Upcoming Suspension and Steering Repairs

TheBude

Member
49
10
8
2001 Century
2000 Century Custom w/94k miles. Purchased four months ago from a family friend.

I have few recent post on this car for other repair that are either completed or on the to-do list. I still haven't installed the Transgo shift kit or the Hayden transmission cooler I received almost two months ago.

I posted a couple weeks ago about the possibility of worn out struts. I took it to a mechanic yesterday and the brought me back to the service area and did a 12/6 and 9/3 wheel grab test on both front tires. Both tires had play for both grab positions. Tech recommends inner and outer tie rods both sides. Wheel hubs both sides. There was definitely a lot of play. He said control arms and ball joints are good.

He showed me leaking struts on both sides of front end and excessive bounce front and back.
Their labor charge is $90 an hour and gave me a quote of $2300..lol. That included them using quick-struts, aftermarket hubs and tie rods.

I intend to do all the work myself starting with the tie rods. I always research reviews for parts and usually order OEM (genuine) parts. Oddly, AC Delco Professional inner/outer tie rods got mixed reviews. Moog generic line quality isnt good. So, I went with Driveworks brand that Advance Auto pimps. Used a 25% code and I had a $5 coupon from points. $85 total for two inner and two outer tie rods. Not expecting more than two or three years out of them (hopefully).

I'll count threads during outer tie rod install and hopefully get it close to proper alignment. Recheck wheel play to see if hub is really bad. I will also jack up the front and spin a front wheel with one hand on the strut spring to feel for vibrations. If vibration is present this can indicate a bad hub as well. Along with listening to the hub with an auto-stethescope while spinning wheel. If a front hub is bad I will replace both and purchase either AC Delco Professional or SKF brand. They are both around $120 per hub assembly. Also, may consider pressing a new bearing but I have never done that before. Can I use a large socket and mini-sledge, or better to bring to a shop to press-in?
Any recommendation of brand of bearing?

Concerning replacing front and rear shocks I am aware that quick struts are easier to install but I read and watched videos in which some mechanics advise against them because their individual parts may not be as good as buying bare struts, mounts, etc.. and re-using factory spring and other parts if they are still in good shape.

If I go quick struts it will be either AC Delco Pro or Gabriel. If I go bare it will be KYB brand.
All suggestion for parts and repair tips welcomed and appreciated. I intend to start repairs on Tuesday or depending on when parts will arrive.
 

chem_man

Buick Newbie
35
9
8
Fallston, MD
1999 Century
About the only thing I can share insight on is the replacement of the front wheel hub assemblies. They are not able to be taken apart and internal components replaced, so no changing out an internal bearing or race. You have to replace the entire unit. I just did mine about 6 months ago after one of them started to self destruct while driving. It did not take too many miles for it to go from a slight vibration being felt in the steering wheel to really becoming noisy and rough feeling in the steering wheel. I had the car towed home.

I was in a hurry to get it fixed so I purchased Moog wheel hub assemblies at Advance Auto using an online 25% off coupon and a $5.00 off Speed Perks credit. I had to go to 2 different stores, so I did 2 different transactions. Anyway, the old hubs were tough to get off (likely due to rust) and I used a loaner front wheel hub puller from AAP to do it. When it finally came loose, the hub assembly split in two (front and rear halves). I even had to use a one pound maul to hit the assembly from behind to assist in breaking it free. New hubs went on really easy (just be careful of the sensor wire so it does not get caught between the bearing assembly and the steering knuckle) and I even put a little bit of grease on the splines for the next time I have to replace them in 20 years.

OK on your choice of wheel hub assemblies. I would trust the wheel hub assemblies from SKF, Timken or Moog, and the ACDelco OE hubs. You might want to go to rockauto.com and price the hubs and save some extra $$$ if you have the time to spare. If I had not been in a time crunch, I would have gotten the front hubs from rockauto.

Oh yeah, you'll need a new hub axle nut (also called a flanged spindle nut) and a 34 mm deep well socket to put it on. Also if memory serves me correctly, it takes a 36 mm deep well socket to get the factory nut off. Be sure and use a new nut.

On your other work, it sounds logical.

Good luck!
 

TheBude

Member
49
10
8
2001 Century
I used a loaner front wheel hub puller from AAP to do it. When it finally came loose, the hub assembly split in two (front and rear halves). I even had to use a one pound maul to hit the assembly from behind to assist in breaking it free. New hubs went on really easy (just be careful of the sensor wire so it does not get caught between the bearing assembly and the steering knuckle) and I even put a little bit of grease on the splines for the next time I have to replace them in 20 years.

OK on your choice of wheel hub assemblies. I would trust the wheel hub assemblies from SKF, Timken or Moog, and the ACDelco OE hubs. You might want to go to rockauto.com and price the hubs and save some extra $$$ if you have the time to spare. If I had not been in a time crunch, I would have gotten the front hubs from rockauto.

Oh yeah, you'll need a new hub axle nut (also called a flanged spindle nut) and a 34 mm deep well socket to put it on. Also if memory serves me correctly, it takes a 36 mm deep well socket to get the factory nut off. Be sure and use a new nut.

On your other work, it sounds logical.

Good luck!
Thank you. Great info.
If the hubs are bad upon testing further I will rent a hub puller to help remove them. Will purchase the axle nut as you suggested. I'll need to get a 34mm and 36mm as well as the largest one I have is a 32mm (Civic axles).

Whenever I buy a high mileage car I factor in about $500-1,000 for the first year of ownership. I've put $325 in it so far for radiator, thermostat, low coolant sensor, coolant , ATF + filter, front speakers and tie rods.
Two wheel hubs cost $250
Four struts $350
A revived Century = priceless..lol
 

2007LucerneCXL

Full Member
4,230
1,327
113
Illinois
2007 Lucerne CXL. and 1995 Lesabre currently, past 1973 Riviera, 1968 Riviera
Bearing can't be rebuilt, seals, ABS, ETC. You may find a limited selection of good bearings so check the country of origin, money well spent if keeping it for awhile. The only item on the struts most likely to keep would be the springs as the other components may be at there end life of cycle. It still may be less expensive with a quick strut, again it's what products are chosen, so comparing both options and that you or a shop would need to swap springs it may be additional cost along with the alignment after all struts have been installed.
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TheBude

Member
49
10
8
2001 Century
Bearing can't be rebuilt, seals, ABS, ETC. You may find a limited selection of good bearings so check the country of origin, money well spent if keeping it for awhile. The only item on the struts most likely to keep would be the springs as the other components may be at there end life of cycle. It still may be less expensive with a quick strut, again it's what products are chosen, so comparing both options and that you or a shop would need to swap springs it may be additional cost along with the alignment after all struts have been installed.

Thank you for the reply.
I have never replaced struts before but there's a lot of how-to info and vids to get me through it. Quick struts would definitely make for an easier installation. If I go bare route (most likely) I will use spring compressor tool and replace worn parts.
 
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