Alley Cat 151

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Re: Alley Cat 151

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Re: Alley Cat 151

Postby m3a1 » June 11th, 2018, 11:11 pm

Another long, hot day, today.

It has been SO long since I was into these axle shafts I'd forgotten where I put the retaining clips though, to my credit, I dutifully packed up the old U joints, labeled the containers....but only three clips made it into the package. I wonder what I was thinking. The rest will turn up, some day. :roll:

So, I was off, again, to the auto parts stores which, quite frankly, was a welcome break from the heat. Doorman Products offers these retaining clips in blister packs and naturally, NO ONE had them on the shelves because they're probably not a big seller. You'd normally get new clips with the U joints so, nobody stocks the Doorman packs. Except my NOS U joints didn't come with retaining clips, which is to say that they probably had them at one time but no longer. Phooey!

So, while waiting for O-Reillys to come up with my new clips, I installed the NOS U joints, used two of the three retaining clips I had on hand and with the very first installation the U joint was tight...like, WAY too tight. So, I gave the wishbone a couple of judicious whacks with the dead-blow hammer which normally settles everything in nicely but, NO JOY! Still WAY too tight and that U joint hadn't even been greased yet!

I got my new digital calipers out and checked the wishbone and found it to be 2.4"-ish (can't remember exactly what it was) whereas all the others came in at 2.54 and that .1 inch was what was causing the trouble. Now, I had refurbished these axle shafts some time ago and when I tore them down I remember that one shaft had a particularly bad U joint; one that was far worse than the others. So, I suppose that was the trouble-spot.

I'm guessing the wishbone was too tight because it had probably taken a hit in it's previous life (no mea culpa, because I've never even had this truck running) and that little extra pressure eventually spelled the end of that other U joint. Soooooo, I took the new U joint back out and did what any good farm boy would do. I removed 1/10th of an inch of metal on the inside face which brought it out to 2.54 and that made just a little enough room for that retaining clip to seat without cramming the cap down onto the cruciform.....(not bad, if I do say so myself!) Sometimes ya just gotta roll up your sleeves and get in there and make things work.

Once I got my desired measurement, I reinstalled the new U joint, put the retaining clips in and ....SUCCESS! What isn't supposed to move stays put and what is supposed to move, moves sweetly. I'm happy to say, the rest of the U joints went in with no dramas.

Now, you guys may recall that I plucked the rear differential out of the Alley Cat for use with my A2 and it is far quieter so that was a really good move. Since that time, the A2's rear end hadn't been put into the Alley Cat. So, I went out to get some new hardware (and spend a few blissful minutes in air conditioning) and found that Tractor Supply didn't have any 7/16 fine thread nuts and bolts and by that, I mean, they don't stock them. I just don't understand that kind of thinking. What a PITA!!!

Well, fellas, I was gonna get that differential hung, come hell or high water so I grabbed some coarse thread - flanged grade 5 nuts and bolts with the idea that I'd get that thing installed and later, come back and replace those bolts one at a time with the right stuff. Naturally, as soon as I got home I stumbled upon the original hardware. So that's done and I'm ready to put the drive shaft and the axle shafts back in and re-hang the exhaust.

All of this dithering really has nothing at all to do with waking up the Alley Cat for the first time in some 10 years but I am tired of having parts scattered all over the place and the best place for those parts is.... back on the truck. Yeah. That sounds pretty good.

Cheers,
TJ
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Re: Alley Cat 151

Postby m3a1 » June 13th, 2018, 9:20 am

Yesterday was another day in the heat. Luckily there was a light breeze and my work area is shaded where it counts. Time to do more honey-dos and put the drive shaft back in the Alley Cat. That meant going back and loosening up all the bolts holding the differential in place. I wanted to lube those U joints before putting it in but because I was working alone, I was afraid that might lead the caps to fall off since I couldn't be at both ends of the drive shaft at once and I really didn't want any additional headaches. I have enough problems around here without having to round up stray needle bearings. Well, I got everything in and tightened up and naturally, when it came time to lube the the U joints one of the grease fittings was jammed up.

GRRRRR!

So, I was kicking myself for not taking the extra step of at least making sure those fittings were healthy BEFORE I hung that on the truck. :oops: I got a little bit lucky because the offending grease zerk did come out nicely and with a trip to the wire wheel to gently heat and clean it, and with a dip in PB blaster and a little poke of the ball, it gave in and finally started doing its job. With that reinstalled the grease went in and everybody came away happy.

Why didn't I just put a new fitting in? Well, if this truck turns out to be a good runner, I'll be going back in and servicing almost all this stuff. For now, It just needs to be put back together properly but without a lot of fanfare.

