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Re: Still Q-less.... :-( , tad long

Jim Griffin wrote:
> 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.

This is how I change a tire. Attach a construction crane to the trunk
lid to lift the car. Hook a large vice to the axle nut, and run the car
in first gear--after locking both diffs of course. Then use a hacksaw to
remove each of the 16 spokes . . . this is possibly the saddest tale of
bordering-on-criminal mechanical incompetency I've ever heard.

> So, now the car needs a right rear subframe,

Dunno if it's really a "right rear" (never looked under a QSW's dress
that closely) sub, but if so, you're bumming with a 4kq, cuz it's a
one-piece unit.

> 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
> 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.

See MHO above.

> 3. It was suggested that a frame shop bend the subframe back to where
> it should be.

What idiot suggested this?

> How comfortable could I feel about this?

Considering that the B for '84-'87 4k/q/tqc says on page 42.6,
"CAUTION:  Do not attempt to straighten or weld suspension strut, wheel
bearing housing, control arm or subframe," I'd be thinking this was a

> 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?

This isn't the frame here; these are dynamic components of the car's
suspension system. Different animals.

I'm also curious how the shop (?) did a 4-wheel alignment if the car was
twanged so badly. I see slots in the A-arm of my 4kq, but they aren't an
inch long . . .

No advice on how to handle this, but I am thinking it's a shame it
didn't happen on the PP trip. You'd likely have been back on the road in
no less than 43 minutes (Eric has a jack, Bob has a mutha torque wrench,
Leo with a hub, etc ;-)

James, unfortunately I have to buy any tool needed to fix my car. Last
time was a $200 press for the front wheel bearings, and NO I didn't jam
on any part but the strut housing.
'87 4kq
'86 4ks
'64 Falcon Sprint conv'