Old 28th April 2005, 02:23   #1
fookknot
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Suspend this...

So, for the past six or seven months, my truck has been squeaking like hell every time I'd drive over some uneven surfaces or hit some potholes. I already knew what was wrong, but I didn't have the finances or means to do the repairs until this past week. Now that my dad had bought himself a new motorcycle, I was able to use his truck to drive back and forth to work while my truck was 10-7 for service. It was just a matter of doing a little bit of work at a time to get it done... and $126 worth of parts.

The front suspension was in dire need of help. All the bushings were shot, and the ball joints weren't far behind. The ball joints still had a bit of life left in them, but I'd already blown a boot on one, so I figured it'd be best to just replace all of them at the same time as the bushings. That way I wouldn't have to tear down the entire front suspension again to replace the ball joints when it could all be done at once.

Now, the reason why it took so long to finish is because I don't have a maintenance shop to work in. I had to park the front half of my truck on the front porch of our house. Yeehaw. A couple floor jacks and a set of jackstands later, and I'm in. My dad helped me throughout the entire endeavor, as well.

We got the front end jacked up, supported, and started pulling things apart... Wheels off, brake calipers off, brake rotors off, dust covers and ABS sensors removed, shock absorbers pulled out, anti-roll bar disconneted. After all of that, the castle nuts came off the upper and lower ball joints. Then it was just a matter of hitting the lower control arms with a ball peen hammer to knock them loose and have them sent slamming down by the coil springs. Woot.

The upper and lower control arms were then removed. All of the bushings and ball joints had to either be pounded or pressed out. The upper ball joints had to be ground out, though, because they were riveted in. What a pain in the ass. We managed to get them all replaced into the control arms, then they were mounted back to the frame. Of course, that's a lot easier said than done. The upper control arms have shims mounted in between the control arm shafts and the mounting brackets on the frame. Those shims adjust the camber and KPI of the front wheels, so they have to be put back exactly how they're taken out. And once the upper and lower control arms are remounted, they can't be torqued down until everything else is reassembled.

Once that's done, the coil springs have to be compressed and then reinserted into the coil spring wells. Compressing coil springs without a hydraulic spring compressor sucks. We have a manual spring compressor, and it took both of us about 20 minutes to compress each spring to the point where it could be remounted. And even after the springs are put back into the wells, the lower control arms still have to be jacked up in order for the steering knuckles to be reattached to them. And once they're reattached, they have to be torqued down to a very specific torque (61 lb-ft upper and 79 lb-ft lower, don't ask why they're such odd values because I don't know ). Trying to fit a two and a half foot long torque wrench into the wheel well like that is a pain, too.

Once all that's back together, the lower control arms are supported, and the front of the truck is lowered down onto them to put the full weight on the front suspension. This is done before the control arms are torqued down in order to get the bushings rotated to the proper spot before they're permanently set. Once that's done, we put the shock absorbers back in, replaced the brake rotors and calipers, reattached the anti-roll bar, double-checked everything, and then put the wheels back on. Pwn.

Now, pictars for those of you that haven't closed the thread yet.


Image1.jpg
These are the upper ball joints after they were ground out of the control arms.

Image2.jpg
And here's the lower ball joints. They look pretty rough.

Image3.jpg
And here's all the bushings. The ones in the foreground are out of the lower control arms. The other four are out of the uppers.

Image4.jpg
Image5.jpg
Here's a better view of the worst two. They both came out of the upper set of control arms. They were so worn out that the inner cylinders both came completely out of the bushings. Not good at all. These two were what was causing all the squeaking, obviously.

Image6.jpg
Here's one of the coil springs with a couple of the rubber spring isolators next to it. I took one isolator from the other side just to compare.

Image7.jpg
Image8.jpg
Here's what the new spring isolators look like. Pretty, huh?

Image9.jpg
Here's the new upper ball joint after it was installed on the passenger side upper control arm and reconneted to the steering knuckle.

Image10.jpg
Here's the new driver side upper ball joint. Shiny.

Image11.jpg
Image15.jpg
Here's the new lower ball joint after it was installed into the passenger side lower control arm. This is before it was connected to the steering knuckle, obviously.

Image12.jpg
Image13.jpg
Crappy view of a couple of the new bushings in the upper control arms after they were installed. As you can see, there's not a lot of room to work with.

Image14.jpg
Here you can see the coil spring after it was installed back into the spring well. The lower control arm was jacked up into place and the ball joint was connected to the steering knuckle to hold it into place.

Image16.jpg
Morris was supervising during the project.

Image17.jpg
In this shot, you can see the coil spring, shock absorber, dust cover, and ABS sensor all reinstalled. The anti-roll bar is also reconnected, but it's hidden by the dust cover.

