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Old 05-19-2001, 10:33 PM
Registered User
Join Date: Dec 2000
Location: Montgomery, Alabama USA
Posts: 61
Well I finally decided to install the new torque arms (third arm up from the bottom) that I bought over a month ago. What a disaster. Has anyone actually installed the sleeves that you get for the new arms? I've checked threads here and it looks like others have had problems too.

The old arms have 19mm hex head bolts, but the new ones are designed for 18mm torx bolts. The sleeves are supposed to make up the difference between the two sizes at the connection point on the wheel end.

Well, its almost impossible to get the sleeve in and once you do, the hole is smaller than the bolt! I've only attempted one side, and my car is apart at the moment. I'm gonna sleep on it, but I'm going to have to put the old arm back on if I can't figure this out.

Does anyone have an answer?

Ken Fuller
1990 300E
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Old 05-19-2001, 11:15 PM
J.HIDALGO's Avatar
Registered User
Join Date: Jul 1999
Location: Jax, FL
Posts: 1,785
Yes, you are not the only one. I think, in my case, one arm did take the sleeve and the other one did not so, (same identical arm otherwise) I ended up putting one with the sleeve and one without it. No ill effects afterwards...yet.
'86 300E
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Old 05-20-2001, 10:50 PM
Registered User
Join Date: Dec 2000
Location: Montgomery, Alabama USA
Posts: 61
Well I got my new torque arms installed. Since I didn't get any help, maybe I can save the next guy who trys this several hours. I don't know why anyone is saying that these sleeves are required, but there is no way that this part is needed to change a torque arm (at least on my car anyway).

Heres the scoop: The new arms look exactly like the old arms, with the exception of the bushings. The old arms had holes in the bushings for 19mm bolts; the new arms for 18mm. The old bolts were hex head; the new are T55 torx. After literally spending hours trying to make this sleeve thing work, I got smart and made measurements with a caliper of old and new parts, mount hole, and bushing. Guess what. While one bolt head is 19mm and the other is 18mm, the threads themself have almost, if not exactly, the same diameter. And, the sleeve really is bigger than the hole, so it wasn't anything that I was doing wrong.

Also, I remember seeing a post discussing how the new bolts are torx instead of hex to prevent installing from the wrong end. My advice is to put the new torx bolts in exactly the way the old one came out. The bolt has a shoulder that should go in the bushing of the arm -- so there's really only one correct way to install it, regardless how little clearance for a torx socket. On the wheel end you won't be able to get a torx socket on the head of the bolt without pulling caliper, brake disc, parking brake, and shroud. The easy way is to use a small spanner wrench instead of attempting to remove all that stuff. This will grasp the bolt on the outside of the torx head (what a great tool).

While I was in there, I removed the thrust arm from it's mount on the wheel end to check the condition of it's bushing too. Interestingly, this mount hole was indeed already sleeved and used a 17mm bolt. I'm not sure what this means yet, but at least I'll know this when I get ready to change that arm.

Oh, and finally, I'm not sure that after all that, that I can tell any difference in ride. The old arms had a little play when twisting, the new have much less. This didn't seem to translate into anything that I could tell on the highway. I think that the bigger problem may be the subframe mounts that sit forward of the wheel. I get some movement when levering the mount against the frame. I'm not sure what the test is, but this play doesn't seem to be correct.

I welcome any comments.

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