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Discussion Starter #21
Got the car up on jackstands and took a look underneath.

The good (right side):




The bad (left side top):


And the ugly Left side bottom):




Definitely it was already rotted and would have failed before too long. But certainly that huge pothole 6 weeks ago was the blow that weakened it enough to come apart now.

The left control arm bolt and nut are very hard to get at due to the brake hose bracket/heat shield blocking access to the nut. All other fasteners don't seem bad at all. But considering that to change the axle, I would have to strip the rear brakes down to the backing plate, undo the lines and re-assemble and bleed them later, it seems MUCH easier to have the car towed to a shop where they can weld on a scavenged or fabricated spring perch. Whether I have to buy an axle to get the spring perch is the question, and who will be willing to do the welding. I'm guessing that towing and welding will be about $250, plus the cost of acquiring or fabbing the perch (buying an axle looks to be $75 to $250). I'm going to call about the local axle today.
 

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Wow, bet ya don't see that very often.

Hmm, if the $250 axle is in real good shape I'd opt for the swap, if you have the time to wait you could hit the donor axle with a wire wheel and then give it some primer and paint.
Welding requires cutting both old ones out, metal prep and then welding in the new one, and every step of the way is the potential for more pitfalls - but I'm sure you know that.
My money is on the donor swap, if the donor is in good condition.

BTW, I remember looking up the jounce bumpers not too long ago and it said they were still available, but they are a bit pricey. If you get new ones I'd put something on them instead of the factory paint, or they'll just rust again.
 

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Discussion Starter #23
I'll probably skip the jounce bumpers, I've been without the right one for 4 years now, no issues.

No reason to cut out both perches, the right side is just fine. And a welder can reinforce a perch that's been donated by adding additional, thick plate around it to brace it. It's mostly a question of how much heat it will take - that axle can sink a LOT.
 

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TIG or Stick. MIG will be too cool to get good penetration for this application.
 

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Discussion Starter #25
Thanks, it's been too many years since I learned about different welding methods.

Changing the axle out might end up being the solution, and I could probably do it in my driveway. But it would be an all-weekend project if successful. It just seems more expedient and less stressful to get the axle, have it towed to someone, and tell them to "make it so" and write a check. I've spent the last two weeks wrestling with a washing machine repair, and before that, an alternator, and before that, an interior body panel...TOO MUCH TIME away from my family.
 

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Bob, locate an axle and clean it, prime it and paint it. Once all the rust is off you can paint it with some bed liner or other rubberized substance. Then swap the axle.

There are three or four bolts on each side which holds it on the body on each side, the track bar and then it's the plumbing. It'll be the prep which will take the longest assuming you have removed the old axle. While I don't expect the removal to be all that bad it's those bolts which hold it to the body I'd be worried about. Getting those out without damaging the threads may be a problem.
 

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Discussion Starter #27
Yeah, I was thinking about it this morning. The bolts at the control arms are going to take a lot of muscle, and I only have the car on axle stands. Will add additional support, use extreme care, and not be underneath while tugging.

To remove it, I have to:

1) Strip the brake hardware down to the backing plate on both sides. Remove wheel cylinders and the rigid line behind them (they were replaced only last Sept, so I can do that), and unclip the flex hoses upstream from their brackets to the control arms. I'll do this just before new axle installation so as to have the brake system open for the shortest time possible.
2) Unbolt the bottoms of the shock absorbers on both sides.
3) Unbolt the track bar at the bottom (I don't want to wrestle it at the crossmember end).
4) Unbolt the control arms.

Reverse the process with the replacement axle, installing the springs as I get the axle in place. They are compressed only an inch at most with the load of the car off the axle. Should be easy to place them in the perches as I slowly jack the axle up on each side to get them captive, then bolt the shocks so that the springs won't come out. I may have to change spindles if the donor has disc brakes, due to drum backing plate vs disc hardware. And when the brakes are re-assembled, I have to bleed them all around, flush out the exposed fluid to get moisture out.

If I can find them, I'll buy new rubber seats for the spring perches. The old ones are intact, but have tiny splits and have dents from the springs.
 

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Bob,
I have two '92 drum brake rear axles available. How soon are you planning the repairs? They are both still in the cars, but can be pulled fairly easily. PM me and Let me know.
Dan P.
 

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Discussion Starter #29
Thanks, I'll get back to you ASAP. Can you get a look at the spring perches and see if they are rusting away?

Still waiting to hear from the person selling parts in MA, and from the rust repair place in RI. I want to get the job started, or at least the path defined, before this weekend.
 

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No problem, I'll check today after work and get some pictures for you.
 

