Just wondered if anyone had had experience of the swing arm bearings siezing. Suspension goes hard and ride is terrible.
I know I need to replace them but am aware that when they go the chances are the axle is also "US". Options are buy just the axle from dealer with bearings but will be a long job to fit all the parts together which will be several hours labour. Buy one complete with arms and torsion bars from a scrap dealer, may be guaranteed but no good if it is put on and does not work (about £150 plus fitting). Third option I know is to get a reconditioned one with new bearings all set up to go on complete with swing arms. This is about £400 plus fitting if I chose to let someone else do it(about £100).
I favour the last method but can anyone recommend any other action or place that can recondition them cheaper than the above. After all, they only get them from a scrappy themselves.
This is an issue that is surfacing more and more as ZX/306s age.
I guess you know that actual bearing sets are quite a reasonable price.
Two problems though. Thay are a bit more than a nut and bolt job to fit and, as you hint, the axle itself may be damaged by the time the bearings show problems. A new axle is £600 from Citroen I think.
So the most common option is to fit a complete rear axle from a breakers, not a bad job really. If doing this ideally go for one from a newer low mileage car. The last one I was involved with cost about £200 delivered and was perfect...so a good result. Funnily enough the car it went onto was itself a heap and when that gets into the yards the axle will be the best bit on it.
As you say though bolt on one and find it is as bad as the one you took off...well then the fun starts.
Of course the way to prevent all this is to fit a new set of bearings before the wear/seizing becomes an issue.
Wonder what your mileage is, they usually go over 120K.
My 1991 205 (136k miles) failed the MOT back in May when the tester jacked the back end up and one of the trailing arms was seized. I had noticed some creaking noises from the back end for a couple of months. I thought about a replacement axle off a scrapper, but there was no guarantees on the condition. So I decided to drill and tap into the axle tube between the trailing arm bearings and fit a grease nipple. I then pumped in grease until the grease started oozing out between the arm and the axle tube. I then drove the car over speed bumps repeatedly for 30 minutes, re-greased and jacked the rear end up. The trailing arm dropped down to the correct position. There was no noticeable play in the bearings (I think I was lucky here and caught the problem before the bearings were severely damaged). The car was then re-tested and passed the MOT.
The job was quite easy and took about half an hour each side. The reason this problem occurs is because the rubber seal between the arm and tube perishes and allows water into the outer bearing - which corrodes and seizes up or wears out. I now re-grease every 3 months which seals the area around the original rubber seal and hopefully keeps the water out. Hope this helps.
I think the key to the problem from both the reply by MM and yourself is preventative measures. I have had the exact creeking you mention, only thing is now it has stopped. The wheel is also sloping slightly. I am not sure if it is too late or not. I have spoke to someone who will source one from the scapper and fit it for a fair price. However adding a grease nipple to the new one would cetainly be of benefit and I would appreciate you posting the details. My mileage is under 100k but where I live the council have put humps everywhere and the roads are a joke anyway so no doubt that has played a part. The car is the td Volcane and in excellent condition really so worth putting right.
Dayvid, I have written this assuming you are carrying out the work with the rear beam still on the car - but it would be much easier done before you fit the new one. Just make sure that you can get access to the nipple with the car sitting normally i.e. not jacked up. Look at your old beam before you take it off to get the best position fot the nipple. You will need to estimate where the bearings are and fit the two nipples between them on each side. On the 205 approx 50mm from the trailing arm is ideal as the casting on the end of the beam is nice and thick for drilling into.
Grease gun and grease (from Halfords)
2 x M6 grease nipples (from Halfords)
Small spanner to fit nipple
M6 tap and tap holder (from a motor factors)
2.5mm twist drill (pilot hole)
4.8mm twist drill (tapping drill) ? 5mm is the correct tapping drill but 4.8mm is all I had
Apply handbrake and jack up one side of the car and lower onto an axle stand. From in front of the wheel look up at the rear axle and you will see where the cross tube joins the cast part on the end, before the trailing arm casting. Measure back from the trailing arm/beam end casting 45 to 50mm and scrape off any surface rust in the area. Now you need to find the best angle to get a drill in (and thinking ahead a bit ? the tap and tap handle). On my car that has drum brakes there is a handbrake cable and a brake pipe in the way, but there is room to get in ok without dismantling anything. Choose the best position and centre pop the casting 45 to 50mm in from the end of the trailing arm interface ? at a suitable area for fitting the nipple. What we are trying to do here is to drill in between the inner and outer bearings. Then using the 2.5mm drill bit carefully drill into the casting ? keeping the drill perpendicular to the axle. It will go through approx 10mm of steel before breaking through. Once broken through stop drilling. Then do the same with the 4.8mm drill. Put some grease on the drill bit to try to catch the swarf and stop regularly to clean the drill and apply fresh grease. Then tap the hole - again, put grease on the tap to catch the cuttings . My tap holder has quite a small removable T handle ? useful in the tight space available. Don?t use a big tap holder as you may not get it to turn without the handles clashing. Or you could use a small set of adjustables to turn the tap. The tap will eventually bottom out on the inner trailing arm shaft ? so stop tapping there. I used the small drill with a bit of grease on it to wipe round inside the hole to try and get all the swarf out of the hole. Clean up the area then fit the grease nipple. Then attach the grease gun and slowly pump grease in. After about 15 pumps you will see grease emerging from the trailing arm/cross beam joint. Probably dirty black grease first then fresh stuff. Job done! Re-grease as often as you like as part of your maintenance schedule.
Thanks for taking the time to write the above. Right now I am still waiting for the guy to give me a call regarding the replacement. I aim to try and do the above. I may practice on the old one. I will let you know how it goes but better wait for any guarantee to expire on the replacement, probably 30 days.
I had above problem on my zx volcane td before I sold her. If your wheel is leaning then I feel damage has been done check the inside of the tyre and the wheel arch. I couldn't get find a mechanic to replace the bearings the consensus was that the housing is likely to be worn. I decided to fit a complete rear beam assembly £50 from a breakers. Mine came from a 306. Some points to be aware of
Must have rear discs on the set up therefore late 306 or zx volcane
If 306 the suspension settings will be different, can try and get torsion bars adjusted difficult to get it right. Almost impossible to find a good zx volcane in breakers rear beam a problem on older ones and you won't know until you have fitted it!!!
I had not previously heard of anyone else doing this mod before I did it myself - however I have shared the info on the 205gtidrivers forum and I believe some other people have done it. Rear beam bearing problems on ageing / high mileage 205's seems to be very common - often making them beyond economical repair. It seems that zx's, 405's and 306's are similar designs. Carrying out the mod before any problems surface is perhaps the best defence. Certainly if the wheel(s) are leaning inwards there is already bad bearing wear and the car may be handling oddly due to unintended rear wheel steering so a replacement axle or a rebuild is needed.
Please feel free to pass on the info to anyone who may be interested.
new to this site. the rear axle on my 1998 306 td Meridian has started to creak. no signs of any cambering out on rear wheels so would first like to fit grease nipples as example given on 205 to see if greasing will give any improvement before going further.
could you please give me suitable dimensions on where to locate them on the 306 axle or can I use the locations as given for the 205.
In the good old days the underside of a car was covered in grease nipples and a grease gun was an essential maintenance tool, then came the curse if the low maintenance sealed bearing...
A good fix, proper engineering, well done!