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Author Topic: Micksgarage and cheap wishbones  (Read 44950 times)

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Jim82

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Micksgarage and cheap wishbones
« on: 11 March 2024, 20:16:17 »

Looking at getting new wishbones for my Omega and came across an Irish website called Micksgarage.com.

They have wishbones for £24 a side plus £5 postage.  Are these a bargain? Or just too cheap to possibly be worth risking putting on my car? Anyone used the site before? Cheers

https://www.micksgarage.com/d/wishbones/vauxhall/vauxhall-omega/omega-estate-1993-to-2004/19179-2-6-v6-180-2597/products
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Re: Micksgarage and cheap wishbones
« Reply #2 on: 12 March 2024, 09:26:59 »

Thanks for this, I was leaning towards the ATP kit but there seem to be mixed reviews on here. Good value though given that the track rods are included in that kit  :y
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Re: Micksgarage and cheap wishbones
« Reply #3 on: 12 March 2024, 11:23:08 »

What is listed there is what I fitted to mine.

If you want shocks, Sachs are the factory fit and cheaper than Bilstien and fit better in my experience, springs I can recommend Kilen HD.

Yes shocks and springs will take you to £800 territory but the rewards are in how the car drives.
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Re: Micksgarage and cheap wishbones
« Reply #4 on: 12 March 2024, 14:37:37 »

I just use to refurb wishbones, set of poly bushes, new ball joints, and new rubber bushes, they will last longer than standard arms.
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Re: Micksgarage and cheap wishbones
« Reply #5 on: 14 March 2024, 17:33:17 »

Thats what I did. Best option by far.  :y
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Re: Micksgarage and cheap wishbones
« Reply #6 on: 16 March 2024, 20:57:21 »

I just use to refurb wishbones, set of poly bushes, new ball joints, and new rubber bushes, they will last longer than standard arms.
Exactly this :y
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Jim82

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Re: Micksgarage and cheap wishbones
« Reply #7 on: 22 March 2024, 23:22:49 »

What is listed there is what I fitted to mine.

If you want shocks, Sachs are the factory fit and cheaper than Bilstien and fit better in my experience, springs I can recommend Kilen HD.

Yes shocks and springs will take you to £800 territory but the rewards are in how the car drives.

I have a set of BOGE shocks I bought a while back which I believe are from the same factory as the Sachs ones.  Haven't got springs, how strongly would you recommend changing these (it's a 2003 estate with 90k miles on the clock)?

Cheers!
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Re: Micksgarage and cheap wishbones
« Reply #8 on: 23 March 2024, 00:10:44 »

If you're happy with how it rides and don't really use the car then  it's upto you, but equally, if you do change them then you will notice the difference. You have to remove the front springs if you change the front shocks anyway so it's only really the extra cost of the parts... Likewise the rears will practically fall out once the shocks are removed.

If it were mine I would do them if only for piece of mind, but you might get another 20-30k out of the springs/shocks as they are.
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Re: Micksgarage and cheap wishbones
« Reply #9 on: 02 April 2024, 15:17:02 »

I've managed to get hold of the ATP wishbones and steering arms. Spoke to my garage who usually do work on the Omega and they've quoted £780 labour to fit the above plus the front shocks,  I was expecting maybe 2 hours labour each side plus a wheel alignment.

Can anyone suggest if their price is reasonable, and/or can you recommend an omega friendly garage in the NW London - Oxfordshire area that might be able to assist?  Many thanks!
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Nick W

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Re: Micksgarage and cheap wishbones
« Reply #10 on: 02 April 2024, 15:52:08 »

£780!!! :o


I'd expect to spend less than 2hours per side doing the job in the street. I say that, because I have, several times. I still have a box with the few parts you don't replace(mainly the rubber isolators and upper spring cup) to build strut assemblies before starting the job, which makes an hour per side entirely feasible.


Personally, I wouldn't be reassembling a 90,000 mile suspension without replacing all of the wear parts: shocks, springs, top mounts, bump stops, strut bearings, wishbones and track rods. That's because at 90k, it's well past the nicely worn in stage, and is heading for distinctly tired. Most of these parts wear imperceptibly, and it can take someone who didn't recalibrate their brain as that happened to point out just how bad they've become. Changing them all, with a proper alignment utterly transforms how the car drives.


Estate doesn't make a difference to the front springs, as they're all the same. Rears are different to saloon, but fitting the non-self levelling springs is a good idea even if the levelling still works(it's essential if it doesn't!).


I could do this whole job if you don't mind driving around London and into Kent.




Have a pic of all the bits in almost the correct order:





1,4 & 5 are the only bits that are reused.
« Last Edit: 02 April 2024, 16:03:52 by Nick W »
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Re: Micksgarage and cheap wishbones
« Reply #11 on: 02 April 2024, 15:55:27 »

Whether their quote is reasonable or not depends on their labour rate, but I would take Nick up on his offer.

