05 May 2012

More DeLorean Work, Back to Brendon's

Cinco de Mayo?  Ha, more like Fixo de Loreo.  I spent the better part of the day at Brendon's again, working on the car.  This time, I tried to do most of the work myself.  Although Brendon and Paul was there to give a helping hand, or four.

Last year, we put a sway bar bushing kit in, whilst lowering and strengthening the front end.  There is potential migration of the polyurethane bushing with the original Front Sway Bar Combo Kit that I got and installed last year.  This could cause damage to the bushing, the solution is to add a washer to each side.  Misty and Toby sent me the part to do this upgrade when I happened to order a Steering Column Bushing, more on that later.

First up, the stainless steel washer.  Luckily, I have no damage on my bushings.

Washer needs to fit between the busing and nub on sway bar.
Removal of the sway bar was pretty easy.  Easy enough to do myself.  I have found that taking things apart is the simple part of repairs and upgrades...putting it back together is another story.

Sway bar comes out, remove bushing, slide washer in....

...pop bushing back on the sway bar.
 This will be the part where someone with experience comes in.  The sway bar is under tension, so putting it back on requires a little strength, and more importantly, some knowledge and creativity.  Getting the bolt to align with the holes is a lot harder than it looks.

Brendon successfully gets those bolts in.

Finally, washer is in and sway bar is back on.

Taking out the sway bar took about five minutes.  Putting it back on took about thirty.  I hope that I do not have to deal with this again.  I thought that was a lot of work, just to put a washer on a bar.  Little did I know that I am about to do next will be even more time consuming for how simple it seems.

Up next, replacing a  thirty-one year old cracked and deformed rubber steering column bushing with an updated one made out of Delrin.  I love Delrin.  Some call Delrin the Titanium of plastic...okay, not really...I just made that up.

Replacing this part requires removal of the steering column.  Sounds easy, but removal of the steering column requires removal of the steering column canopy , both knee pads on the driver's side, and the impossible-to-get-to-bolt that holds the steering column to the universal joint..  Again, a lot of work just to get to that bushing.

Finally, got that steering column out.
 Once the assembly  is out, taking out the stock bushing was the easiest part of the day. 

New bushing vs.old bushing.
Popping in the new bushing took a little effort.  Since it does not flex like runner, especially 30 year old rubber, it needed a little encouragement.  The best part is there is plenty of room in the foot well to work...for a contortionist.

So comfortable, that I almost fell asleep like that.
We encountered some problems when re-installing the bolt that holds the steering shaft to the universal joint. Lining up the shaft with the universal joint so the wheels line up the steering wheel, proved to be tedious.  Luckily, I made some marks and had some extra hands to help.  Securing the bolt back on the universal joint was another fun process.  Again, not much room in the wheel well to work in there.

Getting in there to secure that bolt.
Back in the foot well to re-install all the things I took out.  

See?  Plenty of room in there.
After hours of work...hey, it only took about eight hours, in what should have been about a three to four hour job.  Bolts kept stripping, holes were not aligned, cramped spaces, etc.  On the drive home, I did notice a minor difference in the steering, no doubt that bushing is well worth the time put into it.

Oh, I also replaced all the lug nuts with solid ones.  The stock ones were capped nuts...which can shear off...ask me how I know that.

Want more awesome car stuff.  You can check out Brendon's restoration/customization of his 1967 Pontiac Firebird, HERE.

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