Tuesday, December 29, 2015

Little by little

Found one.

I'll post the other parts up in the classifieds since I don't need them.

Not much in the way of progress to report - cleaned the garage again.  Made some phone calls about the welding to be done.

That's about it.

Thursday, December 24, 2015

You know you like it but it drives you insane

I stopped 'trying' yesterday after I installed this brake rod - adjusted to the 149.5mm length shown in the Bentley repair book - and it didn't have the 5mm space (show at the top right @ 'x') between the master cylinder and the tip of the rod.  The pedal stop was adjusted all the way back to no avail.

So, on a whim, I dug through my parts and found the exact rod shown in the book and I cleaned it, adjusted to the 149.5mm length and swapped it with the one in the photo.  Right off the bat, it fit better and - oddly enough, it was too loose.  This simply meant that I could bring in some of the play on the floor stop.  I'll now go on a bender to find another one...
Once the floor stop was adjusted and tight, I pulled the brake return spring over the seat on the pedal cluster.  And then the brake pedal swung forward-pulled by the tension on the spring.  The stop on the floor had suddenly failed to stop the pedal.  I removed the OE pedal stop and retrieved a replacement new part I bought a while back.  First thing I noticed was that it was a good 5mm taller than the OE part - which is exactly what I needed.  I installed the new stop and it worked perfectly.
Which lead me to reach this point:  The cluster is installed, the proper gap between the master cylinder and the rod, the clutch pedal no longer experiencing the weird hang that it had in the past.  I don't know if it was the crap that'd accumulated on the floor (bottom of the pedal arm was scuffed) or if it was starting to make its way past the too short pedal stop and scuffing/hanging as it passed.  I'm officially closer to bleeding the brakes.
In other news:  I sort of volunteered to help out a new Type 3 owner in the UK with cowl drains that I don't need - and the discussion about the emergency flasher bracket/light came about...I dug out the three of the four knobs that I have and pulled the bulbs - I'll be on the hunt for a replacement the day after Christmas so I can test the switch I'll be sending out with the one on the left.  I'll have three switches for two cars and that suits me fine.

I'm anticipating being able to wash my hands of the disaster that was the first disc brake kit (not to be named) in the next couple of weeks.  I took a deposit on it and it's packed and ready to ship.  Sucks that I'll be losing 50% of what I put into it but I'm done screwing around with what has simply become a distraction.

Speaking of distractions...I am still on the hunt for a decent adhesive remover to clean up the inside of the car.  I'm on my fifth product with no positive results...maybe it's just too cold.

Wednesday, December 23, 2015

Taking things as they come

Spent a few hours in the garage today in the oddly warm weather - it was 62°F today - double what it should have been for this time of year.

I took the rear drums off and fixed the spring clip issue.  That's knocked off the list of things to check out.

I pulled the pedal assembly apart, cleaned the pan on the car and pulled out the blue Bentley to check on the brake plunger rod length.  It's listed at 149.5 +/- .5mm so I adjusted the rod to that length and installed the pedal cluster.  The rod is too long - there's no 'resting' of the pedal even after I adjusted the pedals to be as loose as possible via the floor mounted stop. The pedal cluster will have to come back out and I'll swap it out for a rod that's 5mm shorter and hopefully that'll solve the problem.  I'm wondering if the book accounts only for the ATE master cylinder in one variation or if I'm missing something else in my adjustment.

I didn't tackle the turn signal cancellation issue yet.

I have to assemble the pneumatic brake bleeder before I can bleed the brakes - hoping I can get to it next week.

Then some wiring issues to tackle and I should be in good shape...in theory.

Tuesday, December 22, 2015

*dead air*

I bought this exhaust tip - either as something to use or as a potential part to be resold another day...depending on if I keep the stock exhaust on the car.  I've now got three for one car.

I haven't had time to do much about the brake spring clip that's on backward - the holidays are quickly creeping up on me and I'm unprepared - so the brakes and the turn signal cancellation issue are on hold.

A little over a week ago, I stopped in and dropped off a set of hub caps and two horn bars to be stripped and hard chromed.  The lead time is 12 weeks right now - seems a lot of other people have Winter projects going on - good thing I'm not in a rush.  They quoted me $350 per bumper to straighten and chrome...which is about what I expected it to be.  I'm rather happy that I don't have much to chrome because it's very expensive.