Just make sure it's not raining when you go or he might be inclined to charge more ;D
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Re: Micksgarage and cheap wishbones
« Reply #12 on: 03 April 2024, 16:26:24 »

£780!!! :o


I'd expect to spend less than 2hours per side doing the job in the street. I say that, because I have, several times. I still have a box with the few parts you don't replace(mainly the rubber isolators and upper spring cup) to build strut assemblies before starting the job, which makes an hour per side entirely feasible.


Personally, I wouldn't be reassembling a 90,000 mile suspension without replacing all of the wear parts: shocks, springs, top mounts, bump stops, strut bearings, wishbones and track rods. That's because at 90k, it's well past the nicely worn in stage, and is heading for distinctly tired. Most of these parts wear imperceptibly, and it can take someone who didn't recalibrate their brain as that happened to point out just how bad they've become. Changing them all, with a proper alignment utterly transforms how the car drives.


Estate doesn't make a difference to the front springs, as they're all the same. Rears are different to saloon, but fitting the non-self levelling springs is a good idea even if the levelling still works(it's essential if it doesn't!).


I could do this whole job if you don't mind driving around London and into Kent.


I'm trying to get the right balance of replacing the right parts and not spending over the odds on what is now an old car.  It seems to have had new shocks all round at some point in its life, and the rear self leveling system has been disconnected.  However I don't know if the springs have ever been changed. Interestingly both rear springs were advisories for being "worn" at the MOT in 2019, but not mentioned in 2020 when I bought the car.

My natural inclination is to replace everything, but the labour costs were getting silly, although changing top mounts, bump stops etc obviously shouldn't add any additional time.

Couple of photos here which show the condition of the springs front and rear - worth replacing?






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Nick W

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Re: Micksgarage and cheap wishbones
« Reply #13 on: 03 April 2024, 17:16:57 »

All a visual inspection of the springs will tell you is if they've snapped. But over time they lose some of their rate, which affects the ride height and quality which is usually such a gradual process the driver doesn't notice. The same applies to the top mounts, which look OK until you compare them to new ones that haven't compressed 10-15mm. A pair of springs are about £50, the top mounts with bearings(you can clean and re-grease them, but they're usually in a poor condition) about £30 per side, and the bumpstop/dustcover kit about £15. As you say, replacing these parts only adds a couple of minutes per side, most of which is swapping the spring compressor onto the new spring.


If the Omega front suspension wasn't such a fussy design requiring a full alignment after removing the struts for any reason, taking a gamble on some of those would be worth considering, especially as the cars age like this. But they are fussy, and a complete rebuild and alignment transforms even a car that seemed OK before the work.


How does  £125 to do all that sound, which would include a rough and ready alignment to make the car at least drivable.

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johnnydog

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Re: Micksgarage and cheap wishbones
« Reply #14 on: 03 April 2024, 17:24:36 »

Is it me, or is the edge of the tyre / rim on the first photo unusually close to, or even in contact with  the front strut?
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Re: Micksgarage and cheap wishbones
« Reply #15 on: 03 April 2024, 18:34:21 »

Is it me, or is the edge of the tyre / rim on the first photo unusually close to, or even in contact with  the front strut?
Sure does.  :)
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Re: Micksgarage and cheap wishbones
« Reply #16 on: 03 April 2024, 19:21:54 »

Is it me, or is the edge of the tyre / rim on the first photo unusually close to, or even in contact with  the front strut?

Well spotted!  This was taken when I first bought the car and was getting the wheel alignment sorted, it's not like that any more  :)
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Re: Micksgarage and cheap wishbones
« Reply #17 on: 03 April 2024, 19:34:26 »

I'm glad to hear that! You can see at the top of that photo where the inner side wall had been rubbing against the strut. Apart from the safety aspect and the excessive wear to rhe sidewall, the handling must have been pretty dire prior to having alignment done...
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Jim82

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Re: Micksgarage and cheap wishbones
« Reply #18 on: 03 April 2024, 19:37:15 »

All a visual inspection of the springs will tell you is if they've snapped. But over time they lose some of their rate, which affects the ride height and quality which is usually such a gradual process the driver doesn't notice. The same applies to the top mounts, which look OK until you compare them to new ones that haven't compressed 10-15mm. A pair of springs are about £50, the top mounts with bearings(you can clean and re-grease them, but they're usually in a poor condition) about £30 per side, and the bumpstop/dustcover kit about £15. As you say, replacing these parts only adds a couple of minutes per side, most of which is swapping the spring compressor onto the new spring.


If the Omega front suspension wasn't such a fussy design requiring a full alignment after removing the struts for any reason, taking a gamble on some of those would be worth considering, especially as the cars age like this. But they are fussy, and a complete rebuild and alignment transforms even a car that seemed OK before the work.


How does  £125 to do all that sound, which would include a rough and ready alignment to make the car at least drivable.

First of all, thanks so much for your input so far, it's been very enlightening hearing from someone who is so familiar with the job.

