New Vehicle time

I used my pickup truck several times on the interstate recently. The vibration I’ve noticed before got worse. I checked the U-joints and they were sound. That meant the problem was elsewhere. Looking at the bottom side of the truck I decided to trade it in.

I found a 2009 Chevy Tahoe LTZ with a lot of great features used at a dealer in Kingsport. It had been there quite a while and the price was down already. When I called about it the price dropped again. Continue reading “New Vehicle time”

I don’t think that’s gonna hold air.

Crawling around under my 1996 Buick Roadmaster Estate I discovered one of the air bags I have connected to the self leveling suspension has blown out. Since it was in the direction facing the nearest part of the exhaust I assume it was heat related. Ironically when I tried to reposition the heat shield some it broke off and I had to replace the shield and the air bag. Luckily I had bought a new set and installed it when I last worked on the suspension. The old set was still on my shelf since I didn’t see any problems with it.

Picture of an automotive air bag inside a coil spring. Air bag has blowout hole.
Most likely the heat shields weren’t enough to keep the exhaust heat from melting this while I sat idling. Note to self; don’t sit idling.

Room in the garage

garage with room for two cars
We FINALLY made some room

Nat and I finally got the upstairs garage more under control. We’ve stashed and stacked stuff and now can easily fit two cars in the garage.

 

One of the things we wanted to do was get the T-Bird out so we can drive it some. Bob wanted to see inside the “trunk” which is really just a storage space for the top and very little else.

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Clip on Camaro

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Aligning the front clip as it's lowered
Aligning the front clip as it’s lowered

I got some surprise help from a neighbor while my father in law was also around. With all the help we dropped the front clip back on the Camaro. I’d been finished for a few weeks and just waiting for some help at this.

The car is finished and we drove it yesterday. Next I need to try to figure out what’s up with the carb. It just doesn’t feel right. There are several rattles still present from the exhaust being too close to the frame and possibly from the jack in the trunk. My goal is to make it quiet and solid.

engine

The engine block in my father in law’s boat was spraying water so we investigated. I found bondo covering something. A grinder showed that it was welded in the past. After cleaning I used JB Weld to cover and fill any voids. Tomorrow will tell if the operation was successful.

JB Weld on leaking engine block
JB Weld on leaking engine block

Well the next day showed that this fix held. Unfortunately the freeze plug just above this started leaking when the block held pressure. Then with the boat in the water we found water streaming in through the transom somewhere. Time to cut our losses and sell this thing.

 

Rear mount

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The rear mount on the front subframe was as bad as the others. This one had clearly been repaired before but it rusted badly around it. I really had a job trying to cut this out with limited clearance. The torches were out of the question with the fuel line an inch away. Welding required my pipe sweating pad.

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Pieces after the struggle to cut it out. I had to cut back farther than the length of the repair plate.

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So I had to lengthen it with a piece of steel. I got it sized the way I wanted and then had to get funky with welding it. Reaching up inside the frame blocked my view so I had to figure out when I was welding the end of that extension plate. I got it but it ain’t pretty.

After all the struggle to get this side I was dreading the next side. I took the bushing out and found it was in pretty good shape! I sprayed it with rust stuff, painted it with Rustoleum, and put in the new bushing. Done with subframe mounts. The ones on the front at the radiator support were okay though the bushings were rusted out inside.

Repairing the front subframe mounts on Nat’s Camaro

bushing holding car and repair plate
New bushing sitting on repair plate with alignment

Now that I have all the parts I set the repair plate on top of the subframe mount. Then I put the new bushing on that and bolted it in. I ran my large drift into the alignment holes at the edge and put the weight of the car on it to keep it still. Then I traced it with crayon.

wider angle view of the bushing repair plate traced
Wider angle view of the bushing on the repair plate with the plate aligned and chalked out.

This picture helps orient your view. This is the left front, that’s the firewall, and the subframe to the left.

Crayon marks the line I'll cut.
Note the size of that hole. The crayon marks where I’ll cut first

This shows the rusted subframe. The car was a daily driver for its early life and lots of salt accumulated and rusted under the bushing. Continue reading “Repairing the front subframe mounts on Nat’s Camaro”