September 2003: Brakes and Engine Overhaul

This is Part 1 of 2 | Engine, Part 2>

I'm preparing to build the completed rear axle assembly and overhaul the original engine over the next 3 months. First the brakes! Below is the E21 3 series rear brake components. We use them because they will match the 3 series front brake components without having to worry about brake bias settings - the symptom where the front brakes are more powerful than the rears or vice versa. So, this will give you an idea on how the shopping list looks if you're considering the same upgrade yourself. (NOTE: some photos courtesy 2002 Haus)
These are the 320 backing plates, clips, pins, springs and adjustment components. You need the 320 rear shoes, which are 250mm like the 2002 Turbo's units and easily found in the parts bins of your parts supplier. As I have stated before, Rob at 2002 Haus is helping me with this project, and these photos represent some of his parts available from his web site as a complete upgrade if you want it as a kit. His kit is much easier than chasing down some odd 30 part #s, and Rob's knowledge and experience won't let you make a mistake picking the wrong parts yourself. This setup makes my job really easy to get it done.
The brakes will attach to the trailing arms as shown below. These arms have been completely stripped and powder coated, new bearings installed and packed. The bolt shown on the back of the arm is the one your shock absorber bolts to at the bottom of the shock. This is the left arm. Note the hole in the stub axle which holds the cotter key and the wheel flange on.
The trailing arm bushings are key to a firm solid ride. These new ones are cheap, but a real pain to put in. You need a hydraulic press or a lot of patience. Chances are your bushings are 25+ years old by now.
Front view of the arm. These units were welded by hand at the factory originally, as witnessed by the welding.
Top view of the arm.
The original TII hubs, which are hardened (and no-longer-available too) have been bead blasted and powder coated to match  trailing arms. New studs installed, which are about $2 each if you need some. I originally broke 2 of the four off this hub when some lug nuts weren't torqued down properly. This is a good fix to a problem I encountered 2 years ago, and this pic makes me feel 100% better about driving the car again.
The back side of the hub. The wheel studs are replaced very easily - pop out with a big hammer.
In October, we will install the rear axle and sub frame assembly into the car.
PART 2 - Engine Disassembly ->



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