Tuesday, August 13, 2013

Installing The A-arms, Part 2

Sunday afternoon Sara and I installed the passenger side A-arm. This was a little easier than the driver side only because we had discovered a few tricks during the first installation. 

I still had to use a rubber mallet to get the A-arm into place.

Once everything lined up I tightened down both bolts until just snug.

We decided to install the strut mounts next. I took a moment to refer to the parts and illustrations book as a quick refresher. I could not remember what the mounting bolts looked like. I had forgotten that it is a one piece bracket.

Here is the bracket set in place on the strut tower. Dad came over just in time to help Sara line these up. Sara was so excited to keep putting stuff back into place that she sacrificed one of her nails in the line of duty. :(

The brackets had a little POR-15 on the ends of the threads from how they were sitting when we painted them. I used the wire wheel to clean these up.

I also used the wire wheel to clean up the washers and nuts for the strut mounts. As I finished each one Sara dropped them into the WD-40 bath to soak.

While I cleaned up the hardware, Dad inspected the threads I had cleaned on the brackets and used a nut to ensure they were clean enough to thread on all the way.

Next I put the mounting bracket and strut mount into place using the dimpled metal on the strut tower caused by the previous install to get them back as close as possible to the original positions.

I held the bracket and strut mount in place while Dad tightened down the first nut.

Then I tightened down the other two nuts until snug.

Here is the installed driver side strut mount.

We repeated the procedure for the passenger side.

Here is the installed passenger side strut mount.

I had Dad start working on unmasking the spindles for the front wheels. They were still masked off from when we applied the POR-15 to them.

When we were preparing to install the rear end we noticed the POR-15 coating has suffered some damage. Sara took a few pictures of all the areas she noticed while the rear end was sitting next to the car.

Most of this is the result of the rear end being drug across the concrete floor, or clamped in a vise. I was a little concerned about the POR-15 chipping so easily, but you can see in many of these spots that not only did it remove the POR-15, it actually gouged the metal. The picture below highlights the area around the drain plug that has yet to be installed. The original was seized and Troy had to use a torch to heat it up enough to remove it. The POR-15 immediately surrounding the hole suffered, but overall was extremely resilient. Troy said, "That is some tough $hit!"

Coincidentally, I got a call from my painter, Mario, Saturday expressing concern over the way POR-15 is prepped and applied. The POR-15 process is: MarineClean (cleaner and degreaser), water (rinse), Prep and Ready (zinc phosphate rust inhibitor and metal etcher), water (rinse), then POR-15. He said that in his experience water should never be applied to bare metal, with prepping chemicals or not. He said that it is just a big body shop and painters no-no.

While I really appreciate his feedback and encourage him to keep providing it (God knows I can use all the help on this project that I can get. I am always learning.), I am set on sticking with the directions specified by POR-15. They have been producing these coatings for 35 years and were highly recommended in the auto restoration market. They also insist that POR-15 is not paint. I will agree on that point. It is unlike any paint I have ever used. It dries faster the more humid it is! If that is not strange...I am not sure what is.

Needles to say between the POR-15 damage to the rear end and Mario's concern about it, it got me to wondering about just how durable the finish really is. I decided to inspect the rear end for any other damage, so that I could clean and prep the areas for touch up.

I decided to try a different approach to applying the Marine Clean and Prep and Ready. I used small bowls with each chemical and then used foam brushes to apply it to the damaged areas. I followed the same routine I have been, just as their directions state.

When I had finished prepping the damaged areas on the rear end we attached the spindles to the A-arms. Here is the driver side.

Here is the passenger side.

Next, we decided to tackle the steering linkage. They had been painted with POR-15 up to the threads, but I had not cleaned up the threads at all. We masked off the POR-15 along the edge of the threads with a layer of painter's tape.

I started the first tie rod and Dad finished masking off the rest.

I used the wire wheel, or rather what is left of it (I need a new one) to clean up the threads.

While I worked on the threads on all the tie rods, Dad was figuring out a way to mask off the end so that I could clean the stud as well.

Here was his solution:

During the cleaning process I noticed that there were cotter pins still stuck in two of the studs. They had broken off and were rusted in place, so I sprayed both down with PB Blaster and let them soak overnight.

The last thing I did Sunday was rinse the Prep and Ready off of the damaged spots on the rear end.

On Monday after work I stopped in to see Troy and ask about the weighted parking brake portion of the rear calipers. I had left these with him when I dropped off the calipers. He told me the rear rotors had come in too.

When I got home I opened up one of the rotors to take a look. I decided to go with the stock rotors for the car. After much research I have decided that drilled and/or slotted rotors just do not live up to the hype.

Here is the parking brake assemblies for the rear calipers. All of this needs to be cleaned up and painted with POR-15.

The last thing I did Monday was knock the pieces of cotter pin out of the studs in the tie rods. They came out fairly easy.

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