Fun with Eleanor: Part 1

Naughty bits

It is funny how sometimes the stars align, the square block fits perfectly into the square hole and maybe, just maybe, karma finally catches up to someone who probably deserved it.  Wait, what was I talking about?  Oh right, Jo Schmo has been very busy this last month and as such, hasn’t had much time to spend with his sweetie.  Between roadtrips to visit my daughter and having the time of my life with a dear friend, my weekends have been jam-packed.  This weekend I am fortunate enough to have no children and great weather.  Finally a chance to install all those parts I have been accumulating the last 2 months.  Follow along if you will, and see what I am up to this (4-day) weekend.
Ok, so here is what I started with:

  • Tie rods – 2
  • Ball joints -2
  • Sway bar links/bushings – 2
  • Brake pads – 2
  • Wheel bearings – 2 (each side)
  • Control arm bushings – 2 sets
  • Side marker lights – 2

So basically I am just going through the front end because on her maiden voyage, I had lots of clunkage and mushy brakes.  To be fair, I did order new rotors from Autozone but a few days later they informed me that they were out of stock.  That is ok as the rotors still have some life in them and we can fix that later.
Ok, let’s disassemble!

This all has to come apart

If it is part of the suspension does it really qualify as “patina?”  Anywho, since I can haz no rotorz we will focus on everything else.  After removing the caliper and the rotor I checked the bearings and they actually looked to be in decent shape.  However since I already bought new ones, they are going in.

But before I can do that I have to take everything else apart.  After the rotor came off, I disconnected the swaybar, the control arm, the tie rod and then removed the strut completely (replacement is coming in the future).

It is really quite surprising how heavy that strut is.  I had to ask a little kid walking by to lift it for me.  It has to weigh like 30 pounds.
If you can't fix it with a BFH and a tuning fork, it is unfixable

It’s time for Jo Schmos patented divorce ritual!

The tuning fork and the BFH is used to separate the top part but I FAILed to photograph that.

New ball joint installed!
And sadly this is the end of act one.  The next step was to install the new tie rod ends however Autozone sent the wrong ones.  Instead of screwing on they slid on and I reckon that is one thing duct tape could not fix.
Tune in tomorrow to see more of Extreme Eleanor Makeover!
(and incase everyone is wondering, yes that is an ancient dust-infested puke stain on the drivers door and grease prints on the fenders.  I do not have access to a hose or a carwash at this point so I consider it all “personality.” It is the way she looked when she arrived and I cannot wait until she is registered so I can take her to the car wash yeah!)

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  1. omg_grip Avatar

    nice. i will like this series

  2. Texan_Idiot25 Avatar

    Pickle Fork.
    That is not a BFH, good sir.
    Jack stands are a must, especially when whackan suspension.
    Also nifty trick (though too late), any time you have to pull off the brake lines, perch the bake pedal at about half-brake. This locks the sliding piston in the distribution block, and prevents the lines from dripping out all of your fluid. Saves having to bleed the MC too, which is a bitch.

    1. Jo_Schmo Avatar

      purging the brake fluid is on the to-do list so that isnt an issue. Thanks for the tip though

  3. Dr_Dangerously Avatar

    There's nothing a BFH can't fix.

  4. lilwillie Avatar

    Jack Stands, invest in them before doing anything else.

    1. Eggwich Avatar

      +1000. Then a dead blow hammer.
      Looking forward to part II.

      1. lilwillie Avatar

        Yes, good call on the Dead blow.

  5. dukeisduke Avatar

    Oh man I hate pickle forks. I've got one out in the garage, and I've wailed on it more times than I like to count. It's always good to hear that satisfying "thunk" when the ball joint stud finally breaks loose.