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Chevy Car Guys

Discussion in 'Chevy Trucks' started by MickiRig1, Apr 12, 2009.

  1. MickiRig1

    MickiRig1 PlowSite Veteran
    Messages: 3,617

    My oldest son comes home with our 2000 Malibu 60K on it. He says it will not let him turn right. He had to take a route only turning left! Did you check the power steering fluid? He's like Yep, first thing I checked. I check drive it, thumps and stops going right. I put it up in the air and look. The left bracket for the steering rack is rusted off the sub frame !!!!!
    Anybody run into this problem? Revision kit to fix it? I really don't want to replace the sub frame! I have enough stuff to fix / install now.
     
  2. BigDave12768

    BigDave12768 PlowSite.com Addict
    Messages: 1,446

    Yeah he has a the Nascar Suspension package on it. You can only turn left. He has to change it out to make it street legal.
     
  3. B&B

    B&B PlowSite Fanatic
    Messages: 12,777

    Yes I've seen and fixed a couple. Like anything else that ages in the rust belt you need to keep an eye on them as it becomes a major safely issue if left unattended as I'm sure your now aware. I don't think its a rampant issue though, and certainly not just with the Malibu's but it does happen. There's no "repair kits" so to speak but if you have some fabrication skills you can fab up a new mount and repair it without much trouble.
     
  4. MickiRig1

    MickiRig1 PlowSite Veteran
    Messages: 3,617

    I am glad I did not buy the car. Since the wife bought it there's not much complaining going on. It's just such a "B" to get to the rusted out bracket. Plus all I got is a stick welder. Not much room to work. I have 20 feet of 2 inch 1/4 thick angle iron to fab with. I think I will find me a Mobile welding service and have them come mig it.
     
  5. MickiRig1

    MickiRig1 PlowSite Veteran
    Messages: 3,617

    I chained down the broken end and drove it a STRAIGHT shot down to my welding shop. He gives me a price of $1,700 and parts! He says no access to area to repair. Well yeah, you have to remove the sway bar and steering rack, drop the sub frame down a bit. My Wife's high school has an auto mechanic's course at it. He gives me a price of $1,000 give or take $100. With a brand new sub frame that a dealer is stuck with. The wife wants me to do it! ( First she needs to pay up on her tab she owes me, if I am to do it ! )

    This is for B&B:
    Do I need a holding fixture to do this job? The oil pan is cast and I think it would just need supported. I have 3 sets of jack stands, 3 floor jacks, two bottle jacks and air tools. From what I can see it seems this job is not beyond my advanced skills. It seems to be just a lot of wrenching. Been there, done it in other jobs.
     
  6. B&B

    B&B PlowSite Fanatic
    Messages: 12,777

    Yes be sure to use some type of holding fixture, do not support the drive train via the oil pan or you'll be sorry you did.

    Of course the fixture doesn't have to be anything elaborate, a 4X4 run across the fenders with a few pieces of thick foam or some nice thick bath towels are more than enough to do the job. Ratchet straps work the best for hanging purposes.

    A good tip when you lower the sub frame. You'll be dropping it from the rear so you can use the forward most mounting bolts as a hinge of sorts. Before you remove the rear bolts first remove the front one and replace them with much longer bolts (NOT threaded dowel rod). This will allow you to pivot the sub frame on those bolts while at the same time keeping it aligned for easy re-install. Saves a great deal of time of fighting with it during re-install. You'll also notice alignment holes in both the sub frame and the body right near the mounting points. Use at least two of these with a snug fitting cut off bolt, or better yet a properly sized section of bar stock to get the sub frame perfectly aligned with the body. Don't rely simply on the mounting bolts to do the job. Also, don't forget to lock the steering wheel securely while the shaft is disconnected from the rack. That tip will save you from having to replace the clock spring later. :D

    It's not a bad job overall, just takes some pre planning and effort.
     
  7. MickiRig1

    MickiRig1 PlowSite Veteran
    Messages: 3,617

    We put it up on the rack at a place down the street and took a good look at it. You would laugh at the youngest mechanic B&B. He knows being the low man he would get the grunt work. The look on his face was priceless! As I am pointing out what has to come off
    and / or loose. The sub frame is toast ! I can poke a screw driver through it in places. The rest of the car is fine.The Wife seen how much is involved so she agreed that the kids at the vocational school will do it for the $1,000. ( no charge for labor ) They only work on school system employee vehicles.

    You would like the way the guy runs the vocational program B&B. The Instructor acts as the service manager. A senor student acts as a service writer. The paper work is just like a dealership would do it. These kids will come out ready to wrench in a decent job.
     
  8. B&B

    B&B PlowSite Fanatic
    Messages: 12,777

    I vividly recall being the low guy on the totem pole so I know exactly what that facial expression looks like. :D


    It'd good to hear that some of the schools are finally organizing the curriculums in the same way that the actual places are that they may be employed at at some point later in life. That in itself would make for a much smoother transaction. Theoretically turning out better equipped techs that much faster.