Tuesday 14 July 2015

Suspension Uprights Dismantled

Dis-assembly was a bit of trial and error as we do not have drawings and as we discovered, the assemblies were similar but a bit different to many other F1 racecars of the period. It would be fair to say that Garry and I often repeated 'that is nice' when components were progressively removed and inspected. There is some very clever engineering in this BRM. 

Rear Upright with drive shaft attached prior to dismantling.

First step to remove the drive shaft through dismantling the Universal Joint. 
Nicely engineered cap and removable roller bearings.

UV crosses and joints are all individually numbered and matched.

Removing the nut inside the drive shaft allowed removal of a particularly beautiful forged CV joint knuckle unit (photo above)

Which cleans up (photo above) to a virtual chrome finish! Many of the drive shaft and axle components have been coated in a lacquer, I am not sure if that was done when they arrived at the Donnington Museum in 1981 or if it was done during manufacture at the BRM works or at Rubery Owen, the engineering company behind the team. Nevertheless, it has protected the drive shaft and associated components to a very significant degree. I will be interested in determining the drive shaft steel composition when crack testing as they appear to have a high proportion of chromium.

This allows removal of the rear axle half shaft. The outside roller bearing (at bottom of the photo above) is very substantial however the inner roller bearing is less so.

Bearing outers remain in the upright as they are a pressed / heat shrink fit.

Warming the uprights allowed the bearing shells to be removed. The Aluminum pieces in the photo above are made to suit each end of the uptight to support them but allow the bearing cap (outer) to drop down inside (sometimes with some gentle tapping) when the upright is hot enough.

Some of the bearings caps (outers) have seen better days (photo above), possibly from corrosion whilst the car was sitting stationary in the Donington Museum for a long period

Axle cleaned. There are some sleeves under the bearing locations that need to be removed to allow full crack testing of the shaft, I need to have some special tools manufactured to do this.

Front upright above.

First step is to undo the central holding bolt above.

This reveals the bearing cap and allows the removal of the inner bearing. 

Once the inner bearing is removed the stub axle and bearing spacer and outer bearing can be removed (photo above). There are ball bearings in the front as against roller bearings in the rear assembly.

Unlike the rear axles, the spacers and sleeves on the front axles pop off without special tools and reveals a beautifully radiused edge to the wheel mounting plate. Looking at how clean and polished this corner is suggests it has not seen light of day since 1973.

Next step is to remove the sleeves from the rear axles and then take all the components to Steve Hooker for crack testing as well as order new bearings.