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 Post subject: Re: Almost Rolling 944 Project
PostPosted: Mon May 15, 2017 10:53 am 
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Jessi wrote:
Just to let you know, it's been great following this project !!!
Please keep up the great pictures and simple explanations of what your doing.
I wish I had the hands on skills and knowledge you have


Thanks! At the start of this project the most I'd done was basic services and a simple job here and there... any knowledge is from this and other forums, youtube, clarks garage and the Workshop Manual. Any perceived skill is just trying, failing and trying again! I've not actually found anything 'difficult' yet, just a case of applying brain to a problem before applying BFH :)

Matt - thanks for the tip! I don't seem to struggle too much - that bush in the steering was a bit of a one off, but I will bear it in mind.

Not too much progress over the weekend, postie did deliver some more presents though:

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Helicoil kit, and two correct bushes.

First off I set about fixing the thread. I was a little hesitant on the helicoil, but there are a few accounts on rennlist etc of Spec944 cars running with this fix and reporting no problems after a few seasons racing - so with that assurance, out with the drill!

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Carefully tap the hole with the M12x1.5 thread insert tap and some cutting oil:

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And screw in the thread insert with a little locktite on the outside of the insert threads:

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Snapping off the tang from the insert would normally leave the little bit of metal in the chassis rail - and it's not as if I would hear it rattling or anything, but for the sake of neatness, a little bit of cardboard in the insert tool let me snap the tang off, and remove it from the hole easily:

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And it works!

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On final reassembly it torqued up perfectly - relief!

No pictures of this but I then set about removing 'new' control arm rear bushes without removing the control arm... bit of a pain! Some lubrication from spray grease, a pipe wrench and lots of twisting got the job done. I don't have anything to press the new bushes on so went for the 'whack them with a hammer' approach. The first one went on, but I did damage the rear end of the metal on the bush... for the second one I added a little of the spray grease to he surfaces. Still took some good whacks to get it on, but far less damage to the bush this time. Not a proud moment, but lesson learnt! Use a press.

Suspension went back together, and the toe in is visibly terrible! When one wheel is straight, the other is:

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Unfortunately I need 2 22mm open spanners to free off the tie rod end lock nuts, and I only have one. In my attempts I also noticed that one tie rod end has a split boot and figured I may as well replace them while I'm at it before I get it geo'd - so parts on order/work delayed!

I took the opportunity to give it a through clean out, hoover, wash and wax then get on with little jobs.... The rear hatch now works perfectly - press the button, pops slightly, walk around and open it. Makes me happy - always needed the key or two people before.

I also got round to finding the cause of a wobbly drivers seat... again. Previously the outer rear mounting was cracked, it seems the outer front was partially collapsed as well, and fixing the rear put more strain on it, it's now well and truly cracked, and the threaded insert had pulled out:

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A temporary fix of stacking some large washers under the seat rail so that the bolt pulls the insert against them, pinching the cracked metal and holding everything rigid has given me a rigid seat for now, but it will need some welding attention asap!

I also found out that my dead passenger window is down to a seized motor/mechanism... One step forward, two back and all that :roll:

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'85 Black 944 Lux (Square Dash, Sunroof Delete)
'09 Mazda 3 Sport, 185Ps, 400Nm (reliable)


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 Post subject: Re: Almost Rolling 944 Project
PostPosted: Wed Jun 07, 2017 9:45 am 
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Little bits of progress... I was getting it prepped for a geo today, but that's just been moved up to a week friday :(
On the bright side, that means that the springs that I ordered from design911 about a month ago might actually arrive and get fitted... if they don't put the delivery date back for a third time...

Anyhow, getting the old tie rod ends out of the steering knuckles was a right pain. I tried the method of giving the steering knuckle a side on whack with a BFH, the only result being a dented steering knuckle, so out with the pullers:

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Two prong pullers are a pain, but due to the brake disc being right there, a three prong won't fit. I moved to a bigger puller than pictured in the end, but no joy. Ended up winding as much pressure as I physically could with the larger puller, covering the rod end in shock and unlock (Penetrating oil + cooling) then giving the top of the puller a big hit with the lump hammer... It took a few attempts for each side, but they both came out in the end! I hope the new moog ones last decently as it's not something I want to do again in a hurry!

