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The Day We Learned a Lesson the Hard Way

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Today we attempted to put the rear axle assembly (rear end) on the frame. Key word – attempted. #Cuteasabucket picked up the rear end and brackets from Bryce at Deuces Wild Powder Coating the night before our build. We had him sand blast and powder coat the parts to prevent rusting down the road. They were black, shiny, and everything we wanted.

At least they look good on the outside!

We were given a hint (thanks to a handy dandy boyfriend that was willing to pick up the rear end for us) that we might have damage to the races that were already installed, but we had no idea the chaos that would erupt as we dove deeper into the problem. We carried the rear end to the engineering shop so we could borrow their air compressor to clean out the inside, assess the damage, and ask for some professional advice. After #pretTyinpink cleaned it out the best she could, things didn’t look good.

Yes, we did get her to mess up her hair.

The engineers were suspicious that sand had gotten between our races and the rear axle housing. What we didn’t realize was that the races were already in our rear axle housing and they needed to be capped at the ends BEFORE being sand blasted! We rushed the rear end across the street to Speedway’s machine shop to be further examined. Indeed, the races had been ruined in the process and would need to be replaced. Our first MAJOR fail. #crushed

After air blasting, cleaning, using a slide hammer to remove the races; we finished with new races and bearings on our axles. T bucket – 1, Bucket Beauties – 0. It wasn’t life or death, but we felt a little defeated. On the bright side, we learned A LOT more about the whole rear axle assembly! We’ll chalk this one up as a “learning opportunity.”

Despite the whole rear end incident, we managed to get a little done on the front suspension. Mini wins for today:

  • Attached the steering arms to the spindles
  • Secured the tie rod between steering arms (making sure we put anti-seize on the bolts)
  • Connected the drag link from the steering arm to the pit man (after heavy research through old photos to find out which side what bolts belong to… thank GOODNESS we took photos)
The manual is our best friend.
Manual, picture, wrench, repeat.

Once all of that was assembled, we slid the grease-packed inner and outer bearings on the spindle and placed the disk brake over both. We locked it on with the washer, castle nut, and cotter pin. We ended the day by spray painting the brake calipers one more time for good measure.

So we made a mistake today. I’m willing to bet we make a few more along the way. We learned something and we’re moving forward. What more can you ask?

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