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Thread: The further adventures of #2613

  1. #111
    Owner since 2007 Farrar's Avatar
    Join Date:  May 2011

    Location:  Fort Lauderdale

    Posts:    4,767

    My VIN:    02613

    Club(s):   (DCF)

    Front suspension teardown & rebuild

    Quote Originally Posted by Farrar View Post
    But first, the front brakes...
    Ah ha, but no.

    After cleaning the area I'd be working in I decided to inspect everything before taking it apart. I found some things need to be replaced. After 13+ years there's a lot of rubber that has failed.

    - shock tower top bushings
    - upper ball joints
    - lower ball joints
    - upper control arm bushings
    - lower control arm bushings
    - steering rack boots

    I've never done such an extensive teardown of the suspension on any car before, but in 2003 or 2004 the previous owner had the car gone over thoroughly because he was planning to use it as his daily driver so I am hopeful that the bushings will come out without the need for a hydraulic press. I have a ball joint removal tool, but it is a hand tool.

    I am told that McPherson strut compressors are good to compress the front coil springs for removal. #2613 has Eibach lowering springs, but I don't think that will make a difference.

    Here's the plan:

    - replace all rubber bushings with polyurethane (already done on ARB)
    - reinforce lower control arms
    - add braces to lower control arms
    - replace ball joints
    - replace tie rod ends

    DeLoreanGo stocks all of these parts, including the UK-built ball joints and tie rod ends.

    It would be great, as long as I am disassembling and reassembling the front suspension, to replace the LCAs with DeLoreanGo's fully-loaded aluminum ones, but even if they were in stock that would double the price, which is why I'm planning to instead buy their LCA reinforcement plates and find someone to weld them on.

    I will have to paint the LCAs, and possibly the UCAs as well. I'm also going to inspect that area of the frame for epoxy damage. I may have to use a wire wheel to detach the black undercoating. Messy times are ahead!

    Any advice from someone who has done a front suspension teardown and rebuild would be welcome. Thanks in advance!
    3.0L, automatic, carbureted

  2. #112
    EFI'd dn010's Avatar
    Join Date:  Jul 2011

    Location:  Florida: Pinellas County

    Posts:    2,007

    My VIN:    5003

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    If you have a vice, you can try to accomplish the removal/install of the lower ball joints and all bushings using the vice and a few sockets. It isn't easy without a press but it can be done. Unless your parts are modified as in someone ground down the inside surfaces where the bushings go, they won't pop out easily unfortunately. The bushings also sometimes tend to press in too much on one side so you have to watch for that and make sure they go in as straight as possible.
    -----Dan B.

  3. #113
    Guy with a DeLorean Mark D's Avatar
    Join Date:  May 2011

    Location:  Stevens Point,WI

    Posts:    2,256

    My VIN:    6125

    If you're planning on removing ball joints, bearings, or suspension bushing then I'd highly recommend buying a hydraulic shop press. I bought one 10 years ago and I've used it literally hundreds of times for all kinds of projects. It's one of those tools that once you've used it, you don't know how you ever lived without one. They are relatively cheap and you'll actually save money in the long run vs having a shop press parts in and out for you.

    https://www.harborfreight.com/12-ton...ess-33497.html

    Another recommendation would be to powder coat any suspension parts you can vs paint. It will hold up much better in the long run. Most powder coating shops will also media blast the parts for you ahead of time if you don't want to do it yourself. Some can also e-coat parts prior to powder coating if you ask them, or can apply a zinc rich powder primer for even better corrosion protection. Powder coated parts are baked to cure the finish so all bushings would have to be removed ahead of time.

    For the zinc plated parts like hardware and brackets, brake calipers, etc. I think DMCMW is still offering re-plating services. I sent all my parts to them in a USPS flat rate box and they have a local vendor they use for plating. I had enough stuff to run all my parts in a separate batch, but if you just have a few things they can combine those with another group of parts when they do their next plating run.

    I've got a lot of pictures from when I refurbished my car most l have grouped into different albums in my profile here:

    http://dmctalk.org/album.php?u=269

    A few before/after shots and a some of the zinc plated / powder coated parts:












  4. #114
    Owner since 2007 Farrar's Avatar
    Join Date:  May 2011

    Location:  Fort Lauderdale

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    Quote Originally Posted by dn010 View Post
    If you have a vice, you can try to accomplish the removal/install of the lower ball joints and all bushings using the vice and a few sockets.
    I do have a good bench vise, and an impact wrench. I was planning to buy or rent one of those ball joint press kits - the kind with the C clamp and different sizes of cups and adaptors. Once I get the arms off, I can put the C clamp in the vise and away we go.

    Quote Originally Posted by Mark D View Post
    If you're planning on removing ball joints, bearings, or suspension bushing then I'd highly recommend buying a hydraulic shop press.
    That would be great, but there is no room in my garage for a shop press. Some day I will get one, though. At the moment I am in a garage that isn't even wide enough to swap out the steering rack!