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I went with the MOOG replacements as most appear to come with a Nyloc bolt and I preferred the idea of having a cotter pin...

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Next up I figured I'd make life easier for the guy doing the geo - and probably cheaper for me - by freeing up the front camber adjustment. Turns out these are the most seized bolts I've found on the car yet... Having a 3/8" breaker bar as well as the 1/2" proved a life saver - although I could have taken the brake calipers off to give me more working room.

Both sides freed off and the bolt threads chased and eccentric washers cleaned up... All moving :)

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Suspension done (front at least...) time for a distraction. The rear wiper motor has always been stupidly noisy/grindy and has a tendency to stop half way through a sweep. Time to investigate.

To remind me how the wiring goes:

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Screws for the cover off... no wonder this thing is making noises!
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From here I did things in the wrong order... ah well. First I cleaned it out and packed the mechanism with fresh grease:
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Running it again it became obvious that the noise was coming from the motor bearings rather than anywhere in the worm gear mechanism. The tabs holding the motor to the assembly at the gear end didn't want to release, so I figured I'd see if I could open the motor from the commutator end and see if the shaft could pull through at all... If you ever consider this, don't do it! The shaft doesn't pull through and it's a total pain in the a$$ to get it back together!

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Brushes popped out... Best way I found of getting them back in and onto the commutator was getting them in position with a pic and pliers, then holding them in place with a loop of plastic - I used sellotape with the sticky side folded in on itself so I just had a thin, slippy, strong slip of plastic, then holding the ends of the plastic from outside the motor, slide the end back in over the commutator and pull out the plastic, allowing the brushes to contact the commutator.... It took over an hour and multiple failed attempts!

Next up - the stopping in the wrong place. Pull the C-clip holding the main gear in place on the back of the casting, and slide it out:

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Manky in there! Cleaned it all up with isopropanol:

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Those are the slider contacts that keep the motor spinning until it's resting position, no wonder it was struggling! Cleaned up with some 400grit paper:

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Much better. Gave it a thin coating of sillicone grease (non conductive) and popped it back together with a generous helping of multipurpose grease everywhere else:

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Back on the car, it's still a little noisy but a huge improvement, and now stops reliably where it should :)

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'85 Black 944 Lux (Square Dash, Sunroof Delete)
'09 Mazda 3 Sport, 185Ps, 400Nm (reliable)


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 Post subject: Re: Almost Rolling 944 Project
PostPosted: Mon Jun 19, 2017 11:11 am 
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Good news first... I have a working fuel gauge! The only issue with it was that dented tube :roll:

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Geo didn't start quite so well. Car got up on the ramp (After leaving a drop of oil on the spotless floor :oops: :oops: ) and was promptly diagnosed with shot rear wheel bearings. There was a decent amount of play in both rear wheels. I replaced those bearings less than 2,000 miles ago!! I was advised there wasn't much point doing a geo with that much play in the wheels, but after talking through how badly my suspension revamp had changed the positions, he offered to lend me his old laser alignment kit so I could have a go myself! (he'd recently upgraded to a hunter rig). I should add that he's a colleague of my partner, so we weren't total strangers... Still can't thank him enough! You may have gathered I like taking a shot at things myself by now...

So, car level and up on bricks to give me some wiggle room underneath:

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Turning plates under the front wheels, and the steering wheel stop in place. First step, checking the current wheel positions:

Rear:
NS Camber: -0.5°
OS Camber: -1.1°
Total Toe: 5mm Toe Out

Front:
NS Camber: -0.9°
OS Camber: +1.1°
Total toe: 18mm Toe Out

In my defence, I set that front toe by eye, and needless to say it felt very stable in a straight line... :lol: I didn't measure the castor before as I hadn't worked out how to at that point.

First off, setting the rear wheels. I'd bought the toe adjustment tool from eBay, so set about loosening some very tight bolts. Took ages, and then I couldn't free up the plates that need to slide against each other for adjustment. After much cursing I let that be. The current alignment isn't ideal and encourages oversteer (theoretically), but as I'm going to be there (re)doing bearings, it makes sense to take the arms apart, free everything up and do a bit of a refurb... Did I just turn that into a big job?? :|
Despite the toe in, the wheels are at least aligned with the chassis, so the car should go in a straight line!

