Friday, June 18, 2010
Rear Suspension Overhaul - Parts Return from Powder Coating
Yes, you read that entry title correctly. After a lot of back and forth on the subject, I managed to get the suspension parts powder coated with a turnaround of four days. I picked them up from Mike at Shore Powdercoat today around Noon and immediately drove them over to Don at Mr. M Car along with a box of parts he'll press into them over the next few days.
Overall, I'm very happy with the finish. While the subframe in particular still shows the deep scars of the rust damage (click on the pictures to see what I mean), I think I can rest assured that the sandblasting removed what remained of the rust and the powder coating effectively sealed the steel so it should no longer be an issue for the remaining life of the car.
I asked the powder coater to avoid sandblasting the smooth bushing surfaces on the parts but they did anyway. Fortunately, according to Don, that should not be an issue, and at least in the case of the RTAB the extra friction might be a good thing.
I also asked them to sandblast the parking brake attachment assemblies to clean them of a ton of crud that refused to come off with the degreasing agents and solvents I had on hand but I requested they not paint them because clearances can be an issue with those parts. They painted them anyway, and when Don saw that he expressed some concern about it, but I noticed that the parts seemed to actuate without any binding and they do look a hell of a lot better than they did. I guess I'll find out how they work when I attempt to install the parking brakes.
And speaking of brakes, I bent one of the brake shields trying to remove it from the rusted trailing arm last weekend so I ordered new brake shields at $15 each. Since they must be put on before the drive flange is pressed into the bearing, now is the time to do that. And, of course, I ordered all new hardware to go along with that because nothing looks more half-ass than new parts put together with old, rusty fasteners. And if you're wondering why I didn't just paint the fasteners, it's because the ratchet would likely mar the paint and the rust would soon return. The new fasteners are zinc plated and that should help prevent rust from forming for some time.
Before I left to go back to the office, Don mentioned he was still waiting for bearings for the differential but he expects to see them Monday. He also suggested the parts would be ready by the middle of next week. If he sticks to that schedule I should be able to begin reassembly Thursday or Friday. In the meantime, this weekend I plan to install the new fuel tank hose and a new muffler heat shield I bought to replace the original part that was damaged a long time ago when one of the muffler mounts failed. The heat shield is largely a cosmetic fix, but I've become very good at justifying such things lately.
Mileage: 193332, Labor: $295