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bmiceelf
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PostSubject: rear suspension camber issue/ question   Thu Jan 06, 2011 3:17 am

Hello I'm new to this forum as well as Riv ownership.
I recently purchased a "97 Riv SC with 175k that was sitting very low in the rear at time of purchase which didn't concern me bc I'd read multiple suspension threads that indicated the likely cause was worn rear shocks, however after installing a set of Monroe MA822's and bypassing my faulty ELC (compressor inop), However upon filling the new shocks the rear wheels remain towed in at the top even with the rear end above normal ride height. Where should I begin the process of elimination to rectify this?
I bought this car because I love the way they look, and owners past and present seemed to love them. I drove it on the road for the very first time today, as it had no brakes, which I thought was the master cylinder, however, it turned out to be rusted brake lines which I replaced coming off the ABS valve block. In addition, it has the service engine lite on and on my maiden voyage today I noticed what sounds like a bad left front wheel bearing. Any and all help would be deeply appreciated as I want to determine if I've made a collossal mistake in ($440.00) what appeared to be a nice project car which has an excellent body and interior, and fully loaded. Bottom line, I'd like to enjoy this car if I can do so within reason of course. Thanks again in advance for any help, this site is awesome by the way.

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robotennis61
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PostSubject: Re: rear suspension camber issue/ question   Thu Jan 06, 2011 3:22 am

What you have is a "camber " problem. where the vertical inclination of the wheel is either pointed in or pointed out. the 95 that i have is not adjustable for camber. i dont know about the 97. it might be that you have to fill the shock with a little more air. otherwise it sounds weird to me that you would have this prob. check things out real good, double check the length of the shocks and match part #s on the shock to the #s on the box they came in. check the mounting points in the trunk too
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PostSubject: Re: rear suspension camber issue/ question   Thu Jan 06, 2011 10:26 am

Yeah, that's strange. The camber isn't adjustable on a '97. I just went and looked at mine. I read your post and went scratch . I suppose if the lower control arm bushings were worn out, the suspension would "relax", kicking the bottom of the tires out. But, if that were the case, you'd more than likely have mad rattles/clunks when driving. Has the car been in an accident of any kind? The upper shock mounts wouldn't cause a camber-in situation. The "knuckle" on the rear is solid and cannot move i.e. it has no ball joints. I was looking at my car again just now (I'm editing), and the body line of the car may be throwing you off. The rear wheels appear to be cambered and towed-in because the rear end starts to narrow at the fender. The front of tire is inside the fender, and the rear of it is outside. This, paired with the top of the fender sticking out, and flaring in towards the bottom gives it a weird appearance. I'd have to see a picture of it to know if you have a problem.


Last edited by Abaddon on Thu Jan 06, 2011 10:35 am; edited 1 time in total
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PostSubject: Re: rear suspension camber issue/ question   Thu Jan 06, 2011 10:34 am

I've noticed the same on my 96. Slight neg. camber in the rear tires. I have aftermarket air shocks. I've noticed the amount of camber changes depending on where I am parked (which makes sense, if the ground is uneven).

Since camber is typically used to help handling, I concluded that this was normal for a car this size. Any shop with alignment equipment can tell you if its within specs or not.
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PostSubject: Re: rear suspension camber issue/ question   Thu Jan 06, 2011 11:39 am

So...the consensus is, bmiceelf, is that you are just weird! smile...jus kiddin my friend..For the Riv to have such a problem would mean either she took a good hit at some point,the shocks aren't filled enough..or you're good friends with RickW and together the 2 of you are abusing pharmaceuticals...Just say NO!!


(btw where is RickW?)
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PostSubject: Re: rear suspension camber issue/ question   Thu Jan 06, 2011 11:43 am

regarding the wheel bearing - if you can do brakes you can replace the wheel bearing, but get a good pair like Timken from Rockauto.com or another discount place because at full price htey will be more than you paid for the car. Pricey because the ABS sensor/tone wheel is built in. Basically you pull the wheel and brake caliper then take off 4 bolts that hold the bearing assembly on.

regarding the rear end - could be an optical illusion. could be weak springs. could be weak shock mounts. could be broken/missing lateral arms (links from the spindles to a carrier that's about where the diff would be if the Riv was RWD). could be the ride height you set is still too low, did you get the spec? as for the ELC and compressor, you might want to get a compressor from Wilberts in Webster NY (they will ship) or a yard near you. Sometimes you can take the parts off one (like for a pontiac van or some such) and put them on your mounting base if it is not too rusted. Not sure though. Just sayin' -- it's a fairly simple system and it won't give much if any trouble once you fix it.

