Monthly Archives: April 2009

I thought Andrea would have posted this…

Got Andrea’s new headlights installed today.  They’re not what I would have chose, but I admit they look better than I thought they would.  She took a drive tonight and said they’re tons better than her old ones, so money well spent I guess.

Oh and don’t judge my painting abilities quite yet.  The paint isn’t very glossy because I just got done wet sanding it.  More paint hopefully tomorrow night or monday.  4 coats to go!  (Maybe more)

A few pics of Andrea’s car

Well, we’re really making some progress now.  Got two coats on just about everything except the front header panel/bumper.  I want to wait to tear into that until her new headlights come in on Friday.  No sense taking the old ones out.  Putting the old ones back in.  Taking the old ones out..  and putting the new ones in!  She got some (IMHO) goofy ‘euro’ headlights.  I called her a ricer.  But she got what she wanted and is happy, and that’s what’s important.

Here’s some shots with a couple of coats on.  Got one more coat, then wetsand.  Then three more coats, wetsand.  Then see where we’re at.  Black is a tough color so I might go up to 10…  just don’t know yet.  It’s not going to look perfect.  But I’ll get it looking as good as I can!

On to the next project!

Well today was the first real day of work on Andrea’s car getting it ready for paint.  Pulled a lot of trim and did a lot of sanding.  It’s gonna be a lot of work, but it’s definitely looking doable.  Thankfully there’s not near the rust that there was on my car.  But still a few spots here and there.

Andrea has been doing just as much work as I have, which I gotta say is pretty cool!  How many guys can say, “Yeah my wife helped me prep the Mustang for paint tonight.”  Just the lucky ones.  😉

Finally finished.

Well one stubborn axle nut and some rainy weather made for a worthless Thursday.  But I put the car back together enough to go down the street and get somebody with a real impact wrench to break it loose for me and that did the trick!  So here’s the rest of the junk I replaced.

Once the tie rods are out you can pull the pin and take off the nut for the upper ball joint.

Before the tie rods are out you can pull the pin and take off the nut for the upper ball joint.

Then remove the brake line bracket from the ball joint stud.  This will allow you to move the brake caliper out of the way later.

Then remove the brake line bracket from the ball joint stud. This will allow you to move the brake caliper out of the way later.

It might seem a little redneck, but take a sturdy screwdriver and stick it through the opening in brake caliper and into one of the openings along the outside of the brake rotor.  This will keep the hub from turning in the next few steps.

It might seem a little redneck, but take a sturdy screwdriver and stick it through the opening in brake caliper and into one of the openings along the outside of the brake rotor. This will keep the hub from turning in the next few steps.

Then pull the cotter pin from the axle nut and remove the retainer.

Then pull the cotter pin from the axle nut and remove the retainer.

Then get a big ass socket (36mm in this case) and loosen the axle nut.  This was the PITA part because the passenger side was really on tight.  Ended up having to take it to a shop and they broke it loose for free.  If you ever have to do this.  Good luck!

Then get a big ass socket (36mm in this case) and loosen the axle nut. This was the PITA part because the passenger side was really on tight. Ended up having to take it to a shop and they broke it loose for free. If you ever have to do this. Good luck!

Then its time to crawl back under the car and take loose the six bolts that hold the axle to the output shaft.

Then it's time to crawl back under the car and take loose the six bolts that hold the axle to the output shaft.

Then I took the brake caliper off and used a delicate and specialized tool called an old coat hanger to tie the caliper up and out of the way.  Then removed the rotor and then the tie rods using the same method as the last post.

Then I took the brake caliper off and used a delicate and specialized tool called an "old coat hanger" to tie the caliper up and out of the way. Then removed the rotor and then the tie rods using the same method as the previous post.

Now more of this fun stuff.  I finally got me a BFH and hammered apart the upper ball joint using the same pickle fork I used for the tie rod ends.  MUCH quicker with a BFH!

Now more of this fun stuff. I finally got me a BFH and hammered apart the upper ball joint using the same pickle fork I used for the tie rod ends. MUCH quicker with a BFH!

Once that is loose the spindle and hub drops down and theres FINALLY enough room to pull the old drive axle out!  Very gratifying moment.

