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88 Horizon Struts

Discussion in 'L: Horizon/Omni, Rampage, etc' started by cadman777, Jul 24, 2016.

  1. cadman777

    cadman777 Active Member

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    Sweet!
    TYVM!!
     
  2. cadman777

    cadman777 Active Member

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    Back at it.

    1. Can someone please tell me the easiest way to disconnect the steering column from the steering rack and reinstall? It's got a pin at the btm connection. Can't imagine trying to get a hammer and drift in there to drive it out. I found this in the FSM: "Pull column upward and rearward. The column has an upper coupling that can be 'slipped out' of the lower coupling without roll pin removal." If this is true, is there a way to make sure it "slips in" the correct position on re-assembly?

    2. Also, I can't find any "isolators" (top 2 bushings) for the rear struts. The 2 on each strut are flattened and worn. I need new ones (part no's 5204 969 & 5204 932). Anybody got a source for them? I can't find any anywhere.

    Thanx ... Chris
     
    #22 cadman777, Sep 5, 2016
    Last edited: Sep 5, 2016
  3. bamman

    bamman Part Connoisseur

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    The easiest way to disconnect the column is from inside the car. The steering rack is connected to an intermediate joint (the one with a pin at the bottom connection) which then connects to the steering column. There is a pin at the bottom and there is a bolt on the top. Its far easier to remove the bolt inside the car and then remove the steering rack with the intermediate joint attached. Furthermore, the intermediate joint connects to the column with the D shaped shaft, it will only install one way. The bottom connector with the pin will install multiple ways.

    Good luck on the isolators. They are made of such thick rubber that I've never seen them worn down, I've always reused them. I can't seem to find them anywhere as well.
     
  4. cadman777

    cadman777 Active Member

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    Thanx for the info, bamman.

    The book says the top connection will slip out (no mention of a bolt). Guess I'll find out in a few minutes ...

    There's about a 1/4" of 'play' btw the body and the top/btm rubber bushings. Ever see that? It causes a 'clunking' sound when going over speed bumps. The bushings should be 'pinching' the body shock tower. My first option was to find new bushings. 2nd option is to trim-back the sleeve 1/4" at a time till I get 'pinch'.
    Any comments on that?
     
  5. John Wood

    John Wood Well-Known Member

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    Actually the bottom fitting is splined into the steering rack and it is also keyed with one wide spline, so it can only go in one way.

    Definitely the way to separate the the rack and steering column is to remove the column mounting bolts and pull the entire column out of the D shaped slip joint. There will need to be at least one electrical plug that has to be disconnected (i.e. horn and multi-function switch) prior to lifting the column out. I believe this Horizon has a floor shifter, so there is no shift cable or shift indicator that has to be removed, making this job really easy.

    I really helps to have a helper when re-installing the column since the slip joint may fall to the side, making it a bit tough to line up while inserting the steering column shaft.

    The description of looseness in the top of the struts suggests that the upper strut mounts may be bad. The rubber may have totally deteriorated.
     
  6. cadman777

    cadman777 Active Member

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    This job went great.
    The only problem was w/the Monroe/Chinese shock isolators (turnbuckles).
    They didn't fit.
    Still trying to get some that do fit b/c the bushing was shot on the original.
    Also, RockAuto sent 4 of the wrong parts in the right box.
    Talk about doing the job over and over and over ... and not making Rock pay for it!
    Anyways, thing now sits right and rides like new.
    Steering really makes it run good.
    Rack cost about 100 bux, VERY cheap!
    Thing still gets 17-19 mpg. Pathetic!
     
  7. John Wood

    John Wood Well-Known Member

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    It sounds like it is running in open loop (i.e. no feedback from the O2 sensor or MAP sensor or coolant sensor for the computer to set the mixture). In open loop, the computer is pre-programmed to run the vehicle in a rich condition to protect against pre-ignition which can damage valves and pistons.

    You need to check the computer codes and see what shows up. Fuel injected Horizons typically get about 26 to 30+ MPG.
     
  8. cadman777

    cadman777 Active Member

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    Thanx John.
    I have no idea how to determine that other than by looking at the codes on the DRB II I've been using.
    Maybe I can capture a set of numbers and post them for you to look at?
    I've done a load of work on this car already, and still can't get it to get good gas mileage.
    It runs fine, but that's all.
    Not like in the old days w/carbs and mechanical fuel injection (both easy to fix).
    I HATED Type II & III VW's b/c of that dreaded EFI.
    Anyways, what say ye? Want to have a go at the DRB II numbers?
    Just tell me what conditions you want me to take the snapshot at and I'll do it.
    Otherwise, maybe you have a sure-fire way to tell if it's running in OL and what's causing it to do so?
    Thanx ...
     
