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1973 Rebuild


Matthew Abate

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  • 2 weeks later...

Well, I thought I’d be smart ad clean up my steering shaft with a wire wheel, but I wasn’t thinking about what I was doing and I hit the rubber seals on my perfectly good universal joint and ripped them off. Now I have a problem.

I know you can get a u-joint from a Land Rover that fits in these staked shafts from later 240zs, but it’s the restaking that is the issue. I can’t find a machine shop willing to do anything with a staked u-joint, including removing them.

Edited by Matthew Abate
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FF4F586D-FE80-4A23-9859-E204E5DC81FC.jpeg

Started cleaning up that steering shaft.

A414ADC6-1F9F-464E-B757-5A174F1EEB27.jpeg

The first bit was easy, but I didn’t cut enough of the staking off the last cap and I ended up punching through it.

9ADC6F90-8810-4BD1-985B-3B0487B16F9F.jpeg

It took 11 times as long to do the last one as it took for the first three.

BCCD4D1D-A8BE-4E7C-8107-F87CAD13B325.jpeg

I wanted to be very careful to not ruin anything, so it was a very delicate process of tapping various punches with the brass hammer.

B9CE6D9E-12EF-4079-B354-ED7B51C76B6F.jpeg

In the end I got it apart. Now I just have to wait for the new u-joint.

23B7F424-216E-42AC-AF43-52089F9883EE.jpeg

Next step is that wire wheel again, followed by paint. This was black originally, but I’m thinking of going with silver for the respray

Edited by Matthew Abate
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45 minutes ago, siteunseen said:

How's your engine build? I remember reading about the very meticulous guy's comments and wondered if he finished it up for you. I think he buillt aerial motors? 

Can't wait to see the finished car. I've been keeping up.

Yeah, my dad is doing it for me. He’s close. We ran into some issues with the machinist we went to and our head all needing different problems solved, but we are on track to be done real soon. Soon enough that I need to get the transmission sorted for when the engine shows up.

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Speaking of the transmission, I took some photos of my 1980 720 5-speed:

DFF836F3-38C3-4206-9096-BA8228658892.jpeg

AE85805F-F80F-4997-BF12-E931CB92FEEE.jpeg

CEFF7F55-FCD8-48AD-AE8D-E717A396E280.jpeg

01FF1FD8-BE3C-44D7-BE0A-8CD3B3953C91.jpeg

And the case markings:

3B616D24-8601-4C8E-A1A8-3665FB65F63E.jpeg

A079F67A-52F4-4FCD-ABD4-4B291B047FA0.jpeg

910E6CCF-6806-4E26-9DCE-E25D49DF4333.jpeg

The #1 indicates the following gear ratios should be in this case:

1    3.592
2    2.246
3    1.415
4    1.000
5    0.813

Same as the stock 4-speed plus an overdrive. Should offset my 3.9 LSD rear end for cruising.

Edited by Matthew Abate
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Okay, back to steering…

All my original parts are clean and ready for paint. The Land Rover universal joint arrived last night, and new hardware is on its way.

35F1F262-9E17-4F11-A267-CC531F9E0FDF.jpeg

The next step is to mic the LR u-joint and make sure it’s a match. Then I’ll paint the shaft parts and get them ready to go back together.

The u-joint is from FEBEST, which I have never heard of. Hopefully it’s not garbage. ¯\_(ツ)_/¯ At least this isn’t going to spin a whole lot…

1C532C72-BEF6-4AC4-8D5C-49508C1E8263.jpeg

FFBA5E91-73AE-44CE-B293-6A5A6B9866BF.jpeg

Getting the old u-joint out was fun. Since I blew through the top of one of the caps I spent 4 hours and a million different tools to delicately get the remainder out. I dressed the inside of the yokes and got it pretty enough for reassembly. They’re a little bit ugly but not where it matters. I still need to mic them, but I am reasonably certain that I did not open up the holes and ruin the friction fitting.

29EC63A6-A9AE-40F8-9988-B2CBF2E0CF58.jpeg

Edited by Matthew Abate
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  • 1 month later...
Posted (edited)

Had several setbacks this month…

Setback #1.

The u-joint was a major PITA to get in and I ruined the first one putting it in, so I had to wait an additional two weeks for a replacement.

While I waited I built myself a hydraulic press. It’s really just a box my bottle jack fits in, but it does the job.

E327D76F-6CD9-41A6-92BE-60F54501B650.jpeg

6B2A7550-464F-4464-8432-67B15E21D677.jpeg
 

With that I was able to get the steering shaft back together the right way. The u-joint isn’t as nice in real life as the photo on Amazon indicated. Go figure.

