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Symptoms and problems I've had, and what remains. Data dump

1098 Views 5 Replies 5 Participants Last post by  kevm14
here is a quick list of things i have experienced with my 2006 V (79K miles), and what remains. just a datadump, and perhaps this will help others:

36K miles: replaced diff bushing with CS unit. did not see any issues with stock unit. also replaced diff fluid with royal purple. hoped it would fix the whine. to this day, it has not.

75K miles: sticking/lack of a rebound in clutch during cold weather. shop found a leaking master cylinder and replaced. At same time, I had the tranny flushed and a serpentine belt/idler replaced. idler was starting to squeal. I also had some problems getting it into reverse. thought this was due to clutch or the transmission. the problem remained.

79K miles: with all the clunks and the remaining reverse issue, I decided to buy a trans mount and level 2 motor mounts from Creative Steel. these were replaced by a service shop. both motor mounts were busted, but the tranny mount was intact. soft, but intact. the motor mounts are busted at the top end, so the vertical travel is about 1/2 inch. the differences I have noticed: no more bumps/clunks in driveline. the engine is far quieter (used to have a lot of rumble). I was worried about vibe from level 2 CS mounts, but it is practically zero. this service also eliminated the 2200rpm harmonic vibe I had in the car, and the overall driveline vibration is nearly gone. less diff whine. when they did the service, they also replaced the starter. there was a cracked/bad connector into the starter. they said changing the starter would have required dropping the subframe, so it was partially done as insurance. I really recommend the CS mounts. I don't hodrod this thing, so I figured the engine mounts were still intact. everyone should replace stock mounts by this time. I waited too long, by a couple years, to do this.

79K #2: I still have something loose in the front end. I can hear something loose when going over a bump. I expect it to be the sway bushings, since all the usual stuff that goes wrong in these cars has happened to me. I have bought sway bushings from CS, and also bought a complete set of upper and lower control arm bushings from them. I'll be buying upper and lower ball joints (moog) and wheel bearings for the control arm service. I'll likely do this over a weekend (neighbor, actually). After this, ill have the car into the alignment shop (and also have the tie ends replaced).

Every winter (I drive this thing in michigan), I have all stability/abs stuff go out on it. the common denominator seems to be super cold weather. I thought it was the steering position sensor, but found (with digging on a Tech II), there is a solenoid sticking in the EBCM. I have not addressed this yet. the fix is another $800-1000. I am considering a complete flush of the brake fluid, as I have never done it. hoping this will help the solenoid.

I can tell the dual mass flywheel will need to go at some point. ill do this when I do the clutch upgrade.

Besides the above, the POS infotainment button chips (shame on you, GM interior engineers), the electrical gremlins in my sunroof, all the crap-plastic A and C pillar cover screw bosses dissolving (another engineering shame moment), the poor anti-reflective coating on the Nav screen, the pig-rich engine mapping, this has been a good car.
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Interesting about the stability/ABS stuff going out in the cold weather - first time I've heard of something like that.
I have a similar sticking clutch pedal in the cold. How were you able to identify this as a leaking master cylinder? Was there a visual inspection that turned up the leak? Where should I look?

thank you,
If there was a leak in the cylinder, did you notice low clutch fluid? Mine is slow in the winter as well but clutch fluid levels are normal.
sorry for the tardy reply. wasn't expecting questions, and only got back on to followup on all my front suspension saga.

leak in the cylinder: yes, there was physical evidence of a leak. yes, the fluid was low. I am still on the fence whether or not the master cylinder was the actual problem. it still could have been low fluid, or water being picked up in the fluid. I had never changed/bled the clutch fluid. these are confounding factors, and it is possible other problems were associated with the clutch.

My neighbor and I just completed the upper and lower control arm bushings from Creative Steel. I also had bought sway bushings and upper and lower ball joints from Moog. we started this job on a saturday afternoon, and expected to have it completed in 3-4 hours. the first side went 5-6hours, and we saved the other side for this past friday. the other side went 3 hours, and far less pain/misery.

I will start by saying none of my control arm bushings appear bad. Both sway bushings were bad, as there was light between them and the bar. All the ball joints were in good condition, and there was good grease within each. If you're going to do this, i'd recommend buying sway end links. I didn't. they are probably fine, but we took them off and it would have been the time to replace them.

disassembly is pretty straightforward. getting the bushings out is an absolute nightmare with a harbor freight press and DeWalt sawzall. the upper bushings come out okay. we blew out the center metal piece first in order to be able to get a large rod through to push on the inside of each. Getting out the upper ball joint is ugly, as the control arm doesn't have a nice flat/perpendicular surface to press against. we did not try a torch, and this would have likely helped to get the aluminum to expand.

the lower control arm bushings are simply ugly. one of them (the larger diameter) has a double metal sleeve vulcanized into the bushing. we cut this off with a sawzall in order to press out the center easily. once the centers were out, we used the sawzall again to cut into the outer aluminum bushing. we pounded these out with the bushing scored from the saw. kind of peeled them out by pounding the aluminum sleeve from the inside out. the lower ball joint is better from a press-setup, but a larger surface area. it takes some grunt to get these out.

reassembly: the upper is the easiest. straighforward. we took out the entire strut and reassembled on the floor. there are 6 bolts holding in the strut. the battery will have to come out in order to get out the passenger side bolts. the bushings are easy to install: no pressing. lube them up. we installed the bushing screws with the zerks on the outside. it is the best way to get access for future greasing. we put the upper/strut in as a way to hold the lower control arm in place. the sway bushing is easily replaced. you will want 90degree zerks for these.

the lower control arm. again, the bushings go in easy. use the lube that comes with the parts. i also bought some superlube as my lube for future maintenance. the lower control arm goes in best with a couple tricks: first, belt sand the hell out of the SS plates that install between the bushing and the subframe. the burrs/edges on these are sharp, and they will need to be tapped into place with a hammer. beveling the edges helps this a ton. the other thing to do is to re-install (loosely) the swaylink. I think we also did the strut as well. this will hold the control from the top, and it is one less thing for you to fight as you reinstall. we also bent the bottom frame metal to give us more lead-in for the SS plates. we installed the bolts from the inside (zerks on inside), as it was easiest to install. the rear control arm bushing is the one we didn't fight. got the bolt in and got a nut on it. the lower front was the one we worked with a hammer and screwdriver to align the bolt/bushing/plate through the hole.

once all this was in, the reassembly was straighforward. I also did drilled/slotted rotors while we had everything apart. it is all just really time consuming work. the car will go in tomorrow for a re-alignment tomorrow or tuesday. No more bumps and thuds when I go over potholes. I can't say I notice any difference in how tight the car is. I know others have said the CS bushings really tighen stuff up. with more driving, I'll be able to better assess.
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I have 116k and my suspension is all original (wheel bearings, too) except for the shocks and front anti-roll bar bushings which caused the same clunk that you noticed. Doing the ball joints sounds like a real PITA.
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