TheSilverBuick's 1977 Skylark

Discussion in 'The "X" bodies' started by TheSilverBuick, Jul 5, 2010.

  1. TheSilverBuick

    TheSilverBuick In the Middle of No Where

    Had a few moments of excitement today followed by 2 hours of waiting for a tow truck.

    The day started out great. I was driving the Skylark, traffic was moving really well, and rocking to Bon Jovi on the radio. Unfortunately "Livi'in on a prayer" was going to comeback to haunt me.
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    Driving home, I was about 3 miles from the house and pulled a right hand turn at a decent speed when there was a bang and lots of grinding noise. Fortunately I wasn't on the freeway and I was also able to steer the car to the right hand curb from the left lane. The lower ball joint let loose right at the threads. I found the nut sitting in the road next to the island. Given where it broke it's suspected from over tightening, but the ball joint is also 8 years old and has around 100,000 miles on it. I did remove and re-install the nut three or four times in 2014-2015 when messing with spring spacers, so an over tightening or fatiguing could of happened then.
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    Unfortunately the tow truck took almost 2 hours to get there. At one point I had three police cars and a broken down motor cycle and three of his buddies all parked around me, lol. It was quite the party! The lower control arm was chewed on by the steel rim, but the rim surprisingly doesn't look any worse for wear.
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    Now the question is, replace one ball joint for $20, four ball joints for $80, or drive down the street to Summit and spend $900 for their upper and lower control arms with ball joints and control arm bushings? hmmm.....
     
  2. moleary

    moleary GOD Bless America

    l:Brow:
     
  3. TheSilverBuick

    TheSilverBuick In the Middle of No Where

    Well I've pretty much sold myself on getting the Summit control arms. Since the front end has around 100,000 miles on it since I last rebuilt it, I've ordered new tie rods, centerlink and an idler arm from Rock Auto. Should be here next Wednesday or Thursday, which payday is Wednesday so I'll make a slight detour on the way home from work on Wednesday :grin:

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  4. Gulfgears

    Gulfgears Gulfgears

    Wow, I'm amazed that a car with all the one of a kind, high tech stuff on it that yours has could be waylaid by something as mundane as a failed ball joint.

    I would have thought the electronics would cause a big problem, not a ball joint.

    Love reading your posts and look forward to your install of the new arms, I'd bet you find a way to improve on them.

    Keep it up!
     
  5. sean Buick 76

    sean Buick 76 Buick Nut Staff Member

    Sorry to hear about the issue but SUPER happy to hear it was not a wild ride or accident!
     
  6. TheSilverBuick

    TheSilverBuick In the Middle of No Where

    Like I told one of the officers, it didn't happen on the freeway, I kept it off the wall, and steered it to the curb, I rather be happily counting my blessings than being mad about it being broken.
     
  7. elagache

    elagache Platinum Level Contributor

    Glad it wasn't worse (Re: TheSilverBuick's 1977 Skylark)

    Dear Randal and V-8 Buick daily drivers,

    Glad indeed that your venerable Buick managed to fail as gracefully as it did. Sorry for all the hassles though.

    [​IMG] . . . The real question should be if you live that close to Summit Racing, how come you have any money left to spend?!?!? . . . [​IMG]

    Cheers, Edouard :beer
     
  8. wormwood

    wormwood Dare to be different

    glad to hear that the car is ok...... oh and your ok too
     
  9. newmexguy

    newmexguy Well-Known Member

    Was the ball joint that failed domestic/moog or offshore? Have heard that offshore metallurgy is usually inferior.
     
  10. TheSilverBuick

    TheSilverBuick In the Middle of No Where

    They are Autozone Perfect Circle(?) brand. ESxxxx part numbers. Again, given the mileage of around 100,000, I don't drive it easy, and the very good likelihood I did over tighten them more than once in 2014/2015, I can't really fault the quality. And it's been around 7 years since they were installed (before I started this thread!).
     
  11. TheSilverBuick

    TheSilverBuick In the Middle of No Where

    Decided to stop by there after work today :pp


    Not sure they will save any weight but how its design should make it drive nicer.
    [​IMG]

    The other steering parts should show up in the mail tomorrow.
     
  12. wormwood

    wormwood Dare to be different

    i did this upgrade years ago, the car handles amazing now
     
  13. TheSilverBuick

    TheSilverBuick In the Middle of No Where

    Was a productive weekend. Went out as the sun was coming up to start work. Breaking in the new neighborhood and finding out the tolerance level of the neighborhood and if the HOA has any problems. Fortunately I no issues with the HOA, my immediate neighbors seemed cool with it and I met two car guys that live on the street, so all good news going forward.


