Friday, July 24, 2009

Nueva Gomas

The first thing people ask when they get in the van lately is "What is that noise? It sounds like the whole frame is going to break in half."

Well, I found out it was these worn bushings, or Gomas, between the axle bars and the mounts.
It only took 8 hours and 4 determined men to change these things for the first time in 40 years.
I learned a little bit about Mexican approach.
"Easy, Marco. Easy." they would say when I tried to do too many things at once."

Of course in between the dozen stages of disassembly and installation we actually put a 302 engine from ANOTHER ford econoline (1970) into a 1972 Ford truck. Yes, I realize this had nothing to do with my project, but that is why I mention it. We covered a lot of ground today and not all of it was in the direction or support of El Conquistador. That's how they roll in a Mexican shop and I like it. There were no signs that said, "Customers not allowed past this point."

these are the old bushings. Those big gaps are where a thick piece of rubber used to be in 1980. take that rubber out and it sounds like the frame is going to break in half. It won't, but it sounds like it will.

this is with half the axle off. Jack stands. I can't say enough good things about jack stands.

this is a meaningless pose though we did have to compress the springs to fit a huge crescent wrench in there. Let me tell you, if it hadn't been for three other determined mechanics I would have sworn that several times we were doing things all wrong. The bushings were factory pressed with molded metal and did not slip out easily. Nor did the new ones slip in easy. Fortunately we had reached the point of no return and finished the job. 2000 pesos complete. I gave them 200 extra pesos because I know that is a $400 dollar job anywhere in the united states. 8 hours! At $60 an hour. And there were four of us. and we didn't destroy one bolt.

the proof is when I took it out for a spin and the noise was gone. Al I need is a spare tire and I'm ready to roll somewhere that isn't 110 degrees every day.
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Man in the Van by Oggy Bleacher is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-NonCommercial 3.0 Unported License.