So, I got the steering box off the old frame and started cleaning it up, but before I can repaint it I needed to rebuild the Pitman arm. I didn't see any reason to try and pull it so I just took it apart while still attached. Removed the snap ring and pulled all the wet, rusty, and what looks to be mud covered parts. It was a little concerning since the internals really all just fell out, I felt like there should have been at least a little effort required to remove the parts. When I reinstalled the parts they went back in with a bit more effort from a brass punch and a hammer so that made me feel better about the rebuild and knowing I took some slop out of the steering and probably made it safer and more reliable.
None the less I took some cleaner and cleaned up the internals and got all the yuk out but before I reassembled it I went ahead and drilled ant tapped the arm so I can now pump some grease into it for a bit more longevity. It wasn't too hard and didn't take up much time.
So when I put it back together I just used my puller to compress things enough to put the clip back in, no real drama!
If you are ever looking for the baddest center punch you will EVER find, try to get a bit off of a coal mining machine, its some hard metal and never gets blunt!
I mounted the tank up in the frame using my old sending unit even though the float arm was wrong I bent it around a bit so hopefully it works fine otherwise it will be coming out. I kept the original sending unit since it has a pickup tube in it that I might use to feed from an auxillary tank that I have been thinking about. I would try to mount the auxillary tank in the back like the later vehicles did. The problem is that there are no mounts back there so I would have to make some as well as the attaching points for the frame. I am leaning just drilling the frame and using rivnuts rather than welding on it but that is another project for another year. Also I would need to figure out how to add a filler neck to the side panel, I seem to remember somebody making those but I just don't remember where.
My other BIG addition is the front sway bar since it was a pig in the turns and sometimes down right scary, so this should make it much more predictable in the turns. Since mine has a small 2" lift I needed to use the spacer blocks so that it doesn't try to invert the end links as well as provide a bit more clearance for the driveshaft.
I also got my Stainless muffler and tail pipe in but I am in need of the frame mounts before I can get up and in location. I decided to run a set from a NAS 90 since I figured the pipes would be a bit larger for the V8, which appears to be the case.....that should allow the 292 to breath a bit better.
I sat the engine down in the frame last night and now I need to get the rest of the drivetrain bolted up.....maybe today. Unfortunately the flywheel I got has the wrong size crank bolts so I will need to drill those out before I can mount it up and then the clutch assembly and transmission and eventually the transfer case. It will be nice to finally get the drivetrain in the chassis and bolted down because that means I can start bolting all the hair on the engine making it look more complete. I am debating if I fire the engine up prior to putting the body back on, that sure would make it easier to trouble shoot any potential issues.
Well the day started off with having to find a drill bit big enough to redrill the flywheel for the larger flywheel bolts because that is what the crankshaft has....which I didn't have and had to go purchase. Luckily for me I had a 11" flywheel laying around so I took my calipers and measured the hole size and with that off to the store to find a bit.....luckily for me the first place I stopped had one. Mission complete. The key in my opinion was to ensure the bit was straight to the project and did not walk around thus screwing up the alignment to the crankshaft. So I spoke to my brother who is a long time mechanic and he gave me a few ideas such as using the smaller hole with the same size bit to ensure alignment. When the bit went into the hole without being deflected or rubbing the sides I clamped the flywheel down tight. Once that was complete I swapped out bits and with lots of cooling fluid I drilled each hole nice and slow, repeating the same process 5 more times for a total of 6 holes enlarged. Glad that is done!!!!
Flywheel and pilot bushing installed.....a little red Loctite on the bolts and torque them to the proper specs and we are off to the next phase.
Clutch and pressure plate installed using an alignment tool and secured with new ARP bolts and torqued to specification, I put a little blue Loctite on these just to make myself feel better.
Transmission adapter ring now installed and secured......moving right along today!
So in preps for installing the transmission I got some long bolts and cut the head off of them and then cut slots in the end so I could get them out with a screwdriver later. These are alignment pins for the transmission, way easier than trying to hold the transmission and get it aligned and bolts put in!
Well the transmission is all in and bolted down....yeah! It did fight me a little bit though, I put some of the final bolts in and used those to pull the transmission in, but being careful not to put a lot of tension on them and bend or break something. I shook it and shook it some more and I even bashed it a few times with a dead blow hammer a few times but it wasn't moving so I figured it must be the input shaft teeth not in alignment. So I put it in gear and tried to spin the output shaft by hand but no bueno so I found my handy dandy strap wrench and got a good bite on the output shaft and as soon as it just turned a little bit it snapped right in to alignment and went right in. Woo Hoo! So, I got it all bolted down, with what seemed like a million fasteners and then called it quits for the day. Later this week I will gather up my transmission mount bolts and get the transfer case and mounts all attached and all bolted together. Making some good and big progress....it's been taking me a while longer than I had hoped but things are looking good so I won't complain.......much!
A few more things done, nothing tremendous or earth shattering but moving the project forward. I have several other projects which have been stalled for some time so it is really taking a lot of focus to keep this one moving!!!!!!! I had to clean up the garage since it was looking terrible with stuff EVERYWHERE! The nice part is that the more parts I install, the cleaner the garage and basement get. I finally got my front shocks tightened down because with there being no drive train or body on the frame the suspension was completely unloaded and the shocks were just a little bit past full extensions so I couldn't get the lower nuts on.
I put my new stronger hubs on the front and used some strong ARP bolts in them. I guess the next weakest link will be the axles but they will get replaced at some point in the future after I have some miles on all this work. A little bit of bling to go along with the simple black steel wheels.....I like it!
The next thing was to get the transfer case mounted up to the transmission which was easily done with no drama. I just need to get the mounts installed but I was missing the bolts so a quick order from McMaster Carr and now I have bolts......so that is tonight's project along with finishing the cleanup work and painting of the intake manifold. I am not putting the drum emergency brake assembly back on, I upgraded to a disc brake version.
Finally the engine, trans, and t-case are bolted down on there mounts! They fought me a little bit and the bolts I bought were too long so I had to cut them all down.....grrrr!
I also started fitting up the exhaust/intake manifolds and also tossed on the carburetor adapter just to see what it looked like, looking decent. I blasted the intake and painted it with some high heat engine enamel, pretty happy with how it came out. I need to figure out the bolt/stud arrangement for securing the intake/exhaust manifolds as I don't have anything to go by right now so I guess a little research is in order. Looks like the studs which will hold down the carburetor/adapter will need to be shortened a bit since they hit the bottom of the adapter.
Tonight I am going to work on getting the clutch slave cylinder bolted up as well as the dust shield and if there is time I will run to town and look for a starter and bolts. Then tomorrow and this weekend I will start on the alternator and Power steering pump....I think I am missing a few brackets and I am sure bolts because everything seems to be missing the bolts!!!!!
I have been working on it pretty much everyday now, even if it's just a little bit, but I have to say I am getting a little burned out. Lots of little setbacks which have been frustrating and time consuming and I am always missing the "right" bolt! 🤬
Starting to work the alternator and power steering mounts and still trying to understand why my starter won't fit through the dust shield. Pulled my rock rails down from the attic so maybe I will put those on if it looks like they won't be in the way too much. Maybe work on installing the rear hitch as well. Seems like potentially some small wins coming my way, which I could use for motivation.
I got a few more pictures to post which I will try to get posted this weekend.