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Discussion Starter #1
Ok here's the deal, I've got a newborn on the way, and with my financial situations I can't afford to get a better car. So here's my dilemma...

It doesnt feel that great to drive anymore, when I bought it 3 years ago, it was fun and peppy...now it feels like a grandpa mobile sluggish and lacking.

It has had problems that I've fixed, routine things, but still none of these improvements have solved my problems.

Just so you know, its a '01 ZX3 with 145k on it.
Spark plugs/wires, coil pack, Recent oil changes, Fresh alernator, two front struts, and a tie-rod.

Here are some of my problems...

Vibrations in Idle.
I get in my car, start it and the thing sounds like a boat motor from the inside, the mirrors vibrate (similar to a sub woofer vibration) and things rattle inside the door panels (I assume, release cables hitting the metal). Thing's ive noticed though, is this only applies if the car has sat for a while, usually if I turn the car on to run into a store, and come back out in a short amount of time it isn't as bad, but it's still there.

Vibrations when driving at low speeds.
Simply put, when I am driving, the car makes a kind of growling (not wheel bearing growl). Then when I turn the car right, i hear the sound of something loose, and it only happens when the suspension is being used (like goign over potholes, etc.) It tends to go away after about 2k rpm, but the loose sound stays. Car does feel better driving at higher speeds though, anything under 60 is fairly comfortable.
Yet, when you reach speeds above 60 the car tends to have a horrible ride, I've replaced tires (i think I do have some bad wheels, but I'm working on getting them replaced). The thing shakes, vibrates, and just sucks to drive on the highway.

Brakes.
I put on fresh rotors, and pads about a year ago, and had no issues. But I went to have the struts put on and the brakes seem strange since then. I picked the car up, and found there was a red liquid on my right front wheel (brake fluid?). But it had no problems when I picked it up stopping, now it does. There is a significant amount of brake dust on that side now, like the brakes are frozen, any way to test to see if the caliper is bad?

I just need some help guys, any of these problems sound familiar?
 

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About the vibrations at idle, have you had the wheels balanced and aligned? Are the tyres in a fairly good condition and there are no buckles on the wheels where you may have hit a pothole or curb?

With the brakes, I know little about them but just check where the brake fluid is leaking from. It could be a damaged cable of some sort. When you brake, if the car veers to the right or left you have an issue too.

Thats all I can think of at the moment, Im not the best with cars but im trying to learn :)
 

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The vibe at idle is most likely the rear engine mount is bad. after awhile the bushings deteriorate. Does it make a thunk sound going into gear?
Happens due to the bushing going bad and the dog bone sitting on the crossmember.

I'd agree wheels are your main vibration at speeds. any bends in the rim or broken belts in tires can cause this. the grinding and vibe at low speeds is most likely your passenger side axle carrier bearing (this was also a cuse of an annoying vibration over 70mph which took alot of time to pinpoint.. unbolt, move away from the mount and twist by hand. any gritiness feeling it needs to be replaced (ford now sells just the bearing).

brake fluid is clear, auto tranny fluid is red.
caliper itself is most likely good, but you need to remove it and clean them. regrease the sliders and very lightly any mating surfaces (apply light grese and wipe with rag, it'll leave enough on the surface. I've found on mine this is usually the cause of stickiness
 
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