Parting shot - you say you want to enjoy this car, that's great we all enjoy ours too -- you are going to need a service manual set, if you "wait" on eBay you'll find one they run $25 - $50 used on line. I would not bother with a Chilton for this car. You will also want a scanner (not just code reader) but for the time being you can go to a parts store (say AutoZone) and have them pull the codes for your SES light so you can tell us what it is maybe we can help you with that too.

Albertj


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bmiceelf
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PostSubject: Re: rear suspension camber issue/ question   Thu Jan 06, 2011 10:41 pm

Guy's, thanks so much for your help.
I drove the Riv again today for about 5 miles or so it seems to run smoothly when cold, but once it reaches 160-200 engine temp it begins to lope in idle or in traffic, hesitate on acceleration yet it remains running then smoothes out alternately. Also the engine revs strong to about 3500 RPM then falls off as though bouncing off a rev limiter. It appears the previous owner had installed both a CPS and MAF. Suspension wise I noticed a clunk or rattle from the right rear when driving over road imperfections. The car has no paint work, or structural indications of previous hard hit anywhere, that being said, I've had the rear end in the air when installing the MA822's and on each occassion the rear wheels hit the ground with what appears to be normal camber, however once the car is rolled a few feet the negative camber is returned. I'll get my hands on the manual, get it over to Autozone and have the codes read, then get it on a lift to inspect the control arms links, bushing etc for damage. By the way, what about the T shaped rear suspension carrier, can those fail due to rust damage? Thanks again in advance and safe journeys to all!
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PostSubject: Re: rear suspension camber issue/ question   Thu Jan 06, 2011 11:03 pm

AHH!! the T shaped rear suspension carrier otherwise known as the "rear suspension support assembly" let me tell you what i think. Now that the suspension is no longer under the "self leveling system" the T carrier is no longer needed. technically its a sort of fulcrum that GM devised to help the self leveling feature remain level and do its job or some such nonsense.A GM engineer could rattle off a hundred reasons why it works perfectly,and it does. but you don't need it now. you no longer have the system working. so what do you do? you have to find a way to compress the T carrier against the chassis and bolt it to same. next time you have the rear end jacked up,place a jack stand under the T carrier and slowly lower the car onto the jack.You will see the T carrier settle against the chassis,now lift the car again and you will see the T carrier gain about 3" of distance from the chassis. this is part of the self leveling system. a fulcrum. bolt down the T carrier against the chassis and the knocks and bangs will go away. the oem set up always had the Air shocks and the T carrier in a constant state of suspension regardless of the weight in the trunk or weight of the passengers. I have a mod in mind that involves steel plates and through bolts but havnt had the time to do it. you be the first


Last edited by robotennis61 on Fri Jan 07, 2011 12:01 pm; edited 1 time in total
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PostSubject: Re: rear suspension camber issue/ question   Fri Jan 07, 2011 1:02 am

robotennis61 wrote:
AHH!! the T shaped rear suspension carrier otherwise known as the "rear suspension support assembly" let me tell you what i think. Now that the suspension is no longer under the "self leveling system" the T carrier is no longer needed. technically its a sort of fulcrum that GM devised to help the self leveling feature remain level and do its job or some such nonsense.A GM engineer could rattle off a hundred reasons why it works perfectly,and it does. but you don't need it now. you no longer have the system working. so what do you do? you have to find a way to compress the T carrier against the chassis and bolt it to same. next time you have the rear end jacked up,place a jack stand under the T carrier and slowly lower the car onto the jack.You will see the T carrier settle against the chassis,now lift the car again and you will see the T carrier gain about 3" of distance from the chassis. this is part of the self leveling system. a fulcrum. bolt down the T carrier against the chassis and the knocks and bangs will go away. the oem set up always had the Air shocks and the T carrier in a constant state of suspension regardless of the weight in the trunk or weight of the passengers. I have a mod in mind that invloves steel plates and through bolts but havnt had the time to do it. you be the first

without Robo being there to weld/cut all the mods required for this, I am not certain I'd do this... just sayin'...

