I've got the 2-volume GM shop manual set for my '97 Lumina.
Always have them for my cars, which are usually at least 6 years old.
Cost 10-50 bucks on ebay, depending.
I wrote off replacing the flattened lower engine mount on the car
because the shop manual procedure requires an engine holding fixture,
dropping the engine cradle, right front suspension, and pulling the
In the procedure there's talk of bolts going through the block and the
sealer to use to keep crankcase oil from leaking out after the mount
Totally ridiculous to replace an engine mount. Figured I wouldn't do
it because rust says the car will be gone in a few years anyway.
Then I ran across a W-Body thread in a forum where the guy posted
pictures of how he does it without any of that procedure.
Just some jack stands, a floor jack to lift the engine, detach one
dogbone and get it done from the wheel well.
One to two hour job, no realignment and all the other crap in the shop
manual. Probably get the mount today and do it this weekend.
Here's the link - which might save somebody a couple hours searching.
Any shops techs want to comment on this?
I figure the shop manual goes with the complex procedure so as to
avoid the jacking strain on components.
That's the only thing that makes sense.
since the leak almost certainly caused the mount failure in the first
place - oil rots rubber - it makes a whole ship-load of sense to fix
with that logic, why fix it at all?
that's a perfectly reasonable fix - apart from the oil leak. but the
jack-stand positioning that guy uses is scary - the axle stand tops are
cupped to hold curved members - but he's got them oriented at 90° to that.
depends how you look at it. if someone is getting paid to do it, and is
in there to fix the cause as well as the symptoms, then the shop manual
is the way to go. but if you just want to replace the mount, then your
guy's fix is great. or it would be with a better understanding of
under-car safety at any rate.
Probably no leak there. That sealer is needed in the procedure
because it involves dropping the engine cradle and disturbing those
The old mount does look oily, but it's right under the front main seal
and the car is 13 years old with 155k miles. I replaced leaky valve
cover gaskets when I bought it with 105 on the odo.
Car doesn't drip or otherwise lose oil between changes.
I only mentioned that part of the shop procedure to further highlight
Big difference in time and complication.
I did the struts/ball joints/tie rod ends and got a good alignment
last year and couldn't see undoing the right side for that mount.
But for 50 bucks (just came back with the mount) and an hour or two
that mount won't be in my head for the few years left for the car.
Besides, my kid said something about the pan almost rubbing on
something because of that bad mount.
Besides that we finally found the A/C leak (condenser) so I ordered
one ($139) and can use the car for our yearly Florida trip.
So I quit looking for a replacement car for now, which was more "want"
The rust isn't bad now, but you know how that goes once it starts.
It's all a balancing act for me in how much I spend for cars.
And this car has been 100% reliable/predictable.
I take care my car won't fall. But oil leaking isn't the issue with
the difference between the shop procedure and the linked method.
It's something else.
Since dealers always seem to use a rack and not the floor to get under
a car, it might be as simple as designing the procedure in that
direction. Might make sense to them, if not to me.
Otherwise the jack strain is the only other thing that comes to mind.
Never did make sense of the shop manual procedures.
Son and I did the mount yesterday.
Two hours working slow and bs'ing most the time.
If we followed the shop manual it would be at least an extra 4-6
hours, assuming no complications, which is a bad assumption if you do
all the manual says, including pulling the front exhaust manifold.
I won't get into the shop manual details. Too painful and lengthy and
unnecessary to transcribe here.
But I don't trust shop manuals much anymore.
I'll look on the net for procedures like the one the guy above did
BTW, when we did his Bonnevile 3800 upper/lower manifolds the shop
manual had bad torque specs for the upper. Way off.
The Bonneville forum had the correct specs.
Might as well mention we put a new A/C condenser on too.
Didn't even look at the book because my son had done it already on a
But I went to the local Chevy dealer in advance for new o-rings.
Parts guy looked 'em up, gave me one gratis and the part number for
the other which was not in stock. I picked that one up at Lee Auto
but the guy who fetched it was kind of dopey. Green A/C.
The one the GM guy gave me was way off in size. Black too, probably
not A/C. Tossed it. But the GM parts guy seemed nice enough.
The old rings looked perfect so we left them in instead of taking a
chance, and the evac vacuum didn't move for about four hours while we
replaced cooling hoses and thermo, and cleaned the rad fins with water
pressure while it was out, and had a Weber dinner.
This is the first time I feel confident my A/C issues are over and the
A/C won't quit as soon as I get to Florida for vacation.
Which is what's happened the past 3 years I went down there.
Always on the first day too.
Something I noticed about that. The first time you say "Damn, why did
the A/C pick this time to conk out?"
The next year same thing happens and you say "Damn remanned
compressors. Never again."
So the third year you have an OEM compressor, new dryer, good evac and
charge and as soon as you get to Florida warm air is blowing again.
You just say "@%*#$%"
That's all you can really think to say. Doesn't get you cool though.
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