Disc Brake Project Update – Stalled

When we last left this project, the driver’s side suspension was entirely disassembled.  Since then, I’ve made little tangible progress.  I disassembled the passenger side, although one of the lower control arm mounting bolts gave quite a fight, and removed both lower ball joints – after struggling with the driver’s side, the passenger joint slipped out quite easily.

I still need to remove the four rubber bushings in the upper and lower arms, but they are proving to be stubborn.  I was hoping to utilize a hydraulic press (one of the perks of working in a factory), but there isn’t enough room to get the arms oriented in the press correctly.  After a few abortive attempts using a bench vise, sockets, spacers, and a hammer, I’ve succeeded only in slightly bending the arm itself.  Looks like I’ll finally get a chance to use the air chisel I got for Christmas two years ago.

At the same time, since it’s coming out of the car anyway, I’ve decided to replace the old, loose-ratio steering box with a newer, tight-ratio box that I pulled, strangely enough, out of a late-90’s Jeep Grand Cherokee at the junkyard last year.  Doing this will eliminate the spongy, one-finger steering endemic to most 60’s cars.  Using the newer box requires some modifications, including adapter fittings (the 60’s hoses are standard while the 90’s hoses are metric) and a steering column coupler out of a mid-80’s GM pickup truck.  I also need to swap pitman arms from the old box to the new one, which gives me the challenge of opportunity to replace the seals in the junkyard box.

I’ve got the parts for the steering box job on order, and I hope to have the control arm bushings out this weekend.  Once that’s complete, the teardown portion of this project will finally be complete and I can start actually putting stuff back together.

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