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The Day We Locked Our Nuts

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After what felt likes weeks of failure, this week, we dominated. And by dominated, I clearly mean that we didn’t break anything, destroy anything or ruin something – and THAT felt good!

It was the second early morning workday of the week (we’ve moved to two-a-weeks, and if this feels this hard, I can’t imagine what two-a-days feel like for high school sports) and we were tired. We started slow, replacing the standard nuts with nylocks. These suckers have a little seal at the end of the nut to help ensure nothing jiggles loose while driving around. You turn to nylocks on the FINAL assemble when you won’t need to undo anything anymore, because once you remove these, they are useless. Pro tip: If the nylocks aren’t engaged, they aren’t locking the nut. Sometimes you need a shorter nut. Make sure you’re hitting the seal!

Even the simple task of wrenching on bolts is more difficult at 7am.

With all the ‘opportunities’ we’d run into working through the rear end – we decided it was in our best interest to have a ‘professional’ check the front end out as well. Which, was absolutely the right thing to do as we realized we were missing a seal in our front brakes.

It wasn’t there when we disassembled it, so we didn’t even realize it was missing, but did explain why we had a little bit of trouble getting the brake rotor on the spindle… so #hotwheelhoney took to getting it into place and then #cuteasabucket helped reassemble the brakes onto the spindles one last time.

Our favorite thing. Slamming something into place with a mallet.

With the brakes OFFICIALLY built correctly, we decided to commit – and we put the cotter pin into the castle nut to LOCK everything together.

Is it just me, or does that look extremely official?

Fun fact: You place cotter pins into openings as another way to lock something into place. Shove through a hole, bend and then cut using some wire cutters. Easy right? Some of us struggled a bit with that “easy snip” part.

This is what “put your whole body into it” looks like…
This may have been the easiest moment of the entire build.

We saved the best part for last on this build day. Adding the gasket to the pumpkin and then putting the third-member and axles back in the rear. Did you just breathe in deeply in suspense? I get it. We were worried too. Since we had redone the rear, we needed to re-add a gasket and to help with that #HotWheelHoney had grabbed some gasket seal from the auto parts store down the road. We followed the directions (we’re getting GREAT at that), adding a thin layer, giving it a minute to skin and then adhered the gasket to the rear end.

From there, the moment of truth. Getting the third member back onto the rear end. Again, being cautious after a few hazardous weeks, we asked an expert to come supervise. We discussed our options. He recommended using a jack to get it into place and lift it. But we were feeling determined (read: stubborn) so we decided to lift it by hand. And by we, I mean #hotwheelhoney and #tinyt.

Two women strong-arming something into place. One very nervous man.

And it worked. Flawlessly.

Sure, once we got it on we put a nice little jack stand under it for good measure while we bolted it on.

This might also be the moment we realized that we potentially should have painted the third member to match our newly painted rear end. But hey, contrast is important right? Yup. We’re going with it. And after that brief moment for pause and reflection – we grabbed the axles. Which involved some rotating and patience to get them into the right spot as everything turns-like doing a puzzle, but with your eyes closed.

If that face doesn’t scream success, I don’t know what does!

With the axles back in, and about ten minutes left of our build day, we started work on the rear brakes. Again we consulted our T-Bucket manual (broken record, we know) and ‘before’ photos to help us figure out the order of brackets on the rear brakes. Turns out there’s quite a few pieces to bolt together and not a whole lot of space.

The face of serious concentration.

Calipers on, all brake lines in and rotors on the front means we’re ALMOST ready to get the brake fluid in and bleed the brakes. Get excited to read about THAT adventure on Friday! It was a great week. Full of progress, big changes and lots of smiles. I wouldn’t be mad if every week from here on out turns just exactly as this one did!

I’m SO ready to cruise…

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