First Fault - Lower Shock Absorber mount
Well it had to happen but it was a surprise for it to happen on the first time out on a gentle greenlaning trip on a sunny Sunday afternoon. None of the lanes are difficult, in fact they are all loosely surfaced and easily driven apart from a view scratchy bits.
When we got home James had a quick walk around the back of the car and saw.....
The rear shock absorber lower mounting bolt has dropped off and is missing, along with any associated parts. There must be more missing as the little tube on the bottom of the axle, into which the bolt fits, is not threaded. Therefore there must be other parts missing as well.
A look around the Internet forums reveals that this is a known problem with lifted Jimnys. The action of lifting and extending the shock absorbers changes the forces on the lower shock mount. This can result in the bolts simply "un-doing" as the suspension bounces up and down, or simply wrenching the bolts out due to a pulling effect created by the shock absorber or contact with the ground.
As can be seen in the picture below the standard shock absorber has an extended sleeve which permits a rotating action to occur without un-doing the bolt. After-market extended shock absorbers do not have this extended sleeve.
Therefore some overseas manufacturers have come up with a couple of solutions to the problems. The contact with the ground problem is solved by a "J" shaped piece of metal that fits around the lower mount. This creates a mini rock slider that contacts the ground instead of the mount and lets the assembly slide over the obstruction rather than ripping completely off. The pictures below shows different versions of these mounts.
In order to permit freer rotation of the lower shock without undoing the bolts a simple extended mount fits on the lower point. The pictures below show the mount and it fitted to a vehicle.
My thanks to Zukiny on www.jimny.se for these pictures and help.
However, I have not done these modifications and they do not appear to be available in the UK. Instead I have just bolted through the existing mount.
The pictures below show the half finished solution - jury rigged together to enable us to get to an event this weekend. I had to cut a new steel sleeve to fit inside the shock absorber rubber mount and it needs trimming down. Also the rear of the mount needs squaring off so the nut fits flush to the bracket. At the moment it is not good as only the top is in contact.