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Old 03-18-2015, 11:19 AM   #901
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Outstanding! --- Many thanks Malkieri! I'm off to Wally World...once again. And good timing too. Just yesterday I picked up a miniature propane camp stove to "boil" a few parts in.
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Old 03-18-2015, 11:53 AM   #902
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i used to get lots of nos harley davidson parts for resto projects. i would shave as much cosmoline off the part as i could, then boil atf in a fry-daddy fish fryer and drop the parts in. then, wsh parts in mineral spirits and brush away the residual. large parts, i would use steam cleaner after letting the parts lay out in the sun most of the day. careful with the steam cleaner as it will strip paint if you intend on doing a real "restoration.
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Old 03-18-2015, 01:52 PM   #903
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MEK will strip it off in a hurry. Just make sure there aren't any plastic parts, and you're going to have to re-grease any bearings. MEK is a strong solvent for those.
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Old 03-18-2015, 06:30 PM   #904
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Tango View Post
I'm holding out for some Lignum Viatae wood. The aft main shaft strut bearings for USS Nautilus (SSN-571), the world's first nuclear-powered submarine, were composed of this wood. Ought to be fine for an old Chevy, right?
Well I'll be!
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Old 03-18-2015, 06:47 PM   #905
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Hey Opus...they actually started machining bearings out of this wood long ago for use on the original tugs in Panama Canal. Seems it held up better than any of the metals they tried plus it is naturally self lubricating. Ain't Mother Nature cool!?
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Old 03-18-2015, 07:04 PM   #906
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Ours were maple with a hole and a grease zerk. Lasted....well, longer than I am old.
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Old 03-30-2015, 08:34 PM   #907
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Hey Tango. I don't think it's the 70 year old bus that's the problem ("Yet another argument to start with something younger than 70 years old to do your conversion on."). In my case it's my 70 odd years of being ridden hard and put up wet that seems to cause the greatest setbacks!

I'm looking forward to your next update and of course some pics! Jack
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Old 03-31-2015, 11:13 AM   #908
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Howdy Jack --- been really slo-goin here lately. Spent way more time & money than wished for working at adapting the front end to disk brakes. The kit I got was actually made for 2-ton Chevy trucks and naturally required a fair amount of modding to make work on my 1.5 ton chassis. Then, as long as the front axle was torn down, it seemed wise to replace the bearings & seals. Wise...yes...simple....no. Took weeks of scrounging to come up with enough NOS parts to begin putting things back together. The two outer wheel bearings turned out to be recent issue Timkin interchanges that were apparently made for the Space Program as the best "bargain price" I could find was $250 bucks each. Ouch.

I spent yesterday with a mechanic/buddy I trust going over a few alignment issues that turned out to be of no consequence, but the final test did not go well. I ordered this kit about a year or so ago and since then determined I needed to go with newer rims. Newer = smaller by a half inch (20" down to 19.5"). Just enough that it turns out the mongo Ford F-350 Super Duty calipers that fit inside the old/bigger rims...do not fit inside the new/smaller rims. Very close, but no cigar. Spent most of the day grinding away the outer edge of the calipers a little at a time to try and get clearance. After a couple of dozen rounds of grinding and mounting the rim & tire (140 pounds worth) I'm almost there, but still a little more metal to remove. According to my trusted mechanic friend, the cast steel calipers are so over-built that I "should be" OK.

Actually, the whole system is pretty heavy duty. And for your viewing pleasure, here are a couple of pix...


The custom caliper bracket...


The International Heavy-Duty truck rotors...


The hub with adapter & rotor.
NOTE: Mods to hub include...reaming mounting holes out to accept 9/16 bolts...new, Chevy 3500 lugs reamed and pressed in...and, an adapter ring machined and pressed on accommodate the larger center hole on the new rims.


And the whole package mounted.

See...I really have been doing SOMETHING. Sadly...virtually every component is hand made. Not exactly the preferred scenario if you break something on the road to Backwater Junction. Ah well...

Onward!
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Old 03-31-2015, 11:36 AM   #909
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Beautiful! But what a pain in the crotch. I know you have thought of this already but be sure to grind the calipers enough to allow for wheel flex in cornering situations. I tore up a caliper on an Avanti I had adapted rear disc brakes on. At $250 a pop you have set the "gold" standard for bearings--ouch!

Glad to see you are progressing. I'm looking forward to a mid way camp out once your little beauty is complete. Jack
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Old 03-31-2015, 12:34 PM   #910
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Roger the "Camp Out" --- Here's hoping we both live long enough for me to wrap this puppy up and drive it!

How'sa'bout somewhere near Area 51?

Seems only natural since we would both be driving UFO's
(Unusual Fabricated Objects).

BTW...I did find a machinery outfit that was selling the exact same Timkin bearings for $675 a piece. ???!!!WTF???!!!
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Old 04-07-2015, 11:02 AM   #911
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Well Howdy Folks --- Still wrangling with the front disk brakes. After scrounging all over the planet to assemble a set of new bearings & grease seals that are either no longer made or priced beyond reason, I was finally able to do a test fit to see if the wheels would clear the mongo Ford 350 brake calipers.

Of course not.

