Since I don't own any air tools (yet!), I went to the Langley AFB Auto Craft Shop to remove some of the more stubborn bolts from my parts. The pallet donor company provided me with both 5 lug and 4 lug front end parts. Since there are a lot of parts still missing I asked them to send me some 5 lug components for the rear end so that I can convert the whole car into a 5 lug set up.
All I can say is that impact wrenches are the greatest! Using some liquid wrench and the impact wrench, I was able to remove all of those stuck bolts on the front end.
The rest of the day was spent touching up the frame and prepping the rear end for POR 15 the following day.
Time Today: 5 hours
June 3, 2001
Today I worked on the gas tank. I sanded some of the surface rust off of the top and also washed the plastic cover that goes on the bottom of the tank. The tank appears to be in really good condition. I also painted the rear end and the footbox with POR 15.
Time Today: 4 hours
June 7, 2001
After I got home from class tonight I decided to finish off painting my frame. There are a few areas where I may need to touch up but for the most part it is done.
Time Today: 1.5 hours
June 8, 2001
Picked up my parts that I sent to the sandblasting shop. I had the front lower control arms, coil springs, brake calipers, rear drum brake, and the upper and lower rear control arms blasted. The shop did an excellent job in sandblasting the parts.
June 9, 2001
Got up early this morning to work on some of the parts. I ordered some new Energy Suspension bushings for the rear control arms. The directions state that to remove the old rubber bushings you need to use a propane torch. I followed the instructions but for some reason, the bushings were very stubborn to come out. Three hours later I had only removed three of the six bushings. I took a break for breakfast and went back out to do the last three bushings. This time I heated them up to the point that the rubber started to bubble. Lo and behold, the bushing popped right out! Fifteen minutes later I had the last three bushings out!
The next task of the day was to cut the coil springs. I ended up cutting off 2/3 of the coil as opposed to a full 1 coil as the manual recommends. People have done it from zero, 1/2, 3/4 to one full coil. I would rather have the back be a little higher than a little lower.
After consulting with some of the different build sites, I marked the front lower control arms to make the notch that allow the front shock to fit. In my analysis I realized that the hole that the Ford bracket is supposed to mount in was not there. I guess with the '93 or later control arms there isn't that hole. No big deal, I'll just drill it later. To remove the metal I used a cutoff wheel on my angle grinder to make the two vertical cuts and then used my dremel with a cutoff wheel to make the one horizontal cut. That dremel is the greatest!
I spent the rest of the day cleaning off the parts that I got from the sandblasters with the POR 15 prep stuff. I also went to Advanced Auto to price some parts. I was planning on rebuilding the brake calipers but I found out that to get new ones (or professionally rebuilt ones) were only $32 each. If I had known that I wouldn't have bothered getting the old ones sandblasted. I also bought new front rotors and pads. I figure that if there is one place that I don't want to take a chance on, its my braking system.
Since Sears was having its Craftsman Club sale, I picked up a new 6 hp, 20 gallon air compressor to help power my air rivetor and other tools that I intend to buy.
Time Today: 9 hours
June 10, 2001
Before going to church I set up my brand new air compressor and painted the POR 15 coating on the rear control arms and coil springs. After church I finished painting the front control arms. I also disassembled, cleaned and painted the front spindle assembly.
Overall it was a very productive weekend for the project.
Time Today: 8 hours
June 17, 2001
Remnants of Tropical storm Alison came to town along with the nice weather today. Since it was raining pretty hard I decided to go surfing at VA beach instead of working on the car. Turned out to be a good call. Waves were pretty small but nice and clean due to the rain and offshore wind.
After I got back I did get to do more painting stuff to include touching up the frame and control arms. I can't wait until I'm finished with all of the donor parts prep work. It sure is taking a lot of time. I also finished installing the Energy Suspension bushings into the rear upper and lower control arms. I think they look great. I had ordered the FF5 rear control arm set but they were on back order. I decided that I would reuse my donor arms instead. I'm pretty happy with that decision.
Tonight I got to do some riveting for the first time in my life. It wasn't as hard as I thought that it would be. I first used my manual riveter and I didn't think that it was too difficult. I then tried out the new air compressor with the pop rivet gun. The pop rivet gun works like a champ. I think that it will save me some time and effort in the long run but I think that I could do this project with only the manual riveter.
The "F" panels are in and I'm stoked! The first step in the build process is complete!
Time Today: 4 hours
June 21, 2001
Took a day of leave from work and spent all day studying for my final exam in the evening. Didn't do much car stuff this week due to all of the studying. I hope that it paid off!
June 23 and 24, 2001
Spent most of the weekend doing stuff other than the car. I did get to work on the lower control arms by finishing the painting and also attaching the spindle to it. I needed to go to Langley AFB auto craft shop to use their impact wrench to attach the spindle. The ball joint spun too much so I couldn't torque down the retaining nut. Gotta love the impact wrench!
After golfing on Sunday with some friends I burnt out the bushings from the rear end so that I can install the Energy Suspension bushings. I also attempted to install new brake shoes in the rear end. It looks complicated but not impossible. I only got to one of the sides before I decided to call it quits on the rear end for the day.
I decided to try and install the front suspension components and that's when I realized that the lower control arms rubbed the round frame. I used my angle grinder to take off enough metal to make them fit. Whew!
Time Today: 4 hours
June 27, 2001
Completed the install of the front end components. Moving on to installing the steering rack! Check out the photos.