Friday, June 03, 2016

A Little Night Wrenching - Conclusion

At long last the radiator is in and the truck is up and running. As I said in the last post, sometimes the gremlins teach you the meaning of pain. That was the theme of this job.

I've been working on this old truck for many years and in all that time I've never really had problems with broken fasteners. The only other one I can remember is one that held on an access plate under the front of the engine. In that case I still had three good fasteners and it was only holding a small plate. I didn't repair it.

In this case, two of the broken bolts attach the steering damper to the frame. Being unwise to live without the steering damper, I had no choice this time.

The other broken bolt is one of four that hold the driver's side headlight assembly. I probably could have gotten away without that one, but since I was setting up the bolt-drill-out shop, I figured I might was well get that done too.

In all I fixed three holes and managed to drill none of them straight through. They all ended up being off center and at some angle. For the two large holes, I think I removed about 1/4 of the threads, but the bolts went in easy (after chasing with the tap) and took the torque I put on them.

The next picture is at an intermediate step. The holes to be repaired are the right and left holes. The middle hole is not part of the project. You can see that for the right hole, at this intermediate step, it was pretty much centered. For some reason when I went up to the final size the bit dove to one side and ended up way off center. The picture below is of the fastener after I got it out. you can see how far off center it was.

The other fastener was much more stubborn. Even after I drilled the final size, the remnant was still locked into the nut. I had to eat away at it using a carbide bit in my Dremel-dentist fashion. There wasn't a big enough piece left to photograph. This operation unfortunately cost me two expensive Dremel carbide bits.

The smaller bolt (for the headlight) was a little more challenging because it was harder to reach. It was pretty far inside so I had to come up with a long extension. I had this hex shank extension for those quick change bits and I found this little drill chuck that I could use with it. My only complaint about the little chuck is that it wasn't very strong and this 5mm drill slipped more than I thought was ok.

When it comes to working on cars, extensions are golden. Over the years I've collected quite a number of them including a 24" 3/8" drive and a 16" 1/4" drive. There's also this 12" hex shank adapter. These combined with all the little adapters and universal joints make the work go so much easier.

The last major hurdle in this job was that the new radiator´╗┐ did not fit well. It was about 3/16" too wide. that doesn't seem like much, but it's enough to prevent it from fitting without modification. I had to grind the mounting brackets as well as the mounting holes.

I did not end up putting in the power steering cooler, but I have figured out how it's going to go in and I'll do that later this summer. Taken with all the extra repairs and modifications I figure this job took about twice as long as it would have otherwise. On the up side, I got a bunch of new drills and taps and that cool little drill chuck out of the deal. Not to mention the satisfaction of success hard won. Even considering all the extra tools I had to buy, I still only paid out about a third of what it would have cost at a shop. Of course, when you weigh that against the amount of time it ended up taking, your cost-savings argument is destroyed. But as we determined in the last post, it's not about the money.