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Old 12-27-2019, 06:48 PM #1
beklemmung beklemmung is offline
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Looking for help with DIY work

I have a 1997 SR5 that's due for a fair amount of refresh/preventative maintenance work. I have essentially no experience at all with a wrench, but I'd like to gain some (and save some $ vs paying a shop to do all the work for me). The truck was a DD for the previous owner and serviced at a dealership up until 2014, but has only seen light use since then. It's lived its whole life in Arizona and CA so no rust.

If anyone has experience performing any of the work listed below and is interested in helping me, I'd love to hear from you. I don't expect you to work for free. I'm looking at reserving a stall work station at About Us | Your Dream Garage on a Saturday or Sunday, ideally sometime in January. If anyone knows of other DIY auto shops I'm all ears, but I'm not seeing any alternatives.

Here's a list of the work I'm looking to do. I've watched all of the relevant videos from Tim and put together parts lists, but I'm not comfortable trying to tackle this on my own without any experience. Roughly in order of importance:
1. Replace the rear axle seals and bearings (only passenger side is leaking but I'd like to do the driver's side as well for peace of mind)
2. Replace the lower ball joints, outer tie rods, and sway bar links front + rear
3. Change all fluids (brake, power steering, differential + transfer, coolant)
4. Replace many bushings (not including LCAs or UCAs)
5. Replace the radiator, thermostat, water pump, timing belt, etc.

Thanks,
Levi
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Last edited by beklemmung; 01-02-2020 at 11:44 AM.
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Old 12-28-2019, 01:00 AM #2
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I'm not in the LA area unfortunately and if you end up in San Diego county doing the work I'd gladly give you a hand. I've done all that work and it'll likely take a few days to do all of that.

In very rough estimates of time it takes to do those jobs I've list them in the same order.

1) Rear axles : Half day ? You need the right tools for this job to go easily. It is imperative for the people who do this job to understand how the rear axle seals actually function.
2) A few hours.
3) A few hours.
4) Day ++. Just swapping the front lower control arms is basically a full day of work. Pressing bushings isn't the easiest thing to do as well. My recommendation is to acquire a set of control arms and press out those bushings before hand. You can acquire a full set of control arms at a junkyard up there for ~100 or so. The front control arms is going to be harder for an average joe shop to figure out since you need the right tools or the bottle jack method to get them out.
5) Day ++
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Old 12-28-2019, 02:40 PM #3
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Thanks, I appreciate the offer and info. For the LCAs, are you saying it's easier to essentially replace the existing ones entirely with junkyard arms and new poly bushings, and then selling my current ones? I need to go back and watch Tim's LCA bushing replacement video again.
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Old 12-28-2019, 07:25 PM #4
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Quote:
Originally Posted by beklemmung View Post
Thanks, I appreciate the offer and info. For the LCAs, are you saying it's easier to essentially replace the existing ones entirely with junkyard arms and new poly bushings, and then selling my current ones? I need to go back and watch Tim's LCA bushing replacement video again.
In general I'd apply that theory to all the control arms. Pushing out bushings can be a rather painful task or a relatively straight forward one if you end up having the right press sleeves. It is by far easier to just unbolt, swap in and bolt back in rather than removing the control arms and getting the bushings out. You'd probably save time/money on the lift since usually renting space isn't cheap.

The front LCAs are particularly painful since you need to drop the steering rack to get at the bolts and remove the cam adjusters. If you watch Tim's videos you'll find out what bolts I'm talking about. You should be able to get the front control bushings out with a vice and a bottle jack, for the rears perhaps you can take it to a shop and only get charged a minimal amount for them to press the old bushings out and the new ones in.

I think I picked up a set of front / rear control arms from a junkyard for 100-150 dollars and pressed all my whiteline / OEM bushings in before hand. The only control arms that are different are the rear uppers (just search the forum for the correct length). Perhaps you'll be able to sell your control arms but I'd imagine if you're paying for garage space and etc. you'll save money or at least frustration this way.

