DMC = Disassembled Motor Car
Quote of the Week:
"Wow... a new millennium. Maybe by the next one your car will be done." - Jason Matthews
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December 25-31, 1999
| It was a rather uneventful week in the Last Chance Garage. I spent five
days dealing with one bolt.
Remember my warning about cleaning threads on nuts bolts before reassembly? Well, I didn't take my own advice and got into a mess (well, I only had an 8mm fine thread tap, not a 8mm course one... otherwise I would have...). I was working on attaching the right caliper mounting plate to the steering knuckle when I suddenly snapped one of the grade 8.8 8mm bolts with barely any torque. Unfortunately, it broke off flush with the steering knuckle, so I couldn't just cut a slot in it to remove it. I couldn't find my set of screw extractors, so I ran off to Pep Boys to get some new ones, plus a few grade 10.9 replacement bolts, and an 8mm coarse thread tap.
I center-punched and drilled a 1/8" hole through the bolt, then inserted the screw extractor. Less than a full turn later, the extractor broke off in the hole. I managed to 'pop' the broken extractor out of the drill hole, and drilled it out a bit for the next size extractor. That one also promptly broke off in the hole, but would not 'pop' out.
I had to purchase a really good drill bit to drill the broken extractor out. By now, the hole was so large I simply drilled it out large enough to tap to 8mm. I cut a nice clean thread through the hole, and then while backing the tap out -- you guessed it -- the tap broke.
No amount of drilling was getting that baby out of there, either. Frustration, frustration, frustration... When things like that happen, I find it's best to just walk away for a while and a solution will just pop into my head. Eventually it did. I figured that the tap, while exceedingly strong, was very brittle. I used an air chisel with a needle point bit and went to work on the tap. It shattered into little pieces in just a few seconds of chiseling. I then -carefully- tapped out the remainder of the hole, inserted a longer-than-normal grade 10.9 bolt and put a washer and nut on the backside just to be safe. I don't really agree with the design of that spindle, as the bolts are being subjected to shear force, which is something a bolt really shouldn't be used for. In my opinion, it should be shear pins with a couple of countersunk set screws to tension the caliper mount against the spindle carrier.
But then again, I never had a car designed and built, either, so I may be full of @$#@$... My gut tells me to just trust Lotus. =)
So anyway, with that accomplished, I had the great pleasure of mounting the front wheels for the first time in 10 years. It's finally starting to look like a car again!!! Woo hoo!!!
|I then went to work on the back axles. After a little bit of work with
an emery cloth, I was able to work the hubs into the bearings in the hub
carriers. The two bearings are different -- one is a CR bearing, and the other is an
SKF. The side with the CR bearing spins relatively free. The SKF side is a bit stiffer, as it won't "freewheel" much after
I release it on a good twist. Something doesn't sit quite right with me
on that one. There doesn't seem to be any binding/rubbing/scraping/grinding, but rather just a snugness/stiffness
that might just be due to the bearing being new.
|Next on the agenda is stiffening all the body mount nut cages with epoxy
putty so the welds won't break again (2 have already). Next, I'm going to lay in the radiator piping and install the reassembled gas tank.
I'd like to check mine before reinstalling it. Actually, I may just replace it. It doesn't
seem to do anything but 'hum' when I give it 12 volts of juice. It has been sitting dry for 10 years. I suppose I should soak it for a few
days in fresh gasoline to see if it breaks free. But if it's one of the
ones with the bad check valve, I should just order a new one and skip the frustration.
A good car-friend once gave me a really important bit of advice about working on cars. He's absolutely, 100% right about it, too. His advice?
"There are two ways to do things... 'right' and 'again'."
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