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 Post Posted: Wed Oct 21, 2015 2:16 pm 
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Joined: Tue Nov 27, 2012 11:59 am
Posts: 384
Location: Sunshine Coast, Qld
For those not sure where to start I thought I would put together a bit of a "How To" and give builders (and potential builders I suppose) an idea of what order to proceed in.

First things first - Order a kit!

Next - Wait.......

Then some months later get excited, tear into our packaging with vigor and try to nut out where the hell everything might go. I started with a steering rack in 2006 so lets do the same.

Take one Tri Pod 1 chassis and one steering rack kit including bushes, fasteners and clamps and set to.

Parts -

1) Steering rack
2) 1 saddle clamp (if supplied two, use the skinnier one as per the pic below)
3) 1 flat clamp piece
4) 4 M8 x 25mm cap head screws
5) 4 Nyloc M8 nuts (3 x plus one non locking 1 for those with dodgy wrists etc)
6) 8 M8 washers
7) 1 bit of shim material, rubber or steel or ali. 40 x 25mm and about 3-5mm thick.

Its all a bit obvious how it goes really but a few handy hints...

The LHS bush (on a RHD) goes backwards to the way it did in a Ford Escort. As per the pic it fits fine. Yes it doesn't quite meet at the backside but all will be fine when it is bolted up. Yes many of you have been supplied the original Ford spec flat clamp which has the wrong hole spacing but more recent clients will have a correctly sized piece. Resize the holes by slotting them with a rat tail file or make a new one out of 25mm flat bar. At least 3mm thick. The hole spacing is 71mm centre to centre. Make it about 92 mm long.

You will want to 'shim' the flat clamp to force the bush and rack forward/fully home once bolted up tight.

Yes the lower bolts are a cow to get to. Persist with an IKEA style crap hex key and you will get there. Using a non nyloc nut on the lower drivers side bolt is the cheats way. Its unlikely to come loose, but maybe Locktite it if you like.

Once all bolted up make sure its straight and level. It should be parallel with the bulkhead in one plane and parallel with the floor in the other. A quick look at how the gaiters are sitting relative to the chassis as per pic below will give you a quick clue. Yes the gaiters pass very close to the chassis...

If the rack is not quite right in the longitudinal domain shim as nessessary, if its not level...... we stuffed up. Obviously if its out by 2-3 mm it isn't going to make a difference and I don't think we have had one out by more but if it is you will need to slot the holes on the passenger side mount slightly and re bolt down tight in the correct position.

Use the narrower clamp if you have been supplied two choices.

The red plastic things are the bushes.

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The smaller bush will not appear to fit well until it is bolted up into chassis. It normally fits the other way round but not in a Tri Pod chassis.

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Should look like this prior to starting to bolt it up.

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Bolt it down evenly and it will pull up nicely.

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Gluing the shim piece to the back of the flat clamp will have it sitting in the right place.

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Last edited by Tripod1 on Tue Oct 27, 2015 6:27 am, edited 1 time in total.
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 Post Posted: Sat Oct 24, 2015 12:04 pm 
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Joined: Tue Nov 27, 2012 11:59 am
Posts: 384
Location: Sunshine Coast, Qld
The next step is to fit the wishbones.

Some clues and tightening torque spec is here from a previous article - viewtopic.php?f=5&t=22

Before you zip off there for a look though there is a bit of prep work to be done.

Check the inside of the inner bush housings and make sure they are clear of sharp edges of powder coat and are not excessively coated internally. If fully coated inside (they shouldn't be) you may need to clean some off with a die grinder or rat tail file or similar to give appropriate clearance for nylon bushings to fit easily.

The powder coat will have slightly coated in the inside of the 10mm bolt holes (in the inner wishbone mounts on the chassis) so run a 10mm drill through those and for that matter the upper and lower suspension coilover mounts too. If you have chosen GAZ brand shocks you will actually need to drill out the upper suspension mounts (on the angle bracket on the chassis under the headlight bracket (outer holes)) and the lower mounts on the outer end of the lower wishbones to 12mm. Protech brand employ a 10mm mount (so please check first) and will just need to run through with a 10mm to clean off the coating only.

I would then de burr with a larger drill bit or deburring tool (ideal as you cannot get to the inside edges of the various mounts with a drill bit). De burring tools are available in most engineering or decent tool shops for $25 or less.

Before actually mounting the lower wishbones on the car I would attach the lower ball joints. These are BJ54 type which are attached by 4 x M6 x 25mm cap head screws and 4 x M6 nyloc nuts. No washers are used. If you have the original spec wishbones you will only be able to get normal NON nyloc nuts on the two outer screws (very tight fit in against wishbone tubes) so I would use a bit of Locktite or similar on the threads. For that matter I would use a tiny amount on the grease nipple as well as these are easy to over torque and should only be nipped up 'just so' with a small spanner.

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Your inner bush housings should look like this. Not too much powder and no sharp edges.

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Drilled to 12mm for GAZ shocks (clean out with 10mm only if using Protech shocks), now just needs a clean and de burr.

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Just needs de burring. 12mm holes in this case for GAZ shocks.

