Monday, July 4, 2016

Friend Focus

NMS South is not the most spacious work space but we make due!
Friend of the team, Phillip was due for some work on his Focus this past week. You might remember we got this little blue car really dirty at rally cross about a year ago down in Georgia in this article.  Phillip's been a huge help in getting the Miata together over the last 2 years so I'm always glad to replay the help.
Bench pressing a small car or replacing parking brake cables. You decide.

The front driver side wheel bearing was starting to go bad, so that needed replacing.  While we were at it, there were a number of other parts that needed to be serviced.  Heck, while we've got the car in the air, let's swap out those rear drum brakes for new disc brakes and upgrade rotors, pads, and add stainless steel lines.  Ready....go:

The donor Focus ST.

Step one was to get the car up on jack stands at NMS South, remove the wheels and loosen a bunch of bolts.  From here we could remove the hubs and uprights along with the axles (new ones were being added to freshen up the CV joints). After almost 10 years of life, the Focus axles didn't want to separate from the hubs and uprights even after some really big hammers, 20 tons of force, and one really hot torch.  Junk yard road trip!

Big hammers come in handy at the junk yard.
Up in Greenville we found the Focus ST that had already donated the rear disc brakes that we were going to install on Phillip's car and now we needed it to give us it's front uprights.  Enter more hammers and two hours of wrenching.
The "new" uprights. These connect up all of the suspension components and hold the wheel bearings and hub.

Once back to Columbia, we cleaned up the parts and got back to reassembly of the front suspension. One thing Phillip and I absolutely agree on is that rear wheel drive cars are much easier. The new slotted rotors look great and with the Porterfield brake pads, this blue oval should be stopping on a silver circle.

Old and busted. The drum brakes are ready for scrap.
The rear drum conversion was relatively simple.  Remove the brake lines, four bolts remove the drum brakes, add a bracket to hold the caliper, mount the rotor, add the caliper, re-attach brake lines.  We noticed the drum brakes weren't adjusted properly and were wearing unevenly, so the increase in performance with this upgrade should be significant. The discs should provide a slight increase in braking capability, better heat resistance and are much easier to service.

New hotness. 

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