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Old 01-18-2011, 07:52 PM   #1
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Aluminess Swing away arm problem

After getting home from SoCal, I decided to rotate tires. When I pulled the spare off the Aluminess spare tire mount, I noticed the arm had too much play at the pivot point.

What I found when I took it apart was a little distressing.

First, the arm that pivots and its support are aluminum (Aluminess, right?) and have a steel bolt that goes through both parts. Eventually, the bolt threads will wear away the aluminum, and they did on mine. I had about 1/8" play in the pivot.


The hole is not round, and much larger than the bolt.

To remedy this, I drilled out the hole:


Hole drilled to 1/2"

Then:


Pressed in an Oilite bushing

Upon reassembly I discovered the bolt could wear out either the arm or the support. Since I put the bushing in the arm I decided to make sure the bolt will not rotate in the support. No picture here. I simply put the bolt through and peened the hole to make it a very tight fit on the threads and the bolt will no longer rotate.

It was late in the day, and I was tired so that is the fix - and it will work. If I was to do it over, I would go for a larger bolt - ideally a shoulder bolt - and thread the support and use a locknut. Then the unthreaded part of the bolt would make a good surface for the bushing and the threaded support and locknut would make certain the bolt cannot rotate except where the bushing would take the load.

Mike
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Old 01-18-2011, 08:53 PM   #2
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Re: Aluminess Swing away arm problem

Mike, you did know Aluminess makes a retro fit kit for the older bumpers? Way back I showed Dave this problem and he soon came out with a kit. I had my bumper re-done and they also added wedges where the gates close to help off set the weight. Being you made the repairs yourself you might look into the wedges as well. Not sure they are in these posts but Aluminess could advise.

viewtopic.php?f=13&t=92
viewtopic.php?f=13&t=928

It looks like you did a better job though.
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Old 01-19-2011, 10:59 AM   #3
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Re: Aluminess Swing away arm problem

I always had the support pieces in place. It's not from the weight of the tire while driving, but wear from opening and closing everytime I get in the back - I have to open my spare tire to open either back door.

Let's face it, aluminum makes a lousy bearing surface. And the fact that it rotates on the threaded part of the bolt makes it much worse.

Mike
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Salem Kroger coil spring 4wd
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Alaska to Key West, Labrador and more
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2015 VW GTI
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Old 01-19-2011, 06:28 PM   #4
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Re: Aluminess Swing away arm problem

Yep, I was glad I caught it before any damage was done. I do wish the retro fit was bearings but they now just put in the correct bolts now rather than fully threaded bolts that should have never been there in the first place. They might have sleeved it...don't recall.
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