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95GS

Gen 1 Front Subframe

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Could someone post photos of a 1st gen front subframe removed from the car.

I need to see the attachment points clearly, to repair rusted out holes.

The current pressing matter is the front passenger corner which floats free from the car frame,

so not really driveable.

 

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Her old lesabre did that one, Bonneville too. I've never seen a W-Body do that trick but I've fixed H-Bodies twice now. 

Do you have a welder?

You don't need another car to look at, it's fairly straightforward once you unbolt the mount. Subframe bushings are available at Rockauto. 

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Hey Imp, thanks for the quick reply - cool - you're a mod AND a proud transchevroexpresstial driver. No, I don't have a welder, but I can see that's what's needed.

If I venture to remove the subframe, can I do this without a lift? i.e. on jackstands?

Is there enough clearance under the car? 

To your knowledge are there used subframes kicking around?

How nasty (apart from high torque) is the bolt removal job?

 

 

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The bolts aren't too bad to remove- lots of penetrating oil first though.You don't need a lift to remove the subframe but being that the engine and tranny sit on it you'll need a crane. And the steering rack can be a bitch as well as the A-arms.

There's no point in dropping it and fixing it, plenty in wrecking yards but if you have someone with fabrication experience a hunk of plate can be welded in the car without dropping it.

I'm a transcellestialsexual, it's my made-up gender.

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IMO, you should remove that bushing and bolt, clean the area up and take some pictures to your local frame welding shop.

They usually don't charge much to fix little stuff.

You'll also want to order/find new bushings unless yours are really nice but only have the frame shop do that one, the others you can do with jackstands and a jack one at a time ... honestly this should be Plan A.

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41 minutes ago, Imp558 said:

IMO, you should remove that bushing and bolt, clean the area up and take some pictures to your local frame welding shop.

Thanks, that was my overnight thought as well - and that it possibly could be welded w/o removal - this would be my preference, though the opposite corner is riding on a makeshift, but serviceable repair.

You say boneyards have these, but I doubt up here by Montreal, as most cars this age have been crushed. It's a bit strange, I don't really think of my '95 as an old car, but when I was a teenager, anyone driving a 23 y.o. car had a 'classic'. Or a wreck. LOL - mine's in-between.

Good advice Imp, as usual.

So does your gender envision mating your GS with Elon Musk's space-bound Roadster?

I can relate to that.

Edited by 95GS

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I'd check out local used subframes first. In my experience, it's hard to find a reputable shop do that sort of welding without butchery. They're out there, they just usually run from jobs like this due to liability.

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I get that perspective too, really it would be nicer to swap the subframe but that's a big job and would be a lot easier with the drivetrain out.

A day will come (hopefully not too soon) when that car needs an engine or transmission and the subframe swap will be an hour job while that's apart. 

 

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Outstanding pics Kyle! 

Gives me a global view if I need to remove it.

I recall seeing these earlier and other detailed finishing on your vert.

If I recall, you're somewhere in Ontario. Thank you.

 

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3 hours ago, vipmiller803 said:

I'd check out local used subframes first. In my experience, it's hard to find a reputable shop do that sort of welding without butchery. They're out there, they just usually run from jobs like this due to liability.

They'd be a rare find in this rust belt, except on a garaged, low mileage car. 

Car-parts.com has nothing listed, but I'll dig deeper for a replacement unit if I won't be satisfied with an on-car fix.

I had the same problem finding a local rear subframe. After driving many miles to buy a "good condition" unit from a boneyard, it turned out to be uniformly rusted and thin. I finally bought one from a U.S. member here, and it was close to perfect.

I know several competent welders (not frame shops) who could do this job, esp. if removed. I'll first see if a plate can be installed from below. I don't relish taking apart the control arms or the steering gear, not having a garage. 

(A garage should be high on the list of 'essential tools' for anyone doing their own work - note to self)

I wouldn't blame shops for running from my car - they don't see that vintage up here much, and to boot it's covered with rust treatment oil underneath. Messy.

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I welded on the car, you could make a couple sandwich plates from 1/8" plate and just bolt it back together too since a whole subframe would be nice to replace later.

If you come to next year's meet I'm sure another member could bring you one. Possibly me.

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On 9/21/2018 at 3:40 PM, 95GS said:

Outstanding pics Kyle! 

Gives me a global view if I need to remove it.

I recall seeing these earlier and other detailed finishing on your vert.

If I recall, you're somewhere in Ontario. Thank you.

 

Thanks!  It's an 88 coupe...not a vert...how I sort of wish it was tho! LOL.

