Welcome to the club!
I drive mine until the bottom falls out!
87 T-bird with 190,000 miles
92 Caprice with 310,000 miles
00 Dodge Caravan with 50,000 miles (I'll be happy if that one makes
03 VW Jetta with 9,000 miles.
All cars have original engines and trannys.
You are not alone:
94 Ranger 4 cyl...235,043 miles...original engine and clutch
67 Cougar XR7...153,433 miles...one rebuild of the engine at 73,000 with
trannie swap C4-C6
49 Ford PU with Flat head V8...90,233...original engine and trannie, two
clutches and a complete brake overhaul, plus a 12 volt conversion @ 25,000
Love those Fords, the good ones just keep going
It's not that I don't understand what a 12V conversion is, but it
certainly has been some time since I've seen a vehicle that had 6V.
While I certainly do not like Ford, I have to respect anything that
will survive longer than 6 years, given the automotive climate.
Quid quid latine dictum sit altum videtur.
(That which is said in Latin sounds profound.)
Ya well I thought I was alone for a while, driving an '85 full size wagon,
233,000 miles, till I pulled into the 'bun and run' yesterday and parked
beside two others. There we were: three wagons, a chev, a pontiac, a
buick. Still shiney, rocker panels intact, all three had cracked windshields.
If they were wagons, the cracked windshields were most likely caused by
using the roof racks. I've owned three different station wagons over the
years, and every one of them had the windshield crack within a few
months of using the roof racks for carrying a couple hundred pounds of
My poor, '93 Taurus looks like it's been through a war.. black scuff going
down the side the car where a drunk sideswiped me, a green driver's side
mirror, where the rest of the car is white, a "hole" in the front
windshield where the rearview came off and took some of the glass with it
(moved the rearview over an inch or two) and a single vertical crack right
down the middle of the windshield. (Only had liability on it, and the
drunk was uninsured)
Fits in fine down here in rural, southern AL, with all the oystermen and
shrimpers' beat up cars and trucks. The '95 Rodeo though is still a fine
vehicle. Wife drives it everywhere, just wish it got better gas mileage,
and had a little more "get up and go". Takes 10seconds to get to 60mph..
then another 15seconds to get from 60mph to 70mph. hehe (guess it's the
So do I, then I use the parts on other Fords. I'm am now ready to pull the
engine & trans outta the 1984 CV. I will convert the front dress and pan to
early-style and shove it into my 1973 Montego. The CV get's junked, the
Monty get's sold, the Monty's 351C gets rebuilt for the 1968 Cougar. Got my
weekends booked for a while.
Cost savings are always a part of the equation, but the fact is that
the geometry of a Mcpherson strut front suspension makes it less
sensitive to camber/caster setting as far as pulling problems. You will
just have to trust me on this, as I've had many years of aligment and
front end experience at the dealership level. I've rarely seen a GM
FWD vehicle (GM is what I work on) that needed adjustments to
caster/camber for a pulling condition, unless there had been some sort
of damage to components. And in that case you replaced components.
This really has nothing to do with frame design. Your 82 truck is probably
just set up properly. Believe me, late model GM trucks had all sorts of
alignment/wandering/pulling problems that were directly related to improper
caster settings right from the factory. These trucks have a wide range of
adjustment built right into the front suspension so that you can easily
once you have removed some knockouts) make camber/caster adjustments.
During one stretch in the late 90's, almost every vehicle in the shop that
a pulling/tracking complaint was a truck, s/truck, or the M/L vans. These
all have upper/lower control arm front suspension setups.
I suppose that if money is the issue, then yes, it's not really worth having
to do a frame pull, if that's really what it needs. Just because you hit a
usually doesn't mean that the frame will be out. If you can't bring the
back to factory spec with the adjustments that are available, then I would
looking for the damaged components more then a bent frame. If the Taurus
has a separate subframe (which I think it does) often you can loosen the
subframes and get some camber/caster movement be moving the subframe
on the body. We often do this on the GM FWD vehicles and you would
be amazed at how much movement you can get between the subframes
He sounds pretty accomodating. If you can't get it exactly to the
center of the factory spec range, I wouldn't worry too much about
it. You just wouldn't want your cross camber, and/or cross caster
measurements to be out of range.
Not much labor, as far the part, I don't have access to that info.
It looks like about 2.0 hrs to R & R one strut.
Thanks for your thoughts and advice. It sounds like you have lots of experience
on the GM equivilent of this issue.
I will hear from the shop tomorrow AM. I will have to figure out what to invest
in what is now less than a $4000 car. We drive our cars until they drop and
then a few years past. So, I will find out what the shop manager's confidence
level is on a new strut. I guess my mishap of hitting the deep pot hole on the
left and my wife's clipping right turns across the curbs for the rear right is
not helpful for these cars. Blubump! I cringe every time! It does not help
Since you feel the car fram is probably not twisted, it seems that a new strut
may be worthwhile.
I was perusing the GM group a few weeks ago.... reading that there was factory
advise against any tinkering with alignment (SUV's I think) since the factory
machines were so "precise". I guess precision is in the eye of the owner.
Then again, perhaps they were referencing the available field tech skills and
not based on what the alignment gear does in the hands of a knowing tech. Skill
is not free but many times well worth the price.
Ian, thanks again for your thoughts.
No one in maryland
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