Progress is continuing on the restoration, I’m grabbing an hour here or there to work on it.
The bottom axle was pretty easy to remove after all – a block of wood and a rubber mallet got it out ok. The only stubborn part was the woodruff key on the end of the axle that (of course) had to be removed for the axle to come out. I had to mangle it a little to get it out, but I think it will be ok. If not, I’ll just order a new one from McMaster-Carr.
That one damn bearing will STILL not come off the top axle. I’ve tried everything short of the bearing splitter, so it looks like I may have to splurge on one to get that sucker off. I did call AutoZone, as suggested, but the guy at the local place said he didn’t have a bearing splitter, and probably wouldn’t have much more luck than me with his gear pullers.
The replacement bearings have started arriving. I’m exceptionally glad that I decided to replace them – all of the existing ones are in horrible shape and rotate in a very chunky way. I found it odd that the top bearings are imperial (5/8”x1 3/8”x7/16”) but the bottom and thrust bearings are metric (6202, 6204). I ordered the top bearings off ebay, and they should be here today, so that will be all 6 I need. Once I’m done painting, I’ll start reassembling.
Speaking of paint, I’m going with Rustoleum pro over Rustoleum bare metal primer. I’ve only painted 4 pieces so far, and only primed one of them, but I think I’ll be priming from here on out. I threw all of the small pieces in the dish washer to clean them (thought it’d be easier than hand washing everything to get all the grime/WD40 off), and the paint started flaking on some pieces due to the high heat. So I’ll probably be taking the electric sander to all the rest and priming them before doing the final coat. The color is hunter green, which is quite a bit brighter than the PowerKing drab green, but I think it looks good – the wife even commented that the painted parts look brand new.
So that’s all for now, hopefully I’ll have some pictures with the next update.
-- The difference between being defeated and admitting defeat is what makes all the difference in the world - Upton Sinclair, "The Jungle"