My order of Doorman "HELP!" Products U joint retaining clips (their part number - 81025) came in. What you get in each package is 8 pieces. Two large and two smaller inside retaining clips -and- two large and two smaller outside retaining clips. So, the idea is, I'll be using just two from each kit for the axle shafts. The leftovers will end up in a small jar and then get lost with all the other things that are lost around here. :roll:
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Re: Alley Cat 151

Postby m3a1 » June 13th, 2018, 8:28 pm

Back to the oven today and now that the retaining clips have been installed in the U joints, it's time to put those rear axle shafts (wheel drive shafts) in. We will need some eye pro, a 1/2" combination wrench, wheel chocks, a floor jack and a way to block up the truck while you're under it.

As you probably already know, I'm a big fan of having my hardware in order when I start a job. My back isn't in the best shape and having to get up again and again for this, that and the other thing is getting to be a real chore. So, the fasteners are cleaned, the nuts are all in good shape and not rounded off and we have new lock washers on hand.

Tip - The best placement for the grease zerk on the U joints, relative to the long axis of the wheel drive shaft is biased toward the middle of the shaft. If you have installed them otherwise this shouldn't cause a big problem as the standard grease gun fitting will still fit, BUT..... Spoiler Alert - We are going to be finding out in a little bit that there is one particular circumstance where not having the grease fitting oriented toward the middle is going to cause troubles.

Chock the wheels, release the parking brake, ensure the truck is in neutral and the front axle is disengaged. We only need to jack up the wheel we're working on and only so much that the wheel can be rotated. We'll be doing one complete side at a time.

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Attach the wheel drive shaft to the wheel drive flange end first (the wheel hub end). Here, we have a refurbished wheel drive flange. It is clean and ready to accept the universal joint. The reason for starting at this end is simply for ease of installation. The wheel drive shaft will be conveniently supported by the lower control arm while we work to attach it to the wheel drive flange.

This is where we use the box end of the combination wrench. Open end wrenches simply do not fit well in this space and using an open end wrench here will lead to rounded off nuts. Tighten things down equally on either end of each U bolt fastener. Make a visual check of the threads as they begin to be visible coming out of the nut. Having an equal amount of threads showing outside of each nut is our goal here. Do NOT run down one end down and then tighten the other. Just take them down evenly, a bit at a time.

Rotating the wheel makes it easy to reach both sides to install the U bolt fasteners.

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Here we have a wheel drive flange that hasn't had any attention in ages. The seats for the universal joints on the drive flanges must be completely free of debris. The caps of the U joint must be able to fully seat against the drive flanges. Some discoloration of the metal of the seat is not an issue and it need not be polished to a high shine - just clean and smooth. We are not going to get hung up on the generally filthy condition of the drive flange. What counts is the seat.

I cleaned the seat with a Dremel tool with a stainless steel brush which made quick work of it. if you are doing one of these on your own, take extra care to ensure you clean directly behind the small squarish tab. Typically the tab will have a relieved area behind and below it; a space that is very good at catching debris. Getting that perfectly cleaned out isn't absolutely necessary just as long as that debris doesn't intrude into the area in which the U joint lives. Even if you do clean it out, with use, that area will soon refill with debris so it's up to you to decide how much effort you want to expend on it.

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Getting the washers and the nuts on the fasteners is a little tricky by the differential's side gear flange. The limited space requires that we do not insert the U bolt fastener to it's fully seated position. Here, we insert the U bolt fastener only partially, allowing space to put the lock washer on and start the nut onto the threads. Then, care must be taken to ensure the caps of the U joints are properly seated before tightening everything down.

Here, we must use the open end of the wrench to tighten the fasteners at this end. There is not sufficient room to get the box end onto the nuts.

Here's a tip - If you find that the U bolt fastener is in straight but that one nut seems to be going on much farther than the other, check to ensure that you put on a lock washer first. You're dealing with 16 nuts, 16 lock washers and 8 U bolt fasteners...all the while juggling the axle shaft and trying to make sure the caps stay on so, hey....it happens.

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Once things are coming down to being snug, have a look and see if everything looks straight, true and equal throughout. Don't forget to rotate the wheel and check at the other side as well.

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If everything is looking good, finish up by going over every fastener and bringing each to the proper tightness (15-20 ft lbs according to the book) If you haven't the means of checking, 15-20 ft lbs is generally "firmly tight" (tighter than snug) but still, not gorilla tight. And finally, reach up and give that knurled nut on the wheel drive shaft's packing gland a check. It should be about as tight as you can reasonably get it by hand and no, this is not the place for using the channel locks.

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And now, the sad tale of my errant U joint grease zerk. You may recall that a very long time ago, when this differential was in my A2, I was experiencing problems with one of the differential side gear flanges. It wobbled on the shaft and would not tighten down. So, I got another flange and replaced it with excellent results - nice and tight. As it turns out, the replacement is just a little bit more massive than the original flange and as such, it doesn't allow space to get to the grease zerk with a grease gun. Soooo, that's a job for another day. I will have to pluck that out and turn the U joint around. But, for now, the U joint is already full of grease so getting the U joint turned around is just a loose end.

