December2010-January 2011

Work Log: December 2010 - January 2011

Initial Discoveries

  • Wow, there's a lot of rust! Definitely a lot more than the image I had in my brain.
  • I really didn't think so many parts were going to need replacing just to make it road-worthy.


Removed the gas tank and cleaned it out with some kerosene. Not in such bad condition, thankfully. Reinstalled, but for testing I'll be using a 1 gallon can with a tube connected to the fuel line so I can pull the tank later for painting without having to deal with gallons of gas.


Knowing that my Dad had to rebuild the master brake cylinder in '93, I figured that was as good a place as any to start. The brake pedal only went part way down and then stopped against something hard. That's definitely not right. I couldn't even get the filler cap off. So out it came. Hmm, no fluid came out when the lines were disconnected. That can't be good... Disassembly revealed that it's entirely dry except for a bit of sludge in the bottom and the bore is very rusted. Even after honing, it's still in rough shape, and seeing as brakes are kinda important, I really should replace that. A further inspection of the wheel cylinders revealed that all needed to be honed and one of the fronts needs a rebuild kit. And the brake lines are shot.


First, fluids seem OK, except for the coolant, which is obviously very low. Drained what was in the radiator and pulled the radiator out since it wasn't installed correctly anyway. For some reason, I had to remove the fan to get the radiator out, which was odd. Reinstalled and replaced the upper hose.

I went out and got a battery, only to find the engine wouldn't turn over. Great. A bit of persuasion with a socket on the crankshaft loosened it up and it at least turned over, but didn't fire. The plugs were sparking, but only weakly. Ended up replacing the spark plugs and a cracked distributor cap. Finally got it started, but it ran really rough and one valve is definitely sticking. Had to get the #4 exhaust valve to close on it's own. Still running into a problem with being unable to turn over if the crankshaft is in just the wrong position. A bit of rotation by hand and all is well; that's going to need some troubleshooting, but it's not a show-stopper yet.

The idle mixture, or rather, the idle "all air, no fuel mixture", was clearly wrong, so a partial disassembly and blow-out of crud in the bowl and jets solved that. There's definitely gas leaking through gaskets, so I'll be rebuilding the carb.


When pulling the rear brakes off, my Dad noticed that the left rear hub had a lot of play. It's supposed to be something like 0.005", not the 0.030" or so we have. Guess I get to pull the axle out... Might as well check the front too... Crud, they don't feel right at all...


Pulling the rear revealed a chewed up bearing and a lot of pitting. Both sides need to be replaced. Hey, it's that excuse (erm, I mean, reason) for Dad to buy a hydraulic press! The pinion seal is leaking like crazy, so I get to pull that and replace it. At least the differential itself is in good condition.


Well, at least the wheel bearings are in good shape. Something that isn't broken! But, the steering knuckles obviously have a problem. These are supposed to be half full of liquid grease. Instead, I have some sludge in the bottom. On both sides. All four kingpin bearings need replacing and the knuckles will need some rust removal and polishing, along with seal replacement. The seal was a 8-piece arrangement (per side) and the aluminum crumbled as I removed it. I don't want to know how long these ran without lubrication.

One Bendix axle joint had way too much play, so we've ordered replacement ball bearings of a slightly larger size in hopes of fixing that. The other side feels OK.

The pinion seal is also leaking. I still need to check the differential internals.


The bushings were absolutely shot and the two rear shackles were bent. After struggling to use an air chisel to remove the old bushings, only to make zero progress, I poked around a bit online for solutions. I ended up with a hybrid: 1. Burn the rubber portion out with a propane torch until the center steel sleeve pulls out with pliers. 2. Pull out remaining rubber. 3. Use air chisel to slice the outer sleeve down one side. 4. Use air chisel to push the outer sleeve out. That replaced an hour of futility (trying to get one out) with about 20 minutes work, tops (for all four, including getting tools out).

I think I'll disassemble all four springs, remove the rust, and get a coat of paint on everything before reassembling. I'm most of the way there already since I have to remove the springs from the axles to paint the axles.

Brakes, continued

After realizing we can buy preformed brake lines, with all the right clips and protective sleeves, for not much more than the cost of bending our own, we'll do that. One snag is the aftermarket 11" brakes. The front wheel cylinders have flex lines going from the axle straight to the cylinder. However, the originals had an s-shaped hardline from the cylinder to the steering knuckle, where the flex line attached and went down to the axle. That means the replacement lines (designed for the original brakes) won't fit unless I can find wheel cylinders designed for flare fittings. Which, thanks to HDS Auto Parts, we now have. Yay! (Update: Or not. Turns out the parts catalog was wrong and these are 15/16" bores instead of the needed 1 1/8".)

Grease Removal

Grr. My arch nemesis. More about this later...

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