In the meantime, I'm either buying or selling parts.

Monday, December 14, 2015

“I never made one of my discoveries through the process of rational thinking”

I took the day off today so I can get to some things that have gone to the back burner.  But I had some time for the car this morning so I went back at the brakes knowing that I'd missed something simple.  Something that I didn't do correctly that caused the issue.  Human error, yeah?

I first loosened the already loose parking brake cables until there were 2-3 threads on the nut at the lever in the car.  Just to make sure they're not the issue.

After various methods of comparison between the right side, which went together fine, and the left side that was troubling me, I discovered one error:  The parking brake 'spreader bar' was installed upside down - pushing the shoes out and likely preventing me from installing the drum and having a freely rotating wheel.  I set about pulling the brakes apart and flipping the spreader bar around to the proper orientation.  With that done, I again attempted to install the drum...no dice.

Wondering if the brake shoes were incorrect or warped/shaped poorly, I pulled out a NOS set that I bought a long time ago and placed them in the drum...and they fit as expected.  I removed one of the two shoes from the car  and placed it in the drum and it fit properly. It's not the shoes.

Not the shoes, not the parking brake cables, not the spreader bar orientation...springs/retainers are largely irrelevant here so I eliminated them as a culprit.

Took it all apart again and replaced the adjusting stars while I was checking that I'd oriented the adjusting screws correctly.  No issues so I can add those to the slowly growing list of 'what it's not'.

The only other semi-logical thing to do was to remove, one by one, the new parts and replace them with the old parts until things fit again.  So, for the fourth time in 90 minutes, I was taking it all apart again.  If swapping the old part with the new part didn't resolve the issue, I put it back on...you know, just to complicate things a bit.

After fifteen minutes of swapping parts, I found the culprit:  The new spreader bars were 6mm longer, both externally and at the contact points for the brake shoes and lever arm.  The old spreaders are a little beat up but they still work.  I swapped both new spreader bars with their old counterpart and both sides went right back together.

Unfortunately, I've way over-scheduled my activities for the day so I had to stop after it all fit back together to do what I'd originally planned for the day.

As I sit here, ready to post this and reviewing my photo I realize that I've got to take it apart again because the clip for the top spring is on backward.  FUCK.

Photo from the workshop manual that I had open while I was working on the car...yeah, some days I'm the guy who needs the Denny's menu.

The next task will be to adjust the shoes and parking brake cables and bleed the brakes.  It seems like I've been saying that for months.

In addition to the brake system fun, I checked into the turn signal cancellation issue that I discovered.  I pulled the steering wheel and checked the cancellation ring which is in good condition.  So I activated the turn signal as if I were making a left turn and attempted to trigger the reset manually using a screwdriver.  To my surprise, it didn't work...it's a NOS Koln column that will now need to be taken apart (Noooo!!!!) or swapped with my NOS SWF column.

Sunday, December 13, 2015

The rear brakes - almost

After waiting two weeks to get all of the possible pieces to swap out the potentially faulty rear brake parts, the process of replacement was under way.  The left side was fairly straightforward and after some cleaning, the parts went right back in.

I went to the right side and noticed that there was about a tablespoon of  gear oil from the transmission on the floor.  Before I resigned myself to tearing the whole thing apart, I checked the bolts on the bearing cover and found that all four were loose.  After tightening them up, I swapped out the parking brake cable and put everything back together.

Last step was cleaning the NOS rear drums - removing the wax on the braking surface on the inside - and installing them.  My expectation was that I'd at least get these installed and maybe get the brakes bled with the vacuum bleeder...but what wound up happening is that I got it all installed and then the left side seized up on me.  The right side went together easily but the left side is stuck.

Here's where I am:
    • Brake adjusters are dialed back completely
    • New brake shoes/hardware
    • New spreader bar and lever arm
    • New parking brake cable
    • Everything is tight/aligned.

The old drums came right off after the axle nut was loosened...the new one went on but doesn't turn and won't come off.  The right side was assembled exactly the same and works fine.  It'll be 'hammer time' tomorrow when I attempt to remove it again with a little more force (hammer and wood block) but I can't think of anything that'll keep it from turning.  I have another set of brake shoes I could try but I don't know what else it could be if that doesn't solve the issue...the blue Bentley wasn't much help.

Yet another reason I'd prefer to have disc brakes at all four corners.

