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Old April 13th, 2006, 09:54 PM   #1
greenjeep
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GM mechanic question

I am getting an 98 Chevy malibu from a friend. It was in an accident on the LF side. The tire/rim is loose in the wheel well. Is there a common weak spot on these vehicles that breaks? Also what other vehicles can I get parts off of?

Thanks in advance,
Fred
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Old April 13th, 2006, 10:10 PM   #2
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malibu = alero = grand am - or atleast I'm 95% sure that it's the same.

As far as teh tire/rim being loose in the wheel well, it's probably a broken knuckle - I've seen a few of them break from simply hitting a curb with the vehicle
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Old April 13th, 2006, 10:17 PM   #3
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Replace the entire knee unless you can tell exactly what it is. The knee consists of the hub, knuckle, strut and lower control arm. Any or all of those four parts could cause your problem.

Dumb question, but the lug nuts are torqued down right?
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Old April 13th, 2006, 10:29 PM   #4
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OK cool. Yes the lugs are tight. It was hit in the LF. Was just asking mechanics that work on these cars everyday what the common failure was. I don't have alot of extra cash, so only the obvious things are getting replaced.
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Old April 13th, 2006, 10:33 PM   #5
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I worked on that platform alot when I was wrenching at Shelton Pontiac/Buick/GMC. Alot of those vehicles involved in that type of crash came from the body shop with a work order that generally said to replace the knee. That's at least what the insurance company wanted. On the ones I replaced, usually the knuckle was fine, but when I drove them in, the tire wasn't doing what yours is.

If going down the road your vehicle pulls or feels like the alignment is off, the strut is probably bent. The wobbling is either the knuckle or hub.
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Old April 13th, 2006, 11:08 PM   #6
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get it up in the air with a jack or hoist (< better)
then have a buddy shake the wheel and look to see what's moving separate from everything else...
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Old April 14th, 2006, 08:16 PM   #7
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OK got the car tonight. It needs for sure a knuckle, brake hose, and a tire.
thanks again for the input, it looks like it might go back together pretty cheaply.

Fred
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Old April 16th, 2006, 11:07 AM   #8
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Originally Posted by GreaseMonkey
I looked at that platform alot when I was changing oil at Shelton Pontiac/Buick/GMC.
Fixed it for ya :tonka:
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Old April 16th, 2006, 12:31 PM   #9
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Fixed it for ya :tonka:
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