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Old 08-09-2012, 11:12 PM   #137 (permalink)
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ChargE (not yet running) - '92 Mazda MX6 LX
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Rolling uphill - update 1

The T needs some spacers to have it held correctly and aligned at the middle of the bracket on the rear end. After searching through my scrap pile, I came up with 3/4 inch pex pipe. It turns out that 3 short lengths of pipe split lengthwise will add enough bulk to the T bar so that the clamps on the rear differential will hold. See picture 1.

This was the most flexible thing that I found. Other things that do work - hose adapters from 1/2 inch to 1 inch, brass compressor hose fittings (reamed out) threaded into black iron 1.25 inch nipples ... all were less attractive than the pex. The hose adapters are ABS plastic and are pretty tough to deform. They end up being longer. The brass took a lot of work and does not 'press down' on the T bar handle so there is still some movement of the bar back and forth - not good for centering the T bar.

The next thing is to find a socket (or something else) that will fit onto the ratchet of the socket set and also fit onto the 1/2 inch square drive on the T bar. That was much more interesting than it should have been. See picture 2 - all of these parts - the ratchet, the T bar, the 2 different extensions and the flexible extension ... they are all a slightly different size. (!!) I could not find a socket that would fit the 1/2 inch ratchet drive. It was just that little bit too large for the 1/2 inch socket but a 13 mm socket slipped. When I found out that all of the different extensions were different sizes, I went through a collection of old 6 and 12 point sockets and tried combinations until I found one that fit. It's a good thing that I was not thinking about it, since the one that fits best is a 5/8 socket in the 6 point style that SHOULD NOT fit well onto a square (4 point) drive.

In any case, it does fit. I ended up using the 12 inch extension bar on the ratchet, to a 1/2 to 3/8 adapter to the 5/8 socket (3/8 drive) to the 1/2 inch T bar. See picture 3.

The 3 foot chunk of 1 inch square tubing (see picture 4) fits OK on the end of the ratchet and makes it a lot easier to turn the rear differential.
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