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Alphard / Vellfire AH20 Rear Axle Bush DIY

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I'll start this by saying I'm not a mechanic (I'm actually an accountant). I do have my own lift but would be more of a tinkerer than anything, so my techniques may not be best practice, but it got the job done. One other word of advice is that even though these were not clunking, nor even mentioned on a recent MOT I decided to go ahead and replace now BEFORE corrosion had a chance to take hold. As a result, using the right tools, this job took me, a novice, just over 3 hours. 


The offending bush:




First job after removing wheels and getting the vehicle in the air is to unplug wheel speed sensor in the rear hubs. 


Loosen & remove 10mm brake unions both sides. There are four in total, however I only needed to remove three. The drivers side handbrake cable routes under a hardline which is bolted to the axle. When you swing the axle down the axle will effectively hang on the brake cable held up by the hardline, so undo this now to stop this from happening. I plugged all lines to stop fluid running everywhere.


Unbolt handbrake cables and wheel speed bracketry on rear axle. Remove level sensor on rear axle, passenger side




Double check you've nothing else bolted to the axle that would prevent it from swinging down. 


Next job is to unbolt the bottom bolt of the rear shock. Take the weight off the axle, remove bottom bolts both sides and this will allow the full assembly to rotate down.


Caution: It's heavy!!


Rotate enough to allow you to remove rear springs. Remove springs and set aside and then raise the axle back up and loosely bolt the shocks back in. At this stage you could, if you wanted, take the handbrake cables off altogether and remove the entire axle. It's unnecessary in my opinion but bushes might be easier removed that way.




Next is to remove the bolts for the rear bushes. Once loose both sides the axle will want to fall down so ensure it is supported and lower it gently taking care that you haven't missed any connected pipes / wires / hoses, etc




Once it's lowered enough you have access to the bush. I used a Nielsen tool for this job. It wasn't explicitly advertised as fitting an Alphard but turns out the leaflet in the box confirms it'll work. Neilsen CT5516 is the kit you want.




Attach tool to bush, clamp and turn the bush out. It's hard work but the tool did the job.





Remember to note orientation of original bush!





And with some effort the old bush is removed






At this point I cleaned the inner surface of the axle with a little steel wool and then applied a smear of corrosion resistant marine grease.


Then, using the same tool, press the new bush in




And in.




Building back up, is, as they say the reversal of disassembly bar the exception of bleeding the brakes. A good chance to renew the fluid. I also ended up replacing discs and pads.



I hope this helps someone. It's not a particularly difficult job with the right tools (and a lift). I would feel confident tackling this on the driveway provided I was able to get the vehicle high enough in the air.


My axle bush tool will be for sale soon if anyone's looking one. Ideally we could have a group rental set-up but I don't know how to organise that.



Edited by Coog
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Thanks for showing this. I'm sure it would be easy enough on the ground with the use of additional jacks to help with lowering the beam, but obviously a lift is ideal. 


As an aside, you have also shown the method for renewing the rear springs as well. 

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