January 1, 2007

Happy New Years!

On into the night, Guitar Hero kept us all entertained.

I used this shot to "elf" Dave. Surely the highlight of the night.

Party's over. Even Jommi's all partied out. But what's this??? He KNOWS he's not supposed to be on the bean bag chairs!

"But Daddy....I have one foot on the ground! Isn't that the rule??" What a spoiled dog...

On to some real work now. I decided to assemble the shock struts. Here's everything you'll need. The rod end came from AviPro. The jam nut is from the Wicks hardware kit. The bolt, washers and socket are just used to temporarily compress the spring during assembly. Everything else is from the kit.

Here's the first strut going together. This took some fiddling to figure out 'cause some of the parts were really tight fits.

Second time around, we took some pictures. First, polish EVERYTHING with some emory cloth, scotchbright or whatever. Make the shaft silky smooth paying special attention to the chamfer at the top. Be real good about smoothing out the groves in the strut housing. They'll have sharp edges that'll mince up the O rings. Then I smeared grease on everything and popped in the O rings. The grease is Mobil 1 synthetic, if anyone cares. I didn't choose it for any particular reason other than it's what the local auto parts store carried.

Assemble the guts and use the socket with the 1/2-20 bolt to compress the spring down. I found that compressing it 3/8" was exactly right to get the snap ring in. I didn't end up needed the washers. If I remember right, the socket used to compress it is 3/4" with a 1/2" drive, just like the AviPro manual suggests.

Then grease up the ends and skap it together. It took some pretty sharp taps with the hammer to get the bronze cap to seat properly but it did eventually go. Then I took out the drain plug and filled them with fluid through the shaft (without the rod end in, of course). I filled until the automatic transmission fluid came out the drain plug. Then I put teflon tape on the drain plug and rod ends and installed them. I additionaly greased the bottom of the rod ends threads just to keep it nice and silky. On one of the shafts, I had to run a 1/2-20 tap through it to clean out some crud...the threads were fine, though. Here you see them laying out overnight for a leak test after filling. So far, so good.

What's this? It's one of the mystery parts I had left over from the inventory. in fact, it's the ONLY part I had left that I hadn't identified. Tonight, I figured it out. You need to bush the rod end bearing to 3/8". A quick check with the calipers confirmed that these are, in fact, those bushings.

It's a very tight fit to install them, though. First, I put a SLIGHT (and I mean SLIGHT) chamfer on one end of the bushings and really polished that side to make sure there were no rough spots. I did this all with scotchbrite pads. Then I carefully lined it up so that it was dead straight in the hole. Easier sad then done, but when it's right you'll just barely feel it start to go in.

I considered lots of ways to drive these suckers home but eventually settled on using these vise grip clamps. Squeeze a litte, turn the screw a little, squeeze a little more etc etc. Worked perfectly.

So there ya' go...another mystery solved.

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