72 Mercury Comet GT in Germany

Discussion in 'Maverick/Comet Projects' started by tody, May 9, 2009.

  1. tody

    tody Member

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    Some more pictures. Disassembled the column today.
    - It's not possible to remove the inner tube completely. It holds the lower part of the shift collar. It's centered by a metal bracket on top and by a plastic sleeve at the bottom, where the neutral safety switch mount. I will cut it just below that.
    - The inner tube turns, and moves the lower collar. It blocks the removal of the key when not in the correct position. With the tube cut, I need to hold it in position. At the bottom, there are to screws holding the plastic sleeve mentioned above in place. I will take longer screws to hold the tube in position.
    - The other option would be to grind the lower collar. In the second picture, you can see a long tab at the bottom, this is what gets pushed in between the bracket that is moved by the ignition key. But I think I will go the other route.
    - The 1" DD tube fits the upper steering shaft perfectly. Still waiting on the correct u-joint, the one in the picture is borrowed from a friend.
    - I will make a sleeve for the bearing out of the chunk of aluminum on my lathe, and put it in the column from the bottom. Will post a picture hopefully tomorrow.

    [​IMG]
    [​IMG]
     
  2. tody

    tody Member

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    A few small upgrades. Cutting and fastening the inner tube worked pretty well.

    Took out the plastic sleeve in the bottom. It has metal inserts. Removed these, drilled through the plastic, put everything back together and marked the tube where it needed drilling.
    [​IMG]
    [​IMG]

    Cut the tube, roughly 3 3/4" from the bottom. Put everything back together again, with self tapping screws on the bottom:
    [​IMG]
    [​IMG]
    [​IMG]

    Here's the rest of the column prepared. 1" DD over the stock steering shaft, bearing flopping around in the bottom.
    Tried to fab a sleeve for the bearing on my lathe - with no practical experience, just youtube knowledge.
    Not there yet, maybe tomorrow.
    [​IMG]
    [​IMG]

    I also modified the column firewall bracket. It will partially be covered by the inner plate of the Modern Driveline clutch pedal kit, so it needed some flattening. Also cut a new gasket.
    [​IMG]

    More to come...
     
  3. mojo

    mojo "Everett"- Senior Citizen

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    What material is the gasket from & how thick?
     
  4. tody

    tody Member

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    EPDM foam rubber, 5mm = 3/16"
     
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  5. tody

    tody Member

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    Finished fabricating my bearing retainer. Not the prettiest, but it it works. Drilled a small hole for a set screw in the column.
    [​IMG]

    Bearing pressed into the retainer:
    [​IMG]

    Inside the column:
    [​IMG]

    Steering shaft in:
    [​IMG]

    Still waiting on the u-joint to arrive. I measured everything based on the drawing available from Borgeson, and I hope the bearing retainer sits deep enough in the column. There's no room to put it further in, and I couldn't find a bearing smaller than 1/2" width. It's all an educated guess, but I'm pretty confident it'll work.

    I'll keep you posted!
     
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  6. xpsnake

    xpsnake Bruce Supporting Member

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  7. tody

    tody Member

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    I had seen this bearing, but I wanted to avoid cutting the column.
    And retaining the shaft should not be an issue on my application. It's retained by the plate of the turn signal switch on top, as factory. And on the bottom with the u-joint attached to the steering box...
     
  8. tody

    tody Member

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    I'm still pretty confident that this will work, but it'll need some tweaking...
    So with the bearing in the bottom of the column, that'll need to point straight at the steering box as the steering shaft can't flex inside the column anymore.
    As you can see from the picture below, it's sort of there. But only with the lower clamp not attached, and the firewall plate loosened.
    If I put the column in so that the two slotted aluminum pieces are adjusted all the way up - which I would assume lines up the column perpendicular to the firewall - the column is actually offset to the steering box by at least half an inch.
    So I need to swivel the column around a little, so it moves towards the passenger side at the bottom. Just before it is inline with the steering box, it starts to hit the firewall cover plate.
    I would think my options are:
    Loosening everything at the top of the column, as well as the pedal assembly to see if there's anything that can be moved around to center it better.
    Or widen the holes on the firewall cover plate, so I can adjust it a little more.
    I'd love to try everything with the u-joint in place, but I got the happy message that UPS won't be here before next Tuesday. With Thursday being a public holiday, and Friday a day off (where I'll get my first vaccine shot!) I had hoped to have everything in place over the weekend... We'll see what I can still achieve.

