Struts, Calipers, Oil Pan Gasket, Subframe bushing install - DodgeIntrepid.Net Forums - Dodge Intrepid, Concorde, 300m and Eagle Vision chat
 
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post #1 of 7 (permalink) Old 10-22-2012, 01:57 AM Thread Starter
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Struts, Calipers, Oil Pan Gasket, Subframe bushing install

Ah, a fun weekend. Started Saturday on the Concorde, which I bought new in '97, and is on college kid number two now. Some overdo maintenance. Decided to fix the front end clunking and squeaking, and leaky oil pan, and brakes pulling to the right. Got on Rock Auto and EBay and ordered parts last week, and was set for Saturday.

Saturday:
Loosened the bad half shaft's retaining nut a bit.
Loosened the front wheel's nuts,
Blocked the rear tires.
Jacked up the front end.
Pulled both of the front tires.
Pulled both the brake calipers off, one was binding, so, at this age, decided to replace both.
Pulled the sway bar off and tossed the old bushings.
Pulled off the sway bar links (that I had just installed last summer)
Pulled the outer tie rod end from the strut (TIP:whack (shock) the strut hard a few times with a hammer, right where the tie rod end goes through, then a few hard taps on the bottom of the tie rod end's nut should pop it out).
Pulled the strut assemblies off. Careful you don't mess up your CV joint boots when doing this step.
Pulled the passenger half shaft. Here's how I do it. I free the shaft from all of the wheel assembly. I cut the inner boot off, and, with the shaft still in place inside the inner "cone" portion that's still attached to the trans, I take my vise-grips and pinch them HARD over about a half inch of the steel "cone" that is still "stuck" to the transmission by the retaining clip on the shaft. then I use the half shaft itself as a "slide hammer" pulling on the half shaft assembly HARD until it whacks up against the vise grips. After I get the guts to really hammer it good, it pops free of he retaining pin!

On to the freaking 3.5L oil pan
Drained the oil and pulled the filter.
Pulled out the dipstick (for oil pan removal)
Loosened the motor mounts, but kept the nuts "just" threaded on barely.
Jacked up the transmission. This raises the engine. Tried something new this time: I used the sway bar itself as the support under the jack to jack up the trans, that way, it's out of the way of the oil pan.
Pulled the two support brackets between the trans and engine (they obstruct access to the oil pan bolts).
Pulled the two 10mm bolts of the inspection cover on the trans. and removed it (gives you more room to pull the pan, and it's filthy anyways).
Pulled the 10mm pan bolts. MOST are easy. on the 3.5L, the front nuts, and maybe two bolts are a PITA. Jacking up the trans, like I mentioned earlier, gives you extra room. A 1/4" drive or the right size allen wrench inserted into the end of the 1/4"10mm socket will give you a "tool" that is "shallow" enough to pull/reinstall these buggers up front.
Got the pan off,
Pulled off the oil pickup tube
Pulled off the old gasket.
Cleaned the snot out of everything, nuts, pan, gasket mating surfaces, 15 years of oily crud was stuck to everything I pulled.

Observation: You know, we put three guys on the freaking moon in 1969. Why couldn't we buid an American car in 1997 that doesn't ooze oil out of every possible orifice after 3-6 years...
Second Observation: The best thing I can recommend for car repair is to live in Dallas area the whole time you own the car. No rust on ANYTHING, not even nuts and bolts, or frame! Steering and suspension still has shiny black paint on everything. Much better than my 22 years in Wisconsin!).

Third Observation: Quick-Strut assemblies ROCK!

SUNDAY:
Noticed that one front passenger subframe bushing was shot, AGAIN (I hate those Dorman bushings) so I replaced it too, since the trans was already jacked up and the wheels were off.

Reassembled everything but the brakes today. I'll finish up tomorrow. Then I'll either get it aligned, or pour more dough into rear struts and get it aligned.

Through all this, my wife would stick her head into the garage, roll her eyes, and say, "why didn't you just have a shop do this"? Does anyone have an idea what this project might have cost if a shop did it all? I think it cost me, though savvy shopping; $360 for loaded calipers, sway bar bushings, quick struts (front), oil pan gasket, half shaft, oil filter, and brake fluid...

Anyhow... Just thought I'd share my experience here in hoped it helps the next guy, This board has helped me countless times over the years...

Last edited by rob4; 10-22-2012 at 02:03 AM.
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post #2 of 7 (permalink) Old 10-22-2012, 02:04 AM
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Great to read! Glad you spent some quality time with the car and got some good work done - great story!

If a shop did this, the cost would be in the quad digits I'm sure. I like your trick for tricky half shafts. I haven't had one I couldn't pop out with a good pry bar, but I'll have to remember your trick. Did you pick up different bushings than Dorman this time?
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post #3 of 7 (permalink) Old 10-22-2012, 02:25 AM Thread Starter
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No, ran to ORielly to pick up the sway bar bushings, and picked up another Dorman there. In all fairness to Dorman, my son drove the car off a section of brand new highway; you know, where the concrete ends, and the next section hasn't been built yet? So a 10 inch drop into the dirt at 15 miles an hour may have blew out the bushing...
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post #4 of 7 (permalink) Old 10-22-2012, 08:03 AM
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I would guessed you saved well over $700.00. Some people have that cash - some don't. I'd rather keep it in my pocket.
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post #5 of 7 (permalink) Old 10-23-2012, 10:25 PM Thread Starter
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All back together, rides like new again, except the steering wheel is still off center. Another thing I noticed when under the car: on the subframe bushings I replaced a few years back, the rear ones were loose. One by a half inch, and had to be tightened down again. Assuming the alignment will take care of that. Still thinking I have an oil leak under the timing chain cover, but it's a slow one. Maybe its time to go to 20W50! If we get 3 more years out of the Concorde, both of my kids will be out of college...
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post #6 of 7 (permalink) Old 10-23-2012, 10:33 PM
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Kudos for your perseverance!

Atta-Boy for time well spent!
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post #7 of 7 (permalink) Old 10-23-2012, 11:30 PM
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Observation 1 is spot on! I don't understand why these things leak like they do, oil pans, trans pans and valve covers are usually bad on all of them.

On the half shafts if you live near a Auto Zone they have a monster slide hammer with a claw on the end that works flawlessness, I go borrow their tools and get the parts elsewhere.

Don't you love the multi-part catch up jobs like this...well done!
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