Featured Post


Sunday, March 8, 2015

Success on Many Levels

Today was the most productive day I've had on the car (or, its parts) since late fall. It was all involved in tear-down, but it was all successful and, towards the end, I spent time cleaning up because there wasn't much else for me to do before dinner.

So, without further ado, here's the break down:

First, using a tool from HF, I compressed the coil springs and got the old shocks out of their cage. I had to take the tool apart (un-thread it) to get the hooks inside the coils properly, but it was relatively easy. The tool was a bit big, maybe, but definitely adequate. I doubt there is anything else available that would be as cheap and still work.

Harbor Freight Tool 61601 (~$15.00)
HF tool in use. Yes, I should have one on each side...didn't really need to, I found.
After compressing, I removed the center bolts and the spring top plate was free. I loosened the tool up and the coil spring fully expanded. I have two brandy-new ones, and new shocks, on the way from TRF. I have to clean up the spring top plate and paint it and all, but there you go.

Dual-nut capture for shock

Spring cap removed.
After that, I used the HF Ball Joint Separator to remove the upper ball joints. I've seen some use a pickle fork, which I had tried (yes, another HF tool) but it wasn't working to my liking. I also found a post on my favorite forum on the ball joint separtor snapping off one of the "ears". Upon use, that surprised me because it really didn't take much effort to use. This tool worked great for both the upper ball joint and the tie rods and even my 9-year old (see his picture later) was able to separate a tie rod using the ball joint separator tool. Scared the heck out of him when it popped, too. Of course, I didn't warn him first! What kind of fun parenting skill is that?!

HF Ball Joint Separator (~$20.00)
Ball Joint Separator lined up for use for the upper ball joint.

Upper ball joint, post-removal.
Then I moved on to dismantling the rest of the front hub, rotors included. I have two new rotors coming from TRF. In case you haven't been reading in between the lines, I've grown quite fond of TRF and, with all of their sales recently, have stocked up on quite a few things.

Grease Cap. Had to beat and pry the living crap out of it, but it came off!

Uh, yeah. Not pretty.
After that, it was on to removing the tie rods, using the ball joint separator mentioned above. The fit here almost didn't make it (tool too big, tie rod too small) but I was able to just get good contact on both ends and ultimately had no problem. This is the one my 9-year old did popped. Should have seen him jump!


Post-pop including tie rod removal.
I finally did some cleaning up of the steering rack but didn't break into the actual mechanism. I don't have any parts for that, but I will eventually!

Old, hard and crusty. Kinda like me!

Steering box. Felt pretty good...just dirty, of course.
I cleaned up the other rear hub, though it was just as bad as the first one. This one had the trailing arm still attached because, if you remember, this was the one that I couldn't off without injuring myself. So, instead of leaving it on the tub, I left it on the rear axle. I got the bolt to rotate, but couldn't get it out. Future me.

Finally, the coup de grĂ¢ce was the removal of that broken bolt from the MK 1 intake manifold. Thanks to recommendations from the forum, I used my propane torch to heat up the aluminum and was able to grab and break free the part of the manifold that the carb bolts to. Once I did this and was able to exercise the bolt, I continued to add heat and, using one of these things (thanks to my brother for the birthday gift), was able to excise the bolt without further damage.

The broken bolt. Note the corrosion...not really rust...aluminum oxide?
And, as promised, my 9-year old...the Remover of Tie-Rods!

40F+ for the first time in a long time today. Taking full advantage.

1 comment:

  1. Looking good. I have a similar set of spring compressors and it scared the bajeebers outa me using them on these tiny springs. I couldn't get them to work correctly on reassembly, and they were scratching up the paint so I built a safe set of compressors.
    It's a fairly simple concept, and there are a few other designs around, but in the end you don't have to worry about the spring popping loose and kicking you in the teeth. Operates much like that pogo stick.