I guess I was hoping that someone might be able to look at the springs and say something like "there's still paint on them so they must be less than 5 years old" or something similarly reassuring. The rear one has an LR marking on it, which I believe means it isn't the original self-leveling spring, although it might have been secondhand when it was fitted of course.

That's a very kind offer to do the work, and I'd be more than happy to assist in any way I can.  Do you have any recommended brands/suppliers for the springs/top mounts/bump stops?  I'll try and do some shopping and get all the parts together in the next couple of weeks
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Re: Micksgarage and cheap wishbones
« Reply #19 on: 03 April 2024, 20:07:56 »

The spring with LR is a genuine GM spring for estate models with s/l suspension. Personally, if the s/l suspension was still operable with the  genuine s/l shocks, then the ride height will be correct and if LH and RH are a matched pair, I would have kept them,  rather than fitting aftermarket springs.
Never done it, as I like to keep my cars 'original', but the recommendation is to fit standard springs and shocks with the s/l disconnected.
Incidentally, a friend of mine fitted ATP wishbones, but they didn't last any time at all with premature bush failure.
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Jim82

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Re: Micksgarage and cheap wishbones
« Reply #20 on: 03 April 2024, 20:33:21 »

The spring with LR is a genuine GM spring for estate models with s/l suspension. Personally, if the s/l suspension was still operable with the  genuine s/l shocks, then the ride height will be correct and if LH and RH are a matched pair, I would have kept them,  rather than fitting aftermarket springs.
Never done it, as I like to keep my cars 'original', but the recommendation is to fit standard springs and shocks with the s/l disconnected.
Incidentally, a friend of mine fitted ATP wishbones, but they didn't last any time at all with premature bush failure.

That's interesting, I saw on another thread someone mentioned LK springs were for self-leveling so I assumed LR was a standard spring (never make assumptions!)
I like originality too wherever possible, but as I already have standard shocks fitted on the back I guess it makes sense to fit some standard springs to match them. In fact I think the rear shocks are a bit tired but I doubt I'll find any self-leveling ones to replace them with, certainly not on a tight budget.
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Re: Micksgarage and cheap wishbones
« Reply #21 on: 03 April 2024, 20:46:30 »

The spring with LR is a genuine GM spring for estate models with s/l suspension. Personally, if the s/l suspension was still operable with the  genuine s/l shocks, then the ride height will be correct and if LH and RH are a matched pair, I would have kept them,  rather than fitting aftermarket springs.
Never done it, as I like to keep my cars 'original', but the recommendation is to fit standard springs and shocks with the s/l disconnected.
Incidentally, a friend of mine fitted ATP wishbones, but they didn't last any time at all with premature bush failure.

That's interesting, I saw on another thread someone mentioned LK springs were for self-leveling so I assumed LR was a standard spring (never make assumptions!)
I like originality too wherever possible, but as I already have standard shocks fitted on the back I guess it makes sense to fit some standard springs to match them. In fact I think the rear shocks are a bit tired but I doubt I'll find any self-leveling ones to replace them with, certainly not on a tight budget.

You are correct Jim - LK are also estate s/l rear springs, but for a different era of chassis nos, although I cannot remember which. I have a pair nearly new GM LK springs that came off a late f/l ex police estate. When I found it in the breakers, it had had very recent complete new front strut assemblies, new wishbones, new rear s/l shocks and rear springs - all GM, but was scrapped presumeably due to at the time recent minor front end damage. Needless to say I removed and bought the lot for relatively little money!! :y
« Last Edit: 03 April 2024, 20:49:22 by johnnydog »
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Re: Micksgarage and cheap wishbones
« Reply #22 on: 04 April 2024, 00:47:10 »

There's not a lot of wiggle room there at the best of times.
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Re: Micksgarage and cheap wishbones
« Reply #23 on: 05 April 2024, 07:43:48 »

Kilen heavy duty springs would be my go to suggestion.

The standard SL springs might almost be considered dangerous when fitted with standard non self leveling shocks as the spring rates are much softer on account of the self leveling aspect of the shocks*

The naysayers will doubtless jump on this point, but at the end of the day GM fitted different springs for a reason.

Also, Atp wishbones are cheap, but the general advice is to replace the front bushes with Power flex poly bushes as a permanent fix prior to fitting the wishbones. Incorrect tightening of the standard bushes will see them fail almost immediately when the wheels are put back on the ground.
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Re: Micksgarage and cheap wishbones
« Reply #24 on: 05 April 2024, 16:54:13 »

Kilen heavy duty springs would be my go to suggestion.

The standard SL springs might almost be considered dangerous when fitted with standard non self leveling shocks as the spring rates are much softer on account of the self leveling aspect of the shocks*

The naysayers will doubtless jump on this point, but at the end of the day GM fitted different springs for a reason.

Also, Atp wishbones are cheap, but the general advice is to replace the front bushes with Power flex poly bushes as a permanent fix prior to fitting the wishbones. Incorrect tightening of the standard bushes will see them fail almost immediately when the wheels are put back on the ground.