Sunday, December 6, 2015

It's that time of year...

This popped up in the classifieds for about an hour - it was $125 shipped.  I thought about buying it but decided against it.  Another one will pop up in a couple of years and I'll still have at least one car in pieces so perhaps it'll be more interesting.
It is interesting that a lot of rare parts show up for sale right before Christmas and right around tax time.

Tuesday, December 1, 2015

311 863 341 A, NOS parking brake boot

NOS parking brake boot I bought today.  I also found a repop in Europe that looks closer to this one than the other one I bought earlier in the year - which is both too light in color and, several months later, smells like a place where old action figures go to die and get melted down.

This one is not anthracite but it's the right shape.  And let's be honest:  the odds of finding the original rubber mat are slim.  It's more likely that I'll install carpet and this one will be a much closer match to the carpet, so I'm okay with it.
Part number checks out.

Friday, November 27, 2015

Black Friday progress

I did get the main front to rear brake line installed.  It was a hell of a lot easier than I expected but not without its challenges.  I wound up using a line I bought from ISP several years back that I forgot I'd purchased.  The location of the rear mount for the T is a real unnecessary bitch.  If it were moved over to the center about two inches, it'd be a straight shot out of the pan and would make reaching everything a lot easier.  I'm thinking about moving the bracket on Ferris when it's time to put it back together.  The current parking brake cables are about 40 years old and are going to need to be replaced since the adjustment is gone from them - and the drums are off, this looks to be the right time.  I don't think I have the cables so I'll have to order them...and wait.
I pulled out one of the two late divider panels that I bought and cut it down to make a bracket to fit the 67 only reservoir.  The test piece turned out okay but I'll definitely want something a little better when the restoration is underway.

I wound up spending the rest of my time cleaning the garage because it was filling up with random shit from the yard and the house.

Thursday, November 26, 2015

Turkey day progress

Pulled the rear drums off today with the hope of them being in decent shape so I could help out a fellow T3 owner...alas, they're in rough shape, so they're going into the scrap bin - the NOS drums will go on the car as I've all but abandoned the idea of swapping over to rear disc brakes for now.  Who knows, by the time I get around to getting Ferris up on tires, I may change my mind and shift the lightly worn NOS units to Ferris while I put rear discs on Nigel.  Time will tell.
In other news, I also pulled the main brake line out of the center of the car.  I forgot just how much stuff is crammed into the left side of the rear of the tunnel - it's pretty tight.  I got the main line out and found these two crusty individuals as the grommets at the rear end - they don't look anything like their identified replacements, which have a MUCH smaller diameter midsection.

Because I think I've got at least two of everything - I actually have the exact replacement for these two worn out bits and they'd be a lot easier to deal with since my brake line is already assembled vs. the newer pieces.  Someday in the future, I'll be pulling this pan apart to get the floors welded in so they'll get replaced well in advance of ten years from now.  I'm hoping to have some time in the morning tomorrow to tackle some more work on the car.  All I've managed to do so far is take more parts off of the car - I've got to start putting them back if I stand a chance of putting it back on tires again.

Saturday, November 21, 2015

NOS Left front indicator housing

Left side NOS turn indicator housing...now I have 3 pair in NOS condition.  I'm going to go through them in the Spring and sell off one pair, put a pair on the car and keep the last pair for the finished restoration.

Tuesday, November 17, 2015

3 bolt pulley shroud is added to the pile

Picked up an early 3 bolt pulley shroud from a parts pile ad in the classifieds.  It'll eventually replace the super dented one that was slated for Nigel's restoration - I can either fix that one or sell it down the road.  I've now got three lids for these shrouds.

Sunday, November 15, 2015

One broken part delays the process yet again.

I bought the small clamps and straps from a guy in New Zealand who is restoring a T34 a few months ago.

I installed them today after having to concede defeat yet again with the brakes.  The car has never had a solid pedal like it should.  An attempt to bleed them today yielded another disappointing result.  Instead of just saying 'fuck it' and blaming myself for not doing something right, I examined the whole system, inch by inch, and I found the problem: The main line from front to rear has three tiny holes in it...just enough to cause havoc with both successfully bleeding the brakes and, likely, successfully stopping the car.  Since I don't have one of these lines handy, I had to stop this process - knowing that I'll have to order / find one and start again.  Since I'm at this point, I'm going to pull the whole system apart (something I tried REAL hard to not do) and replace all of the hard lines (soft lines are brand new).  I've ordered completely new hard lines for both cars (or for me to screw up once and try again).

