Well it'* really good to be back on here after all of this time. I got the car, was on here posting then I disappeared. I'm really sorry about that
I got new struts for the baby weekend before last. Got them from the dealership, but not what they wanted.
Helps to have friends that work there.
I got the Monroe Sensi-trac'* and I think I got the FE2 (is that the softer ones right under the standard ones?) So I got them off Friday night, in 96 degree heat, took them up to a friendí* shop on Saturday and he did all the grunt work of taking the springs off etc etc. Everything still looked good and nothing was in need of replacing.
Sunday morning I got up at 4 am (and 86 degree heat) and got them put back on by 7:30. Was a little bit of a pain in the rear to put them in, but I still got them in. The car sat until Tuesday though because I knew better than to just drive it out of alignment. Took it to a shop about a mile away. They told me they could do the alignment. Next day they call and tell me all 4 wheel bearings are loose, the ball joint on the right side is loose but still functional. Serp belt has cracks in it, right front tire has "steel showing", and the rack and pinion is leaking. Brakes are 75% gone in the front and 50% gone in the back. They ended up doing the alignment but with no warranty.
As a side note to everything they found: the bearings might be loose, they are almost 25 years old and the car sat for most of its life. The ball joint might be in need of replacement, but I'm sure that it'* just in need of a lube job. The serp belt was changed when I got the car, along with the alternator, a week after I got the car. The tire that USED to be on the front since they did a tire rotation needed to be replaced. Thatí* what told me I needed new struts and an alignment. The rack and pinion isn't leaking, thatí* oil that spilled out when the valve cover gaskets were leaking. I never power washed it off the engine. The brakes couldn't have gone down that much in 10 months. I don't ride the brakes and I don't hit the brakes hard. I drive very smooth. They said nothing about the small coolant leak I can't find, or that the oil needed to be changed. HHmmm.
Alright back to the story. They did the alignment. The front end was all up in the air like new struts are supposed to be and it rode perfectly. I drove it to and from work the rest of the week. 2 days later the steering wheel is now 45 degrees off (to the left) and it pulls to the right. I checked the tire and I got a nail, so it lost pressure. Took the car in and got the tire fixed (Thank you Discount Tire!) The steering wheel is still off by 45 degrees but the car tracks down the road with just a little pull to the right.
What did the shop do? I'm half scared to look under there and find the tie rod almost ready to fall off or bolts finger tight. Any suggestions?
As a side note, with VW'* the lower bolt for the strut is offset so that'* how you do an alignment. Turn the bolt until it'* right on, and then tighten the nut on the other side. These Buicks seem to have a mind of their own.
Thanks for your time and I'm glad to be back!
P.*. I have 325 miles to go until I am at my 100k mark!