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1994 Suspension Repairs

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Old 06-17-2017, 12:35 PM   #1
Van Clapton
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Default 1994 Suspension Repairs

Hi there, my Corvette went in for oil change and mechanic wrote on assessment:

1) Both Rear Toe Outer Tie Rods Have Some Play
2) Mono Rear Leaf Spring Bushings Worn Both Sides
3) Suspect LR(Left Rear?) Wheel bearing Has Some Play

No shop wants to touch this here in Vancouver B.C. Canada. I managed to get 2 quotes from two different shops over the phone.
$5,000 from Classic car restore shop and $2,500 local Chevy dealer.......prices are all over the map

Don't know what to do........can't drive car till this is fixed as this caused massive uneven wear on my old left rear tire and I just bought new tires and don't want the same wear pattern to begin.

Any experts out there, feel free to chime in.......what is the best course of action. I'm in analysis paralysis so my car just sits there. I need to make an informed decision and no one knows anything. Thanks---CorvetteForever---
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Old 06-17-2017, 05:14 PM   #2
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None of those jobs are too difficult and the bushings and tie rods arent that expensive either. If you have a basic tool set, a jack, and jackstands you could probably knock it all out in a day. The rear wheel bearings are held in by torx bolts so youll need to get those sockets but any car store will have ones good enough for a one time use. I recommend getting a torque wrench as well but some people have went their whole lives without one. Just be careful with the spring, it is under tension so make sure you use a jack or something to retain and easily release the spring when youre taking it off. It's worth buying a factory service manual as well. The car will also need an alignment after the outer tie rods are replaced.
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Old 06-17-2017, 07:54 PM   #3
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Van

Are Vettes in Canada made of Unobtainium or what? Personally I have not priced them but I rebuild and upgraded my rear end last winter. Even with the Banski Motorsport kit as part of the upgrade, it came in less than half what the Chevy Dealer wants there.

If you have a floor jack, some jack stands, some metric wrenches and sockets and are half way mechanically inclined you should be able to do it for alot less than what you were quoted.

Start with this thread: http://www.digitalcorvettes.com/foru...d.php?t=144562
Read it through, understand it covers more than you want/need to do so concentrate on those sections that cover your needs.

Once you've gone through it, come back with any questions you might have. If you can do an oil change or a tune-up, you should be able to do this. Just be safe.

Update - I didn't find oem replacement toe rod ends, but there is both the Banski Motorsport kit or the Vansteel kit. I have the Banski kit on my car since last winter and I have no complaints.

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Old 06-18-2017, 05:43 PM   #4
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Thought you might like to see what the Banski Toe Rod looked like once I installed mine. By the way, if you haven't got or seen the Gadgetman jack adapter, check it out as it really simplifies raising the back end of the car up.

Here's the short version of changing the toe rods with something like I did. Block the front end, raise the rear up and put the rear tires on ramps. Remove the spare tire carrier. Disconnect the toe rods, unbolt the center from the differential. Loosely assemble the replacement parts. Bolt the center section on the differential. Adjust the ends out till they slip into the proper spot on the knuckle. Tighten everything up, put the spare tire carrier back on.

The spring bushings, while they rear end is still lifted by the Gadgetman jack adapter and jack stands under the car (I happen to have 2 floor jacks but you can do it with only one), use a block on top of the floor jack and take tension off the spring bolt by raising the spring a little. I lowered the spring once the bolt was out. Swap the bushings, carefully raise the spring back up and reassemble the bolt to the same length as it came out.

For the hub, see that thread I referenced earlier. While doing it, check the U-Joints and Teflon washers right away. If one side is bad, both sides likely are.

That's not everything but it should be enough to give you an idea what's involved.

