|WOW - Surprize... at least 4 oz. of water and practically no oil|
There is a pipe plug at the top of the upper tube where you add oil, so the first order of business was to pull the plug and drain the oil. There was practically NO OIL at all... but instead we drained approximately a half a cup of water. That was the first sign that this wasn't going to be so simple. So we decided that we must go deeper and get this thing apart so we could inspect everything internally for corrosion. So, the next job was to remove a set-screw (below) that locks the outer collet to the lower tube.
|Set-screw that locks the outer collet to the lower tube. |
This and the next steps went pretty well. The large castle nut around the upper tube was easily turned using a spanner wrench to back out of the internal threads on the lower tube. We determined that the only function of this nut is to retain the packing seal material inside the upper cavity of the collet and hold it firmly against the upper tube surface.
|Lon removing the packing material.|
Up to this point, our plan was to try and keep from marring the paint too much. But now, this thought went out the window... this baby is going to require heat. This job suddenly became SERIOUS! With so many threads engaged, this collet was not wanting to let go. After several torching heat attempts, we finally had success using a dead blow hammer, striking the spanner wrench handle to shock-torque this thing. Finally it let loose and we were in business.
|Wrenching off the collet with a spanner after torch-heating. That's gonna leave a mark!|
|Flat coil springs removed from the lower tube.|
|Flat coil springs and aluminum spacers.|
|Holding apparatus on the bench to accommodate torching the threaded end of the tube.|
|Steam-pressure washing the parts.|
|Piston retainer wire and piston removed from upper tube.|
Our next challenge is to deal with the pitting corrosion on the upper tube. We are planning to have a local machine shop turn the upper fitting in a lathe to cut off the existing thin wall tube. Then we will locate the appropriate tube stock and weld in a new tube on the fitting. It will also need to be threaded on the bottom end for the fine thread interface with its piston.
I will try and provide updates as we get this done and the struts reassembled. Meanwhile... I guess I need to get some paint matching done so we can spray these struts when finished.