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Next job[s] on Otto - thoughts?

mikeamondo

Jedi Hopeful
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So, thanks for all the help so far! I took the little guy out for the first spin around town... about 10 or 15 miles. Discovered several new issues and am deciding on my next steps. I'd appreciate some input as to the following issues I discovered today.... what may be the culprits, how hard the fixes, any tips, etc.... due to time, I may have some of the harder parts done at a shop so I'm trying to decide what I'll do and what I should maybe farm out....

1) Brakes - front drivers side stuck for a bit... pulling up on the pedal unstuck it and it didn't repeat. However, a bit further along, the pedal got mushy ... as in I had to put it nearly to floor to engage, until I pumped it a few times... a few pumps, and the pressure returned. What causes that? I have new cylinders for the front and hoses. I'll likely do those and new shoes while I'm at it.
2) Coolant leak - not too bad... I'm thinking I should replace the upper and lower hoses with new ones along with the belts and see it that takes care of it. Are there other specific weak points that often leak coolant? It was enough to make a decent size puddle running out from under the car when I parked on a slope.
3) Steering - It's really loose. Like, the steering wheel position is more a suggestion about the general direction you want to go. I know one of the ribbed rubber boot things on the steering rack is torn. Also, hitting a bump can make the wheels bounce badly and slide the car a good six inches to the side. Additionally, bumps can result in a loud bang or clunk.

As always, any thoughts on this appreciated. And sorry if I'm wearing out my welcome... starting to feel like I'm writing a Bugeye diary on here....
 
Well Mike, don't worry about "wearing out your welcome." Almost everyone here is happy to help as we have all been through these same issues. You do have a couple of safety issues to deal with there. Definitely do replace the brakes. A partial wheel lockup is usually an indication of a collapsing hose. There is also one for the rear axle so replace it too. The cylinders may be repairable but new ones are not very expensive.
The loose steering problem probably requires more investigation as there are more pieces involved. Someone with more Spridget experience will come along to offer suggestions on where to start. Hang in there. You will get er done.
 
And your front end issue is caused by either a worn fulcrum pin or cracked or worn wishbone bushings. Typical Spridgets issue caused by lack of proper maintenance and grease to front end. Not cheap to do but transformative to your Sprite.

Get the hoses changed, and you are going to need to open your wallet for front end rebuild. Can someone post the step by step Nick and Mike Spridgets front end rebuild for Mike.
 
Thanks! I'd really appreciate the help on the front end job. I have front shoes, springs, top, bottom and bypass hoses on the way from Moss and I already have the cylinders. I'll be working on that stuff in the mean time.

The bad Fulcrum pin and wishbone bushings..... can the car be safely driven with those issues or is it a park it till it's fixed situation?
 
yeeeaahhh.... that may go beyond my facilities... both metal and physical. He says he put off the job for several years... does that mean I'm okay to drive it as is while I figure out if I want to tackle it or have it done elsewhere? Or save up the money to have it done elsewhere?
 
Mike
I would try to locate where the movement is in your front suspension. Start by having someone move turn the steering wheel when you are watching the tie rod ends. Could be your source of loose steering. Then jack up the car and try moving the wheel in and out from the top and bottom. Maybe you will spot something that won't require a complete rebuild or it will give us an idea of what your dealing with. Could be anything from bad wheel bearings, loose shock bolts, worn rubber bushings to worn king pins etc.
Gary
 
Sounds like good advice. I'm pretty sure there are many problems in the front end of this car. Working on the brakes just now, when I turned the wheels from a left had turn to a right hand turn there is a mild but definite clunk as you pass straight ahead. The tie rod ends look really bad to my untrained eye, and the boot covering the tie rod and the next joint on the passenger side is ripped open and non-functional.

How hard is it to do the tie rod ends and replace the boots? When I look at that it doesn't look so bad.

My goal here, is to get the car roadable asap. If I can't get it on the road this show season I have wasted a ton of business money on this car that I really should have spent other ways. I fully intend to keep working it into a better and better state, but it has to be a 'driving' restoration.... Which is why some jobs that I could figure out over months, I'll just need to get to someone who can do it in a day or two....
 
With car up on jack stands have someone hold the steering wheel in place and try to rotate each wheel/hub in the steering motion. There should very little to no slop in the tie rods. Replacing the tie rods and boots is not to difficult. You may need to purchase a $10 tie rod splitting fork. Keep track of the number rotations it takes to remove each tie rod end so you reinstall the new ones to the same place for toe-in alinement.
Gary
 
holly cow... His voice in that video is so soothing and comforting.... Makes me think I could do anything!

