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7th Gen Suspension Springs, shocks, and brakes.

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Old 05-02-2012, 08:54 PM   #1 (permalink)
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'03 frontend rebuild

Wife parked her car with the wheels turned a bit today and I see MASSIVE wear on the inside end of the driver's front tire, some extra wear on the outside of the passenger side but it had had a slow leak for awhile. No real surprise as the car has something like 190K on it and has never been realigned or anything, every suspension part on the car is original.

Anything I should know before I start ordering parts?
This is NOT how I want to spend a weekend.

I assume once I start looking at it I will be able to figure it all out, I have rebuilt the suspension on my own car. More or less looking for tips or tricks, "replace while I am there" sort of things. I will go right ahead and order at least balljoints and tierod ends since I will be paying for an alignment. Been a few years since I did brakes too so might as well long as they will be off.
She also described what sounds like one of the 2yo front hubs going bad.

I assume looking for a rockauto discount code would be a good thing to do as they seem to have consistently good pricing and good parts.

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Old 05-02-2012, 11:26 PM   #2 (permalink)
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I would do the brakes and rotors, the lower sway bar bushings and bolts will probably be damn near welded in there. If you have a impact then I dont see any problems.
Do all of what you plan to do then get the alignment and it should be good to go.
Good luck and if you need any help us fellow 7th gen guys are always here!
Massive wear on the inside of the tire is an alignment issue IMO.

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Old 05-03-2012, 12:33 AM   #3 (permalink)
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With 190K on the car though I expect the alignment issue to be caused by worn out parts.

I have an impact.

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Old 05-03-2012, 08:01 AM   #4 (permalink)
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FYI just google "Rock Auto Coupon Code" and you will find a current one on sites like Retailmenot ect...

I am replacing most of the rubber parts in the front and rear end as general maintence items right now. My car only has 75K on it but the age of the rubber has some of the parts either hardened or showing some slight (very slight) cracking. With the new struts I put on all the way around it should drive like a new car. The job is pretty straight forward as you may know.

You should notice a night and day difference in the ride and drivability after your repairs. Keep it on the road because it is much cheaper to fix and drive than payments on something new.

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Old 05-03-2012, 09:27 AM   #5 (permalink)
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Check the inner tie-rods as well, sometimes they get loose, they can be replaced independently of the rack. Check top to bottom play on the wheels for wheel bearings.

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Old 05-03-2012, 10:13 AM   #6 (permalink)
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Quote:
Originally Posted by thejunkman View Post

You should notice a night and day difference in the ride and drivability after your repairs. Keep it on the road because it is much cheaper to fix and drive than payments on something new.
I wont notice a damned thing, it is a great car for the wife but if we go anywhere together we take my vehicle, usually the truck lately because that is what the carseats are strapped down in.
I HATE the seats in her car, I swear it got 9C1 seats with utility belt clearance because you need a whole winter jacket stuffed behind you to get any lumbar support.

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Old 06-10-2012, 12:18 PM   #7 (permalink)
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So I still haven't addressed this. The rear brakes started making grinding noises and it appears one rotor just rotted. There was friction material left but the noise it made made me thing I was going to find backing plate in rotor.
Found a broken rear swaybar link.

With the frontend I am going to do struts since they have never been done.
I want to fix things well but with around 190K on it If we keep it 2 years I will be surprised so I want to do things well but not necessarily spend a lot and expect another 100K.

Thinking about the fully loaded Monro Econo-matic they are only $71 from Rockauto unless you guys say they are junk. Like I said only hoping for a couple years at most.

kingnutin
From your comment it sounds like I can almost assume the outers are shot and "might as well do the inner"? I am all for saving a buck by paying for ONE alignment.
The wheelbearings are only a couple years old but I will give them a wiggle. We know how these things are, original last a LONG time and once replaced the replacement frequency is increased greatly.

I am going to go crawl under it now and take a better look.

I hate working on her car.

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Old 06-10-2012, 01:42 PM   #8 (permalink)
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Found the offending part, passenger outer rod end. I work on it so little though I am unsure if the wheelbearing play is appropriate. There is some movement not a lot but they feel the same. On my car I know what "feels" right.

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Old 06-11-2012, 07:43 AM   #9 (permalink)
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I dont like any play in wheel bearings. Even the slightest will cause vibration at highway speeds.

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Old 06-11-2012, 12:49 PM   #10 (permalink)
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I agree with Kenny, even the slightest play will self destruct itself over time. If you're doing one tie-rod, you may as well do both. As far as the injera go, check them for play, if they are ok I wouldn't worry about it, they can be kind of a pain in the ass to change, I almost prefer replacing the rack. But unless you want to get a lifetime alignment, it's better to do everything that needs to be done in one shot. Strut assemblies included.