Image18.jpg
And the brake rotor is reinstalled here. I have no idea why GM designed it like this, but the hub is actually part of the brake rotor. It's all once piece. So the inner and outer wheel bearing races are actually pressed into the inside of the rotor along with the bearing seal. Every time I do a brake job on this truck, I have to clean the bearning races, clean the spindle, repack the bearings, and replace the seal. That's pretty screwed up if you ask me, but whatever.

Image19.jpg
Here you can see the brake caliper remounted. Morris inspects it and slaps the QC stamp on it. Good to go. After that, the wheels are put back on, and the truck is taken off the jackstands.


And now, my truck rides and handles like new. It's amazing what a few pieces of rubber can do.

-Sarge
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Old 28th April 2005, 02:47   #2
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aww I wanted to see a pic of the truck half parked on the porch.


I dont know dick about fixing vehicles so all that looks like a lot of work. I have a friend who used to work for Toyota as a mechanic and he owes me a few favors so if Nicky starts heading south he will be the one I send her to.
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Old 28th April 2005, 03:01   #3
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stuff like that is why I don't work on things that move at work anymore.
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Old 28th April 2005, 03:16   #4
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Damn. I have the exact same problem on only my *left* side of the car, if you sit on it or if the suspension is moved in any way it lets out a terrible sqeak noise... No idea what it is but it doesn't happen when it's wet or cold outside

yeah, i'm back.
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Old 28th April 2005, 03:27   #5
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Quote:
aww I wanted to see a pic of the truck half parked on the porch.
Sorry, I didn't think to take any pics of the whole truck. I will next time, though.


Quote:
I dont know dick about fixing vehicles so all that looks like a lot of work.
It was more work than it should have been. If we had a proper shop or garage to work in, it wouldn't have taken this long or been this difficult.


Quote:
Damn. I have the exact same problem on only my *left* side of the car, if you sit on it or if the suspension is moved in any way it lets out a terrible sqeak noise... No idea what it is but it doesn't happen when it's wet or cold outside
Bushings and ball joints, bub. More than likely, it's the bushings, though. But it could also be the shock absorber or some other linkage in the suspension. You won't know until you take it apart.

[edit]
If your car has a McPhearson design front suspension, there is no upper control arm. If it is in fact bushings that are causing the squeak, it'll be the ones in the lower control arm (only control arm in that design).
[/edit]
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Old 28th April 2005, 03:37   #6
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Good idea man

I'll attach a pic of how I do work on my car, it's my back porch, where I'll be doing an engine swap in a month or two

Sarge, I might as well ask you.. I bought a new front tire today.. My old tire was worn down to the metal on the engine side, I know this is a problem with a alignment.. Anyways, I need to replace the driveaxle for the passenger side.. if I do this after it's aligned this will mess it up won't it? If you can't tell I'm new to this stuff. Before the driveaxle replacement for the passenger side the only stuff I did engine related was changing oil
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yeah, i'm back.
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Old 28th April 2005, 04:11   #7
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As long as you don't disconnect the tie rod ends or anything else, your alignment shouldn't change. I seriously doubt your car has shims for alignment like my truck does, so I don't think you have to worry about those. The CV axle (I assume your drive axle has CV joints) should pull straight out through the steering knuckle. You're probably going to need a slide hammer to remove it.

Also, if your tire is wearing badly, definitely get a front-end alignment.
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Old 28th April 2005, 04:20   #8
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Yep, I had the front left tire replaced 6 months ago and it already wore down to tread, however I'm just now able to pay for a front end alignment The tread depth on my donut was 0/32 when I went to walmart today, completely worn down in the 2 weeks of driving on it

I change the (cv) axles without even removing the hub assembly from the ball joints.. I just undo the bolts holding the strut to the hub assembly, and swing it out.. just like that

Glad the truck is all good again!

yeah, i'm back.
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Old 28th April 2005, 04:35   #9
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Morris was supervising during the project.
Haha. That's funny on so many levels.

I like how it's just mixed in with a bunch a stuff about whatever it is you did with your truck (too lazy too actually read your post - though I probably wouldn't understand it anyway..)
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Old 28th April 2005, 04:54   #10
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your cat is soooooooooo cute
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Old 28th April 2005, 04:57   #11
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Old 28th April 2005, 05:21   #12
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wow, sounds like you did as much work on your truck as in did on my car last fall, when my car looked like this
at that point, the car had no front or rear suspension attached whatsoever, it took me 9 days to take it all apart and get it back together again, all but 2 of those days i was working by myself.
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Old 28th April 2005, 06:22   #13
fookknot
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Nah, I don't think I did quite THAT much work on my truck.

