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Still Q-less.... :-(

Well folks... I am still Q-less. The QSW (Quantum Syncro Wagon) snafu has gotten worse. I don't even remember what I last told you all. Regardless, here's the latest:

The tech says that when he went to put in the new axle assembly (which had broken... to the tune of $430 new... which NTB agreed to pay for...), it wouldn't quite fit. It was "off" by an inch or so, and he said that if he installed it, I'd be back in about or month or so, to have it done again. He said that the control arm must have been bent by the folks at NTB.

He found a used control arm... and after putting THAT in, it still wasn't fitting just right. It was still off by an inch or so. He was a bit mystified, until I told him that NTB used a porta-press (i.e. a hydraulic portable jack) to press in the bearing... by wedging it between the rear diff and the control arm/subframe. "Ahhh.... there's the problem... yep.... they bent the subframe then" he says.

So, now the car needs a right rear subframe, to go with the new control arm (actually he might be able to use the old one..), new bearing, and new hub. Of course, now the plot thickens. With the QSW being a rare beast, a used subframe is not readily available. We will most likely need to order a new one from VW. The cost? About $2300!! Yikes!!

I called the manager at NTB... to give HIM the bad news (remember, I am not paying for anything at this point!!). Well, after he spoke to his boss, he told me that due to the big $$ amount, it now has to become an insurance company issue (their ins. co, not mine). He said they'd get back to me in a couple of days. A COUPLE OF DAYS!! WHAT THE %&*@#$!! I'VE BEEN WAITING LONG ENOUGH!!

Needless to say, I am not very happy. I haven't been able to drive my car for two weeks... and the way it is going, I won't have it for another week (and that would be on the conservative side!!)!! I'd certainly like it before it starts snowing...

The tech says that the whole bill will probably come to at least $3000 to $3500!! Yikes, that's close to what the car is worth!! It's a good thing THEY are paying for it!!

Anyway, I have some questions:

1. Anyone know where to get a used subframe for a 1987 QSW? Anyone got a parts car? I know... I know... that is actually more like a joke than a parts request... :-)

2. I know that the rear suspension on this is different from a 4kq, but would it only be the shocks, springs, spring perches and control arms, and not the subframe, since it uses the same 4kq drivetrain? If so, I could probably find a used 4kq subframe rather easily.

3. It was suggested that a frame shop bend the subframe back to where it should be. How comfortable could I feel about this? I don't feel comfortable at all, and told them that I absolutely do not want that option. My concerns are that it will never REALLY be back to factory specs, and that who knows how it affects the metal... i.e. the strength of it due to stretching it. I also don't want to have to wonder, years and miles down the road, when a part fails, if it is related to the frame shop's work. Do you all agree?

Are there any BTDT/advice with regards to frame shops and all that bending/pulling/stretching of metal?

4. Should I just crawl up in a ball, in the fetal position, in a corner, and cry? :-)

Any comments/feedback is appreciated. Thanks in advance.

P.S. For those that may have commented that I should do my own work (which, IMHO, was an insensitive bit of advice, given the circumstances), let it be known that I do... when I can and when I have the right equipment. I don't have a spin-balancing/wheel machine in my garage (as I wouldn't imagine that most people do, but please correct me if I am wrong) .... so, EXCUSE ME..... that's why I brought it there in the first place. In the past, I've been happy with the work they've done... unfortunately, this time, I happened to get this one "schmuck" who should have been fired a while ago (as the manager told me). Sometimes, life just doles out some bad luck. It was my turn this time.

Jim Griffin
Maryland, USA
"Perception is often stronger than reality!"
'92 Audi 100S
'87 VW Quantum Syncro Wagon