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pitzel

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Everything posted by pitzel

  1. Definitely make sure you check those spring seats. GM's awful water-retaining design + GM powdercoat + road salt = almost certain failure after a while. And the cartridge design unfortunately allows one to get away with, at least for a while, not even taking the strut towers apart to inspect the seats properly. They're cheap parts to source (like $4 each side from Rockauto w/bearing), but when one of mine went it cost me $700 because it was in the middle of nowhere in northern Montana :(. BTW, welcome to the club! Lots of great people here, and most things on the W-bodies are idiot-proof fortunately. Stock brakes rather suck on the pre-1994 models. And the rear disc brakes are prone to seizing and aren't the best design either. Replacing ball joints can be a nasty affair as they're riveted on -- if you have the strut towers off the car for any reason (perhaps to inspect/change-out the spring seats), do give consideration to replacing the ball joints or at least grinding the rivets and replacing with good quality high-grade bolts. 3800's run forever -- that's the least of your worries with the car! Check to make sure the pads on the rear fiberglass leaf spring are intact, and if they're missing, repair/replace accordingly.
  2. pitzel

    Why not Quad 4

    Interesting... I've never seen a Quad 4 engine'd W-body in a junkyard, but I only started going to junkyards in the early 2000s. The owners must've junked them very early, or they simply didn't sell many in Canada. Was there any way to make them reliable, ie: updated head gaskets? Kind of like the LIMs have been the Achille's heal of the 60degree engines? Or were they deemed a 'lost cause'?
  3. pitzel

