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Hey guys... I'm bringing this over from "Concerns" in hopes that I'll get more replies here...

I am missing alignment shims on RF control arm(s). Dealer says wheel bearings and ball joints are fine... just get an alignment and the bearing torqued down at a front end shop. Front end shop says they can't align it until I spend $400 on all this crap... What do you think? Here's their list:

Swaybar endlinks--------------$7.99
Alignment---------------------59.99
Install swaybar endlinks------34.99
Center Link------------------132.11
Install center Link-----------59.99
Install Control arm bushing---79.99
Shim bolt (mine is "frozen")---1.02

First, I can install my endlinks no problem. I know I have a torn bushing but I didn't know that would stop them from doing an alignment. Is this fishy or standard practice? (Maybe I should start doing this on the side at $35.00 a pop. :rolleyes: )

Second, what is the center link? What does it do and how do I know if it needs to be replaced? Most likely I should be able to install that myself too...

Third, where are the control arm bushings? Are they the round ones that let the control arms move up and down? Or is it that little rubber stopper thing by the spring?

Obviously, I don't do my own alignments, so I'm going to be out a little $$ on that regardless... and what I don't feel comfortable doing is anything that requires using a spring compressor... I don't want to lose a hand.

Anyway, this estimate is a f**king rip off. I know another place that will do an alignment for $40. I'll probably go there.

What do you think??
 
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Discussion Starter #2
That is way fishy. My centerlink was $35 with my PST kit. Also, for the bushing to get replaced, you need to take off the endlinks and possibly the centerlink anyway. I would find a different shop.
 
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Discussion Starter #3
When I got my car aligned, I was quoted $138 for a new Moog center link. Little did the guy know that I sell them for $35 shipped...
 
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Hmmm... $35.00.. I like it. Where is the center link, anyway? I can't find it listed in my Chilton's manual.
-----------------------------------------------

Nevermind... I just read about it in http://www.powerperformancemotorsports.com... Awesome site... how come I never knew of it before?
Anyway, Y'all will probably have some of my business coming your way. ;)
 
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Discussion Starter #6
Originally posted by 9C1scott:
Front end shop says they can't align it until I spend $400 on all this crap... What do you think? Here's their list:

Swaybar endlinks--------------$7.99
Alignment---------------------59.99
Install swaybar endlinks------34.99 RIPOFF!
Center Link------------------132.11 :eek: MARKED UP 100% ON THE ACTUAL PRICE!
Install center Link-----------59.99 :eek: MAJOR RIPOOF!
Install Control arm bushing---79.99
Shim bolt (mine is "frozen")---1.02

First, I can install my endlinks no problem. I know I have a torn bushing but I didn't know that would stop them from doing an alignment. Is this fishy or standard practice? (Maybe I should start doing this on the side at $35.00 a pop. :rolleyes: )

Second, what is the center link? What does it do and how do I know if it needs to be replaced? Most likely I should be able to install that myself too...

Third, where are the control arm bushings? Are they the round ones that let the control arms move up and down? Or is it that little rubber stopper thing by the spring?

Obviously, I don't do my own alignments, so I'm going to be out a little $$ on that regardless... and what I don't feel comfortable doing is anything that requires using a spring compressor... I don't want to lose a hand.

Anyway, this estimate is a f**king rip off. I know another place that will do an alignment for $40. I'll probably go there.

What do you think??
The prices they are Quoting you Are BS! The Center Link Should be about $65.00 and you can Install that yourself also! Just have a torque wrench handy to torque the bolts to spec. If you dont feel comfortable using a spring compressor :confused: , The control arm bushings are what allows the control arm(s) to move up and down (Rubber bushings in each end of the upper and lower control arms). Which control arm did they say needed the bushing replaced? If it's an upper control arm, You dont have to remove the coil spring to remove/replace the control arm bushings! Just put the car on Jackstands (Front wheels OFF The ground) And place a floor Jack under the lower control arm, Jack it up a small amount to take the weight off the the upper arm, Then support the lower control arm with another jack stand and remove the jack. Unbolt the upper ball joint and break it loose, Then remove the upper control arm. From your price quotes, It looks like their "Attempting to charge you Approx $60.00 an Hour for labor
Look for another shop! You can buy a complete front end rebuild kit from performance suspension Inc a new Center link and Moog tie rod sleeves for approx $350.00
These kits rebuilds the ENTIRE Front end suspenion...Both sides! All new polyurethane bushings and includes the following:

Upper & Lower Ball Joints
Inner & Outer Tie Rod Ends
Moog problem solver Idler Arm (Ask for it)
All Graphite Impregnated Polyurethane Bushings
Upper & Lower Control Arm Bushings
Sway Bar Bushing Kit with Brackets
End Link Bushings with Hardware
Polyurethane Tie Rod Boots
Polyurethane Ball Joint Boots
Center link assy (Ask for it)
New tie rod sleeves (Ask for them)
 
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Discussion Starter #7
I'm surprised they didn't go for the ball joints too. I just replaced mine yesterday (upper and lower). I did it myself with the ball joint press that they loan at Autozone. When I bring the tool back, I need to pick up some new brake pads too... they're PF, so they'll be free replacements.
 
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Discussion Starter #8
Thanks for all the info guys.

How does a ball joint press work?

If I do a full front end rebuild using one of these available kits, is it definately something I can get done in one day?

And when it's finished, will the alignment be good enough to at least drive it to the shop to get an alignment?

Thanks again! ;) :cool:
 
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If I do a full front end rebuild using one of these available kits, is it definately something I can get done in one day?
First time for the whole smash with hand tools? I'd say no way. Figure on two, and start friday after work.

The press;


The disk with the big hole goes on top with the small drum shaped spacer, the disk with the small hole, or none, goes on the bottom with the large spacer with the C-Clamp bolt pointing down. Crank down on the clamp and it pushes it out. Reverse the spacers and it pushes it in. It's a whole lot harder than it sounds...

You have to drill out the rivets on the upper ball joint and the new one goes on with the supplied bolts. Again, sounds easier than it is.

Not trying to scare you off the job, it's something most mechanically minded individuals can do, but be prepared for much wailing and knashing of teeth. ;)

I'd suggest bring the CAs to a machine shop for bushing removal/install.

I'm not a fan of poly CA bushings.

I suggest these parts;
http://impalassforum.com/noncgi/ultimatebb.php?ubb=get_topic;f=16;t=001215
 
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Originally posted by Wayne Bengston:
Not trying to scare you off the job, it's something most mechanically minded individuals can do, but be prepared for much wailing and knashing of teeth. ;)
Thanks for the info Wayne. I wouldn't be doing this alone. I'd have my brother helping me, who replaced the ball joints on his RX-7 recently. So he's somewhat experienced. And anything I don't feel comfortable doing, I'll leave to the professionals.

Thanks again. Now if I could get some warm, dry weather... :cool:
 
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Discussion Starter #11
Yeah, that picture of the ball joint press looks like what I used. It did require some muscle, but at least the wheelwells were big enough to get my electric drill into to drill out the rivits in the upper ones. You drill down deep enough to weaken the head, then you can take the heads off with a hammer and chisel. You'll also need a ball joint separator (pickle fork) to break the studs loose on the upper and lower joints.
 
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