To make myself feel slightly better, I installed these clamps and did some interior cleaning so that I could accomplish something with the time I had available.  I'll have to remove the seat belt adapter so that I can remove the rear section of the crispy rubber mat...which will then allow me to get to the rear portion of the brake line.  I'm not really looking forward to this repair.

Tuesday, November 10, 2015

A million little things...

 The car is back up on jack stands - which is both a good thing and a bad thing.

It's good because I was able to address a few things that needed attention.

Up front: Adjusting the steering box because it wasn't quite on the mount where it belonged - unfortunately it didn't 100% solve the alignment issue but I'll get back to that, drain the fuel tank, assess the situation with the brake reservoir and centered the steering wheel once I aligned the center mark on the box.
 In the rear: Replaced the fuel line and filter between the pan and the engine and install the balance of the fuel line on the engine along with the check valve.
There are still a few things missing on the engine but it's closer than it was yesterday.  I've got some clamps to install around the fan housing to heat exchanger yet.  Once I've made it back to the interior of the car and I can get the brake pedal rod adjusted properly, I'll come around back and hook up the accelerator cable and clutch cable.

I still hold out hope that I'll be able to get all of that done AND bleed the flippin' brakes.  It'll be a hell of a lot easier to do with the wheels off (bonus: the car is level right now).  If the weather stays mild, I might fire it up and go for a drive...but I'm not feeling quite that ambitious or hopeful.  It's tantamount to buying a scratch ticket - knowing full well that I don't stand much of a chance of winning while secretly 'wishing' that I could...wishing that I would.

Monday, November 9, 2015

NOS front indicators w/Italian spec lenses

 Last week I sold a bunch of random parts that I'll never use.  That money sitting in my PayPal account was used to buy this pair of NOS housings with Italian lenses today.
 One more thing to scratch off of the list.   Hopefully, they're packed well and arrive in good condition.

The seals look pretty crunchy but they'll come up for sale soon enough.

Saturday, October 31, 2015

Nap time progress

While my son was taking a nap, I ventured out into the garage and got a few things done.

I had only planned on pulling the pedal cluster to check the length of the brake pedal plunger rod.  Of course, that turned into much more.

I loosened the clutch cable to find that the bow in the tube was near the max (42mm vs. max of 44/45mm).  The seal for the accelerator cable housing was filthy (shown) so I pulled that and cleaned it.  Then I pulled the bowden tube and replaced it with a new GEMO part and a gasket for the pan.  I was experiencing a weird 'click' type when pushing on the clutch cable that I was hoping to address.  After looking around a bit, I think it was partially due to the bowden tube not being fitted properly - it was resting against the pan tube vs. being fit around it properly.  I'm hoping that is the reason for the noise.

So the clutch cable bowden tube and seal were replaced, I removed and cleaned the accelerator cable tube, pulled the pedal cluster and adjusted the master cylinder plunger...although he woke up before I was able to put the pedal cluster parts back into the car...that'll have to wait for tomorrow.

Tuesday, October 13, 2015

One more for the shelves

Fuel pump arrived today and it's the very definition of NOS.  The fuel pump is still sealed in its original plastic bag and, just like the seller indicated - the cap is mint.  It's a BCD, not a Pierburg, but several of the parts appear to interchange between the two manufacturers.

The second heat system elbow arrived as well - so I'll be collecting those parts for powder coating and dropping them off shortly.

I'm going to collect a set of the early wheel covers and drop them off for dent repair and re-chrome.  If that set comes back in good shape, I'll send the other two sets for the same work.

My goal is that I can get some of the 'behind the scenes' work done while it's too cold to work in the garage and still accomplish something.

Thursday, October 8, 2015

The slippery slope

Scored a rear hatch hinge cover this week...no dents or creases.  It came in a small lot of parts - heater controls, pinch welt for the windows and doors, and a second cut out patch of the brake reservoir for an experiment where I will investigate whether I can weld the 'bump out' part to my existing panel divider to install the 67 only brake fluid reservoir.

Other purchases:
*New seals for the back end of Nigel - engine hatch seal and both seals for the hatch.

*Two of the later heat system elbows for the engine for Ferris - they'll be sent off for powder coating once the second piece arrives and I'll have two complete pair.  That'll give me a good pile of parts for grey powder along with the front kick panels.

