12/88 Fifth Avenue— Chassis Freshening

DustinSitz

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Hi Y’all! Bought the car a year back— I’m the 2nd owner. She’s an ‘89 model LVP car with the leather and wire wheel caps. 76,xxx miles— super reliable, but she sure is picky about fuel quality! Seems to love the designer non-ethanol stuff.

Its time to get after the tires/wheels/suspension. One of the issues could be a drum out-of-round, but maybe we can start with it over here.

Symptoms for the front-end would be: steering wheel off- center about 45 degrees (steers straight for whatever reason,) chattering over broken pavement— some popping on turns. Standard speed-dependent vibrations and that ‘dry’ sound of an older car.

In the rear, its a rhythmic scrub/click and the wiggling tail at slow speeds— turns into some pretty severe vibration/bobbling at speed.

I’ve grabbed up the FSM, all tie rods and ball joints— new front bearings and seals, KYB (I DIDNT KNOW! Lol) front shocks and mounts— idler and pitman arms.

The tires are next— as she sits there are newer Chinese on the front, Goodyears from 2011 on the rear. The tread on them all is good— but the rears are bulging at the belts and I know are contributing to the poor ride quality.

Which white walls are recommended— and which would have a thicker banding? Goodyear doesn't make them any longer, with Uniroyal seeming to be the premium/North American option. I’m leaning toward those. There’s some conjecture as to which sizes fit— the car currently has 205/70R15.

We’ll discuss this more later, but this is a deep introduction and a lot to read!

Y’all were so helpful with my first problem, and are a valuable resource!! Thank you for helping a fella out!

—D
 

Duke5A

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Welcome to the forum. Yeah, ditch the kyb shocks for Monroe's. The chattering over bumps are the brake pads rattling around in the slider brackets. Bad design and while you can shut them up for a little while it always comes back. Main reason I put a set of Wildwood brakes on my car.
 

droptop

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The tires are getting ready to throw the tread off. That is the wobble in the rear at low speeds. I wouldn’t drive it until I replaced all the tires. :2cents:
 

Bluejeansthe5th

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I have Hankook 727 tires on my 87 Fifth. Quite satisfactory. These have been out of production for some time. The successor tire is the Kinergy ST. Tire Rack lists them for $110 in a whitewall. I have read threads on the C body site that these tires may be made in Kentucky as Hankook was building a factory there. You could verify that, or folks on here may know more up to date info. Myself as well as other people I know, are pleased with this brand of tire.
 

Aspen500

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As you found, carburetors and ethanol don't play well together.

I agree on ditching the KYB shocks. Had them on my Aspen for a few years and it rode like, as they say, a lumber wagon. Very happy with the Monroe shocks I replaced them with a couple a couple years ago.

Steering wheel off 45 degrees could be few things. There isn't enough adjustment on the tie rod ends to make it that far off. Possibilities are twisted sector shaft in the box, twisted steering shaft or something bent. Check to be sure the car tracks straight also (not dog tracking). Just a few ideas anyway.
 

WJones

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I agree with the general consensus that Monroe shocks are the way to go. That's what I have on my '84 Fifth and it rides great.

As far as tires, I got Nexens with a white stripe and they're alright, but that really is just a budget brand.

For the steering wheel, mine has the same issue. Going straight down the road, it points to about 10 on the clock. Haven't got to the bottom of that one yet myself.

Sorry I can't be any more help!
 

Mikes5thAve

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I haven't heard anything good about Monroe lately and haven't been happy with them on other vehicles. I think I have Monroe and Kyb ones kicking around and don't have high hopes on either of them.

The popping in the front can be worn sway bar links or mounts. The brake chatter noise is definitely annoying. You used to be able to replace the caliper retainer clips to stop that but the new ones now are too weak to do anything.
 

DustinSitz

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Thanks for the help y’all!

I’ve got the tires ordered and they’ll be installed tomorrow— ended up doing Uniroyal Tiger Paw white walls.

Decided to make a multi-pronged attack plan— tires, bearings and sway bar bushings to dip my toe in—

Then I’ll gather the rest of the bushings and bits for the full front-end. This car has more parts and sub-assemblies than any I’ve ever had and I need to go slowly and build knowledge and a proper tool set for her.

This is certainly not a PL/PT!

A question I’ve got now, is: does this car have strut mounts with bearings? I bought them, but can’t find them in any of the FSM diagrams!

All of the parts are MevoTech supreme grade— ball joints and tie rod sleeves/ends, with the idler/pitman arms and upper/lower control arm bushings. The car should be good for another 75k miles.

What other bushings should I get to do while this is all apart? There seem to be a lot of isolators, shims and such.

Thanks again!
 

DustinSitz

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The rear end wiggle-wobble wasn’t tire related

Something is so off-balance it’s making the car feel like she’s got square back tires.

On the plus side— I’m driving the only Fifth Avenue with blue-stripe tires in the tri-county area

We’ll get this figured out. Thanks again, y’all.
 
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