: New Member... with a few questions (long-winded)



Disney
10-19-08, 12:44 PM
I recently purchased a 98 Catera with 158000 on the car and 34000 on the engine. Previous owner replaced the engine due to prior engine failure six months ago. I gave $2000.00 for the car and it is in great shape. I believe he was scared of it since the original engine failed and the tail-lights stopped working... although a great person, he is not very mechanically inclined and I believe he predicted gloom and doom for the rest of his ownership of the Cat. I have since replaced the stop-light switch ($17.00 at Advanced Auto) and the tail-lights work great. While driving, I have noticed that the oil pressure gauge dances up and down with increased RPMs. Is this a possible switch failure or should I expect the worst? I also have a low coolant light on the dash yet the coolant is topped off (to the cold temp line) when not running. And the biggest thing I have noticed is that when I come to a stop, the car pulls to the right quite a bit. Since noticing this I took the car to my father-in-law's tire shop to re-balance the tires (it shakes a bit at 70 MPH) and check the rotors/pads. Upon removing the wheels we found the inside of the tires completely eaten up down to the wire threads. We figured it now needs a front-end allignment so we put on two new tires and planned a trip to the allignment shop on Monday of this coming week. As I pulled out of the shop my father-in-law told me to stop because he saw something funky happening. When I drove forward, stopped, and then released the brake pedal the front wheels seemed to jump back forward as if popping back into place. What could that be? Is that normal for these Cats or is it a series of bad bushings and tie rod ends or perhaps bad struts? Could that also be what is killing the inner tread of my tires?

I apologize for the long-winded thread but I need help.:confused:

Thanks

PS. Picture of her attached

Army_MP_From_MO
10-19-08, 02:40 PM
Good looking Cat. The coolant light is a usual problem. The sensor is inside of the tank, if you replace it, the light should be taken care of. The oil pressure does the same thing in my Cat, I kept checking my oil level and found it was perfect, so I assume that it's normal. I hope Elvin will answer your suspension issue.

achapra
10-19-08, 05:09 PM
I would assume the oil pressure differs depending on the speed you are going... if you notice when you first start your car, before it is warmed up, the oil pressure is high. When accelerating from a stop light it rises as well!

AHazzardToAll
10-19-08, 05:36 PM
the oil dancing with the rpm's is normal.

elvin315
10-20-08, 01:52 PM
And the biggest thing I have noticed is that when I come to a stop, the car pulls to the right quite a bit. Since noticing this I took the car to my father-in-law's tire shop to re-balance the tires (it shakes a bit at 70 MPH) and check the rotors/pads. Upon removing the wheels we found the inside of the tires completely eaten up down to the wire threads. We figured it now needs a front-end allignment so we put on two new tires and planned a trip to the allignment shop on Monday of this coming week. As I pulled out of the shop my father-in-law told me to stop because he saw something funky happening. When I drove forward, stopped, and then released the brake pedal the front wheels seemed to jump back forward as if popping back into place. What could that be? Is that normal for these Cats or is it a series of bad bushings and tie rod ends or perhaps bad struts? Could that also be what is killing the inner tread of my tires?

The Catera's front control arm bushing are designed to increase toe-in during braking supposedly to add stability. They are made of rubber and prone to tearing though. Once torn they add crazy handling problems like steering wheel shake and wandering under braking. Polyurethane bushings resist this tearing. They reduce the effort needed to move the control arms when the wheels encounter roughness. Poly-bushings also hold their characteristics much longer than rubber bushings, greatly reducing maintenance and holding alignment much better when cornering, and when braking loads are applied. Great for steering response. Two problems. They allow more road noise & vibrations to reach the occupants, and no one makes actually makes upgrade bushings for the Catera, rubber or poly.

A friend in Taiwan found that bushings from the 1993 BMW M5 use a harder rubber and are better designed to resist this tearing. A good compromise between OE rubber and urethane. They replace the Catera's front/horizontal control arm bushings. He uses them in his Omega. The BMW bushings are an improvement, but I can't help wondering about the polyurethanes. There are polyurethane ones made for the M5 and they will fit the Catera but only the front/horizontal bushing.

The Catera & Omega use a unique rear/vertical bushing in the front control arm. Inside it is a ball-joint like insert, lubricated by silicone, that pivots under braking. This special bushing improves control by increasing toe-in at the wheels under heavy braking. So far there are no alternatives to stock.