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1978 Caprice Classic Landau
350 2-bolt, stock 4bbl
Stock rebuilt TH350
Edelbrock performer cam + intake
Dual 2 1/2" Flowmaster exhuast (waiting to be installed)
Edelbrock IAS Classic shocks
95 9C1 3.08 posi
4 wheel disc brakes!
16x8 American Racing Baja's with 225/60/16 Pirelli P4's

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Old 06-11-2012, 06:06 PM   #11 (permalink)
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I just know that on the old packable bearing setups I was always taught you should be able to feel just a little movement, not enough you could measure without a dial indicator, just a little so you knew they weren't tight.

Any comments on the Monro economy loaded strut? I think they have a lifetime warranty one for $30-40 apiece more.
I don't worry about best handling or anything because the wife never even noticed a swaybar endlink was broken.

On the rod ends if the inners are a pain maybe I will gamble a little and just do BOTH outers, sounded like the inners are less common to wear out anyway.
I will go ahead and so wheelbearings as these are a couple year old aftermarket which means they are likely shot. In my experience once the original part goes you end up replacing things a LOT more often even if using quality aftermarket stuff. Obviously there are exceptions like say 3.4l intake gaskets but most things.
Like I was basically saying earlier we want some more time out of this car but not like we are looking for 4-5 years either.

My tire/alignment guy is good to me on pricing, half the time he doesn't even charge me for tire repairs or mounting slicks etc.. Then again he wants me to do gears in his Mudstain so I guess it is a bit of bartering. They are a Tirerack listed installer and if I find something I like on TireRack I can call them up tell them what I want and they will wholesale them from TireRack and give me the Tirerack retail price that way I keep a little more money local too instead of just paying TireRack retail and the local shop the mount and balance only.

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Last edited by Dwayne J; 06-11-2012 at 06:15 PM..
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Old 06-12-2012, 09:32 AM   #12 (permalink)
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I've never used the monroe, but I've heard they're only good for about 50k miles, which from what you're saying is not an issue. I have used KYB, they ride nice enough, but they wear out in about the same time span, which is useless for fleet vehicles. As far as the bearings go, I have had very good luck with timken, they seem to last as long as, if not longer, than the factory bearings. Also, I don't know if her car is ABS or not, but the ABS bearings are cheaper for some reason, and will fit non-ABS cars, obviously you just don't plug it in. For the inner rods, give them a wiggle and see to be sure, but they are probably fine. Replacement isn't complicated, its just a bitch to hold it from spinning when you try to remove it. Let me know if you need any pointers, but as mechanically inclined as you are, you'll probably figure it out by looking at it like I do.

Also of note, since these are sealed bearings, they have zero tolerance for play, they aren't tapered.

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1978 Caprice Classic Landau
350 2-bolt, stock 4bbl
Stock rebuilt TH350
Edelbrock performer cam + intake
Dual 2 1/2" Flowmaster exhuast (waiting to be installed)
Edelbrock IAS Classic shocks
95 9C1 3.08 posi
4 wheel disc brakes!
16x8 American Racing Baja's with 225/60/16 Pirelli P4's

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Old 06-12-2012, 11:17 AM   #13 (permalink)
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See I did not even consider KYB because all the reviews on them for my car were poor, but I know on some other cars like Mustangs they are well thought of.

I will start ordering parts. Probably use Rockauto for most of it, they are only a couple hours away so delivery should be quick and they prices are always competitive.

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Old 06-12-2012, 05:48 PM   #14 (permalink)
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I've always had good luck with rockauto.

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1978 Caprice Classic Landau
350 2-bolt, stock 4bbl
Stock rebuilt TH350
Edelbrock performer cam + intake
Dual 2 1/2" Flowmaster exhuast (waiting to be installed)
Edelbrock IAS Classic shocks
95 9C1 3.08 posi
4 wheel disc brakes!
16x8 American Racing Baja's with 225/60/16 Pirelli P4's

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Old 08-17-2012, 07:04 PM   #15 (permalink)
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I have the Monroe Economatics. I just installed them a week ago, so I can't really give you any meaningful feedback. They appear well built when they came in, and the install was really easy for the most part. Well, the install was meant to be easy, but I had one bolt on my right rear strut-to-knuckle that just would not knock out. So we ended up removing the knuckle along with the strut assembly and knocking the bolt out outside of the car; it just had maybe 2-3mm of corrosion ringed around it, but that was enough to make it near impossible to knock out while in the vehicle. Hope you don't run into the same thing, but with 190k....you know how things go.

I also ordered new front lower control arms with new bushings and ball joints that I have yet to install. I kind of would recommend this instead of buying the bushings and ball joint separately....for convenience sake. As far as getting the old ball joint to let go of the knuckle.....well I'm all ears. The ball joint stud faces upward...which is right under the half-shaft; this makes getting a puller on it impossible...
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