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.

Sunday, July 19, 2015

Miscellaneous distraction

Bought a nice pile of parts from a local contact today.  The goal is to keep the stuff I need/want and sell off the rest of it.

There is another box full of carburetors and five heater boxes in addition to this stuff.

Saturday, July 18, 2015

Bits and pieces, literally

I received a box with late small heat exchangers and the bits from the stock muffler attached.  They had to sit for a few days, soaking in Fluid Film, before I could separate them.  Once they were loose, I ran them over the wire wheel to clean them up.  Now, I've got to get a couple of flanges and a VS exhaust to fabricate the correct pieces.

I dug out the sectioned early front beam to test my abilities to remove the bushings and bearings.

I learned a few things in the process - namely that I don't have the correct tools to do the job properly.  I'm going to have to figure this part out before I can get too much further in the process.

The three destroyed pieces removed from one of the four corners.

Thursday, July 16, 2015

Inbound delights

The spindle bolts from Paruzzi arrived yesterday - nice to see that they're exactly what I hoped to see in the package!
The NOS ignition arrived today.  It's a DV key profile (66/67) and in very very nice condition.

Perfect Bakelite back piece - no cracking, no damage and it's not loose.
Front block is also in very nice condition.

Overall, I'm very happy with the result of this purchase.

Tuesday, July 14, 2015

The gentle ebb and flow

 A few days ago this NOS air cleaner got away.  It sold for $200 including shipping from Europe.  It's not as common as the version with the large end on the right side but I think this is a cleaner looking part, and thus, I prefer it to the more common version.

Unfortunately, I didn't get to my email soon enough and someone else got their hands on it.  It sold rather quickly.
 I did, however, get my hands on this one.  An NOS ignition with two keys.  It's a non-scripted bezel with the parking light provision.

If it's in perfect condition, I'll put it in the spare column I am building up along with a NOS contact plate and turn signal arm.  The column housing is being powder coated in the next few days.

If it isn't in perfect condition, I'll use it for parts to fix the OE scripted bezel ignition switch from Nigel.  That switch is waiting for parts so that it can be repaired.

Not much happening with Nigel right now...waiting on the spindles to be completed so I can install the CSP brake kit.  I've left the Airkewld kit on the car so that it's on 4 tires and can be moved if needed.

I have started looking for a fabrication shop to make the new brackets for the Airkewld kit.  I imagine it's going to take a while to find someone willing to make two random pieces without a CAD illustration.  I may have to revert to old school knowledge and whip up something in CAD but I'll cross that bridge when I get to it.

Sunday, July 12, 2015

Some days you're the bug and some days you're the windshield

While looking for information about the specific model of camber compensator that I own as a result of a thread I started, I found someone in the UK selling repop stickers for them.  I've been looking for these stickers for a few years so it was nice to see that someone decided to start printing them.

I stopped by the powder coater today with 3 complete sets of spindles along with a few other miscellaneous parts.  I'll get one set back in a week so I can start assembling the CSP brake kit and hopefully get it on the car.  That will allow me to pull the Airkewld kit, remove the bracket and swing by a couple machine shops that are local to see if they can create a more suitable bracket.

The auction for this book just ended and I missed out on it due to being sniped.  The price wasn't terrible (sold for $204.49) considering the condition of the book.  It would have been nice to have but it's not the end of the world that I didn't get it.

I've got plenty of other things to spend my money on with regard to getting one or both of these cars finished.

Saturday, July 11, 2015

Watching the snail move

Not much to report today.  I pulled down all of the torsion arms that I have for the two beams and discovered that I don't have two full sets of control arms AND that the lower arms that I have are in questionable condition.

I've asked around and one contact came back with the image of NOS but quite rusty upper arms.

I'm not convinced that this is the best I can do for the money so I'm going to wait until I receive a reply from three others before I shell out the cash.  I know where to get NOS lower arms but I'd like to get my hands on a complete set if possible.

