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About pitzel

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  1. Yeah there's still a few kicking around in Saskatchewan, Canada (where I live..), the newer Luminas in the yards. Probably would have to buy a ball joint and a pair of rotors to complete the bilateral upgrade. They're quite the PITA to remove in the junkyard though as its hand-tools only around here, and separating everything down to just the knuckle isn't easy. And those T60 caliper bolts are a giant pain in the butt. On the bright side, very little salt used here (way too cold for salt to work), so not much rust.
  2. Ok i'll keep that in mind... I have to drive from Minneapolis to Albany sometime over the summer or early fall, so picking them up might be a possibility too... Thanks..
  3. Yeah I'm gonna have to get the part numbers off of those strut towers and see if I can get to the bottom of it... Because the donor car didn't seem like a 1996, as I'm pretty sure it still had the 'old' interior. I was hoping it was just a different caliper bracket... Would've saved me a lot of work.. But if the greater offset was implemented by way of the strut tower, then its obvious that the only way to fix the problem would be to make sure that the strut tower matches the rotor.
  4. Yeah its crazy, nothing this old in the GTA when I drove there last year (live in Western Canada). Too bad you're not closer, we could do a trade, at least for the drivers side. Well if I junkyard it next spring and end up getting the older one, I could perhaps drop the upgraded old part off for you as I have to drive by there next summer. Used to be more Luminas than you could shake a stick at in the yard, now they're rare. Are you absolutely sure the calipers and brackets are the same?
  5. Yeah about 10k miles / 2.5 years ago. I don't really notice any asymmetry or loss of performance braking-wise, but brake pads that previously had only about 1/3rds wear after 70k miles wore down extremely quickly on that side (and not on the untouched side) only making about 50% contact with the rotor's outer edge. It doesn't matter to me whether its an upgrade or not -- I'd just like it to wear the brake pads evenly, and of course, get through an inspection properly. The 1990s W bodies are starting to become rather scarce at the local pull-a-part, so whether I do the upgrade or it becomes a downgrade would be dependant on what I can actually get on the day I go. EDIT: I've been using 'strut tower', but I actually mean "strut knuckle" which I believe is the more appropriate term.
  6. Long story short, the spring seat failed catastrophically due to rust on a trip to Minneapolis. The hacks who worked on it didn't realize that the spring seat could be ordered as a separate part, so they found a 1995-ish wreck, swapped the spring/strut tower/strut assembly, and fitted my existing bearings, caliper bracket, rotor, calipers, etc. to the "new" strut tower and sent me along. Because it was in small town North Dakota, there wasn't really a lot of good options otherwise. I've since gone in and replaced the spring seats on both sides with brand new ones (the other side was pretty bad too, and not far from failure), so I've had the strut towers apart. But the brake alignment problem with the newer tower has been quite vexing.
  7. Yup, a 1995-ish strut tower assembly was put in place of the 1992 factory original. Everything else remained identical. Of course predictably it doesn't really work properly. So you're saying that the strut tower, where the holes are drilled, is different between a 1992 and a 1995? Darn... So basically I need to have identical strut towers on both sides. Which means basically I have to go to a junkyard and pull a strut tower assembly to down-grade my setup to the 1992 caliper bracket positioning? Or alternatively, upgrade the other side to the 1995-ish spec?
  8. Anyone experienced a fiberglass leaf spring failure with the spring pads installed? Or ever had to actually replace them? I think some people were previously concerned that there would be some excess wear of the spring ends when they're installed.
  9. pitzel

    1994 vert. LED Light conversion

    What parts did you use?
  10. Long story short, my entire strut tower assembly had to be replaced in the middle of nowhere in North Dakota by some hack mechanics with one from a junkyard off of a newer car with the bigger front brakes. Unfortunately I wasn't able to supervise the repairs. They re-used my existing 1992 calipers, rotors, slide-pins, bearings. But the caliper doesn't really ride properly in the assembly, and only makes about 2/3rds contact with the brake rotor. And everything is all bound up. My questions: 1) Are strut tower assemblies identical and interchangeable between the "small brake" and "big brake" models? 2) Could it be possible that the shop kept the 'big brake' bracket, but swapped my small-brake calipers and rotors? 3) Would going to a junkyard, finding a "small brake" caliper bracket, and fitting it fix the issue? Braking-wise, performance is perfectly acceptable, although I think it is burning up pads faster and longer-term it'll probably kill the rotors too.
  11. pitzel

    Oil Change in LQ1 with 120k

    LH0, not the LQ1 engine here, but last oil change I did on it was in 2008, approximately 90,000km ago (56k miles). Had the oil pan off, no sludge whatsoever. Carefully drained the oil prior to removal into a clean container, and simply poured it back in. No, just in case someone asks, there is not a typo in my post. So modern oil in an otherwise mechanically sound engine can last a *long* time.
  12. pitzel

    3.1 LH0 exhaust manifold leak

    Just looking at the service manual, to remove the front engine mounting bracket to access the left-most cylinder's manifold bolts, I have to remove the A/C compressor. Any way around this?
  13. pitzel

    3.1 LH0 exhaust manifold leak

    Ah okay. Not much salt used up here, but i'm just scared of breaking a bolt off in the head and having the job get exponentially more involved. I'll take a look in the spring.
  14. pitzel

    3.1 LH0 exhaust manifold leak

    I have exhaust coming out of the exhaust manifold in the engine compartment, probably from the gasket failing, in the cylinder that's behind the engine mount. Is there any way of correcting this short of removing the engine?
  15. I highly suggest a proper inspection of the coil spring seats in the front ends of these cars. Even on minimally driven vehicles, water gets in there, gets underneath the powder coating, and eats the metal as there is nowhere for it to drain properly. Unfortunately the only way to inspect is to actually remove the entire front spring/strut/ball joint/bearing assembly .