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Need to upgrade my 04 suspension

This is a discussion on Need to upgrade my 04 suspension within the GTO forums, part of the Vehicle Specific category; Ok, so I finally got to take the GOAT out since the weather has gotten nicer and man I LOVE ...

  1. #1
    Awaiting Activation 5.7literMustangEater's Avatar
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    Need to upgrade my 04 suspension

    Ok, so I finally got to take the GOAT out since the weather has gotten nicer and man I LOVE MY CAR!!!!!!!!!!!! It was so nice to feel true speed! I drive a 4 banger on a daily basis and it was like a kick in the ass when I drove the GOAT. Anyways, I noticed some pretty wicked vibration from the front of the car when I was braking from speeds above 60mph. I'm pretty sure those stock rubber bushings are totally shot. I was looking at the Pedders site and I am going to get the #1 upgrade for about $500, but I noticed that there is really not a whole lot of front suspension upgrades included in this kit. Now I am not trying to spend a ton of money on the suspension bushing upgrade because my wife and I are going to be buying a house. I was wondering what bushings I need to get for the front of the vehicle to eliminate the vibration at high speed braking. Thanks in advance for all input.

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    1st - Thanks for checking out Pedders.

    2nd - Dont buy anything yet!!! There are a few things you can check out 1st to see what is worn.

    The GTO has modest size hub faces and is susceptible to hub / hat / wheel distortion form uneven torque, rust, corrosion and crud.

    Replace nothing. Disassemble your front rotor / hubs. Remove the rotor and clean the hub face until it look like new. Clean the back of the rotor hat and reinstall the rotor with a two lug turn. With the out portion of the rotor hat as clean as new and the back of the wheel clean as new put it on three lugs over. Tighten the lugs in a triangular patter finger tight. Snug them up incrementally and slowly. Use a good quality torque wrench and bring the lugs up to 90 pounds in five lug increments. Your shimmy should be gone.

    Assuming the front wheels are in balance you should be good to go for 3 to 5k. When the shimmy returns just rotate the wheel and CAREFULLY re-torque them. The GTO has modest size hub faces and is susceptible to hub / hat / wheel distortion form uneven torque, rust, corrosion and crud.


    The next test is the 5 mph brake test. This checks the condition of the Radius Rod Bushings. Have someone drive the car @ 5 mph on a dry level surface and then stomp on the brakes like a kid ran in front of the car, and hold the brake pedal. Watch to see how far the front tire moves towards the back of the wheel well. Then have them release the pedal to see if the tire moved forward. If it moved more than a couple inches, the radius rod bushing are most likely shot and need to be replaced.

    Check the strut mounts:
    Take a 24mm deep well socket and rotate the nut on the strut mount, You should have to apply a decent amount of torque in order to move it. rotate it about a 1/4 turn and check for spring back. It should have some resistance and spring back to the original position, if they don't spring back, the strut mounts are faulty.

    Keep checking the mounts:
    Same socket, remove the nut and the plate to expose the strut mount. Use a flashlight to check for cracks / tears in the rubber strut mount. They will most likely be in the creases of the mount and around the metal ferrule (sleeve). Also check to see if the ferrule is centered in the mount. Tears & cracks or an off centered ferrule means the strut mount is bad and needs to be replaced. The strut mounts are a wear item and will need to be replaced eventually.

    Check the tires: Check the air pressure if you haven't already. Check for un - even wear on the tire.

    This should narrow down what may be causing the vibration. Let us know what you find.

    Dan

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    Quote Originally Posted by PartsGedder View Post
    1st - Thanks for checking out Pedders.

    2nd - Dont buy anything yet!!! There are a few things you can check out 1st to see what is worn.

    The GTO has modest size hub faces and is susceptible to hub / hat / wheel distortion form uneven torque, rust, corrosion and crud.

    Replace nothing. Disassemble your front rotor / hubs. Remove the rotor and clean the hub face until it look like new. Clean the back of the rotor hat and reinstall the rotor with a two lug turn. With the out portion of the rotor hat as clean as new and the back of the wheel clean as new put it on three lugs over. Tighten the lugs in a triangular patter finger tight. Snug them up incrementally and slowly. Use a good quality torque wrench and bring the lugs up to 90 pounds in five lug increments. Your shimmy should be gone.

    Assuming the front wheels are in balance you should be good to go for 3 to 5k. When the shimmy returns just rotate the wheel and CAREFULLY re-torque them. The GTO has modest size hub faces and is susceptible to hub / hat / wheel distortion form uneven torque, rust, corrosion and crud.


    The next test is the 5 mph brake test. This checks the condition of the Radius Rod Bushings. Have someone drive the car @ 5 mph on a dry level surface and then stomp on the brakes like a kid ran in front of the car, and hold the brake pedal. Watch to see how far the front tire moves towards the back of the wheel well. Then have them release the pedal to see if the tire moved forward. If it moved more than a couple inches, the radius rod bushing are most likely shot and need to be replaced.

