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1988RedT2
1988RedT2 MegaDork
9/5/20 12:35 p.m.

Well, as obvious as it is to my finger, I can't slip my .0015 feeler gauge between it and a straightedge, so probably not bigger than a thousandth.

Brett_Murphy (Forum Patrón)
Brett_Murphy (Forum Patrón) GRM+ Memberand MegaDork
9/5/20 6:29 p.m.

Is the goal to get a long term driver, or just get this running again as inexpensively as you can?

1988RedT2
1988RedT2 MegaDork
9/5/20 7:13 p.m.
Brett_Murphy (Forum Patrón) said:

Is the goal to get a long term driver, or just get this running again as inexpensively as you can?

Realistically, something in between, but probably closer to the latter than the former.  I doubt I've put 5,000 miles on it since I got it, and that was a crazy long time ago.  I just want to be sure it runs, and runs well, and I do not wish to pull the engine again.

1988RedT2
1988RedT2 MegaDork
11/30/20 9:35 a.m.

Giving my thread a bump.  Zero progress in the interim, but getting close to ordering parts. 

Anybody have any experience/heresay regarding goopy performance and their housing resurfacing service? 

1988RedT2
1988RedT2 MegaDork
12/8/20 8:58 p.m.

Parts are ordered!

New rotor housings, Atkins rebuild kit.

Not much time to do some more cleaning.  I'd better get to work!

clutchsmoke
clutchsmoke UltraDork
12/8/20 9:07 p.m.

Glad to hear there's more progress! 

1988RedT2
1988RedT2 MegaDork
12/9/20 7:20 a.m.
clutchsmoke said:

Glad to hear there's more progress! 

Me too!  As with all my projects, this one is proceeding at a glacial pace!  I fully expect we'll be talking about the consequences of the next Ice Age before this thing is running.

1988RedT2
1988RedT2 MegaDork
1/10/21 4:39 p.m.

2021 Update:

Progress is inching along.  So far, I have done some easy stuff, like spend money.  I have two new rotor housings and a full kit from Atkins Rotary. 

I mean, as long as I had the thing apart, why not refresh the suspension?  New KYB struts, and some control arm bushings from Energy Suspension.  The rubber on this car is getting close to 35 years old.  Upper strut mounts and a clutch kit on the way.  Other bits and pieces showing up sporadically. 

As I'm getting ready to re-install the lower control arm, I take the time to take a good look at the point on the subframe where the front of the control arm attaches.  I compare it to the driver's side, which is a neat, square box.  Passenger side looks like this:

 

Not a neat square box.  It looks to me like the mounting point got pushed toward the front of the car.

No better time to fix than now.  Engine is out.

Do I try to beat this thing back into shape with a BFH?  Do I replace the entire front subframe?  Something else?

Thanks in advance for your kind words and helpful suggestions!

1988RedT2
1988RedT2 MegaDork
1/11/21 6:37 a.m.

Anybody?

Just to clarify, since pictures don't always show what they seem to show:  The circular bite on the bottom side of the box is present on the other side and does not represent damage.  However, the two vertical sides of the box should be dead straight and square with the top and bottom.

As is evident in the picture, the middle of the sides at the hole that secures the control arm through-bolt are bowed to the right (front of car).  I suspect this has alignment implications and I'd like to fix it now if I can.

Thanks!

wvumtnbkr
wvumtnbkr PowerDork
1/11/21 9:51 a.m.

I'd say bash it u til the control arm fits and reinforce it.

 

Subframes aren't that hard to get either.  It's not a lot of work to remove and install one if you support the engine and unbolt the mounts and steering rack.

 

In other words, bash it i to place.  If the alignment is off, replace it.

 

I am very familiar with that front end and have seen similar before.  Make sure the arm is not bent.  If it is, replace it! (Preferably with an 86 to 88 part so the ball joints are replaceable).

 

Edit:  the arms are interchangeable left and right on the 86 to 88.  You can measure the drivers side arm to compare it to the passenger side.

1988RedT2
1988RedT2 MegaDork
1/11/21 10:23 a.m.

In reply to wvumtnbkr :

Thanks!

I will try to massage it back into shape with a BFH.

I was thinking replacing the whole subframe wouldn't be that hard, especially with the engine out. Problem is, when I used to go the the Junkyard 15 years ago, I might find 2 or 3 FC's in there, now they are extremely rare.

wvumtnbkr
wvumtnbkr PowerDork
1/11/21 10:26 a.m.

I can probably find you one...

 

He'll, I might have one somewhere.