The rear suspension's semi-trailing arm bushings are rubber. Braking pulls the wheels back as momentum pushes the body ahead. Due to the elasticity of these rubber bushings, the rear wheels will toe-out encouraging oversteer. Stiffer polyurethane bushings resist this distortion so the wheels track truer. Stiff bushings equal better wheel alignment and less tire wear. Eccentric outer bushings also help correct camber on lowered cars.


CONTROL ARM BUSHINGS


Front Suspension

Meyle Bushings BMW E34/M5 HD Bushings: part # 31121136607MY
http://www.germanautosalvage.com/services4.html
Heavy Duty rubber front horizontal BMW/M5 bushing for Omega/Catera.
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Meyle Bushings (Opel Omega)
Front Horizontal Bushing 58.5mm: part # 614 035 0016
Rear Vertical Bushing 48.5mm: part # 614 035 0010
http://www.meyle.com/Home/application.asp?lan=us&images=off&ma=84&de=30713069069&mo=14201777488&ba=14201772640&
Rubber bushings for the Opel Omega/Catera. I have sent emails to Meyle and German Auto Salvage asking whether these bushings are Heavy Duty. No answer yet.
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Meyle Control Arms w/bushings & ball joints: part # 616 050 0017(Left) - 616 050 0018(Right)
New wishbones loaded with Meyle rubber bushings & balljoint.
http://www.meyle.com/Home/application.asp?lan=us&images=on&ma=84&de=6220321167&mo=14201777488&ba=14201772640&
---
NOTE: Meyle makes a large range of replacement parts for the Opel Omega that we can use in our Cateras.
Use their search engine and leave the the last box default [select...(not required)].

Korman Autoworks:
BMW M5 (E34) Heavy-Duty Thrust Rod Bushings: part # 3112567
http://www.kormanfastbmw.com/m5m6susp.htm
Heavy Duty BMW/M5 bushing for Catera front/horizontal control arm bushing.

MOOG: part # K90137 (1993 BMW/M5 Thrust Arm Bushing)
http://www.rockauto.com/catalog/raframecatalog.php
BMW OE bushing for Catera/Omega front/horizontal bushing.

Bavarian AutoSport:
BMW/M5 Upper Control Arm Bushing: part # : 31 12 2 226 528
http://www.bavauto.com/shop.asp
BMW OE bushing for Catera/Omega front/horizontal bushing.

Bavarian AutoSport: BMW/M5 Upper Control Arm Bushing: part # N81368BAV (POLYURETHANE)
http://www.bavauto.com/shop.asp
Quote: "Our exclusive street performance bushings and mounts are made with a more forgiving urethane formula! During spirited driving, polyurethane bushings and mounts provide more responsive handling and maintain better control over suspension geometry than stock bushings. Along with this improvement in handling, though, comes a stiffer ride -- a welcome side-effect on a smooth race track, but much more noticeable on the streets. Our street performance urethane is formulated with a touch of polyester. This new compound is more forgiving than 100% urethane, so itís better for street BMWs."

Powerflex BMW E34/M5: part # PFF5-601 (POLYURETHANE)
http://www.powerflex.co.uk/products.asp?cat=0003&catalog=0903&submit1.x=23&submit1.y=9&submit1=GO
Polyurethane front horizontal BMW/M5 bushing for Omega/Catera.

ACDELCO Control Arm, Front/Horizontal Bushing OE: Part # 45G9329 {#19187194}
http://www.rockauto.com/catalog/raframecatalog.php

Rear/Vertical Control Arm Bushing OE:
SPICER Control Arm, Rear/Vertical Bushing: Part # 5651329
http://www.rockauto.com/catalog/raframecatalog.php

Rear Suspension

Meyle Bushings (Opel Omega)
Rear Outer Bushing 45mm: part # 614 042 0003
Rear Outer Bushing 43mm: part # 614 042 0004
http://www.meyle.com/Home/application.asp?lan=us&images=off&ma=84&de=30713069069&mo=14201777488&ba=14201772640&
Rubber bushings for the Opel Omega/Catera. I have sent emails to Meyle and German Auto Salvage asking whether these bushings are Heavy Duty and whether we can order them. No answer yet.

Whiteline Rear Suspension Bushing: part # KCA384 (POLYURETHANE/eccentric) rear outer position only
http://www.globalperformanceparts.com/fitting_instructions/KCA384.pdf
Provides a camber adjustment range of +/-1.0 degree from base settings for lowered rear suspension (outer position only).