In other news, I spent way too much time pulling old tie rod ends off of the actual tie rods today.  I then checked them for straightness (they're good) and put them in the 'to be powder coated' pile.

So, I can check 'tied rods' off of the list for the two upcoming beam builds.  I just have to get my hands on some decent control arms now.

The timing will be perfect if I can gather up the parts for a fall/winter build up.

Friday, July 10, 2015

Time is what we want most, but what we use worst.

The two sets of NOS spindles arrived today, along with the emergency flasher switch knob and a *ahem* correct tool for removing tie rod ends.

The spindles will go out this weekend for powder coat and I should see them back in a week or two.

And this was sitting on the porch.
 I opened the box to inspect the contents and found a nicely packaged group of parts.  The only real bummer about this kit is that it DOESN'T have backing plates.  I didn't notice that until the box arrived.  I went online to compare the photo to what I received and noticed that they're not shown.  After a bit more digging, I found old installation instructions that seem to indicate that they stopped including backing plates around 2007/2008.  I have sent a message to CSP to inquire about their availability since it was one of the things I really liked about the kit.  The CIP1 website shows an image with the backing plates as a part of the kit.
Wheel bearings and wheel seal included.

I'll be getting into this kit more over the weekend - especially since the spindles arrived - and I'm starting my write up/comparison of contents.  The write up will take some time to complete because I want it to be comprehensive:  What questions would I want answered to help me make a decision?

Wednesday, July 8, 2015

If you're walking down the right path and you're willing to keep walking, eventually you'll make progress.

I received a package from Australia today that contains two sets of front beam bushings to replace the needle bearings and bakelite bushings buried deep in the front beam.  The bushings are made of Ertalyte and are the subject of this thread on

I currently have three front beams: 1. The current front beam on Nigel (OE), 2. The NOS beam I bought eons ago that has very slight surface rust on the needle bearings and 3. The beam that came from Ferris, which is harboring sand due to being subjected to one of the many incompetent powder coating shops I managed to find.  The beam that's currently on Nigel will ultimately become the 'spare' beam-assuming that it's not rusted out in the lower collar corner (typical place for them to rot).  Ferris' original beam is intended to go back once the sand is flushed out and these bushings are installed.  Control arms will be stripped and powder coated, new ball joints, tie rod ends and a reconditioned steering box will be added.

The Airkewld front disc kit will wind up on the Ferris beam.  I decided to take advantage of the CIP1 sale and bought a CSP front disc kit that will arrive in about a week.  The brackets from the Airkewld kit will be replaced with properly manufactured brackets to eliminate the 20 washer assembly process provided as 'normal' by Airkewld - which, let's face it, is fucking ridiculous.  To me it says that they don't give enough of a shit to do it correctly.

I plan to post up a comprehensive review and comparison between the two kits once I've had a chance to get everything together.  I realize that the 'review' will probably sound biased based on my recent experience with Airkewld but that's on them, not me.  I'll do what I can to make it objective but the facts will likely show what I already suspect.

I can't wait to start getting some of these parts's been way too long.

Monday, July 6, 2015

I don't know where I'm going, but I'm on my way.

The Hassia fog lights arrived in one piece today.  They've got more scratches on the back side chrome than I hoped but they're in otherwise really nice condition.
Scored this NOS fuel pump yesterday from a local guy.  He's getting out of the Type 3 scene and has a few parts remaining.  I'll be going back and picking up a few more things before he clears out totally.

In other news, I discovered that CIP1 has a CSP disc brake kit for the Type 3 in stock and it's on sale.  I'm tempted to buy it and pair up the timing with the inbound NOS drum spindles.  It would buy me some time in getting a proper bracket for the Airkewld brake kit manufactured that will eliminate the washers as a part of the assembly.  I would install the Airkewld kit on the 65 some time down the road.  I could then do a full write up on my experience with the two kits for anyone wondering which one is better overall - assuming my opinion means anything.  I've got a few hours to decide before the sale ends.