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PostSubject: Re: rear suspension camber issue/ question   Fri Jan 07, 2011 1:12 am

bmiceelf wrote:
Guy's, thanks so much for your help.
I drove the Riv again today for about 5 miles or so it seems to run smoothly when cold, but once it reaches 160-200 engine temp it begins to lope in idle or in traffic, hesitate on acceleration yet it remains running then smoothes out alternately. Also the engine revs strong to about 3500 RPM then falls off as though bouncing off a rev limiter. It appears the previous owner had installed both a CPS and MAF. Suspension wise I noticed a clunk or rattle from the right rear when driving over road imperfections. The car has no paint work, or structural indications of previous hard hit anywhere, that being said, I've had the rear end in the air when installing the MA822's and on each occassion the rear wheels hit the ground with what appears to be normal camber, however once the car is rolled a few feet the negative camber is returned. I'll get my hands on the manual, get it over to Autozone and have the codes read, then get it on a lift to inspect the control arms links, bushing etc for damage. By the way, what about the T shaped rear suspension carrier, can those fail due to rust damage? Thanks again in advance and safe journeys to all!

yes there is a rev limiter, basically you can't play with the accelerator with no load or the PCM cuts off the fuel.

pardon my directness but instead of only posting about it one way we could help your rear suspension is if you take photos under there and post them. For instance that clunk in the right rear could be the top mount's not tight enough or some such. It could be the spare bouncing around in the trunk well.

as for the negative camber it might be your install of the air shocks is leaking for some reason?!?

the bad warm running might even be bad/stale fuel...

did you find a manual set yet?

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PostSubject: Re: rear suspension camber issue/ question   Fri Jan 07, 2011 1:24 am

[quote="bmiceelf"]Guy's, thanks so much for your help.
I drove the Riv again today for about 5 miles or so it seems to run smoothly when cold, but once it reaches 160-200 engine temp it begins to lope in idle or in traffic, hesitate on acceleration yet it remains running then smoothes out alternately. Also the engine revs strong to about 3500 RPM then falls off as though bouncing off a rev limiter. It appears the previous owner had installed both a CPS and MAF.

I too had an exact problem like yours. I bought a set of junk yard injectors and that took care of that. I also found out that the shop where i took my Riv to after it died,installed a computer with a NON S/C eprom chip! you can go to MRinjector.com and buy a complete overhaul kit for your injectors that includes,new filter,orings and pintl caps. or you can send him your old ones to be cleaned for $18 each. it really helps when they're clean.
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PostSubject: Re: rear suspension camber issue/ question   Fri Jan 07, 2011 1:25 am

albertj wrote:
...as for the ELC and compressor, you might want to get a compressor from Wilberts in Webster NY (they will ship)...

WOW! I didn't know they were so well known! That was my home town! joy I spent some time in there as a kid with my dad getting parts for a dodge dart and a ford econoline van. The only problem with parts from yards in the NE is all the rust and corrosion over all the parts. sad

I wish I had a free second this month to go run around the "DRY" Vegas yards and let you guys know what's available here. I just started a new job and it has me going 16 hr days right now. Once I settle in, I'll see if I can hook you guys up.

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PostSubject: Re: rear suspension camber issue/ question   Fri Jan 07, 2011 11:10 am

VegasScott wrote:
albertj wrote:
...as for the ELC and compressor, you might want to get a compressor from Wilberts in Webster NY (they will ship)...

WOW! I didn't know they were so well known! That was my home town! joy I spent some time in there as a kid with my dad getting parts for a dodge dart and a ford econoline van. The only problem with parts from yards in the NE is all the rust and corrosion over all the parts. sad

I wish I had a free second this month to go run around the "DRY" Vegas yards and let you guys know what's available here. I just started a new job and it has me going 16 hr days right now. Once I settle in, I'll see if I can hook you guys up.

VegasScott

Also might want to try Ed Morad, moradpartscompany.com - Wilberts more likely because those little compressors are so widely used across GM lines.

Albertj
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PostSubject: Re: rear suspension camber issue/ question   Fri Jan 07, 2011 11:57 am

If the automatic leveling system is not working, the back of the car will be low, and the rear tires will have negative camber. Raise the car and watch the tires straighten out.

