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Old 10-27-2020, 01:14 AM   #81
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Default Re: Need a Front subframe

Other than needing to be from a '91-'93, there's no restriction on model for the front subframe (S-Series only). For the rear subframe it's better to get one from a SC/SC2/SL2/SW2 so you can more easily add the rear sway bar, but there's no restriction on year or model (S-Series only).

Early axles are special. Specifically non-ABS axles, the hub side is smaller than the ABS axles '91-'02 and smaller than '94+ non-ABS axles ('94+ all axles are interchangeable unless you require ABS to keep you from stopping). Easy fix with a new wheel bearing & hub for a '94+ (or just take a JY kunckle with the good hub & bearing already on it).
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Old 10-27-2020, 11:34 AM   #82
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Default Re: Need a Front subframe

I think you are going to have to get one that comes from a GEN3 or GEN2 and do the necessary modifications for the radiator support and such. GEN1 sub-frames are scarce in Ontario and have likely rotted away like your has. Plug your information into www.car-part.com and you'll see what is closest to you. I sometimes use a part that is more common like bumper to find where the S Series are as not all parts get entered into the system. Here's what I found near Toronto.

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File Type: jpg Car-part subframe lookup.jpg (80.1 KB, 68 views)
...
1999 SL2 MT (287,130 km @ 10/2019)
2012 Ford Focus SEL HB MT
2011 Suburban LT

Past Saturns
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1993 SW2 AT (10y)
2001 LW200 MT (3.5y)
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Old 10-27-2020, 10:10 PM   #83
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Default Re: Need a Front subframe

@ John 93 SL1 Canada:

> From now on, I'm going to keep a spray can of "Krown Rust Control" nearby and every couple of weeks I need to get under the car and spray down that area, to try to expell water.

You are missing analysis of the situation, and an understanding of corrosion, and corrosion control techniques.
The 'kid next door' did nice work cleaning & re-assembling the trailing arm mounts. The exposed cleaned steel would need to be protectively coated, and then 'undercoated', if it were to resist further deterioration. The bolts securing the trailing arms should have the threads coated with a grease, or paint, etc.
{i generally coat all underbody threads with GE Silicone caulk/RTV}

the exposed cleaned steel should be washed with fresh water & detergent to wash off salt, and oil residue, then rinsed with fresh/distilled water; then dried, then painted with a protective coating.

The problem with WD-40 or Crown Rust Control is that it is not quite up to the task at hand. Boeshield is a proprietary coating for aluminum aircraft skins. It is adequate to preserve the joints when the craft is flown through the atmosphere. But if it were applied to a car underbody exposed to roadsalt ...
not-so-much.
....................

So you've ascertained that the body of the vehicle is not completely deteriorated from rust YET, but the bulk of the underbody needs cleaning + protective paint coating, preferably followed by an undercoating.
The rear axle will likely last a few years, but the forward subframe/cradle needs immediate replacement.

The reason Zeebins asked about the door sills, is that they are a good indication that the car HAS//HASNOT been driven in significant roadsalt.
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Old 10-27-2020, 10:16 PM   #84
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Default Re: Need a Front subframe

Wow, thanks trottida, this is great! Why do they refer to the "rear crossmember"? Isn't the engine cradle one piece? Is the rear crossmember the rear suspension frame?

Quote:
Originally Posted by trottida View Post
I think you are going to have to get one that comes from a GEN3 or GEN2 and do the necessary modifications for the radiator support and such.
Rad support does not scare me, but finding a way to mount the upper tranny mount dogbone sounds a bit intimidating. Are there any how-to's on this?

Thanks!
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Old 10-27-2020, 10:21 PM   #85
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Default Re: Need a Front subframe

Thanks TomM96. I'll buy a can of Tremclad (rust inhibiting) paint and some distilled water for working on the car. I have some GE silicone at home - I've used it for years at home but yes, it should protect vehicle parts really well.

Quote:
Originally Posted by TomM96 View Post
@ John 93 SL1 Canada:
You are missing analysis of the situation, and an understanding of corrosion, and corrosion control techniques.
The 'kid next door' did nice work cleaning & re-assembling the trailing arm mounts. The exposed cleaned steel would need to be protectively coated, and then 'undercoated', if it were to resist further deterioration. The bolts securing the trailing arms should have the threads coated with a grease, or paint, etc.
{i generally coat all underbody threads with GE Silicone caulk/RTV}

the exposed cleaned steel should be washed with fresh water & detergent to wash off salt, and oil residue, then rinsed with fresh/distilled water; then dried, then painted with a protective coating.

The problem with WD-40 or Crown Rust Control is that it is not quite up to the task at hand. Boeshield is a proprietary coating for aluminum aircraft skins. It is adequate to preserve the joints when the craft is flown through the atmosphere. But if it were applied to a car underbody exposed to roadsalt ...
not-so-much.
....................

