Cleaning and painting front suspension

Much of today was spent under the Jeepster getting really dirty.

First I went over the frame rails, front axle, and spring perches with the wire brush in a drill motor.  I am not trying to get this perfect, just knocking off the rust and dirt.  Once again I am amazed at how little corrosion got into the important parts.  This front spring mount looks like new inside.  Once the brushing was done I used the shop vac to clean up the enormous mess the wire brush made under the car.

Then it was parts cleaning time.  Really greasy stuff like the differential I washed down with solvent and a toothbrush.  Doing so revealed an axle ratio tag on the differential.  Looks like I have a 3.73 gear ratio.  I have no idea what the other numbers are.  I also partially uncovered the build date numbers and BOM numbers stamped on the axle tube but they were too corroded to read.

Once the worst of the grease was off I used alcohol to wash everything down.  Turns out the alcohol feels really good in all the scratches I got while doing the earlier work.  The small parts I washed in the bucket shown above.  Under the car I used an old paintbrush and a pan to wash everything down.

Most of the parts got hung in trees in the front yard for painting.  Here the sway bar and Panhard bar parts are painted but the spring has not been yet.   I did not take many pictures during the painting process for fear of trashing my phone.

Most of the parts I painted using a brush and my Eastwood Rust Encapsulating Paint, which is now running short.  The springs and the small hardware I spray-painted with satin black enamel.

The frame and axle under the car were the worst.  I fashioned an old t-shirt into a turban and wore a face shield and STILL got paint on my face and glasses.  Getting light into the right places was also difficult.  About 2/3 of the way through I started to feel light-headed from the fumes.  Stupidly I did not thing much of it and almost fell over when I tried to stand up.  After that I got more fresh air but if (when) I do this again I should get a respirator.   The end result looks pretty decent though.

There is not much more I can do while the paint dries.  But I did use my vice to gently “adjust” the width of the new U-bolts to match the old ones.  The new bolts are considerably longer than the old ones so I need to decide if I am going to cut them off or not.  I probably should not bother but if I don’t it will bother me.  For now I just set everything aside to dry.

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