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PostSubject: Re: rear suspension camber issue/ question   Fri Jan 07, 2011 12:06 pm

LARRY70GS wrote:
If the automatic leveling system is not working, the back of the car will be low, and the rear tires will have negative camber. Raise the car and watch the tires straighten out.

hmm..ive had my system disabled ,and i don't have a camber problem. from what a know,the camber settings(not adjustable anyway) don't change whether the back is high or low,that's why the T carrier is on a fulcrum. the entire assembly moves up and down regardless of the load.everything is attached to the T carrier and moves as a unit,and the the factory alignment set up doesnt change...
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PostSubject: Re: rear suspension camber issue/ question   Fri Jan 07, 2011 12:36 pm

robotennis61 wrote:
LARRY70GS wrote:
If the automatic leveling system is not working, the back of the car will be low, and the rear tires will have negative camber. Raise the car and watch the tires straighten out.

hmm..ive had my system disabled ,and i don't have a camber problem. from what a know,the camber settings(not adjustable anyway) don't change whether the back is high or low,that's why the T carrier is on a fulcrum. the entire assembly moves up and down regardless of the load.everything is attached to the T carrier and moves as a unit,and the the factory alignment set up doesnt change...

Bingo! The rear "knuckle" is stationary and can't move (as previously stated). The changes in camber are minimal with suspension travel. Something has to be worn out or bent if it's that bad. The factory spec for rear camber is -.3 with a range of -.8 to +.2.
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PostSubject: Re: rear suspension camber issue/ question   Fri Jan 07, 2011 12:49 pm

Abaddon wrote:
robotennis61 wrote:
LARRY70GS wrote:
If the automatic leveling system is not working, the back of the car will be low, and the rear tires will have negative camber. Raise the car and watch the tires straighten out.

hmm..ive had my system disabled ,and i don't have a camber problem. from what a know,the camber settings(not adjustable anyway) don't change whether the back is high or low,that's why the T carrier is on a fulcrum. the entire assembly moves up and down regardless of the load.everything is attached to the T carrier and moves as a unit,and the the factory alignment set up doesnt change...

Bingo! The rear "knuckle" is stationary and can't move (as previously stated). The changes in camber are minimal with suspension travel. Something has to be worn out or bent if it's that bad. The factory spec for rear camber is -.3 with a range of -.8 to +.2.

my guess is the lateral arms are broken or gone; won't know until the OP posts a picture.

Albertj
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PostSubject: Re: rear suspension camber issue/ question   Fri Jan 07, 2011 12:57 pm

albertj wrote:
my guess is the lateral arms are broken or gone; won't know until the OP posts a picture.

Albertj

That's what I'm waiting on......
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PostSubject: Re: rear suspension camber issue/ question   Fri Jan 07, 2011 1:00 pm

albertj wrote:
Abaddon wrote:
robotennis61 wrote:
LARRY70GS wrote:
If the automatic leveling system is not working, the back of the car will be low, and the rear tires will have negative camber. Raise the car and watch the tires straighten out.

hmm..ive had my system disabled ,and i don't have a camber problem. from what a know,the camber settings(not adjustable anyway) don't change whether the back is high or low,that's why the T carrier is on a fulcrum. the entire assembly moves up and down regardless of the load.everything is attached to the T carrier and moves as a unit,and the the factory alignment set up doesnt change...

Bingo! The rear "knuckle" is stationary and can't move (as previously stated). The changes in camber are minimal with suspension travel. Something has to be worn out or bent if it's that bad. The factory spec for rear camber is -.3 with a range of -.8 to +.2.

my guess is the lateral arms are broken or gone; won't know until the OP posts a picture.

Albertj

Do you mean the "adjusment links"? if so,that would only kick out his wheels in extreme "toe in/out" if thats what you mean?
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PostSubject: Re: rear suspension camber issue/ question   Fri Jan 07, 2011 1:25 pm

robotennis61 wrote:
albertj wrote:
Abaddon wrote:
robotennis61 wrote:
LARRY70GS wrote:
If the automatic leveling system is not working, the back of the car will be low, and the rear tires will have negative camber. Raise the car and watch the tires straighten out.

hmm..ive had my system disabled ,and i don't have a camber problem. from what a know,the camber settings(not adjustable anyway) don't change whether the back is high or low,that's why the T carrier is on a fulcrum. the entire assembly moves up and down regardless of the load.everything is attached to the T carrier and moves as a unit,and the the factory alignment set up doesnt change...

Bingo! The rear "knuckle" is stationary and can't move (as previously stated). The changes in camber are minimal with suspension travel. Something has to be worn out or bent if it's that bad. The factory spec for rear camber is -.3 with a range of -.8 to +.2.

my guess is the lateral arms are broken or gone; won't know until the OP posts a picture.

