: Undercarriage pics, good or bad?



carguy16
11-17-04, 04:43 PM
:( Ok, today I took my car to auto shop at school, I do not recomend anyone bringing you car to auto shop, take it to pro's next time.

Ok, so I drive it there and they put it up on the lift, they start horsing around the first time I get there, asking dumb questions, yada yada yada. They were trying to find a switch to turn off the air ride suspension, I recomended they just disconnect the battery, I think finally did that. They were saying the bag's would tear, I dont know what they were talking about.

Ok, moving on here, we jacked it up, and took a look at the oil leak. I dont know if you guys can tell where it is, they said they'd have to pull the engine to replace it, but said I could put sealent around it.

They said my car hadnt been greased in along time, they greased it, and boy, NO MORE STEERING POPPING after they did it, there were several grease points they greased. This was probably the only good thing they did.

Next, they pulled the front tires, on the FRONT DRIVER side they were messing with the COOTER VALVE around the brakes, I dont know what the hell they were doing. They pulled the rear tires as well and checked the drums out. The shoes in the rear looked a little scorched, but they said they were fine, as are the front brakes. The front brakes are tiny as hell, at least the pads are in my opinion. The drums in the back are pretty big.

They were calling it a rust bucket, mostly just being jack asses about it. :madtalkin I thought they were serious when I said I needed a new drive shaft because it was too rusty, as goes the rear differential.

They had the battery off and a kid was in my trunk, they were holding it closed, the battery was disconnected, I told them to stop screwing around as they would break the auto pull down because it had no power.

At one point some kid was rocking the front of the car, you can see the type of ramp they used in the picture. I didnt want to say anything because if I did i figured they would do it more to annoy me.

My exhaust needs to be replaced, the muffler has a couple holes in it, the were saying for $300.00 bucks I could put magna flow's on it, Im going to have to look at my options. I want a quiet/power ful car, but I dont want a lot of noise, although I do like the bold exhaust, I dont like it loud as hell.

They put the wheels on, and I dont know if the air torque wrench kept slipping, because they put it on there to tighten em up, and they kept applying it 2-3 times, then someone came around and torqued them to 100 I think it was, well the teacher said 100 but the kid was already torquing them, I dont know what he was torquing them too.

Then they wanted the keys for it, there was a kid sitting in the drivers seat, and he wanted to back it out, Im like " :canttalk: NO, get out of the car." He wont get out, so I go around in the passenger seat and tell him to get the hell out, he gets out, I start it up and leave. I did thank them, even though I didnt want too.

I found out my car takes 5w 30 or 10w 30, I have 10w 40 altthough the manual states DONT USE 10W 40!!! I called the shop that changed the oil, and they said thick oil for a high mileage car is good, and they said if I used a lower weight oil I could damage my engine. I dont know what to do, I want to put Valvoline High Mileage in there.

I am having a problem with my A/C, when I turn the front defroster on, after it defrosts and I want to turn the heat on, the fan comes on, but the damper doesnt move around and direct air towards the passengers in the cabin. It did this to me, but finally reset itself. Today, after they reset the battery it finally worked, anyone know what the heck that is?? It's annoying.

One of the kid's looked at my car after I asked to do a tune up, they said they might, they looked at my car and said something about a coil and said, "No, not this car!" I called an independent shop that did $1000.00 of work on my car before I bought it, they dont do tune ups on that particular vehicle.

I asked them to check out my ball joints, they said they were fine. I really want to replace those, how long of a job would it take to replace ball joints??? They dont look good. My car pulls to the left, but Im going to have to take it to Midas, a Caddy or Chevy dealer to have them look into an alignment. All tire pressure is reading 30 psi. Thanks guys. :drinker :( I dont know if I would let the autoshop kids perform an oil change.