IIRC, these were the approximate costs, best I can remember as some were 2 or 3 years ago, while some were from last fall:
Toe Rod Kit - $400
Hubs - $60 - $100 ea
Bushing kit - something like $30 - $40
J-Joints - around $25 each
Teflon Washers - around $7 - $10 each
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Old 06-19-2017, 10:15 AM   #5
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Here is an idea, purchase the parts and do it yourself -Its not that bad of a project(s). There are plenty of write ups (Corvette Central website) and you tube clips to guide you along.
-I rebuilt the entire front and rear of my 94's suspension with new -EVERYTHING- and poly bushings. She rides like a new 1994 Corvette . Total cost for all my parts...about 1,400 USD. Good luck.
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Old 06-19-2017, 08:57 PM   #6
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I just took mine off to replace bushings, just unscrew the rear tie rod end nut, put a fork in it if you will(separator) and hit with hammer it will come apart. count the threads and unscrew screw and you will have a new one. Price 82.00 for both. Wheel bearing is a little tougher but for a shop 2 hours would be max. I did mine by removing the halfshaft and undoing 3 bolts, it will come out and you replace. Price was 45.00 for rear wheel bearing.
Good luck
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Old 06-21-2017, 02:06 PM   #7
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Van Clapton View Post
Hi there, my Corvette went in for oil change and mechanic wrote on assessment:

1) Both Rear Toe Outer Tie Rods Have Some Play
2) Mono Rear Leaf Spring Bushings Worn Both Sides
3) Suspect LR(Left Rear?) Wheel bearing Has Some Play

No shop wants to touch this here in Vancouver B.C. Canada. I managed to get 2 quotes from two different shops over the phone.
$5,000 from Classic car restore shop and $2,500 local Chevy dealer.......prices are all over the map

Don't know what to do........can't drive car till this is fixed as this caused massive uneven wear on my old left rear tire and I just bought new tires and don't want the same wear pattern to begin.

Any experts out there, feel free to chime in.......what is the best course of action. I'm in analysis paralysis so my car just sits there. I need to make an informed decision and no one knows anything. Thanks---CorvetteForever---
Bearings are a pita cause of the torx and the angle to at em (assuming you are on your back in the garage). My 1/2 " impact wouldn't budge em so I had to use a cheater bar on my breaker bar which made logistics a problem.
I made a handy little press out of some Home Depot threaded rod and 1/2 " drive deep well sockets for the strut bushings. Drove the nuts with the impact...worked like a charm (after heating failed). YOU CAN DO IT!
PS no cheap bearing assy
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Old 06-21-2017, 02:08 PM   #8
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Originally Posted by hcbph View Post
Thought you might like to see what the Banski Toe Rod looked like once I installed mine. By the way, if you haven't got or seen the Gadgetman jack adapter, check it out as it really simplifies raising the back end of the car up.

Here's the short version of changing the toe rods with something like I did. Block the front end, raise the rear up and put the rear tires on ramps. Remove the spare tire carrier. Disconnect the toe rods, unbolt the center from the differential. Loosely assemble the replacement parts. Bolt the center section on the differential. Adjust the ends out till they slip into the proper spot on the knuckle. Tighten everything up, put the spare tire carrier back on.

The spring bushings, while they rear end is still lifted by the Gadgetman jack adapter and jack stands under the car (I happen to have 2 floor jacks but you can do it with only one), use a block on top of the floor jack and take tension off the spring bolt by raising the spring a little. I lowered the spring once the bolt was out. Swap the bushings, carefully raise the spring back up and reassemble the bolt to the same length as it came out.

For the hub, see that thread I referenced earlier. While doing it, check the U-Joints and Teflon washers right away. If one side is bad, both sides likely are.

That's not everything but it should be enough to give you an idea what's involved.

IIRC, these were the approximate costs, best I can remember as some were 2 or 3 years ago, while some were from last fall:
Toe Rod Kit - $400
Hubs - $60 - $100 ea

Bushing kit - something like $30 - $40
J-Joints - around $25 each
Teflon Washers - around $7 - $10 each

Nice!!


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Old 06-21-2017, 08:55 PM   #9
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Bearings are a pita cause of the torx and the angle to at em (assuming you are on your back in the garage). My 1/2 " impact wouldn't budge em so I had to use a cheater bar on my breaker bar which made logistics a problem.
Little trick if you read that thread I referenced earlier. IIRC you pull the spindle nut, lower camber rod bolt, u-joint straps on the inner u-joints on the half shafts. Drop the half shaft, slide it out to the inside. Now you have easy access to all the torx bolts holding the rear hub assembly onto the knuckle. deal with the caliper, rotor, ebrake etc for your car but it's a whole lot easier to get to and you can to a thorough exam on the u-joints, Teflon washer etc at the same time.