Thanks for this. I am now looking to replace all 4 springs.  Do you have a recommendation for a supplier who has the Kilen springs in stock? I've seen a couple on ebay but they seem very pricey.  I've found KYB springs for about £40 each which seem reasonable and ATP in Germany have a pair of springs for £47, which might be too cheap to be a decent product?

Also Autovaux have Suplex front springs for a very good price, anyone got experience with these? Thanks again 
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Re: Micksgarage and cheap wishbones
« Reply #25 on: 05 April 2024, 17:23:16 »

The trouble with aftermarket springs is that although they may be listed for a particular vehicle and fitment, they sometimes are incorrect or inaccurate. I bought some Suplex rear springs that were listed as suitable for a 2.6/3.2 saloon fitted with 'rear level control' (s/levelling suspension), but when fitted, the car was 'jacked up ' at the rear like a dragster. I removed them and fitted a pair of genuine GM, which returned the ride height to the correct level. GM list a good number of springs (especially rears) for different vehicles and packages and use, so aftermarket spring manufactureres with a 'one springs fits all' approach I would suggest should be avoided. Whilst genuine are now hard to locate, I would suggest going off recommendation from other members experiences with aftermarket springs to retain the correct ride height etc
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Re: Micksgarage and cheap wishbones
« Reply #26 on: 05 April 2024, 17:35:01 »

That's a very kind offer to do the work, and I'd be more than happy to assist in any way I can.  Do you have any recommended brands/suppliers for the springs/top mounts/bump stops?  I'll try and do some shopping and get all the parts together in the next couple of weeks




I've never found any benefit in worrying much about brands for car parts, although there are few I won't buy due to limited, anecdotal experience. It's really easy to waste lots of time searching some ultimate part recommended by a stranger on the internet....


I bought all four springs for my car from ATP for less than any of the UK suppliers wanted for one estate rear. All quoted delivery dates as to be advised. The ATP order, which included some other stuff, arrived in three days.


ATP no longer seem to list the top mounts and bump stops which is a pain, although various UK supplier do with the usual variance in prices. I would buy them, including the strut bearings(sometimes included with the top mounts, so be careful), from a single source who could supply them all.


Given that your rear springs have probably been replaced recently, I suggest that new ones should be considered nice to have instead of just change them. Polyurethane wishbone front bushes are essential, whatever else you decide to do. Some careful shopping should get all the parts as discussed for under £200 per side. This is not a cheap job, but will make the car drive like new.
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Re: Micksgarage and cheap wishbones
« Reply #27 on: 05 April 2024, 19:19:39 »

That's a very kind offer to do the work, and I'd be more than happy to assist in any way I can.  Do you have any recommended brands/suppliers for the springs/top mounts/bump stops?  I'll try and do some shopping and get all the parts together in the next couple of weeks




I've never found any benefit in worrying much about brands for car parts, although there are few I won't buy due to limited, anecdotal experience. It's really easy to waste lots of time searching some ultimate part recommended by a stranger on the internet....


I bought all four springs for my car from ATP for less than any of the UK suppliers wanted for one estate rear. All quoted delivery dates as to be advised. The ATP order, which included some other stuff, arrived in three days.


ATP no longer seem to list the top mounts and bump stops which is a pain, although various UK supplier do with the usual variance in prices. I would buy them, including the strut bearings(sometimes included with the top mounts, so be careful), from a single source who could supply them all.


Given that your rear springs have probably been replaced recently, I suggest that new ones should be considered nice to have instead of just change them. Polyurethane wishbone front bushes are essential, whatever else you decide to do. Some careful shopping should get all the parts as discussed for under £200 per side. This is not a cheap job, but will make the car drive like new.

Thanks Nick.  With regards the rear springs someone in an earlier post suggested that they are the self-levelling spec springs according to the LR code which is visible, and that I should swap them for standard springs to match the standard shocks that it currently has.  I think I'll go for the ATP rears as they seem very good value. If they fail in the next couple of years at least they are easier to swap (for a better brand) than the front ones would be.  Similarly the front springs supplied by autovaux *should* be a decent quality, as they specialise in parts for Vauxhalls (or is that wishful thinking?)

