Sunday, January 20, 2013

Why is Simple Never Easy?

The over original length  of the
push rod as well as the cuts and breaks

The very worn end of the push rod
 One of the things that I saw as a bonus with this transmission was that it had a hydraulic clutch. This meant no custom cables and All I had to do was locate the clutch master cylinder in the fire wall such that it lined up with the clutch pedal. It just had to mount high enough to make the stroke of the pedal match the stroke of the master and hopefully with the right leverage. The master and slave on this transmission are essentially one unit in that they are assembled and bleed by the component manufacturer and installed by dodge as a complete unit. There is no bleed nipple and there is no way to separate the components without compromising the system. Though I have found the master and the slave sold as individual units it still seems that they are made to be replaced as one and therefore if one of the two is damaged you are more or less in for some dollars. The setup I had with this transmission had some serious wear on the rod end, which obviously save money was mad as a solid piece not a swivel and it must not have been greased well because it is very worn for a truck that supposedly had only 39K miles on it. My solution was to simply cut the worn part off and thread the end for a heim joint. The shaft measured  .3125 so a 5/16/24 rod end would be perfect. In order to thread the rod I had to get it apart from the master. There is a clip that holds the whole plunger and spring assembly into the body of the master cylinder. It looks from the outside like you can remover this spring clip and the plastic retainer that holds the ball end of this push rod to the piston of the master will just come out thus freeing the push rod. Of course it isn’t that easy!!!!. That clip actually holds the whole piston assembly into the bore. So removing it and pulling the push rod pulls the whole piston and spring assembly out and the push rod is still attached to the top of the piston. Now of course the whole fricken thing is going to have to be bleed somehow when reassembled. I’ll figure that out later. The push rod is held in by a little spring tab clip that fits into the end of the piston. This really isn’t meant to come out. After messing around with some small picks I was able to get the push rod out and then after a considerable amount of more picking and cursing I got the spring tab clipy thing out. I needed to get it out because some of the tabs had gotten flattened when taking the push rod out and the only way to gently bend them back without breaking them was with the clip out. Now that the whole thing was a part I set about putting the push rod in the lathe and parting off the worn  eye rod end. Once off I set the lathe up to thread 24TPI and started to thread the end. I had a beautiful 5/16-24 thread but it was a bit tight. So I decided to take a .003 clean up pass to see if that allowed the rod end to go on fully. Well the threading tool grabbed the cheap metal (no idea what metal it actually is) and the whole threaded part just snapped off. The shaft went from 5/15 to ¼” just after the eyelet and its ¼” where it meets the piston of the master. It’s at this reduction that the part snapped. After swearing a lot I cleaned up the end and threaded it ¼-28. Of course I don’t have a ¼-28 rod end so I’ll have to get one from McMaster. The other potential problem is that not the push rod is almost exactly half the length it used to be so I’ll have to use a coupler and a 3” threaded stud to gain the length back. This will at least give me more adjustability in the end which will be a good thing. Over all not the simple job I had planned. That really should be the title of this whole project.

Posted by Picasa
The Clip that holds the push rod
into the Master Cylinder piston

Thursday, January 10, 2013

Brakes in the Regularly Scheduled Action

I got the brake master cylinder and booster installed and bent up some new stainless 3/16” lines, with new stainless fittings all around. I’m using an aftermarket proportioning valve that also has a pressure activated brake light switch and brake failure warning sender integrates into it. The brake light switch was mounted there a second front brake line could have been mounted and I had to drill that hole and tap it for 1/8” NPT  to install the switch. There is a new brass crossover mounted to the main frame cross member under the steering box.

Posted by Picasa

Monday, January 7, 2013

Pittman Arm Solutions

Posted by Picasa

Engine Mounts

Driver Side Aluminum Angle
Plate and Frame Holes

Here are the finished motor mount spacers. I’m using the stock Dodge rubber motor mounts (pillow blocks) and Chris made these spacers to bolt everything up to the frame. As you can see we drilled holes on the cross member to accommodate the bolts that hold the whole thing in place. The engine fits best when placed slightly off center (toward the passenger side) and tilted slightly back. This is good for a number of reasons. First is that the 260ci V8 that came in the truck was also mounted slightly off center toward the passenger side and therefore there is slightly heavier front suspension spring on that side already. Second the rearward slant will help a bit in draining oil into the deeper part of the sump and lastly it straightens out the driveline somewhat for sell stress on the universal joints of the drives haft. In order to facilitate the slant Chris milled 2 aluminum plates at an angle that will keep the pillow blocks from twisting when bolted to the frame. On the passenger side, due to the engine being slightly shifted over the pillow block will bold through the aluminum space directly to the frame cross member. On the driver side there needed to be an additional spacer made. This was welded together from 1-1/2 square steel tubing and 12ga plate steel. The last picture shows how it will sit on top of the aluminum angle plate. The motor will go in this afternoon and I will post pictures of the final assembly when I can.
Passenger Side Aluminum
Angle Plate
Driver Side Aluminum Angle

Driver Side Aluminum Angle
Plate With Steel Weldment atop
Steel Welded Spacer