EC6EBC0B-4FC0-4F6D-BAC4-AF73C2374122.jpeg

A62F101C-944A-4B8E-AB5D-34089DF54FE5.jpeg

6FD215C8-72A5-4D07-9EF5-2B074E3A9E52.jpeg

FA029513-E9DA-4967-987E-3568F490CA52.jpeg

E71D2FCF-15AC-4DEB-AFDE-56A2CD7CD927.jpeg
 

Restaking that thing was super tough, but I got it done and nothing is moving.

—-

Setback #2.

I cannot seem to get the nuts on the tie rods that connect the lower control arms to the frame in the front of the car. Because the suspension is sagging they don’t protrude far enough, and the rubber bushings are brand new so they don’t give enough to cram it on.

This is a problem because I need my suspension to compress a bit to keep the brake lines from getting pulled taught and sitting there under tension while I do other stuff (yes they are the right length). Tightening this up will create the slack I want. Since the engine is out I have to figure out another way to get some weight on the front to settle things in place and get that tightened up. Sandbags maybe?

—-

Setback #3 (This really pissed me off).

It turns out the differential I bought that supposedly came out of a 2014 Subaru WRX STI is NOT out of an STI. If it was it would be the LSD I wanted. Instead it is open, which means it is from a WRX, Outback, or Forester. Unfortunately I’ve had it too long to complain or get any compensation.

So all that time and money I spent rebuilding it is semi-wasted.

The reason I noticed is I realized that I didn’t want a 3.9 rear end, which the STI also has. When I put the adapters in and checked the ratios this evening I noticed the sides rotated opposite directions. NOT AN LSD!!!

So what I have is an immaculate r180 with an open differential and a 3.54 ratio. Not ideal, but slightly quicker than stock. It’s essentially the same as the dif for an automatic.

Now I have to decide how much I care about having an LSD. Do I go buy the correct carrier from Subaru for $750? That’s a Torsten style and would be nice. Do I get a fancy aftermarket dif for over a grand? Those are helical and probably overkill. Or do I live with this thing on my bench. Easiest and cheapest but I’m the kind of person who is forever bothered by things not being “right.”

Putting my Datsun dif back in is also an option, but it would need a rebuild.

Anyway, on with the show.

Edited by Matthew Abate
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13 hours ago, Matthew Abate said:

Had several setbacks this month…

Setback #1.

The u-joint was a major PITA to get in and I ruined the first one putting it in, so I had to wait an additional two weeks for a replacement.

While I waited I built myself a hydraulic press. It’s really just a box my bottle jack fits in, but it does the job.

E327D76F-6CD9-41A6-92BE-60F54501B650.jpeg

6B2A7550-464F-4464-8432-67B15E21D677.jpeg
 

With that I was able to get the steering shaft back together the right way. The u-joint isn’t as nice in real life as the photo on Amazon indicated. Go figure.

EC6EBC0B-4FC0-4F6D-BAC4-AF73C2374122.jpeg

A62F101C-944A-4B8E-AB5D-34089DF54FE5.jpeg

6FD215C8-72A5-4D07-9EF5-2B074E3A9E52.jpeg

FA029513-E9DA-4967-987E-3568F490CA52.jpeg

E71D2FCF-15AC-4DEB-AFDE-56A2CD7CD927.jpeg
 

Restaking that thing was super tough, but I got it done and nothing is moving.

—-

Setback #2.

I cannot seem to get the nuts on the tie rods that connect the lower control arms to the frame in the front of the car. Because the suspension is sagging they don’t protrude far enough, and the rubber bushings are brand new so they don’t give enough to cram it on.

This is a problem because I need my suspension to compress a bit to keep the brake lines from getting pulled taught and sitting there under tension while I do other stuff (yes they are the right length). Tightening this up will create the slack I want. Since the engine is out I have to figure out another way to get some weight on the front to settle things in place and get that tightened up. Sandbags maybe?

—-

Setback #3 (This really pissed me off).

It turns out the differential I bought that supposedly came out of a 2014 Subaru WRX STI is NOT out of an STI. If it was it would be the LSD I wanted. Instead it is open, which means it is from a WRX, Outback, or Forester. Unfortunately I’ve had it too long to complain or get any compensation.

So all that time and money I spent rebuilding it is semi-wasted.

The reason I noticed is I realized that I didn’t want a 3.9 rear end, which the STI also has. When I put the adapters in and checked the ratios this evening I noticed the sides rotated opposite directions. NOT AN LSD!!!

So what I have is an immaculate r180 with an open differential and a 3.54 ratio. Not ideal, but slightly quicker than stock. It’s essentially the same as the dif for an automatic.

