Whole host of issues....

  #1  
Old 07-29-2010, 09:24 AM
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Default Whole host of issues....

Hello everyone! What a great forum! Just browsing it allowed me to fix a perplexing problem in about 5 minutes (condenser leaking into the cabin). Hopefully I can get some ideas here for the other issues.

I am the original owner of a 2002 L300 (82k miles) that I have decided to keep until the floor rusts out underneath my feet. Normally around this time Iíd get a new car so Iíll be playing around with problems that Iíve not dealt with before. I am not a gear-head but I am willing to do as much work myself as possible. My neighbor is quite the gear head so heís offered to help keep me out of trouble. Iíll be taking my car to a reputable shop to get a diagnosis so I can evaluate what I want to tackle myself but figured I run the isse past folks here to get some ideas.
  • Vibration at ~53mph+: Itís at its worst around 60mph and gets a little better above 70. The tires have been rotated. Vibration is pretty much the same while maintaining speed with the accelerator versus coasting.
  • When hitting a ďbumpĒ in the road (beginning at about 35mph and on up), the rear end seems to ďfloatĒ briefly. ďBouncingĒ the rear end and then letting it go results in the ďbounceĒ stopping very quickly. This one is disconcerting because sometimes I can feel the rear end slip slightly as though it briefly hit a patch of ice.
  • Brakes. Front done at ~42k miles, rear never. Iím thinking itíll have to be shoes, pads and rotors. Motor-head neighbor claims this is a pretty easy process since it has discs all around.
  • Timing belt: Not done yet. From what Iíve been reading this is a good time to have it replaced and based on itís location Iím not so sure I could manage it myself.
  • Oil is good, tranny fluid looks good. Iíve had a persistent coolant leak but a mechanic a couple of years ago claims this is a funky gasket problem that, if I donít mind adding a little antifreeze/water every several weeks, doesnít need to be fixed anytime soon. I guess the part is cheap but the labor is nasty.

That about does it Ė any ideas from anyone else? Are there other things I might want to look at?

Thanks again in advance Ė I appreciate the advice. =o)
 
  #2  
Old 07-29-2010, 02:18 PM
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First issue the wheels need to be rebalanced.The second issue is your struts are probably shot and your sway bar links could be broke.The brakes are very easy to do even for a person that not very handy.Hope this helped.
 
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Old 07-29-2010, 06:19 PM
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Just a thought here -- if the struts have gone bad, then perhaps the tires have been worn improperly (cupped) which would cause a strong vibration at some speed. When you have your tires rebalanced, have the tire store check for cupping and/or improper wear, because if that is the case, no amount of balancing will cure the vibration problem.

Disk pads are easy, but check the calipers for leakage, and check the rotors for grooves that would mess up your brand new pads. It's possible the rotors may need to be "turned".
 
  #4  
Old 07-29-2010, 10:40 PM
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sounds like funky gasket coolant issue might be slight leak in head gasket if the labor is that nasty....

agree with everyone else's weigh-ins -
 
  #5  
Old 07-30-2010, 06:30 PM
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O.K., here is my two cents to be ignored at will!
Vibration at ~53mph+: It’s at its worst around 60mph and gets a little better above 70. The tires have been rotated. Vibration is pretty much the same while maintaining speed with the accelerator versus coasting.
While tire wear and cupping can cause a vibration as can some types of really wierd hub caps (identified by removing them and driving the car if needed) it is my experiance it usually is not the case.
Tire construction plies shifting due to whatever. Had it happen more often that I want to count.
Diagnose by placing a piece of cloth over palm of hand, old sock, wash cloth, cotton T shirt. Identify presence of wife if important first, and place hand on surface of tread while rotating tire by hand. If it feels like a wash board, the plies internally have come appart and are bunching up inside the tire. Cloth increases sensitivity.
Also suspect rear suspension parts as Derf mentioned. Jack up and look at things. Take a wrench with you to see if stuff is tight. I don't know what the rear suspension is in those but rods that go accross from chassis to axle if it is a live axle deal where they bolt on mounted in rubber, if A arms, check bolts where fasten to chassis, shock mounts, any thing that looks suspicious. If you use a large cresent wrench, it fits Metric stuff and you can pry with the handle. You are looking for something loose that lets parts move when body rolls or jumps when you hit a bump.

When hitting a “bump” in the road (beginning at about 35mph and on up), the rear end seems to “float” briefly. “Bouncing” the rear end and then letting it go results in the “bounce” stopping very quickly. This one is disconcerting because sometimes I can feel the rear end slip slightly as though it briefly hit a patch of ice.

See above, may be related.

Brakes. Front done at ~42k miles, rear never. I’m thinking it’ll have to be shoes, pads and rotors. Motor-head neighbor claims this is a pretty easy process since it has discs all around.
Go to auto parts store and by a Chiltons or Mitchels or what ever manual and follow directions. Listen to neighbor.

Timing belt: Not done yet. From what I’ve been reading this is a good time to have it replaced and based on it’s location I’m not so sure I could manage it myself.
As close as I can tell, it is a rubber belt and the engine is what is called and interferrance engine.
What does that mean, belt brakes, parts clash, pieces scatter on road.
I wouldn't try to replace it, although I think I can. Pay for it to get done, cheaper than a new engine.

Use the following philosophy to justify doing your own repairs. It takes a bit of effort.
Say to yourself.
I can screw this car up cheaper than a professional
untill you believe it.

Oil is good, tranny fluid looks good. I’ve had a persistent coolant leak but a mechanic a couple of years ago claims this is a funky gasket problem that, if I don’t mind adding a little antifreeze/water every several weeks, doesn’t need to be fixed anytime soon. I guess the part is cheap but the labor is nasty.

One word, well maybe two.
BARSLEAK
 

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