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Old 09-01-2013, 03:09 AM   #1
swamp rat
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Rat repair.

Well since i have joined this forum i have posted a bunch of stuff allover and never started a build thread to keep all my work and posts together. So being as my truck is in dire need of help i just cant let it go neglected any longer, i don't know where all the money will come from but i got to keep at before my truck gets just too tired and rusty, i just don't think i'm going to be able to do a frame off tho not having a garage large enough to put the rat inside. I'm also going to try and gather up some of my old project threads and merge them here as time permits.

A little history, My step dad bought this truck as a second owner and used it to haul hay for his animals over in Eastern Wa. and then later traveled a bit with a camper, I got to use the truck off and on when in high school and fell in love with it. The truck had 94,000. miles on it when i was able to buy it from him in 1994. After i bought it I rebuilt the engine in 1996, it really didn't need it but i wanted to freshen it up a bit and take care of the old oil fouling problems these trucks had with the valve guide seals. I decided to buy a set of Worlds Products heads, RV cam and bored .030 over and put a set of Doug Thorley heads on it, i also found that the stock carb had a problem, there are 2 vacuum operated pistons that adjust the metering rods, the pistons seized up in the bore, i got them out but thought it best to replace it and choose an Edelbrock 600cfm and a Performer intake and K&N air filter to round out the package. its been a nice strong running engine since.

Now living in Western Wa, we have a lot of rain and for a long time i didn't realize this truck had a few leaks and the leaks took there toll on the poor truck its now got a lot of rusted panels that need to be replaced, but i think more importantly it needs mechanical work to once again make it safe to drive, the brakes, ball joints, tie rods and bearings are all shot. I did some research and decided that although 14 bolt rear ends are plentiful, for now i'd go ahead and keep the Eaton rear and do a disk conversion as well.

I also need to finish up some other stuff on the truck i started but didn't finish for to both health issues and having to do remodel work on my house so i'll get that stuff done here as well.
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Old 09-01-2013, 03:37 AM   #2
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Re: Rat repair.

To address the safety i will be starting with the front end first, that poor Dana 44-5F is just wandering all over the road, time for a tear down....I didn't get pictures if the locking hubs or calipers and rotors when i took those off, but the locking hub wouldn't turn on the driver side, so i unbolted them and found that the outer jamb nut had actually come loose on the driver side, best i figure it was interfering with the locking hub, whoever serviced it last didn't torque it properly, next came the rotors, then i finished pulling the wheel hubs.

I read on the forums of the horror story's of getting the inner spindles off the knuckles, in my driver side after i unbolted it (and the nuts was tight) i was able to just wiggle the spindle off with my hands, the other side however was a little different story, i didn't need too much persuasion tho, i block of oak and a few love taps with my 3# hammer got it moving, then i used a chisel moving from side to side to finish working it the rest the way off the studs.
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Old 09-01-2013, 03:53 AM   #3
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Re: Rat repair.

Now for the fun part??? First time i ever removed ball joints, i bought a Ball Joint remove and install kit from Harbor freight, I thought it was suppose to work for removing the knuckles from the axle housing yoke but nope! The C portion of the tool was just not deep enough, maybe there is more than one kit at Harbor freight I guess? So i grabbed my pickle fork and 3# persuader and had at it, on both sides when i got the bottom to brake the top broke free as well..

One thing i did notice before removing the passenger side was that the steering knuckle would get tight at the end of the swing to both the right and left, if anyone has an answer to this I'd like to know what would cause it to get snug at full left and right turn i'm all ears.

I also discovered that the upper ball joint is 1 5/16 and my large 1/2 drive craftsman socket set went 1" 1 1/8" 1 1/4" ect.. I was lucky enough to have the correct socket in my 3/4 drive socket set i bought back in the 80's when i went to diesel mechanics school.
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Old 09-01-2013, 04:23 AM   #4
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Re: Rat repair.

I found when i pulled the passenger axle that it has a bit of a groove from the inner seal that is located in towards the differential, the inside of the axle tube had a little oil seepage but it does not extend to the opening at the yoke, i'm still debating if i should pull the differential myself and replace the seal, I understand from an email transaction from a Dana gear head that on the Dana's that if you just pull the bearing caps and pull the diff out and then put it back in again without mixing up the bearing caps the gear pattern is not lost, on the other hand i could just drive the trick to a place that specializes in differential repair and let them do it too.
A Pile of parts on the end of the floor.
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Old 09-01-2013, 04:32 AM   #5
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Re: Rat repair.