It seems to be the consensus that poly bushes are the way to go - do these need a press to fit? Thanks again for the advice  :y
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Re: Micksgarage and cheap wishbones
« Reply #28 on: 05 April 2024, 19:33:03 »

as nick mentions it wouldnt do any harm to purchase some but not nesesarlily fit them yet.
if the rear springs are indeed selflevelling versions and the self levelling is not working then you would expect the rear of the car to be too low as it is now. or even look not too bad unloaded but be way too low with any passengers in the back ?   
if the rear level is good however then it suggests the rear springs are std versions. ( maybee aftermarket that just happen to have those letters printed on ? )
springs dont physically "wear out " as such but can become weak over time and the indication of this is a drop in level .  a spring  cannot technically become weak and stay at  the same height.
same scenario with the fronts. if the ride height is correct then the springs are good. yes they could snap tommorow. but so could a new one too !
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Re: Micksgarage and cheap wishbones
« Reply #29 on: 05 April 2024, 21:46:18 »

as nick mentions it wouldnt do any harm to purchase some but not nesesarlily fit them yet.
if the rear springs are indeed selflevelling versions and the self levelling is not working then you would expect the rear of the car to be too low as it is now. or even look not too bad unloaded but be way too low with any passengers in the back ?   
if the rear level is good however then it suggests the rear springs are std versions. ( maybee aftermarket that just happen to have those letters printed on ? )
springs dont physically "wear out " as such but can become weak over time and the indication of this is a drop in level .  a spring  cannot technically become weak and stay at  the same height.
same scenario with the fronts. if the ride height is correct then the springs are good. yes they could snap tommorow. but so could a new one too !

With regards the rear springs, the car seems to sit ok when empty, but it does sag a bit with a load in the boot.  I haven't seen another one to compare it to though, so I'm not really sure what's normal/expected.

With the front springs, again it looks like it might be lower than when new, but without another one to compare it to I can't be sure. Does anyone know the measurement between tyre and wheel arch for a 2.6 Elite?
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Re: Micksgarage and cheap wishbones
« Reply #30 on: 05 April 2024, 22:47:49 »

Can't help with the ride height as my car is long gone, but the new springs and uncompressed top-mounts raised the front of my car 30mm. The new rear springs didn't change the ride height as my self-levelling was working correctly, but the pump hardly ever needed to run instead of nearly every time the car was started. Overall ride improved from an wallowy, uncontrolled mess, to comfortable with similar differences in the handling.


I've fitted new springs and shocks to many of the cars I've owned in the last 35 years, and have never regretted any of them.


The poly bushes are a hand-tight push fit once you've removed the originals. That is quick and easy with a suitable tool, or dirty and longwinded butchery without. There isn't a downside to them as the factory bushes are a normal service item, and need to be fitted correctly which often doesn't happen. Here's the tool I made for the job:



and just after removing the bush:


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Re: Micksgarage and cheap wishbones
« Reply #31 on: 05 April 2024, 23:38:30 »

720mm from ground to centre of wheel arch from memory.
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Re: Micksgarage and cheap wishbones
« Reply #32 on: 05 April 2024, 23:44:18 »

The self leveling shocks firm up the rear end so GM fit softer springs to compensate.

The result will be akin to driving an old Cadillac and it won't help the life expectancy of the new shocks.

The front springs are the same for each engine type but there are variations according to the model... ie police/sport/mv6/Elite.
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Re: Micksgarage and cheap wishbones
« Reply #33 on: 06 April 2024, 09:53:37 »

The self leveling shocks firm up the rear end so GM fit softer springs to compensate.

The result will be akin to driving an old Cadillac and it won't help the life expectancy of the new shocks.

The front springs are the same for each engine type but there are variations according to the model... ie police/sport/mv6/Elite.

Found this on 7Zap which suggests the LR springs I have fitted are for "lowered sports chassis" (MV6?) "with towbar".

SPRING,ASSY.,REAR,IDENT LR (SET) (USED WITH LOWERED SPORTS CHASSIS) (USED WITH REMOVABLE TOWING ATTACHMENT) (PRODUCTION NO. 90539143)

Wondering if these were fitted from another car when the self leveling shocks were removed.  It certainly doesn't ride like an old Cadillac (I have one of those too!) so maybe they were fitted as a compromise. I believe self levelling suspension was available on MV6s but as a cost option, so if these are MV6 springs they are likely to be from a car without it.  I don't particularly want the car to sit low though, especially if I renew the front suspension and raise the height at the front.
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Re: Micksgarage and cheap wishbones
« Reply #34 on: 09 April 2024, 11:44:51 »

Does anyone have a recommendation for the poly bushes for the front wishbones? I've seen Powerflex mentioned but Strongflex bushes are a bit cheaper..
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Re: Micksgarage and cheap wishbones
« Reply #35 on: 09 April 2024, 12:52:39 »

Only ever used Poweflex, and to good effect, so no reason to recommend an unknown based on price.
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Re: Micksgarage and cheap wishbones
« Reply #36 on: 09 April 2024, 21:45:15 »

Powerflex...  Drill old ones out, then cut the metal holder being careful not to slice the wishbone, remove old ball joints, bolt new ones on, remove rear bush same process as front, and replace with new rubber bush.
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Re: Micksgarage and cheap wishbones
« Reply #37 on: 11 April 2024, 10:15:04 »

Powerflex...  Drill old ones out, then cut the metal holder being careful not to slice the wishbone, remove old ball joints, bolt new ones on, remove rear bush same process as front, and replace with new rubber bush.