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The trick to getting to the rear hole on the rear mounts.

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Painting your ball joints before fitting will mean the look like new for at least 10 minutes longer than not painting them... Actually using this epoxy spray can paint I have used here should be quite a good solution. A $2 can from Supacheap not such a great idea.

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The handy de burring tool.

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And the finished article bar locktiting the grease nipple in.

Fitting of nylon bushes and wishbones to car is covered here - viewtopic.php?f=5&t=22

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 Post Posted: Sun Oct 25, 2015 1:45 pm 
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Location: Mannum, SA
Great. very informative. waiting for more.


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 Post Posted: Mon Oct 26, 2015 2:51 pm 
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Joined: Tue Nov 27, 2012 11:59 am
Posts: 384
Location: Sunshine Coast, Qld
Time to attach the tie rod ends, rack extension pieces, and upper ball joints.

A small amount of anti seize as per the first pic below is something you may appreciate in a few years if you have to pull it apart for any reason. No guarantees, but it has to help.

Leave about 3 or 4 threads in all three cases as per the pics below. Of course fit all three lock nuts. They are all different so only go in one place.

I haven't tightened anything right up at this stage. That will come soon enough.

When fitting the bushes in the inner ends of the wishbones use a bit of lube on the crush tube as pictured and in the inner mount brackets as also pictured.

The shocks come apart as per the pic. The upper perch will fall out once you extend the piston a bit. Slide the spring over the upper end and onto the lower perch. With the lower perch fully wound down there should be just enough room to slide the upper perch back over the piston and seat it appropriately and wind the lower one up to take up the slack and seat the spring nicely. You don't need to actually tension the spring up too much. Once the weight of the car is sitting on them this position should be about right for a lowish ride height.

Bolt the shock in using the supplied M12 bolts (Protechs will need M10 bolts and 2 spacers per end) , washers and nyloc nut. 1.25mm pitch and 60mm length in either diameter. If your lower or upper brackets are a bit tight to slide the shock eye in fairly easily then a bit of a wack with a block of wood (driven by a hammer) or a nylon hammer will open them up enough to slide them in without tearing up the rubber bushing in the eye.

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 Post Posted: Wed Oct 28, 2015 4:52 pm 
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Joined: Tue Nov 27, 2012 11:59 am
Posts: 384
Location: Sunshine Coast, Qld
Time to fit the upper wishbones and uprights.

The uppers are a little trickier than the lowers due to having to fit the spacers/washers to allow for camber adjsutment.

The best method is to put a wad of washers in (generally at the leading edge as we want maximum camber being such a light car) that easily fit and start to feed in the bolt. Once those are all centralised and the bolt slides through the pack and the crush tube easily, start wedging in the last washer between the bush and the washer next to the bush.

The washers need to be a tight fit so that when we torque up the bolt the inner mounts don't angle/bend in excessively (they may a little).

Once the last washer is wedged in a bit (started) give it a few taps with a soft hammer and push the bolt through as it all lines up. Easy!! Well it can be easy or a right prick. Have fun!

The uprights will need some prep - File out the tapered holes for the ball joints with a rat tail file removing any rust/powder coat etc. If you have raw ones then a wire brush and a satin black coat of paint would be the go.

Then just bolt them up using the supplied nuts that came with the ball joints.

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 Post Posted: Mon Nov 02, 2015 5:40 pm 
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Posts: 384
Location: Sunshine Coast, Qld
Fitting the hubs.

A bit of real mechanicing work now.

First prep the hubs by cleaning out all the old grease, degreasing, wire brushing and painting if not already supplied that way.

We generally supply them painted and more or less ready to go these days. You pay a bit extra for that but it might be worth it.

The first job is to knock out the old bearing shells. A pin punch or similar (of some size) and a hefty hammer (special tool No 1) is required. Sit the hub on a stable bench, find the little cutaway that allows you to knock out the shell from behind and the rest is obvious. Tap them out evenly swapping from side to side (there are only two cutaways). Of course if you have a hydraulic press you'll be finding a suitable piece of tooling and very quietly pressing them out while remembering the old days when you had to bash things in and out with the old special tool number one.

Once both are out, clean out the area they were pressed into and check for any dings etc that would stop a new shell from seating properly.

If you are operating without a press (or even if you are) I would now grab a grinder and re size the old shell so they fit loosely back in where they came from as they will make a handy piece to press in the new ones. They are as hard as so persist for a bit to under size them by maybe .1 to .2 of a mm. I just work on 2/3rds of the circumference, leaving the other third in the pliers (when using the linisher) or vice (when using the afore mentioned grinder).

If you are pressing the new shells in by hand remember to tap them in evenly and use some kind of plate so you don't 'ding' up the new shells. Once in flush with the hub its time to work them in the rest of the way with you re ground old shells. You will know when they are flush/home because you hammer strikes will sound and feel different.

Another bit of prep work is to check that the M10 x 1.25mm pitch threads in the upright are clear of powder coat etc. Its easier to do it now before the hubs go on and of course clean up the sealing surface where the hub dust seal will work against and for that matter clean up the hub nut thread with a thread file (if nesc). Once done I would lightly sand off (using quite fine wet and dry, around 400 grit) any rust etc on the spindle/axle. Then clean with some solvent ready for hub fitment.

