Archive for 2002

The CSX: November 21, 2002

by on Nov.21, 2002, under CSX

With my Shadow now donating the rest of the parts I need, I have finally made some progress on the repairs.  Using my dad’s handy hydraulic kit, I was able to push the underbody most of the way back…still needs a few tweaks though.  I test fitted the Shadow’s bumper, just to make sure the frame wasn’t tweaked at all.  It fit perfectly.  Looks like the restoration will have a happy ending.

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The Shadow: November 21, 2002

by on Nov.21, 2002, under Shadow

R.I.P.  I have decided to retire the old beast.  The right rear brake line rusted through last week (not too uncommon).  I spent several hours trying to patch it, but more and more of the lines crumbled away and all the fittings twisted off as I tried to remove them.  If the body on this car wasn’t in such horrible shape (five shades of peeling red paint on a crooked body), I would certainly just fix it.  This was simply the final straw for me…and excuse to get something worth fixing.  I will be pulling the powertrain and stripping the body for spare CSX parts.  After that I will part what’s left out and have it hauled away.  It’s sad, as I have been driving this car for the past 7 years, but there comes a time when you just have to give it up.  I learned a great deal about cars through the old-timer, and its memory will live on here.

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The Shadow: October 24, 2002

by on Oct.24, 2002, under Shadow

After almost exactly 2 months of neglect (one of those spent waiting for parts), I finally got the trans rebuilt and installed.  The rebuilt went well, once I broke down a bought the right tools.  If you are going to work on one of these, buy yourself a pair of snap-ring pliers with flat, knurled ends and a decent, small gear puller.  You’ll be glad you did.  I bought both from Sears and they worked great.  The puller made quick work of the front (bell housing side) intermediate shaft bearing as well as the outer race in the extension housing and the pliers made quick work of those annoying snap rings.  The rest of the outer races came out with a hammer and punch.

The inner races are a bit more work, but aren’t bad as long as you are careful.  Since there is nothing to grab with a puller, I opted to grind through the inner races most of the way with a Dremel, then hit it with a cold chisel and small sledge to crack it.  The race will slide right off…just be careful of flying bits of metal and be sure to use those fiberglass-reinforced cutoff wheels.  Also, if you opt to get the chome-moly bearing retainer plate, you MUST measure and adjust the input shaft preloading because it does not have the relief for the outer race of the rear input shaft bearing.  The instructions in the service manual are fairly straight-forward.  I opted for zero end play, since most of the input shafts on the transmissions I’ve worked on get sloppy shortly after a rebuild.

The new trans works great and it’s nice having my old beater back.  Two months of paint peel has left the car looking as bad as ever, but it still goes like hell….

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The CSX: October 12, 2002

by on Oct.12, 2002, under CSX

Thanks to our club’s prez, Jason Trotter, I now have a tail light and that flimsy trim piece.  Now I just need a bumper support and struts.  I’m thinking of getting brand new struts from Mopar, since all the ones I’ve seen in the yard (and on my cars) are rusted pretty bad.

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The CSX: September 29, 2002

by on Sep.29, 2002, under CSX

BAM!  Some kid in his daddy’s SUV rear-ended me today.  A few seconds after stopping for a red light, he hit me thinking I had gone through (it had just changed).  Just what I needed…another project.  The damage isn’t too bad: collapsed bumper struts, bent bumper support, broken taillight, and the metal trim between the taillights and bumper is twisted up.  There is no other frame or body damage except for the underbody behind the right tail light.  That’s going to need a bit of pushing.

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The CSX: September 2, 2002

by on Sep.02, 2002, under CSX

Kudos to Dave Tekampe for helping me install the new suspension components.  The work wasn’t too bad except for the control arm bushings.  Whatever stories you’ve heard about removing those suckers is true.  It’s a chore getting the rubber out of the metal sleeve.  All the metal pieces need to be saved because the kit from energy suspension does not contain anything useful except for the rubber itself.  The rest of the bushings are fairly straight forward.  After some trial and error, we found that pushing out the center sleeve with a large bolt, followed the rubber works best.  There’s no need to push the outer sleeve out of the control arm.  Of course, he had access to an arbor press….

Anyway, the CSX now has new Koni struts and shocks (including KYB strut mounts, etc), new Energy Suspension polyurethane control arm and sway bar bushings, and new lower ball joints.  The car handles wonderfully now, compared to before, even with the eye-balled alignment and shot tires.  Those are next on the list.

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The CSX: August 15, 2002

by on Aug.15, 2002, under CSX

Another few months since the last update (better than almost 2 years).  Not much has changed with the car except that it has been my daily driver since the trans blew on the Shadow in early June.  On a positive note, I now have all the parts needed to restore the suspension.  On an even more positive note, we now own a home and I have a garage!  The mighty resurrection will surely follow soon….

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The Shadow: August 15, 2002

by on Aug.15, 2002, under Shadow

Back in early June, the trans started making a horribly loud whining noise all of the time.  Prior to that I was hearing more noise than usual, but what I was hearing then definitely signaled the end of the bearings.  I’m guessing that my rather heavy foot combined with copious amounts of boost caused a bit too much wheel spin, which tore up the spiders on the diff.  Since we were without a garage and about to purchase a home, I limped the car the 40 miles or so to my parent’s driveway to wait out the upcoming craziness in our lives.  Now that we are getting settled in our new home, it is time to deal with this thing.

I have the original A520 that came with the CSX.  It seems to have survived the two garage floods that occurred while it was in storage at my friends’ place.  I took it apart and cleaned/reoiled it both times, so it should be in good shape.  It does, however need a new #2 syncro and could also use new bearings.  The spiders on the diff look excellent.  I have placed an order for new bearings, snap rings, spacers, shifter fork pads, #2 stop ring, and the chrome-moly bearing retainer plate.  I want to get the plate because I know the other A520 was flexing pretty bad when the Shadow hit its torque peak (let out quite a howl in 3rd gear).  I am ordering the parts through Gary Donovan at Relentless Performance.

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The CSX: February 19, 2002

by on Feb.19, 2002, under CSX

Long time, no update.  Now that I am living in an apartment, little has changed with this car.  Stills runs pretty good, but the trip back from SDAC with those bad tires ruined what was left of the original struts.  To become safe for the roads, the cars needs struts/shocks (probably Konis), lower ball joints, tires, and bushings (polyurethane).  In its current condition, the car becomes rather unstable above 50mph, but I still take it on the 5 minute drive to work to keep it alive.  The motor is still the same, piston slap and all.  Still makes good power, though.  The car also got flooded when our parking lot flooded twice last year.  I was able to dry it out, but now I find that it leaks water in the rain.  Grrr….

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The Shadow: February 19, 2002

by on Feb.19, 2002, under Shadow

Not much has changed with this car, since I have no where to work on it now.  We hope to buy a house this year, so all of that will eventually change.  Other than the continuing paint-peel saga, this car has been running well.  The only real problem I had was when the center contact distributor cap burned off.  The engine was running a little rough, which turned out to be because the spark was arching 1/4 inch from the primary to the rotor.  How’s that for a strong ignition system!  Next will be the transmission (the bearings are starting to howl), but I still have the spare A520 from the CSX.  This car also got flooded twice last year, but I was able to dry it out and it seems to have survived OK.

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