Been a while!
Originally Posted by JimboChap
Nice looking car Andrew! So the front struts to buy are Monroe Parts #181667 and #181668 ? Also should you have a alignment done after changing them?
I realize this is over a year old, but in case you were still wondering: yes those are the correct numbers. If you buy them, throw out the Monroe mounts and reuse or buy OEM mounts/bearings. As has been said many times on here, Monroe strut mounts/bearings for these cars are awful. Replaced them twice before buying a set of used OEM units. Problem free since.
Anyway, what's all happened to this car since the last update...
Well the suspension is in pretty good shape all around now. Fronts were sorted out by replacing the Monroe mounts/bearings with OEM units, and during the original installation it got new sway bar links and bushings.
After that the car was unfortunately rear ended over the summer, but was not totaled and they did a good job repairing it. The rear bumper lines up better than it ever has!
After that was taken care of I purchased rear Quick Struts and sway bar links. I was planning to do this myself, but I discovered through research that while the fronts aren't too bad to do (only took a couple hours to change out the front mounts), the rear struts seem to be a real PITA. After reading about sheered bolts and the assinie way these things are bolted to the car, I elected to have them professionally done. They took 4 hours and lots of heat, but my mechanic got them out without breaking a single bolt. My only problem wit these Quick Struts is the car sits higher out back than it used to and more than the fronts do. I wonder if this is normal for these? Still, it rides so much better now.
The next big item was doing a transmission service. I've never done it, but I figured it was as good a time as any. The fluid wasn't burn or black, but it definitely looked well used. No flushing, as I've heard unpleasant things happening as a result of that. Instead I just dropped the pan, cleaned it (normal amount of metal on the magnet), cleaned the pan, replaced the filter, and put new fluid in. Now its nice and pink-ish. Transmission seems a bit more responsive too.
One night my truck release wouldn't work. I pulled the wiring harness apart and found not one, but two broken wires. Fixed both and my truck light began working for the first time since I've owned the car!
Had the joy of replacing the driver's side downstream O2 sensor recently. That was just awful. They are so far up under the car with so little room to get tools around them. I spend more time getting tools to fit on it than anything else. And that was with a lift! Couldn't imagine doing it on the ground. At least it wasn't seized. Popped a new NTK sensor in and all was good.
I haven't really had time for any more big projects, however I did fix a couple vacuum leaks it had, one from the hose feeding the LDP (had to fix it twice) and found a leak at the corner of the plenum.Not junkyards had one, so I used Permatex black plastic weld to fix it. Seems to be holding.
Finally, I noticed my PCV hose was soft `n squishy (and oily). My car doesn't have the funky heat exchanger, but finding the OEM hose was proving to be a challenge. Instead, I opted to replace it with my own construct.
Clamps came from a hardware store. The brass adapter came from Advance. The tricky part was acquiring 5/8" and 1/2" fuel rated hose. Heater hose that size is easy to get but doesn't hold up against oil. I was able to get both from Carquest though. They even say "Fuel Vapor >PCV/EEC<"
on them and are much stronger, thicker and kink resistant than heater hose is. I ran the 5/8 hose from the PCV valve and put the adapter just before the nipple on the engine. I had thought to use a couple 90° fittings, but the hose is strong enough where it doesn't seem like it will kink. If it does I'll add a couple elbows.
Cost me about $10, and I have enough leftover hose to make another one.
That's pretty much it for this year. Soon it'll be time for winter hibernation. Next year I plan to swap out the dash, as mine has two big cracks in it now and it's driving me crazy. While doing that, I'd also like to change the carpet out for a black one.
I'd like to get the roof repainted, as the clear coat is slowly pealing from the trouble area by the driver;s door.
I think its getting to be time for new lift supports front and back.
Need to replace the tie rod adjusting sleeves before the next alignment.
I'd like to replace the coolant reservoir with a nice new one at some point.
And that's pretty much it for high priority items. Almost at Almost to 219,000 now. We were going to take it to KS this week to visit family, but foul weather canceled those plans, a bummer. Her last big trip for the year will probably be to CT a few hours away for vacation.
How's everyone else doing?