Adam
11-17-04, 05:04 PM
what a bunch of dumbasses. there is no switch to turn the air bags off. its not a Lincoln. idiots. it is reasons like that that i wouldnt take my car to a school shop. they dont know what they are doing, they think they do but they dont. it is pretty rusty under there though.

ocjmakaveli
11-17-04, 07:53 PM
If you reply today i will reply tonight k lol

How many miles does your car have?

if its any more than 50,000 your ball joints need replacing i can tell by your picture that your upper ball joints are STOCK because they are riveted and new ball joints have bolts and nuts Horribly though the upper ball joint rivets have to be drilled out and isn't easy if you don't have good drill bits like I don't :(

replace tie rods too luckily they are super low cost and easy to do but you will need an alignment after you do any of the above and NO MATTER what anyone says you should replace both sides because as soon as you replace one side the other will go bad TRUST ME don't do this twice :D

You do have a good amount of rust under there i guess usual for a car driven in winter i would suggest one of 2 things either buy some PaintOverRust-15 black recommended http://www.por15.com/product.asp?productid=6 or buy some black undercoating from autozone very very low price but this only covers the rust although it does look a lot better then again the proper way would be to sand all rust off and then put some undercoating on but either way is fine for looks better than RUST YUCK definitely do this first spray everything except moving parts or exhaust pips etc. PUT cardboard or something under the car because the overspray stains the ground :tisk:

don't be fooled by the size of drum pads THEY ARE WORTHLESS the discs do all the stopping and I can definitely tell your discs are scored(lines and scratches) and most likely warped replace them too

ALWAYS use 5w-30 forget about them telling you the hype our engines run best on 5w-30 this isn't a ford engine :D requiring a higher grade oil every 50,00 miles etc.

one last thing get a friend to do the front end ball joints or do it yourself because its not cheap and i doubt its worth the big money most shops charge.

I've gotten estimates from most shops at over 1000 for a full front end with idler arm balljoints and tie rods although all these pieces are less than $100 from autozone

btw get the sway bar performance mounts from autozone and change your stock ones it helps a little unless you plan to get a full set from hotchkis get the autozone ones at LEAST just measure your swaybar diameter thats it OH and the endlinks too for the swaybar although this wasn't easy on mine cause one was too rusted and had to cut it witha grinder this helps a lot though trust me

also buy or rent some auto books its always good to know the basics on cars so you don't get JACKED for your money when you take it to a mechanic and always double check with a friend who knows about this stuff i recommend books that tell you how stuff functions and definitely the fleetwood service manual available on ebay with this manual some confidence and some tools you can get your car to like new status in a couple months

barge master
11-17-04, 08:31 PM
I'd like to throw out a different opinion in your front end. The parts are either worn or they're not. The lowers are usually the first ball joints to go, but my 89 doesn't appear to have had any of them changed, and they're all still tight as a bullfrogs ass. My 76 Olds, ditto. If you wanna see for yourself, jack each side up in the front individually with a floor jack. Put the jack under the control arm, where the bottom of the shock connects. Get the wheel up enough to slide a good size bar under the tire. Lift the bar up like a man and feel if there is any looseness. A 16th of an inch of movement is about the limit. That is how you check the lowers.
While it's in the air, grab the top and bottom of the tire and try to rock it like you were pushing the top of the tire toward the car and pulling it back. That is how you check the uppers.
While each wheel is in the air, have someone rock the tire back and forth in the way they move when you steer. Meanwhile, you look underneath at each steering joint for looseness. You are likely to find the center link of the tie rod is jumping up and down when the tire is shaken this way, it will feel like play. I would guess if you need anything, it will be an idler arm. They tend to wear early on GMs and will cause the play I just described. Just did mine last week.
Nothing is as good as the O.E. parts, if it ain't broke, don't fix it.
Last but not least, keep those little teenage freaks in school away. Nothing is more dangerous to a car than a teenage kid. I should know, I was one myself. :histeric:

RBraczyk
11-17-04, 10:49 PM
Hehe, fatass in camo. .. :)

Those parts look like the ones on my truck. Its mostly surface rust and grime. Don't worry too much about it.

