Wednesday, April 28, 2010

A New Knuckle for Lucy

I hate being short-term memory challenged. I posted yesterday about my weekend’s car activities and completely left out the most significant accomplishment – the replacement of Lucy’s right-side lower balljoint. The new knuckle (I love GM’s term of steering knuckle instead of balljoint) showed up from Rafee Corvair last week and I’d borrowed Gary’s balljoint tools, so I was ready. My initial plan was to do the R&R (remove and replace) at the CORSA of Baltimore’s Saturday morning tech session, but fatherhood reared its rewarding head, and instead I helped take Mikhaila’s Girl Scout troop (led by the lovely Loriann) on a day of field trips.

Thanks to the all the anti-seize I put on the front suspension fasteners during Lucy’s previous front-end rebuild, all the nuts and bolts spun off freely and the lower control arm was resting on my workbench in less than thirty minutes. Using Gary’s circa 1960 balljoint press and the right combination of cylindrical spacers, I had the old one off quite quickly. Pressing in the new one, however, was much more work. I wasn’t careful enough and I started it slightly skewed. After a few turns of excessively difficult torquing, I discovered my error and repositioned the press. It took some more sweat-inducing wrench pushing, but I finally got the new knuckle properly seated. Reassembly of the suspension parts went smoothly. I even got the slot in the castle nut aligned with the hole in the balljoint bolt on the first try.

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