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  • tedly
    replied
    Just got back from another 6 hour round trip. For the most part all is well and all the improvements are really paying off. Some things are becoming obvious:

    1. These shocks are stiff! I'm guessing they are meant for pickups/haulers as opposed to people carriers like the higher end Suburbans. Again, I will happily live with them, it is worlds better than the old ones. I can see replacing them with some better (and probably considerably more expensive) ones once I get her to a point I'm comfortable with the overall mechanical condition though.

    2. Something is definitely going on in that right front suspension. I need to take a real good look at it soon. There is a weird intermittent vibration coming from it, and the way that one tire was worn a lot more... There's a dead spot in the steering so I'm thinking idler arm, but might also be the wheel bearing. More to come on that soon.

    3. As things are getting repaired and tightened up, it not just that minor annoyances are becoming more noticeable because the overall condition has improved, some are actually being amplified to the point they are going to need attention soon or cause other problems. This is turning into a hell of an exercise of diagnostics and triaging. I'm liking it though, and really getting some pride from fixing her up and keeping her going, even if most of it is just basic neglected maintenance so far and not hot rodding. Every day I drive it I smile, and I've really missed the satisfaction this stuff brings. It's good to be able to do this again, I've been away far too long.

    There is definitely more to come soon.
    Last edited by tedly; August 2, 2020, 08:52 PM.

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  • SuperBuickGuy
    replied
    Originally posted by tedly View Post

    New U joints are on the menu soon, as well as mounts. Thinking about having the driveshaft balanced but that might be overkill.

    The vibrations seem to come from road feedback more than drivetrain, but it could be that I'm just used to the drivetrain vibrations. Road feed back is up because everything was like a wet dishrag before, the feedback either got lost or dissipated out. At least that's what I'm thinking. However, you should refer to my signature line...
    as with anything - what I tend to say is what I've had direct experience with.... if it helps, great, if not, full refunds for the advice are available :D

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  • tedly
    replied
    Almost forgot, with the $65 for the shocks total now comes to $2477.

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  • tedly
    replied
    Hit the hood latch, hinges, door latches and hinges with some Blaster to loosen them up. I'll hit them with lithium grease soon. Made a nice difference, everything is smoother. I'm trying to keep the momentum going by doing little things in between bigger projects. All the little things add up and give me more motivation.

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    Last edited by tedly; August 1, 2020, 08:25 PM.

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  • tedly
    replied
    I had started repeatedly dousing everything with PB Blaster the day before. The first 3 went easy as pie, if not very quickly. Just took my time and no problems.

    The last one... Oh that little #$%! just had to screw up. The rear shock is held to the frame by 2 bolts going through C-clamps. Well, one of the C-clamps broke. It was bedtime and I had to be at work in the morning. OK, put that one back together and just deal with it for the moment. Man that makes for a weird ride...

    Finally got back to it and ended up cutting the head of the bolt off. There was just no room to move and a Dremel barely fit.

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    Drilled out the little bit of the head that was left and finally got the damn thing free. Took quite a bit longer than I expected and about 9 or 10 cutting discs from the Dremel. Which meant I was now late to meet my fiancee, grandkids, brother, sister, and brother in law for dinner. Luckily I got in touch with everyone, and they're used to me running behind.

    No shock it is.

    Now it REALLY handles weird. I feel like I'm in a 90's rap video with the 3 wheel motion going on.

    Got back to it the next day and got the accursed C-clips replaced.

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    Now I finally have all 4 brand new shocks!!!

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    My baby feels like a whole new buffalo now. A little stiff, but she is a truck well over 5000 pounds. I can deal with it. Feel sooooo much better and more civilized now.


    Last edited by tedly; July 31, 2020, 09:37 PM.

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  • tedly
    replied
    Got a little excited when putting the first one in place, just look at all the shininess!

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  • tedly
    replied
    Next up:

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    I had originally budgeted $200-$250 for shocks. I managed to find these on Rock Auto on clearance for roughly $65 for all four. At this point Tedly does the happy fat boy dance. Not quite the Carlton, but close enough.

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    Gabriels are a fairly decent brand. Not spectacular, but usually good quality. I think the Pro Guard was the lower end of their range, but it should be just fine for me and at least hold me over for a couple of years. Honestly, ANYTHING would be an improvement. The old ones were worn the hell out. Tatanka kinda wallowed all over the place. Someone spent some money on them a long time ago, they were Bilsteins at one point. Now they're just kind of... bleh...

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  • tedly
    replied
    Figured I should put up some "after" shots of the sway bar. I'm getting some squeaking going over bumps in the road, so I'm thinking I need to douse the link bushings in silicone spray and tighten them up some.

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  • tedly
    replied
    Originally posted by SuperBuickGuy View Post
    vibrations tend to come from the driveshaft. If you put it in neutral (engine idling), do you still have the same vibration? on high-mile vehicles, especially 4x4s, bad motor mounts (trans too) can cause that issue.
    New U joints are on the menu soon, as well as mounts. Thinking about having the driveshaft balanced but that might be overkill.

    The vibrations seem to come from road feedback more than drivetrain, but it could be that I'm just used to the drivetrain vibrations. Road feed back is up because everything was like a wet dishrag before, the feedback either got lost or dissipated out. At least that's what I'm thinking. However, you should refer to my signature line...

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  • tedly
    replied
    Originally posted by Beagle View Post
    there ya go Tedly, a system! Eventually it quiets down so much you have to put a 3" dual exhaust on it! Keep after it man, they get better with love.
    Exhaust is already cut off right behind the cats. Werners reasoning? "What's the point in having a V8 if you can't even hear it?"

