Wednesday, February 22, 2006

Restoration Update (various pictures of the repairs made):

I had the original steel brake lines replaced (those attached to the calipers) as well as bought a pair of grease covers for the front bearings - even these are already in limited supply, I had to buy from two different auto supply stores. It turns out that the lines had been eaten away by rust and by just holding it with your hands you could literally disintigrate it! To make matters worse, the brake line fittings installed by the previous owner(s) weren't the correct length so there's always a constant leak of brake fluid. Luckily I have great mechanics! The new copper brake lines and correct fittings have been installed and ready for action.

While the shocks were being replaced, I also had the steering gear box overhauled. It turns out that the gear box didn't have oil at all and one of the bearings has already cracked due to the lack of lubrication! I had a hard time looking for the steering gear box bearing and the front and rear seals, but with perseverance it was all worth it. I had the gear box filled with Mobil HD90 oil (API-GL5). Luckily the internals of the gear box especially the worm wasn't damaged. Also had the steering pressure adjusted and now it's perfect! The play on the steering wheel is now down to around .75 of an inch (it used to be about 2.5 inches!).

I also had the idler arm brought down and had a new bushing machined (yes this isn't the original ones from Datsun where the bushings are made of rubber) from high density alloy (used for engine components). The new alloy bushing fits like a more slack! I think alloy bushings are even better and more durable than the rubber ones used in the original roadsters. Not only is the alloy bushing more robust, the fit around the shaft is more secure and firm thus less play on the steering wheel. Rubber VS. Alloy - I'll take alloy any day. Driving the roadster now is a real treat! No more playing catch-up and I noticed less vibration on the steering wheel. Worth every penny.


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