Archive for the ‘Suspension’ Category

Beachfront Property

Saturday, April 4th, 2009

Today all of the front steering componenets on the Trans Am were done with blasting except for the spindles. It’s taken about six 100 pound bags of sand to do the majority of the blasting. After all the parts were down to bare metal, they were thorougly wiped down with wax and grease remover to get rid of any oil or other contaminants that would affect paint adhesion. Each part was caoted with self etching primer and left to dry for about 20 minutes before SEM’s Rust-Shield semi-gloss paint was applied.

Use Eastwood’s Rust Converter With Caution

Saturday, March 28th, 2009

Today was dissapointing. Last week the two part Rust Converter/Encapsulator was applied just as the directions say. “Apply part A and wait overnight. If more protection is desired apply part B, or else scuff and apply topcoat.” I took this to mean if you are applying part B you don’t have to scuff. Evidently this is incorrect or there is something wrong with the part B Encapsulator. When it came time to scuff the part B in order to paint, much of it easily flaked off. Especially at corners and edges. I didn’t want this to bite me in the rear later so I made the hard desicion to blast it all off. This time I didn’t mess with the Eastwood stuff and used a self etching primer under a top coat of SEM’s black semi-gloss Rust-Shield paint. Fortunately blasting was a breeze this time around and it didn’t take long. The self etch primer only takes a few minutes to dry and was able to paint the sub frame today after all. I’ll keep researching what went wrong with the Eastwood rust encapsulator and post when I get a response. The sand, primer, and paint ran out so the control arms will have to wait until next week.

Sub-frame Prep – More Sand Blasting

Saturday, March 21st, 2009

Today the sub-frame was brought out of the garage for sandblasting. It had been completely dis-assembled the week before. A small 20lb pressurized sand blaster was purchased from Harbor Freight. It works really well. I would’ve bought the 40lb for about $20 more but it was out of stock. The only problem is that sand blasting drains the compressor so fast it takes a good amount of time to build back up. I did come up with a decent solution for this. Two compressors were connected together in order to allow a good amount of continuous air. I bought two check valves from Grainger (part # 6D914) for about $9 a piece that coupled to a Tee fitting. The two compressors fed into each check valve and into each side of the Tee fitting. The single Tee outlet went to the blaster. This allowed a continous supply of air without each compressor working against each other. The blaster ran out of sand long before I ran out of air. Blasting all of that grease and undercoating easily swallowed up most of the day. There was still a little time left to wipe the sub-frame down with degreaser and put the first coat of Eastwood’s Rust Converter. Tomorrow I’ll apply the second part Rust Encapsulator so that it can be painted next week.

Ball Joint Removal

Saturday, March 7th, 2009

Most of the day today was spent fighting with ball joints. I ended up buying a cheap press to push the ball joints out of the control arms. The removal kit rented from Advanced Auto just didn’t cut it. Some small spacers were cut out of angle iron to keep the control arms from bending. Even with press this was a very tough job.

Sandblasting Steering Components

Saturday, February 21st, 2009

The Trans Am’s front suspension parts were sand blasted this week which included 3 of the 4 control arms and front 1-1/4″ sway bar. These parts finished off a half empty bag of sand. Two or three more bags will probably finish the job. A top fed sandblaster was used for the sway bar and lower control arms as these had the most gunk. The lower control arm was finished up in the blast cabinet. Ball joints were priced at about $17 a piece from NAPA Auto Parts for the upper and lower control arms. The old ball joints seemed to be in good shape but I’d rather replace them now while everything is apart and easily accessible. Next week the subframe, all steering linkages, and upper/lower control arms should all be done with blasting and ready for paint.