Yesterday afternoon I pecked away a little more at the steering system in my '54 M-170 ambulance and made a few more discoveries about my latest long-wheelbase rig. The wiring was shot, but I already rewired it so it runs, charges, and all the lights work. I ordered new tie-rod ends, but my order was missing one of 'em. I replaced what I could, but I'm still waiting on the one end to show, so I haven't had a chance to get the tie rods back under it. Since it wasn't going anywhere, I took the morning to adjust the bearing preload on the driver-side front hub and rebuild the steering bellcrank. The original bearings were pretty worn, although none were powdered and missing. I got the new Omix rebuild kit installed with new bearings, seals, and bellcrank stud. I had an issue with the Omix pinch bolt. The bolt was Grade 5, but the included nut must've been made out of cheese, 'cause it stripped on the bolt before I got anywhere near the required 60 lb-ft. I had to cut it off with a cutoff wheel and just used the stock 58-year-old pinch bolt and nut with a new lockwasher. While I was down there I noticed the driver-side engine bracket is pretty crushed. Looks like that's why the front end kinda looks bent. I'll have to cut it off and weld a new one on one of these days. Anyway, all that's left to do is rebuild the factory cam & lever steering box, install the tie-rod end when it shows, and toss some seats and seatbelts in this thing and it's a driver. I can fix the rest as I enjoy it on the street and trail.
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