is a productive discussion we've got going on. Here's a bit of coverage of the teardown, thus far; specifically, the portion of the axle that prompted the discussion...
Pictured: Have I mentioned the part about hating rust?
That's what I found after I popped the knuckles off; the ball joints literally fell apart, which made it easy. The bearing surfaces themselves aren't in bad shape and since the C's really aren't a tragically-weak part of the setup I could probably go the smart and simple route and simply run these as they are after a bit of paint and rust stabilization...but I am here to tell you, gentlemen - and ladies
- that I am NOT one to take the smart and simple route. As long as I'm already going to have this housing with Mark the UberWelder for a bit of tube-to-pumpkin work and since there would be a LOT of fill-in welding to do to make these areas presentable again, it makes sense to me to simply eradicate this problem entirely. I'm not on a schedule and therefore not in a caps-crunch, so a pair of new C's is money well-spent in my book. As to what particular
C's those will be...well, that's still up in the air. I'm honestly not really considering 60 outers; they're mondo-expensive and I don't need them, and I'm nowhere near the point of having to make a decision about them anyway. I'm barely finished with removing the last of the old radius arms.
Pictured: This was a fun ten minutes.
I'm still not very good with a grinder, but even with my ineptitude a thin cut-off wheel made short work of the rusted-in bolts on the coil buckets and radius arm mounts; I soaked everything in penetrating oil and then hit the bolts with an impact and didn't manage to budge ANY of them, so they all got forcibly removed...which left me with a much cleaner housing.
Pictured: I still need to chop those wedges off, though.
Taking off the differential cover was simple, too; the RTV was dried to the point of complete non-adhesion so the cover basically fell off when the last bolt was pulled out. The internals actually don't look as bad as I expected, excerpting the mouse nest, of course. You can see part of it under the backside of the ring gear.
Pictured: I don't like mice that much, either.
That pretty much brings us to current. I'm hoping that I can get the wedges cut off in the next day or so, but I'm going to see if I can find a good tutorial on how to do it before I start; the wedges are really close together and I don't want to cut into the tube itself accidentally. I figure I can start at the high side of the weld and slice in diagonally, and then maybe score the weld on the opposite side and pry/break the wedge loose. Suggestions are welcome.