Friday, December 14, 2007

A-Arms and Torque Rods

A coat of Rustoleum primer and high gloss black makes a big difference. I ordered a few more parts from Pelican, thinking I might as well do a thorough job. The bushings in the A-arms looked pretty tired and I thought it would be a good idea to replace the torque rods as well. The torque rods are pricey but fortunately 2 new ones came with the car. So I only had to order a set of A-arm bushings, and the threaded pins for the ball joints.

Some people like to use a torch to soften up the old rubber bushings but a heat gun is safer. It takes a lot of prying to get the A-arm to slide out. Earlier I had to use the heat gun to loosen the large hex nuts in the front. They weren't coming loose even with a 2 foot extension to the hex wrench. Instead of breaking the hex wrench I squirted them with release oil and let them sit over night. The next morning it was really frosty outside (cold for California) and almost as cold in the garage. I heated up the metal surrounding the hex nuts and they came undone real easy. But getting back to prying off the A-arm: It takes a lot of effort. I need the excercise.

A few tugs on the pry bar and the A-arm is out half an inch. The torque tube has come loose. The lever part at the end comes off easily.

Now the A-arm is almost out. All it takes is a little yanking and it's free. I used a screwdriver to pry out the old bushings. A few taps with a small hammer and the torque rod lever slid off. I'll finish painting the A-arms and then I can start putting parts back on the car! What a concept!

Monday, November 26, 2007

The left side axle has a deep gouge in it. Maybe that's why it was so hard pushing it into the garage. I've heard too many stories about people loosing wheels off of old cars; seeing it roll down the road ahead of them. The tie rod end I put on a few months ago wasn't easy to take off. I used a crows foot at first - that just messed up the boot. I'll have to get another one. Just for the fun of it I tried using a light weight puller.

Now this doesn't look like it'll work. But after I got the steering arm good and hot with a torch, the tie rod end just popped out. I should have tried this method first. I found some struts off a 1973 car and had a local garage put some new shocks in them. Money well spent for that work because they had the original oil shocks.

Here's the replacement struts prepped for some painting.

I found a can of off white spray paint at OSH that's very close to the original interior color. I also painted the air ducts with flat black paint. The IC heating system used heat exchangers built in to the exhaust pipes. Ducts at the base of each door carried the hot air to the front of the car. I plan to use the existing holes through the firewall to recirculate air.

Saturday, November 3, 2007

Fixing the ventilation system

After removing the gas tank and cleaning the mess that a rat made before dying I decided to disassemble the ventilation system and clean it as well. The picture above is the aftermath. The blower had lots of leaf litter in it so I removed it entirely so I could do a more thorough job. The valves were pretty much worn out.

The black stuff is high density foam rubber. It needed replacing so I spent several hours today trying to find a piece of it. I finally found it at a foam shop in Palo Alto. A 6" X 6" piece cost $1.00 - a real bargain if I had gone there first!. The material I got is 1/4" thick and seems to be ok even though the original was 3/16".

I cut out 2 rings - 2.5" OD, 1.5" ID. Accuracy is not that important.

Here's the new gasket, looks like it'll work ok.

This is the blower motor and fan. Below the brush is a small piece of wood with some 800 grit emery paper stuck to it. I used this to polish the commutator. I wedged it against the commutator and spun the fan around. There doesn't appear to be any way of disassembling the motor without breaking something.

Here's the blower half assembled. The two flapper valves work better now. I also tested the motor. A clean commutator makes a difference.

This is the bottom of the blower. The split rings that hold the two pieces of the case together still need to be put on. When the ventilation system is all back together it won't be blowing out 30 year old dust. A dirty job but worth the effort.

Wednesday, October 31, 2007

New master cylinder

I removed the original rusted-out master cylinder several months ago. The fittings aren't tight because I will be removing it when I clean out the brake fluid reservoir. I also might need to get some copper gaskets for the front brake fittings. I'm definitely going to use some teflon tape.

Sunday, October 28, 2007

Turbo tierods

After removing the front calipers and rotors I discovered that the previous owner had replaced the passenger side tierod with a turbo tierod. I found the other one in one of the boxes of parts I got with the car.

Saturday, October 27, 2007

Getting to work

I saved myself a lot of greasy work buying a car with no engine. Right away I decided to replace all the brake parts. The rotors on the car were all rusted out and the first time I stepped on the brake pedal it went straight to the floor. So I removed all the old, rusted stuff and threw the rotors in the recycling bin. I decided to try rebuilding the front calipers and bought the rebuild kit from pelican. It will be awhile before I know if what follows was done right. I don't claim to be any kind of expert on this subject. An earlier yard sale purchase came in handy for removing the pistons.

The yellow clamp holds down one piston while the other gets pushed out. It takes a lot of pressure to just get the piston moving. The foot pump keeps it in control.

The piston pops out after awhile. To remove the other piston I used a piece of silicone rubber and a thick copper disk to seal the opposite cylinder.

With the open cylinder sealed, the pump is connected to the caliper brake line again and pumped until the other piston pops out.

I used ethyl (denatured) alcohol and a soft brush to clean the pistons. Over time they collect a lot of rust deposits and other grunge. The alcohol loosens it all really well.

Seating the piston seals into the cylinder groove.

Two clean pistons. I tried electro-cleaning one but that was a disaster. The hard part was cleaning the inside of each piston.

The stamped metal piece has to fit before the piston gets pushed in since you can't turn the piston once it is seated.

This one looks about right. The stamped piece can be removed so the bellows can be installed.

That's one caliper complete. I still have to get the pins for it and put the brake pads in.

Friday, October 26, 2007

In January of 2007 I decided to try my hand at converting an older IC car to an electric one. After researching the subject I decided to work on a Porsche 914. I saw a lot of success with this model and liked the how they turned out. I started looking for a good candidate and after a few weeks found one up in Benecia, about 60 miles from where I live. The seller said it was in very good condition but missing the engine and transmission. So the next weekend I went up there with a car trailer in tow, my come-along and 50' of 3/4" rope. The seller, a police officer, told me his son had bought the car from him several years ago and had started to restore it. He had done all the body work and had it painted. Then he pulled the engine and transmission to get them rebuilt and they were stolen from the shop where he left them. Soon after he moved to the east coast and the car sat in the front yard, behind some bushes for 3 years. It took a few hours of hard work with jacks and the come-along to extricate the car from it's resting place since a truck up on blocks was beside it. We had to skid the rear wheels on some soaped-up boards, using the come-along to get it around the truck. Then I used the come-along to pull the car up the ramp of the trailer. It was a lot easier unloading the car when I got home. I washed off three years of leaf debris that had gotten through the cover and opened all the plugged-up drain holes. A real nice looking car!