Problem being that when I started this brake swap way back when, I was still hoping to keep the original 20" wheels. They were changed to 19.5" rims when it was determined a new rear axle was the only way to reach anything close to highway speed. You wouldn't think a half-inch would make that much difference. It does. The brake kit was designed around the old style factory rims which, while only a smidgeon larger in diameter...are laid out entirely differently. The old rims go straight in along the outer surface and the new ones go in at an angle which creates the conflict.

Something had to give.

Since there are really few options, I checked with a trusted master mechanic friend about removing some metal from the calipers. He looked'em over and declared they were so overbuilt that grinding away along the trouble area should leave more than adequate metal. Being a bit shy about grinding away at something like a brake caliper, I took the conservative route. That means...grind a little...test the fit...grind a little...test the fit. It must have taken about twenty rounds of playing on-and-off with the 140 pound wheel before getting close. I won't have to go to the gym for a month.

After the first one was done, the second was relatively easy. Just match the first as close as possible. Thank God for seven-inch angle grinders and 36 grit flap wheels.

Anyhow, they both now fit inside the rims with just enough clearance to (hopefully) allow for any wheel flex (many thanks to Ol' Trunt for that heads up).

Here is what they look like now...



Ya...there is a fair amount of metal taken off but I did discover that this is actually a pretty common fix among racers and such, so let's hope for the best.

Oh...and speaking of "the best", below is what a brand new set of grease seals looks like. Or, at least what the package looked like...about 1952.


Always amazed at some of the NOS stuff that still shows up. The seals looked flawless...and yeah...I'm gonna keep the box.

Plenty more to do, so...

Onward!
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Old 04-07-2015, 11:35 AM   #912
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Not to worry Tango. The bus will stop even without the calipers. Just kidding, I can't imagine that that little bit of grinding would hurt anything. I'd be inclined to shock test the system a half dozen times somewhere flat and safe and then remove the calipers for visual inspection and perhaps a good magnafluxing looking for stress cracks and the like. When all that turns out good---well, it's like everything else we do on these old whoopties--Ya pays Ya money an Ya takes Ya chances! Jack
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Old 04-07-2015, 09:32 PM   #913
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[QUOTE=ol trunt;Ya pays Ya money an Ya takes Ya chances! [/QUOTE]

You got that right Jack! But you'd think that the MORE you spent...the BETTER your chances might be. If that was the case, you and I would be guaranteed some security. But somehow, it just doesn't seem to work that way does it?

Onward...into the fog!
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Old 04-10-2015, 05:44 PM   #914
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Finally...All four feet are back on the ground! --- After months of searching, scrounging, fabbing, patching and whittling metal, at least the front end now has disk brakes on freshly rebuilt spindles. The final fit...gave me fits. After getting all the brake parts modded and assembled, the new 19.5" rims were rubbing against the mongo calipers. I wound up removing quite a bit of metal but given how massive and overbuilt the Ford 350 calipers are, I am hoping they are still up to the task.


Down on all fours...er, make that sixes.



Couldn't resist throwing a little red paint on the caliper bodies.


The custom disk brake kit includes some serious hardware. It should be able to haul down just about any load at any speed.


Still have the rest of the brake system to put together (from scratch). Everything from the pedals to the master and hydroboost to all new lines.

Still more fun yet to come.

Onward!
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Old 04-10-2015, 06:10 PM   #915
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Very clean and looks great, and I have (lots of others also) have ground the piss out of calipers to clear bead locks and such when putting on massive brakes behind smaller rims

Why Ferrari red? Is that your inner redneck/ricer coming out?

J/k kinda ;)
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Old 04-10-2015, 06:10 PM   #916
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Any pictures of her....ugh...rear?
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Old 04-10-2015, 10:38 PM   #917
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Hey Bansil --- It's always risky to ask any gal about her rear...but...it is new too. Replaced the original 6.17 with a 1998 Chevy 3500 4x2 Dana 80 HD Duallie w/wide track that has 4.30 gearing for better highway performance and got disk brakes in the package. Given the old rear end was only good to about 45 mph, it really needed an upgrade. That worked out well as the Chevy wheels that fit the rear axle also fit the front with adapters I made. And in spite of being a "one-ton" compared to my original which was a ton-and-a-half...it is actually rated higher. 13,500 compared to 10,000.


Here it is being positioned.


And here it is bolted up. The old springs were also replaced with a set that has much lighter loading.

And yes...it was one heavy sucker to move about.

Still need to fit a mechanical disk parking brake onto the rear yoke but I think I've found what I need. Then, on to the two piece drive shaft.

Onward!
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Old 04-10-2015, 11:12 PM   #918
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Tango- Yea-I've ground calipers before on race cars. It seems like each rim company has a different idea where to put its bends. And where you ground is plenty safe. Another racing trick that might haved worked for you is wheel spacers.(But I don't know if your track needs to be fixed at a certian number.)
Is there a reason why you front mounted your calipers?
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Old 04-11-2015, 04:26 AM   #919
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looks good tango. you gonna be finished with her in a few days?
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Old 04-11-2015, 04:40 AM   #920
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Sweeeeeeeeet

I like it, think she will be drivable this summer?
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