Also if you end up pulling the timing belt I'd advise doing the valve cover gaskets (unless you've already done them).

Last edited by APhelps; 12-28-2019 at 07:27 PM.
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Old 12-30-2019, 03:27 PM #5
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I rewatched Tim's front LCA bushing replacement video and I see what you mean. I know this isn't in the spirit of T4R.org but I'm not really equipped to go looking for LCAs at a junkyard, so I'll probably hold off on the more difficult bushing replacements for the time being and just do the easy ones.

The valve cover gaskets were last done 11 years and 80k miles ago. I have no idea what shape they're in now, but will keep that in mind when the time comes to do the timing belt, water pump, thermostat etc work.
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Old 12-31-2019, 07:24 AM #6
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I can do everything on the list aside from rear axle bearings, you need a press for that. In Ventura county. As far as LCA bushings, don't bother. Far better to just replace the LCA completely and save yourself the trouble of messing with frozen bushings in old arms, especially if you're going to replace ball joints as well. Same applies for UCAs as well.
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Old 01-03-2020, 04:00 PM #7
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Hi, I'm in Long Beach and would be interested in either guiding or straight up lending you a hand. January is kind of crazy busy for me though, but I might have some time the weekend of the 11th and sat the 25th or sun 26th.

Here's my input:

1. Replace the rear axle seals and bearings (only passenger side is leaking but I'd like to do the driver's side as well for peace of mind). I've done the seal, but not the bearings on my mine.
2. Replace the lower ball joints, outer tie rods, and sway bar links front + rear. Done this as PM or as part of my suspension upgrade, but that was a few years ago.
3. Change all fluids (brake, power steering, differential + transfer, coolant). Done all this myself.
4. Replace many bushings (not including LCAs or UCAs). Most of my bushing replacements were done as part of #2.
5. Replace the radiator, thermostat, water pump, timing belt, etc. Done this on mine as well.

PM me and we can chat.
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Old 01-07-2020, 05:24 PM #8
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Quote:
Originally Posted by beklemmung View Post
1. Replace the rear axle seals and bearings (only passenger side is leaking but I'd like to do the driver's side as well for peace of mind) - I haven't done this yet, but I do have all the tools (press and pullers). I imagine 3-6 hours or more.

2. Replace the lower ball joints, outer tie rods, and sway bar links front + rear - I have done all this. LBJ's about a 1-1.5 hours for both, OTRE about a hour ALIGNMENT NEEDED, sway bar end links 20 mins or less.

3. Change all fluids (brake, power steering, differential + transfer, coolant) - Done this as well. Probably all day. Yeah its actually more work then you think.

4. Replace many bushings (not including LCAs or UCAs) - Done steering rack, LCA, SPC upper arms. This is tricky, I did a whole front end rebuild and it took 2 days. Rear bushings not that hard, LCA bushings, if your alignment cams are seized then they are a PITA and can take hours. Specify which bushings you need replaced?

5. Replace the radiator, thermostat, water pump, timing belt, etc. - Done all these. All day event.

Thanks,
Levi
Answered in red. I can help towards the end of the month, Out in Rancho Cucamonga. The probability of completing all this work in a weekend is not going to happen. When I did my complete front end rebuild it took a full 2 days. Started at 8a finished at 7p both days, LCA bushings, Upper arms SPC, front wheel bearings/manual hub swap (spindles pre assembled the previous weekend), ITRE & OTRE, rack poly bushings, ECGS 7.5 diff bushing. But if you spread this out over a few weekends it is absolutely doable. Let me know.
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Old 01-13-2020, 06:08 PM #9
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MY GARAGE
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MY GARAGE
If you need help I can knock it all out...
I’ll come remove all your components then take them back to my shop/garage where I have a press and all the necessary tools needed to repair/rebuild all your parts with new parts you ordered. Not a problem...
Then will come back and install everything

If you need help on ordering I can do that as well.
Simple

I’m an hour from you
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