Ralph
11-17-04, 10:52 PM
That's pretty common up here to see salt do that in just a few years unless flushed regularity at a wand wash, etc. Shouldn't be anything to worry about.

The salt must be in the air down there?!

RBraczyk
11-17-04, 10:54 PM
Its a northern car.

DopeStar 156
11-18-04, 12:05 AM
That's how my undercarrage looks, everyting seems to be fine. I would never take my car to a school shop, kids are just so stupid and immature especially if the owner is close to their age. I never trust my car with anyone but my mechanic. The guys I go to do excellant work and have never given me a car that I wasn't satisfied with.

FASSTWOOD
11-18-04, 12:22 AM
Carguy, It ain't so bad down there. Don't worry too much about it.

brougham
11-18-04, 01:01 AM
I agree with barge master about the front end parts. If they're bad change them. If they aren't bad leave them alone. The ball joints also have wear indicators on them. If you want to know if you have to do any work on the car bring it to a real garage to get it looked at.

90LS400Lexus
11-18-04, 01:13 AM
It does not look that bad, but it something you may want to fix now, before it gets worse. Cars down here in the south do not rust like that, but I had a 1994 Lumina originally from northern Ohio that was rusted like that. Your car by no means is a rust bucket.

BTW- what year is your car? 1994?

ocjmakaveli
11-18-04, 02:12 AM
I'd like to throw out a different opinion in your front end. The parts are either worn or they're not. The lowers are usually the first ball joints to go, but my 89 doesn't appear to have had any of them changed, and they're all still tight as a bullfrogs ass. My 76 Olds, ditto. If you wanna see for yourself, jack each side up in the front individually with a floor jack. Put the jack under the control arm, where the bottom of the shock connects. Get the wheel up enough to slide a good size bar under the tire. Lift the bar up like a man and feel if there is any looseness. A 16th of an inch of movement is about the limit. That is how you check the lowers.
While it's in the air, grab the top and bottom of the tire and try to rock it like you were pushing the top of the tire toward the car and pulling it back. That is how you check the uppers.
While each wheel is in the air, have someone rock the tire back and forth in the way they move when you steer. Meanwhile, you look underneath at each steering joint for looseness. You are likely to find the center link of the tie rod is jumping up and down when the tire is shaken this way, it will feel like play. I would guess if you need anything, it will be an idler arm. They tend to wear early on GMs and will cause the play I just described. Just did mine last week.
Nothing is as good as the O.E. parts, if it ain't broke, don't fix it.
Last but not least, keep those little teenage freaks in school away. Nothing is more dangerous to a car than a teenage kid. I should know, I was one myself. :histeric:

WOW is your car a mostly expressway driven car or low mileage or are you guessing that your balljoints were never replaced? Lucky you with your '89 especially if you have no steering play. I have no luck like this or maybe I'm just a complete maniac behind the wheel Occasionally of course :D not always but The only cars I've driven that have little or no play are FWD with no limit to mileage but to me it seems RWD vehicles seem to wear out the balljoints quicker for some odd reason at least with the cars i've had and other peoples i've driven.Also my car only had about 45000 miles when i replaced my front-end on the 94 fleetwood honestly just the massive weight wears them out in my opinion and my car was driven in the city A LOT so it had a lot of turning to do IMO according to the old lady i bought it from that was afraid of the expressway :histeric:

Of course I always get a minimum of 1 professional opinion that i pay for and 1 friendly opinion which is non-biased before i fix stuff this hard to replace and I could tell too because the steering wheel had a slight tilt to it when on the expressway about less than 1/8 of a turn to the sides still not good

even my suburban is showing signs of steering play and it's been 80% or more highway driven at about 120,000 miles now gonna change the tie-rods soon but it doesn't have much play its only on some roads which i feel it lost the tightness it had when i bought it at 50,000 miles which i love


i couldn't believe how overkilled my stock balljoints really were i couldmove the balljoint with my pinky it had NO resistance so much for gm parts lol seriously If and WHEN my parts start lacking again I'll try this set below its' about 300 i think and it has a million mile warranty for our 94-96 fleetwoods i think they are incredible I love aftermarket parts :bouncy:

http://impalassforum.com/noncgi/ultimatebb.php?ubb=get_topic;f=16;t=003415#000009

see ya later people Good day

scurling
11-18-04, 02:21 AM
Carguy, I responded to your thread in the supension section earlier with many similar comments and advise.

