The keen reader may recall last year around this time, while I was redoing the suspension/steering of the RX-7, my complaints about how new rod ends, etc. come in bare cast iron. This will be an adventure into part of the reason behind that.

The above tie rod is from the Chevelle. This particular rod has, at most, 750-1,000 miles on it. What’s the deal, you ask? Well, late summer 2011 I rebuilt the whole front suspension and steering on the car. That fall it went into storage, and except for a brief period in the summer of 2012, it stayed in storage for 5 years (under a carport, covered, but essentially outside).

These parts came bare metal. In the time the car sat, they rusted as can be seen above (the yellow zinc chromate plating on the bolts did its job!). As a result, these basically-new parts look like crap. This returns to my old rant that I would gladly pay an extra dollar per part for some paint, or more for an actual plating.

Fortunately I have the magic of a wire wheel, so after the first pass I’m left with this:


Not bad. This still needs a little bit of hand-brushing in the areas I couldn’t get to with the wire wheel on the bench grinder for one reason or another. Then it’ll get degreased and painted along with a bunch of other parts (I’m planning on Sunday being “paint all the parts day”, hopefully).

Still to go is the other side’s tie rod (which I’ve got to figure out how I’m going to tell apart from this one so they go back on the right sides), the drag link, idler arm, and all the hardware for the suspension. This and all the other odds and ends will then get painted either black or “cast blast” depending on which color they should be / how detailed I feel like making it.