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Restoration 101

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  • Restoration 101

    Been reading the saga of the DSG resurrection.
    I don't have a machine tool to overhaul but the process itself intrigues me.
    What is the process; ie, how to clean, test, take apart, reassemble etc? What about all the knowledge left unsaid in reassembling it?

    I'm looking for a generic introductory beginner's how-to without getting into the specifics of brand "a" or "b".

  • #2
    Well, the first rule of intelligent tinkering is to save all the parts.

    Generally, I've found machine tools to be pretty straightforward to disassemble, if you pay attention.

    One big help is to take pictures as you disassemble, so you can tell how to put it back together again. A digital camera makes this easy Also take notes and draw pictures.

    If you run into shims, keep careful track of where they came from.

    Make haste slowly. If you're puzzled by something, stop and figure it out before proceeding.

    Taper pins can be a nuisance because it's not always clear which end is which, and they can be hidden under a coat of paint.
    Try to make a living, not a killing. -- Utah Phillips
    Don't believe everything you know. -- Bumper sticker
    Everybody is ignorant, only on different subjects. -- Will Rogers
    There are lots of people who mistake their imagination for their memory. - Josh Billings
    Law of Logical Argument - Anything is possible if you don't know what you are talking about.
    Don't own anything you have to feed or paint. - Hood River Blackie


    • #3
      I did a South Bend couple years ago and took a few pic of the process--

      For one of the larger machines like this one or the DSG, expect a lot of work and nasty! - its really not for the faint at heart! As said, its certainly a whole lot easier now with the digital cameras to document everything.
      If everything seems to be going well, you have obviously overlooked something........


      • #4
        For me, the best tools are:
        1) Common sense; just because something came apart that way it doesn't mean that's the way it's supposed to go. With used machinery there's a very good chance that somebody has been there before, and there's absolutely no guarantee they re-installed it the way it was designed in the first place. Look at the wear marks and basically learn how the machine operates. The latter is worth gold for me as you'll truly be on your way to operating it well if you understand exactly how it works. I was in this precise situation yesterday in fact, where somebody had pulled something apart and didn't put it back together correctly, so was then forced to come up with all manner of shims etc to get it to work ... poorly as it turned out. I pulled it apart and put it back the way it was clearly meant to go and threw the rest of his hardware in the bin!
        2) A digital camera; as mentioned above. A picture is worth a thousand words ... 2 thousand when it comes to gloating with pictures to prove it after the rebuild
        3) Plastic re-sealable (zip-loc) bags, a marker to clearly mark on the bag what the parts are, and cable ties. Often the latter can be used when there's a bunch of washes, shims, mating parts etc. You can take them off, then zip tie them together through a common hole in the correct order. Even a camera can sometimes not be able to easily differentiate the difference between some parts.

        The rest is just straight forward grunt work.



        • #5
          When I'm doing something like this I find that a lot of tuna cans come in handy.

          On this project I'm doing 4 or 5 separate cleanups that get finer as you progress.

          When you start out separate the major assemblies and keep them separate until needed. Boxes or something for large parts and tuna cans or equivalent for the smaller stuff.

          Once you have it apart and separated clean the gunk off the largest assembly. The rust comes off next and then another cleaning.
          Retap any buggered threads and do a super reclean.

          Repeat for the next assemblies and start putting it together as you go. I find on a big job if you clean a small amount and then refit it, take it back apart and paint if necessary and then reassemble you don't get bored by cleaning all the parts at once.

          Once you have a partially usable machine it helps to fire it up if you can. It keeps your interest up and helps you find any hidden problems.

          As stated before take lots of pictures.

          Take it easy, don't try to do it all at once, we don't want to see a basket case lathe on craigslist. (or maybe we do)
          Last edited by KIMFAB; 08-23-2010, 11:24 PM.
          Guaranteed not to rust, bust, collect dust, bend, chip, crack or peel