Don't fret the rust on the heavy metal. You can clean and detail it for good looks, but nothing will break due to the surface rust.

I would, however, get some rust inhibitor (good product recomended above) on the floor panel seams. The thinner metal will take bad if rust is allowed to get started. I even use the spray rust stop on the back of the chrome bumpers. It helps prevent the rust on the back from migrating to the front along the edges at the bottom of the bumper.

Also, since you have a little oil seepage at the axle housing where it meets the differential case, ckeck the oil level in the diff. and keep an eye on it with every motor oil change and chassis lube. My axle shows the same oil seepage (it's not a real leak). The trans shop I had it at said that was nothing to worry about, but my oil level in the diff. was just a little low.

Keep the faith, and keep your Fltwd away from the school shop class. :nono:

scurling
11-18-04, 02:36 AM
Mak, Great info on the parts. I had both lower ball joints replaced when I purchased the '94 Fltwd with 47K on her. They would not pass state inspection, so I made the dealer replace them contengent on sale. I know the original owner didn't keep them greased. I have over 90K on the factory replacements and they are still in good shape. I will definitely go with the perf. parts in the future.

carguy16
11-18-04, 03:10 PM
Thanks for the response, the only thing that is really true now is I need new exhaust, as there are a couple rust holes starting to open up under neath.

Now, someone brought up my differential is leaking oil??? I didn't see that, but I do want to get the oil changed in it, only 4 pints.

Secondly, the oil leak in the front of the car, you can see it dripping on the pit arm for the steering, its starting to collect a fine coat on there.

The ball joints were not greased, just the grease points with the grease gun, and as I said before my steering stopped popping after they greased it up. :) How would you grease the ball joints, I know the grease points havnt been greased in a LONG, LONG, LONG time.

Other then that, all systems go. Im just pondering about the engine and tuning it up. Is there anything I can do to help my engine run strong and longer??? I was running it hard yesterday, and I was told because of the high miles I shouldnt do that because I can blow a rod, I know a couple people with the LT-1 in their Fleetwood's have done this, I also have 10W-40 Castrol oil in my engine, which was changed within the last 200 miles. I just hope everything is getting lubed ok with it, as the manual says DO NOT use 10W 40, it recomends only 5w 30 or 10w 30, 10W 30 sounds alot better then 10W 40 to me, its not like im putting 5w20 in there... I want to change my oil, would you recomend Valvoline Max Life Synthetic, or the other choice was Valvoline Max Life 10W 40(or was it 10W30? I cant remember, it was at Advanced Auto Parts). I live in Florida.

So, if you have any tip's on not blowing the engine away, Im all ears. Since I filled up yesterday, I havnt floored it, spun the tires, or gone more then 1/4th the way down on the gas pedal. Im trying to see how good I can get my gas mileage on this tank of gas.

By the way, the car origionally came from Michigan, but will be retiring in Florida.

RBraczyk
11-18-04, 04:38 PM
10w 40 for your hot months, 10w 30 for your cold months, if you can call them cold at all. The more viscous being 10w 30 will work good in cold, will not become as gelatanous. The 10w40 will give you better compression and less blowby in summer, or very warm conditions.

I chirp my tires just about every day, and I'm at 284k. Just be a little careful.

