Sunday, 20 May 2018

Replacing dustcovers on the DHC

A week ago I had to conclude that the DHC needed a few minor repairs before I could have the car in for her bi-annual (APK) inspection. Nothing very alarming or difficult, as all repairs were dustcover related. But as replacing the lower ball joint covers is definitely a two man job, I asked my friendly garage and APK station (garage Moorthaemer in Susteren) if it would be possible to change the bad covers during the inspection. As the workshop is rather busy at the moment he suggested me to come over on Saturday and do the job myself,  with some coffee,  vlaai and assistance where needed thrown in as a bonus! Needles to say I accepted the offer. And glad I did for more than one reason!

With the coffee and vlaai consumed and the car on one of the lifts, I started with the steering rack bellows. Removal was rather straight forward after the steering arms and ball joints had been removed. Turned out both the old bellows were in worse shape than expected, and as they were very greasy on the inside they went straight into the bin. Fitting the new bellows turned out to be a bit of a challenge. First thoughts were that the new bellows were to small. This in combination with some grease from the inside of the rack made it impossible for me to get the bellows on. But after some tactical tips from the pro they were on in a few minutes time!

Next challenge were the dust covers from the lower ball joints. Loosening the ball joint from the suspension upright was the easy bit with the correct tool. And with the correct tools (especially a long bar) and an extra hand, separating the TCA from the upright was also fairly straightforward. After which replacing the ball joints dustcovers was again done in a few minutes time.

Sadly I forgot to mark the position of the steering rod ends. So after everything had been re-assembled we used the brake test plateau in the workshop to check and adjust the front tracking. Not perfect, but time was running out to clear the alignment lift and do a proper detailed adjustment. But as the alignment is now, it will be safe for the tyres till the MOT, when the alignment will be set up properly. This was confirmed by the drive home. Only thing that felt (or looked!) wrong is the steering wheel that stands rather awry.

And as there was still a fair amount of daylight left and the weather was fine, I decided to replace the dust covers for  the handbrake mechanism as well. This could have been a 15 minute job but I decided to use the opportunity to check the self adjusting mechanism for the brake shoes as well. As I recently found out that the top springs were fitted incorrectly I thought it a good idea to check this mechanism as well. Turned out these were also fitted incorrectly. But as some of the springs were putting on a fight I forgot some future reference pictures!

And the initial reason for the task, the dust covers for the hand brake levers. Again (as most of my brake parts) purchased from local brake specialist C&C parts.

And as this shot of the old dust covers clearly shows, they were well past their prime!

So another job done in preparations for the car's  MOT, which is now scheduled for the 30th of May. But still not decided whether I will fit the newly refurbished carburettors before or after the inspection. I think I'll let the weather decide ...

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