 

I'm near Ottawa yes!   Are you in Ontario?

 

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On 9/21/2018 at 6:33 PM, Imp558 said:

I welded on the car, you could make a couple sandwich plates from 1/8" plate and just bolt it back together too since a whole subframe would be nice to replace later.

Good to know you've done it - I should have some time tomorrow to make a closer inspection, douse with penetrating oil, etc. I brought it to the garage last week because of the clunk noise which sounded serious. I knew I'd need to see it on a lift. It took the mechanic & myself a few minutes and a test drive to locate the problem. In hindsight, he could have removed the bolt while it was in the air, but I hadn't time to think through my next move. It's one of several repairs needed, and I was pondering the fate of my old GS. So naturally, I came here to consult the minds of experience, always helpful, always available.

 

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In the grand scheme of things this is not a "Death of the Car" kind of failure. A little welding will fix it, a subframe swap will turn the clock back 20 years with a nice part.

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On 9/21/2018 at 6:33 PM, Imp558 said:

If you come to next year's meet I'm sure another member could bring you one. Possibly me.

☺️ Thanks Imp. I've contemplated these meets. Would want to have my car in better shape, both for the journey, and for the members. Though I've put about 90K miles on it since I bought it in 2009, it's never been more than ~200 miles from home, or across the border. Now close to 200K miles of rust belt salt & sand.

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3 minutes ago, Imp558 said:

In the grand scheme of things this is not a "Death of the Car" kind of failure. A little welding will fix it, a subframe swap will turn the clock back 20 years with a nice part.

Choice words Imp. Pretty much what the shop manager said, 'cept he said it WAS a deal breaker failure.

And that's how most clients would view it - 'the frame is rotten, gotta scrap it'.

But you are almost correct that a subframe swap would rejuvenate it nicely. It's just that there are other parts that don't look like a Texas car. (You've gotta know this living in Erie, PA). To be frank, there's probably a lot to replace to make it a reliable distance car. Not a problem if I have time & place to do it myself, but apart from gas tank & two wheel bearings to change, rockers may changing (presently hid beneath plastic molding), those rear mounts for the trailing arms will need attention (but holding), and just noticed the frame beneath the radiator is rusted out (will take a picture). And the small diameter pipes for the steering gear (near the subframe) look v. rusty.

Either way, I intend to fix this subframe rot so I can drive it.

I think we're taking for granted that the bolts for the subframe go into something solid, not more rusted frame. Have you seen that problem before. I'll find out!

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13 hours ago, Bake82 said:

Thanks!  It's an 88 coupe...not a vert...how I sort of wish it was tho! LOL.

 

I'm near Ottawa yes!   Are you in Ontario?

Hey Kyle, no I'm over in La Belle Province, presently near Montreal.

Hard to believe there were 40 houses destroyed in Friday night's tornado.

We're not used to that kind of action up here.

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34 minutes ago, Imp558 said:

It's not uncommon for members to come in something other than a W-Body.

Yes I've read that on the forum. BTW, your GS looks good in those 17 spoke mags.

Mine sports the same.

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I actually switched to the X-laces off my Regal but the 16" 17 spokes are a bitchin' wheel.

Here's a thought though, if your car is pretty far gone and the inevitable is coming there's another option. 

Down South first gen cars in beautiful condition get crushed every day, they are cheap to buy and easy to fix but they still die because too few have the ambition to save one and those of us who do only have the means to save so many.

You could save one and have it brought up or brought to a US contact closer to the border, the car gets a good home and you get a rust free First Gen.

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1 hour ago, Imp558 said:

I actually switched to the X-laces off my Regal but the 16" 17 spokes are a bitchin' wheel.

Here's a thought though, if your car is pretty far gone and the inevitable is coming there's another option. 

Down South first gen cars in beautiful condition get crushed every day, they are cheap to buy and easy to fix but they still die because too few have the ambition to save one and those of us who do only have the means to save so many.

You could save one and have it brought up or brought to a US contact closer to the border, the car gets a good home and you get a rust free First Gen.

Just read your 8 page thread on the GS build, and saw the X-laces - a good fit.

Thanks for your thoughts on this Imp. Thing is, everything is repairable if one has the will.

For me it may not be practical. Other life priorities, no garage, need of dependable DD, etc.

I've thought of a Southern w-body, spurred by reading your long search for a new Buick.

Previously I was not aware they were numerous or so inexpensive. 

BTW - speaking of Wichita &cheap cars, have you viewed Hoovies Garage on You Tube?

This fellow bags some great deals on classic cars.

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