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The Start

 

February 24

Today I started by priming the springs with anti rust primer.  I took them apart to prime.  While the springs were drying I finished the wrench I am making to undo the rear axle shaft nut.  Once the wrench was finished it was a simple matter to loosen the axle nut.  Some time ago I made a puller to replace the rear wheel bearings in my truck.  I modified this puller for use on the Riley and it worked great.

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February 25

Reassembled and painted the rear springs black.  Then I removed the left axle nut and pressed off the shaft.  I removed the wheel bearings from the brake backing plate.  Turning my attention to the rear brake cylinders and hardware I fired up the zinc plating tank.  I cleaned and plated the brake hardware.  Both brake cylinders had a broken stud.   Broken studs are said to render the cylinder scrap but I decided to try to repair mine.  Using progressively larger drill bit I was able to drill out the broken studs and tap the holes.  Then I inserted a 1/4 bsf stud with locktite.  Well I should have checked the old stud size first.  They are 1/4 unf.  Oh well it will drive some future mechanic crazy.

February 28

Today I spent all day on the axle housing and pinion bearings.  It was easy to remove the pinion roller bearing cups from the housing with a drift and hammer.  I had a very hard time removing the rear pinion bearing roller section from the shaft.  In the end I had to cut through the inner race with a rotary tool and a small cut off wheel.  Then if things weren't going badly enough I couldn't get the new rear bearing cup seated in the housing.  As I hit it with a hammer it made me question the wisdom of replacing the bearings in the first place. At about the 20th attempt the cup was tapped into place.  Before I removed the the old pinion bearings I measured how far the pinion projected into the axle housing.  I need to be close to this number with the new bearings or I will have to change the the pinion shim.  How?  I don't know.

 

March 1

The first job for today was to install the new rear bearing on the pinion shaft.  In view of the difficulty of removing the old one I was at a loss as to how to accomplish this with out damage to the bearing.  Then I spied the oven.  I heated the bearing to 350 F and it dropped in the pinion shaft with little force.  In seconds it had cooled and locked tight to the shaft. With the pinion  reinstalled I checked my dimensions and it projected exactly the same amount as the old one.  Yah!  I  checked the bearing preload and found that with the pinion nut snugged down the shaft would not turn, too much preload.  I added some shims to the existing spacer till I got the preload correct.  Was it worth it?  The pinion turns with a noticeably smoother motion so I guess it was.  The day was not done.  I made a new gasket and bolted the housing together with the crown gear and OLD bearings in place. 

March 2

Today I got the old sandblaster out and cleaned the rear brake backing plates.  I also removed the old linings from the brake shoes.  The fronts were riveted and the rears riveted and bonded.  I blasted the shoes and the outside of the brake drums.  Powder coated the backing plates and plated the shoe adjusting hardware.  Then a good clean up.

 

March 3

Assembled the new seals and wheel bearings in the backing plates, tightened and locked the nut then reattached the assembly to the axle housing.  I have been careful to label the left and right shafts and backing plates its easy to lose track of what's what.

 

March 4

 I honed and polished the bores of the rear brake cylinders an rebuilt them with new seals.  I also had to make a retaining plate for the left cylinder as it was missing.  I gave the front brake cylinders the same treatment as the rear.  The fronts however had broken seal backing spring retainer thingies.  I found an old seal kit on ebay and bought it for these parts.  The new ones are aluminum.

 

March 7

I powder coated the brake shoes then silver and plated some more hardware.  Whenever I think I'm done plating I find more parts needing attention. Looking at the Riley manual and the new brake linings sent by the club it was obvious the old linings were incorrect.  Now I have to figure out the correct placement. Riley forum to the rescue.

 

March 8

I figured out lining placement on rear shoes and posted a picture on the forum to confirm.  Rebuilt master cylinder the large plastic seal spreader in the club kit was way to big and I used the old metal one.

 

March 9

I need to press out the old king pins from the spindle housing.  To do this I need a hydraulic press.  I could bring the parts to some one with a press and pay them to do the job, easy.  I could buy a press and do the job myself,  harder but I would have a tool for the future.  I could build my own press using scrap steel,  really hard and time-consuming.  Can you guess what route I took.  Today I cut some steel I beams to length to start my press project.  

 

March 11

I got a response to my question about rear brake linings from the Riley forum.  I made a punch and an anvil for the lining rivets.  I clamped the anvil in the vice an id was easy to rivet the linings on.  Following directions I first set the rivets loosely and then went around and tightened them from the center out.

 

March 14

More work  on shop press, cut drill etc.

 

March 15

  Wow  little boy is 13 today.  Happy birthday.  How time passes.  I used the milling machine to make some parts for the press and partly assembled it.

 

March 16

Finished the press and used it to push out the steering arm from the spindle.  It came out with a loud bang. I set the spindle in the press and tried to press out the king pin.  I  applied more and more force to the pin but it would not budge.  I ended by bending the table that the spindle sits on.  Not good and kind of disheartening. 

 

March 17

Victory is mine!  

I reinforced the table and was able to press the old king pins out.  Then I powder coated the spindles and pressed the new pins in.  What a relief to have that over with.

 

March 18

Today started at the milling machine, I used it to drill small depressions on the king pin threaded bushes.  These depressions give the set screws on the trunions something to grip. I used the press to push the bushings into the trunion housing. ( see the press has already paid for itself)  I used a thin liquid bearing mount to retain the bushings and prevent grease from squeezing  out and contaminating the rubber bushings.  ( forum advice again)  When I attempted to thread the trunions on the king pins I ran into a problem.  One set fit fine the other was too tight and as I tried to screw it down it locked up.  What to do. It was the bronze bushings causing the problem.  I used the brake cylinder hone to increase the bushing inside dimension slightly.  One bushing only required 3 or 4 passes to fit properly the other more like 10 or 12.  Well I got it done everything greased and turning smoothly.  At the end of the day I took the frame off of the rotisserie in preparation for reassembly.