A cautionary tale from the wilds of West Wales
Further to the info published a few Newsletters ago about the rear suspension arms on the Merlin 2+2 developing cracks around the welds.
When I first heard of this problem I checked my 2+2 and found ? cracked welds on the rear arms, not on the Z shaped tube but on the straight ones. These I managed to repair leaving the arms in situ (see photo no. l ) said items being on the outside of the suspension set-up. With wheels removed, access was easy. Thereafter I kept a wary eye on the inner tubes for signs of cracks.
Well I it had to happen and it did, I was at a show about 45 miles from home when I noticed that the driver's rear wheel was leaning in at the top more than the passengers wheel. My heart sank -- and ]'m sure the air was a little blue, I knew, instantly what was wrong (see photos 2,3 & 4).
They are the same crack by the way. Needless to say I drove very, very carefully, avoiding any bumps or potholes that I could see, with my buddy following in case of any problems, My buddy has a fully equipped workshop and that is where we took it to. Over the next week the evenings were devoted to getting the Merlin back on the road for the weekend's motoring.
On removing both rear arms for repairing it was noticed that the rear shock brackets on tile rear arms were not aligned properly, forcing the arm to move in a direction not intended. Was this part of the problem? If you look at the crack its not on the weld but right next to it, I'm told that if you qunchy, (? That what it reads from the letter,, ~ ed) a weld then you get carbon migration From the surrounding, metal into the weld, this leaves the metal surrounding the weld weak. So it looks like a combination of poor practice and poor alignment have combined to cause this weakness in the 2+2.
As, you can see from photo 5 the weld was repaired and reinforced with 2 plates, one top and one bottom. I hope that this is now the end of this saga, at least for my 2+2.
Happy Xmas, see you at Stoneleigh 2007,
Tony Kirk Member no. 664