    Quote Originally Posted by Mark D View Post
    Another recommendation would be to powder coat any suspension parts you can vs paint.
    I have thought about this. There is a powdercoating shop less than half an hour from where I live. Honestly, the difference will come down to how much money I have left for this project once I am at the point of reassembly. Their prices aren't outrageous, I think - is $48 to powdercoat a brake caliper reasonable? But I don't know how much I am going to have to pay a welder to reinforce the LCAs. So some things are still up in the air at this point. I'm not getting as much work as I used to (thanks, Covid) but there's always hope...

    Thanks, y'all!
    3.0L, automatic, carbureted

  5. #115
    DMC Timeless's Avatar
    Join Date:  Nov 2016

    Location:  SW FL

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    Club(s):   (DCF) (DCO) (DCUK)

    If you want to make the drive to Ft. Myers there is a great powdercoating company down the street from my office. Shipping costs wouldn't be too bad.
    ~LXA~
    Dunmurry | Stuttgart | Leipzig | Tochigi | Fremont | Bratislava | Sindelfingen | Kansas City | Oakville | Coventry

  6. #116
    Owner since 2007 Farrar's Avatar
    Join Date:  May 2011

    Location:  Fort Lauderdale

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    My VIN:    02613

    Club(s):   (DCF)

    Here are some photos of what I'll be dealing with.

    LH upper ball joint
    LH upper ball joint front.jpg

    LH lower ball joint
    LH lower ball joint front.jpg

    LH tie rod end
    LH tie rod end.jpg

    LH UCA rear bushing
    LH UCA bushing rear.jpg

    LH UCA front bushing
    LH UCA bushing front.jpg

    LH upper shock tower bushing
    LH upper shock bushing.jpg

    LH LCA rust
    LH LCA rust 1.jpg

    LH LCA rust
    LH LCA rust 2.jpg


    I've seen worse.
    3.0L, automatic, carbureted

  7. #117
    EFI'd dn010's Avatar
    Join Date:  Jul 2011

    Location:  Florida: Pinellas County

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    My VIN:    5003

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    I know the perils of trying to make repairs without the proper tools all to well, I've done this multiple times with the vice and sockets or a clamp, etc. so I know it can be done. I too worked many years without a press and ended up buying a 20-ton press maybe 5 years ago, one of my best purchases. As far as all the rubber boots being ripped, unless the joints are bad or you just really want everything replaced, you should be able to purchase new boots for them instead of replacing all the joints and tie rod ends. It looks like your upper ball joints were already replaced and from what I understand they usually don't wear out as fast as the lowers.
    -----Dan B.

  8. #118
    Owner since 2007 Farrar's Avatar
    Join Date:  May 2011

    Location:  Fort Lauderdale

    Posts:    4,767

    My VIN:    02613

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    Quote Originally Posted by dn010 View Post
    As far as all the rubber boots being ripped, unless the joints are bad or you just really want everything replaced, you should be able to purchase new boots for them instead of replacing all the joints and tie rod ends.
    You're correct, of course. There are two things I am considering with regard to these parts: First, the tie rod ends on this car are a John Hervey/SpecialTAuto-sourced product: I've heard that they are repurposed from a Volkswagen and can fail prematurely, so I plan to replace them for my own peace of mind. Second, the last few times I drove the car (sadly, over a year ago now) there was a loud "clunk" whenever I turned the steering wheel left or right, so I know the ball joints are suspect. Since they need to come out for the arms to be powdercoated, I can inspect them on the bench.

    For budgeting purposes, I always plan for the worst. If I have money leftover, hooray!
    3.0L, automatic, carbureted

  9. #119
    EFI'd dn010's Avatar
    Join Date:  Jul 2011

    Location:  Florida: Pinellas County

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    You're thinking of Hervey's ball joints being sourced from a VW (I was a lucky recipient of these and had one break on me while driving!), not the tie rod ends. The tie rod ends were easily cross referenced, I just can't remember from what - I'd have to go home and look at my files to refresh my recollection. However, quite frankly, if I had ANY Hervey parts on my car, I'd replace them, even the tie rod ends. RIP and all that but those parts sucked and could have killed me.

    Quote Originally Posted by Farrar View Post
    You're correct, of course. There are two things I am considering with regard to these parts: First, the tie rod ends on this car are a John Hervey/SpecialTAuto-sourced product: I've heard that they are repurposed from a Volkswagen and can fail prematurely, so I plan to replace them for my own peace of mind. Second, the last few times I drove the car (sadly, over a year ago now) there was a loud "clunk" whenever I turned the steering wheel left or right, so I know the ball joints are suspect. Since they need to come out for the arms to be powdercoated, I can inspect them on the bench.

    For budgeting purposes, I always plan for the worst. If I have money leftover, hooray!
    -----Dan B.

  10. #120
    Owner since 2007 Farrar's Avatar
    Join Date:  May 2011

    Location:  Fort Lauderdale

    Posts:    4,767

    My VIN:    02613

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    Quote Originally Posted by dn010 View Post
    quite frankly, if I had ANY Hervey parts on my car, I'd replace them
    We're on the same page, Dan! That's exactly my strategy.
    3.0L, automatic, carbureted

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