Sunday, 21 February 2010

DHC report nr. 74; More messing about

Looking back over the past week it seems to me that progress, despite having a week’s holiday, has been slack. This is mainly caused by the fact that I had to change my plans. As a result of the cold weather I can’t continue with the interior, so to keep some progress I have decide to switch to the suspension. First job to do was put the axle on some stands outside the workshop and strip it of its coating.

For this I used a trusty old angle grinder with a steel wire brush;

And because it is a rather dirty and noisy job some personal protection was needed.

Needless to say that when I was trying to get the old paint and road grime of the axle, outside the workshop, the sun was shining happily, raising the temperature to nearly 10ºC. Which is rather warm when you are fully wrapped up in protective gear. But got most of it of in the end. As can be seen some small patches of the original coating remain, but most of these were also removed, just took the pictures in between a change of brushes. The old one was at that stage so worn that it didn’t reach into the nooks and crannies.

It is obvious that this axle casing is in pretty good condition. No corrosion anywhere or visible damage to the welding. This combined with the fact that the innards are also pretty sound, prompted me to only coat it, and not touch the inside, just new gaskets and new oil.

After the noisy stuff it was time for a few relaxing hours with the paint brush. For the coating I used smooth black Hammerite, mainly because I have had pretty good experience with it over the years. Have heard some negative reports, but I think that has probably more to do with the fact that it wasn’t applied properly. At least it looks good at the moment. Not completely ready, still need to do the inside of the lower brackets  and the alloy nose cover. These were partially inaccessible due to the supports.

With the axle almost sorted I wax-oiled the inside of the doors in preparation for their reassembly. Despite the still coldish weather, even after a few days there’s still wax-oil dripping out!

Same will probably be the case with the sub frame, which also got a liberal dose of the greasy stuff.

And with the messy stuff done it was time for some cleaner jobs. First with the help of René and a hydraulic lift I removed the frame, on which the car was resting, and put it on axle stands. Had to do this because the frame was fixed to the lower suspension points at the rear and two of the sub frame mounting points at the front. Not very helpful if you want to fit the suspension!

With the car on axle stands it was time to start on the suspension parts. Most of these were done last year so I only had to go through the various boxes to get all the suspension related parts together. After which I spent a few hours on the front TCA’s. These had also been powder coated, as a result of which the ball joints wouldn’t go in without some extreme force. But after an hour with some coarse sand paper this was solved. So they could join the rest of the suspension parts in the cupboard;

To make room in the cupboard the front struts needed another storage place, so I fitted them to the car;

It slowly but surely starts to look more like a car again 😎

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