    I've been toying with how to do the full exhaust the cheapest way without it just being butchered. When I looked into the red truck it was $500 from the headers back, including Magnaflow knockoffs.

    It's definitely getting better with love, even if the cranky old buffalo fights me on some of the stuff.

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  • SuperBuickGuy
    replied
    vibrations tend to come from the driveshaft. If you put it in neutral (engine idling), do you still have the same vibration? on high-mile vehicles, especially 4x4s, bad motor mounts (trans too) can cause that issue.

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  • tedly
    replied
    Got in the truck the other morning and the check engine light was on.

    Great, what surprise is big girl going to throw at me this time?

    Broke out the scanner, got P0442 - small leak in evaporative emissions system. Cool, no big deal, this is almost always the gas cap.

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    The rubber gasket wears out over time. It should be rounded, but in this case is mostly flat. No cracks or pieces missing though so I might be able to nurse it along a little further. Looked at the lip of the filler neck for gunk or rust buildup. Anything that will allow pressure to seep out will throw that code.

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    Yep, that'll do it. Stuff a rag in the neck, take a green scrubby and knock all the gunk off that I can, take out the rag being careful to not let the loose dirt go into the tank, and the light might go off. It can take 15-20 start and stop cycles for the computer to kick out the code once it no longer sees it, so up to a week or so of daily driving. 2 days later, the light is off. Bought myself some time.
    Last edited by tedly; July 27, 2020, 07:57 PM.

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  • tedly
    replied
    Double edged sword is becoming a theme here. The handling is vastly improved, there is now some rigidity to it instead of just wallowing everywhere. Vibration through the steering wheel is up, but not overpowering. I get some feedback now, but my teeth aren't rattling out of my head. It has brought other issues to the forefront though. They were already there, but are more noticeable now.

    More on that front as I figure things out and can afford to fix them.

    Until then I'm going to enjoy the improvement.

    And smile.

    A lot.

    I've missed this satisfaction.

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  • tedly
    replied
    OK, This sucked.

    Big time.

    I stopped taking pictures because the stupid thing just pissed me off and it took waaaaaaay too long, but I got the damn thing done. I'll do my best to describe the process in case anyone is up against the same thing.

    It can be done without taking the wheels off, but removing them makes it a little easier. Scrub the hell out of the area the mount is going to sit. There was a buildup of grime and rust on mine. You are going to need every millimeter of clearance you can get. A green scrubby pad, a ton of degreaser, and a lot of time worked for me.

    Thread the ends of the sway bar into place and maneuver the main section into the notch it rests in. There's not a lot of extra room here, but it can be done without too much trouble.

    Thread the links through the lower control arms, assemble through the 3rd bushing, fit it through the end of the bar, put on the final bushing, leave the cap off and loosely fit the nut. There's not enough room for the cap without compressing everything and there's no point in that just yet, you're just looking to loosely hold it in place. Shift it to one side as far as it can go.

    Start on the long side. Spray lube the hell out of the rubber mount, bar, and surface of the area where the mount will sit on the chassis, I started with silicone spray but ended up going with PB Blaster in the end. Silicone dried out too fast. Slip the mount over the bar with the cut facing the rear. This side should go in relatively easily. just keep working it and spraying it until it gets roughly in place.

    Now comes the fun part.

    The sway bar is now wedged into place pretty firmly, and not a lot of up and down wiggle room. Virtually none, actually. And you still have another mount to slide into place.

    Push the bar as far to the other side as you can. Take out the links and pivot the bar down, the bends by the mount should now be roughly horizontally flat. Douse everything with spray lube again. Pop the mount on, opening facing the rear, Douse everything again. Inch the mount under, it's going to be a bitch and only go a fraction at a time. Once you can't it to move any more, you're going to have to grab the end of the bar, and bend the ever lovin @#%^ out of it using whatever means necessary. You're only going to get an extra millimeter or two, but that's all you need. That will allow you to wiggle it the rest of the way into place. As long as you continue to douse everything with spray lube.

    After wrestling the accursed thing into place, slide the bar back to center. Reassemble the links, you're still not going to be able to fit the bolt on top. Use a jack and a 6" 3/8's extension. The extension can be put through the bottom opening of the control arm and push up on the head of the link. That should give you just enough room to get about one or two threads into the nut.

    Tighten until the bushings start to deform, there should be roughly a couple of threads visible above the nut at this point.

    Now the clamp on the mounts. Lube the hell out of everything again. You'll probably need a pry bar to position the clamps over the mount. Use the bolts to pull the clamps down, alternating sides until they're tight.

    If you're actually trying this yourself, good @#^*ing luck. You're going to need it. Here's a link to a video tutorial on it, but they skip all the fun parts and make it look simple and easy. Don't believe it.
    Last edited by tedly; July 22, 2020, 08:28 PM.

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  • tedly
    replied
    Had to do some running around today, and again the handling is not much different than when the broken sway bar was on there. It's enough to notice, but only slightly and only in turns. I'm very interested how the big girl feels when the new one is on.

    Interior noise level has dropped enough that it is a double edged sword for awhile. The overall level is down significantly from when I got it which makes driving more pleasant in general, and things like having a conversation or listening to the radio are much easier. The squeaks, rattles, and such that are still there stand out more though. Before everything melded together into a formless baseline. Now I can hear and locate individual sounds. Going to make them easier to fix and I guess the annoyance gives me more motivation to get things done.

    In the meantime I'm claiming another small victory and ignore the fact that there's no sway bar for the time being.

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