I think I can certainly handle the tie rod ends... I'll check youtube for some videos... and get the other boot changed at the same time.

Got the front brakes done tonight... all new cylinders and hoses. I put the same shoes back in, although there was glazing on the one that had been stuck... I have new shoes coming and will pop those in soon enough. Next up is grinding down what ever is grinding on the rear brakes. Then I can drive him again and see what's leaking in the coolant system.
 
Mike,
I’ve done the front end rebuild 4 times now and I did it without the aid of the Step by Step link.
1) a SawZall is your friend in getting things apart 2) this is the ideal time to upgrade to front disc brakes 3) yes it will cost more but the difference in braking feel is sooo much better 3) Peter Caldwell will provide a turnkey service to team and set up clearances for washers that fit under spindles 4) add a sway bar while you are at it 5) upgrade shocks with a set all around from Peter C as well. You won’t be disappointed.
 
I agree with several of the members who mentioned taking your time to find the exact problem with the suspension. It is a two person job. As they said get your head underneath with a good light and have someone move the steering wheel to see where what is not moving when it should. Start with the input shaft to the rack to make sure that the bolt is tight and there is no slop. Next look for the slop in the rack, how much does the wheel turn before the links/tierods move. There is an adjustment. Now, how much do the links move before the wheels move at the tierod ends.Tale some of the loadoff the wheels and start wiggling top to bottom. Look for any movement. Bottom pin to both lower arm and to kingpin. Kingpin to hub axle and then kingpin to shock arm.
The key is proper diagnosis as opposed to ripping everything apart.
The rubber boot is there to keep the dirt out and has no effect on the sloppiness of the steering. Yes it needs to be replaced.
Also make sure everything is greased. No grease or hard grease makes a difference on how the front moves.

As far as coolant leaks, they should be visible without driving. let it idle till warm, any leaks should be evident.
 
Again car on jack stands, drums reversed and bolted on, angle grinder with a grinding wheel attached, mine fro Harbor Freight for $14.95 on sale from Harbor Freight lasted 8 years, start up engine, grind the edge and done.
 
Got the angle grinder yesterday.... just want to make sure no one sees anything else in those pics before I start grinding away at them... And I've never done anything like that so I'm a little hesitant. Makes perfect sense tho.....
 
HF sells a Ball Joint Separator, Sometimes to be found for $9.95 on sale. Pulls those puppies right apart, just wedge in place, crank down the bolt, keep tightening, and BAM things are apart. Could number of threads exposed. Magic number used to be 15 exposed threads but Ball Joints from the usual suspects will end up with about 7 or 8 threads left exposed.
 
So... thanks for all the positive thought on this and my other threads. I'm learning as I go... Put the newly cut down drums (sorry... bailed on doing it myself and have my machinist friend do it)... on the rear, and added in my new shoes to the front. Back brakes are now nice and quiet so that's fixed. Brakes are still way mushy though. I may have failed to bleed them correctly..... tomorrow I'm going to try again, but in the meantime.... what else my account for this. Here's the symptoms....
On the jack stands when the pedal is pushed, the brakes all engage, front and back.
You can 'pump up' the brakes do a bleed.... but the 'pressure' doesn't stay.
Took the car for a drive, again... pumping the pedal, you can get some brake pressure, but the next time you hit it, mainly goes to the floor.
Did not see any fluid on the wheels or anywhere else coming out of the system.

My bleeding procedure: I started at the fronts since I had changed them and tried to get fluid to the cylinders before officially starting the 'bleed'. Went to the rear psgr side, bleed that one. Then the rear driver's. Front psgr next and finished from drivers side. I added fluid as I went, tho there is a small chance I let it get to low on the last corner. I really don't think it drained, but it was way low. It was after this that I took it for the aforementioned drive.

I did NOT readjust the fronts after bleeding... could it need a readjustment up there? Is there likely just still air in the lines? What does it do if there is a failure at the master cylinder?

Thanks guys! I'll have bit of time to work on it again tomorrow....
Mike
 
Start with the rear brakes and work your way forward. And yes bleeding and getting all the air out is challenging. Mushy is one of the reasons I upgraded to discs.
 
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