Friday, September 26, 2014

Where you going?...No where!

Pardon the The Boondock Saints reference...if you haven't seen that movie, you need to. Like, stop reading and go watch it.

I've convinced myself not to make plans for the future. Or at least not be public about them. Today was supposed to be "Around the Block" day. I had the front calipers all rebuilt yesterday in the rain and they were ready to bolt in. But, I wanted to get at those rotors and at least clean them up to see if they needed to be replaced or if I thought I could get away with turning them. I have no micrometer, mind you, nor any specs on how thin they can get, but I remember my Midget could get thin...scarily so, and these look pretty thick.

Inside of rotor (hub still attached) as it came off the car.
Holy grime, Batman! Lots of cleaning to do. The more cleaning I did, the more I became concerned with the condition, or at least the greasing, of the bearings. There was grease in them (and out of them, obviously) but it was very much like a liquid vice a grease. It almost flowed like cold oil and looked the color of motor oil that was well past its prime (i.e., black).

A few days ago I noticed that I could rock the passengers side wheel/tire top to bottom...like you could rock it back and forth a bit, pulling it away and towards the car. I figured this was a worn bearing and that I would get to it eventually. Well, eventually came today.

I tore apart both front assemblies and cleaned everything up "adequately". I say that because it wasn't my best job. I didn't want to dismantle too much stuff because I don't have any parts for anything that I cannot get a True Value or NAPA (which means...cotter pins) that I may render inoperative. I do want to get this thing into my garage soon and figured on four wheels was the best way.

Yuck! Before cleaning, obviously.
I can actually read the serial numbers and patent numbers and all of that. By the way, what's up with all the patent numbers? Seems like everything I clean up has a British patent number on it of some sort...was there a patent scare in the mid-60's or something? And, yes, anything on this car that is rubber needs to be replaced.

Better. The rubber under that upper ball joint is...sorta there.
So, I got both sides cleaned up and got both inner and outer bearings repacked. The bearings and races looked in surprisingly good shape.

Inner race..can't remember which side. Pretty good shape. This was typical of all of them.
Went to NAPA and found a bearing packing thing. It wasn't too cheap (~$24 on sale), but it looked better than the other one they had there (some large syringe-looking thing that I didn't think would be very stable) and it worked very well.

NAPA (and probably every other generic brand) bearing packer. Red thing is a "dust cap"
I got all of the inner and outer bearings repacked and re-assembled and it was MUCH better. Got the front calipers connected and ready to go as well on both sides. A nice mix of new and old parts. I also discovered that those steering rack boots are merely there for show...they are both shot and provide no real function at all. I guess the steering rack will require a once-over, if not full rebuild, at some point. I did feel a little "clunk" today and I pulled it (using the rotor) from side to side. SpitBits, here I come!!

Passenger's side.
Otherwise, that was about it. I had intended to get the front calipers installed, brakes bled, and get her around the block. Instead (and time better spent, I think), I did something that I've never actually done before and that was clean up, remove, repack and replace the front hub and all of that. Both hubs spin much more smoothly and they both look better (if requiring more cleaning) than they did before I started. All of that grease in the first picture came from somewhere!

About the size of a brake pad, ya think?
The above shows the worst, by far, of any damage to the brake rotors. These are about the same depth as the brake drums from yesterday. They all need to be turned, but this one may actually not make it. The other side needs a turning, but is otherwise pit-free.

I need to get new hub seals and washers, but otherwise, I think the front hubs are good. The washer's were pretty well grooved from contact with the outer bearing (must be past bearings, because the grooves on the washer would have translated into MUCH wear on the bearing...and I didn't see any). The hub seals look like an expendable part. Felt and metal, I think, though what I had on the car was only felt...no metal backing. Not sure about that, but I'll get the correct stuff pending recommendations from the forum.

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