A little more to unbolt but overall I think it's easier unless you just 'happen' to have a lift (which I don't).
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Old 06-22-2017, 10:08 PM   #10
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The price quotes you received are just plain crazy !!!

You fundamentally have two choices - either do the work yourself or find a honest mechanic that you can take your car to. For the work you described in your post - you DO NOT need a Corvette specialist, or a stealership mechanic with special tools, any competent mechanic should be able to do all three of those jobs relatively easily.

I've done the rear bearings myself. It's about a 2 hour job. But - as other posts have indicated - there are three T55 Torx bolts that hold the bearing to the hub - they are not that easy to get to, and they can be "difficult" to break free. If you do the work yourself, you need to take a few minutes to get the "heads" of those Torx bolts as clean as possible so the bit seats in them fully - if you strip the head on one of these bolts - removing the bolt will be an absolute nightmare !!! One thing I didn't see mentioned in other posts is that before you take the three Torx bolts out - you need to break the big nut on the axle stub shaft free. It's a 36mm (1 7/16") nut - and it's torqued to about 240 ft lb. Count on using either an impact wrench or a BIG breaker bar to get that puppy off. Then you'll need to retighten it after the new bearing is installed. The cost of the new bearing is about $100.

The rear tie rod ends are not much different from the front tie rod ends - both tie rod ends can be replaced in about an hour, and you don't need to be an "A" Level Tech to do that job. After they are replaced - you will need a four wheel alignment, and that will probably run about $100 or so. The tie rod ends cost about $30 - $40 or so each. Many shops that can do the tie rod end replacement won't have the necessary equipment to do a proper 4 wheel alignment - so you'll probably have to take the car to an alignment shop immediately after you pick it up from the repair place or if you do the work yourself - after you finish.

The spring bushings are not that terrible a job either. Basically - you put the rear of the car on jack stands (or a lift) and use a floor jack to support the spring. You unbolt the spring from the chassis, remove the old bushings, replace them, then rebolt the spring to the chassis, and then release the pressure on the spring. Probably an hour for both sides and about $40 in new bushings.

So - you should be paying about $200 - $250 in parts, about 4 hours of labor, and another $100 - $150 at a good alignment shop.

BTW - None of what was found should make the car unsafe to drive at reasonable speeds. With what you described in your post - the rear alignment angles can move a bit as you drive, and that can cause the rear to feel quite unstable. I wouldn't take the car out for joy rides, and you should probably avoid taking the car to the track, but you should NOT have a problem driving it to a shop, you DON't need to have it towed (chances are the problems that were found have been there for several thousand miles). And don't even think of worrying about tire wear from the problems you describe if you only drive dozens of miles. Sure - if you drive 5,000 miles like that - you can get some funny wear - but driving the car to a shop is a non-issue.
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Old 06-25-2017, 01:37 AM   #11
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Dear corvette forum members who responded,

I appreciate all of your input, useful responses and am happy I joined the forum. This and many other reasons is why i love the corvette community. Very knowledgeable and experienced corvette connoisseurs in action. You guys are a class act. Thank you very much. God Bless!!!
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Old 06-25-2017, 02:15 AM   #12
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Old 06-26-2017, 09:16 AM   #13
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Van Clapton View Post
Dear corvette forum members who responded,

I appreciate all of your input, useful responses and am happy I joined the forum. This and many other reasons is why i love the corvette community. Very knowledgeable and experienced corvette connoisseurs in action. You guys are a class act. Thank you very much. God Bless!!!
Hello fellow Canadian!

I just replaced my entire suspension this past spring. I had a few hiccups, but honestly it wasn't that bad. If you're decent with a wrench I think it's something you can tackle.

Last edited by jimmers; 06-26-2017 at 09:17 AM.
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