Removing the front suspension/steering.

July 28th, 2011

Tonight I put the chassis up on axle stands, removed the wheels and started removing the running gear. No need for a jack, you can easily lift each corner of the car when it is in this state and put the stand under by yourself.

IMG_0257_1 Car on stands.

My next idea was to remove the steering column and box. This is only lightly bolted to the chassis and it flops about a bit. Unfortunately the joint between the steering box arm and the steering rod is seized. It seems to be a taper joint. I will need to get some PB Blaster or similar to soak it and hopefully loosen it.

IMG_0270_1 Steering box arm to steering rod joint.

So next I decided to remove the front body mounting brackets and front spring. The brackets came off easily enough. But when I came to the front frame casting I found a problem. Three different sized nuts had been used on the four threaded spring mounts. When I undid them I found that one of the threads was actually snapped. With everything apart I could see how bad things were.

IMG_0260_1IMG_0264_1 IMG_0266_1

Removing spring mounts and what I found.

As well as 3 different sized nuts there were 2 mangled tab washers, 4 spring washers (one which was bent) and 14 flat washers of various sizes. Yes, 14! Worst of all I saw why one of the U bolts had broken. They’ve been welded. This strikes me as an incredibly bad thing to do! The only thing actually holding the front axle, and therefore front wheels, to the car is those two U bolts to clamp the spring to the chassis and the two radius rods that attach to a ball joint on the chassis cross member. These aren’t U bolts you want to have fail!

IMG_0261_1 Radius rod ball joint.

I am making a mental note of all the holes in the chassis that will need welding up. The chassis has proper mounting holes in it where the saloon body was usually attached. This chassis has holes drilled in it hit and miss fashion where the aluminium body frame was mounted. I will weld all of those up and try to make my new body fit to the existing holes where possible.

IMG_0274_1 Holes in the chassis.

So this is how things look as of now. Once I get the steering all unhooked the front end can be removed completely. I can then look at removing the rear end.  The rear spring are quite interesting. They are effectively half leaf springs, quarter elliptic as they are known, attached to the chassis rails. So basically the rear axle is attached to the end of two long bendy bits.

IMG_0268_1 IMG_0275_1 Body on stands.

The other thing I checked was the amount of movement in the king pins. The near side one is tight. Possibly because it’s full of grease. Will know more once the front end is dismantled. The off side one has a huge amount of movement. Definitely not very good and something that will need to be sorted.

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