Saturday, July 4, 2015

Never mistake activity for achievement

Took everything apart again.  I decided to drop the front end while I was at a point where things were not finished.  I got 1/2 of it done late last night but had to stop.  The driver's side 'catch' on the lower control arm had to be smacked a few times to get it out of the way.

In my excitement to get things going, I managed to smash the threads on my right outer tie rod end so I ordered a new one last night.
The end result is a front end that's 1.5" lower than before.  The ride height is good now...more closely matching the rear and eliminated the 'boat in water' effect.  The spare tire is in the trunk and the fuel tank is 1/2 full.  It'll drop a little more withan a driver and more fuel.

Next up is new brake hoses, bleeding the brakes and adjusting everything with a short road test once the replacement tie rod end appears later in the week.
Just for recollection purposes, this is the 'before' picture.  Same fuel level with the spare tire in front.

I'll get to the brakes shortly.

Friday, July 3, 2015

Big vision, small steps

 The adapters and the test lug nut arrived today.  Since I only have a full set of the adapters, I went with those.

The lug nut also fits so I'm going to order the rest of the set so that I can remove the adapters at some point.  For now, I'll leave it alone because it works.
Now that the car is back on tires and 'settled' a bit, I've decided to lower the front end one spline.

After that's done, I'll put the brakes back together and then take it in for alignment.  I should have a solid 4 weeks where I can drive the car before a storage space is required for the winter months.
I changed out the mounting screws on the dash for the push button assembly.  It never ceases to amaze me how the condition of a screw head can change the over all look of its assembly.

If I get real ambitious tonight, I'll pull the front end apart and see if I can get it dropped one spline AND put it back together.  I like a good challenge.

Thursday, July 2, 2015

If you can find a path without obstacles, it probably doesn't lead anywhere

I did a LOT of digging around before I settled on buying lug nut adapters for my current lug nuts.  In addition, I found a company that claims to have the correct lug nuts but I only bought one as a test piece because they don't accept returns.  That test piece will arrive on Monday while the adapters will arrive tomorrow.  If the adapters don't work, I'll hold my figurative breath for the test lug nut on Monday.

In the mean time, I bought a few things...
  • M8x1.25x40mm bolts for the early spindles that were original to Nigel.  They're early drum spindles in that they have 8mm ball joint bolts where the later version uses a 10mm bolt.
  • Two sets of NOS drum spindles due in a couple of weeks from one of my stops in the North East in May.
  • M10x1.5x40mm bolts for the ball joints on the 'normal spindles'.  I bought a few from ISP West as well.  Hopefully, ISP sends me the correct bolts and I'll have a few extras.
  • Bought a set of Hassia fog lights from a Samba member for a decent price - they'll arrive on Monday.
  • Bought an emergency flasher knob from a Samba member in Thailand - it'll show up once I've forgotten about it.
  • Ordered another complete set of front Timken bearings for the next beam build.

In a couple of weeks I'll be sending out the ZV/JCU 4R3 distributor that flash rusted last Fall for a cleaning and rebuild.  The guy who's doing the rebuild is off on vacation and I've spent enough lately so the timing works out quite well.

I sold the red bins from the parts cabinets.  I'm still waiting for the rest of my replacement pieces to finish the cabinets off but they're in pretty good shape now.  No more re-organizations to come...just organized parts waiting for a car to call 'home'.  I think I've run out of distractions - and that's a good thing.

I'm also waiting on fabricated bushings for the front beam.  I bought two complete sets - which means that I can have both beams stripped of their bushings and bearings, cleaned and powder coated in preparation for the bushings.  I'm looking forward to getting both beams rebuilt.  The third beam (on the car currently) will be kept with bearings/bushings and I'll rebuild it after its painted and keep it as a spare.

There have been a lot of parts popping up in the classifieds that I've been tempted to buy but I've resisted...knowing that I either have five of the same thing currently or that I don't really need it.