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95GS

Gen 1 Front Subframe

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After some delays, finally got to lookin'.

The bolt (front passenger corner of subframe nr. radiator) came out easily - barely 100 ft-lbs I'll guess, had only been sprayed once, two days prior.

But it left a big hole, about 3.25" fore & aft, 3" left to right, which is about the entire width of the member, so not much purchase for an on-car-weld. 

When you suggested sandwiching two 1/8 plates, I'm guessing you mean for them both to be below (inside the channel), not one on top? That would mess up spacing and be difficult to do on the car, right?

So the two thinner plates would be for ease of working/welding, and for strength.

(1/4 inch plate would be unwieldy - am I reading that right Imp?)

This photo's not great due to flash shadow, but gives an idea:

 

P1010439.JPG

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After some cleanup, here are the hardware & bushings.

So the repair plate will require a hole just over 2" diameter to allow the bushings to "mate" through the plate, right?

 

P1010450.JPG

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Bonus question🙃

This transverse member supports the radiator and will need replacement or repair (the other end looks good).

Is this a bolt on item, or cut & weld?

Does it serve another purpose besides rad support & some body stiffening?

 

P1010438.JPG

P1010437.JPG

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Put a jack under the subframe and pull the mount from the other side to make your template.

As far as the core support goes I "think" it's spotwelded but it's irrelevant, you don't have a parts car.

Weld a hunk of something on it until you do. I'd offer the one off my Regal but it's not far behind yours.

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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...

I've had a better look and removed the other front bolt. There's enough remaining steel to show me the hole size, but this side will also need repair, before it pulls through too.

Could you clarify the sandwich plate tip? Are you suggesting one above, one below? That's a solid design, but will it adversely affect the subframe level? Or negligible?

Although I had it jack-supported, the subframe dropped over 2" at the front when unbolted. Is there a trick to getting it back up, besides buying longer bolts?

 

 

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8 hours ago, Imp558 said:

Yes, a plate above, plate below but welding is nicer.. It sounds like you may have stands further back causing it to move funny, just jack it up into place and be careful.

Ok I misunderstood - I thought you meant welding those plates in place, but now I see you meant either two plates OR welding.

I think you're right, I could prob. do the sandwich repair using small graded bolts to hold it in place.

Or enough to get it to a welding shop. I'm thinking. The welders I know are some distance away. There are local shops, and even a mobile welder.

The jack is under the front transverse member of the subframe, the one with the power steering cooling lines attached. And yes jacking it higher closes the gap somewhat. 

Thanks for the help.

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Last night was working on a cardboard template for a steel plate to cover the large hole in the subframe where the bolt & bushing assembly pulled through due to rust & fatigue. 

The plan is to fabricate one lower plate for each side with the proper bushing clearance holes, then have them welded in place.

The old metal will have to be well cleaned up, prob. drill & wire brush or stone. No access for an angle grinder, don't own a die grinder.

Given that the present base material is compromised, I'm thinking that 1/16 or 3/32 plate would be the maximum thickness, as welding anything thicker could burn through the old subframe material.

Am I right on this? Suggestions?

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So you're saying you have the weight of the vehicle supported by the subframe? Jacking it higher as in the whole car gets higher? And still doesn't close the 2" gap you opened up?

Please be careful with jacking on the rusty piece. Don't let rust sneak up on you while you're under the car.

That seems thin to me. Also, I'd box it in not just one plate.

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1/16" is too thin.

I did 1/8" plate, you could go thicker. Someone who's experienced with a welder isn't going to blow through it.

Just make sure your weld plates are big enough to catch good metal.

Again,  being realistic, some day this car should get a new subframe so this just needs to be tough, not pretty.

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On 10/5/2018 at 6:54 AM, vipmiller803 said:

So you're saying you have the weight of the vehicle supported by the subframe? Jacking it higher as in the whole car gets higher? And still doesn't close the 2" gap you opened up?

Please be careful with jacking on the rusty piece. Don't let rust sneak up on you while you're under the car.

That seems thin to me. Also, I'd box it in not just one plate.

Thanks VIP - No, all tires are on pavement, but jacking on the subframe does raise the body somewhat.

The 2" gap starts to close the more it is jacked, just haven't raised it all the way to see how close it will get, and I intend to wait until I'm re-assembling to push it that far.

Most of the subframe is well oiled and by all appearances solid - it's those parts out of site which did not get the oil spray, such as these bolt through points.

Nevertheless I've got two solid bricks either side of the jack, and will resort to logs or jack stands (if they'll fit) before I go to work. I'm weighing my options.

1 - quick plate repair so I can drive it to a welding shop for a better, still temp repair

2 - better plate repair w/ graded bolts to last until I change the subframe, forego welding for now, hardware already bought.

3 - dive in & remove subframe for replacement or quality repair by a pro. Hesitant as I'm away from home base & tools and have other duties. One appeal here is doing the job once. And dealing with issues like a rusty power steering tube I've seen running parallel to the subframe cross bar. Just not sure how many parts I'll break and have to change (& availability), and the scope of the job. I'll search on here for a subframe removal thread - if you know of one, pls. give post a link. I have an outdoor overhead support for the engine/transmission.

4 - looked at 120 volt welders which were on sale locally, and I'm pretty sure would do this job, but would need to consult first and get some practice. So might be impractical for now. But learning to weld should be in my repertoire if I'm going to drive old cars in this climate

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On 10/5/2018 at 12:27 PM, Imp558 said:

1/16" is too thin.

I did 1/8" plate, you could go thicker. Someone who's experienced with a welder isn't going to blow through it.

Just make sure your weld plates are big enough to catch good metal.

Again,  being realistic, some day this car should get a new subframe so this just needs to be tough, not pretty.

Thanks Imp, I'm cleaning up the sites, looking for good metal. 🔦

Edited by 95GS

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On 10/19/2018 at 9:42 AM, 95GS said:

What point on the block is used to suspend the motor & transmission?

Ok well that was a little obvious, though I didn't see the two brackets yesterday...lol...need to catch up on sleep.

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You should just swap the subframe. Making a weld here or there may fix this break but if one broke the rest are soon to follow. I've replaced the subframe on my 04 GP three times now and it really wasn't that bad and then you can at least put your faith into your car again. I found my sub frames from junkyards, I know you said most are smashed at your cars age but there is so many of these out there I would be willing to bet you can find one if you really look. See if any other makes or models carried the same frame as well. I payed 30$ for my subframe from the junkyard so this could really be your best money option. To replace the frame you need a engine lift of some sort though. I used a engine support bar lift from harbor freight, was a cheap purchase and has come in handy many of times. 

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I ditto what duster said about replacing the subframe. There’s two engine mounts, a trans mount two bolts for the steering rack, 4 for the control arms, the sway bar has 4 nuts. After that is the steering cooler line. If you remove one from a junkyard first itll be that much easier to repeat on yours. There’s gotta be a scapyrd around you? Do you have access to a cherry picker?  I have a gen 1 subframe in the back of my truck. Shipping would be a killer for you though or I’d let you have it. I can take pictures or measurements if it helps.

Edited by GTP091

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