Now I have to decide how much I care about having an LSD. Do I go buy the correct pumpkin from Subaru for $750? That’s a Torsten style and would be nice. Do I get a fancy aftermarket dif for over a grand? Those are helical and probably overkill. Or do I live with this thing on my bench. Easiest and cheapest but I’m the kind of person who is forever bothered by things not being “right.”

Putting my Datsun dif back in is also an option, but it would need a rebuild.

Anyway, on with the show.

I experienced similar issues when replacing the U-joints in the steering shaft for my 70 Z and, like you, butchered one of the replacements in the process of trying to install it.  I had to cut the trunnion pin off the spider before I could get it out of the yoke.  Small job.  Big PITA.

p.s. I like your 'budget' hydraulic press.  Very resourceful.

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21 hours ago, Matthew Abate said:

Setback #2.

I cannot seem to get the nuts on the tie rods that connect the lower control arms to the frame in the front of the car. Because the suspension is sagging they don’t protrude far enough, and the rubber bushings are brand new so they don’t give enough to cram it on.

This is a problem because I need my suspension to compress a bit to keep the brake lines from getting pulled taught and sitting there under tension while I do other stuff (yes they are the right length). Tightening this up will create the slack I want. Since the engine is out I have to figure out another way to get some weight on the front to settle things in place and get that tightened up. Sandbags maybe?

Do you think you could fit in a set of spring compressors like this to get the suspension to compress? https://www.harborfreight.com/macpherson-strut-spring-compressor-set-63262.html

Photos of how you are trying to do it would help with getting suggestions. Is the engine in the car?

When I replaced front bushings a lifetime ago, I used a floor jack to lift the control arm into place. The car was on jack stands on the front. The rear wheels were sitting on the ground.

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10 hours ago, SteveJ said:

Do you think you could fit in a set of spring compressors like this to get the suspension to compress? https://www.harborfreight.com/macpherson-strut-spring-compressor-set-63262.html

Photos of how you are trying to do it would help with getting suggestions. Is the engine in the car?

When I replaced front bushings a lifetime ago, I used a floor jack to lift the control arm into place. The car was on jack stands on the front. The rear wheels were sitting on the ground.

I have the car in four jack stands and it’s nearly empty (no engine, no interior).

I tried spring compressors but they don’t fit in the space around the spring. I also tried using four ratcheting tie down straps but it started to feel dangerous so I abandoned that route.

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Posted (edited)
On 3/3/2022 at 6:47 AM, SteveJ said:

It sounds like you're in a tricky position unless you can tie the radiator support down to the floor or at least to something heavy. 

I was making it WAY WAY WAY more complicated than it needed to be. The bushings are rubber so they’re pretty soft. Cleaning up the threads and two carpenter’s clamps did the trick.

2DB96B7E-9E40-4AB9-AC97-C251AB2A8551.jpeg

71FC1F7D-F80D-4555-84D7-B3EC4FF1693F.jpeg

911EA395-FFB4-4764-A107-DE0908029862.jpeg
 

I’m going to wait until the engine is in to torque them. Right now they are just on to the nylon so I don’t have to worry about the single-use factor.

Edited by Matthew Abate
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Posted (edited)

Getting this tension rods tighter meant I could move back to the brakes. I now have a complete system between the distribution block and all four calipers.

EF3A6CE2-5F56-4315-91A4-9144139E58EE.jpeg

158BEE3E-596E-44C3-9845-C4E3A24C146F.jpeg

Now I will check my torque on all of the fittings. Then I can go back to rebuilding my master cylinder and start thinking about rehabilitating my pedal box.

Edited by Matthew Abate
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  • 2 weeks later...
  • 1 month later...
Posted (edited)

Back together:

EBD74B5E-83FF-45A4-8738-2EFD4E3B148E.jpeg

3811735A-61D5-405C-BBBB-F9937C959973.jpeg

03BD4D0C-E643-43B2-BA5A-5E6A01E280FE.jpeg
 

I found this component to be a pretty simple refresh project… if you don’t try to pull the bearings or the plastic bushing out of the column as I’ve seen done in other threads. I used a variety of degreasing sprays, patience, time, and gravity to clear everything out. I think eight rounds and it was flushing out clean. Then repacked the bearings using more patience and a syringe full of grease. It took way too long but it worked.

Primer and paint were harder given the poor weather in the north east over the last several weeks. It took a full week for each coat to completely cure. And that’s in the heated garage with a dehumidifier running 24/7. Hence the drawn out timing of this process.

Edited by Matthew Abate
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