A power steering assist motor, a new exhaust system and a fresh oil change
While an oil change is not newsworthy by nature it was just a tick mark off of my list of things to do.
The power steering assist motor was a byproduct of a handful of POWER STEERING calls that indicated a fault with the motor. And when it fails you instantaneously go into full manual mode. It caught me and I handled it OK but I don’t need Faye Dean in that situation so a quick r&r resolved that issue.
The new exhaust system was because of an issue with tubing rot at a couple of locations under the factory heat shielding. The new replacement system was a pair of pieces, a resonator tailpipe and a muffler. They were easily acquired and once the car was up in the air the sawzall made short work of the extraction. The only additional work was the obstinate converter flange bolts. A cutoff and a grinder eliminated those two problems in short time. The replacement parts went in uneventfully and is now solid and quiet. Nice!
The oil change was a perfect example of “while we are at it …“. I was due any how so it was a no-brainer to throw it on the list of goodies. I opted to try out the new Mobile 1 Extended Performance oil. It claims a 15k miles life and I am up to that. And with a new AC Delco filter it was a quicky.
Done! Done! And Done! What’s left to do?
One of the last pieces of the package is a trans fluid and filter change. I am on the 70K mark and I think it is due. But since the trans is a “sealed” type it is a bit more tricky to change. The pan drop, drain and filter swap is the normal scenario. It’s the refill that gets a bit goofy. Have a “dribble hole” level indicator is a pain because it is under the vehicle up on the side of the trans. And the only way to monitor this is with the car elevated and level. Great if you have a lift. Suckey, but doable, if you have to raise it yourself. Lots of work to do it on the cheap. The good part is that it’s not very often!
The last service will be to flush and refill the coolant. Once again not overly technical just messy. But then we should be good to go for a bit, at least.
So today will be busy finishing off the maintenance and moving on to other stuff. Stay tuned for more.
but the exhaust is toast!
Power Steering Assist Motor
The oem GM power steering assist motor which I acquired last week went in without a problem. The only sidebar for the r&r is that the brackets under the dash are frickin sharp! Wear a glove! After “putting a little bit of myself” into the project and patching myself up, THEN putting on a glove, it all went very smoothly. Excellent!
Now for the exhaust
Since I was already rummaging around on the HHR this morning I decided to do some discovery on a new woofing exhaust noise coming from the rear driver quarter. So after dragging out the trusty cardboard work cushion I scooted under that area but nothing appeared to be amiss. Then I went back to the muffler area. That revealed that the mid-mount pin had rotted off. Not a big issue since there is another at the muffler tail and it was intact. But not a good thing. On first viewing I did not see any other issues.
That’s when I decided to go ahead and start it up and see if I could pin it down. Once started the sound began. I crawled back under to locate this aggravating noise. To make it easier to locate I put my hand over the exhaust outlet to make some back pressure. And that did it! It was bleeding out in a pair of sections but from UNDER the heat shielding that is welded to the tube. Not visible from a simple look. Time for a new exhaust system!
The exhaust system on the HHR is pretty much like any other late model system an a 1-piece welded system. But, sadly, it is not stainless. So it is replaced in pieces parts. I’m not fooling around and just making it all go away. After some quick web searching I was able to locate the needed numbers for the Walker replacement parts. #56154 Exhaust resonator and pipe / #21572 Muffler. Now with the numbers on hand I made a quick call to my local supplier and they are on their way and should be available in a couple of hours. I am sure the bolts on the converter flange are most likely crap. I will just chuck them put in some new SS hardware.
So I guess I have a afternoon job planned. First I will take break for breakfast with Faye Dean and then tackle the rest later on. Not a real big job just awkward. But with a sawzall and some determination anything is possible! Right?! And , YES!, I will be wearing gloves!
If you haven’t seen Squeaky Toy in a while then here is your chance to see the project.
Door trim without ABS kick panel
Custom Dash and switch panel
Racing gauge panel
Switch pahel and gauges
Racing seats and 4 point harness
Grant removable wheel installed
Relocated spare and battery
Safety shutoff on thunk support
Trunk support at work
tail harness junction block under driver taillight
New B&M Quicksilver shifter
I have spent a lot of time trying to finish up the wiring on the 70. But I have been cleaning up a bunch of stuff as I go along. But this is just a batch of pics of the current state of repairs on this project. Enjoy!
