: I dunno if I'm getting old or what but...



turbojimmy
09-17-11, 03:50 PM
Last weekend I got under the car to replace the front shocks. Tried for about 15 minutes. Couldn't get at the nut with a regular open-end/box wrench. Couldn't get at the top of the shock with vise grips. Put the wheels back on and said screw it. I'll just take it somewhere.

Today, I took a look at the rear shocks. Goofed around for about 15 minutes. Tried to get the bolts up top loose, got my eyes full of rust. Couldn't get a wrench on it. Put the wheels back on and said screw it. I'll just take it somewhere.

I've been driving around for weeks with brand new shocks in the trunk, but can't find the motivation to do the job.

I ordered up the shock socket and short 9/16" box wrench today. I'm going to have another go at the front shocks.

I'm going to do the rears, too, when I'm in a better mood.

As I get older, I'm finding I don't have the patience for this crap. But my budget requires that I do it myself. So, I guess I have to suck it up and get back under the thing.

I did have a small victory today. The rear audio receiver kept forgetting the radio stations and settings because the bozo that installed it didn't find a constant hot 12V supply for it. I pried it out of the ceiling, shaking my head in disgust at the shoddy installation job. (As an aside, I'm relocating the rear A/V system to the middle of the limo - there's no reliable way to mount a receiver in the ceiling, which is where the head unit is now. It keeps falling out.). I noticed a taped-up, unused wiring harness consisting of green, brown, yellow and green wires. Hmmmm....there's the same bundle of unused wires by the fuse panel. I supplied the yellow one with constant 12V up at the fuse panel. Checked it at the back. Voila! Juice back there, too. I took out the JVC unit that was there and replaced it with a 200W Blaupunkt unit that I had laying around. It sounds better AND remembers what time it is.

All this, of course, was not without drama. When installing the receiver into the sleeve some wires got caught up in it. Some wire nuts dropped into my lap. I pulled the receiver out and saw unconnected wires, with no idea where they should go. With nearly infinite combinations, I finally guess correctly and got it all working.

So, after the new shocks will come a JVC KW-AX840 receiver installed in the middle door. I'm making a custom panel to install it on the left side of this wooden thing. I have enough room to be able to close the roll-top-desk type doors, too:

http://turbojimmy.4t.com/1994_limo_LH_center_door-1.jpg

Eventually I'll put a flatscreen TV in it like the '96, but there's only so much I can do at all once....

Cadillacboy
09-17-11, 05:04 PM
Your tv project seems to be promising , it's worth a hi-end item in your gorgeous ride .

turbojimmy
09-17-11, 05:26 PM
Your tv project seems to be promising , it's worth a hi-end item in your gorgeous ride .

Thanks.

I like the idea of installing the receiver in the middle door. It has a 7" LCD screen that will feed the bigger TV. When we're tailgating, I can swing the middle door open and can access the A/V receiver from outside the car. I like the JVC 840 because it's all screen. It's not complicated with buttons and stuff on the front. I'm going to bring the USB and RCA inputs to the front via the faceplate I need to manufacture.

I'm also going to put speakers in both middle doors. Mid-bass at the bottom and tweeters up high. That way when I swing the middle doors open the sound will swing out too.

Cadillacboy
09-17-11, 05:42 PM
I completely forgot about your middle doors , may be you can also surround leds around the speakers . Kinda gaudy but I think it all depends on what color you pick up

pompste
09-20-11, 06:35 AM
What`s your age turbojimmy? I just turned 53 and i can`t do things like when i was younger.I like to do my own repair work myself too,mainly because i love doing it myself--but budget constraints are another reason also.
When i know falling rust in my eyes will be coming,i just put on safety glasses beforehand.
I`ve been doing the basic repairs on my own rides since i was 18,change oil,filters,coolant,plugs,wires etc,and i notice at 53 my sight is`nt as sharp as it was when younger.My joints sometimes ache.Aging sucks---the body begins to wear out.
Sounds like your hanging in there tough---keep at it---things may take a little longer to accomplish but the important thing is "getting it accomplished" no matter how long it takes.

turbojimmy
09-20-11, 08:15 AM
What`s your age turbojimmy? I just turned 53 and i can`t do things like when i was younger.I like to do my own repair work myself too,mainly because i love doing it myself--but budget constraints are another reason also.
When i know falling rust in my eyes will be coming,i just put on safety glasses beforehand.
I`ve been doing the basic repairs on my own rides since i was 18,change oil,filters,coolant,plugs,wires etc,and i notice at 53 my sight is`nt as sharp as it was when younger.My joints sometimes ache.Aging sucks---the body begins to wear out.
Sounds like your hanging in there tough---keep at it---things may take a little longer to accomplish but the important thing is "getting it accomplished" no matter how long it takes.

I'm 43 now. I went to the doctor a few years ago because my back hurt. He basically told me that if I want to continue to roll around on the concrete underneath a car, it's gonna hurt a little. I seem to lack patience anymore, too. I have the patience to tear the whole inside of the car apart and meticulously solder in new wiring for the A/V system, but I took one look at the rear shocks and just put the car back on the ground and walked away. I think it's just more frustration than anything else. I mean, GM could've welded the nuts to the frame atop the shock towers in the rear. Getting a wrench up there, totally blind, is ridiculous. And there was no way to install the front shocks so that you have even the slightest chance of removing them with regular tools? The upper control arm prevents you from getting a wrench on the nut, you need a special GM socket to get on top of it, and you can't get a drill or saw in there to cut it off even if you wanted to.

