After painting the chassis, I supported it on 3 beer kegs, taking care to get it as level as possible to aid body alignment later.
The next few weeks were spent cleaning & painting various suspension & axle parts.
I managed to remove the A frame ball joint with the aid of a sledgehammer, but had to get the new one pressed in with a fly press.
The first parts to be fitted were the rear damper brackets, followed by the A frame brackets, the latter not being fully tightened at this stage to allow it to line up with the A frame arms at a later date.
Next, poly bushes were fitted to the front radius arms, which in turn were fitted to the front axle casing, this assembly was then attached to the chassis & supported on axle stands.
Before fitting the rear axle casing, I was going to have to fit the nearside hub & halfshaft, as there is insufficient room in the garage to fit it afterwards.
I knew that the hubs on a 1976 Rangie were too big in diameter to take alloy wheels, so I intended to get them turned down.
The previous owner had replaced the complete front hub/swivel assys with those from another vehicle, as the original swivels were knackered. He had given me the originals as spares.
It was only now, that I realised that the ones that he had fitted were not from a Rangie.
Daan identified them as from a 90.
I thought it would be a good idea to have common hubs all round, so that one spare would cover all 4 corners.
I duly purchased some Rangie hubs etc. from Paul, who is breaking a 1981 rangie.
These do not need turning down to take alloy wheels.
The front hubs were removed, cleaned, stripped, checked over, painted & fitted with new oil seals (the bearings look O.K.)
While this was being done, the rear hubs were taken to be turned down.
The rear axle casing was now positioned on a trolley, one of the front hubs I had bought from Paul was fitted to the nearside, along with the half shaft.
The A frame arms & ball joint were attached to the chassis & tied up out of the way.
I then wheeled the axle under the chassis, fitted the rear radius arms to both the axle & chassis, freed the A frame & located the ball joint in the axle.
I then fitted both diffs, having first checked them over, then removed the drive flanges & renewed the oil seals.
The other hub was fitted to the rear axle.
I fitted a wheel to the rear hubs to aid adjusting the end float in the bearings, & it was at this point that I found that the drive flanges in the halt shafts needed trimming as well, to clear Landie steel wheels.
Luckily, it just meant grinding a bit off around the five fixing holes, so I did this after they were fitted.
About this time, the panhard rod, gearbox cross member & front spring pads were fitted.
The front swivels were then cleaned & stripped & painted & rebuilt using all new seals & gaskets & were duly fitted to the axle I bolted the swivel balls to a length of dexion clamped in the vice, & assembled the steering swivel & swivel pins to it .
This enabled me to easily add/remove shims to adjust the preload.
I then laid the assy on the floor to fit the swivels seals.
The turned down hubs were returned, & these were like wise rebuilt & fitted to the axle. I ground down the front drive flanges before I fitted them!
In December, when I finished painting the chassis, I was 2 weeks ahead of my estimated time scales, now it is mid April & feel that I am 4 weeks behind.
This is probably due to the time I have spent cleaning & painting things, & I guess In some ways it could be argued that it is a waste of time, on the other hand if it isnt done now it aint gonna get done & I am hoping that in the future (as long as the paint stays put) that mud & dirt will wash off a painted surface easier than off a rusty one.
I purposely havent fitted the springs & wheels yet, due to my desire to keep the chassis level, & fitting them should be straight forward.
I hope it is not another 4 months before I have reached another milestone next up fitting the engine.