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Discussion Starter · #41 ·
Got a lead on a subframe a couple hours away. Running a couple questions by the seller, and if I like the answers I'll be heading up to get it probably over the holiday weekend.

Anybody know the specs for the mounting bolts? Given the condition of the control arm bolts, I'm not holding out much hope that all of the subframe bolts will be reusable. Hopefully won't need a full set, but 1-2 spares would be good for peace of mind.

Am I going to have room to do this with jack stands under the pinch welds?

How much profanity should I tell the neighbors to ignore? How far should I expect to throw my 3lb cross peen persuader at each stage of the repair?

Haven't had any trouble with the hubs or brakes, but both are also 20 years old, so is either difficult enough to replace completely on their own that I should consider adding them to this job?
 

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2004 ZX3 SVT EE 173k miles. 2004 ZX3 SVT 194k miles
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Got a lead on a subframe a couple hours away. Running a couple questions by the seller, and if I like the answers I'll be heading up to get it probably over the holiday weekend.

Anybody know the specs for the mounting bolts? Given the condition of the control arm bolts, I'm not holding out much hope that all of the subframe bolts will be reusable. Hopefully won't need a full set, but 1-2 spares would be good for peace of mind.

Am I going to have room to do this with jack stands under the pinch welds?

How much profanity should I tell the neighbors to ignore? How far should I expect to throw my 3lb cross peen persuader at each stage of the repair?

Haven't had any trouble with the hubs or brakes, but both are also 20 years old, so is either difficult enough to replace completely on their own that I should consider adding them to this job?
It is not a bad job but If you are in the rust belt expect a struggle. Here in Texas the bolts will still be anodized when you take them out. I've seen a thread on the bolt specs, let me see if I can find it.
 

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If you are under 150k miles then the hubs may be fine and you can check the brake pads but if it were me and is functioning well and quiet. Leave it alone.
 

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Discussion Starter · #45 ·
It is not a bad job but If you are in the rust belt expect a struggle. Here in Texas the bolts will still be anodized when you take them out. I've seen a thread on the bolt specs, let me see if I can find it.
AFAIK, this car spent most of its life in Richardson, then about two years in the SLC area, and has been back here in north central TX for about five years. I'd say it's maybe a touch more surface rust on bare metal than I'm used to seeing on cars that have always been in TX, but nothing is crumbly at all. Even the seized bolts looked way more like some sort of galvanic corrosion than normal rust.

Looking to get this fixed right so I can do another 1000 mile round trip to Big Bend in September. You'd think I'd eventually give some priority to fixing the A/C condenser that's been busted for three years now, but I'm so used to driving with the windows down that working A/C in a car feels a little weird. Plus it removes any temptation to delay getting my pack on and hitting the trail if the car is hot and getting hotter every minute it isn't moving.

Yes you can do it easily on jackstands.
Well, maybe some people can, but I can't let anything done on jackstands be easy. I will somehow pick the one spot in the chipseal driveway that is full of tiny thorns, soak something directly over my face with PB Blaster and give myself a concussion from not sliding out far enough before sitting up. And that's just getting ready, before I even take a wrench under there.

If you are under 150k miles then the hubs may be fine and you can check the brake pads but if it were me and is functioning well and quiet. Leave it alone.
Haven't even looked at what it takes to do hubs on this, but I'll assume it's not too much worse than my old Saturn: wheel off, brake off, four bolts, smack with a hammer and stick the new one on. That can wait until it starts making noise, then, and that will be a good time for some shiny new brakes. Might vacuum bleed the system while I've got the wheels off, though, and get new fluid going through the whole thing just because I have no idea when (if ever) that was last done.
 

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AFAIK, this car spent most of its life in Richardson, then about two years in the SLC area, and has been back here in north central TX for about five years. I'd say it's maybe a touch more surface rust on bare metal than I'm used to seeing on cars that have always been in TX, but nothing is crumbly at all. Even the seized bolts looked way more like some sort of galvanic corrosion than normal rust.

Looking to get this fixed right so I can do another 1000 mile round trip to Big Bend in September. You'd think I'd eventually give some priority to fixing the A/C condenser that's been busted for three years now, but I'm so used to driving with the windows down that working A/C in a car feels a little weird. Plus it removes any temptation to delay getting my pack on and hitting the trail if the car is hot and getting hotter every minute it isn't moving.



Well, maybe some people can, but I can't let anything done on jackstands be easy. I will somehow pick the one spot in the chipseal driveway that is full of tiny thorns, soak something directly over my face with PB Blaster and give myself a concussion from not sliding out far enough before sitting up. And that's just getting ready, before I even take a wrench under there.



Haven't even looked at what it takes to do hubs on this, but I'll assume it's not too much worse than my old Saturn: wheel off, brake off, four bolts, smack with a hammer and stick the new one on. That can wait until it starts making noise, then, and that will be a good time for some shiny new brakes. Might vacuum bleed the system while I've got the wheels off, though, and get new fluid going through the whole thing just because I have no idea when (if ever) that was last done.
You will be fine then. You can always pull the trailing arms, control arms and the subframe assembly out as a unit and work on it that way. Just leave the control arms loose and then jack up the arms to ride height before torquing. What I do. Just went to Big Bend at the end of April
Sky Tire Wheel Automotive tire Vehicle
 

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Discussion Starter · #50 ·
If you need a procedure for pulling the rear suspension as an assembly in less than an hour let me know.
That would be helpful. Trying to either get someone nearby to grab it so I can pick it up outside the seller's hours, or coordinate with my neighbor to grab it on his way to Dallas this week. I'd like to get it done over the holiday weekend so I can put some new tires on before doing a little backpacking and day hiking the 13-16th. (Colorado Bend SP and Inks Lake SP)
 

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Discussion Starter · #51 ·
Just went to Big Bend at the end of April
I've been several times with family from about 4 years old, but last year was my first time in about 25 years, and my first solo trip. When I was about six, my dad told me we could do the South Rim Loop when I was old enough to handle the distance and the climb with a pack. Unfortunately, he was killed when I was ten, so we never got the chance. So last year I decided I had to do the hike while I still can. The morning of my 45th birthday, I woke up in SR4 and had some Backpacker's Pantry chocolate mousse instead of birthday cake while sitting on a boulder watching the sun rise on the mountains from the South Rim overlook.

