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Boater
09-05-2013, 08:22 AM
Question for the Brits and Aussies mainly - should a 312D have a rear anti-roll bar?

Finally got back under mine last night to start getting ready to drop the axle and didn't notice anything unusual, but after I packed up and looked at the Haynes book to see about removing the handbrake cables I noticed it also mentioned disconnecting the anti-roll bar. The thing is, I'm pretty sure there is nothing attached to the brackets on the axle for the ARB.

What I need to work out is whether I have just overlooked it, whether it is an option that might never have been fitted, if a previous owner has removed it for some reason, or if some theiving b*****d has stolen it whilst I was away. If it's the latter I'll need to have a good look around and see if anything else is missing!

Jim

Altered Sprinter
09-05-2013, 09:55 AM
Jim if it was:thinking: stolen:shifty: you'd see where it came off.
Cheers Richard

Boater
09-05-2013, 01:40 PM
Hi Richard,

I noticed the brackets on the axle with spare holes but didn't think anything of it. The handbrake cable guide was bolted to the top hole, but Haynes says it is bolted to the bottom hole of the ARB mount. I'm sure if it has been removed recently when I look again tonight I will see a rust free area where it used to be!

Will report back later, but I am well puzzled just now!

Jim

Boater
09-05-2013, 10:31 PM
OK, the handbrake cable guides were bolted to the lower hole after all.
Neither of the manuals I have state whether an ARB* should be found on all models.

Looking in EPC the ARB parts are greyed out as not applicable based on my chassis number - oddly the drop link is listed as applicable but that must be a mistake as there is nothing listed to attach it to!

The area where the mounts/bushes would fit to the axle brackets does seem a little less rusty than other areas, but clearly nothing has been removed from there recently, so if there has been an ARB it must have been gone before I got the van.
I have looked at the photos and diagrams in the manuals and I can't locate the brackets where the drop links attach to the chassis so my conclusion is that it never had an ARB (which agrees with EPC) and I am simply going crazy.

*find it hard not to use the UK terminology of "Anti Roll Bar" even though MB call it a torsion bar

Boater
09-09-2013, 02:43 PM
Well, I'm glad I don't have an anti-roll bar to worry about, now that I have the axle off and can see what else I need to do (apart from the rust) I have quite a list:

- Rear handbrake cables, both sides
- Handbrake shackles (try cleaning up first)
- Brake backplates (both full of holes)
- ABS sensors (1 was flush with the backplate and wouldn't move so I damaged it, the other looks pretty bad, need to replace both bushes though)
- Pad wear sensor main cable passenger side (might just repair it, I never fit the sensors anyway)
- Both calipers, pistons rusty and outer seals look tired so full clean, paint and rebuild with new pistons is on the cards (sort of knew this already)
- Brake hoses unlikely to survive being disconnected from calipers, just hope I can free them at hard pipe end without too much trouble - they are already copper replacement lines and if seized to the nuts they usually snap - had plenty of practice at making brake lines on my car!
- Spring U bolts and nuts
- Drivers side leaf spring broken (was hidden under the U-bolt)
- Assume spring bolts shouldn't be re-used, usually high torque.
- Both dampers push in easily and stay put, and the bushes top and bottom are falling apart
- I think my MOT had an advisory about a noisy diff, might as well open that up (new gasket?) and inspect it (oil change probably worth doing anyway), probably need new cover bolts gauging by the state of the heads.

I guess I need to renew both springs at the same time to avoid nasty surprises with handling?

And then to the rust.....
- Most obvious thing is the outer sills, some of which have been patched already but the PO has 'spot' welded ('spot' = dabs with MIG welder, not proper resistance spot weld) the lower seam which unfortunately does not meet the UK MOT spec for repairs - all patches have to be fully seam welded all round. Spot welding is only allowed when replacing an entire panel to a welded flange all round. There is a repair section available for 30 which runs from the sliding door to the wheel arch (the longer of the 2 sections) and up to just above the lower body line, on the non sliding door side it reaches the mid side seam. The rear corner panels don't seem to be available at the moment but the opposite side repair panel is long enough to use as far as the corner bumpers, only issue would be that the body line end moulding would be missing but I can live with that. For the drivers side opposite the sliding door, I have already patched the sill, but am considering replacing it with another of the same panels with the wheel arch bit cut off.
- The inner sills need rebuilding in places - these are straight with a single bend so I will fabricate from flate sheet bent to the right angle - I have a sheet bender now so should be neater than before! The inner sill generally seems not to rust as high up as the outer, can't explain that but I'm glad of it!
- Chassis members need patching in way of the bump stops, chipped the rust off on one side and there wasn't any steel below :(
- Have only started inspection around front drivers side spring mount - awkward rust patch inside between overlapped steel sheets is going to force me to chop a bit out to repair - the repair will need to be flush as it's right where the end of the spring sits. I'm going to need a supply of burrs for my die grinder because I can't quite get an angle grinder in!
- Also some evidence of rust under the underseal on the flanges of the cross members and at cross member intersections - probably just need to get the underseal off (quite enough of a challenge!) clean up, hit with rust convertor and then shutz. The floor plate and stiffeners all look to be in great condition, as do the chassis rails along most of their length with a few local exceptions.

That's all the stuff I need to do to get it past MOT - OK strictly speaking I don't need to do it all, but I have no intention of removing the axle again so in practice I do.
In addition to that I still need to re-skin the bottom of the drivers door and replace the drivers wheel arch panel, plus rebuild and re-skin the bottoms of both rear doors, re-caulk the body seams. attend to some rust on the rear gutter, sort out the roof seams, attend to some rust on the bonnet and various small patches around the body. I guess at some point I should remove the windscreen and repair the rust there too.

When I'm done it will be like a new van!

mean_in_green
09-09-2013, 08:27 PM
Yoikes! That's a long job sheet...

Boater
09-09-2013, 08:59 PM
Yeah, but I'm glad I didn't get the garage to do the welding, they would either have worked around the axle and done a crap job, or they would have had the van in pieces before finding out how much is needed forcing me to commit to the expense all at once. At least this way I can deal with it in my own time with my own labour, mostly easy jobs although some are in awkward places.