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Shiny tool on the very seized swingarm...

On to the front. Access is fiddly, but at least all adjustments are either new, or freshly un-seized. Going round and round the three adjustments I gradually pulled it into shape. I struggled on the castor, as with the adjustment at maximum I was nowhere near the 2°30' defined in the workshop manual, I got the NS to 1° and the OS to 0.6°. The camber was set to -0.3° on each wheel and the total toe in to 1mm. In hindsight, I really should have evened up the caster to 0.6°, but that adjustment is a pain!

Back in the car, difference is huge. At centre steering is slow but precise, albeit with limited feedback, and a pretty sharp turn in once off centre. Due to the uneven caster (I think) the car seems to turn in sharper to the right than the left. I'll have another shot at fixing it one evening this week.

This is the first time really driving the car since I did suspension and steering - Previously the steering column bearing through the bulkhead was shot, there was play in a UJ in the steering column and the wishbone bushes had seen far better days. The difference all this and the geo has made is MASSIVE. Feels tight, confident and planted, no more vague steering or play in the steering wheel. So nice.

Now that I know the suspension isn't knocking, I have to find other causes for the remaining front clunks! I've realised one cause must be the engine mounts. I've known they're shot from the vibration at idle, but when I was playing with the geo I took a closer look and found I could dig rubber out of them with my finger nail. Yay, more pricey parts to order! While I'm there I think I have a small crack in my exhaust maifold that I should get welded up (and put end end to the current rather nice engine sound :( ), and also the Oil/water heat exchanger needs new seals I think.

That's my foreseeable weekends full!

Bit of a wall of text there... I'll leave you with our classy parking for the saturday night, one car on bricks, the other on axle stands! Our neighbours must love us :lol:

Image

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'85 Black 944 Lux (Square Dash, Sunroof Delete)
'09 Mazda 3 Sport, 185Ps, 400Nm (reliable)


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 Post subject: Re: Almost Rolling 944 Project
PostPosted: Mon Jun 19, 2017 7:35 pm 
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I'm loving the pairing, I wish I still had my FTO.


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 Post subject: Re: Almost Rolling 944 Project
PostPosted: Mon Jun 19, 2017 8:50 pm 
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I just don't like that it's faster than the 944! My gf never lets that one go. They do look good together though :-)

Even worse it might be being replaced by an elise, poor porsche won't stand a chance :p

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'85 Black 944 Lux (Square Dash, Sunroof Delete)
'09 Mazda 3 Sport, 185Ps, 400Nm (reliable)


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 Post subject: Re: Almost Rolling 944 Project
PostPosted: Sat Jun 24, 2017 9:26 pm 
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I do miss the handling, I had every confidence in that car.


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 Post subject: Re: Almost Rolling 944 Project
PostPosted: Mon Jun 26, 2017 11:32 am 
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944-Scott wrote:
I do miss the handling, I had every confidence in that car.


I've only ever driven it in grass autotests... Adding me to the insurance does exceptionally bad things to the price... I'm guessing something to do with it being an import? It is a car that just seems to keep going and going though!

Back to all things Porschey, I got another care package from the postie... well, two actually :D

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That's a pair of OEM Spidan (GKN) springs for the front (only a month and a bit late :x ), a pair of Hydraulic Engine Mounts from Rose Passion, and a set of seals for the door handles, because mine are tatty and I was paying for postage anyway....

The Rose Passion mounts are marked Hamburg Technik Germany, and have the correct 951 part number. haven't checked if these are OEM or not yet.

The aim on Saturday was to start early, do engine mounts and springs, then drive the Porsche to a mates BBQ mid afternoon. perfectly possible right? 8)

It started promisingly. I set about the engine mounts while my gf did the springs. I slowly took off more and more parts to get access... For mounts it I found I needed to jack up the engine using a big block of wood between the jack and the sump, drop the cross member (I kept the bolts in by a couple of threads, then removed them one side at a time to give myself extra clearance to get the mounts out and in). Also had to take off the ARB, PS pump adjuster and belt, intermediate shaft on the steering column, which meant pulling the steering wheel end of the column out, and loosening off half the exhaust manifold.