    [​IMG]

    Oh, and depth-wise, I'm sure everything fits.
    The bearing retainer is sitting 2 3/8" up the column. The u-joint is 3 1/4" total length, which leaves me with min. 7/8 outside of the column.
    Enough room there, as the set screw sits in the groove of the input shaft - so the u-joint won't touch the bearing retainer in any way!
     
    Last edited: May 13, 2021
  9. mojo

    mojo "Everett"- Senior Citizen

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    So I am still confused -- You using U-Joint & Rag Joint combined or, one or the other?
     
  10. tody

    tody Member

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    current plan is ditching the rag joint and run the u-joint instead!
     
  11. tody

    tody Member

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    Now I know why I didn't put in the firewall insulation 10 years ago. Still doesn't fit :huh:
    Has anyone bought one of the mats more recently and can tell me how the fitment is nowadays?

    Also, my heater box needs extensive repair. The front half is cracked in a lot of places, will get some fiberglass mat tomorrow.
     
  12. tody

    tody Member

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    I got lucky today - the U-joint showed up.
    Went to the garage and mocked everything up, it's a pretty slick install actually!
    The set screws are a little too long, I'll try to fit them shortened so they don't stick out above the locking nuts.
    Here's how it looks so far:
    [​IMG]

    Also, my reinforcement plate for the firewall fits rather well.
    I'll try to mount the clutch master cylinder tomorrow, now I can determine the right place for the firewall plate at the column - as said before, the inner bracket will go over the plate, so that needs to be in it's final position.
    [​IMG]
     
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  13. tody

    tody Member

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    Forgot to take pics, but got quite a lot done.

    Pedals are back in. While the gas pedal was out, I finally put a spring in at the pedal.
    Moderndriveline Master is in. Hydraulic line is long enough, verified that.
    Rerouted the speedo cable back to its original position, now the Hooker headers are out of the way.
    Made a spacer for the power steering pump.

    Will try to fab a bracket for the hydraulic slave tomorrow.

    Also, I discovered that my power steering pump has axial play on the shaft - how much is acceptable?
     
  14. tody

    tody Member

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    Here are some pictures, as promised yesterday.

    This is what I did to the set screws, shortened them and put them in with red loctite. About 1/16" clearance to the tube. If they ever should come loose, I'll notice pretty quick:
    [​IMG]

    Column is in, the u-joint is hardy noticeable, with the column tube in it's stock length:
    [​IMG]

    You can see the clutch master in the picture above. Here's how it looks on the inside:
    [​IMG]

    The link from the pedal sits at an angle, I need to shuffle the washers around, I guess. But before, I need to loosen everything and move the firewall cover and the seal - it's not sealing up the column completely.

    Also, after two more deep scratches on my arm I removed the stupid Roadkill style homemade zip tie plug wire separators and changed them for the MSD set:
    [​IMG]

    It's getting there...
    Clutch slave cylinder, rear passenger brake caliper - that's next.
     
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  15. tody

    tody Member

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    A little more done this weekend.
    Here's the slave cylinder at the transmission. Too flimsy, material is too thin. But at least, now I have a template:
    [​IMG]

    This is the situation at the firewall. A little cluttered, but at least everything is back in:
    [​IMG]

    Clearance in the front, between the power steering pump and the shock tower. It's the setup off of a 71 Mustang, with the pump that has the outlet in the center of the pump:
    [​IMG]

    And this is the clearance between the water pump pulley and the electric fan:
    [​IMG]

    Still on the list:
    Rebuild the rear passenger caliper.
    Bleed the brakes, bleed the clutch.

    Also, I completely disassembled the heater box, even further than the last time. Will fix it with fiberglass...
     
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