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Episodes of a rust belt (hack) mechanic

Raekal

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There have been very few parts that I've needed that any dealer has had in stock. granted, a 2500 is an even bigger odd ball as far as they're concerned. I think the only parts ive seen them have thus far is the evap solenoid and engine grounding strap. I've definitely gotten into the habit of having every spare part in an assembly on hand before starting a project, then just returning what I don't end up using. Usually, with the rust, its a pretty sure bet.
 

ygmn

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Local Auto Parts Store did not have?

Nothing special about them I would think other than length
 

frito

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Local Auto Parts Store did not have?

Nothing special about them I would think other than length
Oddly enough, nope. I'd think it would be an easy to source item. I even called the parts shop that caters to most the local mechanics and they didn't.

Now that I think about, there's one other store I should have called but the order just shipped. :beating:
 

MS03 2500

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I could find the top one online but not the bottom one, I think it may be a flanged nut and bolt
 

MS03 2500

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Try this

Shock Bolt - GM (11611959)​

 

frito

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I got the bolts in the mail yesterday. Last night I finished the rear shocks and backing plates installed. Major improvement over all that rust.
PXL_20210501_022353819.NIGHT.jpgPXL_20210501_022500656.NIGHT.jpg


Today I installed the new e-brake.

PXL_20210501_162034928.jpgPXL_20210501_162353558.jpg


It was then time to move on to replacing the center flex line and hard lines over the rear axle. What a PITA that center line is. I hit the line nut twice with the bolt blaster before I was able to spin it without fear of twisting and snapping the line. Then it was a minuscule turn at a time all while contorting myself in ways my body did not care for. Took way too long but I finally got it out. Hit the bracket with a wire wheel to get the rust off of it and finally got the new lines in as well as the new flex lines to the calipers,

Then it was time to put on the new rotors, and, And, AND - they have THE WRONG FREAKING BOLT PATTERN. :E: :E: Now I have to deal with Rock Auto returns which I suspect will be a PITA in and of itself. Man, I just want to have a weekend that is actually a weekend and I want this thing back on the road.
 

Gh0stU

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As the title indicates, those of us north of the Mason/Dixon line have this fun thing called rust we need to contend with. This fun iron oxide mixture makes even the most mundane job an adventure not for the faint of heart. Case in point, my brake job, which should be an afternoon and a couple beers is now well into weekend two (time delay for ordering additional parts). Follow along my picture journey if you dare. I'm warning you now, it's not for the faint of heart - be afraid. Be very afraid.

So after our trip to Snowshoe my brakes started making a horrible grinding noise. Having smelled how hot they were in the mountains I figured I cooked them so let's replace them. And surprisingly it's been 45,000 miles since the last brake job. Order up new pads and rotors and get to work. A couple hours and I'll be done, right. Maybe in the south, but not here. Here my impact wrench can't remove the caliper slide pin. Here, my pry bar snaps the caliper slide pin.

View attachment 232071

Well doesn't that just stink. Put it back together, move the cars to their normal spots and give Rock Auto a bunch of money the last day my 5% discount is still good. Order front and rear rotors, pads, calipers, rubber lines and a bunch of other things. By Thursday my foyer looks like a Rock Auto distribution center.

Today's the day, let's get 'er done. Hit everything with a good dose of penetrating oil and move on to a few few "easy" things while it soaks in. Easy thing number one - replace the ground strap from the hood to the fire wall. That'll give me some good vibes, right? Oh you're fooling yourself. The good vibes quickly turn bad as the firewall bolt snaps as I'm removing what's left of the old wire. Oh well, at least there's a nearby ground I can leverage for this one.

View attachment 232072

A hack job complete, let's move on to the main course, replacing the brakes. Loosen the fittings for the hard lines to the rubber lines. Week, that seemed to work for all the caliper kines. That stupid center line over the differential - well that seems to be a no go as the entire metal line is turning with the nut vs. the nut turning around the line. Rats! Move on to the actual brakes. Wheels off, no sweat. Caliper brackets off (no need to first remove the caliper a since the new ones come with fresh brackets) works as expected. Rear drums/discs off, yep. Driver side rotor - WHY WON'T YOU BUDGE? Double check to make sure there's not a retaining screw. Actually triple check. Move over to passenger side and rotor slides right off as expected. Back to driver's side and resort to this and it still won't budge

View attachment 232073

What in the world? Who welded my rotor on!?! So it is now soaking with multiple hits of penetrating oil (I'm getting dizzy or stoned by the fumes at this point) and it's going to soak overnight - and probably not be any more cooperative in the morning. Something tells me I'm going to be ordering hub assemblies and half shafts tommorow, buttoning bit back up to properly position the cars and waiting another week for FedEx to deliver more goodies.

Oh, and to leave you with just one more frightening site, both of my rear jounce bumpers are gone and hiding by these pictures, I don't think buying new ones will do me any good as they'll probably fall right out.

View attachment 232074
View attachment 232075

So now, It's time to call it quits, take a shower and have a beer or ten. I'm getting so very close to throwing all the new parts in the back and taking it to our mechanic.

