Coil Compresser inside coil spring (Small).JPG
(Size: 32.74 KB / Downloads: 217)
Coil spring inserted with compresser (Small).JPG
(Size: 35.65 KB / Downloads: 223)
Right side disassembled (Small).JPG
(Size: 58.41 KB / Downloads: 215)
Using pickle fork to disengage lower ball joint (Small).JPG
(Size: 39.39 KB / Downloads: 213)
Lower control arm removal (Small).JPG
(Size: 48.8 KB / Downloads: 211)
Jury-reigged coil compressor on shock tower (Small).JPG
(Size: 24.55 KB / Downloads: 210)
Well, I took advantage of the long weekend to finally get the front suspension project off the ground. There wasn't anything too hairy in doing it, but there were moments, and sometimes extended periods, of profanity-infused frustration (mostly in my head, but I kept the stereo cranked up just in case something slipped out)
They say that a poor carpenter blames his tools, but in this case, I had to make do with what I had available. The closest thing I could get to a coil spring compresser locally was an external strut compresser. By using half of it, I was able to jury-rig something that, when a large nut was tightened at one end, it caused a hook-like device to compress one side of the coil spring at the other end. You can see it in a couple of the pictures. Anyone with any experience in working on front suspensions will probably laugh their butt off looking at it, but I made it work, although it took a LOT of time cranking it tight and then loosening it, over and over.
Anyway, I referred to 72HCode's instructions along with the Chilton manual to disassemble the coil springs, perches, control arms, inner and outer tie rods, and even the pitman arm, cleaned up the fender wells and sprayed them with rubberized Rustoleum, and reassembled everything in about three days of off and on work.
The shop teacher at the high school supplied me with a pickle fork before I made a fool of myself rummaging through my wife's silverware drawer looking for one.
However, even with three sizes of fork to choose from, I had to resort to directly bashing the crap out of the upper ball joint and the outer tie rod joint to get them to release. The pickle fork worked fine for the rest of them.
I cleaned all the pieces up with a wire wheel on my bench grinder, a bowl of brake fluid, a bowl of vinegar, and a wire brush on my electric drill. The Auto Shop kids repacked the wheel bearings and after I get everything else put back together, I'll post another pic and get ready to do the rear suspension. I'll also go through the front disc brakes and rear drum brakes, and let you know how that goes.
I am definitely not creating a show car. I'm just trying to restore/modify this convertible to the best of my ability, and with as little money as possible. And I'm having a lot of fun at the same time.