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Bob if you can use an impact wrench on the bolts you'll either remove them or snap the heads off without moving the car. At least then you can drill out and tap as necessary for the replacement hardware.
 

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Bob,
I checked and took pics of the axle and spring pockets. I tried to upload to my Allpar gallery to no avail. Email me - Daytonadan at danworld dot com and I will send you the pics. The axle and spring pockets look fine. I think with a sandblast and powdercoat it would pass for new.
Let me know which direction you are going.
Dan P.
 

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Discussion Starter #33
A huge thanks to Dan for not only offering the axle, but actually taking the time to deliver it today to my house, probably about a 350-mile drive or so! All the axles advertised locally were long gone, and I had waited a week with no reply from Autorust, who advertises a fabricated spring perch for other Chrysler products. Dan has bailed me out before with other parts, and was more than fair with the price. Thanks again!

The axle looks to be in great shape, only has a light coating of 'pickle rust' that will sand off easily. The pinhole on one spring perch is not a concern, I picked and poked around it and it is all solid. He even included the jounce bumper assemblies (mine are gone), both in great shape. So I'll be cleaning it up and rustproofing it and painting it before installation.

Weather is rainy for the next few days, so it will likely be at least a week before I can swap them out; but I have a fix!
 

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No problem at all my friend! It was a nice diversion to see New England again and help keep your Daytona on the road.
The only downside to the day was a 90 minute jam getting to the Tappan Zee bridge. After work on the Friday before Memorial Day is NOT a good time to travel. I thought taking a break for dinner at my sisters would have left me clean and green all the way home, nope. Still the contribution to keep a good car on the road made it worth it! Looking forward to progress pics
 

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Bob ONeill said:
Bob if you can use an impact wrench on the bolts you'll either remove them or snap the heads off without moving the car. At least then you can drill out and tap as necessary for the replacement hardware.
Outstanding advice Bob.
Bob? Front tires on ramps, Block/crib the car @ the rear bumper mounts.
 

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Discussion Starter #36
No need. The front tires are on the ground and blocked with cement blocks on level ground, parked in gear to prevent rolling; the rear of the car is supported by jackstands at the rear floorjack hoisting points. The axle will be lowered and raised with two jacks, so it should all go very easy. I won't actually have to crawl underneath the car, I can reach everything from the perimeter. And I tried all of the bolts today, and they all loosened with no trouble. The new axle is prepped and painted, and tomorrow morning I strip the drum brakes down to the backing plate, disconnect the fluid and parking brake lines, and unbolt the old axle. Reverse process for the new one.
 

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Sounds good Bob. Stay safe! I probably over-do it myself on the jack stand/cribbing and blocking front. Better safe than smooshed... I always say.
Remember, lots of pics for us!
 

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Discussion Starter #38
Never support it in areas that the factory does not call out - the bumper supports are a no-no.

Unfortunately, I didn't take pictures, other than the new axle sanded and then painted, and the old perch ripped apart. It was 86F here and very humid. It took 4 hours to strip and remove the old axle, and over 4 hours just to swap some hardware over to the new one and install it. Almost 9 hours in all today. Despite drinking a LOT of juice and trying to stay hydrated, I'm still dehydrated and tired.

Too many little snags to mention, but I did manage to install one jounce bumper where the old one had rotted and fallen off. The other one, where most of it rotted and broke off - one bolt snapped off. I wasn't going to spend the rest of the day drilling it out and finding a new nut and bolt. It's solidly in place, between the other bolt, rust and spring forces.

As it stands now (dark), the new axle is completely installed; the brake fluid system is closed to the air (lines connected and wheel cylinders mounted and hooked up); the parking brake cables are threaded into the interior, snapped to the console and still need to be connected to the equalizer, and their body clips bolted down. So the rear carpet and rear seat are lifted up and the console is apart.

Tomorrow it's going to rain, so Tuesday night I start again. Finish connecting the parking brake cables at the console, re-assemble the interior, re-install all of the rear drum hardware, adjust and bleed the brakes. Then install the wheels and lower it. I'm encouraged that I've reached this point with no issues - it's virtually as good as new, and this work should last the rest of the life of the car. Thanks again to Dan for bailing me out - the extra parts came in handy.


I was a little surprised to find a small wet area in the center of the right rear foot area of the floorpan under the jute. I have no idea how water got in there, it was dry all around it. It has smelled a little musty the past few months, there is a water leak somewhere.
 

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You might want to try POR-15 on any remaining rust. I recently used some on my badly-rusted snowblower, and I'm encouraged by how it's working so far (admittedly, not very long).
 

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Glad it seems to be going well Bob. You be rolling down the road in no time.
 
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