Minion Missile - 1973 Colombian Patrol Project

Builds, refurbishments, restorations, upgrades

Postby Esteban » Sun Sep 23, 2018 12:00 pm

That part of the chassis member is a thinner plate if I'm not mistaken. The structural one goes to the outside and top and bottom. Not that critical, but as RiverPatrol suggest, the tub will need to come out for a proper fix.

Regarding the chassis number, it does look like a 73. The closest in the registries is a 72 from Australia at G60-30358, so 4000 more vehicles produced will make sense to place yours as a 73.

The ring and pinion condition is difficult to see with that one picture, but probably Rafael's experience can spot to a good approximation the condition just by looking at that alone. For sure he will need more pictures.

If the front axle was fitted with locking hubs, the condition of the ring and pinion will be a lot better in that case, and is probably your best bet. Also, it wears on opposite faces of the teeth compared to the rear, so a basically no wear. Only a little of backlash that won't affect anything.
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Postby mad4hws » Sun Sep 23, 2018 6:33 pm

Thanks Esteban.

I finished pulling the ring gear. the pinion will have to wait as I didn't have the right socket size.

I decided to move to the front and see what kind of shape it was in. the first thing I had to address was that 2nd ubolt that was installed on the short side - another roadside fix that became permanent. The ubolt was preventing anyone from pulling the cover, so i was not too optomistic.

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I was able to remove that ubolt without too much trouble... surprisingly.

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Once I pulled the cover, the gear oil oozed out of the bottom. It looked like chocolate cake batter, but smelled a whole lot worse. Surprisingly, the gears were actually in good shape. comparing to the rear, I could now see what rafael was talking about. The rear set had a carbon build up wheras the front didn't.

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The only thing I can chalk this up to is that the front differential was seldom, if ever engaged. Since the sludge was much worse up front, I would think the carbon build up would have been worse too. Good news! finally, I needed that. Now I just need to remove everything to get the gear set out.
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Postby Esteban » Mon Sep 24, 2018 9:15 am

I will not be overly concerned by the condition of the oil. Some water might have gone inside at some point and the constant emulsification of it with the oil gives that color. The gear looks in good condition.

Did your Patrol came with locking hubs?

For the most part of its life, my Patrol didn't have locking hubs. I installed them in 1980 and after a couple of years took them out due to a small accident that damaged one of them. I was still able to swap the front differential gear into the rear axle and extract plenty of miles out of it.
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Postby mad4hws » Mon Sep 24, 2018 8:57 pm

Thanks Esteban.

Yes. the patrol has locking hubs, but I couldn't get them to lock. This probably saved it as it wasn't able to go into 4WD, so this gear set wasn't given the chance to heat up.

As for the rust in the rear. I need to get this thing all put back together and systems tested. It's a significant issue that I'll have to tackle later once I have the drivetrain, brakes and fuel systems up and running. if I try to address it now, I fear I'll never get this thing back together. The exterior steel is indeed thicker than the interior metal, so it should last a little longer until I can address it properly.
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Postby KyleAnschuetz » Wed Oct 03, 2018 7:39 pm

My rear axle oil smelled something awful as well. I used brake clean to remove all the gunk. After letting the brake clean evaporate I filled up the rears with a synthetic.

Looking good!
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Postby RiverPatrol » Thu Oct 04, 2018 10:04 am

Highly NOT recommended to use synthetic in a Patrol!
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Postby mad4hws » Mon Oct 08, 2018 9:48 am

Yesterday I harvested the gear set out of the front axle:
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These are on their way to Rafael in San Antonio. While I spent most of the day getting to these. Since I will not be re-using the axle, it seemed like time wasted at first to get to these, but it was not all time lost. It gave me a chance to get the front of my Patrol ready for when the axle assembly comes in. The sway bar and drag link are removed. The front diff is disconnected from the front drive shaft. With many of these parts out of the way, i also need to hunt down some hardware. My travel limiters all need to be replaced, along with the bushings. The front drive shaft was connected to the differential with bolts that are not hardened. Thinking I need to use #8 hardened bolts throughout, but maybe not. When taking off the sway bars, I broke off some bolts in the housing - i don't think that would have happened if they were hardened.

