Okay, now it's actually time for the subframe installation and repairs to the damage caused by the control arm coming out.
I drove to my buddy's house to do the work in his driveway. On Saturday morning, I got my car up on jack stands, then got the HF engine bar in place, and started disassembly to remove the subframe, the control arms, the steering rack + tie rods, and the motor/transmission mounts. The front swaybar (stock 20mm with Energy Suspension poly bushings) would come out and get transferred over to the new subframe.
By Saturday evening, I had the old parts removed and the new subframe assembly nearly ready to install.
To get the AWD-style front engine mount to bolt onto the FWD subframe, there is a small nub on the bottom that contacts the control arm bushing bracket. It quickly gets trimmed off, and problem solved:
Starting again on Sunday morning, the new subframe had everything installed, and ready to get installed.
Here's the list of new parts for anyone who is interested:
Custom powder-coated FWD subframe w/ AWD transmission mount bracket and BNE Dynamics Delrin subframe bushings, OEM engine mounts, OEM 99 AWD transmission mount, TRW remanufactured FWD steering rack with inner tie rods, TRW outer tie rods, Lemforder end links, 93 850 aluminum control arms, new Meyle HD ball joints, new OEM ball joint bolts, and new hardware for everything else.
Here is where things started to go sideways...
With the subframe lined up and close to installed, I realized the rear engine mount on the FWD steering rack was hitting the downpipe and preventing the rack from moving upwards into position:
Knowing that I would have to remove the whole assembly, that was enough to stop my progress for the weekend.
Here's how it sat for a week until I could get back to work on it
Now, in the process of removing the power steering feed line from the rack a 2nd time in the weekend, the o-ring that seals the line into the the rack was damaged. So I looked up the part number, called the local dealership and ordered a couple of o-rings.
I got the o-rings picked up and the next weekend, I started work on my car again. Once the rack/subframe assembly was out of the car, I cut the rear engine mount bracket off the steering rack:
Shot it with some black paint to make the cut blend in and soothe my OCD after hacking up a brand new steering rack:
When I went to install the new o-ring on the power steering feed line, it was too small and didn't fit. Turns out, I gave them the wrong part number . I had to re-order the right o-rings, so that stopped my progress on re-assembling the subframe for the weekend.
When the control arm came out and the wheel got ripped backwards, the fender was yanked outwards as well. I posted some photos of the cosmetic damage in my earlier post. What also happened was that the lower fender bolt bracket got yanked out of the chassis and the captive nut was broken. You can see that at the bottom of the fender here:
I was able to find a "license plate nut" at Advance Auto Parts that fit properly and allowed me to bolt the fender back in place.
The fender still needs to be replaced, but this kept the lower portion from flapping around as badly as it did before.
I also took the opportunity to drain my ~2 year old OEM transmission fluid and replace with Redline Lightweight Shockproof. This calibrated syringe from FCP makes providing the proper 2.1 L of fluid incredibly easy and was a great purchase.
I had also noticed that the top mount of the passenger side coilover had gotten a small bend in the accident. Given that my CX Racing coils had been installed for a while and were starting to get rusty, so I decided to replace both front coilovers to be safe. As an unplanned purchase, I couldn't justify JRZs, or even BCs, so I decided to give the Maxspeedingrods non-dampening adjustable coilovers a chance. At $270 shipped, it was worth the gamble.
The shipped super quickly, which really was a pleasant surprise for free shipping. They looked alright so I got them installed on the car - I'll share some more detailed thoughts if anyone is interested.
I HATE the way the orange powdercoating looks on the car compared to the black CX coils, but it's not that big a deal in the grand scheme of things.
Then, on the THIRD weekend of this project, I had the correct PS o-ring and was able to get everything reassembled.
Safe to say, it made a tremendous improvement to how the car rides and handles. Between the delrin subframe bushings, fresh control arms, new steering rack / tie rods, the front end feel of the car is totally transformed for the better. My dash mounts are pretty destroyed, and this nearly eliminated all the squeaking over rough roads.
Next post I'll talk about alignment / new tires / unexpected issues portion of the subframe install saga...