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Discussion Starter #1
I'm going to be swapping my front carrier in my 08 this next week. I get how to do it, but wondered if anyone who has dropped the front cradle could chime in how they best managed the assembly. I come from the Corvette world where dropping your front cradle is a common service requirement (harmonic balancer pinning, cam swap, rack and pinion swap, etc.).

In case you were wondering, my carrier is actually physically damaged. Not the gearing, but the case itself is cracked. Long story but it was NOT the cars fault. The owner before me didn't quite understand things like forward momentum, braking and steering :)

If there isn't a how-to on here, I will document and post my work so people can see how the carrier passes through the oil pan. Actually pretty ingenious way of keeping the nose slim on these cars and fitting a monster little motor in there too!

Cheers!
Cassidy
 

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Discussion Starter #2
Well the new carrier came in the mail this weekend.

Jacked up the front end of the car and supported it on jack stands right in front of the two tie down anchor points in the frame rails. Pulled both front tires and removed upper ball joint bolts. Easy to pop them off there. The center of the threaded ball joint has an allen key up inside of it, makes it easy to hold it while you turn the nut.

Pulled the outer tie rod ends as well. Then used an air impact to get both axle nuts loose. Popped the drive shaft out of the driver side fairly easily and then went to work on the three 15mm bolts connecting that carrier bearing to the oil pan. The reason I have to all of this is that the driveshaft got shoved into the carrier and cracked the housing. Previous owner didn't really drive it in a very 'Cadillac' way ;)

Next came the part that stumped me for the night. I pulled the upper passenger exhaust shield, the two catalytic stud bolts, the four cat to Y pipe bolts and three of the O2 sensor connectors. Exhaust is down so I should be able to get the converter off the passenger side right? Yeah. No can do.... will have to wait until I drop the K member (cradle, not sure what you call it on a CTS4?) to get it out.

The weather stopped me at this point. I am not going to be uncomfortable to do such a big job. Can take my time, other cars to drive :)

Thought I'd update. Trying to take pics as I go in case anyone ever wondered what their car looks like from the inside....

Cassidy
 

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SOLD - 2010 CTS4 Premium Wagon-Diamond White-Cashmere Interior
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Thanks Cassidy!

Most of us on this forum don't turn wrenches like you're doing, but I'm interested to see how it comes out.

Marv
 

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Discussion Starter #4
I'll take you from the start to where we were a few days ago....

Bought it with a little light repair to do :)


Frame was perfectly straight and all the cosmetics were available with GM parts already painted correct color. Even the hood closed perfectly. Just a lousy way to treat an 18 inch rim and sport tire.



Car was not bad to get into the trailer and I bought the suspension parts to fix it so I could drive it out. A full brake bleed and I had a nice drive-able car!



Door turns out it would have been just fine but I already had a great shape replacement. I used the spare rim until a factory reconditioned (never suggest using the Chinese made garbage) one and a new matching sport tire arrived. I was able to mount it all up and the car was driveable with no codes or issues (other than needing an alignment which went swimmingly well! I got all of the camber and toe set perfectly. No warp, bend or cracking).



Door mounted and all electronics swapped over. Mirror and speaker took some doing, as I was not familiar with the way they wired up. Easy to get going, just took a few trys with the door card on and off. Rear door could use a paintless dent repair but that can wait. I live in DC traffic. Enough said...I have had 2 Corvettes totalled in three years sitting at red lights. I am MUCH more comfortable in a larger metal-body car!

I will upload my finished picture here in a few minutes. Can't seem to find it in the album.

Cassidy

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And here she is at the inspection station all prim and proper. She passed with flying colors on safety inspection, emissions and every factory system works as it should.



Cassidy
 

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'14 CTS-V LongRoof; '16 ATS-V Sedan,' 04 Trailblazer 4x4; '10 CTS LongRoof gone but never forgotten
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Nicely done.
 

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2013 Black Diamond CTS4 Premium Coupe (sold-09 CTS4 DI Black Raven/Ebony)
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Nice. From the first pic, I thought you were going to buy the Volvo since it was roadworthy already. :)
 

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Discussion Starter #8
The funny part about this is that it will NEVER show up on Carfax. Clearly from my posts I am not going to hide what happened but this car was uninsured, repossessed and still has a clean title. It is all in how someone chooses to view that resource. After 56 cars in my lifetime, I will take it with a side of skepticism.

I have told people for years it is imperative that you understand what you are buying when you get a used car. Flood damage, accidents and repairs all leave their tell-tale marks. If you look for them, the car will write you a story with the clues. This one was a dealer serviced car until one fateful event. First owners took impeccable care and from the marks on the harmonic balancer I am 99% sure the timing chains have been serviced. Second owner only had it a few months, even with the repo, which told me they hadn't had time to 'hurt' the car other than the damage (you'd be amazed how much it costs to replace radio fascias, seat covers, carpet sets, etc. I'll take suspension repair ANY day over that nickel and dime to death stuff).
 

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Nice job on the resurrection, but where are the front carrier swap pics? I'm curious to see how all that worked out, and you left us hanging with the post about your progress. :)
 

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Discussion Starter #10
Busy day at work but I will try to update as I can...



There are basically 6 bolts that hold the front of our cars on. This cradle or K-member is held on two places on each side towards the front of the car and two large bolts towards the front of the doors. When these are loosened or removed the cradle can drop down. There is a single steering bolt that must be removed from the rack (15mm I think) and there is only one way the steering shaft fits the rack and pinion. As long as the steering wheel isn't turned or the rack moved you won't have to worry about the clock spring/steering angle sensor, etc.

You don't have to disconnect ANY of the fluid lines. They just stretch out of the way as you slowly and carefully support the cradle. I used three jacks to hold the cradle and one large transmission jack to support the engine. This way I could separately change the place of each piece.

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Hard to imagine all this to-do about this one part. You can see the hole in the picture above where the driveshaft for the driver side goes through the engine oil pan. you can see daylight out of the other side! Wild design.



This is the case, looks like it should be a lot easier to get out than it is. Actually only held into the car with three bolts. It took less than 5 minutes to get it out once the frame was dropped. You have to manhandle it over and around parts but it is do-able without moving the brake lines.

I disconnected the calipers from the spindles and hung them on the strut springs with some mechanics wire. The driver side knuckle I left on but the passenger side was just in the way. The shock bolts are simple to remove and that bought me plenty of clearance.



Culprit on the ground.

Some various pics of me working and such....



Driver side is much more complete....



You can see I have spun the carrier 90 degrees on its side (drained it first of course!) and now it is ready to fight its way out.


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