    Why not Quad 4

    Why did the Quad 4 disappear in the W-body cars in the early 1990s? Were there problems with the engine, or was it just too hard to sell a 4 cylinder engine in a non-economy car at the time?
  4. I had this issue on my 1992. Turns out the actual door had somehow detached from its hinges inside the dash. Took a *long* time to figure that out and fix it though.
  5. I took rubber fuel line and basically 'covered' the lines everywhere that they might possibly rub on the frame, particularly through the battery box area. Fixing the vacuum lines was literally the first repair I had to do on my car when I got it. I didn't find them terribly fragile, but if they rub, eventually there will be an issue.
  6. Subframe mounts were/are in perfect rust-free shape on my car. And very little rust otherwise. Yet the spring seat failed due to rust. GM powder coating the spring seats was a giant mistake, and the component is unique in that water collects in it like a cup. Most of the cars in the junkyards these days are in the post-powder-coat era at least as far as that part goes.
  7. Ick! Check the ball joints. You'll have to pop 'em out to remove the knuckle. If they're loose or the boots damaged, use the opportunity with the knuckles/strut/spring assembly off the car to grind out the rivets and install new ones. MEVOTECH MK6632 MEVOTECH MK6633 Are the same thing and are half the price of the Monroe's on Rockauto. Most posters here favour the KYB (made in Japan) cartridges on the front on their own cars, but Monroe's are okay. As you've correctly surmised, replacing the spring seats are mandatory lest you end up in the situation identical to mine which is imminent. I'm surprised the vehicle was even driveable to your place. Argh, stupid GM powder coating... BTW, level of complexity of this job is dramatically above that of brakes... An impact is very useful on that axle nut, the shaft hopefully not being too horribly frozen in place.
  8. Yeah you can buy those spring seats. They're cheap, I think I paid like $10 a piece for the Monroe branded ones, I see 'em at Rockauto for $4 a piece (get the ones with the bearings included!). AFAIK, they're all the same, whether you get Monroe, KYB, etc. Just a stamped plate of metal and a FAG bearing in the middle. The job is a huge PITA though. When you remove the whole strut tower/steering knuckle assembly, make sure you very meticulously mark the locations of every component in the upper spring assembly. Because getting it back together reasonably lined up is critical. Get yourself the Harbor Freight ball joint tool for $20 or so. It works on the tie rods too. The factory spring seats on the 1992's (and probably earlier) unfortunately seem to be powder coated, which is horrible once water and salt inevitably get under the powder. On the junkyard cars, once they moved away from the powder coating for those components, they rarely show much if any rust in my experience. Just be aware -- there's 2 versions of those steering/strut knuckles. One version is for the smaller front brake rotors, one for the large. You're almost certainly on the small rotor setup, so getting a knuckle that fits would require you to find a car with the 'smaller' rotors at the junkyard. But needing to replace such is extremely rare. But if you need to, they're not too hard to pull from the junkyard with hand tools (and that Harbor Freight ball joint separator tool). I pulled one last weekend for my car to upgrade to the bigger brake setup. You'll need a T60 socket (get a 1/2" one) and a big breaker bar to remove the caliper brackets. And of course you'll need the tools associated with a front strut change on those cars. Ask me anything about the job (just got done doing it today for the 3rd time), but you will need some pretty advanced skills to do it, and access to a proper shop-grade spring compressor. Those el-cheapo spring compressors, while possible to do the job with such (I did it twice), are a giant PITA and you're much better off having a shop do the actual compression portion of the job. While you're in there, check the ball joints, if they need replacing its far easier to drill/grind the rivets off the car, then on. edit: if you're just replacing the spring seats, then the rotors/calipers don't need to come off. But if you have to swap everything to a new knuckle, which is what I had the displeasure of doing today, then it all has to come apart... edit: BTW, welcome to the forum. Great bunch of people here... I admit, I practically stole a mint condition Honda a few months ago, but the economics of driving my 1992 W-body still can't be beat.. edit: pictures attached are what happens in northern Montana in the middle of nowhere when those spring seats catastrophically fail due to corrosion-induced weakening. I was coming back from DC, so it was at the tail end of a very long drive... Note the GM powder coating. Newer parts are painted. edit: Where I live, they rarely use salt on the roads and there's almost no rust on the rest of the car... So corrosion of those parts can definitely occur prior to the rest of the car being a rustbucket. Standard DoT/DMV inspections most likely will not detect the problem. My car went through inspection multiple times with nobody ever saying anything to me. edit: no alignment required after all of this.... As you're not altering any alignable components.
  9. So $35 at the junkyard later (all covered in mud as the car was basically surrounded in a big puddle of mud), I have all the parts... And an extra wheel bearing thrown in for fun! What a PITA those caliper bracket bolts are... fr edit: fixed the 'bad' side... wow, even with half the front braking system at the "new" spec, the braking performance is way better... Thanks @Dark Ride for encouraging me to upgrade...
  10. If you have a torque wrench and know the torque specs, unbolting the rockers is no big deal.
  11. Yeah pretty ridiculous that they routed a coolant hose made of metal through a significantly corrosion/salt prone area, basically the wheel well. On the 3.1, it wasn't too difficult to replace. Had to undo the body harness though. And rock the engine forward. BTW '94, check your spring seats*. I had one catastrophically fail on the highway on my 1992 from corrosion ~3 years ago, and the other one was on the verge of failure. Very little rust on my car otherwise, but water pools in the spring seat and basically eats at the metal over time. * unfortunately there's no good way of checking them aside from removal and disassembly of the whole spring assembly.