SuperPro Rear IRS Adjusting Kit Camber & Toe Bushing (POLYURETHANE) #SPF0877K
http://www.fulcrumsuspensions.com.au/fulcrumCat/
http://www.superpro.com.au/download/4381.link (PDF)
http://www.fulcrumsuspensions.com.au/fulcrumCat/img.php?id=1107
Provides camber and toe adjustment range of +/-1.0 degree over base settings for lowered rear suspension (set of 4 / inner & outer)
---
SuperPro Rear IRS Control Arm Adjusting Kit (POLYURETHANE): #SPF0877TK
http://www.fulcrumsuspensions.com.au/fulcrumCat/
http://www.fulcrumsuspensions.com.au/fulcrumCat/img.php?id=1211
(set of 2) Toe adjustment only
---
SuperPro Rear IRS Control Arm Bushing Kit (POLYURETHANE): #SPF0611K
http://www.fulcrumsuspensions.com.au/fulcrumCat/
http://www.fulcrumsuspensions.com.au/fulcrumCat9/img.php?id=2429
(set of 2) No Adjustments

Pedders Suspensions - GTO IRS Bushing (POLYURETHANE)
GTO IRS Inner Lower Arm Urethane Bush (no adjustments) #EP7023
http://www.peddersusa.com/Solution_GTO.htm
http://wretchedmotorsports.com/images/EP7023_800x533.jpg

Pedders Suspensions - Rear Camber Eccentric
GTO Rear Camber Kit #5403 (adjustable camber)
http://www.peddersusa.com/Solution_GTO.htm
http://www.peddersusa.com/images/Pedders%20Part%20Images/5403.gif
http://wretchedmotorsports.com/images/5403_800x533.jpg

SLP Performance:
Rear Camber Kit (inner & outer) 2004-06 GTO: #847-70027 (use w/ #70026 lowering springs)
http://www.jegs.com/i/SLP/847/70027/10002/-1
http://www.jegs.com/images/photos/800/847/847-70027.jpg

Energy Suspension:
GTO Rear Control Arm Bushings: 33188R Control Arm Bushings (POLYURETHANE)
http://www.sfxperformance.com/parts/ENE33188R.htm

INSTALLATION TIP: FOR RUBBER BUSHINGS, DO NOT TORQUE CONTROL ARM BUSHING NUT AND BOLT UNTIL CAR IS
LOWERED TO GROUND. URETHANE BUSHINGS CAN BE TORQUED WHILE VEHICLE IS RAISED.

INSTALLATION TIP: Though not listed there is bushing lube available in most auto parts stores. Normal white grease may damage urethane bushings. Use the special poly lube for them. Be generous and coat the entire bushing inside and out. They will squeak if not completely lubed.

Disney
10-20-08, 09:02 PM
Thanks for the wealth of information. I will surely try the bushings first. Is this a do-it-yourself job? What is the level of difficulty? I have ample skills when it comes to automobiles and have plenty of tools at my disposal. Thanks again.:):thankyou:

CateraMV6
10-21-08, 12:27 PM
Well as to the bushings you will have to go to a shop to have them do it, you will need a press to push out the old ones and put in the new bushings... Ebay has them and they are ok on price...

As for your electrical issues, the Oil pump is drivne by the crankshaft I beleive so with increase in RPMs its normal to see the PSI go up... now the problem is this, in a worn out engine the clearance at the cranshaft is too big and you loose oil PSI so at idle if its below a 25PSI you have very worn out engine, spec should be around 30 I think...
on the high end... at 6000RPM you will notice it go up to 60PSI and at that poitn a check valve opens and keeps the pressure in check.

As for the coolant temp sensor, I got the light to come on, got new (used) tank replaced it.. the thing was out for a few days and now its back on again... but dont worry about it its nothing major...

As for braking my tie rod ends were worn out and so was the idler arm on the passenger side and when the car found roots in the road it would randomly track in those directions... Also under braking I can tell that it had issues but since yours is 10yr old and seen so many miles I bet its the control arm bushings...

Go to RockAUTO and get some parts then go to your relatives shop and have him do the replacement at least you can trust him to do a nice job!

Otherwise a great car, I jsut dynoed mine with the new mufflers and amazingly enough the guy at the dyno was shocked to see something on the magnitude of 15-20ft.lb torque increase in the lower RPMs and around 6-8 hp across the enitre range... now mind you I only replaced the under car mufflers with flowtech Cerrybomb style ones...