Rochdale Olympic phase 1, rear suspension.




The Phase 1 rear is based on the BMC axle from either the Riley 1.5/Wolseley 1500 or the Morris Minor. RMP modified these axles to accept their own spring and damper assembly in place of the semi elliptical leaf springs of the donor vehicle, they also added tubular steel radius arms to locate the axle.




The rear radius arms consist of 2 lower arms, 1 upper torque reaction arm and 1 diagonal axle locating arm. The lower and upper arms are bolted to brackets on the axle and use metalastic bushes to allow some compliance, the body end of these arms pass through the shell and are held in place using a single large nut on the threaded end of the radius arm, they have 2 large rubber donuts held in place on the radius arm with large washers which sandwich the body of the car at the location point. The diagonal axle location arm is attached to the lower arm on the drivers side of the car and locates onto a mounting on the differential casing at the axle end.




1. Case assembly.

2. Differential carrier stud.

3. Nut.

4. Spring washer.

5. Breather assembly.

6. Oil drain plug.

7. Oil filler plug.

8. Differential carrier and bearing cap.

9. Bearing cap bolt.

10. Washer.

11. Spring washer.

12. Nut.

13. Differential bearing.

14. Bearing packing washer.

15. Differential cage.

16. Differential wheel.

17. Thrust washer.

18. Differential pinion.

19. Thrust washer.

20. Pinion shaft.

21. Pinion peg.

22. Crown wheel and pinion.

23. Crown wheel bolt.

24. Locking washer.

25. Pinion thrust washer.

26. Rear pinion bearing.

27. Bearing distance piece.

28. Front pinion bearing.

29. Oil seal.

30. Dust cover.

31. Universal joint flange.

32. Spring washer.

33. Pinion nut.

34. Differential seal.

35. Wheel stud.

36. Nut.

37. Oil seal.

38. Hub bearing.

39. Oil seal.

40. Bearing retaining nut.

41. Lock washer.

42. Hub shaft joint.

43. Axle shaft.

44. Screw.

45. Balance lever support.

46. Lever carrier.

47. Lever.

48. Felt washer.

49. Grease nipple.

50. Bolt.

51. Nut.

52. Plain washer.

53. Spring washer.

54. Long brake cable.

55. Short brake cable.

56. Cable to balance lever pin.

57. Plain washer.

58. Cable to brake pin.

59. Plain washer.

60. Three way hydraulic brake pipe adapter.

61. Bolt.

62. Nut.

63. Spring washer.

64. Brake pipe.

65. Brake pipe.

66. Pipe strap.




Rear axle removal

Jack up the rear of the car and support on suitable axle stands or similar. these should be placed under the body of the car (with a 12" x 12" thick wooden plate to spread the loading) at the point where the inner wheel arch vertical moulding, and the floor intersect. Remove the rear wheels and place under the car or in a suitable place for safe storage.


Undo and remove the flexible brake hose between the axle three way hydraulic pipe connector and the body of the car.


Undo and remove the handbrake cable from the axle at the handbrake lever, item 47 in the exploded view above.


Undo the 4 5/16"UNF nuts and bolts which hold the rear hardy Spicer joint for the prop shaft and remove the prop shaft completely from the car by sliding the splined front end of the shaft first inwards to clear the differential then pull it off the gearbox to remove the prop shaft.


Undo the rear radius arm nuts/bolts which hold the radius arms onto the axle and drift out the bolts to free the radius arms from the axle.


Undo and remove the diagonal radius arm from the inner end of the bottom offside radius arm. Undo the nut on the differential end of the diagonal radius arm and remove the arm from the axle.


The axle will now be held in place and hanging on the spring/damper assemblies. Support the axle in its current position using suitable axle stands, be careful not to compress the spring/damper assemblies at this point, you can now undo the lower fastenings on the axle and remove the bolts holding the bottom of the damper. You now have a choice to completely remove the spring/damper assemblies or leave them in place and manoeuvre the axle past them to remove it. If you decide to remove the spring/damper assemblies at this stage it is necessary to undo the nuts on the top pin of the damper, these are located high up inside the wheel arch on a horizontal moulding. With the nuts removed take off the top washer, rubber bush and lower the spring/damper assembly out of the wheel arch.



The rear axle can only be removed from the drivers (offside) side of the car and due to the weight and the tricky nature of this operation it is highly recommended that it be done by two people working one on either side of the car.




Removing the rear radius arms

Once the rear axle is taken off the vehicle you can remove the rear radius arms if necessary. This is a simple procedure when the axle is out of the car, it can however be achieved without the necessity to remove the axle if required by following the first few steps detailed above to free the axle from the back of the radius arms. The front of the radius arms are removed using the following procedure.


The front of the radius arm passes through a large hole in the bodywork on the front face of the rear wheel arch, the radius arm itself has 2 large rubber bushes which are fitted either side of the body and secured in place with a large nut inside the car itself, this nut and the associated washer is located on the lower part of the rear wheel arch just behind the seats, and it is a simple matter of removing the nut and washer which will then allow you to remove the radius arm from the car through the rear wheel arch.


Refitting the radius arms is a simple matter of reversing the process used to strip them off the car. It is important that when the arms are refitted not to tighten the securing nuts too tight as it is the compliance in the bushes that allows the axle to move up and down in normal driving conditions, if the nuts are fastened too tightly the rear radius arms will be held too rigid and there is a possibility that the radius arms will crack as they have to bend in order for the suspension to work.








Copyright © Rochdale Owners Club
Last Update