Gouges (left) and pilings, or other imperfections are tackled first. Here I used a 120-grit flap wheel and die-grinder to remove the deep gouge in the spindle knuckle.
Die-grinders spin up to 18,000 rpm’s, and do a lot of damage with aggressive attachments like this flap wheel, or the Roloc disk (see below).
Not all areas of each part need this type of sanding to start with – some only need hand sanding. Chapter 13 explains the difference and the best tools for each job.
At left, casting or cutting marks are seen on this piece. This is how the part came to me.
Hours of hand sanding can certainly remove these, but they’re very deep scratches.
This chapter shows you the safest and quickest way to smooth surfaces like this with power sanding. And it also gives you plenty of situations where power sanding is NOT advisable. In fact, it may cause you more work than what you started with.
For every suspension piece, the best way to get the surface prepared for polishing is hand sanding.
At left, the gouges made by my mishandling of the Roloc disk disappeared due to hand sanding. Concave surfaces of the front and rear knuckles are the most difficult for power sanding or surface manipulations, so hand sanding is the only way to go.
In Chapter 13, I show you how to read the metal’s surface before you start. This then tells you what grit of sandpaper to use – or if the more aggressive method of power sanding is needed.
Above is the “batwing” carrier cover for the Dana 36 axle. A first pass at power sanding is done, so now a few hours of hand sanding is needed.
Sanding, sanding, and more sanding. Then polishing with mini-buffs (two passes with differing compounds), and this cover is spectacular!
The arms of the carrier cover were much tougher than the body of the cover – by far. I made some mistakes early on, but recovered to make this rear-end piece shine like chrome. Too bad the body has to cover this up.
Time, persistence and attention to detail are keys to successfully polishing these components. And all the hours you put in will pay off in the end.
No other reference work comes close to the level of detail and photos in Chapter 13. As a novice, my explanations are extensive and you reap the benefits of all my mistakes!