    7 am and the sun was just coming up as I went out to start. I had everything apart by 10 am, and cleaned up my work area as I had other things to do for the rest of the day.
    [​IMG]


    So out with the old. The new upper control arms each weight a 1.6 lbs more than the stock ones. No weight savings here.
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    The new lower control arms each weigh 1 lb more than the stock ones. Or any weight savings here. You can see where the top control arm got chewed up when the ball joint failed.
    ‚Äč[​IMG]




    I didn't take any pictures of the underside just yet, it's nice clean parts surrounded by a very dirty mess, so I'll take some pictures after I hose off the underside a bit and get it aligned. My cousin's own a couple Big-O tire stores with alignment racks so I figure I'll drive the car to work then over to one of their store's after work. Just have to pick a day, the weather doesn't look good for the next week.


    A picture of the car turned around with the pile of old parts. The list of new is: Upper and lower control arms with associated bushings and ball joints, two inner tie rods, two outer tie rods, a centerlink, idler arm and two shocks. I also took this opportunity to fix my front wheel vehicle speed sensor, about two months ago I forget what I was doing but I broke the weld that was holding the mounting nut on, so I re-welded it.
    [​IMG]
     
  14. elagache

    elagache Platinum Level Contributor

    Glad things are cool in your new digs . . (Re: TheSilverBuick's 1977 Skylark)

    Dear Randal and V-8 Buick DIY caregivers, . . .

    Glad to hear it! :TU:


    That is even better news! Homeowner Associations can be particularly anal about such things. If they prohibited you working on your cars - I think you would have to move again! :shock:

    Keep pluggin' away on da' Silver Buick!

    Cheers, Edouard :beer
     
  15. TheSilverBuick

    TheSilverBuick In the Middle of No Where

    Re: Glad things are cool in your new digs . . (Re: TheSilverBuick's 1977 Skylark)

    I refused to even make an offer on the house until I had a copy of the HOA rules in my hand. The realtor said I had to make an offer and it be accepted before I get the rules to which I responded, well then I'm not making any offers then. She figured out how to get the rules into my hands. Turned out to be a mostly gutted HOA to just landscaping costs and some general building rules (like paint color, new garage has to match the "theme", etc). And we ended up buying it. But this was the real test, in the driveway on blocks for a week, then torn apart for a day and a half. I'm waiting my turn for a fencing company to come out and install an RV gate on the side of the house then I can work out back (when the car doesn't come home on the tow truck anyways), and in the garage when I need closed space.
     
  16. Aaron65

    Aaron65 Well-Known Member

    Do you have any space for your other cars? It seems like you had a pretty big barn before.
     
  17. TheSilverBuick

    TheSilverBuick In the Middle of No Where

    Getting there. Definitely not the indoor room I had before though.

    Still sorting through things from the move but eventually the garage will be cleared out enough to keep two cars on the right, which will be good for indoor work.
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    And this is the area I plan on putting some concrete down and down the road put a two car garage in, but will try for some small aluminum car ports initially.
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    Overall plenty of backyard space, but I am waiting for a fencing contractor to install an RV gate before I can bring my Thunderbird and Centurion over.
    [​IMG]

    Currently the Firebird and my new project ATV is in the garage.
    [​IMG]
     
  18. TheSilverBuick

    TheSilverBuick In the Middle of No Where

    Drove it down to the autoparts store and back. It tracks straight and over all feels pretty good. The steering wheel is a little crooked so I think before I take it down to the alignment shop I'll loosen up the tie rod sleeves and make some quick adjustments to straighten it up some. Lessen the likelihood of the alignment guy missing it. I was a little worried about ride height because my spring spacers didn't fit on the lower control arm coil spring adapters, but it seems to be okay. There is still just a little bit of play in the steering, so I will see if some steering gear box adjustment corrects its.

    [​IMG]
     
  19. sean Buick 76

    sean Buick 76 Buick Nut Staff Member

    Very cool congrats on the new house it looks great... Start planning the garage in the back ASAP it took me a lot of time to iron out the design and get the permits and stuff organized for my build. Make it tall enough for a lift of you can.
     
  20. TheSilverBuick

    TheSilverBuick In the Middle of No Where

    Just been driving the car periodically and hit up a couple Car's and Coffee meets. My son going for a ride for the first time to last month's meet.

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    The wandering photographer's picture versus mine :)
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