1988RedT2
1988RedT2 MegaDork
1/11/21 10:36 a.m.

In reply to wvumtnbkr :

Interesting. 

With the engine out, what else do I need to unbolt besides the steering rack?  Not looking forward to laying my old body under the car in a cold garage....

wvumtnbkr
wvumtnbkr PowerDork
1/11/21 10:48 a.m.

Control arms need removed, steering rack will need unbolted at least.  Engine will need u nbolted and supported.  Then remove 4 large bolts that go through the chassis rails (Should just be 4 large nuts.  Bolts stay in place.).

 

It's been soooo long that I worked on one with a stock drivetrain, that I may be missing some items like accessory brackets, hose routing, electrical routing, etc.   I can't think of anything that WOULD be attached, but just be mindful that my recent experience (last 4 years) has been with an engine swapped racecar with none of that stuff.

 

If you still have the underbody panels, those will need removed as well.

 

 

EvanB (Forum Supporter)
EvanB (Forum Supporter) GRM+ Memberand MegaDork
1/11/21 11:43 a.m.

I would bash it with a hammer. I'm pretty sure i have a subframe in the basement but I'm in Ohio.

infernosg
infernosg Reader
1/11/21 11:45 a.m.

Several years ago (2013?) I swapped front sub frames for the same reason you've shown. I was already swapping a bunch of stuff from a 89 GXL to an 86 Base when I discovered te 86 had taken a hit on the front right corner at some point in its life. I knew I had a picture somewhere:

If you're just doing the sub frame it's just the radiator under tray, engine mounts, control arms and steering rack that need to be removed. You'll likely need to remove/move the front sway bar as well.

1988RedT2
1988RedT2 MegaDork
1/11/21 12:43 p.m.
infernosg said:

If you're just doing the sub frame it's just the radiator under tray, engine mounts, control arms and steering rack that need to be removed. You'll likely need to remove/move the front sway bar as well.

So I'm already there.  Engine is out.  One control arm is out.  Radiator is out.  Sway bar and steering rack, and Bob's my uncle.

About what does a bare subframe weigh?

wvumtnbkr
wvumtnbkr PowerDork
1/11/21 1:44 p.m.

30 or 40 so pounds?  Just a guess.

1988RedT2
1988RedT2 MegaDork
1/11/21 1:47 p.m.

Well, if I'm going to be whaling on it, it's probably better to remove it and properly restrain it.  Access will be better and the car is currently up on Harbor Freight jackstands.  wink

1988RedT2
1988RedT2 MegaDork
1/19/21 3:41 p.m.

Okay, now we're having fun!

 

The good side:

 

And the not so good side:

 

Efforts to straighten could begin as early as tomorrow.  Stay tuned!

1988RedT2
1988RedT2 MegaDork
1/22/21 2:01 p.m.

Okay, for the record, the part weighs 23 pounds naked.

I've got it cleaned up a little and beaten more or less back to its original shape.  There is definite evidence of damage. The locating pin on the damaged side is bent.  The area on the frame where it attaches seems fine.  The paint on the good side is almost perfect once you get the caked-on grease and oil off.  The damaged side is considerably rusty.  Probably not so bad as to keep me from using the part, but it does make me want to ask....

Some of you said you might have one of these laying around.  Would you want to sell it?  If the condition is excellent, I'd be willing to buy.  Boxed up, ship weight of 30 pounds or so.  I could do that.

Another question:  If I am looking for one of these at car-part or some other online junkyard, what do I call it?  No front subframe, no power plant frame.  Closest of their standardized descriptions would seem to be "Frame Front Section Only."

EvanB (Forum Supporter)
EvanB (Forum Supporter) GRM+ Memberand MegaDork
1/22/21 2:35 p.m.

Possibly engine cradle? 

Not sure where in VA this is in relation to you but they list a few for $65. 

1988RedT2
1988RedT2 MegaDork
1/22/21 3:03 p.m.
EvanB (Forum Supporter) said:

Possibly engine cradle? 

Not sure where in VA this is in relation to you but they list a few for $65. 

Thanks man!  I just sent them a message.  They're a few hours away.  It would be a lovely drive, but I've requested a freight quote.

1988RedT2
1988RedT2 MegaDork
1/22/21 4:01 p.m.

Aw! 

Reply was "Sorry, that's old information.  Cars crushed years ago." 

My heart.  It is broken. crying

1988RedT2
1988RedT2 MegaDork
1/22/21 4:22 p.m.

Anybody know for sure if the part is the same for the 'vert, coupe, and turbo?  S4 and S5 identical?

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