Pressing the old studs out of the hub/rotors, going to head to the auto parts store and buy new.. And i know its gonna be a waste of time and money in the long run, but I'm painting the cast portion of my new rotors, i found that some body washers fit nicely into the counter bores of the rotors. The new painted rotors are stacked up in the box on the floor next to the shelf in the first pic.
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Old 09-01-2013, 04:51 AM   #6
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Re: Rat repair.

One more post for the night, i'd sure like to get that steering arm off if someone had another sure fire way, i have soaked it in both PB Blaster and Kroil, plus per this thread i put a socket over the cone washers and beat on it as hard as i could before popping the ball joints but no luck.
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Old 09-01-2013, 10:04 AM   #7
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Re: Rat repair.

For the steering arm I had to use heat, the BFH, more heat, more BFH, etc. It took forever, but I finally got mine to break free.

Hopefully someone will come along with another solution.
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Old 09-01-2013, 11:43 AM   #8
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Re: Rat repair.

I was not sure if heat would poise a problem, i mean i think this is cast but didn't know if heat could possibly weaken it.

Today is going to be a greasy day, got some clean up to do! and need to take a run to the auto parts store.
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Old 09-01-2013, 12:11 PM   #9
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Re: Rat repair.

Looks like a good project! I just recently finished rebuilding my front end. The only thing that worked for me to get the steering arm off was a socket large enough to clear the cone washers, then smack it with a BFH. I destroyed the socket, but it was so worth it I see that you tried that trick already, but I promise that if you can get a good enough swing on it, those pesky cone washers will pop right out.
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Old 09-01-2013, 02:06 PM   #10
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Re: Rat repair.

I tried the 3# hammer and socket while the knuckles were still on the Axle housing and i couldn't get the steering arm off, today i checked it into my vice and gave it a couple more raps with no luck, i researched and found some other posts on the net said that the cone spacers could become compression threaded by the studs and to try twisting them off, no dice, I thought, lets just press out the ball joints now, nope! the steering arm is in the way and cant get the steel cup over the ball joint..Enter my Great Grandfathers home made railroad anvil, My dad brought it home from his parents place in Nebraska after they passed on. Per the picture i rested the upper ball joint against the anvil, and 5 good whacks with my mini sledge and she popped loose. Success!
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Old 09-01-2013, 02:15 PM   #11
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Re: Rat repair.

Now for the ball joint press, i found that the uppers ball joints had a snap ring groove but no snap ring, have not looked to see if the new uppers have the snap ring or not, the lowers did tho so off they came, the ball joints popped loose with my super old PLVMB 1/2 drive breaker bar. I have the floor press but this was pretty easy being chucked into a vice.

I noted that the new ball joints have serrations on the mating surface, i grabbed my calipers and there was about .007 difference with the serrations being the larger of the two, any body else run into this?

Point of note: be sure on install the ball joint with the hole for the cotter pin goes on the top..

Now its time to do some scraping and degrease work... anybody wanna come help LOL!
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Old 09-01-2013, 10:48 PM   #12
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Re: Rat repair.

Ok, had everything apart except the U-Joints, time to clean the 40 years of grime off everything, oh joy. Took about 6 hours bathing in a pail of gas (use what ya got) a couple wire brushes, i had a solvent brush but it fell apart, small screwdriver to scrap away in tight areas and a larger scraper for the open areas. while i was in the gas i got my surface stone and took down any raises edges or burs on the flange or mating surfaces, after that everything got a 15 minute bath in oven cleaner then rinsed with a garden hose that i dragged out across the yard so the sun would be beating down on it to make the water warm. I left them to dry in the hot sun and of course they all flash rusted.

Next I it was time to remove and replace the tie rod ends so i chucked one end into the vice and counted the exposed threads first, then started saturating it with Kroil, I put my largest pipe wrench on the rod end and couldn't budge it, so i got the Burnzomatic torch and put about 5 minutes of heat to it, it still wanted to just pull the rod right out of the vice, so i put a second pipe wrench on the rod and against the work bench to help hold the rod still and another 5 minutes with the torch and i was able to brake it free, at that point i kept saturating the threads and put the nut back on the end and used a wrench to work the rod end all the way in first then i worked it out, the reasoning to loosen up any crud left in the 40 year old threads and clean then out, then cleaned up the threads with carb cleaner (use what ya got) and a blast of air. i spread a liberal amount of anti seize allover both the rod and rod end before threading it together, I worked it around a little to ensure i could move it by hand, then left it at the same thread count as the old end.

