible to get French website translated?
 

Andy McGhee

Enthusiast
Messages
1,132
Location
Cheltenham

NickoJ

Enthusiast
Messages
24
Location
Shropshire UK
Me again I have found a complete cast iron axle unit in France it's supposedly in good order but comes from a van. What are the implications for fitting to my car. I'm currently waiting for shipping details.
Nick
 

Jnr-Renospeed

Enthusiast
Messages
140
Location
Newington
I believe it should fit straight on, you'll have slightly to fairly stiffer rear suspension depending on if it's an F4 rear axle or F6 and it may raise your ride height, or not depending on the degradation of the torsion bars.
 

NickoJ

Enthusiast
Messages
24
Location
Shropshire UK
It seems that I have plenty of time in which to find a non van version for my car as the French supplier of the van axle can't ship because of the current lockdown.
In the meantime I have a ton of work to do in repairing the chassis.
 

Iain

Enthusiast
Messages
83
Location
France
It seems that I have plenty of time in which to find a non van version for my car as the French supplier of the van axle can't ship because of the current lockdown.
In the meantime I have a ton of work to do in repairing the chassis.
I'm in SW France. Lockdown has severely limited options. Delivery courier possibilities strictly controlled and limited right now....gonna be case till April 15th at earliest and most expect that to extend. Not the news you want but how it is here right now, I'm afraid. The chassis will probably keep you occupied anyway, as you suggest! I've just started on mine, whipping off doors, lights etc., past few days, aiming for strip-down. Chassis pretty poor so plenty ahead.
 

NickoJ

Enthusiast
Messages
24
Location
Shropshire UK
I thought it about time I did an update on my progress with the chassis repairs to my R4. I'm very much making it up as I go along but I guess that what most first timers do. So far I'm reasonably pleased with my results accurate measurements seems to have resulted in acceptable finish.
Your comments and suggestions are always welcome.
 

Attachments

  • IMG_20200404_170325.jpg
    IMG_20200404_170325.jpg
    96.3 KB · Views: 6
  • IMG_20200408_153940.jpg
    IMG_20200408_153940.jpg
    143 KB · Views: 6
  • IMG_20200408_153955.jpg
    IMG_20200408_153955.jpg
    136.2 KB · Views: 6
  • IMG_20200408_154057.jpg
    IMG_20200408_154057.jpg
    112.4 KB · Views: 7
  • IMG_20200409_143539.jpg
    IMG_20200409_143539.jpg
    89.1 KB · Views: 7
  • IMG_20200409_163435.jpg
    IMG_20200409_163435.jpg
    98.3 KB · Views: 7
Top