Once that is loose the spindle and hub drops down and there's FINALLY enough room to pull the old drive axle out! Very gratifying moment.

The axle doesnt NEED to be out to change shocks, but there sure is a lot more room, so its best to do that before the new axle goes in.  First I just cracked loose the bolts holding the shock in the mount.

The axle doesn't NEED to be out to change shocks, but there sure is a lot more room, so it's best to do that before the new axle goes in. First I just cracked loose the bolts holding the shock in the mount.

Upper shock mount.

Upper shock mount.

Next, before I removed the bolts for the shock, I placed a jack under the lower control arm.  This is so when the shock is removed, the jack will keep the control arm from being violently pushed down.  If you didnt do this and you pulled the shock out anyway, the whole thing would to POP like a jack-in-the-box.

Next, before I removed the bolts for the shock, I placed a jack under the lower control arm. This is so when the shock is removed, the jack will keep the control arm from being violently pushed down. If you didn't do this and you pulled the shock out anyway, the whole thing would to POP like a jack-in-the-box.

Then its real easy.  Take the bolts out and the old shock slides right out, and the new one is ready to go in!

Then it's real easy. Take the bolts out and the old shock slides right out, and the new one is ready to go in!

BAM!

BAM!

Now I just basically start working my way back to the beginning, only using nice NEW parts instead of crusty old ones. The new axle slides in nicely.

Now I just basically start working my way back to the beginning, only using nice NEW parts instead of crusty old ones. The new axle slides in nicely.

Once its all back together, it looks good!  And is a lot more solid too!

Once it's all back together, it looks good! And is a lot more solid too!

So I just got it back from the shop and took it for a drive on the highway.  Runs right down the road!  Felt good to have the car back cruising again.  Looking forward to some trips now in a more comfortable ride.  Not that Andrea’s car isn’t comfortable.  It’s just not as… roomy.  Hehe.  So finally a project I can knock off the list.  Next, repainting the Mustang.  Plenty of pictures coming for that too I’m sure!

A lot of work… Half way there.

Well now that I’ve got myself a new job, I felt like I could devote some time to a project that’s needed done for a while now.  Rebuilding the front steering on the Toronado.  I got the driver’s side done today.  If the weather holds out I’m going to tackle the other side tomorrow.  I ran out of daylight, but mostly I didn’t want the neighbors complaining about me hammering on my car until the wee hours of the morning.

I tried to take a lot of pictures so I could possibly post a “How To” article on Oldspower.com, but I kinda got on a roll and in a hurry to get done for the night when I started pulling the axel out, so I’ll have to get pictures of the otherside tomorrow.

Pictures to follow are kinda close quarters, so here’s a basic image to give you an idea of how the steering linkage is laid out.  There’s some difference because of the unique nature of the Toronado front wheel drive, but the parts involved and the principle are exactly the same.

Parts Im replacing are the idler arm (opposite of the Pitman Arm) and tie rods.  Not pictured, but Ill also be doing the drive axles and front shocks.

Parts I'm replacing are the idler arm (opposite of the Pitman Arm) and tie rods. Not pictured, but I'll also be doing the drive axles and front shocks.

First I set the park brake and made sure the rear wheels were secure.

First I set the park brake and made sure the rear wheels were secure.

Jacked up the front of the car and removed the front wheels (realizing how much my cheap ass impact wrench sucks).

Jacked up the front of the car and removed the front wheels (realizing how much my cheap ass impact wrench sucks).

PB Blaster.  Good stuff for breaking stubborn nuts and bolts loose.

PB Blaster. Good stuff for breaking stubborn nuts and bolts loose.

First order of business was to tackle the idler arm.  This is the part that is worn out enough I was afraid to travel too far from home.  Two bolts are tucked inside the framerail.

First order of business was to tackle the idler arm. This is the part that is worn out enough I was afraid to travel too far from home. Two bolts are tucked inside the framerail.

Here you can see (sorta) the idler arm bracket bolted to the otherside of the frame.  The bolts are a little tricky to get to, but the radiator hose has enough give to make it doable.

Here you can see (sorta) the idler arm bracket bolted to the otherside of the frame. The bolts are a little tricky to get to, but the radiator hose has enough give to make it doable.