I then flipped the rod over to do the same to the other side, i tightened the vise real tight the grabbed the pipe wrench to put on to the rod next to the vice, i stopped and looked at the vice and said to my self "I cant believe that vice hasn't broke yet" and then just like that, as if on Que it snapped! Oh well time for a new better vice, don't know if i should go to sears or Harbor freight..

So time to clean up the area a bit and make a shopping/things to get list and that was the end of an 8 hour day.

Note to self: You work swing shift and if its hot and sunny you need sun screen and possibly even a hat! Yea you guessed it, i got a tad bit burnt today.
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Old 09-02-2013, 12:16 PM   #13
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Re: Rat repair.

What would you guys recommend to paint the knuckles and hubs with being as they are covered with the flash rust? Por-15? or just some automotive spray paint?

What kind of degreaser or other prep should i do first? is brake cleaner enough?
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Old 09-02-2013, 12:27 PM   #14
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Re: Rat repair.

I'm not sure how durable it's going to be, but I used engine enamel. I hit them with a scotchbright disc, then wax and grease remover. I know it will last at least 10 yrs because that's how long it's going to take me to get it back on the road
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Old 09-03-2013, 12:55 AM   #15
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Re: Rat repair.

Seems most people on other threads are using chassis black, i also considered engine enamel, but i found something else, going to try a test part to see what i think before i post any pic's on that.
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Old 09-03-2013, 02:13 AM   #16
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Re: Rat repair.

Out with the old and in with the new, went shopping today.. I finished replacing the tie rod ends and the drag link ends, then took my new $15 bantam motor and scotch bright disks and did a final prep on the parts i want to paint in that stack of parts i scraped and degreased yesterday, 2 days of getting filthy are behind me!

Found a potential problem, my ball joint kit:

http://www.harborfreight.com/ball-jo...cles-4065.html

It does not seem to have the proper length cup for my ball joint and C press, its too deep and i cant set it up on the knuckle and get the bottom adapter in place

I researched a bit and found another thread where the guy said you need 2 kits, they looked to be from Harbor Freight, but harbor freight seems to have changed there kits now where the 3 cup kit seems to no longer be available, or the kits in his pic's were not from Harbor Freight. H.F has a master kit for another $69.00.

I figure i can try and start the ball joint without the little adapter first then hopefully by the time the ball joint is flush with the bottom of the hole i can then loosen it up and slide the bottom adapter in place. If that don't work i'll take my chop saw and shorten the cup in the kit about 1/4"

Looking into the tubes its looking like i should replace the inner axle seals, so i did a bit of research and found that Napa had then for around $23 ea, The picture was from O'reilly's $19.99 ea. Rock Auto.com had then for 8.89 ea plus $3.29 shipping... Ordered, and shipped today.
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Old 09-03-2013, 08:26 PM   #17
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Re: Rat repair.

Ha...it's a mirror of what I did to mine On my frame, I used Eastwood's Rust Encapsulator and Extreme Chassis Black, but I didn't have enough to do my axles. I don't think it will last as long, but oh well. Looks like great progress, and I don't know about you, but I sure was happy to be past the clean up phase on the axle.
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Old 09-04-2013, 12:12 AM   #18
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Re: Rat repair.

Quote:
Originally Posted by mjensen View Post
Ha...it's a mirror of what I did to mine On my frame, I used Eastwood's Rust Encapsulator and Extreme Chassis Black, but I didn't have enough to do my axles. I don't think it will last as long, but oh well. Looks like great progress, and I don't know about you, but I sure was happy to be past the clean up phase on the axle.
Well all my clean up was just what was removed from the front axle, i have the rest of it soaking in oven cleaner as i type.. :p
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Old 09-04-2013, 12:55 AM   #19
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Re: Rat repair.

Today was masking and painting day, i didn't get any pictures yet.

I grabbed my spindles and the needle bearings and took off on another supply run and to the auto parts house/machine shop, when i got there i put my spindles on the counter and grabbed a chair, i looked at my spindles and my heart sank, I never inspected them closely after i took them off and i got the last one off after sunset, there was some pretty bad wear marks on both outer bearing seats, closer inspection showed not only wear but one of then had been staked with a center punch in 2 or 3 places in an attempt to keep them from spinning, you can see the chatter marks. Using there calipers it looked to be about .002 wear, pretty bad.

