One Spring Day

Today, we spent day two on Chris' 65 Ranchero. He bought the Super Poly Kit from P-S-T. Last weekend, with the help of Mel, we installed all the new stuff...New upper and lower control arms, new tie rods (inner and outer), new pitman arm. There were new springs to put in, but that was a problem. First, they didn't come with isolators on the top to protect for sound...no problem...use heater hose! After cranking them down about 7 times, with no luck, we decided to put in the old springs and try to beat the rain. As it was we still got wet!

Monday, Chris took his car to the shop for alignment, They installed the new sway bar, strut rod bushings, new springs (forgot to add the heater hose to the other spring though). However, when it came time to align it, they found that the lower control arm on the passenger side was defective...the inner bushing was loose!

Chris calls P-S-T, they said the reason it is messed up is because we didn't push the Poly into the inner bushings. So fine, Chris comes back over this weekend. We drop the arm, and the inner bushing falls out in my hand! It is NOT supposed to do that! Since, we are up the creek without a lower control arm, I put it back on and Chris called P-S-T for another arm...and another day.

We figure that we should still do the other side (install the poly that is). We dropped out the spring on the other side and Chris and Billy start to replace the fuel filter that bolts into the Carb. However the new filter gets torqued down too hard and breaks off in the Carb!...There go about 5 hours fixing that. By the time we get back to the poly it is almost 3:00 (We started at 8:30.

Thanks to Phil Clements procedure, we drilled out the old(new) rubber bushing from the "good" lower control arm and then pressed the inner sleeve out with quite a weird assortment of bolt, washers and sockets believe it or not. We then pushed in the poly and then the inner sleave with a big "C" Clamp.

Next came the chore of getting the spring back in...the same one we couldn't get in last weekend. We tried with the special tool


see it here

However, the problem with this tool is that when you compress the tool down, the rod comes "out" the bottom and gets in the way of the spring perch. As I was trying to get it in, the spring slipped and came flying out at me!

I decided that I liked my head and thought I better not try that again and took a trip to ACE to make my own tool! A fellow Falconer Clif Copren described it to me about a year and a half ago so I picked up a 3 foot weldable threaded 1/2 inch rod, three nuts and 2 washers. I took an old Shock and cut off the bottom, drilled a 1/2 in hole in it to bolt the end of the threaded rod to, then cut it to length (cut off about 18 inches). With this design, I simply unbolted the spring perch from the upper contol arm then bolted it to the bottom of the tool. Then set the spring on the perch...and fed the whole thing up into the fender....bolted on the shock tower and added the top washer and bolt and we started cranking it. Spring compressed up into itself! Once high enough we backed it down onto the upper control arm (we left the upper control arm in place) and bolted the spring perch back in place. Once done with that we unbolted our tool and the shock tower...then pulled it out and dropped in the shock and there we go...it was back in place. Below you will find pictures of the materials, fabrication and the set up.

The doner shock and other materials

Cutting the old shock

Cutting the shock

Drilling out for the rod

Putting it together

Cutting the rod and then grinding it down to smooth it off

Chris wrenching the spring down

Waiting for the spring perch

Attatching the spring perch

Ready to go under the fender

The whole piece ready to go

So Chris headed back home and we wait for the response from P-S-T. Hopefully we will be installing another new control arm within the next few weeks and the Ranchero will be ready for another 150,000 miles! BTW, my 65 Squire now only has 465 miles on it again...wonder if it is 200,465, 100,465 or 300,465?!? Regardless...I am counting on it to take us to Knotts next month. Hope to see some of you there!

If you have any questions, feel free to email me at gbelleau@inreach.com



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