Three of the four bolts holding the engine to the mounts came out easily enough. The forward bolt on the drivers side mount was actually loose and rattling around :shock: :shock:
The rear bolt on the same mount was very seized. This bolt has an exhaust manifold directly above it, and the rubber mount directly beneath it, so no chance of a socket on either the nut or bolt, and not even a ring spanner on the nut. When you can get a spanner on, the space is very tight and you can only move it a smidge at a time. After being covered in penetrating oil and cursed at for about three hours, it finally started turning. I has space to move the ratchet spanner one click at a time - took ages, but thank god for ratchet spanners!

If it hadn't have been for that bolt I'd have got to the BBQ.

Once the right hand mount is out, it's then stuck in a space in the engine bay and requires partial removal of the ARB to allow you to squeeze it out between the track rods and ARB.

New vs Old mounts. Oddly the passengers side mount was the one with a big split in it... the drivers side mount looked and felt decent, but was the old design that was discontinued sometime around the early 90s.
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I ended up finishing putting the car back together on Sunday. I did make it to my mates, but took the Mazda and totally missed the BBQ :|

My gf fared far better with the springs though!

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Nice and shiny! Same procedure as when I did the shocks - disconnect the ARB from the control arms, compress the springs, undo the top nut on the damper, drop the whole hub and slip the strut out under the wing (I supported it on a jack underneath the ball joint). Swap the springs out and assembly is the reverse :)

After a drive of aiming for all cats eyes and (small) potholes to settle the springs, the front ride height has picked up a little and the car is looking far more level:

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Now it looks like it could do with lowering...

Stupidly I don't have a good before picture, and didn't measure the ride heights. I was in too much of a hurry.

Lastly I still had the laser alignment kit, so took a quick shot at that again. Everything had moved considerably from the new springs and playing with the crossmember. Caster is still adjustment limited, so set to the maximum it could go each side, camber is set to -1° and toe to 0.

The engine mounts have removed pretty much all front end clonks now, starting and stopping the engine is smooth, idling and driving is massively improved. It still bucks a little coming off throttle, far less than is used to, but still enough to upset the balance.

With the new steering bits, front suspension, shocks and engine mounts the car is feeling transformed. It actually feels quite modern and civilised! Somehow the list of work needed on it seems to be growing bigger and bigger the more I do though. Still, I'll happily enjoy it as a daily for a little while now :)

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'85 Black 944 Lux (Square Dash, Sunroof Delete)
'09 Mazda 3 Sport, 185Ps, 400Nm (reliable)


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 Post subject: Re: Almost Rolling 944 Project
PostPosted: Tue Aug 29, 2017 12:48 pm 
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A little update to say that... I haven't really done that much!

Mostly adding to the odometer, including a trip down to the Chilterns to pick up the new much faster addition to the family: (My gf's investment, not mine)

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I don't have a hope in hell of keeping up now!

On the greasy side, a small delivery courtesy of the latest EPC sale:

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Proper FAG wheel bearing kits this time, and a couple of flexy hoses for the front brakes.

First up I wanted to take a look at the rear wheel bearing wobble - jacked up, on axle stands and confirmed that I do indeed have ~2mm play at the rim on the nearside wheel, although it appears to be vertical play only, horizontal feels tight. You can feel the stub axle moving against the hub at the back too. First check was the hub nut - I don't have a torque wrench that goes up to the required torque, so I calculated how much leverage I needed with my body weight, and stood on the breaker bar at the right distance. Now I just wanted to see if it could go any tighter, and to my surprise it could - I put an extra half turn or so on it. Bolted wheel back on and couldn't find any play at all :D

I bled the rear brake while I was there and put everything back together properly, only to find I still had play in the bearings. No idea how I missed it earlier, but at this point I have no motivation at all to touch bearings, they can be a job for another day!

