Can't get rear wheels off

Discussion in 'Mech Tech' started by mgbman, Jul 5, 2019.

  1. When I bought the van 5 years ago, it had been lowered quite a bit with stock rear spring plates and front beam welded adjusters.

    It has stock steel wheels and stock size tyres, which need replacing.

    I have done the fronts no problem with new steel wheels and van rated tyres. I would like to put the new wheels and tyres on the back, BUT, jacked up the rear on the axle beam and the wheels won't drop down far enough and even with the shocks off, the spring plates won't come down to the bottom stop. Plate sits about halfway.

    Rear bump stops are cut in half, standard size shocks on the rear.

    The van ride is very hard and bumps and bangs out on the road which is hurting.

    With the van jacked up I can push the wheels up and down a bit, but not far enough to slip the wheels out.

    Strangely the rear tyres were replaced just before I bought the van and I have the invoice to prove, so how did they did they fit them?

    I am getting on a bit in years and not so much energy these days, but would like to fix it myself.

    I am wondering if the torsion bars are worn and lost tension.

    The rear tyres are not van rated with only 2 ply walls and they are starting to crack near the rims, so need to replace.

    Any help or ideas would be appreciated.
  2. Dubs

    Dubs Sponsor

    It's a bit hairy, but you have to get a big bar above the spring plate, and lever it down. Get the lad to do it, as it takes some force! Letting the tyres down May help.
    Merlin Cat and Datsolow like this.
  3. I've put off sorting this out as it looked a bit dangerous. But as I am not removing the spring plates at this time, it shouldn't bite me. Presumably the tyre place that fitted the old tyres 5 years ago used a big pry bar.

    I tried to work out if I could use a jack to force them down, but not much room with the wheels in place.

    Do you think I should just ask the local independent tyre place to give it a go? I got the new tyres from them, so they may help me.
    Merlin Cat and ginger ninja like this.
  4. Dubs

    Dubs Sponsor

    Depends how much you trust them really.. if they seem knowledgeable and helpful it might be worth a try.. if they look like cocky kids with their caps on backwards, maybe not..
  5. The tyre place is independent and long established and I have gone there a lot for tyres and exhausts and they did a front suspension job on my old polo a while back. I love my van and enjoy working on it and driving it, but age creeps up on you and one day you realise you can't do everything anymore.
    Merlin Cat, mousey, Purple and 4 others like this.
  6. Sounds like a bit of a pain. Maybe time to get the bus to stock height as nature intended?
    Merlin Cat, nicktuft, Poptop2 and 2 others like this.
  7. This happened with mine.
    Local place did big bar and let the tyres down.

    A pain, but that is how they did it.
    Merlin Cat and mgbman like this.
  8. Isn’t that a reason to sort it rather than putting it off? You’re putting other people at risk as well as yourself driving around on overloaded tyres.

    The bus has been lowered by turning the spring plate, it’s no longer preloaded and it’s not going to bite you if you remove it. I’d fit the spring plates so they are just clear of the bottom stop, the bus will still be lowered a little but you will be able to get the wheels on and off.

    Of course you need to remove the wheel before you can get the spring plate off and if you can’t lever it down get the tyre lads to do it. Incidentally, if the dampers are standard they’re not stopping the spring plate from being levered down.
    art b, Merlin Cat and mgbman like this.
  9. Let the air out of the tyres and wiggle them out
    Merlin Cat likes this.
  10. Dazza

    Dazza Eyebrow not high brow

    You offer some sound and sensible advice in here , I think you may be ignoring your own sound and sensible advice. Get it back to stock and problem solved :thumbsup:

    Not a dig by the way :)
  11. Thanks for the help and advice.

    I should have sorted it some time ago when I had more energy and muscle power.

    The tyres show signs of cracking on the walls and I understand now that they have probably been the rear suspension and the torsion bar wasn't doing a full job.

    The rear end has definitely sagged and sounds as if moving the spring plates one outer spline or two, should set them to @77 Westy 's suggested height.

    Now I have a better understanding of how it works I can pop into town next week and see what the tyres place and old style garage can do for me.
    The Drama Man, Dubs, snotty and 3 others like this.
  12. I would recommend getting the spring plates off and rotating the torsion bars and stepping splines on the outer ( gives 0.5 degree angle increments if you do it by the book turn the inner end a spline back, outer a spline forward ..different pitch splines) to get both sides the same. Mine sits 7mm off the lower bump stop at rest.
    Its a job best done with a rattle gun as the big nuts on the hub carrier bolts can be a fight. And you need to disconnect handbrake cables.. if you dont it multiplies the faff.

    Then my 185/65R15's wiggle out just on a jack ..
  13. Went to the local old style garage today and they can do the spring plates reindexing. Decided not to just lever the plates down to change the wheels as it wouldn't solve the suspension issue.

    Rear drums look crusty and need a refurb and brakes need renewing, I can do these once the wheels come off.

    I read on here that folks doing diy use longer bolts to install the end covers, anyone know the correct bolts? Also the bolts for the spring plates, could they be reused or best to get new ones, what sizes and grade are they? Or do you think I should leave it to the garage.
  14. Leave it to the garage. You don’t really need longer bolts to fit the end cover plates, it just makes it easier. Spring plate bolts are M14x1.5 / 30mm, Grade 10 but I’d reuse the existing ones unless they are damaged.
    Merlin Cat, mgbman and nicktuft like this.
  15. If you’re not changing the outer rubber donuts, you likely won’t need the temporary longer bolts. They’re only needed to squish down new donuts first time the covers are installed.
    Lasty, mgbman and nicktuft like this.
  16. Let the tyre down to remove wheel
  17. great minds think alike
    Locke_Lamora likes this.
  18. :eek:
  19. You have to jack the body up then put a jack under the axle. .and find the sweet spot,,,
    Merlin Cat likes this.
  20. I have new rubber donuts and pure talc and new standard shocks for my nice local garage to fit. Sadly this is one job I can't manage myself.

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