I had a couple more “POWER STEERING” calls on the HHR yesterday
So I guess a fix is in store
I got the first call back on May 20 and I got two more while I was out and about yesterday, June 21. It appears that the problem has become chronic so a fix needs to be done ASAP. The call is a notification of a failure in the EPS [ Electronic Power Steering ] system. When it appears you instantaneously get full manual PS. Depending on when it happens it can be a bit surprising. There have already been a variety of recalls related to this failure on this family of vehicles. The quick and dirty temporary fix is a shut down and restart. That resets the fault. But it can, and will, return. The big fix is to simply replace the EPS motor.
What is EPS?
EPS [ Electronic Power Steering ] is used on a variety of GM vehicles and instead of the conventional fluid pump plumbed to the steering rack you have a high-torque motor plugged into the side of the steering column that actuates on-demand. No fluid involved. Simple and effective. Well … until it fails out!
Read More HERE
And a bit of research revealed that the normal mileage window for this failure is 60-70K. Right where I am at! The fix and R&R are actually very straight forward. A couple of 14mm bolts and a connector and that’s it! No adjusting needed. So a quick trip online to Amazon and I got a genuine GM replacement part [$68] ordered and on it’s way. I decided no rebuilt or aftermarket parts for this kind of part.
So I will wait for the new part to arrive and as soon as it gets here I will get it installed. I found the videos and watched them so it should be a simple see and do. They say about 30 minutes to fix. A pretty reasonable and easy fix for a a new car. Well .. 2006 is kinda new. Stay tuned!
Scarecrow seems to be my biggest motivator lately!
He was watching very intently from the console as I was doing some wiring on the 70 today
I have been playing catch up the last couple of days. Trying to figure out where I left off in the fall. I have a good idea where I am in the project now.
Scarecrow was pretty much on my shoulder the whole time I was working under the dash. I guess he is my quality monitor. I guess he thinks I need to get finished with the wiring ASAP! I did get a major portion of the dash wiring completed. All the under-dash gauge and gauge lighting wiring is done. Along with the engine gauge feeds. The stop light switch is plumbed. As is the turn signal switch.
The rear harness is in and now it is a matter of connecting the front and back turn signals in. As far as the running lights, sport lights and headlights they are all being plumbed to come on all at the same time. On or Off! That’s it! And I am opting out of high beams all together. When was the last time you used them? I don’t. So this is easy.
So, after a day of writhing around on my back under the dash of the 70 I took a break and went out for a cruise on Woodward in the 65. It was about 4ish so Woodward was packed with rush hour traffic. But no biggie! I’ve done the Dream Cruise a time or two! So a nice go round from here at 9 mile up to 16 Mile and back down to 9 mile and I was relaxed and the 65 got some exercise.
Now is Captain Morgan time! A bit of Captain Morgan, some peanuts and a big bag of Eric Johnson on the music box. This is nice!
More later! See ya!
Time for getting the cars ready for the new cruise season is upon us!
And some of us can’t wait for the fun to begin
And while I do a lot of the prep work it appears that the fever has hit my furry buddies too! After a day of cleaning and tuning my watchful buddy, Scarecrow, made it very clear that it was all good and that we needed to hit the streets!
It appears that while he may not be able to reach the pedals Scarecrow definitely has the window hang down solid! So the best I can say is “I’ll go grab the keys! We are heading out to cruise!”
Recoloring and refinishing my new wing
A color change for my HHR wing
On one of my recent forays to Parts Galore and Ryan’s U-Pick-It I came across an HHR with a factory wing. I went ahead and grabbed it off. It was another color of course so after getting it home it needed a recolor. Not a real big deal so I got to it.
A quick rub down with some 360 and then a full wipe down with solvent it was ready for primer. The rest was the normal prep and shoot with the matching body color. Then a couple of coats of clear and we are good to go.
Now I get to set up the wing to be bolted to the rear hatch. I will have to locate it on the door and drill the mount holes. And like most rear hatch units it is double paneled. So it will be a small task to locate the mount holes and drill the matching 1″ hole on the inside in order to bolt through the skin. But I will tackle that in the next few days if it decides to not rain. Fingers crossed.
Film at 11!