Saturday, April 27, 2013

Taillight Lens Rehabilitation Part I

I decided to rebuild something really cheap and easy to restore or upgrade.  I have euro-style amber lenses for my taillights, brand new, but the housings are used and in need of some care.

Here are the two taillight housings:

Left side, but notice an extra bulb socket in the upper big reflector opening as compared to the right side below.

Right side.

I plan to paint these, but why are there two bulb sockets in the left housing?  The second socket is definitely an addition, given the crimped wires on the back and the recessed socket.

Half Shaft Rebuild, Part II

I have used the press to remove one U-joint so far.  I found that removing the joint involves the following process:

First, position the press using sockets or steel pipes of the right diameter.  You need to push one end down and the yoke end below must be fully supported concentrically around the U-joint cap.  The support is easy with a large socket.  I have started with the splined yoke side first.

Press the joint until one cap is protruding.  Grab the exposed cap in some vise grip pliers, holding the opposite end in a vise.  Rotate the cap until free from the yoke.  If you can't get the other side out, press it out opposite and repeat.

Now, repeat the above process using the axle or transaxle side yoke.  Note that these yokes aren't flat on each side, requiring an angle-cut pipe or some ingenuity so that the pressing is completely straight.  A wobbly part won't press out right and you'll quickly find that out if you try.

You should end up with this:

As a side-note, I found out that I need the end cap I was missing in the last post on half shafts to prevent grease from flying out of the open end.  A 45mm hammer-in cap fits perfect, and I found one at a local machine shop.

Saturday, April 13, 2013

Visit to Pantera Performance Center

Several months ago, one of the principals at work asked if I'd like to attend an out-of-state seminar.  I said sure, and noticed that there was one in April in Denver, Colorado.  I jumped at the chance since Dennis Quella's shop is there.  I visited the shop on Thursday evening, just two days ago.  Dennis agreed to stay late to talk to me.

I was like a kid in a candy store.

Sadly, I didn't get much chance to take a ton of pictures and didn't want to upset my host by capturing everything.  Some of the things I liked are the Ron Davis radiator/fan setup, the Pantera with the Coyote engine, and some Fikse wheels.  I also enjoyed talking to Dennis about ZF transaxles and handling gearsets from a transaxle he was rebuilding.

Sunday, April 7, 2013

Weatherstripping Kit

I bought a complete weatherstripping kit for the car around Christmas from Scott Bell.  I am thoroughly impressed- it is an exact match for the original stuff.  Time to throw that stuff right out!  Here's the link to the kit, with a list of all that is provided:

Scott Bell is a great guy.  I can't speak highly enough about what he's doing.  Yes, he is a little bit on the "dark side" for putting an LS motor in his Pantera and selling the conversion kits.  I like Ford V8's but will not bash the LS- it's a great motor family and a modern testament to the all the good parts of pushrod engines the family keeps alive in so many ways.

Scott's other products can be seen here:

Half Shaft Rebuild, Part I

I'm working on the half shafts, ready to rebuild them.  I went in with some buddies on a 20-ton shop press and bought some u-joints with grease zerks from a Pantera parts vendor.  I found out later that Steve Wilkinson actually manufactures the joints and the joints are labeled "PPUSA" for Pantera Parts USA, which is his corporation name.