On to the front brakes. All the unions look very crusty and bleed nipples look likely to shear - I've not touched these before. I sprayed a bit of ATF/Acetone mix over the threads and left them. Half an hour later it all comes apart without much resistance :) How much of that I can put down to the penetrating mix I have no idea...
I checked that the bleed nipples would free up before touching the flexy lines - no point putting in new lines only to find you can't bleed them!

I hadn't realised that the front brakes would gravity bleed, so once the hardline was unscrewed from the flexy line was surprised by the stream of DOT4 coming out. Hastily solved by depressing the brake pedal and using a broom handle against the seat to hold it down, cutting the brake lines off from the reservoir.

Old lines, long overdue replacement:
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And new line in place, using gravity to do the bleeding work for me!

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Repeated on the other side no issues. The brakes have certainly enjoyed being bled as well, they feel far sharper than they used to be. One of the next items on the list is a refurb of all four calipers, once I've sourced all the parts. It's quite tempting to send them off to BiggRed and have them painted nicely too, but that would defeat my DIY intentions!

The new hoses are supposedly the right ones, and are the same length as the ones they are replacing, but when fitted seem to have some very tight radius bends in them, which only get worse when the wheels are at full lock:

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Is this normal, or are these shorter than they should be? (Or have I mounted them wrong?!)

My second MOT with the car is at the end of the month, and I need to sort out the side repeaters and sort out the hoses to the windscreen washer jets. Fingers crossed for that!

On the non-MOT jobs list, the first is a passenger door seal that doesn't allow the door to drain, it collects water between the door and the sill creating quite a waterfall onto the passengers unsuspecting feet when they open the door. Short of cutting a chunk out of the seal I really don't have any ideas for solving this... I'm shutting a twig in the door to break the seal at the moment :lol:
Then I have to sort those rear wheel bearings :(

Costs wise, I've just passed the landmark of spending as much on parts as I did on the car. It took me the best part of two years, and the car now drives so much better for it!

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'85 Black 944 Lux (Square Dash, Sunroof Delete)
'09 Mazda 3 Sport, 185Ps, 400Nm (reliable)


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 Post subject: Re: Almost Rolling 944 Project
PostPosted: Thu Jul 12, 2018 3:03 pm 
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Wow, almost a year since my last update to this! I've just finished re-reading the thread and wanted to say thanks to everyone for the help and kind words - especially at the start when I had no clue what I was doing. (who am I kidding, I still have no clue)

I've also realised that I'm pretty useless at doing work I'd planned to do... The brake calipers have had no refurb, and the new wheel bearings are still sitting snug in their boxes, buried somewhere in the garage.

The car hasn't missed a beat though. Covered another couple of thousand miles, survived being the daily for a few weeks without a hiccough.

I haven't been totally bone idle though. The rear wiper motor got swapped out to a new second hand one from Woolies, as did my HVAC fan - my previous bit of grease kept it quiet for all of a week. Small things, but satisfying.

The rips in the front seats were getting bigger and bigger, and a set of 944 seats came up locally re-trimmed in non Porsche fabric. These went in as a temporary measure until I get new seats I want or get my old ones re-trimmed. I have managed to get my heart set on early manual sports seats, they just come up really rarely and even more rarely at a decent price!

Still not got a proper picture of the new seats, but half fitted - passenger is the new one, drivers is the old (in case you couldn't tell...)
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I also found a set of spacers under the drivers seat when I took the rails off. Removing these dropped the seat around 15mm, and hugely improved the driving position. My knees no longer have to dodge my hands on the steering wheel on sharp corners.

The biggest single improvement to the car so far came in the form of some new wheels. I must have been feeling unusually flush, because I shelled out for a set of early turbo 16" teledials. And new tyres.

ImageImage

Goodbye old, Hello New.

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Pretty 8) 8)

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More importantly, a bit less sidewall has transformed the drive. Far less 'body roll', which was in fact just squishy sidewalls, far more confidence changing direction, much better steering and road feel. For the first time since I bought the car and the 'newness' wore off, I'm now tempted by the Porsche keys instead of the Mazda keys every time I leave the house.

