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What did you do to your Wagon this week?

338980 Views 2685 Replies 279 Participants Last post by  Fred Kiehl
I'll start.........

Rear brakes.. (the lining separated from the front shoe on the drivers side and toasted the drum..... :mad:)
and I cleaned the winters dust off of the motor!
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I ripped out all of the front suspension and steering components.
Replacing springs/shocks with Coil-Overs on all 4 corners, replacing factory control arms with tube arms and replacing all steering components.
While waiting for the parts to arrive, I am going to be cleaning up some of the wiring in the engine bay, replace the coolant reservoir and the coolant hoses & clamps.


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After having the wagon prepped to pull the engine and trans for a few weeks, I was finally able to schedule a day with my 80 year old father to help me out. He insisted he help, after all he flew from MN to NY with me to pick up the wagon and drive it home back in 2017. The transmission had a few hard shifts and we believed that the rear main seal was leaking so we figured we would just pull it all and inspect it. Intend to inspect the wire harness while it is out as well, it seems like a good time to check for any cracks/pinches/frays. The manifolds removed nicely for me, going to be installing CIA headers and cold air intake. Will be installing a FIRST TPI intake as well. Also probably installing 1.6 roller rockers. Hopefully too much more doesn't bite me and spend more money. Also figure this is a good time to replace the plugs and wires, will be cleaning up the frame/cross member and painting them up. Will also be a good time to install the new sensor for the Z28 gauge cluster that is awaiting install. Intend to replace the firewall insulation with a heat resistant sound dampening material.



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I have spent the little bit of free time I had this year tearing things down. I am finally getting around to putting things back together. This weekend, I:
Installed a new timing set:
Motor vehicle Automotive tire Rim Automotive wheel system Engineering

Removed the oil pan and gasket to find that the gasket has a part broken off that was stuck against the screen of the oil pick up. The other side was cracked as well. This was installed shortly before I purchased it in 2017 and the car only has 3000 miles since the change. Knowing these parts were new, I debated about not dropping them, glad I did.

The main reason I did was to get a better look at the intermediate oil pump shaft. It was recommended to replace it with an all metal one, which I picked up. How in the world do you separate that from the pump? Do I have to remove the pump?
Blue Azure Bicycle part Electric blue Strap

I also began replacing the valve springs and valve stem seals. I was using the universal valve spring compressor as in the photo below. It was awful. I was only able to get 3 cylinders done in 4 hours and think I compressed, adjusted, had it pop off, rinse and repeat enough time to do 2 or more motors.
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I ordered one of these compressors from Summit, hoping it works on the LT1 heads. I need to do something that is safer, less frustrating and better use of my time.
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I was able to get a little more work done on the Roady this week.
  • Finished installing the valve seals and springs
  • Measured for new push rods. Used some valve checker springs...worked well.
    • Ordered new push rods (7.15")
Motor vehicle Vehicle Gas Electric blue Screw

  • Removed the variable steering electronics (had pump and box rebuilt by Lee's)
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  • Removed the fender wells to get better access for cleaning up and painting the frame
    • Intend to apply some spray on sound deadening on these
  • Removed the old insulation from the fire wall, will be replacing with sound deadening insulation
  • Realized that I should remove the AC components and brake lines to get full access to the frame instead of working around it
    • it has also been suggested to remove the entire front clip since I am this close to make things even easier as I start putting things back together
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  • Got the car lifted up and supported to remove the rear end for rebuild and coil-over install
  • Entered a contest for decorating a Gingerbread House with my wife and we took 1st place...ours was 1 of 4 over 18 year old entries which were ALL within out family group :)
Smile Wood Hat T-shirt Beam
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Dandy ,this has that familiar smell of
" while I'm there "
And the list keeps growing. I just have to figure out where to stop to get it on the road this Spring. Was hoping to take out the interior, sound deaden, replace the carpet before the stereo goes in. Time will tell.
Had a busy Saturday making more progress on the Roady. For the mechanicals, I almost have everything torn down and hope to begin reassembly soon. After removing the inner fender wells and explaining my intents on a FB Group, a member suggested to remove the entire front clip to give better access to the frame for cleaning/painting, the firewall for the sound deadening and insulation install. So I went ahead and removed the front clip. Hoping to reinstall the engine/trans, steering set up and suspension with this off and then reinstall. Should give very easy access to everything, wish I did it sooner...then again this project was not supposed to get this big.
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Before removing the front clip, I dropped the rear end from the car. I was alone, so I am waiting for a hand to move it our from under the car to be cleaned, painted and rebuilt. Installing a Eaton TruTrac and 3.42 gears.
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Now to determine if I will attempt to install my own rear disc brake conversion with park brake or purchase one without the park brake from KORE3.
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Purchase one. Navy Lifer has one fully engineered also that is very nicely done. I have Navy Lifer's kit and I'm pleased with it.

BTW I'm the guy who suggested radiator support -> inner fenders -> outer fenders.
Well, if you're "that guy", thanks again! I had a feeling you were on here. I did reach out to @Navy Lifer a while back and he wasn't certain if he would be producing any more units for sale. That would have been ideal. I have a KORE3 set going up front. They have kits for the wagons, but less the parking brake. I don't have any idea why, but I am hung up on having the parking brake since it was an option. Tobin had been working on a kit, but I am guessing with the challenges of getting components in 2021-2022, much like me, most of his time is probably following up with vendors instead of working on new projects. I am 18 months behind on R&D for our small business because of how much effort has gone into juggling things.

I thought I saw a post where Bill had laid out how to source and produce all the parts for his kit. I have been searching for an hour with no luck. If he won't be producing them any longer, I thought I would review that post and see if I might be able to duplicate it. If you happen to have that bookmarked, please share it with me. With the rear axle out, now is the time to work through this.
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If you get some of the furniture mover vinyl dishes, you can put one under each side, and it should be easy to slide. I made a small stand out of 2X4s on a Harbor Freight 4 wheel dolly to move mine around. The stand is in the circle.
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Fred, you gave me a little inspiration. instead of getting help to move it out from under the car, I realized that I had a few moving dollies. I put a 4X and a 2X across them and dropped the axle onto it and put a longer 2X from side to side to hold it up. Moved it out easy peasy.
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I then slid the long 2X further back to lift up the diff, pulled the cover and let the rest of the gear lube drain out
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Now I will just have to get it up on something so that I don't have to work on it leaned over. Thinking about putting it up on saw horses. Most likely will use an engine lift to get it up on a work surface.
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