Tuesday, March 30, 2010

The last word in lonesome is me

I am very, very happy that this upcoming weekend will mark my fifth weekend in a row of working on the car. That attention is paying major dividends. The last items related to the right side of the car are coming into sight. There could even be some welding taking place this weekend - well practice welding at least.

On Thursday morning, as I was setting out to walk the dog, I opened the door of the house to find a box of new TR6 parts from Drakes – thank you Len. After a (quicker than normal) dog walk I got to peruse my new parts. Perusing new parts might be my favourite part of restoring this car. This week’s parts are as follows:

1 Bearing, Nylon
1 Switch, Turn Signal
2 Hose, Front Brake
1 Hose, Rear Brake R/H
4 Screw Drum to Hub
1 Brake Shoe set, 4 shoes, Rear
1 Kit, Rear Wheel Cyl, Axel set
1 Disc, Front brake, 10.74 inch (This was a mistake I meant to order two)
1 Pad Set, Brake, Ceramic
4 O-Ring, Caliper Joint, Girling
1 Kit, Brake Caliper
2 End link, Anti Roll Bar
2 Bearing Kit Front
2 Dust and Grease Cap
4 Insulator Upper
2 Packing, Road Spring

I also ordered two rear brake drums and those are still enroute. Len informed me that I had only ordered one front disc brake but by that time I had reached the end of my parts capital for the month of March. I will include it in my April order.

With a new box of parts and all my job applying done for the week I headed to Red Deer Friday morning. I headed early as I had to back in Calgary Saturday night to drive Krista to the airport at five AM Sunday morning. She was to meet her parents and bother in Scottsdale, AZ because Scottsdale was momentarily short of pasty Canadians. If not for Krista’s family they were going to have to shuffle a few retired teachers over from Mesa.

I stayed because I believe that there is something fundamentally wrong with an unemployed person going on vacation. Although, I apparently I have no problem with an unemployed person taking on a very expensive hobby. I’m very complicated.

Friday was the most productive day of the weekend. I’m starting to see a trend: I do too much on the first day and then drag ass for the rest of the weekend. Not to break from tradition I did almost everything worth reporting on Friday.

I started with installing the new signal light switch on the steering column. I did this because it was a fun job. The bros and I accidentally broke the old one off when we moved the car out of storage for dad.

After that I focused on installing the right, front disc brake and new bearings. I knocked out the old bearings sleeves with a hammer and punch. They came out without too much of a fight. Installing the new sleeves was slick.

I installed the hub, disc and bearings on the spindle and tightened it all down and installed the cotter pin, nut and dust cover (making sure to back the nut off a turn and a half after tightening it down).

I did all this and then realized I couldn’t install the brake dust shield with the disc installed. I had to pull it all off again. Dumb. I was glad that I was able to do this without wrecking the hub dust cover.

That process went so well that I then tackled rebuilding the caliper with the new seals. With the use of the Haynes manual this was a relatively simple process. Although getting the brake pistons out using the air compressor almost caused me to require a premature underwear change. Those bad boys really pop when they come out.

I added the new brake hose and that was it – the front hub assembly was now complete.

High on that success it was time to install the right-rear swing-arm. This was really simple. I made sure that all the shims went back in where they came from so not to change the rear wheel geometry.

Getting the new shock assembly to bolt up with the shim and spring installed required some Angus-sized weight on the rear of the car.

That went so well it was time to tackle the right-rear brake drum. I rebuilt the brake cylinder with the kit I acquired from Drakes. I then installed the bottom adjuster and pads. Getting the springs to stretch from pad to pad proved impossible until I realized that if I installed one pad then put the other at a ninety degree angle with the springs installed – pushing the pad flat would stretch the springs and make my life exponentially easier. I think 200 TR6 guys just said “duh!” in unison. Give me a brake – I’m learning as I go.

That went so well that I went and had supper with mom. Supper went so well mom and I had something like five beers each. After supper I swerved back out to the shop and somehow removed the rear differential without incident. Inspection of the diff mounts showed they were in the minority as they were in great shape.

I retired at about one AM. I started at noon so about a twelve hour day.

Saturday I cleaned the bottom of the car underneath the trunk and over where the diff hung. I removed brake lines and fuel lines and set to painting POR-15 on the bottom of the car. After removing the fuel line the odour from the spoiled gas in the tank was so bad it I decided to run some new gas through the tank before I started painting. It was a small improvement but by this time I had already acquired quite the headache from the bad gas smell.

I painted on one small can of POR-15 (this time being careful to paint the car and not myself) and called it a day.

I cleaned up with the shop mired in the smell of paint and fuel and made a mile back to Calgary.

This week I am expecting the arrival of my new interior panels and Friday is my 31st Birthday. I plan to spend the day up to my elbows in dad’s car.

Stay tuned…

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