*NOS early bolt on fan shroud and cover, the little plugs that go in the control arms (I am rather efficient at losing them), NOS steering arms, OE bolts for the shocks, 2 pair of the small early style engine tins, NOS pittman arm, NOS Master Cylinder port hose fitting (6mm), NOS bumper bolts.

*NOS rear seat bracket support -  a part I'd searched to find for two years before I conceded defeat and had an existing set 'fixed' (they look like shit).  I'm going to take one to a stamping shop that I work with and see if they can give me a price to fabricate them...maybe see if they can do the kick panel if I can find a decent one.

*NOS 12 volt chokes, a NOS air cleaner sleeve, choke element covers (the little plastic things that cover the electrical connections for the chokes) - found them in two colors.

*NOS BCD early style fuel pump.  I negotiated with the seller to yield a slightly better final price.  It'll be the second one in my collection - this one looks to be damn near perfect.  I think this puts me at 6 or 7 of the early style fuel pumps.  I can probably stop now.
*NOS muffler installation kits.

*Warm white BA9 LEDs for the dash illumination bulbs.  I think I screwed up last time I ordered and bought the 'cool white' bulbs which don't look that great in an old car.

*Miscellaneous air filter support pieces and parts for the fuel system/hose clamps - they seem to be kind of tough to find so I bought the couple that I found.

I must have been going through 'buyers withdrawal' because I kind of went nuts...but I'm also putting together two rather large groups of parts that'll be going off in a box in the next week.

Wednesday, September 30, 2015

The end of the year is closing in on a slow year for progress

I've been working on some rather random parts sales/trades in the past couple of weeks.  I traded a couple of parts that had very little value to me for some parts that have a much greater value.  I'm helping a couple of people source parts and services during my 'dry spell' so parts are being collected and made ready for a departure.  I'm happy to help others out and slim down my parts stash at the same time.

The parts I asked Mario to hold a couple of months ago are finally on their way - should be here any day now...I would know exactly when if the USPS would update their tracking information.  The tracking used to detail every movement of the parcel, now I'm lucky if it tells me once or twice before the box randomly shows up.  It was last scanned in NY a week ago so it'll show up any day now.  Probably when I'm not home...which means I'll have to chase it down at the post office.

I had an email chat with the Vintage Speed guy, Mr. Lee, and he says they can make a 'custom' Type 3 stainless exhaust that will allow me to use both upper and lower heat exchangers.  The lead time is 6 weeks and I owe him some dimensions with photos.  Looks like I'm going to sell off the exhaust I just bought because I really want to have both heat exchangers.  A little more research would have saved me a lot of time/money.

I'm also debating putting the Airkewld brakes up in the classifieds - who knows - maybe someone is more willing to resolve Pete's half baked product issues.  I also think I could fix what's wrong with them over the Winter since there won't be much else going on.  Still pondering what to do...would be nice to be able to use them vs. lose the money though.

I sold my last DV profile ignition switch yesterday...I hesitated to sell it because it's just so damned nice.

It's what I'd call 'super NOS' condition...very nice condition all the way around.

No progress on the car of late - still working on the yard - but I'm still hopeful that I'll get the brakes bled before the snow falls.  I know, I'm running out of time.  The temperature has dropped 25°F in the last three days (it was 82°F on Monday and 65°F today) and that, along with the panicked look on neighborhood squirrel's faces, means that cold weather is coming.

It's a real harsh reality that I didn't even start the car ONCE this year.  I'm planning on draining the fuel tank because that fuel is getting closer and closer to varnish than fuel at this point.

There's always next year...where I can hopefully make some progress.  The Winter will be spent getting things painted, collected and sold as needed to slim down to the things I really need.

Monday, September 14, 2015

Details create the big picture

This image is out of the Type 3 Workshop Manual, printed in 1965, that shows the stock engine set up.

I noticed several things that never caught my eye in the past - little details like the location of the spark plug wire holder on the left side engine tin - or that the vacuum line for the carburetor goes up and over the carb body - not around it.  It appears that the engine tin is grey vs. black based on the contrast with the black hose and air intake bellows.
This image was taken tonight after I made a few changes to the engine bay.  I'm trying to get the engine to more closely resemble the stock engine image above.  There are a few things that won't match the above image perfectly - like the oil breather that appears to be grey in color vs. the black that became standard.  I made an attempt at getting the fuel lines under the oil pressure sender but there's no way that was going to happen - it might be due to the oddball extension bit that's on my oil sender bracket.  I'm not 100% sure why it has the extension but I'm not going to screw with it right now.