Back to smaller improvements, the weather was getting faaar too warm to be driving round with a passenger window that doesn't open! So door card off, few bolts later and the window mechanism can be slid backwards out of it's sliders... Plug it in, and it works perfectly :evil:

Image Image Image

I took the opportunity to clean everything up - especially that grimy window glass and the seals - and put it back together. Hey presto, a working window!

While the door was all open I replaced the old door handle with the (badly cracked) plastic insert for a new later style solid metal one:

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I didn't have a new lock barrel with the new handle. Mine never worked with the key either (I have no idea what happened in this cars past with keys and locks... nothing good!)

No wonder my key didn't open the door though:

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A lot of cleaning, and shuffling the tabs around gave a silky smooth barrel that matched the key :)

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I then quickly found out that the barrel didn't match the new door handle :(

The new handle was from a central locking car, and my barrel from a non central locking car. Turns out there are three differences between central locking barrels and the older ones.

1) The 'rotation stop' tab at the end is a little thinner on central locking cars. That was easy to fix - file it down a little.
2) The rotation stop tab is 90 degrees out of place on the old lock barrel. That isn't so easy to fix... At least I thought it wasn't until I found that the spring mechanism provides exactly the same rotation stop for the barrel as this little tab should. As such grinding off the tab entirely makes no change to the operation of the lock so far as I can tell. Out comes the dremel. I'm not super happy with this 'fix' but it seems to be working perfectly well.

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3) Central Locking barrels have a gear at the end to engage with a plastic gear on the handle that activates the switch for central locking. This plastic gear stops the old barrel being fully inserted. I couldn't remove this gear, so I filed it back to allow clearance to the old barrel.

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That lot felt a little bodgy, but has resulted in the smoothest operating lock on the car :) Re-fitted the handle with the new seals I bought about a year ago, and it is a massive improvement. A bit of grease on the opening mechanism has made it a very satisfying door to open too. I need to do similar to the drivers door! I never use this one...

Now onto the interesting and currently unfinished bit - I have the same loose, wobbly gear stick as I imagine most people here do, or at least have had at some point. I looked into various ways of fixing the play at the front - mainly found the thrust bearings/washers method, and the 968 plastic bushes method.

I also asked a friend who spends most of his free time in his machine shop designing, building, perfecting (and then breaking :) ) a completely custom TT motorbike. He used to race it in the likes of the Isle of Man TT. He had a different solution to it. He felt thrust bearings were very difficult to set up to have zero play but also smooth movement, and he was very skeptical of plastic bushes giving no play. His suggestion was to drill and ream out the link arm to 12mm, and fit an oilite bush. This is essentially a porus, sintered brass bush that has been impregnated with oil for self lubricating. They're also nice and cheap and readily available.

So, we decided to give it a try. He's machining and fitting a new pin for the gearstick (I'm designing a high speed engine data logging and display system for his motorbike to help with his engine tuning), and I've been using power tools in my car :( (lots of cloths protecting everything, promise! It was that or drop the gear box to get the link arm out...)

Clamp link arm in place, and protect the interior:
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More cloth and a plastic bag to catch the oil I need to lubricate and cool as I drill:
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Drilled it out in 0.5mm steps from 10mm to 11.5mm, then reamed it out to 12mm by hand:
Image Image

Thankfully the gear linkage end had very thick walls to start off with, reaming out to 12mm has left plenty of material in place:
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Then press in the 12x9x14mm oilite bushes. I could get 10mm length or 14mm length - I opted for 14mm, press one in from each side, then trim the excess off.
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If you're paying attention you might have noticed that the bushes have a 9mm ID, so they are going to have to be carefully reamed out to 10mm for the new pin.

That's as far as I got last night... Heading to Goodwood for the weekend, then hopefully by Monday I'll have the improved gear stick and I'll be able to get it all back together and see if it's worked!

PS: Anyone is after a set of staggered 15" teledials, or ET23.3 cookies with a semi-passable DIY polish and paint job? I know I gave 15" wheels such a glowing review above, but I need to sell the old ones on now :)

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'85 Black 944 Lux (Square Dash, Sunroof Delete)
'09 Mazda 3 Sport, 185Ps, 400Nm (reliable)


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