King Tiger in the SMM Full-Reuenthal
Work on the suspension
In this winter season our team was entirely occupied with work on the suspension.
We started very enthusiastically and planned to have set the Tiger back on tracks by the end of winter….
…… it was to turn out that we were a hair too optimistic.
On our first working day everybody was looking
at the Tiger and thought the same:
“Now that we have come so far, should be really leave
the suspension arms with the shocks at their place?”
During our tea time every morning at 9.30 h we all found
that to be an unbearable situation. We decided to give it
another try until the arms would surrender, no matter what.
For two weeks we have been trying to loosen the arms by all
means we could imagine: In vain. Finally a colleague in the
museum remembered someone who might be able to support
us with special tools. Memories of the past when we tried to remove the idler arms came to our mind.
Taking our first look at this guy made it all clear: If he didn’t succeed nobody ever would.
First we had to build a special tool to loosen the huge screwcaps. With the help of a blowtorch and heavy hydraulic presses we finally succeeded in pressing the support arms out of their bushings. The shock absorber attachment link right in front even cracked under the heavy pressure. Fortunately it didn’t burst into pieces.
The parts were sand blasted and the splined shaft of the wheel arms refinished. In particular the reworking of the splining with an angle grinder was a demanding job.
The broken link was subsequently pushed in its place and welded. Welding it before would have meant the risk of it being deformed.
Willy, Johnny and Harald could smoothly insert the support arms into their bushings and afterwards push in the torsion bars.
In the previous year Bernd already had reworked the components of the track tensioning and the idler arms. He has now installed everything back in its place. The full metal idler arms were not as easily re-inserted as the road wheel arms. We had a supporting rack made, what proved to be very helpful.
Meanwhile Manfred had worked on the four shock absorbers and made all shock bushings ready to be installed.
Winged by our successful work, we wanted to fix all road wheels on the two remaining weekends.
Unfortunately we had to realize that the inner bearing cannot easily be mounted on the shaft. Instead it needs to be heated previously. Since we didn’t have such a tool at hand we left this work for the coming season.
Now that all road wheel suspension arms with torsion bars and also the idler arms were back in place we can compare the suspension of our Tiger with the one pictured on a contemporary photo of 1944. Incidently the sprockets are missing on both.
Note the pushing arrangement of the arms on the left side and pulling arrangement on the right side.
Winter season 2013 / 2014