Although there haven’t been any updates for over a month, a lot of things have been going on. None of them have improved or even changed La Tempesta even the tiniest little bit, but read on …
Archive for the 'Steering' Category
Earlier this week I spent almost the entire Monday and Tuesday evening in the garage, slowly mounting the last pieces of the front suspension together. As usual there was a small-ish mistake to correct. Four of the tie rod ends I got this winter had castellated nuts, but the last two had nyloc locking nuts and a rather long bolt. I don’t know how I came to the cinclusion that the nyloc variant should be on the inner side of the outer arms, but it soon became apparent that they touched the rubber dust jackets of its neighbours as the centre rod moved sideways. Since having a working steering is quite practical, the outer steering arms had to be turned 180 degrees. That took me quite a while since the tapered ends were torqued into the arms on the idler and steering box.
The garage had a comfortable -1° C this afternoon, so I suited up with a couple of layers of warm clothes and off I went! One thing that’s been bugging me for a while was the last of the tie rod ends which was stuck in the pitman arm. I have already broken one splitter trying to get it off, and I wasn’t eager to ruin another one. I decided to put the garage temperature to some good use and heated the pitman arm thoroughly with the blowtorch, applied the splitter and waited. After about 30 seconds it came unstuck with a loud bang and a satisfying clank as the tie rod end hit the garage floor.
After that I inspected the various parts that Classic Alfa sent me just before winter solstice. The special bolts which connects the front anti roll bar to the spring pans had some transport damage, but a few minutes with a thread file took care of that. For the record: all the tie rod ends are the same as on contemporary Alfa Romeo 105-series. I bought FRAP instead of the original Lemförder. They cost much less, plus the Lemförder tie rod ends are becoming somewhat hard to find.
An hour and a half in the garage was apparently plenty of time since the nose started running and my fingers became numb, but the 2010 garage season have officially started!
The amount of oil present on the chassis members on the driver’s side have bothered me for quite a while. It is a constant seep which produces small patches on the garage floor, and the steering links are very greasy and soiled. I haven’t actually bothered to chase it down since I started working on the front suspension, but a couple of days ago it was blindingly obvious where it came from: the steering box. It appears to have the same green-tinted oil as the differential sump was filled with, and that is fine according to the book. Once the suspension is all tidied up I’m removing the steering box to at least change the gaskets and oil seal/O-ring. The box does not have any visible cracks, but I may just do the recommended reinforcement of the chassis member where it is attached.