This past weekend was pretty productive. Oddly enough, the jobs we thought were going to be easy, ended up not getting done, but the one thing that I was dreading the most, was taken care of.
First we started removing the shock place holders, but in the move from our last shop, some important parts of the dual-rate kits seem to have done gone missing, so I'm ordering those up today. That was a bummer, as I really wanted to see this thing on its own springs.
Regardless, the big thing that I was dreading was the inner axle seals in the front suspension. You see, when Steve decided to upgrage to 40" tires, we upgraded the axles to match. We got 1.5" 35-spline shafts and Dana60 ends to make sure the axles would have a chance to hold up to all that rubber. We ordered all new gears, lockers and a rebuild kit as well as 4340 shafts and 300M SuperJoints. Everything went together great, but when it came to putting the shafts into the axle, the carrier-bearing seals that came with the kit were for the stock 1.31" shafts not 1.5" ~ so when we went to install them, the new LARGE shafts would not go into the pumpkin. A call to all the major gear vendors, as well as some of the larger after-market guys proved that there was NO seals being made for the application ~ which I thought was odd since they made everything else.
There are axle tube seals that are made for those buggies with rear engines ~ and used in Spider9's or any custom axle, but the tube size they use is much bigger than what Cringer has. So, we consigned ourselves to having to custom make some slugs that would do the same thing ~ namely slip into the end of the tube and 'mostly' seal the tubes from the outside ~ but make them to fit our axles.
That is what Dylan's job was going to be this weekend. However, as we removed the old seals, we decided to try one more avenue that may provide us with a 'carrier-bearing' type seal. That is, take the old seals to a local bearing supplier and see if they can use the dimensions to find a seal that will work with our shafts. Good news, it worked. Finally ending up at Napa, they found a seal that'll work. Its not a 'carrier bearing' seal, but it can work. The problem, it wasn't in stock at that location. After a few hours of driving, we found a couple ~ and boy were they expensive! But MUCH cheaper than custom machining a slug. And not just that, the seals took only a couple hours to get, the slug would have been a couple of weeks before we would have had an actual finished product.
Once back at the 'shop' ~ we modified the old carrier bearing seals to help the new seals, that aren't carrier seals, to act like them. We then made a tool to aid installation and the new seals slid into place. WHAT A RELIEF! That was one part of the finish work that I simply didn't look forward to.
The other stuff we did was minor in comparison, but still we were able to get a few little things wrapped up. Namely, we bought and installed everything needed to fill the new steering system with fluid, as well as a belt for the power steering pump. We had not installed a new PS belt to this point because you don't want to spin the pump without fluids ~ it'll burn out the pump. But with 7 bottles of Royal Purple's Synthetic powersteering fluid on hand ~ dang that stuff adds up ~ we have officially got the steering system filled and mostly bled. We will be removing the ram for some specialized bleeding this weekend (gotta make sure the air bubbles are out), but in all, the fluid is in place.
The only other hiccup we had is while installing the new front shafts, the actual joints are a bit big. Between the stock D60 knuckles, the powdercoating and the enormous shafts/joint, its just a touch too tight. So we'll need to grind away some material off the steering knuckles before we finish assembly of the new shafts and front axle. Once that is done, we'll be picking up some lockouts and the front axle will be complete.
On the same note, I had Dylan slide under the Scout (on a creeper) and look at the Trans-cooler lines. 'See anything wrong' I asked. Straight away he noticed that when the exhaust was installed, one bend is a little close to the lines. So we removed the lines, took them off the inside of the frame and moved them to the top of the frame. Problem solved.
That's about all I have to report. The items left to do is: Install the front/rear shocks. Insure the steering system is bled. Clearance and install the front axle shafts as well as repack the wheel bearings and get and install lockouts. Re-time and tune. Test drive.
I'm hoping to finish this list this weekend, but I'm unsure how quickly the 'tune' portion of the job will take. Pictures: I took a few pictures, but honestly, my focus was getting work done and getting Cringer out, not taking pictures. I do have some, and I'll post those later on.