Friday, June 3, 2016

Hub-a, Hub-a Yum-Yum!!

Having spent way too much time recently trying to work out why my new engine wouldn't start, I finally cracked the problem and eventually got it chugging along very nicely. So now that milestone's been achieved, I'm ready to press on with the rest of the build and get the car back on its wheels once again. But if you look down to the front wheel arches you'll notice that there's currently nothing to mount the wheels on to!!!

So as you've probably guessed, this post is all about getting the wheel hubs back on the car. The reason I took them off in the first place was to get the old engine out and the new one back in. The rational goes something like this: The hub is attached to the driveshaft, the driveshaft is connected to the gearbox and the gearbox is obviously bolted to the engine. So because one thing is connected to the other, it was just easier to take the hubs out and store them away in the shed while the engine work was being carried out.

After searching round the shed, the hubs were relocated and required nothing more that a light dusting as they were still in excellent condition after the major overhaul they'd enjoyed back in this post here. Thankfully I'd had the foresight to put plastic bags over the CV joints when I'd stored them, so they were still very clean.

Starting with the passenger side, I gave the 'pot' part of the inner CV joint a good dollop of Moly Grease in readiness to receive the driveshaft.

Then it was just a case of offering up the driveshaft, through the hole in the subframe and plugging it into the pot joint. Now the tricky bit, while holding the hub, the top ball joint needed to be located. I found this quite hard as the hub was heavy and holding it with one hand soon became tiring. But after a little fumbling the top ball joint was in and bolted up finger tight. Phew, with that done, the nut can take the weight of the hub, so it gave my shoulders a break.

Now for the bottom ball joint, I found it helpful push the bottom suspension arm down with my foot in order to get enough clearance while manhandling the ball joint into its hole - it's certainly a workout, but after a little huffing and puffing, heaving and straining, both ball joints were home. The last thing to connect to the hub was the track rod end for the steering which was, by contrast, a very easy job as it just popped straight in with no effort. Once all three nuts were torqued up to the required spec of 50-55Nm, the hub was officially back on.

While I was sat there, I thought I might as well attach the brake caliper as it's only two bolts. Both of which were also torqued up to 50-55Nm also. For extra insurance, I always use threadlock on the brake caliper bolts. Once the brake pads were re-seated with lots of copper grease, the drivers side was nearing completion.

The last job involved getting under the car and sealing up the rubber boot on the inner CV joint or 'pot' joint if you prefer. For this, I have always found zip ties to be more than adequate as long as they are pulled really tight with a pair of pliers.

Initially it looks like this...

Then the boot is flopped on to the pot and seated properly in the groove...

And zip tie finishes the job...

And we're done on this side.

Moving onto the passenger side, things were hampered by a distinct lack of space because of a whacking great stone post, but it didn't stop the progress.

After half an hour of heaving and sweating, this side too was all in and complete with brake caliper. And not before time too as my shoulders were killing me from holding the hub while I worked.

The very last job of the day before I crack open a beer, was to get the road wheels back on...

I'm not sure why, but somehow getting the car off the axle stands and back on the ground feels like a huge milestone has been accomplished. There's still a ton of work to get through before the car is roadworthy I know, but still, the moment seemed special. A bit like seeing a long term patient get out of bed and stand on their own four feet again for the first time in ages! Anyway, as marvelous and as magical as this moment is, I've just remembered that there are some icy cold beers waiting for me in the fridge, so that's it for now. Time to kick back, relax and think through the next step of the journey... How to hang the exhaust...

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