Sunday, March 27, 2011

Suspension Assembly

     Dudley and I assembled most of the suspension this weekend. The work was mostly the installation of the new OEM rubber bushings. Here's the fruit of our labor:

New tie rods, drag link, ball joints and bushings. Everything is greased up and ready for installation. As soon as I find some bolts for the steering box, I'll bolt it up.

The differential is an E21 3.91:1 and the sway bars are stock for now. The the hard brake lines looked pretty new, so they're staying.

My DIY bearing installation/removal tool was worth its weight in gold.

And here's a short video of how to install these bushings really quickly:

When we checked the condition of the compliance bushings, I found that, though the rubber was in good shape, something was amiss. Instead of pressing the bushings in properly, the installer of the existing bushings (not Marshall) sawed them in half and sandwiched them in; not the preferred method of installation.

Wednesday, March 16, 2011

Suspension Parts Aquired

     After cleaning and painting the 1600's original subframe and working out the issue with the odd idler arm bushings, I convinced Marshall Lytle that it would be good karma to help me reinforce the driver's side motor mount, as to avoid the infamous cracking that occurs after decades of spirited driving that these cars demand.  Marshall's parts car is a squarie beater that had been blessed with an S14. It also had an odd mix of new parts attached to an otherwise forlorn body that was sprayed with a purple that would only suggest that the previous owner was Burgess Meredith.

     The S14 is currently being fitted into Marshall's non-beater `75 2002 and the rest of the parts had yet to find a home. After seeing that the purple car's subframe was already reinforced and the suspension bits that I needed were all present, we struck a deal and abandoned our reinforcement job in favor of removing all the necessary parts from the parts car. Before long, we had stripped the entire suspension from the car, rendering me the front subframe less steering components and the rear trailing arms less the brakes and stub axles.

Yep, that's a color befitting only the most devious of Antarctic-based Batman foes.

Amazingly, we didn't have to utilize the roof rack to get it home. I did ride a bit low on the way home, though.

The next step will be cleaning it all up, especially those trailing arms. I will also be installing the new bushings and bearings that I got from Steve at

Saturday, March 5, 2011

$100 Roof Rack

I've wanted a roof rack for some time now. I didn't like the common Thule racks that look a little too modern for me. Another option is to modify a vintage Type 1 VW roof rack, but they cost a few hundred before the modification. So, I decided to take a crack at building my own. Here's what I came with.

I started with a set of Quick and Easy roof rack brackets. Though I got a set from a member of, they are available online for around $80 for four.

I bought two pieces of 1-1/2" aluminum angle for the crossbars. For the slats, I (ahem) recycled a wood futon. A few carriage bolts and some careful drilling resulted in a useful and sort-of-vintage looking roof rack for about $100.