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Oldsmobile Forum: a little tricky finding DIY and/or How To w/r/t front end general servicing
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Old June 23rd, 2017
98OldsIntrigue 98OldsIntrigue is offline
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a little tricky finding DIY and/or How To w/r/t front end general servicing

Something(s) have really beguiled me about searching
a) the internet
b) the forums

w/r/t general ''how to'' or ''DIY'' type situations.
and/or more specifically w/r/t (in this case) a ''general front end service'' meaning R&I the ''typically servicable'' LCA/strut(assembly)/sway linkage/tie rods on my W-body car for instance.

I'm in the middle.

Meaning, I've done a few U/LCA strut/tie-rod type things RE-DO's but not THAT many. So I normaly would go online to the public library and access the FSM (or the goodly portions that ARE normally available there) and not worry much about any diagnostic flow charts since there aren't any in the Haynes/Chilton database. bla bla.
Then I like to also look at a Chilton/Haynes if I can.

Then you (or rather I) get to working on the car/truck with 100k+ miles and find there's some stuff involving (in this case) front end (and maybe steering) that really the descriptions are pretty poor w/r/t all the rusted stuff. And (like in this case w/ my Olds Intrigue) a general service of the front end (if that's the proper description) involves some prioritizing the R&I (SOP or ''do which first'') and some serious pointers regarding (in this case for instance) ... well, after placing the (new) LCA, I had to put the horizontal through bolt in first - and then - jack from under the ball joint to get the vertical one in.
Furthermore, it was tricky geting the knuckle/hub assembly LOW enough to actually install the strut assembly. bla bla.

I HONESTLY CAN'T TELL if there's a ''way to search the forums'' and is particulaly beguiling that it APPEARS there really IS NO search function (at this forum for instance) unless/until one actuially registers &tc.

It's no biggie, really, but it has me WONDERING.

I'll put it differently: me, and my gal, and my immediate family have roughly three cars (and a truck) approaching or exceeding the 100k+ miles mark or thereabouts. So to state things categorically (w/o being contrarian 'cause that bugs the crap out of me like such and such is some sort of commodity mainly in the good 'ole USA friendly neighborly type thing?) I can't see a whole lot of sense in ''replacing one ball joint.'' To drastically overstate the obvious, when it comes to (a whole host of scenarios) ''if a ball joint's bad and car/truck is going on 100k+ then maybe is time to consider a REDO on the whole front end'' - rather than burning through another set of front tires in around 20k or two years or whatever - which SEEMS to be the way of the world in the good 'ole USA. What I mean is that being a middle class person, and typically BUYING a ''new car'' means aquiring one with about 60,000 miles on it.

I guess maybe I'm making a whole host of assumptions that may not be valid or even relevant. But I STRUGGLE to think of many more IMPORTANT things about transportation than a vehicle that handles well. It actually MIGHT BE a life or death matter. I would put ''Lol!'' but must consider the alternatives.

Is almost always in bad taste to go around answering one's own questions - so there's other ways of saying it. I saw one guy who said (about front end work) ''Essentially you're in charge of the average 4000lb missle with 7 billion unsuspecting targets, and so you'd better take care to see that it's GUIDED.'' He followed that up with some sort of comments about the wisdom of leaving front end service up to a professional. I don't really agree OR disagree, but I did take note of the opinion, and could understand (fully) the rationale.

OTOH, I'm bound and determined.

Which leads me to the ''piquancy'': there's a couple (or maybe more?) of possibilities; as mentioned, I was just looking for any tips/pointers AKA ''DIY'' and/or AKA ''How to'' w/r/t R&I (both general and specific) an overall front end service on a W-body (97-2000 I'm pretty sure) Buick/Olds/GM and didn't REALLY FIND very much.

I stated elsewhere, I bought the strut assembly, loaded LCA, outer tie rods, and sway bar linkages, and with a lot of cussing and moaning and groaning finally got one side done, and it took me pretty much all day. I made NUMEROUS small mistakes along the way. The passenger side MIGHT be do-able in half the time now I've been to Electric Ladyland and am HOPING can get that side done in a half-day. Several things I learned along the way MIGHT be useful to others --- but I've no earthly idea. Reason being, in part, I'm not SURE of
a) all the nomenclature
b) the best search criteria
c) if anybody gives a rat
d) or so is therefore worth preserving for posterity.

IS ENTIRELY POSSIBLE THAT ''I'm missing something,'' mostly/mainly due to a) and b) above. There's no sense in going over old ground. But I had EXTREME difficulty in LOCATING those very ''tips/pointers'' in theory is what ''caused'' me some biatchin' an' moanin' and a LITTLE blood on the knuckles. IOW I'm not really sure how the whole thing works: Is there ''aversion'' to hand-holding on the internet when comes to these type repairs, or maybe there's a YouTube video? I honestly, candidly, sincerely am kinda/sorta in a state of ignorance. Maybe I just looked in the wrong places? Anyhow, that's my best effort this afternoon at a ''Dear Abbey'' and maybe/possibly/theoretically somebody friendly/neighborly in the good 'ole US of A will have a true inkling of ... well ... can ''relate'' and/or inform/enlighten me (and anybody else come across similar circumstances.)

If anything the Information Age has taught me is ''nothing new under the sun'' which is WHY i'd be a little surprised (and AM a little surprised) I couldn't find an ''overall how-to and/or DIY'' thread on ''completely sprucing up'' the front-end of W-body cars. Is probably THERE somewhere and I just missed it. I've rambled FAR too long, but e.g., one thing of VALUE that I DID learn is ''probably best NOT to replace the INNER tie rods'' as a) probably they don't need it and b) probably very difficult to do. IOW I skipped the inners and only did the outers and doubt I'll regret it. I won't know for sure until a) I drive it and/or b) some time/miles pass. Either way I'm very anxious/excited about driving and older (2008 Olds Intrigue 130K) car that HOPEFULLY (after checking the toe in toe out) handles really well. Another day and we'll know for sure one-way-or-another.

PS: I'm perplexed about how castor/camber is accomplished on this car. ''Scoring'' the marks from the old strut doesn't seem to affect jack strut er, uh, jack sheet when comes to R&I the new assembly. IOW I can't fathom how in heaven's name one even DOES adjust castor/camber and will be mightily impressed when somebody points it out Lol! Last, I should also mention I ''started'' a how-to thread on my experience with servicing this particular car's front end but am halfway kinda/sorta wondering (as well) if I might live to regret it. Maybe I'm just paranoid, anyhow I hope all's well that ends well, and so far so good. Hope everyone is doing well!

Glad Tidings!
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