Rear End Redo … and Starter Repair … and Manifold Welding

If you have read the entry from the Little Car Show, then you know the car wasn’t in a great state.  The rear diff was howling, and the starter wasn’t starting.  My original plan of attack was to remove the entire rear end so I could repaint the axle housing while things were apart.  I ended up taking too long to get around to it though and time was a bit short before JCCS. The new plan was a bit more simple.  Just a quick 3rd member removal and bearing replacement.

First up was the axle removal.  I was pretty sure that the right rear axle was the culprit of the noise once I spun the bearing, but I had already ordered all the parts anyway so I wasn’t going to stop half way through.

Once the axles are pulled the third member is only a few more bolts and was on the bench in no time.

Just a few new parts to install. Clean up started but still intact with the original bearings. Pinion removed with one bearing left to pull Pinion after clean up

You may notice a few abnormal marks on the top of the teeth.  I was a bit concerned by this.  At first look I thought the edge had chipped, but after more clean up and a better look I realized it had actually ingested a bit of debris.

More than a little casting flash left over.

After cleaning the housing up and seeing the amount of casting flash left I was pretty sure what happened.  Why this wasn’t deburred better back in 1985 before the original assembly I don’t know.  Honestly I thought about changing the gears out, but since this didn’t look very fresh I decided it had probably been like this for years with out indecent and moved on.  The housing was however deburred and re-cleaned prior to reassembly.

At the end of the day the new bearings ended up setting up the lash exactly the same as where I had marked things before it came apart.

A little boiled bearing retainer for the axle reassembly New bearings, new retainers, and new gaskets

With the rear end re-assembled it was time to pull the starter.  Once again my original plan was for more work than I ended up having time for.  I really wanted to send the exhaust manifold out for coating, but instead I got surprised by finding it cracked about halfway around. After getting the manifold out the starter was a quick pull.  I was slightly disappointing to find an aftermarket starter in place of the original.  No surprise that it had not just failed, but the plunger had completely fallen apart.   Luckily I had several extras from past MR2’s laying around that would work.  I grabbed one off the shelf and cleaned up the contacts and threw it in with no issues.

Next on to the manifold.  I almost threw it back on and ignored it for the JCCS trip, but I just couldn’t bring myself to do it.  Time to grind it……

Manifold in a blanket

Being my first time welding cast iron it was a bit of a learning curve.  The back welded pretty easily but the front either had more contaminants or the tight V shape caused me to have some issues.  Luckily it’s all hidden by the heat shields.


back side of the manifold. front side of the manifold

Hopefully it holds.  In the mean time if you have an original manifold you don’t need shoot me a price.

The final piece of the puzzle was to reinstall the Work Wheels.  One has been stripped and polished. The other 3 still have some very minor damage that I will just live with for now.  The hunt is still on for a back up set so I can refinish these the way I would like. In the mean time they are still in better shape than any of the used ones I have looked at and at the very least are straight!




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