Thursday, February 23, 2012

To Do List

Well, I need to get a few things done to Ed before I take him to St. George for my works Mini Indy charity race. I don't want to break down on my way to or from there. Here is the list:
1. Change the Transmission Fluid
2. Adjust the brakes
3. Replace the ball joints
4. Install lowered spindles
5. Grease the front beam
6. get an alignment
7. Adjust the valves
8. Change the oil
9. Check the timing and adjust the carburetor.
10. Wash and vacuum

I started this list last week by draining the transmission fluid after I drove it home from work so it was warm.
I put it back up on jack stands and it will be there for awhile until I get the ball joints pressed out and in.

 It takes a 17 MM Allen wrench/socket to remove the drain plug and filler plug. Make sure you remove the filler plug before you drain the fluid because if you don't and have a problem removing the fill lug your hosed. The only way to fill up the trans then is to put your bug on it's top and fill it from the drain hole.
The fill plug is on the left hand side of the trans. It should be pretty easy to get to if your bugs on jack stands.

The drain plug is right on the bottom. Try not to get the fluid on you because it stinks something awful and the scent will stay with you for awhile.

 This fluid isn't very old and I am a little bummed that the magnet on the plug had so much stuff on it. I don't feel like changing the transmission anytime soon.
 I am trying a new trans fluid. It's redline MTL. Jay Leno swears by the stuff and claims your trans will shift and feel like new. It's worth a shot I figured. I will let you know how it works when I get it back together. I still have the plugs out and I pushed some fluid through it to hopefully clean any gunk out. It's still draining in my garage and so the garage smells really good.
 This is why I am looking at the ball joints. The boots are trashed. I was really bummed seeing this. These ball joints are only 2 years old with 10,000 miles on them.
I hoped I could just put boots on them and call them good but they were shot. I couldn't believe they were so loose. Looks like I need to get new ones.
 I am going to install lowered spindles and I am hoping that with those they will put the ball joints at a more natural angle then they were before. Maybe I can get longer life out of the ball joints. It starts by removing the tie rod from the spindle. A rivet gun works good for removing them without messing up the boot. Then remove the ball joint nuts and pop them out of the spindle.

 I removed the brake dust shield with the 3 bolts and that allows you to remove it with all the brakes still hooked up. It's a piece of cake. You don't need to disconnect the brake hose just move the assembly out of the way
 Remove the spindle and disconnect the sway bar and shock.
  You can then remove the torsion arms so you can put them in a press to remove and install the new joints. 
 Here is where it sits now. I have the drivers side arms removes and I need to do the ball joints. I really dislike changing the ball joints on a bug because there is no lip to press them out easily. You usually end up beating them out with a rivet gun and that just plain sucks.
 I have felt pretty crappy the last 2 days so I haven't had the energy or motivation to change the joints but I have them ready for when I do. Maybe tomorrow or sometime next week. Check back then and see.

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