RBraczyk
11-18-04, 04:39 PM
My balljoints are original :)

ocjmakaveli
11-18-04, 04:43 PM
change your oil to 10w 30 soon or 5w 30 is better anyway but DON'T judge things by how they sound ask around and I suggest getting a part time job at a shop a REAL shop where you can learn a lot about cars even if its low pay or no pay as long as the info is good its worth more than you can imagine.

when you grease the ball join tips you are actually greasing the ball joint itself its just that it goes in the tip first to gain access to the inner parts in total there are about 9 grease points that i can remember 4 balljoints 4 tierods 1 idler arm and thats about it that i remember the idler arm may have 2 grease points i dont recall...

later

you have to check out http://www.howstuffworks.com/ it has everything u need to know just search for motor oil etc. to find out how it works and what it all means ...http://auto.howstuffworks.com/question164.htm like this

very good site

brougham
11-18-04, 05:25 PM
Use whatever oil the manual says to use. Don't bother with maxlife or synthetic. Just use regular oil.

I don't even know if my Cadllac has 5W30 or 10W30 in it! I haven't changed it myself.

carguy16
11-18-04, 05:30 PM
I still plan on using Valvoline Max Life, it sounds like a good oil. It has additives that will help my seals, and maybe help or prevent future oil leaks, I'll feel at ease though. Im going to buy some today I hope, and an oil filter.


Use whatever oil the manual says to use. Don't bother with maxlife or synthetic. Just use regular oil.

I don't even know if my Cadllac has 5W30 or 10W30 in it! I haven't changed it myself.

barge master
11-18-04, 07:11 PM
Get yourself a grease gun too Carguy, and grease it every time you do the oil.

Hey OCJ, it sounds like you've had some bad luck with front ends. :bonkers:
I've had a zillion old GMs and those ball joints have seldom been bad. Upper control arm bushings have often been my nemesis though. If you're getting steering slop and the car is walking side to side on rifts in the road, check your idler arm. I find them loose on GM cars all the time.

scurling
11-18-04, 07:47 PM
Carguy:
Good advice above: Use the oil viscosity recommended by the manufacturer, not what someone thinks will work better. I would not recommend Synthetic oil with that small leak you already have. Synthetic oils tend to find the leak points and drip a little more. Just use a good quality brand oil (5W-30 or 10W-30) and keep it changed at regular intervals. I would go with the 10W-30, as your location isn't that cold, which is when the 5W-30 is really needed. It's just a little thinner to help out on those very cold weather starts.

Sounds like you are really trying to get on top of things, but don't be too influenced by the marketing hounds. Seems like there's something new every month to make our cars go faster, better, and longer.

There are eleven (11) grease points on the front end to include the steering linkage, tie rods, and upper and lower ball joints. I have been told by my trans shop not to "change" the diff. oil, but only to add, "as needed".

I mentioned your diff. was showing some "seepage". I didn't say it was leaking. You pictures show some oil dampness at the seam where the Diff. meets the axle tubes. This condition seems to be common as the cars age. Mine is the same way. Trans. shop said not to worry about it, but to keep an eye on the oil level in the diff.

That's a good site recommended to lean about how things work. Also, there are numerous books on automotive engines, and systems at the library, or on line technical book clubs. Maybe one of those school shop guys could loan you his automotive course textbook. :xsmile:

RBraczyk
11-18-04, 09:11 PM
Use mobil oil.

DemonDNF
12-20-04, 04:58 PM
Yup, lots of good advice on the front end up there.

One thing, those sway bar ends tend to be cheap and relatively easy to replace. I did the rear ones on my mom's '91 Sentra within 10 minutes, and I only had hand tools.

The funniest thing was that she had gone to 3 mechanics who couldn't find the knock coming from the back. When she came here, I lied down on the ground, grabbed that bar first, and yank it back and forth, making a thunking noise. She said THAT'S IT, THAT'S THE NOISE! :D

I sent her to Canadian tire, they even had it in stock, the next day they were in. She said it really made a difference to the handling.

I don't know the price for our parts, but I'd change those even if they are still 'good'. They are partly worn, easy to replace (when things go right), shouldn't be expensive, and the handling should be better.

When you're short on money like me, that's where I start when I want to do 'improvements'.

Robert
:)