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Old 09-10-2012, 11:46 PM   #71
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Join Date: May 2009
Location: Sydney
Posts: 2,190
My Ride: slow and steady

Thanks for the tips and advice for the DIY RTABs replacement. I tackled this job this past weekend and I am absolutely glad that it is a once in a car's lifetime type thing.

Here's my notes and feedback about the whole process...

I managed to complete the RTAB refresh this weekend and even with the troubles I had, I am now enjoying a more planted rear end. I don't have to counter steer the effect of worn rear bushings anymore! If you have an afternoon available, this is definitely worthwhile on higher mileage cars.

I did use the MIS tool (lifesaver!) and I would recommend lots and lots of patience. Also, using 2 breaker bars or 1 breaker and the additional size (length) of the torque wrench will save some hassle and provide leverage in tightening everything down again. If you can, find some shallow sockets (18mm) to use for this DIY as the spaces are very tight. A coloured crayon or grease pencil is highly recommended to mark out the RTAB carrier position on the underbody and the angle of the carrier on the RTA itself.

From my own experience and time spent under the car I would recommend doing some sort of a pressure wash under the car in advance of the DIY. Give it time to dry up so that you're not dealing with the residual water as well as the DIY. Reason being is simple - there is so much crud under there from years of driving and road grime collecting that it goes everywhere (hair, face, mouth, EYES #@!$@#$) even though I was wearing protective glasses. Also makes it easier to deal with parts that are clean.

I was going to change my rear LCAs whilst in there for no other reason than I had replacements available but by the time I got through one side I was not prepared to deal with a second DIY concurrently.

I decided not to use limiters at all as I expected the bushing material in the Meyle HD bushings to be of a more solid construction to standard OE RTABs and I believe this to be correct.

Whilst I am not a mechanic by any stretch, I am reasonably competent at following instructions and I would rate the difficulty on this DIY in the range of a 5/10. I have previously R&R my FCAs, FCABs, tie rods, sway bushings and front sway links myself (with a little additional muscle from my brother) all in my garage using jack stands and basic tools. What will get you is the patience and sometimes sheer muscle effort required for some steps, of course depending on your specific scenario. For a first timer, I would allow 2 hours per side and you may also need an extra hand to assist with some unbolting / re-torquing steps.

Last point to note is that you should press in the bushings with the 'gap' in the rubber aligned vertically just to make placing the carrier back on a little easier.
From memory, all the nuts and bolts are 18mm (wheel lug nuts are 17mm).

Use Mango's pointers above for torque specs and how to mark out carrier positions.

Cheers and good luck!

I can help with
* Reading Codes / Coding your car
* R&R FCAs, Tie Rods, Sway links....

Need an RTAB tool? Or clutch fan and water pump tools? PM me.
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