My shop (actual work) was closed today, and I had the intention of working, but found myself at the other shop working on the car.
I started by cutting the screws off the dust shield to get it ready to push the wheel bearing out of the knuckle. I found that I didn’t have the proper sockets for the bearing press so wasn’t able to press it out today.
I decided to remove the front beam and get to work on that. It was pretty straight forward, other than the ALB model has an additional plate that the accumulator pump assembly bolts to. I fussed with that a bit. The best way to get at the 3 10mm bolts is from the top, by removing the first two sections of the intake tubing and the battery tray.
When I went to drop the beam, I had a what is this moment, as the two bolts on the drivers side, once loose, seemed to be drain plugs. As I said earlier, the power steering pump seal was bad, and the engine bay was soaked in power steering fluid. I thought I had taken care of this, but a good amount of fluid had pooled in the subframe. Had to laugh after I realized what was happening.
The beam itself wasn’t in too bad of shape. A lot of surface rust, even more power steering fluid gunk, and two spots where it was dented from hitting the road. Sort of surprised at stock ride height that the beam would be able to hit the ground. I didn’t note any serious structural damage.
Given the state of everything rubber on this car, I assumed the mounts were probably shot, and one reason for the engine vibration noticeable in the cabin. If the front mount is any indication of the others they are way past due for a change.
I don’t have a blast cabinet (not that this would have fit in it) but it is days like today that I wish I did. I spent a couple hours with an angle grinder and a wire wheel to remove the old paint and surface rust.
I tried using POR-15 for the first time as I want to make sure to keep this from rusting since we can’t buy the part new anymore. So I used their degreaser and metal prep. The etching acid did a good job at removing the pitted rust I wasn’t able to reach with the wire wheel.
I should have painted this in my spray booth, but that is at my other shop and didn’t feel like hauling the beam over there—so I just painted it where I was. Not ideal, there will definitely be some dust in it, but this is more for rust protection than making it pretty. Depending on how it cures I might give it a scuff and a primer and paint coat. TBD.
Felt a little strange painting a car part with a brush, but the POR-15 self levels pretty well and turned out fine. It says two coats. Not sure if I’ll do that or not. Going to let this cure overnight and assess. Rear beam is next. There is surface rust where this beam mates to the chassis, so I need to clean that up and coat before putting it back together. Need to order new mounts as well.