So Off to Billy Bobs i go, the local 4X4 shop, I walked out the door with a receipt for $326 and change, my new spindles will be in tomorrow, could i have found then cheaper on line? Probably, but right now my time is limited and i need to concentrate on the task at hand. I need a money tree now!

Drive shaft U-Joints tomorrow
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Old 09-04-2013, 02:53 AM   #20
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Re: Rat repair.

I also need seat parts too:
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Old 09-04-2013, 11:05 PM   #21
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Re: Rat repair.

Out with the old and in with the new, 2 new spindle hubs, one old next to one new... Pricy!

Spent the day under my truck with oven cleaner 2 wire brushes and a screwdriver, she's pretty clean now, but i still need to get under there with a stripping wheel and do a final cleaning before paint, that lye is nasty stuff, i had to stop about 4 times and clean up a bit.

Pressed my axle U-Joints apart then off to town again to pick up my new hubs, then to the auto parts store only to find yet again (3rd time) that i still don't have the correct spindle hub seals, so i went back to the 4X4 shop, they ordered a couple seals, but they also couldn't be 100% certain that they ordered the correct seal until they come in, the seal is in the same parts breakdown grouping for the SBK-1 bearing seal kit but these seals were not in the kit beginning to wonder if someone robbed the seals out of the kits i bought?? So if you have the small hubs and spindles on your truck (72 and later) i need some help finding the part number.

72 K20
Dana 44-5F MFG 1971
Smaller diameter hubs

(Hub bore)= Seal OD 3.000
(Axle diameter) = Seal ID 2.005
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Old 09-05-2013, 12:15 AM   #22
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Re: Rat repair.

Quote:
Originally Posted by swamp rat View Post
Out with the old and in with the new, 2 new spindle hubs, one old next to one new... Pricy!

Spent the day under my truck with oven cleaner 2 wire brushes and a screwdriver, she's pretty clean now, but i still need to get under there with a stripping wheel and do a final cleaning before paint, that lye is nasty stuff, i had to stop about 4 times and clean up a bit.

Pressed my axle U-Joints apart then off to town again to pick up my new hubs, then to the auto parts store only to find yet again (3rd time) that i still don't have the correct spindle hub seals, so i went back to the 4X4 shop, they ordered a couple seals, but they also couldn't be 100% certain that they ordered the correct seal until they come in, the seal is in the same parts breakdown grouping for the SBK-1 bearing seal kit but these seals were not in the kit beginning to wonder if someone robbed the seals out of the kits i bought?? So if you have the small hubs and spindles on your truck (72 and later) i need some help finding the part number.

72 K20
Dana 44-5F MFG 1971
Smaller diameter hubs

(Hub bore)= Seal OD 3.000
(Axle diameter) = Seal ID 2.005
Shiny new parts! Looks good! From what I understand, the hub seals are identical between the Dana 44 and the Corporate 10 bolt like mine. I'm not sure if that's 100% correct though. It might be easier to find the Corporate version. Rockauto does list a National part number (472397) for a 72 Chevy Dana 44 with the following specs
Material Nitrile
Shaft Size 2"
Housing Bore 3"
Outer Diameter 3.005"
Width 0.312"
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Old 09-05-2013, 12:27 AM   #23
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Re: Rat repair.

Ok, just confirmed with mine that they are indeed different. The seals for mine are 2.5" shaft size.
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Old 09-05-2013, 01:50 AM   #24
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Re: Rat repair.

Quote:
Originally Posted by mjensen View Post
Shiny new parts! Looks good! From what I understand, the hub seals are identical between the Dana 44 and the Corporate 10 bolt like mine. I'm not sure if that's 100% correct though. It might be easier to find the Corporate version. Rockauto does list a National part number (472397) for a 72 Chevy Dana 44 with the following specs
Material Nitrile
Shaft Size 2"
Housing Bore 3"
Outer Diameter 3.005"
Width 0.312"
Thanks I'll go check it out.
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Old 09-05-2013, 01:55 AM   #25
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Re: Rat repair.

Last minute dash after dinner, got my U-Joints installed on my axles and got the hub races installed in one hub but had to stop so my wife could go to bed, will do the other tomorrow..

I'm pretty sure the neighbors are not to happy with all the noise i have been making the last couple weeks.
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