  9. John Wood

    John Wood Well-Known Member

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    How about static codes? Is there anything stored?

    Make sure your vacuum lines behind the valve cover are not cracked allowing a vacuum leak. Also, check the port in the throttle body (the one that provides vacuum to the MAP sensor). On my 87 LeBaron, the throttle body port for the MAP sensor was totally closed off due to carbon build up. Low or not flow vacuum going to the MAP sensor can make the computer think that your vehicle is under load (like going up a big hill). Lower vacuum will occur when the throttle plate is opened substantially, so the MAP sensor sends out incorrect information to the computer when it doesn't have a good vacuum signal. Make sense? This is just one possibility, but generally any stored codes can provide a hint as to what is wrong.

    As always, make sure that you have good ignition components (plugs, wires, cap, and rotor).

    As a rule of thumb, (assuming good ignition parts), your O2 sensor and MAP sensor have quite an influence on MPG. Less likely items include: timing belt off 1 notch, restricted exhaust, low compression, excessive fuel pressure (regulator issue), and possibly a couple other items that don't immediately come to mind. :)
     
    #29 John Wood, Oct 2, 2016
    Last edited: Oct 2, 2016
  10. cadman777

    cadman777 Active Member

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    Thanx for your input John.

    Here's what's been done already:

    1. New O2 sensor (smoothed-out the rough running).
    2. New MAP sensor (fixed erratic running).
    Good vacuum to MAP sensor.
    3. New cam and crank seals & valve cover rubber type gasket.
    4. Rebuilt the throttle body. Needed a TPS due to 2 dead spots on it.
    5. fixed ALL vacuum leaks that were noticeable (mostly brittle plastic hoses and old vacuum lines, esp. PCV elbow.
    Didn't run a smoke generator on the intake system yet, b/c haven't made it (just got the parts for it).
    6. New plugs, wires, cap & rotor (general improvement running).
    7. No backpressure in intake manifold from restricted exhaust.
    8. Good cylinder compression on all 4.
    Haven't run a cylinder balance test yet, b/c don't yet have the gauges.
    9. New EGR valve eliminated hesitation at take-off from stop & stopped hesitation during steady throttle running down the highway.
    10. New timing belt & tensioner. Marks on flywheel & cam align where required.
    Timing re-set after belt change (w/ECT disconnected & proper procedure followed).
    11. New fuel injector (general improvement in running).
    12. No stored codes.

    It's my neighbor's car. He says it runs like a "scald [I should have my mouth washed out with soap for using such terms] ape".
    I'm sure I forgot to list other stuff I did to make it run right.
    I didn't put one part on the thing that it didn't need based on test results.
    It still gets bad gas mileage.

    Would the CAT determine the mileage?
    It's an 88 with original CAT.
    Would that need replacing after all these years?
    It has only about 50k miles on the car (an old lady owned it).
     
  11. John Wood

    John Wood Well-Known Member

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    I doubt it is the cat if the car runs that good. You've done about everything. I've never had a fuel pressure regulator malfunction on a 2.2 but have had one fail on a Ford. A slight leak in the diaphragm on the Ford allowed some direct fuel pump pressure to reach the injectors which is much higher than regulated pressure. The Ford was putting black smoke out the tail pipe on acceleration and got terrible gas mileage. Just a thought... but I have my doubts that a new FPR will change much. Maybe they put a minivan transmission in there at the factory by mistake... especially if you notice this car is fast off the line. :).
     
  12. cadman777

    cadman777 Active Member

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    Thanx for the info John.
    I'm going back to basics on this one to see if I overlooked anything.
    First thing I'm going to do is a cylinder differential pressure test.
    I made my own w/some spare gauges and HF parts.
    Question:
    Does the standard cylinder differential pressure tester have a check valve btw the shop air pressure gauge and the cylinder pressure gauge?
    Or is it a simple drilled block of alum manifold?
    Reason I ask is b/c I didn't put a check valve btw the 2 gauges.
    Does someone have a web page I can read to get the design of one?
    thanx ... Chris
     
  13. cadman777

    cadman777 Active Member

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    Answered myself:
    0.040" orifice before the testing gauge.
    Cost about 20 bux to make one of these w/stuff I had lying around.
    Amazing how expensive brass fittings are!
     

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