Monday, September 12, 2016

She's On The Ground!

Scrubbed all the grease and glop off the power steering hose assembly, and then rebuilt it with the new high-pressure hose, and a length of "SAE J189 Low Pressure Power Steering Return Hose".

And I used the same hose on the short piece that connects the outlet of the cooling loop back to the reservoir.

Then I spent a couple of "pleasant" hours (I must be deranged...) putting everything back together. Actually, it wasn't that bad, as it's always a good feeling putting nice, clean, freshly rebuilt stuff back on the car!

Filled the reservoir and started the car, carefully checking for leaks.

WHOOPEE! No leaks!

So then I ran the steering wheel from lock to lock a few times, and watched all the foam in the reservoir build up and dissipate, indicating the air was getting bled out of the system. Topped off the reservoir, checked all the fittings for tightness after I shut the engine down, and all was good.

Fired up the engine again and bled the brakes by cracking open the speed bleeders, connecting them to a small jar to collect the expelled fluid, and slowly pumping the pedal a few times, checking the fluid in the master cylinder reservoir to make sure it didn't get too low and suck air.

Got a few more bubbles out of the brake system and decided it was bled.

Rolled out one "left" and one "right" wheel/tire for each side (the tires have a directional tread pattern, so there's a "left" and a "right"), got out my new lug nuts and wheel locks, and "hub centric rings", and immediately noticed a problem.

The lug nuts I bought have the correct 1.5 thread pitch for the wheel studs on the car, but the wheel locks I ordered were a 1.25 thread pitch.....RATS!

Fortunately I have more than enough lug nuts, but now I'll have to order some matching wheel locks in the correct thread pitch!

Drove the hub-centric rings into the back of the new rims with a soft mallet, and mounted the new front wheels and tires on the car. Dropped her down on the ground and torqued the lug nuts, and I'm done for the night!

Tuesday morning I'll do the final torquing of the lower control arm bolts, and the large nut on the end of the strut rod, and other than a front end alignment, the front of the car is (finally!) finished.

Say "Goodnight, Gracie".....


  1. Getting closer every day ... looking forward to your AAR after the shake-down cruise. :)

    1. Yup....Might have the rear finished today, as all my Supra buddies tell me even I can knock it out in one day!

  2. Replies
    1. Thanks!

      Got a whole new collection of skinned knuckles, bruised knees, and various other aches and pains to show for it....

    2. Hah! I've never worked on a car without getting that kind of collection, at least not anything beyond routine oil changes or minor stuff.

    3. Yup....

      I bought a sign for the new place in Colorado that says "Busted Knuckle Garage"!

  3. HA!
    That's why my internet handle has been Bustednuckles for the last 15 years, I used to do that crap for a living.

    BTW Jim, I LOVE the new wheels!!

    1. I knew I wanted new rims for this "project" when I first bought the car. Most of the super duper forged, lightweight rims cost $400~$500 each, and I just couldn't justify that amount.

      SO...I shopped around, and found these XXR 531 rims from Next Level Motoring in Chatsworth, CA, about an hour North of here.

      They're normally about $110 each, but as I was searching around, I got an email from them that they were on sale if you bought 4, so I scored a set of four for only $89 each.

      They're 16x8, zero offset, and look pretty nice.

      I'm "Old Skool", and I just can't stand the black rims. They make the car look unfinished, like when you were in high school, and popped off the hub caps to make the car look "lean and mean".

      To me, an aluminum wheel should look like and aluminum wheel!

  4. The alignment people will love working on a clean rust free car.

    1. The car was sold and lived it's entire life (until I bought it) out in the Riverside, CA area.

      Riverside is considered "High Desert", and is very, very dry.

      Except for 30 years of grease and road dirt, the underside of the car looks new.

      But you're right....ALL the suspension bits and pieces the alignment guys will have to work with will be clean, and dry.


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