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The dodgy looking arrows in the above two pics are pointing at the cutaways in the hub allowing you to whack out the old shells.

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Grind the outer surface of the old shell to allow you to use it bash in the new ones (without it jamming in itself)

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Blow out or wipe out carefully the interior of the hub.

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Use a suitable piece of flat steel or similar to squarely drive or press in the new shell.

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Once you have it flush it is time to put into service the modified old shell. Use the same piece of steel to give you an even surface to hammer or press.

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 Post Posted: Tue Nov 03, 2015 1:33 pm 
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Location: Sunshine Coast, Qld
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The above pic is what you should see once you have pressed the new shell fully home.

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Time to get filthy and crack open some high quality wheel bearing grease (doesn't have to be anything super amazing, just good quality wheel bearing grease, Valvaline was used in this case which starts out a pretty blue) and load up both bearings and load a fair bit into the interior of the hub. Not a smear, a heap! Squish it into the bearing assembly and pop them into place.

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Like I said whack a fair bit inside but don't 'fill' it as such.

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Pop the seal in place and once roughly pushed in square by hand tap it home carefully.

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Smear a fair bit of the same wheel bearing grease around the inside of the seal.

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Clean up the axle and make it ready for fitment of the hub assembly. Check the thread quality by attemtping to wind on the hub nut and thread file if necessary. Its a 1mm pitch thread.

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Bolt your new rotors on now. 4 M10 x 1.25 hex head bolts (concave heads generally) with spring washers under them. A bit of anti seize on the threads wouldn't hurt. Make sure though that the surface the disc mounts against (the inner face of the hub) is clean of detritus etc. The tiniest amount of crap could cause excessive run out at the rotors perimeter.

The bolts should not extend very far through the inner face of the rotor either. If they do they will rub. If sourcing your own uprights the caliper mounting bolts are slightly longer than the rotor mounting bolts and shouldn't be confused (same pitch and diameter).

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Thread tidy, nice and clean with the dust seal swept area clean and smooth. Time to slide on your hub and do up the hub nut with the washer behind it.

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How tight? Not very is the answer. I like to have the very tiniest amount of play once the bearings have run in a bit. This video makes some slightly technical suggestions. https://youtu.be/0RqlrnoiqnY

If you mount the wheel, preload the bearing quite a bit (nothing crazy though), spin it a few times and then back it off till you have a smidge of play ie. you can wobble the wheel a mm or 3 at its perimeter, then tighten to the next possible castellation to fit the split pin or do it the other way round where you tighten it carefully until there isn't any play - just! Then slacken off the hub nut to the next available spot where your pin can fit in. The bottom line is that these kind of bearings need regular checking and adjustment. Keep and eye on them and definitely don't tighten them up like a normal nut and bolt.

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Damn its starting to look like the front end of a car!! No need to fit the hub cap just yet as I haven't tweaked the bearing preload at this stage (waiting for a wheel). You can torque up the rotor mounting bolts to 'as tight as you can get them while holding the rotor with your knee' or some such.

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 Post Posted: Sat Nov 07, 2015 12:25 pm 
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Speaking of rotors. Using thinners or similar wipe of the corrosion protecting gunk before you forget about it or fit calipers and pads and drive off.

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Now its time to make this almost complete front end steer!

The steering column simply bolts in with 4 x M10 x 1.25 pitch bolts 25mm long. If you want space down the front of the column to give yourself a better rake adjustment range on the wheel use 45mm long bolts at the front. I have used normal non nyloc nuts and flat washers because nylocs are a pest if you are going to try different positions for the for and aft position of the column and maybe spacers too. Once decided where you want it (I suggest you try the most aft 2 positions and space down the front bolts 15 odd mm) maybe locktite them or change to nylocs.

Fitting the unis is covered reasonably well here - viewtopic.php?f=5&t=45&p=209#p209

I use 2 x M8 25mm long bolts and nyloc nuts. I use ground washers and a nyloc on one side to add and an extra bit of insurance. If these come undone you are instantly screwed so tackle the job carefully.

ONE IMPORTANT NOTE! These unis will take no punishment at all. Never hammer the joint or hammer in such away as you are crushing the joint with any kind of hammer, shifter, large screw driver or lump of wood. If they wont slide easily on over the spline then clean the spline up or make sure you are putting the lower on the rack (the Sierra triangle one) and the upper on the column (Toyota one with attached shafting that needs grinding) as they have different splines (just - ones 34, the other 36).

Once you have the unis ready to fit as per instructions here - viewtopic.php?f=5&t=45&p=209#p209

Centre the steering wheel (we haven't discussed fitting this yet but just temporarily fit it for the moment) and centre the rack (by getting both hubs to sit at the same angle to the chassis - they will probably both toe out a bit using the exposed thread alignment guestimates mentioned much earlier in this thread). With the triangle section loose enough that the shaft can slide in and out fit the unis as alluded to above (Toyota joint at top, Sierra triangle joint on the rack pinion). Align the top uni as per this picture.

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