View Full Version : Front suspension rebuild - TRF kit or piece parts?

01-02-2010, 09:09 AM
Looking for opinions here as the merits of the TRF "all-in-one" rebuild kits vs ordering the parts separately. I used the all in one TRF on the TR6 and it was mighty nice to have everything arrive in one package, albeit for a first timer it took a bit to sort out the jumble of parts.

It did make me wonder if the inner steel sleeves and bolts etc were overkill and if I could save some money by trying to re-use them and just ordering the replacement bushings etc. BPNorthwest provides some very nice poly bushings....

Is it considered good practice to replace all the sleeves and bolts as a matter of course? What do you think?

(last question for the day - probably...) :laugh:

Andrew Mace
01-02-2010, 09:14 AM
Bolts? Not necessarily. Nuts? Many would say yes. Sleeves? Definitely!

01-02-2010, 11:32 AM
It depends on the performance level you are trying to achieve. I do not know the quality of the hardware in that kit (nut, bolts,etc) and i am very picky about this stuff. Most kits (i don't know about this one) do not have high quality hardware. I want grade 8 or better hardware for everything and hardened washers. Kits tend to save you money if you use them as is. If existing hardware is questionable at all, replace it. 50 year old rusty nuts and bolts all get replaced as far as I'm concerned, but not with cheap junk.

01-02-2010, 12:37 PM
I'd piece it. The all-in-one kits are great if you are in a hurry, but there is no discount there by buying in bulk in my opinion. I think you can save significant money just by picking and choosing what you want even if you buy entirely from TRF.

01-02-2010, 01:26 PM
I haven't run the kit price vs individual prices; but there do seem to be many items in the kit that I wouldn't necessarily replace. I tend to always reuse the original bolts unless there is some reason not to (thread damage, excessive rust, rounded head, etc) and nuts (ditto) unless they are Nylocs. Nylocs should be replaced every time, as should all lock washers (though I'll admit I usually reuse the special lock washers on the caliper bolts).

My shock brackets (RFK737) are still original, although it wouldn't hurt to replace the lock tabs (or use Loctite). Upper ball joints seem to last a long, long time for me so I generally reuse them at least twice. They are also easy to change later if need be.

Silentblocs (RFK1315) were a high-failure item for me, so I replaced mine with brass/SS ones (from BFE) many years ago. Today I'd recommend the Delrin ones (made by ARE, but available from TRF as P/N HP301)

Likewise, the rubber upper inner bushings only seemed to last a few years, so I replaced mine with Nylatron. Urethane would probably work as well.

I'm still using original side plates (included in RFK1332), but I'll probably replace them next time. I've no idea why, but it seems like they wear quicker with the Nylatron bushings than with the original nylon. Maybe the Nylatron just lets the suspension move easier, so it moves more.

The thrust washers and outer washers (RFK1333) are generally reusable; after all, there is an adjustment for wear.

Oddly enough, the kit doesn't seem to include the 3 bolts that hold the spring pans to the A-arms. They are generally reusable, but sometimes get damaged from rocks & whatnot being thrown up. (Chase the threads, use new cotter pins)

If your stub axles are damaged at all, this might be the time to replace/upgrade them.

01-02-2010, 01:49 PM

I tend to do an assesment of what I can re-use vs what I can't and then make the decision. I think that you will find that if you buy the kit you will end up having some extra parts (and associated expense) that you will not require.

M. Pied Lourd