-Sarge
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Old 28th April 2005, 08:01   #14
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Sounds like you had fun, i thuoght i had a lot of pics on my 12 volt installers thread you beat me by 9
Ive had to do what you did before, not on my porch but in my garge and drive way.
I dont know how big your spring compresser is but (or if it fits) what i do when i have to do work like that is to put the spring compresser on first while the car is on the ground. the wieght of the car has the spring compressed, all you gotta do is attach the spring compresser and finger tighten it. it keeps the spring compressed and sure makes it easy to put back on.
If you cant do it while the car is on the ground, when its in the air on jack stands, take a jack and put it under the tire or on the rotor and jack it up then put the spring compressor on.

Does it drive straight? Ive always goten the cars aligned when i was done, they tend to toe out after work like that.
even if you dont touch the tie rod ends.

But it looks good Sarge
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Old 30th April 2005, 04:28   #15
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Oh, those 19 pictures were just the ones I picked out. I actually took 126 full resolution (meaning, 6.3 megapixel each ) images during this whole project. I picked out those 19 and resized them to post.

And no, I wasn't able to put the spring compressor on while my truck was on the ground for a couple of reasons. The first being the fact that I only have one spring compressor while my truck has two coil springs. The second reason being that there isn't enough ground clearance under the lower control arms to fit the spring compressor through the shock absorber mounting hole. I wish I could have done it that way, though. Surely would have made things easier.

And surprisingly, my steering was unaffected. It handles a bit better, it's more stable, and it rides a lot nicer though. I'm just glad I don't need to get it realigned.
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Old 30th April 2005, 04:56   #16
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I figured it wouldnt fit had to ask though, i like it when people go "Doh" (in a Homer Simpson voice)
I knew your were gonna say "The first being the fact that I only have one spring compressor while my truck has two coil springs."

cool beans
Nice Work
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Old 30th April 2005, 04:58   #17
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I know how to put together a pushrod V8 engine, but I don't know much on suspension components...

Pfft! And I wanna be a mechanical engineer...

"I just want to lie in my own crusty filth, eating rancid egg sandwiches, until some unfortunate paramedic has to blow down my door to find my bloated and pasty corpse wedged between the nightstand and mattress stained with Bengay and Robitussin DM." - Greg Gutfeld on sex and seniors
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Old 30th April 2005, 05:08   #18
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Well uhh, I have never worked on anything other than the B series mazda engines and I'm buying a 94 V6 jeep cherokee Feckin engine is clean as hell, no oil goo like you'd expect on an older engine, looks brand new.

yeah, i'm back.
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Old 30th April 2005, 06:26   #19
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That's because they pressure washed the engine bay with a flat-tip sprayer nozzel like you'd find in a do-it-yourself carwash.


Quote:
cool beans
Nice Work
ty


Quote:
I know how to put together a pushrod V8 engine, but I don't know much on suspension components...

Pfft! And I wanna be a mechanical engineer...
It's just like anything else. Hands-on is the only way to learn it. I learned quite a lot by doing this project at home instead of just taking it to a shop somewhere. That's knowledge that I can keep with me and use again in the future.
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Old 30th April 2005, 06:34   #20
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Originally posted by sgtfuzzbubble99
That's because they pressure washed the engine bay with a flat-tip sprayer nozzel like you'd find in a do-it-yourself carwash.
I believe the shop cleaned it when it was rebuilt. Pressure washers fuckzor my engine

Hands on work definitely is the way to go.. 3 months ago I did my first oil change. A few weeks ago I changed my CV axle out, and I'm about to do an engine swap this summer

yeah, i'm back.
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Old 30th April 2005, 06:38   #21
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Old 30th April 2005, 07:46   #22
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last summer i took the 1.8 8v out of my 85 VW GTI, i swaped it with a 2.0L 16v that had a forged crank. the motor came out of 92' VW Passat. I decided on that motor because it had a forged crank and the motor can take over a bar an a half of boost. I planed on adding a turbo with in a few months then 2 weeks after i put the motor in some dumb bitch in a Ford F-150 pulled in front of me.
i t-boned her @ 50 MPH, totaled my car.

My friend who i got the motor from had a 87' VW GTI rolling shell, prety much. it had wheels (chromed Corado G60 wheels) steel braide brake lines and sloted rotors.
Doors off a 90' & 91' GTI, (these doors dont have the wing window so the look better). he had the car and raced it, so it was totaly striped for wieght. then he sold it to a frind who wanted all the good parts off it for his GTI.

