The project is beginning to take shape, as we get some of the parts cleaned and begin the process of selecting and putting things together.
The replacement front suspension came from Oklahoma on the ocean container and arrived here in Tarija by land. It has travelled 7100 miles from its previous resting place in a junk yard in Tulsa. At first it did not look very encouraging, but spraying with diesel fuel and then washing it with a 1500 psi power washer a week later shows that a number of the parts are not that old.
At the top you can see the comparison of the twisted original and the replacement.
You can see that the two shock absorbers are different, but at least the springs appear identical. This is important because the original springs were not matched.
I will still need to buy new bushings for the front and rear suspensions. The sandblasting process is a little dirty, but it gets the rust and stuff off that won’t come off any other way. Here I opted for a bee keeper’s poncho to reduce the dust.
The rear brakes do not appear to be in bad condition. Unfortunately I found that no shop or store in the city has a brake cylinder hone, so I will have to wait on honing the cylinders until I can import one.
Disassembly of the rear axles and bearings turned out to be difficult. First you have to take the universal joints off the axles, then take off the bearings. Obviously they had been there for many years. I suspect that the bearings are originals from 47 years ago.
First you can see we tried to use a manual extractor. When that didn't work, we put the first axle shaft in a 10 ton hydraulic press that turned out to be too weak. Note the pressure gauge in the red zone.
So we moved it to the 70 ton press, where somewhere between 10 and 15 tons it began to give. The second axle we put directly in the 70 ton press and it released at about the same pressure.
The bearings were stuck just about as badly. It took somewhere around 10 tons to get them off the axles.
The universal joints have no signs of grease. Just rust, wear, and ridges. I can find replacements locally.
I will have to replace the axle bearings with imported ones from the USA. The special design and angles of these bearings are unique. Here you can see the unique design and excessive channeling and wear.