I have a 4 rib boot for later when I get super anal about the appearance - the 2 rib works just fine and I've got a handful of them.  I only have the one 4 rib and it'll go on a finished car.

I'm waiting on my 'anti-siphon' valve before I connect the new fuel line and clamps (not pictured in the early car manuals).

I wound up swiping the fuel pump, stand and gaskets from my spare motor...it's now more 'torn down' than built up.  I've got to fix that - I've taken too many parts off of that motor at this point.  It's time to start putting things back on it so that I can test run it again in the Spring.

Saturday, September 12, 2015

Vintage Speed exhaust

Amazing how fast this thing showed up...it's real pretty in person too.

I sold the stock exhaust today - which helped cover most of the cost of the Vintage Speed.  Now I get to figure out how to mock up the adapter for the small heat exchangers.

Sunday, September 6, 2015

Watching things progress slowly

Due to digging up the yard to install new drainage pipe and the beginning of a new landscaping project, I've done virtually nothing with the car in weeks.

I did, however, finally buy a Vintage Speed muffler.  I'm hoping to get that project moving along - making an adapter for the upper heat exchangers on this muffler.

Other than that, it's been relatively quiet.  I'm not buying part lots anymore or hoarding parts - in fact, I'm still paring down what I've got.  I sold off some extra turn lenses last week and I'm hoping to have a guy who's going to buy the heat exchangers that are for a later car - he lives down state and plans to travel up here at some point.

Looks like next year is the year that I'll be able to get things rolling...the major house renovations will be done and I should be able to make some head way on getting the pan for the 65 back together.  Until then, I'll continue to collect parts relevant to the build for both cars and listen to the crickets watching my progress.

Saturday, August 8, 2015

A tuned up part returns home

I sent one of my distributors out to Tim Barany for a cleaning and tune up.  We touched base when I was at OCTO in June.  A couple of weeks after  I sent it out to him, it came back in super clean condition.

I was able to score a couple of spare parts at the same time.  I also had Tim install one of the NOS vac cans to spiff it up a bit.

The used vac can went into the classifieds on TheSamba.com.

In addition to the return of the distributor, I also received a 1967 only brake fluid reservoir and the lines.  My plan is to use the existing lines as a template to bend up new lines.  I think I'll wind up making a bracket for the brake fluid reservoir until I get to a point where I can cut and weld on the existing partition with my spare piece.  I'd like to get this car out on the road a few times this year and I'm running out of days on the calendar.

I've still got the front beam build up to get done as well...too many things on my list to do and not enough time to do them.

Wednesday, August 5, 2015

Sometimes the horse would rather drown than drink

References a thread I started that got out of hand rather quickly.

Hilarious failure of basic business ethics, professionalism and customer service standards.

3500 views, all potential customers.

Saturday, August 1, 2015

Inching toward storage

It's about.fucking.time.

Front brakes are installed, new hoses and ready for the next phase.

I wound up rebuilding a NOS outer right tie rod end to replace the one I smashed, in addition to replacing the Meyle ball joints with Febi/Bilsteins.

It was a decent amount of work for the short time I was in the garage today.
The CSP kit installed.  Finally.

I have to figure out how to get the hub caps to seat squarely on the hub, install the speedometer and get the car aligned.

One thing that bugs me about the CSP kit is the hub bolts are not symmetrical.  Minor issue since I won't see it when the wheel cover is in place.

Friday, July 31, 2015

Hope is the last thing a person does before they are defeated.

A couple of days ago, in between grilling steaks for dinner and eating them; I figured out how to remove the broken bearing and complete the build of the passenger's side spindle.

Tonight, I pulled the Airkewld brakes off of the car and began the process of installing the CSP brake kit.  The driver's side went on fine.  The passenger's side, well, didn't go as smoothly.  I'd damaged the outer tie rod end in my haste to remove the spindle and it was going to need some guidance on removal.  I bought what I thought was a nifty little tool made to remove stubborn tie rod ends.  The thing they fail to tell you on the package is that it will also try to eat the steering arm while evicting the tie rod end.  It finally popped out and I put it to the side - figuring that I'd deal with that issue later.

