Replacing the Engine Mounts - 'Volute Springs'

Another Reasonably straightforward but fiddly job.

At idle the car is quiet but as soon as you dip the clutch a 'metallic' knock noise was heard at circa 1 second intervals and the consensus was it was a clutch issue. However I was not convinced watching the engine as it appeared to move a lot.

Now the engine simply sits on a pair of springs, sitting in 'Cups' on the sides of the body (which is where the 'Floating Power' comes from) with a rubber block attached at the rear which sits in a cap on the bulkhead (accessed from the cabin side) to stop any excess movement. Centre image was taken from the internet to show the mounting point locations.

Old Engine Mount Set Where the engine mounts sit Old Mount Right Side In Situ

Now I had read about a modern rubber replacement for the 'Volute' springs which the engine sits on which effectively secure the engine in place and eliminate a lot of the vibration transmitted through the bodywork so decided to go with a set of those as to get at the clutch on a small bodied Traction Avant means removing the engine and gearbox before splitting them as there is very limited access.

On my BL it took me 2 hours to fit both new mounts and remove the rear rubber block, not the 1 hour quoted in Floating Power Vol 32 Issue 6

Basically you remove the rear engine mount rubber and replace it's cover on the bulkhead inside the cabin,then jack the engine up to remove the old springs and put the new mounts in place, sounds very simple........

It took 20 minutes to work out how to use the bottom plates which have a wire through them. I stripped the top screw 'B' and the associated nuts from the mount before starting to fit the rubber part in place.

Eventually worked out that the plate goes into the slot in the mounting bracket on the car body and you use the 'wire E' to hold the plate 'up' until you screw the new rubber mount 'A' into place through the plate in the bottom body bracket.

Bottom Plate with wire New Engine Mount Engine Centred using nuts C and D

Now looking at the 3 images above, with the bottom Mount 'A' in place you drop the top screw 'B' down through the bracket on the engine mounting bracket remembering to put the nut 'C' on as you screw it into the mount 'A'. tighten down with a screwdriver, then fit the top nut'D'.

Once you have both sides fitted you can use the nuts 'C' and 'D' (shown in the middle image above) to level the rear of the engine into the aperture on the bulkhead where the rubber mount used to sit.

Left side was the worst due to the very limited access due to the clutch cable, petrol pump and distributor which you can see in one of the images ( had to apologise to my neighbour for verbally venting my frustration ) as trying to hold the bottom plate up with one hand whilst trying to locate the rubber mount into it really requires a contortionist to do it!

New Right Side Mount Fitted New Left Side Mount Situ

However once fitted, a test drive showed that the job was worthwhile as noise and vibration have reduced and what was thought to be a clutch issue noise has disappeared meaning the gearbox doesn't need to come out.

I can see how on a big bodied car though how the job would be much simpler and faster, but one of those won't fit in my garage.

Front Suspension

The next job is to overhaul the front suspension and replace the 'Silent Blocks' but that is major work and James Geddes is once again going to do that, probably in April.


Well you can see in the picture on the left below that the nearside one is badly perished with the rubber broken down, the new ones waiting to be fitted are shown on the right. I bought the complete kit including the 4 silentblocs, new splined shafts, shims and bump stops from Jose Fransen. Just waiting for James now.

Perished Suspension Joint New Suspension Joints

Information on the Front Suspension Rebuild >> and Front Shock Absorbers >>

After driving the car for a few hundred miles, a decision was taken to remove the new rubber mounts and refit the Volute Springs due to noise being transmitted through the body following the front suspension rebuild.

That does not mean that anyone else should not convert their car as the condition could be specific to OSL 282.

Last Update: 6th July 2016