Cheers,
TJ
Last edited by m3a1 on June 14th, 2018, 8:08 am, edited 1 time in total.
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Re: Alley Cat 151

Postby rickf » June 14th, 2018, 7:48 am

Greasing the joints at the wheel end is seldom able to be done with a standard grease gun end. Most people use a pointed end tip that pushes against the little ball in the grease fitting and you hold it tight against that and pump in the grease. I have two guns and use the needle gun for the axle joints and the regular gun for everything else.

I use these, the ones on top for flush type fittings, they work just fine for regular fittings also.

http://www.dualco-inc.com/products.tips.html
1964 M151A1
1984 M1008
1967 M416
04/1952 M100
12/1952 M100- Departed
AN/TSQ-114A Trailblazer- Gone
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Re: Alley Cat 151

Postby m3a1 » June 14th, 2018, 8:05 am

Very nice having the best tools! My standard tip Plews was able to get into all but that one and some of my U joints were even inverted.
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Re: Alley Cat 151

Postby m3a1 » June 14th, 2018, 8:29 am

Yesterday, after all the fun crawling around under the Alley Cat, I got around to reinstalling the exhaust, aft of the muffler. When I removed this bit of the exhaust system some time ago I removed the section aft of the muffler as a whole, expecting to put it back in as a whole. So, when it came time to put it back I found that it was hanging just barely above the left wheel drive shaft. What the...?

A closer look revealed that, yes, that is where it had been and yes, it had been rubbing on the shaft from time to time when the springs compressed. That must have made a very curious noise! So, I pulled it back out, separated the pipe at the joints, went back to the Great Big Box Of Everything and got some new exhaust flange gaskets. After cleaning everything on the wire wheel and straightening the exhaust flange clamps and getting some replacement carriage bolts, everything went back together like a champ and with the center pipe section rotated a few degrees it cleared the wheel drive shaft nicely.

It turns out that the center pipe in this assembly doesn't have any support so I will have to get under there with the welder and tack one onto the underbelly of this beast and clamp the pipe to it. Add that to the list of 9,999 things to do.

Cheers,
TJ
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Re: Alley Cat 151

Postby m3a1 » June 14th, 2018, 7:18 pm

After doing what needed to be done on the back half, we brought the Alley Cat out of its hole, turned it around and stuffed it back in.

I believe we're now very close to attempting to start it.

Enjoy the pics...

Cheers,
TJ

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Re: Alley Cat 151

Postby rickf » June 14th, 2018, 8:12 pm

The neighbors must just love you! Code enforcement would have a field day with me if I had that much stuff laying around. You can't do anything on your own property anymore.
1964 M151A1
1984 M1008
1967 M416
04/1952 M100
12/1952 M100- Departed
AN/TSQ-114A Trailblazer- Gone
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Re: Alley Cat 151

Postby m3a1 » June 14th, 2018, 9:51 pm

This is TEXAS, where it's still a free country!

You need to move outta New Joisey and come down here. Of course, we're a million miles from everywhere (but still not far enough from California) but we get by very nicely, thank you very much.

And the few neighbors I have DO love me. I still have an open driveway policy at my place and lots of folks stop by to chat and satisfy their curiosity. Oddly, the local Jeep club members keep their distance. They have a lot of new, shiny stuff made by Fiat but honestly, I can appreciate anyone's passion, even for the new stuff. I guess they think I might look down my nose at them. :lol: :lol:

Today, the wife unearthed a newspaper article done on me and the hobby, dated July 28, 2006. Reading that again was pretty cool.
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Re: Alley Cat 151

Postby rickf » June 15th, 2018, 7:35 am

I can see the headline, " Some nut down in the holler has all this junk and......................................." :twisted: :twisted: :lol: :lol: :lol: :lol: :lol: :lol: :lol:
1964 M151A1
1984 M1008
1967 M416
04/1952 M100
12/1952 M100- Departed
AN/TSQ-114A Trailblazer- Gone
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Re: Alley Cat 151

Postby m3a1 » June 15th, 2018, 8:30 am

No, that's Tennessee.
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Re: Alley Cat 151

Postby rickf » June 15th, 2018, 4:48 pm

Oh, You have a house there too? :twisted: :lol: :lol: :lol: :lol:
1964 M151A1
1984 M1008
1967 M416
04/1952 M100
12/1952 M100- Departed
AN/TSQ-114A Trailblazer- Gone
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Re: Alley Cat 151

Postby m3a1 » June 15th, 2018, 10:04 pm

That'd be nice. I could get away with ANYTHING there.
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Re: Alley Cat 151

Postby rickf » June 16th, 2018, 6:21 pm

Just DON'T tell the wife!
1964 M151A1
1984 M1008
1967 M416
04/1952 M100
12/1952 M100- Departed
AN/TSQ-114A Trailblazer- Gone
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Re: Alley Cat 151

Postby lpcoating » June 17th, 2018, 7:33 am

If you ever want to make the front fenders look more 151ish, we sell just the front corner radius.

Guy
M151 Body Panels - http://www.m151bodypanels.com/

'68 A1 - Under full resto
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