I also found some more Colombian welding that needs to be assessed. This time it is more structural. I will post a picture later, but the bracket that secures the front spring to the frame looks like it has an extra plate added. I think this is just on one side, so when I take it to get new springs and shackles, will have this looked at more carefully.
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Postby mad4hws » Wed Oct 31, 2018 6:19 pm

So, the Minion Missile looks like a mess. it has been up on Jack stands for several weeks now. I thought going into this that i might have 2 sets of axles once i was done.
However, as it turns out I think between the two sets I will have one really good and complete set. I have had to harvest quite a few parts off of the existing axles to send to Rafael as he rebuilds those from the '67 chassis. Those that I didn't send to him, I have wrapped up and packed away as spares. The end result is that the Minion Missile looks to be in pretty dire straits as it currently sits
60186019

Not to worry though. help is on the way. A picture from Rafael today of one of my steering knuckles, completely rebuilt:6020

The Minion Missile should be back on the road and better than new soon. So, in preparation for the axle transplant that is coming soon, I need to prepare all of the other components. All of my travel limiters need some help. Anyone have recommendations on replacement bushings?
6017
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Postby RiverPatrol » Wed Oct 31, 2018 9:41 pm

Looks like a regular old project to me! :lol: You can use standard shock bushings on the limiters.
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Postby Esteban » Mon Nov 05, 2018 2:42 pm

I used the following sway bar links on mine, that I purchased at the parts store:

https://www.energysuspensionparts.com/9.8163
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Postby mad4hws » Wed Nov 07, 2018 9:33 am

Thanks Esteban. I placed my order for suspension bushings from Energy Suspension. I was planning on cleaning up the bolts and metal sleeves, but this looks like a better option, so I'm going to order them up. Do you know if they have longer bolts for the rear sway bar? I also ordered my ubolts from Dsuban. Most everything should be here by this weekend. My newly rebuilt axles will probably arrive the following weekend. I plan to enlist the help of Minion #1 and Minion #2 who will both be home for Thanksgiving to help with the replacement.

Once I get the axles installed and have a rolling chassis again, I plan to take the Minion Missile to the spring shop an see what maintenance needs to be done to them. At a minimum, they will need new shackles. Not sure if there are any broken springs there and the way this thing was set-up, the shocks really weren't doing what shocks need to do, so that probably added more fatigue to the springs. Thinking about adding 2" lift with the springs.. not committed yet, just thinking about it.

I also took off both drive shafts and am going to take them to get rebalanced. On the rear drive shaft, there is evidence that the PO used his more than exceptional welding skills (being facetious). Not sure what the driveline shop will say about that. When I took off the rear drive shaft, noticed that the rear seal in the transmission is leaking more than a little. My parking brake assembly is soaked in transmission oil. So, I will also need to take it back tot he transmission shop to get that taken care of.

I also ventured out to a machine shop to get my brake drums turned. I didn't know if they were good or bad - but the machinist said they were significantly out of round and he almost couldn't salvage them.. but, he did so I am thankful.

More later.
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Postby Esteban » Wed Nov 07, 2018 11:13 am

mad4hws wrote:...Do you know if they have longer bolts for the rear sway bar? ...


They do have longer ones. I can't recall which ones I used in the rear, since I bought them at Advance Auto Parts and I have not taken note of them.

I'm having second thoughts about the one in the previous link that I posted. Sorry, it could have been just a generic one to keep track of the site :oops: :oops: (it's for up to 3-7/8")

Checking their website a few moments ago, they have a number of options. If you go to the following link for one of them, and scroll towards the bottom, they have universal sway bar links from 2.55" to 6"

https://www.energysuspensionparts.com/9.8124

Please note that I don't have any lift on mine and it's possible that under a big articulation might touch the axle jacket. The following is a picture of the link installed on one side:

Rear Sway Bar Link - Energy Suspension.jpg


Good tip about Dsuban Spring and Service. Bookmarked already.

Regarding the drive shafts, it's probably a good idea to change the u-joints if you haven't done already. The place you're taking them might help with that in the process, since they probably have to take them apart.

The output shaft seal at the transfer case can be changed from the outside. I have the following reference:

https://www.ebay.com/itm/AVX-Shaft-Oil- ... 5d60384466
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Postby mad4hws » Wed Nov 07, 2018 12:00 pm

Thanks Esteban. Your expertise and reference picture are very much appreciated.
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Postby mad4hws » Mon Nov 26, 2018 10:01 am

The wednesday before Thanksgiving, the box front San Antonio returned with two freshly rebuilt axles. After some uncrating, they looked just like new:
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Had Minion #1 home from Detroit for the weekend, so he helped pull the old front axle and put the new one on:
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We only managed to get the axle installed with the new Ubolts. Nothing is connected at this time - brakes, steering, shocks, driveshafts. That all has to be done. I have to say though, it's nice not having the old girl sitting on jack stands anymore though!

Speaking of driveshafts. since they were disconnected, I decided to take them in for re-balancing. Turns out they were completely shot. splines were stripped and the guy wondered how it actually drove when it did drive. So... long story short, she's getting new driveshafts made up too. Once this is all assembled, the whole driveline - transmission, axles, driveshafts, will have all been gone through and/or replaced, so I will have much more confidence on the road. the only thing that will not have been gone through is the engine. I don't think I need to do that just yet.
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Postby Esteban » Mon Nov 26, 2018 11:25 am

They look great, and looks like the turnaround was good. :clap: :clap: :clap:

Too bad about the driveshafts' condition. Hope you solve that soon.
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