2/28/2010 Disassembly, cleaning and shocks.

The first order of business today was to run up the car to operating temperature. I don't want the car to sit TOO long without running. This went very smooth, the car started right up, evened right out and I ran it for about 15 minutes at various engine speeds. Finally I let it idle for about a minute and turned it off. Phew.

Today I removed the rest of the passenger side suspension. All that remains in the car is the crossmember, which I will remove when I'm ready to disconnect the brake hydraulics. The plan was to install all new brakes in the front while I have everything apart. But since it looks like this suspension project is going to cost more than I'd hoped, and there seems to be plenty of life in the brake pads and rotors, I think I'm going to keep the brake work to just removing the calipers, blasting them, and rebuilding them since I've already purchased the kits. Changing brakes and rotors will not require too much disassembly when I decide to do them later.

I went back to cleaning the drivers side suspension components, cleaning the shock assembly and the king pin assembly. While this sounds simple, there were years of undercoating, grease and grit clinging to these parts. Hours of scraping and scrubbing got these parts relatively clean. The shock body was really detailed and the arms were degreased but will be sandblasted and painted after carefully taping off the rest of the shock. The shock had NO resistance at all, so after the cleaning, I drained what little fluid was left from the shock. It was black and probably only about a tablespoon or so. I cleaned the metering valve, and refilled the shock. After about an hour of bleeding air, the shock is very stiff and should be much much better. The only concern is that the shock may leak. I have it set on a dry piece of cardboard, we'll see what happens. I read that they are designed to seep a little to lubricate and push dirt out of the shaft. If I see any fluid leaking out, I may have to exchange them for rebuilt units. I'm hoping that is not necessary.

After getting the king pin assembly cleaned, I decided to disassemble and inspect the king pin. While I expect this to be tough, at least for today it has proved impossible. The passenger side king pin has a touch of play in it. The drivers side doesn't, it's tight. But if I'm going this far, I should at least take a good look at it. Now is the time to replace it, if necessary. The cotter pin was missing already from the crown nut, but I don't think it would matter. I had a breaker bar, penetrating oil, impact gun cranked all the way up, and propane and Mapp gas torches and the nut would not budge.

I'm going to let it soak for a few days, and give it another shot later in the week. Worse case scenario, I can just split the bolt as it's probably going to replaced anyway, but I'd rather not do that if I don't have to. And time is not an issue here.

I got the bottom cabinet doors hung. The only thing left to do there is frame them out with fir 1x2's for added rigidity. This should be the end of the work on my work bench/cabinet area. I'm still debating whether to paint or not.

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