But then the reality of paying someone a couple hundred bucks to do the shocks set in. I finished the rears this past weekend. It sucked, but I did it. My back did hurt most of yesterday :-) And my head, where I dropped a 3/8" drive pneumatic ratchet on it. Gonna do the fronts this week.

I also like to do things myself. I really bought the car as a project/hobby. I couldn't afford to pay someone to work on it anyway.

deVille33
09-20-11, 07:18 PM
There is a special socket you can get for the shock stems. ( I just went through this ) Some times U can use a distributor wrench on the nut. As I recall it works on the rear shock nuts at the top of the frame.

turbojimmy
09-21-11, 07:56 AM
There is a special socket you can get for the shock stems. ( I just went through this ) Some times U can use a distributor wrench on the nut. As I recall it works on the rear shock nuts at the top of the frame.

Yep. I ordered the socket. It was $30, but probably worth it to have around. I also got a shorty box wrench. That should do the trick. If all else fails, I read here that you can snap the top of the shock off by rocking it back and forth with a deep well socket and extension.

What worked best on the nuts on the rear shocks was a ratchet. I didn't think it would fit so I didn't bother to try until I was on the last nut. That made things a bit easier from that point on.

SDCaddyLacky
09-21-11, 01:05 PM
Believe me, I know how you feel sometimes. I work on my own cars and do repairs that seem feasible to me. Other jobs I send off to one of my friends that works at a shop which helps big time when it comes to saving money. For instance I had to replace the rear axle bearing and seal. While trying to do the job myself, I wasn't able to get the broken axle shaft bolt out of the axle. I was working on extracting it when I just said "screw it" I am tired of spending so much of my free time trying to get this damn bolt out, I ran out of patience.. So I had the car towed to the shop where my friend works, and they were able to remove the bolt, cleaned everything up since the axle fluid soaked the drum and pads, it was cleaned using hardcore industrial grade cleaner, and he also drained replaced the axle fluid that I didn't have to pay for!:shhh:

It turned out great, and so far I havent had any problems. Sometimes it's wise to have certain repairs done by a mechanic in case something goes wrong in the garage. I do all the maintenance work on my cars, oil changes, spark plugs, brakes, all fluids. It's insane how much some shops charge for oil changes using non synthetic oil, full syn will cost upwards of $60 depending on where you go. It's crazy how more expensive fluid changes are becoming. So no matter how tired or whatever crappy mood I'm in, I will always find the time to get the maintenance items out of the way.

So far the only big jobs I had to take my Fleetwood in for was for the rear shocks that no matter what I just couldn't reach that damn upper bolt! And the leaky rear axle bearing. I replaced the water pump myself, did the center link, front shocks and many more other repairs that I could spend all day talking about.

I have saved literally thousands of dollars over the years, I'm still young (27) so I don't know how it feels to have aching joints and whatnot. I do notice that as I get older, I have become much more calm and too laid back, this has affected my motivation especially when doing repairs. When I around 20 or 21 i was always fiddling with my cars, going to every car show I could find, now I am like whatever, I get bored too fast. They're days when I feel like taking the Fleetwood to the shop, and let somebody else fix the problem. But then like most of you here, your budget says otherwise. This brings me back to reality. So it's back under the car.

pompste
09-22-11, 05:19 AM
I'm 43 now. I went to the doctor a few years ago because my back hurt. He basically told me that if I want to continue to roll around on the concrete underneath a car, it's gonna hurt a little. I seem to lack patience anymore, too. I have the patience to tear the whole inside of the car apart and meticulously solder in new wiring for the A/V system, but I took one look at the rear shocks and just put the car back on the ground and walked away. I think it's just more frustration than anything else. I mean, GM could've welded the nuts to the frame atop the shock towers in the rear. Getting a wrench up there, totally blind, is ridiculous. And there was no way to install the front shocks so that you have even the slightest chance of removing them with regular tools? The upper control arm prevents you from getting a wrench on the nut, you need a special GM socket to get on top of it, and you can't get a drill or saw in there to cut it off even if you wanted to.

But then the reality of paying someone a couple hundred bucks to do the shocks set in. I finished the rears this past weekend. It sucked, but I did it. My back did hurt most of yesterday :-) And my head, where I dropped a 3/8" drive pneumatic ratchet on it. Gonna do the fronts this week.

I also like to do things myself. I really bought the car as a project/hobby. I couldn't afford to pay someone to work on it anyway.

43--you`re still young compared to my age of 53! I know what you mean by GM welding the nuts in bizarre places.As you said we even have to buy special GM wrenches to get at certain parts.
The present day rides are a real bitch to work on.They are purposely designed complicated so mechanics have to work on them---having foresight that if cars sales fall,GM can still rake in profits through mechanic dealership repairs.
When i was 18,cars were much easier to work on than today`s rides.I recently detailed my aunts 2003 Caddy DHS---i took a look under the hood and was amazed at how everything is packed in under the hood like "sardines in a can".There`s not even enough room under the hood for the battery anymore---it`s now under one of the back seats.
Hang in there pal and "get r done"!