With the last shackle pins removed we had nothing left on the frame. We drafted Janet to help us lift the frame up and over the differential and out of the workshop. Next stop, the top of our yard and then on to North County Powder Coating.
Frame heads towards the street.
But where did our Michigan go? All that is left is the hind quarters.
Even the dog knows something is missing.
In looking at the front spring mount for the rear wheels / differential / rear axle / it was apparent that it was considerably more complicated than the other (unscrew the nut) mounts. Not being familiar with this sort of mount or fastening method, we looked at it and finally came to the conclusion that the pin was driven into the mount, through the spring and retained by another threaded pin. This was NOT completely obvious, as the retaining pin was camouflaged by grit, grease, dirt and detritus, besides being a half inch down in a hole. The clue was a screw slot, revealed after cleaning the hole out. But the screw wouldn’t budge. Applications of Kroil penetrant, were without success, so out came the “heat wrench” propane torch. We heated and lubed several times and then re-lubed with more Kroil.
Heating the spring mount
Finally the screw loosened a bit. More Kroil. Half turn out. Half turn in. Repeat. Full turn out. Full turn in. Repeat. Eventually the screw came out. That’s nice. There was no way to bang the actual shackle pin out. The threads looked like and felt like 3/8 x 24 fine thread, but a bolt threaded in got very tight and started to strip.
Rejoice – a loose screw – left side photo.
Time to call on someone that may have actually done this operation — Mike Howard (another Model K owner). On the evening of May 12, we got a call from Mike. He suggested a slide hammer and a gear puller arrangement. Good news. We were on the correct path to extracting this pin.
On May 13, Dad & I got another (unstripped) 3/8 x 24 fine bolt and an all thread connector nut at the hardware store and welded up a tool for the end of my slide hammer. BINGO! A few hard smacks and the pin gave up and let loose. The rear end was now detached from the frame.
Having removed the body of the car presents you with a fairly uncluttered view of the running gear and drive train.
I ain’t got no body
It also sets your mind to worrying about corrosion hidden in little nooks and crannies. And then you decide to take it all off so you can RE-assemble on a solid rust free protected frame. Well….. that’s the thought. Surface and other rust was evident. Peeling paint was significant.
Rust never sleeps
Peel is real
What should we do? Sand & wire brush? Blast & paint? What was cost efficient? Yes, I have a sand blasting pot and a big compressor, but the last outside blasting job that I did used multiple bags of sand, was messy, and took forever. (My blasting cabinet is a different story and I use it all the time, usually with glass beads as the preferred media.)
After long consideration and discussions with others, I’ve come to the conclusion that while not perfect, the best route is to remove everything from the frame and send it out to be blasted and powder coated. Here is how we removed the engine, transmission, front and rear axles over the period May 9 through 13, 2016.
Motor in a sling
Dad steadies the motor as it is lowered into a custom cart.
Transmission leaves the frame.
Empty frame with wheels
After the shackle pins are removed, the front end rolls out onto the grass.
One of the truly disconcerting things about doing restoration work is figuring out when to NOT go to the next level of disintegrating the car. The ultimate level is completely taking the car apart to the last little nut & bolt. Once you get going, your vision gets blurred and it seems that everything needs to be freshened up. Oh dear. I fear that I may be on that track. The major precipitating event happened when my Dad & I removed the body of the car on New Years Eve, December 31, 2015. I was somewhat shocked to find that the four bolts that hold the body on were not just loose, they had no nuts on them at all. Clear evidence to me that Philip Dickey (we obtained the car from his son, Steve –my wife Janet’s cousin) had been here already. With our trusty Harbor Freight 2 ton crane, fitted to a 4×4 beam with a wire cable yoke, my Dad, Vince and our housekeeper, Juana Rodriguez balanced the load and slowly jacked up the body.
Single 4×4 beam & wire yoke at the balance point
I then rolled the frame & running gear out from under the suspended body.
Ready to roll out the car from under the levitated body.
Next, I rolled in our previously constructed “body cart”.
Body Cart in place
The body was then on the cart which had casters allowing us to move the body around in the workshop.
Body removed from frame to rest on cart.
We felt we had accomplished a lot and deserved to rest up until next year. Which we did.
Body off, frame rolled outside