The Labours Of Hercules.
I wasn't really built for wielding lump hammers and struggling with recalcitrant bits of rusty metal all day; something I discovered 35 years ago while working on the farm. The remaining side of the front suspension took another day to dismantle - the same problems with seized nuts, bolts and splines - which didn't do much for my already aching shoulders, flagging muscles and blistered hands. Things will be easier when the chassis is at a sensible working height.
I thought that dismantling the offside might be less troublesome than the nearside as it doesn't spend its life in the gutter - no such luck. The worst part was the lower swivel pin carrier. Once the assembly was off the car, it was apparent that the kingpin was so worn that it had somehow locked itself into the threaded cap on the end of the carrier. I finally had to disc cut the pin after removing the steering arm and then press the rest of the pin out from the stub axle. I didn't look like the press was going to manage, but the blowlamp saved the day. Bang! The bottom link pin was completely rusted in and went off with an equally satisfying crack.
Curiously, the hubs, which I thought were going to cause me the most grief, practically fell off. The bearings - despite running smoothly, I can't imagine are anything but well worn. I'll replace them as a matter of course.
Ten bolts later (and a couple of hours struggle) the subframe was ready to be removed. The two lower bolts that are fitted in the reverse direction to all the others, for some reason didn't want to cooperate so they've been left to soak for a couple of days.
Before I slid the subframe from the chassis, I remembered to tie a 56lb weight to the furthest forward cross member as the rear axle was still attached - the old see-saw trick has caught me out before.
There's some tin worm on the nearside face where water was trapped between the chassis plate and the subframe - the 'v' shape on the left is the result. I'll cut out and replace a good portion of that.
The chassis plate itself will be carefully examined. On the face of it, so to speak, it doesn't seem to have suffered as much, but listening to some judicious taps with the thumb finder should reveal any thin areas.
Looking at the underneath; on the offside there's some bulging caused by layers of expanding oxidisation on the panel which abuts the sleeve below the splined shaft, so I'll be looking at a repair scheme for that. There are also one or two patches where it's difficult to tell whether it's water damage or just not very good fabrication in the first place. I think I'll set up an electrolytic de-rusting bath with soda crystals - I can't see another way of tackling the internal corrosion.
The next herculean task will be the rear axle and hubs. At least I'm on the right diet.