Thanks, have ordered the Powerflex ones now :y
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Re: Micksgarage and cheap wishbones
« Reply #38 on: 11 April 2024, 10:42:16 »

I wouldnt just replace the balljoints (like I did). I found out after I did it that the balljoints actually dont tend to wear out, so if they aint broke dont fix them.
Rear bushes (if still readily available?) need pressing out  / in. It helps to put the new bushes in the freezer overnight, and gently heat the area of the arm they go into, just before fitting.
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Re: Micksgarage and cheap wishbones
« Reply #39 on: 11 April 2024, 11:29:31 »

yes i would agree with that . the original balljoints are usually long lasting and good quality . if there is still a degree of stiffness in their movement i would just carefully examine the boot and regrease . some aftermarket stuff doesnt last long !
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Re: Micksgarage and cheap wishbones
« Reply #40 on: 11 April 2024, 11:59:48 »

I'm the same with balljoints, only replace if necessary.  The originals usually last the life of the car TBH. The pattern ones are shite.  The ones ATP use are shite from the beginning ;D
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Re: Micksgarage and cheap wishbones
« Reply #41 on: 12 April 2024, 05:40:29 »

I'm the same with balljoints, only replace if necessary.  The originals usually last the life of the car TBH. The pattern ones are shite.  The ones ATP use are shite from the beginning ;D
The 'life' of the car being 100k ish...

Once you replace the ball joints, it becomes a bolt on serviceable part.

Yes the ATEC arms from ATP are cheap and cheerful, but with the poly bush mod they are a cost effective solution. Especially when you consider that the genuine arms each cost more than a scrap Omega. Even refurbishing the factory arms with genuine VX/GM parts costs far more than the ATP wishbones.

An alternative approach would be to treat the ATP arms as disposable but keep the original GM arms and refurbish them with genuine bushes/ball joints and probably Poly bush the fronts ready for when the ATP ones fail. And that of course presumes the wishbones are the ones it left the factory with... Which is highly unlikely.

At the end of the day, what works for one won't always work for someone else.

Speaking personally, I have fitted ATP arms to my own cars and have always found them to out perform their price point.
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Re: Micksgarage and cheap wishbones
« Reply #42 on: 12 April 2024, 14:30:17 »

I'm the same with balljoints, only replace if necessary.  The originals usually last the life of the car TBH. The pattern ones are shite.  The ones ATP use are shite from the beginning ;D
The 'life' of the car being 100k ish...
The GM balljoints last far longer.  On all my Omegas, I only ever had 1 (genuine GM) get any play.  "I" (well, Gixer, as he has a press ;D) used to press in a new genuine GM rearward bush (fronts always poly'd) and pop it back on (or in my case, we always had a spare set already done, so could just replace the wishbone and the removed ones could be refurbed at leisure, and put into spares stock.

Yes the ATEC arms from ATP are cheap and cheerful, but with the poly bush mod they are a cost effective solution. Especially when you consider that the genuine arms each cost more than a scrap Omega. Even refurbishing the factory arms with genuine VX/GM parts costs far more than the ATP wishbones.
I think Chris and I were paying £14 per side, for the rearward bush.  Suspect thats far more cost effective that a new pattern wishbone that doesn't really last

Speaking personally, I have fitted ATP arms to my own cars and have always found them to out perform their price point.
They do seem to have a short life compared to what I used to use (completely ignoring fornt bush, as thats irrelevant, obviously)


For anyone already on pattern wishbones, the economics change though, as genuine wishbones are probably outrageously priced.
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Re: Micksgarage and cheap wishbones
« Reply #43 on: 12 April 2024, 15:29:35 »

I'm the same with balljoints, only replace if necessary.  The originals usually last the life of the car TBH. The pattern ones are shite.  The ones ATP use are shite from the beginning ;D
The 'life' of the car being 100k ish...
The GM balljoints last far longer.  On all my Omegas, I only ever had 1 (genuine GM) get any play.  "I" (well, Gixer, as he has a press ;D) used to press in a new genuine GM rearward bush (fronts always poly'd) and pop it back on (or in my case, we always had a spare set already done, so could just replace the wishbone and the removed ones could be refurbed at leisure, and put into spares stock.

I found out by trial and error that Genuine GM rear bushes can move when pressed into Lemforder wishbones, therefore the only option inmho is to refurbish genuine GM wishbones or just buy new Lemforder wishbones and swap the front for Poly from new.

Yes the ATEC arms from ATP are cheap and cheerful, but with the poly bush mod they are a cost effective solution. Especially when you consider that the genuine arms each cost more than a scrap Omega. Even refurbishing the factory arms with genuine VX/GM parts costs far more than the ATP wishbones.
I think Chris and I were paying £14 per side, for the rearward bush.  Suspect thats far more cost effective that a new pattern wishbone that doesn't really last
Speaking personally, I have fitted ATP arms to my own cars and have always found them to out perform their price point.
They do seem to have a short life compared to what I used to use (completely ignoring fornt bush, as thats irrelevant, obviously)

For anyone already on pattern wishbones, the economics change though, as genuine wishbones are probably outrageously priced.