Albertj

Do you mean the "adjusment links"? if so,that would only kick out his wheels in extreme "toe in/out" if thats what you mean?

monsterpartsonline.com calls them 'adjustment arms' and some people might call them tie rods so yeah maybe. My guess is they've busted either at the carrier or the spindles. Or there was rustout/fracture of the rear suspension support. The lateral arms were not very heavy to begin with. Won't know until the OP posts a picture; it could be that he's actually talking about extreme toe... just don't know.

The suspensions support and lateral arms show as available on monsterpartsonline.com BUT even discounted they total out for more $$ (around 700) than the OP paid for the car to start with (around 450). Most likely a deal could be worked with a yard on those if he went himself and asked in person, I am thinking $100 for both arms and the big T shaped suspension support, in roadworthy shape. He should consider also taking the springs and their rubber seats. Anyway - OP pulls those, cleans them up and paints them with black or silver POR-15, installs them with new OE adjusting cam bolts and cams (around 40 for all of it) from a GM dealer or about half that from Monster.

...we shall see...

Albertj
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PostSubject: Re: rear suspension camber issue/ question   Fri Jan 07, 2011 1:38 pm



All for around a hundred bucks..what a deal!
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PostSubject: Re: rear suspension camber issue/ question   Fri Jan 07, 2011 3:57 pm

Ok guys I took a look under the car and found that carrier is rusted where the exhaust tunnel attaches in particular, I'll upload photos shortly. The non adjustable links are quite rusty and it appears the bushings where they mount to the carrier are worn, shot, original!
I like ur set up though Robotennis.
I'm considering leaving the Riv here and picking up the parts I need when I get back to Orlando where there's excellent u pull it yards, LKQ is one.
I can buy a complete '97 PA a block away here in Buffalo that has a good SC, motor, maybe the compressor and hub as well for $250.00 the repair shop is selling the motor with SC and junking the body I have no room for it though.
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PostSubject: Re: rear suspension camber issue/ question   Fri Jan 07, 2011 4:07 pm

bmiceelf wrote:
Ok guys I took a look under the car and found that carrier is rusted where the exhaust tunnel attaches in particular, I'll upload photos shortly. The non adjustable links are quite rusty and it appears the bushings where they mount to the carrier are worn, shot, original!
I like ur set up though Robotennis.
I'm considering leaving the Riv here and picking up the parts I need when I get back to Orlando where there's excellent u pull it yards, LKQ is one.
I can buy a complete '97 PA a block away here in Buffalo that has a good SC, motor, maybe the compressor and hub as well for $250.00 the repair shop is selling the motor with SC and junking the body I have no room for it though.

The PA probably has good air ride compressor but the compressor carrrier and lever I think are different. With some effort you might be able to move them one to the other. I don't remember if the hubs are the same.

You are right about LKQ, first class operation, you might want to call them to quote all the stuff you need then scrounge around to get the parts cheaper when you are in Orlando.

Be sure to look at monsterpartsonline.com for the parts you need - they will have pictures and stuff - for some of the more common hard parts it may not make sense to get junkyard items. You will have to look and choose yourself, though. I would make my first choice to get new adjusting bolts and cams. The links Robo showed look promising.

good luck

Albertj
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PostSubject: Re: rear suspension camber issue/ question   Sat Jan 08, 2011 9:04 am

All I know is that when I first got my Riviera, I was on the highway with a friend following in another car behind me. When we got to our destination, he told me that my tires in the rear were tilted in at the top. I brought the car in to a friend to check the alignment. He told me that there was no adjustment for camber at the rear, but the back of the car looked low. We were able to lift the back of the car on the alignment rack, and you could see a slight camber change as we did so. I looked into fixing the ELC, and found a broken wire. The back of the car now rides at the correct height, and the tires look correct from behind. Just my experience.

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PostSubject: Re: rear suspension camber issue/ question   Sun Jan 09, 2011 1:27 pm

I had the code pulled at Autozone yesterday. It is P0102, after reading many post I'm reasonably certain I'll be parking the Riv if it turns out to need the lower intake gasket, or major disassembly, as I'm just not motivated to undertake that level of repair in 20 degree weather. I'll check the vacuum lines and clean throttle body and MAF per the other post I've read and hope for a positive outcome. If anyone has other suggestions or solutions concerning this issue I'd appreciate your input of course.
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rear suspension camber issue/ question
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Riviera Performance ::   General Tech :: Brakes & Suspension-
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