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Restoration Journal

June 3, 2001

Re-wrapped the short block after oiling down the cylinders.  Bear has decided to use his intake and heads this summer, so the short block will be sitting for quite a while.  Oiling down the cylinders and keeping it wrapped up tight will prevent corrosion.

Resumed painting with my nifty air filter.  It works great - I can't smell any paint fumes at all when I use it.  I painted the rear drum, shackle hanger and center link.

Began rebuilding the K-H front disc brakes I bought.  I disassembled one of the calipers.  Getting the pistons out of the bores took a little doing, but it's now disassembled and ready to be cleaned up.

June 4-5, 2001

Began rebuilding the Kelsey Hayes brakes that I bought from a fellow email list member.  The service manual showed me how they're put together.  I'll need to take them completely apart to clean everything up.

After separating the calipers (they are comprised of two pieces, bolted together), I next removed the pistons.  Some of them came out easily, but 2 or 3 were wedged in their bores very tight.  Prying them out required a vise, vise grips, screw drivers and hammers!

4 of the 8 pistons were pitted, so I'm in the process of finding replacements.  I've found a couple places that sell them new, if it comes to that.  Here's an image of a good piston and a pitted one:

June 6-10, 2001


June 11-12, 2001

Continued working on the calipers.  The process for cleaning them up was: 1) use Simple Green and a brush to get as much grease off them as possible 2) remove rust with the wire wheel 3) use steel wool to clean out the piston bores 4) use the dremel tool for removing rust/grime from the dust boot and piston seal seats.

Then I mask them and the painting process begins.

June 13, 2001

My lovely wife offers to help!  She chooses painting, so I give her a brush and jar of POR, and she paints the remaining caliper and idler arm!  It was nice to have her help.

I've decided to use the original idler arm (not the one that came w/ the front end rebuild kit), as it's in good shape and the replacement is not an exact match.

With Dawn painting, I started working on a rotor/hub.  I removed the inner grease seal and bearing, then cleaned out all the old grease in the spindle cavity.

Then I started on the spindle.  It is still connected, by one bolt, to the steering knuckle.  I have to separate them, as the steering knuckle will be replaced with a part from the front end rebuild kit.  The bolt is rusted in there tight.  After fighting with it for a while, I gave up and sprayed it down w/ WD-40.

June 14-15, 2001

Had a realization - the steering knuckles (spindles) that I bought for my disc brakes look exactly like the spindles I took off the car.  I can't see how the caliper can possibly bolt to it.

So, I stopped trying to remove the knuckle from the steering arm, as I may not be able to use that knuckle any way.

I tried to drive the lug studs out of one of the rotors, but it wouldn't budge.  Not being sure if I was doing it right, I stopped so that I wouldn't damage anything (I had been smacking the stud with a BFH).

Finished painting the remaining caliper.  I then put them in a box and set them aside.

Moved on to other suspension parts - the lower control arm (LCA).  With some heat on the rubber bushing, I was able to pull the pivot stud out of the arm.  I broke the bolt off the rubber stop, but I didn't care as there is a replacement in my front end rebuild kit.

Getting the bridge and the bolt that runs through it (the bolt that controls the ride height, or the torsion bar adjuster) was rusted tight.  Wight a lot of heat, a vise and a long wrench, I was finally able to get it out.  I cleaned up the parts I removed with the wire wheel.  The LCA went in the pile of parts to be media blasted; there are too many nooks and crannies to use the wire wheel on it.

June 17, 2001

Went over to Bear's for a joy ride!  We had lots of fun driving around the country roads, eat up his rear tires and gasoline.

I also got a look at his steering knucke, as he has disc brakes.  Much to my chagrin, the steering knucke for disc brakes is definitely different, so I'll need to find a couple spindles now.  I'm not sure how the person who sold me the disc brake setup got drum knuckles mixed up with disc knuckles.

June 18, 2001

Was very fortunate and found another guy with a disc brake setup.  He tried to sell an entire front end (K member and suspension) from some A body on Ebay, but as he wasn't willing to ship it, it didn't sell.  So, I asked him to sell me just the stuff between the control arms, which he did.

In the evening, I tore down the right lower control arm; which consists of removing the shock bolt, bumper, pivot stud, and the torsion bar adjusting bolt.  Removing the adjusting bolt is far and away the worst part - requires lots of heat from the torch and lots of torque to get that 30 year old rust to concede.

June 20, 2001

My shipment from ESPO arrived!  Nice new springs, U bolts, shackle bushings and one shackle (I broke one removing it from the car).

The only restoration activities I did was a little painting: top coating of shock plates/spring hangers, and POR on the U bolts and new shackle.

June 21, 2001

Did a little more painting, then proceeded to the basement.

Dawn decided to help again!  She was a little bummed with the choice of tasks I gave her, as they were all dirty and not much fun.  Apparently she thought I was kicking back and drinking beers when I go downstairs!

She chose to de-rust parts with the wire wheel.  She did a fine job cleaning up a pair of strut rods.  I don't know if she'll volunteer anytime soon again.

I worked on the sway bar - trying to get the old bushings off.  I didn't have much luck.  Members of the email list have given me some options for getting it off that I'll try tonight.

June 22, 2001

Cleaned up another one of the Cragars that I bought.  They have some problems around the stud holes, but otherwise look prety good.  I just couldn't justify the cost for a new set.

Also top coated some parts, and removed the bushings from the sway bar.  That was accomplished with a torch and screwdriver!

June 23, 2001

Spent very little time on the car today - just derusted the sway bar and mounting brackets at the wire wheel.

June 24, 2001

Didn't spend much time on the car today either (too many household chores).  All I did was get a coat of POR15 on the sway bar, mounting brackets and strut rod pieces.

June 25, 2001

Continued painting parts from previous day.  Also got the new sway bar bushings on the sway bar.  Thought it was going to be horrible, but all I had to do was clamp the bar in the vise and wiggle the bushing on the bar.  Quite easy.

Also assembled a pile of parts that need media blasting.  Since I'm going to go look at the car tomorrow, I'll drop off some parts at the media blaster, as the two shops are right next to each other.  Into the car went the drive shaft, backing plates, axle housing, upper and lower control arms, K member and transmission support.

June 26, 2001

Got to see the car for the first time in weeks!  Talked with Scott, the body man, about the schedule and what needs to be done.  The goal is to have the car back to me by the end of August.

Here are some pictures I took while there.  He'd already started some work, and the car was in primer so that it wouldn't begin rusting again after having been blasted.  The biggest surprise for me was the number of patches the car needs.  He'd probably already done about a dozen or so in the floor pan, rocker panels, wheel wells and engine bay.  Looks kind of rough now, but I'm sure Scott will make it beautiful.  He's got a great reputation.

I was busy at night, so all I got done was a little more painting.

June 27, 2001

Wife and son were out of town, so I took the afternoon off to try to get work done on the car.  I spent about 4 hours at the wire wheel cleaning bolts, the battery tray and one of the brackets that holds the front bumper to the frame.  The majority of that time was spent on bolts, which Scott needs when he starts assembling the car.  Bolts for the doors, trunk lid hinges, hood hinges, front clip. fenders, etc.  Very tedious.

Broke up the grinding with a little painting.  The sway bar is now done, and I got a coat of POR15 on the battery tray and bumper bracket.

June 28, 2001

Cleaned up the basement, and finished PORing the bumper bracket & battery tray.  Then wiped off all the bolts that I cleaned up the previous day (they soaked overnight in a rust desolver.

June 29, 2001

No time to work on the car - just top coated the battery tray and bumper bracket.