Saturday, August 24, 2013


Time to get to work.

I've decided to tackle the suspension and steering first. This creates a minor problem, as the springs are designed to be taken out with the weight of the engine on the car--as light as the car is now, the springs would just throw the car up in the air if the suspension were unbolted. But there's a sneaky way of getting around this; you'll see in a minute.

First, off comes the disc brake caliper, which is then bungee tied to the frame so it doesn't stress the brake hose:

Next, the tie-rod end is removed from the steering arm--one of the few times working on a car when you actually get to use a big hammer:

Next, I pulled the brake disc and hub assembly. If I weren't replacing the a-arms with the ones I rebuilt previously, I could just leave them on--but since that's not the case, off they come:

After removing the adapter bracket for the brake caliper, I removed the sway bar from the lower a-arm by unbolting two bolts and removing the retaining clips:

Then I removed the shock absorber:

Now for the alternative spring removal method: a 1/2-inch piece of all-thread, double-nutted on each end, with a fifth nut to tighten and then loosen the tension on the spring:

Then it was simply a matter of removing the four bolts holding on the lower a-arm, carefully releasing the tension on the spring by loosening the fifth nut on the all-thread slowly. Once the pressure was off, it was simply a matter of removing the top two bolts.

Next up, I removed the steering components--a few more bolts, and some careful tapping with the hammer and pickle fork...

My parts stack is growing
Then it was simply a matter of "lather, rinse, repeat" on the other side...

After removing the steering center bearing (it was very greasy, so I didn't take any pictures of the process--it was simple: remove the four bolts holding it on, remove the grease zert in the side, then slide it out the bottom of the front cross member) I was left with a naked front frame section, ready to clean up and paint.

Friday, August 23, 2013

Home again

The firewall has been painted and she's back in my garage. It's looking good!

Expect a bit more activity on this blog in the very near future.

Sunday, August 18, 2013

Power Ram!

This afternoon I tackled the last part of the power steering system to reseal--the power cylinder (commonly called the power ram, or ram.) The power cylinder is a typical hydraulic cylinder: pressurized fluid from the pump flows through the control valve, which decides to either push the rod out of the cylinder by adding fluid to one side, or pull the rod back in by adding fluid to the other side. This, when attached to the steering components, reduces the amount of force required by the driver to steer the car.

This job is fairly straight forward--first I started off with a cleaned up and freshly painted power cylinder:

Then I removed the tie rod end...

 Looking at the diagram it looks simple enough...

First, I need to remove the snap ring. Unfortunately, my snap ring pliers were too big for the hole, so I used that small file to re-size the ends of the pliers to fit. Then out it came.

Normally, if the unit was being repaired while on the car, the mechanic would start the car and turn the steering wheel--this would apply pressure and force the seals out. I tried to use my air compressor to force them out, but this didn't work. Patience and small screwdrivers were called into play.

Assembly involved lightly lubricating the new pieces in power steering fluid, then carefully fitting them in place. A little touch up paint was needed and then job done!

Thursday, August 15, 2013

Oh the guilt...

I installed the new alternator on the engine today:

50 amps (vs. the original 35!)
Why the guilt? The alternator is from a 1979 Honda Civic CVCC, and was only $30. Somehow, that seems like cheating...

Thursday, August 1, 2013


The Stude has been moved from the bodywork/tech area to the paint area.