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The Day We Got Our Hands Dirty

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I’m so glad that I get to write today’s post. Of all the parts on a hot rod, this is the area in which I feel the most competent. And by most competent, I mean I didn’t walk into today’s build thinking, “Let’s see how this goes.” The first thing we did was reattach the front shocks to the upper shock mounts. This took a little convincing on the passenger side.

This is what frustration looks like.

Next we wanted to dress up the brake calipers with black paint. These are just regular Speedway metric brake calipers, easy on the budget, but not terribly easy on the eyes with IMCA and the part number cast into the piece. We will have front fenders to hide these bad boys, but they still needed some paint applied. #bucketbetty and #tinyt removed the long allen head bolts from the front brake calipers, which allowed them to slide the caliper and brake pads from the rotors. Then they were able to remove the flat plate steering arm and another bracket from the setup. Next, the brake rotor was ready to be removed – it was held in place by a castle nut and cotter pin. A special washer with a tooth-groove and two bearings surround the brake rotor. These bearings still needed to be packed with grease, so we set them aside for later.

This is celebration. Not the pre-shot before chucking it across the room. (We hear throwing stuff comes later.)
After weeks of lefty loosey, we’re having a hard time adjusting to righty tighty.

We were left with the lone spindles, which also needed to be painted. We decided to spray them in place, so #pretTyinpink masked the axle and covered the frontend assembly and frame to protect them from overspray. We removed the grease zerks from the spindles so there would be one less thing for her to mask. She also masked parts of the calipers with painters tape.

“I love tape.” – #PretTyInPink

#cuteasabucket and I degreased the calipers and spindles with a spray degreaser to ready the metal surface for paint. While we chose to powder coat the rear end and fender brackets, items that get knocked around a little like control arms, brake calipers and spindles can simply be spray painted too. We chose Rustoleum’s appliance paint because it’s somewhat heat resistant and dries hard, like an epoxy or enamel. #Cuteasabucket painted the calipers while #bucketbetty and I sprayed the spindles in place. Several light coats are better than one thick, sloppy coat.

So. Much. Better.

Trying to escape the fumes from the degreaser and spray paint (it was a rainy day so we painted inside – sorry maintenance!) we decided to pack the bearings in the next space over.

I’m always up for getting my hands dirty (and #pretTyinPink, #cuteasabucket, and #tinyT’s hands too.) The new grease is bright red and in our case we had new bearings so we didn’t need to worry about forcing out the old grease, which would have been a dark grey.

Tech tip: With a blob of grease in your palm, press the lower edge of the bearing cone into the grease and pull it towards you. Grease should have been forced into the lower part of the bearing (in between the rollers and cage, which are held together by inner and outer rings). As you keep pressing the bearing into the grease and pulling it towards you, slightly rotate it. Eventually, you’ll have forced grease evenly inside the entire structure and you’ll see it protruding from the top of the cone. If you’ve taken the proper of amount of grease, your hand should be fairly clean, with most the grease now inside the bearing.

Speedway sells a handy little tool called a bearing grease packer (910-89635) but we only had four bearings to pack. Plus, who would miss the chance to see #pretTyinpink get her hands greasy?

Sorry IMCA, we love you, but not on our hot rod!

And what’s a car project without a little indecision? Later in the day, we decided to go ahead and grind off the cast markings on our calipers. This included losing the part number which held –L or –R, valuable info in knowing which caliper went on which side of the vehicle. We stamped an L and an R on the calipers to keep them straight. Then we made #cuteasabucket paint them again.

What a week.

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