Oh, and I hope these images don't give you nightmares. If I didn't love snow so much and hate the heat with a deep seeded passion I would consider moving south.
OKAY!! I am officially scared now. I am looking at brake job as my next project. I might have to go to church and pray for strength after seeing that. I do absolutely feel sorry for you.. How many Advil did it take to get thru that project?
 

frito

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Two beers and a steady stream of Alieve. What should have been a morning project took me all day and still not done. I could have finished last night or early this morning if the rotors fit. What's worse, is now I have to rent a U-haul to move my younger daughter back from campus today.
 

frito

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Safe travels!

:) (y)
Thanks. Only a half hour away, five minutes past her high school. But she does live in a n apartment right off campus for the experience.

Next weekend will be the move the Cleveland for her co-op at the Cleveland Clinic. That's a furnished apartment so hopefully we can by without the Avy.
 

Raekal

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I got the bolts in the mail yesterday. Last night I finished the rear shocks and backing plates installed. Major improvement over all that rust.
View attachment 232501View attachment 232500


Today I installed the new e-brake.

View attachment 232502View attachment 232503


It was then time to move on to replacing the center flex line and hard lines over the rear axle. What a PITA that center line is. I hit the line nut twice with the bolt blaster before I was able to spin it without fear of twisting and snapping the line. Then it was a minuscule turn at a time all while contorting myself in ways my body did not care for. Took way too long but I finally got it out. Hit the bracket with a wire wheel to get the rust off of it and finally got the new lines in as well as the new flex lines to the calipers,

Then it was time to put on the new rotors, and, And, AND - they have THE WRONG FREAKING BOLT PATTERN. :E: :E: Now I have to deal with Rock Auto returns which I suspect will be a PITA in and of itself. Man, I just want to have a weekend that is actually a weekend and I want this thing back on the road.
You know, I heard some pretty awful things about RA's return system. But the 6 parts that I wound up returning because I changed my mind went completely smooth. They went to 5 different warehouses, that was the only PITA thanks to me having to pay to return them all to whence they came.

But when it's their fault for return, that's not your concern. You just have to pack the item like you give a crap about it. (aka, better than they do) so they cant try and say you damaged it in shipping. it will take ~ 5 days to get your money back though.

If it makes you feel any better about your weekend, my avalanche has been out of commission for over three weeks now, it has cost me $2600 so far. I took it home for two days, noticed the axle seal was leaking from a previous repair just beforehand and it's right back in the shop while they figure it out.

Oh, and i ran over a hunk of concrete with my charger on sunday and really scraped up the front end and broke the plastic guard underneath. Thank you city of Pontiac.. On the bright side, i think i'm going a bit hysterical after this last month, Something has to go right eventually :D
 
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frito

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A normal return for me will not work. I checked it out the other night and there return policy is only 30 days - I ordered on January 31st. Pretty short window by today's standard. So I tried plan B. Obviously a rotor that is marketed to a specific vehicle whose bolt pattern does not align with said vehicle is a manufacturer defect. The Raybestos warranty on RockAuto's website states it covers defects in workmanship, which this clearly is. The automated return system rejected it so today I sent an email to customer service. I have spent a boatload of money with them over the past year and am looking at $2k - $3k in front end parts this summer which is now their order to lose. Their cheaper prices don't do me a lick of good if I have to spend even more money on the correct part and rent a U-haul to move my daughter, which I had to do this past weekend. :E:

Edit: that was fast. They replied wanting a bit more information, which is reasonable, and may waive the 30 day limit. I'll post an update once resolved.
 
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Raekal

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A normal return for me will not work. I checked it out the other night and there return policy is only 30 days - I ordered on January 31st. Pretty short window by today's standard. So I tried plan B. Obviously a rotor that is marketed to a specific vehicle whose bolt pattern does not align with said vehicle is a manufacturer defect. The Raybestos warranty on RockAuto's website states it covers defects in workmanship, which this clearly is. The automated return system rejected it so today I sent an email to customer service. I have spent a boatload of money with them over the past year and am looking at $2k - $3k in front end parts this summer which is now their order to lose. Their cheaper prices don't do me a lick of good if I have to spend even more money on the correct part and rent a U-haul to move my daughter, which I had to do this past weekend. :E:

Edit: that was fast. They replied wanting a bit more information, which is reasonable, and may waive the 30 day limit. I'll post an update once resolved.
yeah, that limit is meant for morons like me holding out with a dozen bolts for a repair that i suddenly didn't want to do. I have the 14 bolt diff cover, gasket, and bolt set lying around. But with the mystery rear end, i might still need those.

For the cost, im considering powerstop's truck and tow set when I do my brakes. The performance set that I put on my charger are working about 90% of what the OEM brembo's performance which is more than acceptable for the cost ($450) . ($3500 in parts for the front end alone though mopar for OEM's) :D:


So i figure they probably will be a bump up from the ones currently on my truck, which i doubt are decent to begin with.
 

frito

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I thought about the Power Stop but honestly don't remember why I didn't go that route. January was too long ago 🤪.

After some correspondence, they had me provide my vin and pictures of the rotors I'm replacing. I had previously sent pictures of the new parts not fitting. I had also verified on the Raybestos site it's the right part number. Anyway, they came to the same conclusion as me, that Raybestos must have mis-packaged a run. So new order placed and I'll be able to return the old. 👍
 

frito

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Good news. The new rotors were delivered today. I didn't remove the plastic but did put it up to the hub and bolt pattern looks correct. I should wrap up the rears later this week and get it back on the road until I buy the rest of the front end parts.
 
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