Monday, November 18, 2013

Es geht sich alles nur um Autos und Frauen, zusammen Kaugummi kauen auf'm Rucksitz

For the past few weeks Grace has been doing that passive aggressive nagging thing. I had been pretty busy with other things and she felt neglected, so I'd resolved to spend more quality time with her, in fact I spent all last Saturday with her, but it wasn't enough. Every time I pulled into the driveway she'd just look at me with those big round headlights, not saying anything, just giving me that look.

I decided that Saturday was her day. I dragged myself out of bed saturday morning around 9 AM after staying up too late watching SHARKNADO by myself (0/5 stars. I recommmend it.). I spent about an hour flipping through the JEGS and Speedway magazines and eating PB&Js, and then went outside to get started. Why yes, I am a bachelor. Why do you ask?

My first task was to put my rear axle assembly together. I had to determine which differential shims went on which side. These shims locate the diff in the housing, and if you get it wrong, your ring and pinion gears will last about as long as a plate of bacon at a lumberjack's convention arm wrestling competition. When I disassembled this axle, I didn't pay attention to where the shims went. This meant I needed to paint the gears with gear marking compound (which is just a thick bright yellow grease) and see if the grease wore off in all the right places. It's a good thing I did this because my first guess was wrong and the wear pattern was off, as seen in the pictures below.

Gear marking compound and empty axle housing
Teeth painted with gear marking compound
Differential installed
Wear pattern shifted to the outside of the ring on the drive side.
Wear pattern shifted to the inside of the ring on the coast side
After seeing this, I switched the shims side for side and the wear pattern was perfectly in the middle. I then drove the axle end bearings into the housing using a very costly specialized two-by-four. After inserting the axleshafts, I realized that I was missing a c-clip and had to go to "The Axle Shop". I'll let you guess what The Axle Shop does. As much as I whine and complain about SoCal, it is really nice having places like that ten minutes from my house. I was able to get all the parts I needed and keep moving on the project.

Custom made bearing driver
Axle seal ready to be inserted
Axle shaft being inserted
Axle retention groove
Axle retaining C-clip
C-clip installed
Installing cross pin
Cross pin retaining bolt

Once I got the axle assembled, I started on re-installing the now painted rear suspension. With a little help from my friends, I got the 4-link cradle in, though I didn't snap a picture.

I'd been putting off running brake lines for a long time now, so I finally put on my big boy pants and crawled under the car. While working on the brake lines I came to the realization that not a single component of the stock braking system remained. Not a single bolt, hose, mounting point, not even the firewall where the pedals are mounted is original. The system was all designed by me. How's that for a spooky thought?

Front brake tab for the hard line to flex line adapter
With adapter and flex line installed
One of the small details on this build: I didn't like the idea of sheet metal screws
going into the floor pan, so I bought weld nuts to go inside the car for every
underbody bracket. This will keep brake and fuel lines very securely in place.
Weld nut welded in place
Brake line to the rear, in trans tunnel
Brake line routing to the master cylinders
All in all it was a long productive day. Unfortunately I don't think this next week will be as good for Grace. In fact it will likely be a very bad week for grace. I will be going to the LA auto show for work this coming week, so I know I'm going to be coming home to a lot of glares and "how was your day with all of those other newer cars??" On the bright side, I'l bring pictures for you, dear reader.

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