This is what it didnt have, Motor, transmission, exahust, Heat shield for the exahust, headliner, front core support, headlights, door handles, seatbelts, door cards (door panels) seats, no interior, mirrors, bad ball joints no busshings for the sway bar and the sway bar was just laying in the car. no windshield wipers or motor, no shifter or linkage and the springs were cut. I bought the car for $400 oh and the car is primer black

I had to swap all that stuff, (and buy a few things) instead of pulling the springs of the struts i just swaped the struts it took about an hour and a half v.s. 3 hours.
I had to swap all that stuff from my 85' to the 87' in a dirt drive way by my self, i mean no help what so ever. i did this in the high desert in southern California, do you know how hard it is to move a engine hoist in the dirt? REALLY HARD!

it took me a couple of weeks working a few hours a day.
it should have only taken me a few days, its just really hard to be motiveated in a dirt drive way in the heat. Having a shop or a nice garage is the only way to go, sometimes you just gotta do with what you got.

I got her done and moved to oregon with it, drove over 1200 miles a couple weeks after i finshed her up.

Still drive her today, she still ugly too. I do beat the shit out of hondas and fags in the 4 door sedans with spoilers. it halls ass but i still got tons of work to do on it. Ive got a 93' Tarus SHO also, i gotta sell that first before i can work on the GTI.
heres a pic of the GTI
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Old 24th May 2005, 06:25   #23
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Quote:
Originally posted by protegechris
Well uhh, I have never worked on anything other than the B series mazda engines and I'm buying a 94 V6 jeep cherokee Feckin engine is clean as hell, no oil goo like you'd expect on an older engine, looks brand new.
I6.

theres two things that i really dont understand about cars. the first is suspension, the second is ignition. both seem like dark arts, kind of like pleasing a woman.

missyob made me post this.
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Old 24th May 2005, 08:56   #24
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Sarge, could you pimp my ride too please?
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Old 25th May 2005, 04:20   #25
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Old 25th May 2005, 20:27   #26
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can you tell me when whenever i'm on the brakes, and i hit a bump, i hear a buzzing/humming type sound from under the hood?

missyob made me post this.
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Old 26th May 2005, 01:40   #27
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Only if you have electric assist brakes instead of the usual vaccuum assist brakes... That's all I can think of off the top of my head.


[edit]
Duh. I'm not thinking straight. That's your ABS module kicking in.
[/edit]
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Old 26th May 2005, 01:44   #28
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um... anti-lock?


elevatorladyelevatorladyelevatorladyelevatorladyelevatorladylevitateme
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Old 26th May 2005, 01:45   #29
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i figured it was some kind of newfangled shit like that. more of the car driving me instead of the other way round.

missyob made me post this.
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Old 26th May 2005, 01:57   #30
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I don't know if your car does it or not, but my truck runs a system self-diagnostic test on the ABS module after every engine start and once the truck passes about 8mph. It's just a shorter version of the buzzing/humming you hear when your ABS kicks in going over those bumps, but it only lasts a split second.
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Old 26th May 2005, 02:05   #31
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cant say i've ever heard it then. one of the first times i heard it was when i jumped the car. not like battery jumped, but general lee style. trying to make a yellow light across a crowned road.

missyob made me post this.
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Old 26th May 2005, 02:07   #32
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I've done that before... on several occasions.
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Old 26th May 2005, 14:35   #33
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my guess is that you have more suspension travel than i do. my front air dam/diffuser is always scraping something, its that low. the landing was something i never want to repeat. bone jarring and the noise of the suspension going full compression was not cool. when i parked i gave it the once over, no fluids leaking, no motor mounts broken, must be OK

missyob made me post this.
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Old 27th May 2005, 04:17   #34
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And yeah, the SS has a pretty decent amount of suspension travel. I've hit the jounce bumpers a few times, though.
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Old 27th August 2007, 15:16   #35
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Well, the right-side upper ball joint in my front suspension has entered self-destruct mode. The rubber grease boot on it has exploded, and the joint itself is on its way to failure. Now I have to fix it either today or tomorrow before the right front wheel plows into my fender well.
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Old 27th August 2007, 17:05   #36
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Take pictures of the truck on the porch this time :P

I came for the hatred.
I stayed for the ballbag.
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Old 27th August 2007, 21:27   #37
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Old 27th August 2007, 22:32   #38
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impressive thread revival, sarge.

Quote:
Originally posted by sgtfuzzbubble99


And yeah, the SS has a pretty decent amount of suspension travel. I've hit the jounce bumpers a few times, though.
the bumper on the front right of my work truck only clears the suspension arm by about 1/2" for some reason -- the left front clears by about 1-1/2" and the truck sits level.
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Old 28th August 2007, 00:06   #39
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Nothing a sledge hammer won't fix.
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Old 28th August 2007, 02:02   #40
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Quote:
Originally posted by sgtfuzzbubble99
Nothing a sledge hammer won't fix.
I was thinking more along the lines of making the truck not be overweight.
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