The next to last ridge in the distance is the 1100' high Mesa de Anguila, 22 miles away, and one of those notches in it is Santa Elena Canyon.
Sky Plant Mountain Cloud Highland


Looking to backpack the loop again this year, but staying at ER4 and LM2.
 

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1) Support rear on jackstands as high as possible. 2) Remove rear wheels. 3) Remove rear shocks. 5) Release parking brake and pull the boot up. Use a socket and back the adjusting screw on the lh side out 5 or 6 revolutions. 5) Pull back heat shield from underneath the parking brake cable. Remove rear cables from the mid link. 6) Remove 2 front trailing arm bolts from both sides. Fyi. If you remove the rear seat and pull back the carpet you can spray the bolts. 7) Unclip vapor recovery charcoal canister and hang from a wire. 8) Unscrew each rear rubber brake hose from the metal hose. 9) Disconnect the abs sensor from the wiring connector. 10) Loosen but dont remove all 6 subframe bolts. Place Jack underneath middle of subframe. Remove bolts and lower watching for the charcoal canister to clear.
 

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If I've forgotten anything someone help me out. It is very helpful to have a sheet of plywood for it to lower onto and then pull it out from underneath the car.
 

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Discussion Starter · #56 ·
Are you buying a complete subframe assembly like the one installed in the video that machgo posted or are you buying a bare subframe?
Bare. Junkyard pull, but with a 90 day warranty, which they did specifically state would apply if the car still can't be properly aligned.

And step one already got a hammer throw. Decided to pull the wheels off and get a look at the brakes while I have time to order parts if needed, Those damn chrome capped lug nuts should be banned and whoever came up with them should be beaten daily. I guess I cranked one that's missing the cap with a 19 accidentally, because it's now too round to come off with anything I've got.

Off to O'Reilly for a real 19mm nut, and then to the tire shop to see if they've got an extractor that'll get it off without trashing the wheel or stud. Hopefully, guys who remove lug nuts for a living are likely to have the right tools and tricks.
 

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Bare. Junkyard pull
OK the reason I asked is that with a bare crossmember you probably will want to (or have to) put it in without the springs installed. You may want to watch these two videos as that is what this guy is doing. Not the best videos and take some with a grain but it does give you some insight into what you will be up against working on jackstands as outlined by pbfoot:


And step one already got a hammer throw. Decided to pull the wheels off and get a look at the brakes while I have time to order parts if needed, Those damn chrome capped lug nuts should be banned and whoever came up with them should be beaten daily. I guess I cranked one that's missing the cap with a 19 accidentally, because it's now too round to come off with anything I've got.

Off to O'Reilly for a real 19mm nut, and then to the tire shop to see if they've got an extractor that'll get it off without trashing the wheel or stud. Hopefully, guys who remove lug nuts for a living are likely to have the right tools and tricks.
Tire shop should have the correct 'grip' sockets for removing rounded lug nuts. Keep in mind (if there is ever a next time) that the nut under the chrome cap is 18mm.

BTW I feel your pain on the lugs nuts. All the chrome-cap-over-nut lug nuts are junk but some are junkier than others:


Lug nut on right and center have no real retention mechanism for the outer part. The lug nut on the left the outer part is rolled/crimped over the bottom of the nut to help it resist falling off (click for larger image).
Fashion accessory Metal Slide sandal Composite material Titanium



OEM Ford lug nut on left, Dorman aftermarket lug nut on right (what you will probably find at O Reilly, etc). Notice the better rolled/crimped section on Ford lug nut (but these can fail too).
Shipping box Packing materials Gas Wood Font
Automotive lighting Gas Personal protective equipment Glove Bumper


Paul
 

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Discussion Starter · #58 ·
OK the reason I asked is that with a bare crossmember you probably will want to (or have to) put it in without the springs installed.
Probably what I'll do anyway. I've already replaced the control arms and springs with the old subframe in the car, so that's the familiar territory I'll likely decide to return to as soon as anything gets too screwy.

Tire shop should have the correct 'grip' sockets for removing rounded lug nuts. Keep in mind (if there is ever a next time) that the nut under the chrome cap is 18mm.[\quote]

I usually keep both sockets on me while removing and reinstalling wheels. I probably just wasn't paying attention and tried to get the wrong one with the 19.

Their method was a 17mm extractor and a ~8lb maul to force it on. Impact zipped it right off after that, since I torqued them all last time.

Lug nut on right and center have no real retention mechanism for the outer part. The lug nut on the left the outer part is rolled/crimped over the bottom of the nut to help it resist falling off (click for larger image).
View attachment 314575
I went for the one with the chrome wrapped all the way down to the bottom of the seat cone. Grabbed a couple extras to replace the other two that are currently missing the caps. Not ideal, since I'd prefer a one-piece solid, but realistically, they'll almost certainly outlast the car. In the meantime, I only need one socket to take all the lug nuts off now.
 
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