January 2004 – clean up parts

I borrowed a grinder to notch the control arms per the manual instructions. I think I will go buy one.  It made that task very easy.

The lower control arms were cleaned up with old fashion elbow grease and painted with Rustoleum. 2004.01.ControlArms The rubber boot on the ball joints was cracked so I replaced the ball joints even though the shop manual says you can’t.  I borrowed a ball bearing press from my local Auto Zone.  Actually I had to put down a 100 buck deposit. The bearing press worked great to remove and install the new ball joints.  Note: I did buy a half inch breaker bar and it was needed to get the leverage to press the new ball joints into place.

The rear axle was removed and cleaned up as well. I know it is only going to get dirty again but it was nice to clean it up.  Using the instructions in the manual the gas petal was shorted, the power booster was taken apart or perhaps I should say destroyed to get the push rod out.  2004.01.DonorRearEndThe manual instructions were not real clear on how to get the push rod out.  Let’s just say I hope I only needed the push rod and not the booster.  The steering rack was also cleaned up but not painted.


The big decision was what to do with the engine. It was not burning any oil but did have a slight oil leak.  I started out thinking I would rebuild the engine myself.  I took off  the heads and dropped them off at a local shop to have them checked out. Then I decided to take in the engine block and have it checked out. In the end I decided to have them go over the entire engine.  2004.01.engineOh, I did at least clean all the valve lifters. That was not hard to do once I figured out how to get them completely apart.  I picked up a gallon can of cleaner that came with a basket to set parts in to clean them.  After soaking  all I had to do was wipe the dirt off.  Gosh, I wonder if I can clean that old lasagna pan with this stuff?? I took a lot of notes on the items I removed from the engine. The real test will be can I get all those parts back on …. we will see.

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