    Check the strut mounts:
    Take a 24mm deep well socket and rotate the nut on the strut mount, You should have to apply a decent amount of torque in order to move it. rotate it about a 1/4 turn and check for spring back. It should have some resistance and spring back to the original position, if they don't spring back, the strut mounts are faulty.

    Keep checking the mounts:
    Same socket, remove the nut and the plate to expose the strut mount. Use a flashlight to check for cracks / tears in the rubber strut mount. They will most likely be in the creases of the mount and around the metal ferrule (sleeve). Also check to see if the ferrule is centered in the mount. Tears & cracks or an off centered ferrule means the strut mount is bad and needs to be replaced. The strut mounts are a wear item and will need to be replaced eventually.

    Check the tires: Check the air pressure if you haven't already. Check for un - even wear on the tire.

    This should narrow down what may be causing the vibration. Let us know what you find.

    Dan
    That is a great write up. As soon as I get the GOAT back from the paint shop I will do just that. Thanks a lot Dan I really appreciate it. I will be buying the Pedders suspension upgrades from you for sure!!! I have to get them after Sarge's write up about it. But I'll check out those first. It's always good to check instead of spending money on stuff that may not be the soulution, but I am eventually going to upgrade it because those stock rubbers bushings are absolute junk. I can't believe Pontiac let them leave the factory like that, but I digress. Again thanks for the write up and input.

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    Thanks!

    One more check while the wheels are in the air, while supported on jackstands. Push and pull on the top and bottom (12 o'clock & 6 o'clock) to see if it moves or makes a "clunking" noise. If it does, check the ball joints, or have them checked.

    I attached a link to our dealer locator on the Pedders USA website. I'm not sure which dealer is closest to you.

    http://www.peddersusa.com/Dealers.htm

    Keep us updated on what you find. We're here to help ya' out.

    Dan

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    Many of us will storm Pedders Corporate HQ with pitchforks and axes if Lesters Automotive is not soon a Pedders dealer! Plus I need a cradle alignment damnit!!!!
    Well maybe not with pitchforks and axes but with beer for sure....and you wont get any...damnit!!!

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    Whoa , whoa , whoa there Sarge! Let's not get hasty now.

    Pissed off townsfolk with pitchforks and axes is a pretty normal Friday night here, you know that. Not sharing beer...well thems almost fighting words!!!

    Point taken, I'll see what HQ has in store. Trust me when it happens...you'll know.

    dan

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    OK...I appreciate it....My meds wore off.....I'm all good now....hey April 12th Lesters is having an open house...bunch of my buddies and I are showing our rides....you should come by...all original 69 Z28...mint...I mean MINT....63 Sting Ray...MINT...56 Chevy...Top 56 Chevy in the Southwest....few of us.....

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    Sarge -pm sent

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    Lester's -- pitchfork... New Dealer -- pitchfork... hmmm let me think about this

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    the natives are restless

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    Must have cradle aligned
    Must have cradle aligned
    Must have cradle aligned
    Must have cradle aligned

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    Quote Originally Posted by 5.7literMustangEater View Post
    That is a great write up. As soon as I get the GOAT back from the paint shop I will do just that. Thanks a lot Dan I really appreciate it. I will be buying the Pedders suspension upgrades from you for sure!!! I have to get them after Sarge's write up about it. But I'll check out those first. It's always good to check instead of spending money on stuff that may not be the soulution, but I am eventually going to upgrade it because those stock rubbers bushings are absolute junk. I can't believe Pontiac let them leave the factory like that, but I digress. Again thanks for the write up and input.
    Paint Shop? tell us it's a scratch fix or custom paint....not a damage fix. Damage sucks. Which is it?

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    Quote Originally Posted by PartsGedder View Post
    Paint Shop? tell us it's a scratch fix or custom paint....not a damage fix. Damage sucks. Which is it?
    It's just some scratches and dings that I'm getting fixed. I will never use a car cover again!!! We had some severe storms at the begininng of March and the wind lifted the cover up and twisted it all around the GOAT which in turn scatched the paint and made some minor dings. I'm just getting the scratches and dings taken out. It is going to get wet sanded and re-cleared, so the GOAT will be looking great for the spring and summer. I was really pissed when I got home and found the car cover all twisted around the GOAT, but I thought about it and it could've been worse, i.e. a large tree branch could have fallen on the roof, hood, or trunk. That would have sucked. I got a pretty good deal on getting it fixed. I'm paying a little under $900 for the scratch, ding repair along with the re-clear and wet sanding. I'll keep you updated on what the rotors and hub assembly look like when I get it back. Hopefully that is all it will take to get rid of the vibration.

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    Wheew! Hope you get it back soon. Remember to check everything else while you're in there.

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    You can also check out Lovells products at www.notafuckingsponsor.com
    Last edited by Sarge; 03-30-2008 at 10:35 AM.

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