Today I started reassembling the chassis. The front suspension cradle was first. It is held on with long high strength bolts. Some bolts face forward and some back. Of course I got it wrong the first time around and had to remove the bolts and find the correct way to place them. Not the best way to start the day. Next up were those wonderful torsion tube bushes that gave me so much trouble coming out. I placed the rubber bushes on the tube and tried to press the whole assembly into the suspension cradle. This didn't work for me the force required was just to great and the bushes distorted preventing any movement. What worked for me was to place the bushes in the cradle and press the torsion bar tube into them. This was not easy and as I was pushing the tube from the rear the front bushing was also pushed forward. With the tube installed the front bushing was about 1/2 inch too far out. I tried to push it back in but no go.
More work on the left torsion bar bushes, I made some spacers and after lots of effort I was able to press the forward bush into its proper place. After the struggle of the torsion bushes, installing the suspension arms and king pin assembly was straight forward but still a lot of work.
Right side work today. Now a seasoned torsion bar bush installer I would like to tell you the right side was no problem. The truth is it fought me the whole way. I did manage to get the bushes and lower suspension arms before the day was over.
Finished the right side front suspension by installing the king pin assembly and the upper arms. Once this was bolted together it made the king pin incredibly stiff. I took the upper arms off and swapped them front to back and this cured the problem. The upper arms are all identical so I don't know why this worked. The torsion bars were installed next being careful to keep them on the same side they had been removed from. I then moved on to the steering rack and discovered I had installed the mounting brackets upside down. I dismantled it and reversed them. Thought it would be a pain but it wasn't that bad. With the brackets in the correct place the rack bolted into place easily. I left the bracket pinch bolts loose so the rack can be adjusted when I put the steering column in. The rear axle is heavy. Too heavy for me to lift so I used a ratcheting come along attached to the garage rafters to lift it into place.
I experimented with making a brake flare tool using the new shop press. I have always produced inconsistent results from my hand held flare tool. To make the new tool I clamped two aluminum blocks together and drilled a 3/16 inch hole through the joint. The top of the hole was counter bored with a 5/16 drill to a shallow depth. With the brake line clamped in the aluminum blocks I used the dies from my hand tool and the shop press to form the double flares. It worked great and cost a lot less than the 200 bucks I was going to spend on a new tool.
Installed the pedal assembly and front brake backing plates. I then started fabricating and installing the brake lines. I am using Cunifer copper nickel brake tubing and am very happy with the results. I was able to complete the rear axle and axle to junction block before the end of the day.
More brake line work today. I finished the 3/16 line and moved on to the 1/4 inch line used for the front brakes. The 1/4 is much harder to bend and form but with some perseverance I completed the brake piping. Somewhere along the way I forgot to order 1/4 brake line fitting so I cleaned and plated the old ones. Also I don't have enough 1/4 brake line for the reservoir. Just placed an order for 5/16 fuel line so any additional order will have to wait.
I reused the old front wheel bearings and installed them in the hubs with new grease and seals. I could not detect any play or roughness in the old bearings time will tell if it was a wise decision to reuse them. To install the inside bearing I had to make a wrench to tighten the large nut I had so much trouble removing on January 8. I could have used the large pipe wrench again but I didn't want to mar my new plating. After the bearings were in the hubs I installed them on the spindles using new dished washers and cotter pins. Next came the brake shoes and they went on with out any problems.
The 5/16 fuel tubing arrived and was installed on the chassis using a mix of new and re-plated clips. I need to install the fuel tank to figure out how the fuel line connects to it. I put on the rear brake drums and adjusted the parking brake linkage. Then I greased the parking brake cable and tested the brakes.
I installed the front radiator support and braces. The bumper and jacking points were bolted to the support. It was hard to remember how it all went together and I would be lost if I hadn't taken lots of pictures. Not many parts left in the cardboard boxes to install. I do still need to bleed the brakes. I am leaning toward silicone fluid.