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Gotta love used cars...

9606 Views 24 Replies 9 Participants Last post by  Beatdown Z
Well since I'm the "mechanic" in my family, that means I get to wrench on the Malibu my parents just bought my 17 year old sister. It's her first car and even though it may have came a year late, it was for good reason. My parents are very protective and my sister isn't the greatest driver. Anyway, it's a 2001 with 145,000 miles and a little rough around the edges, but overall a nice, good running car.

First order of business was the temperature/thermostat situation. The temperature needle was pegged at 100*, the heater never warmed up, the idle was at 1500rpm, a fan was always on, and it was throwing a code for low temp. So I check out what's going on under the hood and see a big glob of silicone on the lower intake manifold where the thermostat housing bolts up. Great!

Pull the glob off and it's missing a big chunk of aluminum.

Guess this explains the low temperature. :eek:

The top bolt actually grabbed enough for me to tighten the housing down. I still used a little RTV just to cautious. I then globbed some JB Weld over top the exposed bolt threads. I figure it will hold for a while or until it comes time for a LIM gasket job.
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On the pads - when you removed/reinstalled the calipers, you DID lubricate the slide pins, right?

My understanding is that if the caliper / pin interface is too stiff, but not locking up, you can get the "only one side does the braking" effect.

In for a penny, in for a pound. If folks were clairvoyant and knew everything wrong to start with, then they could assess the cost and act accordingly. But if ya didn't and you've started, ya pretty much gotta finish it. Of course, once you think yur done, then the tranny's gonna go.

As far as brakes go. Something has to "float" to maintain correct pad to rotor contact throughout the life of the pads. On most motorcycles, the rotors float. On cars, the caliper floats. Which means to say that if you assemble the caliper without the rotor being there the caliper should slide back and forth (side to side depending on perspective) about an inch. This sliding motion should be easy and very smooth (no notchiness) to get good pad wear or you'll get the effect as RalphP says. If I'm not mistaken there is a special grease to use on the pins.
Are you keeping tabs on how much you're putting into the car cost-wise?
Nah, I never really bother with any car I work on. I'd rather not no how much money I sink into some of my vehicles, if you know what I mean...

On the pads - when you removed/reinstalled the calipers, you DID lubricate the slide pins, right?
Sure did, and I used the proper disc brake lube too. This I one thing I spend a lot of time on making sure is up to my standards. I've done many brake jobs in the past where I ignored the slide pins, and wound up with the caliper side pad being worn to nothing while the outboard pad looked new.
Hopefully nothing big for a while. There's just some minor odds and ends I want to take care of. I still have to put on the driver's rear strut mount, maybe fix the driver's speaker, and possibly some paint-work once I get my booth built.

I was contemplating servicing the transmission, but I'll probably just leave it alone. The driver's side CV boot is leaking a little, so I'm going to keep an eye on that, make sure it doesn't get REAL bad.

Another thing I want to do is coat/paint the brake/fuel lines to slow down the rust.

That's about it for now though...
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