05.30.08

Laundry and Yard Stuff (gas: $4.00/gal, electricty $0.10/Kw)

Posted in Assembly at 11:48 pm by Administrator

Today I took a break from the Bradley…well almost, I did some yard work, some laundry, and yes I even put the bushings on the sway bar. I also have decided to empty my solar heated hottub and do some maintenance on it. When I checked the mail, I had some new wheel bearings and seals in my mailbox. Good work Nancy and Greg, Thank you!

05.29.08

Front End Assembly…Well Mostly

Posted in Assembly at 12:19 am by Administrator

LeftRightNew SpindlesToday I got the front suspension back together.I started by cleaning and re-greasing each of the torsion bars. Then I carefully lined up and slid the torsion bars, one at a time into the lower axle beam tube. Once the torsion bar assembly was installed, it was time to move onto installing the trailing arms onto the torsion system. They slid into the new urethane bushings quite tightly and I have heard nothing but great reviews about these type of bushings. I torqued the nuts and screws to specs. I then installed the new knuckles and spindles for the disc brakes. I installed the coil over shocks, and called it a day when I realized I didn’t purchase the new wheel bearings for the rotors. I called Nancy at Bugformance of Stockton, and she said she would overnight them to me. All in all, a good days work.

05.27.08

Big-O Comes Through

Posted in Assembly at 10:11 pm by Administrator

Holy Sh#*! Did I say I was going to install the ball joints myself? Mark brought the swing arms back today and I thought OK now I can install the ball joints. They have to go in easier then when they came out, so I tried to install them using my sockets and “big ass C-Clamp”. After about ten attempts with the same result (sockets on the floor, ball joint on the floor, me inventing new explitives), I decided to call Big O Tires in Turlock. Hernando is the front end tech down there and he is really good. He does all of my alignments and really knows his stuff. Anyway the guys at Big-O Tires in Turlock told me to bring the arms and ball joints down and they would press them in. It took them about 20min to do all 4. I payed the $80.00 they charged me and drove home. The upper axle beam is now finished and I will do the lower one tomorrow.

05.20.08

Better Then New

Posted in Restore at 2:02 pm by Administrator

The axle beam came back today and it looks new! Mark did a really great job on it. I sent back with him all of the swing arms. When I get them back I will install the ball joints and start assembling the front end…at least that is the plan.

05.17.08

Off to Crown

Posted in Restore at 9:58 am by Administrator

Mark came over and got the axle Beam for media blasting and powder coating. I will be ready for the assembly phase of the front suspension when I get the axle beam back, in the meantime, I am cleaning parts and straightening up my work area.

05.16.08

Ball Joints Go “Pop!”

Posted in Teardown at 9:53 pm by Administrator

front-end-and-fund-raiser-026.jpgfront-end-and-fund-raiser-029.jpgToday I had to remove the ball joints from the swing arms. To do this required the following: 1ea ¾” impact socket for the driver, 1ea 1 1/4” impact socket for the receiver, 1ea “Big ass C-Clamp”. For the “Big ass C-Clamp I chose the one attached to my bench, some folks refer to it as a vise but I’ve got plenty of those already so… this is my bench mounted “Big ass C-Clamp”. I also needed an extension handle. The photos tell the whole story except for the resounding “POP!” when that baby breaks free.
Once all of the ball joints were out, I started cleaning the swing arms. Thats Molly defending the swing arms, note; all of the ball joints are removed.

05.13.08

The Right Tool for the Right Job

Posted in Aquisition at 1:34 pm by Administrator

front-end-and-fund-raiser-033.jpgI picked up the hammer and WOW! Does this baby work! I thought I would try to pull one bearing (the one I ripped yesterday) before work. I wound up pulling the remaining three within about 12 min. It took me longer to set up the hammer then it did to pull the bearings. The hammer is perfect for this job. It has a three prong puller attachment which allows the user to pull the bearing straight out by tapping with the slide. No damage to the axle beam.

05.12.08

Back to NAPA

Posted in Aquisition, Teardown at 3:26 pm by Administrator

Today I had to order a slide hammer from Deepak at NAPA to assist in the removal of the front bearings and races. Yesterday sunday I spent the better part of the afternoon trying to remove the bearings from the axle beam and was only successful at removing one with a puller I have. My second attempt wasn’t quite so fruitful. In fact I succeeded at ripping the next one so that all of the little needles fell out of the bearing. The puller didn’t seem to be the right size and on my third and forth, fifth, sixth, seventh… try at “beating a dead horse” I decided to use a different approach. My slide hammer will be here tomorrow right before I have to go to work.

05.10.08

Re-thunk

Posted in Aquisition at 10:35 pm by Administrator

front-end-and-fund-raiser-032.jpgAfter consulting with Greg at Bugformance of Stockton, I have re-thought the rebuilding of the front end. I am going to go with the urathane bearings and have the axle beam powder coated. Today I also bought a few items at Bugformance of Stockton. I bought the new urethane front bearings, the coil over shocks, all of the new ball joints, the new tie rod ends, new disc brake assy’s, and a 3/4″ swaybar with urethane bushings.

05.05.08

Decisions, Decisions

Posted in Teardown at 7:29 pm by Administrator

front-end-and-fund-raiser-004.jpg I bolted the front suspension to the chassis so I could tear down the front wheels. I got the entire steering system removed. I removed the knuckles, wheels and all, on both sides. I have decided not powder coat the front suspension. I will steam clean it strip it and paint it. Powder coating would require me to remove the front torsion bearings and assembly and is not worth the risk of damaging the system. So I will replace all tie rod ends, ball joints, both knuckles (with new disc brake spindles), rotors, and that ought to do it for the front suspension.

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