So you've ascertained that the body of the vehicle is not completely deteriorated from rust YET, but the bulk of the underbody needs cleaning + protective paint coating, preferably followed by an undercoating.
The rear axle will likely last a few years, but the forward subframe/cradle needs immediate replacement.

The reason Zeebins asked about the door sills, is that they are a good indication that the car HAS//HASNOT been driven in significant roadsalt.
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Old 10-27-2020, 10:56 PM   #86
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Default Re: Need a Front subframe

Quote:
Originally Posted by 93 SL1 Canada View Post
Rad support does not scare me, but finding a way to mount the upper tranny mount dogbone sounds a bit intimidating. Are there any how-to's on this?

Thanks!
I've never had a Gen 1. But if I was in your situation, I'd either remove the dogbone bracket from the old subframe, or use it as a pattern to make a new one. Then I'd bolt or weld it in the right spot using the old one as a guide.
...
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Old 10-28-2020, 05:01 PM   #87
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Default Re: Need a Front subframe

Subframes are hard to find in Canada. Five out of the eight places I've tried from car-part.com told me the ad is old, and they no longer have the vehicle. I'm still waiting on answers from the other three.
I've also inquired how much it would be to ship from other provinces; again, still waiting on the answer.
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Old 10-28-2020, 05:02 PM   #88
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Default Re: Need a Front subframe

Quote:
Originally Posted by Waiex191 View Post
I've never had a Gen 1. But if I was in your situation, I'd either remove the dogbone bracket from the old subframe, or use it as a pattern to make a new one. Then I'd bolt or weld it in the right spot using the old one as a guide.
This makes a lot of sense. Thanks Bryan.
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Old 10-29-2020, 08:43 AM   #89
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Default Re: Need a Front subframe

Quote:
Originally Posted by 93 SL1 Canada View Post
Wow, thanks trottida, this is great! Why do they refer to the "rear crossmember"? Isn't the engine cradle one piece? Is the rear crossmember the rear suspension frame?




Thanks!
Ya, that is a bit misleading and I'm not sure what it is all about. In the drop down menu I selected Engine Cradle. I've heard them called K-Frames and sub-frames as well.
...
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2012 Ford Focus SEL HB MT
2011 Suburban LT

Past Saturns
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1993 SW2 AT (10y)
2001 LW200 MT (3.5y)
1992 SL2 MT (5y)

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Old 10-29-2020, 06:36 PM   #90
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Default Re: Need a Front subframe

The wreckers I've called usually tell me that once they have a look at the car, they see that the engine cradles are rotten.
I may have found one that I can have shipped. What will I do for mounting bolts? It's probably not a good idea to use the old ones. Can I get new ones at RockAuto?
Thanks!
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Old 10-31-2020, 12:37 PM   #91
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Default Re: Need a Front subframe

Quote:
Originally Posted by 93 SL1 Canada View Post
What will I do for mounting bolts? It's probably not a good idea to use the old ones. Can I get new ones at RockAuto?
Thanks!
I hadn't thought of this before: where can I get bolts to mount the new subframe?

I've located a couple of subframes at wreckers. One was listed as "Southern, bare, bent". The wrecker says the left front corner is bent. My friends at work told me I should stay away from it because it would probably be very difficult to get it back into shape.
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Old 10-31-2020, 12:59 PM   #92
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Default Re: Need a Front subframe

The old bolts can be reused if they aren’t too corroded. Just have to make sure they’re torqued to 151 foot/pounds (204 Newton/meters)

While looking up the part number for the bolts, I was amazed to see that there are still new old stock subframes out there. Probably not a great option financially though.
https://www.wholesalegmpartsonline.c.../21013358.html
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Old 10-31-2020, 01:04 PM   #93
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Default Re: Need a Front subframe

The bolts are the same diameter and pitch as the strut->knuckle bolts. The only difference I ever noticed was that the subframe bolts have a self alignment section and the knuckle bolts don't, though other's have claimed the knuckle bolts are grade 8 or higher and the subframe bolts are likely grade 5 so they can sheer off in an accident. I've broken plenty of grade 5 POS bolts in my time and the subframe bolts never break so I'm pretty sure those knuckleheads were full of it.

There are 2 "proper" ways to deal with the radiator height change if the trans dogbone mount isn't an issue:
  1. spend $20ish on a gallon of 100% antifreeze and another $80ish on a new radiator
  2. spend likely under $30 on "L" brackets to secure the rad in a new location


As for the bent subframe...it depends on how it's bent. If it's just an edge folded over or something I wouldn't care but if it's structure bits are actually bent then it was crashed/crushed and wouldn't be safe to use even if it were bent back.
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Old 10-31-2020, 05:09 PM   #94
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Default Re: Need a Front subframe

Quote:
Originally Posted by fetchitfido View Post
...other's have claimed the knuckle bolts are grade 8 or higher and the subframe bolts are likely grade 5 so they can sheer off in an accident.
None of them will be Grade 5, or Grade 8..... those are SAE designations. They would be metric 9.8 or 10.9. I'm betting on 10.9 since that's what most automotive bolts are.