Once the bracket is off the frame, I took the cotter pin out of the nut that holds the idler arm to the center link.  Work it PB Blaster!

Once the bracket is off the frame, I took the cotter pin out of the nut that holds the idler arm to the center link. Work it PB Blaster!

And its off.

And it's off.

But oh, thats not it.  Now you have to hammer the idler arm apart from the center link.  This part took me forever, mostly becase I dont have a BFH (Big Fn Hammer).  So after an hour of hammering and coming at it from different angles, I finally got it off.

But oh, that's not it. Now you have to hammer the idler arm apart from the center link. This part took me forever, mostly becase I don't have a BFH (Big F'n Hammer). So after an hour of hammering and coming at it from different angles, I finally got it off.

There we go!  Old one off.  New one ready to go.  Very happy to see Made in the USA stamped on the new one.  This one is a good bit heavier too.  The old one you could grab the bracket and twirl the arm around like a noise maker.  The new one is a lot more sturdy and should fix the main problem of wobbly steering.

There we go! Old one off. New one ready to go. Very happy to see "Made in the USA" stamped on the new one. This one is a good bit heavier too. The old one you could grab the bracket and twirl the arm around like a noise maker. The new one is a lot more sturdy and should fix the main problem of wobbly steering.

Installation was just the reverse of removing the old one, only quite a bit quicker.  Its so nice not having to work with rusty old stuff!  But its important to have the idler arm mounted at the correct height.  Too high or low and it will make it difficult to align the car.

Installation was just the reverse of removing the old one, only quite a bit quicker. It's so nice not having to work with rusty old stuff! But it's important to have the idler arm mounted at the correct height. Too high or low and it will make it difficult to align the car.

Alright.  Drivers side and passenger side are lined up. Think of it like youre holding a broom stick level with both hands.  If you move one hand up, its going to push the other side down.  You want the idler arm at the exact same height as the pitman arm on the other side so the steering remains aligned.

Alright. Drivers side and passenger side are lined up. Think of it like you're holding a broom stick level with both hands. If you move one hand up, it's going to push the other side down. You want the idler arm at the exact same height as the pitman arm on the other side so the steering remains aligned.

With the idler arm done, I moved to removing the tie rods on the passenger side.  The idler and pitman arms hold the center link to the frame/steering box.  The tie rods attack the center link to the spindle, which is what the wheels are actually mounted to and the part that actually turns your car.  Removing these was much the same as the idler arm.  You remove a cotter pin on the nut, remove the nut, and hammer them out with a pickle for.  Fortunately these were much less stubborn!

With the idler arm done, I moved to removing the tie rods on the passenger side. The idler and pitman arms hold the center link to the frame/steering box. The tie rods attack the center link to the spindle, which is what the wheels are actually mounted to and the part that actually turns your car. Removing these was much the same as the idler arm. You remove a cotter pin on the nut, remove the nut, and hammer them out with a pickle for. Fortunately these were much less stubborn!

Removing the outer tie rod end nut.  You can see the brake rotor which is attached to the spindle by the hub.  This joint is what pushes the wheel to turn when you turn the wheel.

Removing the outer tie rod end nut. You can see the brake rotor which is attached to the spindle by the hub. This joint is what "pushes" the wheel to turn when you turn the wheel.

Hammer those babies out now.

Hammer those babies out now.

Separating the upper tie rod.

Separating the upper tie rod.

Old one out.  Now for the new one.  I tried to adjust the new one to the same length of the old one.  This will help keep the car close to being aligned correctly.  But its going to have to go into a shop for a professional alignment after all this work anyway.

Old one out. Now for the new one. I tried to adjust the new one to the same length of the old one. This will help keep the car close to being aligned correctly. But it's going to have to go into a shop for a professional alignment after all this work anyway.

From this point on I kinda stopped taking pictures.  But here you can see the finished drivers side.  New tie rod, new drive axle, and a new shock absorber.  I have to do the same thing to the other side, so Ill get pictures of the drive axle and shock installation tomorrow.

From this point on I kinda stopped taking pictures. But here you can see the finished driver's side. New tie rod, new drive axle, and a new shock absorber. I have to do the same thing to the other side, so I'll get pictures of the drive axle and shock installation tomorrow.