OK so on Saturday Jesse came over and finished welding the front cross member and rad support. I had to help my dad sand and stain my mom's deck so I was busy during that, but then afterwards we watched the Rod and Custom "how to" DVD again and got started on the steering column and front suspension. This is just a dry build, we're still going to remove the suspension again so that we can paint underneath. The frame rails are being painted with por-15 rust preventative paint. Once that paint is applied we will rebuild the front suspension and steering and then it will be final!
1. Modifying the steering column:
a. Cut the old steering shaft from the steering box (it's a fixed shaft)
b. Put the shaft back in the column at it's original position and take a measurement from the top of the shaft to the top of the column.
c. Place the shaft next to the column at that same length.
d. The splice joint needs to be at a minimum of 1" inside the column, the splice joint is 4" long total, so you want 2" of extension and 2" of original shaft inside the splice (with the splice itself at least 1" up into the column).
e. Weld the splice joint together to extension and shaft.
f. Install bearing retainer, weld into place.
g. Slide black locking collar over, alan wrench on (prevents the shaft from moving up and down column).
OK so with the steering column modified and ready to go we set it aside. We're not ready to install it yet, still have a lot more cleaning and grinding to do, plus painting!
Next we started our dry run of installing the suspension and steering.
This is a pretty detailed process. The first thing we did was install the lower A-arm (control arm).
There's a long bolt that goes through the cross member, coat the shit out of this was anti-seize compound.
Then what you want to do is install it and make it level with the cross member by using a clamped straight edge underneath the cross member. This is needed to position the sway bar so that you can weld the sway bar brackets onto the frame rails. Here's what that process looked like:
Note: Cover any painted items in foil anytime you're welding near them.
With the sway bar bracket in place, we proceeded to built the upper a-arm (control arm), put the tie rod ends on, and put the spindle in place to make sure it all fit, and guess what:
Boo ya! Oh happy day!