Digging into the rear hubs
Another weekend has come and it turns out that the rear hubs were not as bad as I had thought. The rusty bolts holding the various flanges to the differential were a pain to remove, but turned out not to be my first obstacle.
In order to remove the loose disc bolts, one had to remove a
hub sleeve that the bolts were threaded through, not the set of bolts behind
it. To do so, I had to first remove the
nut inside of the hub. This nut is
secured by a cotter pin, which can only be removed through a hole in the hub
sleeve. So, using a very long nosed set
of needle nosed pliers, I pushed the cotter pin through the hole until it could
be pulled free. That done, I had to buy
a 27mm socket to remove the bolt; which allowed the hub sleeve to slip free.
Using a lot of penetrating oil and a variety of 14mm wrenches
and sockets, I was then able to loosen the eight bolts that held the three
flanges to the differential. The first
has a rubber seal that keeps the differential from leaking. The second seems to exist only to hold the
heat shields. The third was part of the
After doing the other side, I thought I would take another look at the seized brake pistons. I succeeded in removing them by first collapsing them in a vise, thus breaking whatever bond the pistons had with the sleeves. This being done, I put the grease nipple in one opening (if it wasn't already there) and blew varying levels of compressed air into the other. When I got to 120 lbs., there was a loud POP and the piston blew through the towel I had wrapped around it and flew 10' out onto the lawn. The next time, I tightened the towel! Not only is this a dangerous projectile, but can spread caustic brake fluid all over the place.
Looking at my pistons and sleeves, I can see why they were
stuck. Not only did the 15 year old
brake fluid look like mud, but the piston had rusted to the sleeve. Both will have to be replaced with stainless
steel before I will feel comfortable using them to stop the car!
Now all I have to do is remove and repack the bearings and
replace the rubber seal. I guess I
should also dig further into the front hubs as well. Time to do some homework to figure out those
tasks. Maybe next weekend...