The bend instead of shear is a myth. If the higher grade bolt was hit hard enough to shear, it's way past the bending point of the lower grade bolt, and it would also shear. Disclaimer, I have not studied this personally, only going by what I have read.

I would look at Fastenall, and McMaster-Carr for bolts, unless GM uses something special, which is very possible.
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Old 11-01-2020, 12:53 PM   #95
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Default Re: Need a Front subframe

Quote:
Originally Posted by Zeebins View Post
The old bolts can be reused if they aren’t too corroded. Just have to make sure they’re torqued to 151 foot/pounds (204 Newton/meters)

While looking up the part number for the bolts, I was amazed to see that there are still new old stock subframes out there. Probably not a great option financially though.
https://www.wholesalegmpartsonline.c.../21013358.html
Wow. That's amazing. If I had the cash, I's get this brand new one. I wonder if these guys bought up GMs remaining stock years ago.

l will look at reusing the old bolts. If they're bent (from when the control arm broke away) or too corroded I'll get new ones.
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Old 11-01-2020, 12:59 PM   #96
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Default Re: Need a Front subframe

Quote:
Originally Posted by 454cid View Post
They would be metric 9.8 or 10.9. I'm betting on 10.9 since that's what most automotive bolts are.

I would look at Fastenall, and McMaster-Carr for bolts, unless GM uses something special, which is very possible.
First thing I will do if I need new bolts is call my buddy at Chevy Parts. But I think there is a Fastenall in Orillia, which is closeby.
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Old 11-01-2020, 01:05 PM   #97
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Default Re: Need a Front subframe

Quote:
Originally Posted by fetchitfido View Post
The bolts are the same diameter and pitch as the strut->knuckle bolts.

There are 2 "proper" ways to deal with the radiator height change if the trans dogbone mount isn't an issue:
  1. spend $20ish on a gallon of 100% antifreeze and another $80ish on a new radiator
  2. spend likely under $30 on "L" brackets to secure the rad in a new location

As for the bent subframe...it depends on how it's bent. If it's just an edge folded over or something I wouldn't care but if it's structure bits are actually bent then it was crashed/crushed and wouldn't be safe to use even if it were bent back.
I hadn't thought of this: the rebent frame wouldn't be structurally sound. Okay, I'll pass on that one.

The "L" brackets sound like a good idea. Will the rad hoses still connect if I do this, or will I have to buy later-model rad hoses?
I should change out the coolant anyways, because she's been sitting for quite a few years.

Thanks for the tip on the strut-knuckle bolts. I will check this out.
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Old 11-01-2020, 01:43 PM   #98
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Default Re: Need a Front subframe

When I put one in that sat too high the top of the radiator was about halfway up the radiator support bar and felt fairly secure with just the rad hose's and I ran the car quite a while like that without issue...but it would be safer to use brackets and self tapping screws (not into the radiator lol) to hold it properly.

When I put one in that sat too low it was almost an inch below the bottom of the support bar, not sure if I ran it like that or decided it'd fold over into the O2 sensor if I didn't add brackets I didn't want to bother with. Looked way too floppy to go without additional supports.

Also not sure how the "high" one would fit with the A/C condenser bolted to it, A/C was always junk in mine and I'd pull the engine bay stuff out shortly after pulling the anti-noise-maker for the intake clipped to the radiator support.
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Old 11-01-2020, 10:27 PM   #99
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Default Re: Need a Front subframe

Quote:
Originally Posted by fetchitfido View Post
When I put one in that sat too high the top of the radiator was about halfway up the radiator support bar and felt fairly secure with just the rad hose's and I ran the car quite a while like that without issue...but it would be safer to use brackets and self tapping screws (not into the radiator lol) to hold it properly.

When I put one in that sat too low it was almost an inch below the bottom of the support bar, not sure if I ran it like that or decided it'd fold over into the O2 sensor if I didn't add brackets I didn't want to bother with. Looked way too floppy to go without additional supports.

Also not sure how the "high" one would fit with the A/C condenser bolted to it, A/C was always junk in mine and I'd pull the engine bay stuff out shortly after pulling the anti-noise-maker for the intake clipped to the radiator support.
I'll find out where it sits when I get the new (used) subframe. Thanks for the tips!
The AC in my SL1 hasn't worked since before the millenium changed. The guys at my local garage always said it wouldn't be worth trying to troubleshoot, but it sure would be nice. One thing at a time.
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Old 11-02-2020, 02:42 PM   #100
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Default Re: Need a Front subframe

Quote:
Originally Posted by Zeebins View Post
The old bolts can be reused if they aren’t too corroded. Just have to make sure they’re torqued to 151 foot/pounds (204 Newton/meters)

While looking up the part number for the bolts, I was amazed to see that there are still new old stock subframes out there. Probably not a great option financially though.
https://www.wholesalegmpartsonline.c.../21013358.html
I don't currently have access to a torque wrench. Is the torque critical?
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