I did buy a job lot of genuine GM rear bushes very cheaply, still got a couple I think, but as above, had issues with them in 3rd party wishbones.
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Re: Micksgarage and cheap wishbones
« Reply #44 on: 14 April 2024, 20:43:16 »

Yeah, worth keeping the GM wishbones for that very reason.
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Re: Micksgarage and cheap wishbones
« Reply #45 on: 14 April 2024, 20:58:38 »

Yeah, worth keeping the GM wishbones for that very reason.
Unfortunately, you're stuck with whatever is currently fitted to the car, and 21 years after the last one was built they're highly unlikely to be the genuine ones.
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Re: Micksgarage and cheap wishbones
« Reply #46 on: 15 April 2024, 10:35:44 »

Hence I always suggest people with GM ones refurb them, rather than replace with crap.  Its a bit extra work, but cheaper and will last longer.
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Re: Micksgarage and cheap wishbones
« Reply #47 on: 15 April 2024, 14:32:43 »

Hence I always suggest people with GM ones refurb them, rather than replace with crap.  Its a bit extra work, but cheaper and will last longer.

Is there any easy to spot tell tale that they are original GM? GM logo somewhere?
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Re: Micksgarage and cheap wishbones
« Reply #48 on: 15 April 2024, 15:29:26 »

Hence I always suggest people with GM ones refurb them, rather than replace with crap.  Its a bit extra work, but cheaper and will last longer.

Is there any easy to spot tell tale that they are original GM? GM logo somewhere?


They'll look like they were rescued from the Titanic; rusty and covered in crap off the road. You're getting bogged down in details that are unimportant.


You've got new wishbones, so fit the front poly bushes and get them on the car. They'll be an improvement. If the removed ones look vaguely saveable, keep them. If they don't, bin them. To me, the only thing the originals do better than refurbished ones is that the ball joints are rivetted on, not bolted.
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Re: Micksgarage and cheap wishbones
« Reply #49 on: 15 April 2024, 16:17:51 »

Hence I always suggest people with GM ones refurb them, rather than replace with crap.  Its a bit extra work, but cheaper and will last longer.

Is there any easy to spot tell tale that they are original GM? GM logo somewhere?


They'll look like they were rescued from the Titanic; rusty and covered in crap off the road. You're getting bogged down in details that are unimportant.


You've got new wishbones, so fit the front poly bushes and get them on the car. They'll be an improvement. If the removed ones look vaguely saveable, keep them. If they don't, bin them. To me, the only thing the originals do better than refurbished ones is that the ball joints are rivetted on, not bolted.
Also a moot point once they've been replaced as there isn't a single supplier of ball joints that supplies them with rivets.

And being bolted on actually makes them MORE serviceable, not less ;)
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Re: Micksgarage and cheap wishbones
« Reply #50 on: 15 April 2024, 18:26:20 »

To me, the only thing the originals do better than refurbished ones is that the ball joints are rivetted on, not bolted.
The balljoints usually last nearly forever, and the rear bushes are dirt cheap and readily available.  Once you fit the other shite, you lose these benefits.

Obviously, if you only plan on keeping it another 18 months, it's a moot point. As if somebody has already put pattern ones on.
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Re: Micksgarage and cheap wishbones
« Reply #51 on: 15 April 2024, 20:43:47 »

Hence I always suggest people with GM ones refurb them, rather than replace with crap.  Its a bit extra work, but cheaper and will last longer.

Is there any easy to spot tell tale that they are original GM? GM logo somewhere?

To specifically answer your question Jim, the three rivits for the ball joint on original GM wishbones is a flat profile both sides, with a dimple in the centre on the upper side as a guide for drilling it out should the ball joint ever require replacing - all pattern / aftermarket wishbones seem to have domed rivets.
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Re: Micksgarage and cheap wishbones
« Reply #52 on: 15 April 2024, 23:06:08 »

To me, the only thing the originals do better than refurbished ones is that the ball joints are rivetted on, not bolted.
The balljoints usually last nearly forever, and the rear bushes are dirt cheap and readily available.  Once you fit the other shite, you lose these benefits.

Obviously, if you only plan on keeping it another 18 months, it's a moot point. As if somebody has already put pattern ones on.
Every Omega I have ever owned has required ball joints, so not sure where you get that idea from. :-\
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Re: Micksgarage and cheap wishbones
« Reply #53 on: 16 April 2024, 11:19:38 »

Iíve only ever had one genuine ballpoint fail. And I ran all mine on genuine wishbones, which just kept getting refurbed apart from the first time when I bought a pair (back when they were dirt cheap).

Thatís where I get that idea from.

