It’s been converted to lug nuts!

We found a set of studs online that were the perfect thread size and pitch. They didn’t come with instructions, so before putting them in, we chased the hub threads, wet them with brake cleaner and hit them with a wire bore brush in a drill to remove old anti-seize, then gave it a final brake cleaner rinse. Once dry, we applied some red threadlocker to the studs, and torqued them to about 35 lb-ft, per this write-up.

I did one side, while my brother did the other. But he soon ran into an issue at the LR hub, which wasn’t turning easily. Welp, no point in putting studs in that one now. The one on the other side spins freely, but bearings are one of those things that I like to replace in pairs anyway. So I yanked the studs back out of the one on the other side before the threadlocker could fully cure. We’ll pick up where we left off here another time. Good thing we caught it before putting the car on the road!

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A test fit also revealed that the studs were too long for the wheel center hubcaps. These studs are 63mm long, and the next shorter ones available were 44mm, which would have engaged only half of the lug nut’s threads. We knew these would be close, but they will have to be cut down after all.

Test fit with only two of four studs in place

In other news, we got the clutch line bled. Last week, the clutch master cylinder was moving fluid, but not really pumping it the way that it should.

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We thought about removing the pressure line, but soon found that the only tool that we could squeeze in there was a “2 point” open-end wrench. And the line nuts did not want to play along nicely. Removing the line to check fluid flow would likely involve cutting it to put a socket on the nuts.

So before committing ourselves to replacing the line, we removed the supply hose from the reservoir to verify that the MC was getting fluid to push downstream. The hose was supplying fresh fluid, but the inlet at the MC was caked in orange goo. So my brother gently picked at it with a toothpick while I found some EPDM rubber hose to replace the supply hose.

Before reattaching the reservoir, we decided to go ahead and try back-flushing the system. I had been avoiding this technique because the fluid in the shared reservoir was so nice and clean from bleeding the brakes, and I didn’t want to contaminate it. But now that we had gone and disconnected that hose, there was nothing to fear. We hooked up a medium-sized syringe to the bleeder, started pumping fresh fluid upstream, and this is what came out.

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This is what it looked like after settling overnight. When it came out, the fluid was chocolaty brown with a hint of orange (rust?), and solidly opaque. A flashlight would not penetrate it. There were solid particles too, some of which were attracted to a magnet.

We kept pumping and pumping until the fluid cleared up, then removed the syringe and bled it normally using the pedal. I could have used my DIY pressure bleeder, but felt that it was better to give the MC piston some exercise to free up any more particles that might be present in the bore.

It worked, and the pedal feels better than ever! I think that it’s releasing the clutch more fully now, too. It was sufficiently disengaging earlier, but it feels like it has a fuller stroke now.

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On to the next thing...