  12. The issue on the 2.8 and the 3.1 LH0 I believe is that the intake bolts themselves don't have any (blue) Loctite on them, and the torque spec is a little inadequate. So what ends up happening is when subjected to heating and cooling cycles, they leak along the horizontal plane of the gasket, but don't actually suffer any visible gasket failure. The force exerted by the intake bolts simply isn't good enough to keep everything tight and sealed during the extreme thermal transients experienced during at shutdown. (shutdown = peak temperatures, as there is no coolant circulation). The job was done twice on my (LH0) 3.1 MPFI after leaking LIMs, at around 50k mi (by previous owner), and then again at around 90k mi. The gasket itself that I removed was in pristine condition (and probably could have been safely re-used, although I ended up replacing with a brand new Fel-Pro), and applying a higher torque value and using blue Loctite (or Permatex Blue actually) has resolved the issue for the past ~70k mi. If you buy a brand new bolt kit, they often come pre-coated with a blue thread locking material, but I just re-used the existing hardware (give the bolts a good clean in solvent/brake cleaner to remove residual oil!).
  13. When did you change oil last? Any possibility of, for example, in the summer months, driving for a month, checking the catchcan. And then driving the next month, for a relatively similar distance/time, and then checking the catchcan again? I highly suspect the GDI intake problems are largely due to "enthusiasts", and people who think they know better than the manufacturers, doing oil changes far too frequently. So if you collect a much lower quantity of fluid on the 2nd (summer) month of catchcan use, after an initial oil change, that would go towards proving that theory, that its the extra oil changes that enthusiasts often do, that is significantly at the root of the GDI intake issues. Just as an anecdote, I acquired the vehicle in the tagline from an old man who had his oil changed at Wal-Mart with the cheapest 5W-30 they offer every 1000-1500 miles, basically 4X a year. The throttle body and intake plenum was absolutely filthy with caked on motor oil. Requiring solvents for cleaning. Changed to a high quality synthetic on very long oil change intervals, and every time I've inspected it since, the little bit of oil that's present is easily wiped away with a rag.
  14. I have to disagree here. The problem is actually caused largely by changing oil too often, and tends to hit enthusiasts and those who 'religously' maintain their cars far more frequently than those who little maintenance (cars that adhere to the maintenance minders basically don't seem to have the problems!). The first thousand or two miles of virgin motor oil has the greatest amount of volatilization from the lubricant as it is essentially distilled under vacuum in the crankcase. With the distillate going into the intake through the PCV, creating the deposits. So if you minimize the use of fresh lubricant, there is less deposit-causing material to be distilled from the lubricant, and hence, fewer intake valve deposits. So engines with the GDI problems absolutely scream for long drain intervals and the best quality synthetic oil money can buy (which may or may not be the most expensive). Of course, one doesn't want to run the lubricant so long that it loses its lubricating properties. But the GM 60-degree V6 NA engines tend to be extremely easy on oil, and drain intervals, such as my 92k km's / 57k mile to date interval with proper top-ups and filter changes can keep intake deposits to a minimum.
  15. The XD-3 0W-30 that I specifically used was dual rated for gas and diesel engines, and as such, had extra additives to deal with potentially higher levels of acid particularly arising from the use of higher-sulfur diesel fuel. But the sulfur spec on the fuels has been tightened up in the past 10-15 years as well. Which is where most of the 'acid' comes from. In a nutshell, as long as the oil is kept at proper levels, and isn't contaminated by coolant, or fuel I've yet to hear of anyone killing a 3.1 or even a 3.4 due to bad oil. Heck, I drove a few thousand miles with coolant contamination until I could repair my LIM (just kept adding coolant, it was a slower leak) and that still didn't do anything major except creating a mess in the lifter valley and underneath the valve covers.
  16. No, I should though one of these days. I had the oil pan off, and there was no glitter nor sludge. Put the same oil back in the engine and kept running it. No decrease in MPG per the DIS or manual calculations on long trips. I started doing the long drains in 2004 after seeing some very good results with the 60degree 3.1/3.4 engines on Bobistheoilguy. Unfortunately my first attempt was cut short by the dreaded LIM problem in early 2008, but once that was all fixed up and a brief course of flush oil run... Haven't changed oil since 2008.
  17. Which engine? I haven't changed oil in my 3.1 in over 92,000km. Or in excess of 57k miles. Esso XD-3 0W-30 full synthetic. Filter changes every 15k miles or so per the manual and use of the double-sized filter. 3k miles, good lord, what a waste if you have a 3.1.
  18. Wow... Crazy, crazy overkill.. But it'd never rust out again, that's for sure :).
  19. Yup. That's what I put it on. The LH0 engine.
  20. Yeah no reason why you couldn't weld it, although you may just be playing 'whack-a-mole' with the leaks if the thing is significantly corroded. If I recall, the replacement isn't that expensive, about $30-$40 as a Dorman part that comes in a huge box. Probably more of a hassle to remove the old one intact without damaging it further, than to just cut it out in pieces and fit a new one. Was pretty easy to fit on the 3.1, especially with the engine rocked forward and the main engine wiring harness connector disconnected. Part number on the 1992 was Dorman 626-100. $37 from Amazon w/free shipping, comes in a giant box that probably costs that to ship. Strange that I can't even find it on Rockauto, but still seems to be available on Amazon. edit: Canada link, a little more obviously.... Gone up $20 since I ordered mine back in 2014. The whole bottom of mine was rotted, the metal was so thin I could basically deform it easily with my fingers. Basically running it through the wheel well almost was not GM's most brilliant moment, although the rest of the car has minimal rust other than the rocker panels are rusting from the inside out. https://www.amazon.ca/gp/product/B000C1237K
  21. pitzel

    1A Auto parts?

    Watch Rockauto for close-outs on the struts. KYB is preferred around here. Lots of nice videos of routine W-Body repairs from 1AAuto's youtube channel. They've helped me out immensely.
  22. 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.
  23. 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..
  24. 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.
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