Monday, February 12, 2018

The front beam comes off

 I'm back to individual posts while something of interest is happening and photos are involved.

This morning - I removed the tie rods, brake calipers, pittman arm, spindles, etc. and went about removing the front beam.  The last bolt I found belongs on the left lower bracket (on the frame head side) and the frame head is smashed in.  I eventually got the bolt out without much fanfare but I'm now left wondering if the front end is out of alignment.

After several minutes of prying, I freed the front brackets from the rubber collars and dropped the beam to the floor.  I don't think this front beam has been out of the car until today.

The replacement plan is to use newer collars with the caster adjustment and new bushings for the top of the brackets.

 Everything came out intact - took a little extra work to get here but it was worth it.
 I pulled out the grinder and spent about ten minutes cleaning up the torsion arms.  This is the first one I cleaned - not perfect but a whole lot better.  They'll get cleaned real well before paint.

 There are two rather sizeable dents in the beam - I cannot imagine the bone jarring experience it must have been to hit something hard enough to leave these dents.  It's possible that this one is from improper jacking technique but given how light the front end is - I don't find that plausible.
 Verification that this is an early beam - the upper bushings are red bakelite (ended in 64).  All of the seals were intact but hardening and the bearings are good.  The lower right torsion arm has some scoring but it's minor so I'm going to keep it in service.
 Cleaning around the installed bearings is a bit of a chore but I'll get it done tomorrow.  I'm trying to be careful vs. fast and with no deadline, per se, there's no real reason to rush.  I'm surprised any of the paint stays on these things for 50's super thin.
I have another day of cleaning ahead of me before I can consider painting anything.  I didn't think it looked all that bad while it was in the car but this beam was both rusty and filthy.

The bushings and bearings are staying inside so I have to be careful about how I clean the outside to keep the cleaners out of the grease.

Tomorrow is more cleaning, picking up the POR 15 from a local 4x4 shop, and hopefully prepping for paint on Wednesday.

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