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Project Dajiban


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I was afeared that we would do this flip and I would look at it and say, "Hmm, I can't really see a difference."  Oh ho, how wrong I was!  As I was lowering the jack, I kept watching that rear license plate get closer and closer to the ground.  I was giggling like a little girl when I stood next to the thing and could just almost see the top of the roof!  I can hardly wait until we drop the front.  I want so bad to run it at this height.  I just hope we can get the front this low... and still turn.  We'll see.

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Spacers taken off the back end, and drove it around a bit to settle it down. Definitely a good height in the back...

 

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Tim's beefy floor supports. Just painted black so they don't rust. Eventually the whole floor will get painted gray...

 

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We got the front end up on jack stands and took the wheels off. Well, tried to. One of the studs was just spinning in the hub. Had to get creative, and destructive...  😄

 

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We got one side disassembled for comparison to the new drop spindles. Looks like minimal fuss to get them fitted. Stock caliper brackets foul this spot, though...

 

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Took the caliper brackets to the grinder...

 

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And now they fit with a wee bit of room to spare...

 

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Need to replace the brake pads while it's apart, and obviously one wheel stud, but it's looking like a pretty straightforward swap. We are still contemplating just how much to trim off the springs while it's apart for the perfect amount of low...  😎 

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Also, kinda pissed at Bell Tech about one thing on these spindles. They are usually known for good quality parts, but the caliper brackets holes were not tapped correctly for shit. One bolt got stuck going in, and neither would thread all the way through. 

 

Thankfully we had a tap to fix it, and I went ahead and chased the threads in the other side too, because they were also for shit. 😑

 

If you look closely, you can actually see in this photo how shitty the threads are in those holes...

 

Quote

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1 minute ago, datsunfreak said:

 

Oh, I'm 99.9% sure these are Hecho in Mexico, but that's no excuse for shoddy quality control...

Customs should inspect for quality control and add extra tariff for shoddy quality! 🤣

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16 hours ago, MikeRL411 said:

No matter who made the part, always run a tap die through the holes before bolting up.  A good idea to chase the threads on the bolts also.

 

To be perfectly honest, when I "cleaned up" the bolts on the wire wheel, I noticed a few boogered threads.  I said (but perhaps only to myself), "I really should run a file over those."  We didn't know at that time that they were 1/2-20 and thus something for which we had a tap & die.  I did not clean up those threads and the combination of boogered bolt, soft cast iron, and crappily cut threads seized right the hell up.  Once bitten...

 

TL;DR: Bell Tech isn't totally to blame for the seized bolt.

 

Edited by dimlight65
Added "soft cast iron"
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So, my mother is a huge TCU fan and really wants this thing to be purple.  She therefore offered to pay for the paint job.  I laughed and said I would look into it, knowing it would cost WAY more than she thinks.  I got a quote from the gentlemen in the adjacent shop (not the guy who painted the Statutory Grape) and took that number to mom.  Well, to make a short story long... we will be sticking with the grey & patina paint scheme.

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On 11/30/2019 at 3:58 PM, dimlight65 said:

I'm just going to say that tapered ball joints into tapered holes suck, and I'd like to find the guy who designed them and punch him in the throat... repeatedly.

 

Took forever (see above), but got the driver's side apart...

 

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We decided to take a half a coil off while the springs were out...

 

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Got the driver's side back together, with new brake pads for good measure, but the current confidence level on if it's "low enough" is at maybe 50%...

 

 

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Ended up with a total front drop of 3.25". And you might not see it in this photo, but there's only a 1" difference between the front and rear right now. 

 

Currently, the front end is as low as we can go without rubbing, so to go any lower would obviously mean modified fenders and/or smaller tires. We are going to raise the back about 1.25" to get it back to slightly raked, and at the same time improve diff-to-floor clearance (2" gap currently). 

 

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Sounds an awful lot like wussing out...😁👍

 

I'm a little sad it's not "statutory grape 2 - the new vintage", but since I'm broke and spend $0 on cars right now, i have no room to speak.

 

Keep it up guys.  Always entertaining

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On 12/5/2019 at 10:26 PM, Lockleaf said:

Sounds an awful lot like wussing out...😁👍

 

 

If we're talking about the paint, perhaps.  If we're talking the rear ride height, it is but we have sound science behind it... and that science is, "Shut up, nerd!"  😜

 

Anyhoo, we've been discussing how we're going to raise the rear a little.  But first, a little back story.  The locating bracket thingies in the flip kit were about 3/4" taller than the axle tube, but still somehow the right diameter.  I'm not really sure how THAT happened.  That 3/4" is now incorporated into my drop.

 

So, option 1) is trim those brackets to get back 3/4", option B) is a set of 1500# over-leaf spring helpers, and on the gripping hand is airbags or air shocks.  I went for B and just installed them.  I think they might have done the trick... especially if the front settles down a little more.  If the front continues to be recalcitrant, we'll weigh the options of trimming the locating bracket or installing air shocks.  I think air shocks will be easier but the brackets are a no-mo-money solution.

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So the whole time I was ordering the air shocks for this thing (oh, I decided on air shocks to get the final rake/stance right, by the way) I was having flashbacks to 1982, laying on my back in Steve's driveway, helping him install a set on his '74 Camaro so we could fit N-50 15 tires... 'cuz that's what we did back then, AND WE LIKED IT!

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So, even after lowering and adjusting the toe out about 1.25" per side, it was still way toed in. It needed at least another inch of width... 

 

So we started looking at ways to lengthen the tie rods and came up with this fix. We took a big ass bolt and nut, screwed the nut all the way down, cut the head off the bolt, cut the tie rod sleeve in half, and...

 

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And it is a super tight fit, so much so we basically hammered them into the sleeve...

 

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The holes are for rosette welds to add strength. So then we welded them back together...

 

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And the result is a two-fold bonus. Each tie rod is now a little over 1/2" longer, and much easier to adjust...

 

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Of course those nuts are now fouling a spot on the subframe we will have to somehow bend out of the way...  😑

 

We got the tie rods back in the van, and inexplicably the toe is at exactly zero...  😄

 

After a drive to settle it down, it looks like this is our "final" front ride height...

 

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So with the spring helpers installed the van is now exactly level...

 

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Which, is too low in the back still...   😀

 

Air shocks (and some shock extension brackets) are up next to see if we can get at least one more inch up in the rear to get it back to the rake we desire...

 

 

 

Edited by datsunfreak
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And it's been a much heated debate whether to go one inch lower up front (what Tim wants), or one inch higher in the back (what I want). 

 

I am lobbying for more driveability, he is lobbying for everything needs more low, which is always a compelling argument that is hard to refute...  😁

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15 hours ago, datsunfreak said:

And it's been a much heated debate whether to go one inch lower up front (what Tim wants), or one inch higher in the back (what I want). 

 

I am lobbying for more driveability, he is lobbying for everything needs more low, which is always a compelling argument that is hard to refute...  😁

 

I acknowledge that John is totally correct.  Driveability is the smart way to go.  However, if it were not such a monumental pain in the ass to take the front apart again, I'd be in there chopping another half coil off the springs!  So, it is 1/4 "intelligence" and 3/4 "bone-idle laziness" deciding the issue.

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3 minutes ago, dimlight65 said:

 

I acknowledge that John is totally correct.  Driveability is the smart way to go.  However, if it were not such a monumental pain in the ass to take the front apart again, I'd be in there chopping another half coil off the springs!  So, it is 1/4 "intelligence" and 3/4 "bone-idle laziness" deciding the issue.

😂🤣🤣

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