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Rear Trailing Arms and Bushings


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With Sweden Offroad Adventures on Spring Tour 2010 a few weeks ago, I had the opportunity to let the landy flex it's legs a bit on some great trials here in Southern Sweden. On one or more occasions the landy was put into situations where she performed admirably but the boulders that we were climbing over finally got their way and one of my trailing arms suffered from it. I already have cranked trailing arms but not as much as this one now has. :rofl:

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When we were driving home after the weekend on the trials the landy was a right hand full to try to keep between the lines. Gave it the gas and she went to the left, off the gas and directly to the right! :o Knowing that I bent the rear trailing arm I figured that the rear axle steering was from that so just accepted it at that and keep it a lower controllable speed. A few days later just going into town for a short spin, the landy was a hand full again even at low speeds. :huh: This time I parked the landy in front of the garage then got under it for a proper methodological inspection of the rear suspension. During the looksee I finally found the culprit to the severe rear axle steering.

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The trailing arm bushings have disintegrated from the center outwards. The arms arm moving forwards and backwards within it's self. :o Now I normally will blame it on sh!tparts and their wonderful quality products, but I have to say that it's not them this time. I opted at the time (4 years ago) to by AllMakes as the local after market supplier highly recommended them for their much better quality control. :rofl: :rofl: These bushings are only approx 4 years old and have less that 4000 km on them...... Better quality you say, eh ? :blink:

Check out these pictures, I removed a portion of the rubber bushing so that we can get a better view of internals of the bushing. To top it all off, the other side bushing was in the same state. :angry2:

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Moving on from these bushings and the newly formed banana trailing arm I found on eBay a new set of trailing arms that were more up to the driving I do. These extreme trailing arms from Adrenalin 4x4 Ltd are one a very few large diameter arms that are a whooping 41mm in diameter and a wall thickness of 6mm made from seamless CDS steel tubing. Laying one next to the original Defender trailing arm and the early RRC trailing arm that I cranked and was using, you can see the differences. The Defender arm is 28mm, RRC is 30mm...... As a matter of fact, Adrenalin 4x4 Ltd show on their homepage that you can actually put an original Defender trailing arm inside one of theirs.

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I ordered from the local LR dealership a complete set of rear trailing arm bushing for the rebuild. The price wasn't nearly as dear as one would think, when you figure in the shipping and exchange rates, the local and better quality Land Rover stuff was well on par to anything I could have ordered. Anyways my feelings have changed over the years, quality, reliability and safety is more important than trying to save a nickel or two. ......The new trailing arm and original bushings......

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At the rear axle mounting bracket, you'll see that I had to trim out the opening by 16mm so that I could get full flexibility from the trailing arms without them binding at the mount. I'm looking forward to trying these out on the trials soon, but first impressions are impressive. In town and on the highway the rear end is so much tighter now, no more wandering. It just shows how new OEM bushings really make such a difference plus that the trailing arms are at the same length so the axle is no longer cocked to one side or moving about. :i-m_so_happy:

Todd.

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