A light, airy, effervescent, blog of grave consequence. (NOT!) Dedicated to those of us who must respond to negative stimuli by Chernobyling (entombing in concrete) our innermost thoughts.

Location: Slaughter, Louisiana, United States

A semi-gruntled corporate reliability engineer trying to make ends meet while keeping my wife happy, and myself out of the asylum.

Saturday, January 08, 2011

Butterfly Closures are good

Spent most of the day so far working on the Ford. Started out with the rear brakes. Replaced the worn out starwheel adjuster parts and got that mechanism working again.

While under the truck, I noticed that the spare was totally flat. I removed it and pumped it up, but it's not holding air very well. Judging by the cast flashing across the entire tread, that may have been the first time the spare was ever lowered from the truck. I think I'm going to have to unseat the beads, clean them and glue them so it holds air.

While looking at that I noticed that the rear shocks didn't even have enough rebound left to push the rubber piece up against the truck frame at the top. I looked at the fronts and they were the same, so back to Autozone for shocks.

I returned home and started on the fronts. I had noticed that the truck kinda wandered around the road and required almost constant steering input to keep it in its lane when driving on the highway. When I pulled the front wheels, I found out why. Both upper ball joints were shot. Since I didn't have a ball joint removal tool, I figured I'd try a pry bar to see if I needed to buy the tool.

Immediately following the pry bar slipping and me bashing my chin into the top of the brake rotor, I determined that I needed to buy the tool.

I doctored up the gash and held it closed with the aforementioned butterflies and headed back to Autozone. They had both upper A arms in stock as well as the pickle-fork I needed to separate the ball joints.

Returned home and hit it. Got the A-arms changed and installed the new shocks in the front. When I did, I noticed that the new shocks were about 2" longer than the old. That struck me as odd. I checked the old ones. Whoever had done the shocks before had installed 2WD shocks instead of 4wd units. The truck now sits at least an inch higher in the front.

I was able to swap out the rears with little drama even though they are designed poorly, (as is most everything I work on from Ford.) Those were wrong and short as well. The new rear shocks lifted the back up about an inch to match the front.

Took it for a test ride and the wandering is gone and the truck is solid as a rock. Now I'm going to wait until the front brakes wear into the rotors before changing them as the rotors are trashed from rust pitting and have to be changed out anyway.


Anonymous Sweet Pea said...

Are you scarred for life?

7:36 PM  
Blogger 2Evil4U said...

Probably, but it's on the bottom of my chin so it shouldn't be noticeable. It's basically staying closed on its own right now. Hopefully it stays that way over night.

8:06 PM  
Blogger Brian Gallimore said...

No pic?

A good bloody close-up is good blog fodder.

11:02 AM  
Blogger 2Evil4U said...

Heh. It actually closed up very nicely overnight. Not much to see but a pair of bruise-looking marks that bear a remarkable resemblance to the vent gap in the center of the front rotor of a 97 F150.

1:24 PM  

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