Now it's installation time for the CSP spindle.  Bottom ball joint is installed and I'm starting the thread on the top one when I notice that something isn't right.


The threads on the ball joint (which is brand new and has never seen street use) have shredded off.  The nut wasn't tight - so it wasn't yet a matter of over-tightening it.  I confirmed that I didn't cross thread the nut and concede defeat.  I don't have another one.  It's a Meyle brand part - I'd heard about quality issues on some of their other parts but figured that I'd somehow evaded the decline in quality since I hadn't experienced any issues.  Turns out, I'm just another statistic.  I don't think I'm going to get another one.  If the threads came off that easily - how strong are they on the other 3 ?  Looks like I might wind up eating the cost on these and replace them with something else.  The sunk costs on this car are getting a little out of control.

Off comes the spindle because I can't leave it hanging there by the lower ball joint.  The car is now back to sitting on jack stands again with one installed spindle.  This is getting really, really old.  In lieu of throwing tools around, I just picked up the stuff on the floor and shut off the light.

I'm either losing patience or desire.

Tuesday, July 28, 2015

Any man can make mistakes, but only an idiot persists in his error.

I planned to get out to the garage last night to build up the passenger's side spindle...but I fell asleep at what I suspect is right around the time Ross Perot likely takes a bath.  I didn't get anything accomplished yesterday on the brakes.

So today, after some vacillating, I headed out to the garage and pulled up the right side spindle, cleaned out the threads, and went to it.  All four bolts threaded fine but the longest one started to bind about 3/4 of the way.  I pulled it out and started with a different bolt but it wouldn't thread no matter what I tried.  After spending 15 minutes trying to get it to thread, I decided that I should just stop while I'm 'ahead' and do something else.

Time to try again with another spindle.

Picked up another one, cleaned the threads and the test bolt threaded just fine all the way to the head on all four holes.  I placed the bracket on the spindle and started with the long bolt first.  The first half was normal.  Then it got tight. And then it got warm.  I tucked my tail between my legs and backed it out slowly after letting it sit for 15 minutes to cool.  Last thing I need to do is snap a fastener in a newly powder coated NOS spindle.  I eventually got the bolt out intact and found nothing amiss but decided that I'd remove the other three bolts entirely and start with the long bolt first-with some grease to lubricate.  Made it almost to the end before it started to get tight and warm..but I persisted and snugged it up before installing the other three bolts.  I installed the steering arm and lock nuts before moving on to the hub/rotor.

I packed the bearings with grease and put the inner bearing on its race in the hub.  And in what I'll call one of the dumbest fucking things I've ever done, I flipped it over and put it on the spindle.

Without the grease seal.

As soon as I felt the bearing seat on the spindle, I happened to glance over and notice the seal sitting on the bench and a sincere feeling of dread and disappointment washed over me.  I pulled the hub/rotor off of the spindle, wiped the grease and, for some reason, tried to pry the bearing off of the spindle with my fingers.  I knew it wouldn't work but my hands decided to try anyway...and then the bearing came apart and rollers went flying across the bench.  Chinese bearings are packaged with the CSP brake kit and they're apparently not very durable.

An hour and a half after I began, I gave up and came back inside.  It's too hot in the garage (over 85°F with nasty humidity) and I'm tired.  Apparently getting the same amount of sleep in 24 hours as the average domesticated cat didn't work out for me.

So there's a spindle sitting on my workbench with half of an inner bearing stuck to it.  And a bolt that may or may not come out intact.  I decided it was a good time to let it go and come inside.

At this rate, I'll stretch this project out until Winter...

Sunday, July 26, 2015

CSP front disc brakes

I picked up the spindles today from powder coat and the driver's side is now built up.

These things are definitely heavier than the Airkewld discs but they were also a hell of a lot easier to assemble because the brackets are made properly.
 Rear shot of the built up spindle.  I didn't put the bolt covers on the caliper because I need to torque the bolts down properly and I don't have the correct tool (on order now).
There are still some tight tolerances for the calipers around the hub.  Nature of the beast in trying to get that wide bolt pattern and keep the track close to stock.
Only uses two 1 mm spacers per caliper (no guessing like the Airkewld kit) and the bolts go in just like one might expect.

Much higher quality machining on the brackets and the fit was top notch.