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Thread: How many Trailing arm shims??

  1. #1
    Senior Member Trstno1's Avatar
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    How many Trailing arm shims??

    Hey guys -

    I am rebuilding my rear suspension and need to know how many shims I should start out with on both sides? When I took the suspension apart I had two shims on both sides, but one side had extra washers in place of shims. Now that I am replacing tabs, bushings, and hardware I find myself questioning how many shims I should start with on both sides. I know you should not have more than 5 shims per side. And I also know I will have to get an alignment to zero in on the exact amount of shims on each side, but how many should I start with? 2 or 3?

    What do you guys think?
    You can't buy happiness, but you can buy a DeLorean and that's sort of the same thing....

  2. #2
    Senior Member Rich's Avatar
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    How many shims per side? It won't matter much because the rear toe-in adjustment will be done in two steps. As you mention you will need to zero in on it but it's a predictable method. The first reading, with whatever number of shims you start with on each side, will show the initial toe-in on each side. Then a predictable number of shims are added or removed from each side to get as close as possible the specified toe-in based on the spec (3mm per wheel) and the amount of +/- toe adjustment that each shim creates (1/16in or 1.5mm). You should get the final result after pulling/adding the predicted number of shims.

    Staying with your old setup of 2 per side might happen to get you to the spec on the first try - assuming your D had the correct toe-in before the teardown. My experience with suspension work is that the alignment cost is a flat charge so there's not much upside to getting close on the first shot. Unless you need to drive hundreds of miles to the alignment shop up there...

    Follow all of the instructions in K:08:01 of the Workshop Manual for this job.

    (Note: I'm using the manual's reported rear alignment specs. If those specs got revised later on then somebody here can correct them for us.)
    Last edited by Rich; 02-25-2018 at 11:38 AM.
    March '81, 5-speed, black interior

  3. #3
    Delorean Guru
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    There is no minimum # of shims and there is no "starting point". Refer to ST-34-1/82 for your alignment procedure and specs. Bring it with you when you go for the alignment. If the specs are not in their machine they can add them manually. Make sure when they torque the TAB's it is with the full weight on the vehicle at ride height. That way there is no pre-load on the bushings. Write the # of shims, each side, with a marker right on the frame when done.
    David Teitelbaum

  4. #4
    Senior Member Trstno1's Avatar
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    cool, will do. Does anyone happen to have a copy of ST-34-182? I seem to keep getting a 404 not found error while trying to load it.

    Thanks for the replies.
    You can't buy happiness, but you can buy a DeLorean and that's sort of the same thing....

  5. #5
    Senior Member Rich's Avatar
    Join Date:  May 2011

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    Quote Originally Posted by Trstno1 View Post
    cool, will do. Does anyone happen to have a copy of ST-34-182? I seem to keep getting a 404 not found error while trying to load it.
    You're right, that old link to DMCNews is busted. I tried a few of those links and they give a 404.

    The info that's in ST-34-182 looks like it's the same as it is in Workshop K:08:01. See p.251 here for WS K:08:01: LINK: DMC-Technical-Hybrid.pdf?dl=0

    Where to find ST-34-182? You can see it in this linked doc. LINK: DMC-Bulletins-Hybrid.pdf?dl=0 You may see some that aren't in numerical order...

    Both of those links are copied out of a main Resources sticky page on this forum - the first two links listed in first post of this thread: http://dmctalk.org/showthread.php?2866
    March '81, 5-speed, black interior

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