Wednesday, September 18, 2013

Front Suspension - SPL Tension Rods and Tein Hard Rods

While having everything out, I've cleaned up the suspension.  The tie rod ends and ball joints were old and tired with torn boots and were develop some play and just looked like they were past their prime, those were removed in favor of Tein hard rods.  I replaced the front lower control arms with stock replacements from MOOG.  The arms feel thick and solid like the OEM originals and the grease zerk fittings are a nice plus for servicability.  The OEM tension rods were so stuck that I had to cut them out, those were pitched for some nice adjustable SPL Parts Titanium Tension Arms.  While I was at it, I also picked up some Rust Olem satin bronze metallic paint, sand blasted and repainted my front knuckles.

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When sandblasting the knucles I made sure to duct tape the spindle surface and block off the tapered holes to protect the smooth machined surfaces of the knuckle.  Then I finished cleaning them with a wire brush and laquer thinner to prep them for paint.  I masked off the same surfaces again for paint along with the brake caliper mounting surfaces.

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There are the nice SPL tension rods,the new blue titanium hardware they send them with really sets them off.

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There it is back together with my Cusco Zero2-R coils.  I cleaned them up to look nice, but I'm not sure how much longer I will run them.  I picked them up used from Ebay, they've handled really nice since I set them up but they are starting to leak a little.  I don't think the previous owner's settings did them any favors, they came preloaded over an inch and the spring would bottom out on the smallest of bumps, I seriously thought my dash was going to pop out or my windshield was going to break, it was brutal.  I'm guessing they didn't like the 5&7K spring rates.  When these give up I'm probably going to be shopping for some new coils, I'm leaning towards Fortune Auto 500's at the moment.

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New Tein hard tie rods and new boots to go with them.

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I sub assembled and loosely set the lengths of the tie rods before installing them.

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Two wrenches really helped the process of removing the old inner tie rods.  I used a 1-1/4" on the tie rod, not quite the right size, but it worked (30mm probably is closer) and I think it was a 13/16 to help keep the rack from twisting in its mounts and just to support it a little more to avoid damage.

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I went ahead and used the supplied spacers with the Teins, since the spacer eliminates the OEM lock plate I used Locktite Red high strength thread locker.  Hopefully I never need to take them off, but it should keep them from removing themselves at an inopportune time, like when I'm driving the car on the highway.

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If you look closely at the steering rack shaft you can see the small flats that you can use to help support it.  The drivers side really needed it, it looked like there was already thread locker on that side and the wrench turned extremely hard all the way out, with no damaged threads (checked that first)

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I had to take a picture of the underbody, who knows how long it will stay that clean.

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Through this process I've either painted or replaced everything rusty that I've came across, these brake line securing tabs as well.

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