Virtually all of the shagged ball joints Iíve seen have been on pattern arms. Most of them the shit provided (when they can be arsed to post) by ATP
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Re: Micksgarage and cheap wishbones
« Reply #54 on: 16 April 2024, 12:12:17 »

I thought that wishbones that had the harder polly bushes fitted had a tendency to crack  :-\ :-\
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Re: Micksgarage and cheap wishbones
« Reply #55 on: 16 April 2024, 12:45:49 »

I thought that wishbones that had the harder polly bushes fitted had a tendency to crack  :-\ :-\

Only if you fit them to the back,
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Re: Micksgarage and cheap wishbones
« Reply #56 on: 16 April 2024, 12:49:19 »

Yeah, never found a workable solution to the rearward bush, other than replace with another rubber one.

Polyíd fronts are fine :)
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Re: Micksgarage and cheap wishbones
« Reply #57 on: 16 April 2024, 12:56:49 »

Iíve only ever had one genuine ballpoint fail. And I ran all mine on genuine wishbones, which just kept getting refurbed apart from the first time when I bought a pair (back when they were dirt cheap).

Thatís where I get that idea from.

Virtually all of the shagged ball joints Iíve seen have been on pattern arms. Most of them the shit provided (when they can be arsed to post) by ATP
Had no issues with Febi or Delphi ball joints fitted to aftermarket arms.

I didn't have the budget to spend £500 on wishbones so was quite happy to accept the life expectancy of cheaper arms and refurbish them as required.

I thought that wishbones that had the harder polly bushes fitted had a tendency to crack  :-\ :-\

Only if you fit them to the back,
This.

A vast improvement at the time, but only lasted about 7k miles. I don't recall the make of the wishbone that failed, but it could have been anything from GM to ATP special.

However, when fitted, those  rear polys made one hell of a difference to the way the car drove.
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Re: Micksgarage and cheap wishbones
« Reply #58 on: 16 April 2024, 13:08:40 »

I thought that wishbones that had the harder polly bushes fitted had a tendency to crack  :-\ :-\

Only if you fit them to the back,

I knew there was something about polly bushes ..... it's been a while since my Omega days  :y
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Re: Micksgarage and cheap wishbones
« Reply #59 on: 16 April 2024, 19:57:31 »

Hence I always suggest people with GM ones refurb them, rather than replace with crap.  Its a bit extra work, but cheaper and will last longer.

Is there any easy to spot tell tale that they are original GM? GM logo somewhere?


They'll look like they were rescued from the Titanic; rusty and covered in crap off the road. You're getting bogged down in details that are unimportant.


You've got new wishbones, so fit the front poly bushes and get them on the car. They'll be an improvement. If the removed ones look vaguely saveable, keep them. If they don't, bin them. To me, the only thing the originals do better than refurbished ones is that the ball joints are rivetted on, not bolted.

I was just curious really, if mine turns out to have GM ones on it currently I'll save them and refurb for next time.  If not, they can indeed go in the bin.

 
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Re: Micksgarage and cheap wishbones
« Reply #60 on: 17 April 2024, 08:55:28 »

I was just curious really, if mine turns out to have GM ones on it currently I'll save them and refurb for next time.  If not, they can indeed go in the bin.
I think this is the best solution :y
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Re: Micksgarage and cheap wishbones
« Reply #61 on: 18 April 2024, 16:11:35 »

How does  £125 to do all that sound, which would include a rough and ready alignment to make the car at least drivable.

Hi Nick, I've sent you a message if you are still able to help with this?

Cheers  :y
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Re: Micksgarage and cheap wishbones
« Reply #62 on: 09 May 2024, 09:32:01 »

Still looking to get this done, Nick I'm not sure if my messages are getting through? Or if anyone can recommend an Omega friendly garage in the London area?

Many thanks
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Re: Micksgarage and cheap wishbones
« Reply #63 on: 09 May 2024, 18:59:20 »

Sorry, I seem to have been blind for a while :-[


Yes, I can still help with this. Is there a particular date that would suit you?
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Re: Micksgarage and cheap wishbones
« Reply #64 on: 10 May 2024, 13:36:08 »

Sorry, I seem to have been blind for a while :-[


Yes, I can still help with this. Is there a particular date that would suit you?

No worries at all, what dates suit you?  I work shifts so sometimes have days off midweek. I could possibly do Sun 26th May, Sat 1st June, or if midweek works better let me know and I'll check my diary.

Thanks again!
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Jim82

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Re: Micksgarage and cheap wishbones
« Reply #65 on: 19 May 2024, 08:18:21 »

Sorry, I seem to have been blind for a while :-[

Hi Nick, any update on when suits?
Many thanks

Yes, I can still help with this. Is there a particular date that would suit you?
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Nick W

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Re: Micksgarage and cheap wishbones
« Reply #66 on: 20 May 2024, 11:56:44 »

Sorry, I seem to have been blind for a while :-[

Hi Nick, any update on when suits?
Many thanks

Yes, I can still help with this. Is there a particular date that would suit you?




PM'd you.


Finally :-[
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