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Discussion Starter #1
I have just purchased a 147000 mile electron. My view is that these are very special vehicles which have never been superseded in Europe anyway.
At this mileage one can anticipate failure of suspension components on an ongoing basis.
My plan therefore is to completely refurbish the underpinnings. Damper, struts, wishbones, ball joints, strut top bearings, wheel bearings, brake discs, drop links, track rod ends and all the metalastic bushes.
Is there anything I have failed to mention?
I would hope to achieve a reliable vehicle.
 

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You may want to read up on the steering lock module, available from eBay in the States, and decide if you want to be prepared to replace it or leave it unattached but plugged into the car. Also, the door lock buttons, available on eBay here courtesy of @HandyAndy, although not critical to the running of the car it is nice if everything works as it should.
All the stuff you mentioned is fairly straightforward GM stuff regarding repair/maintenance it's trying to locate the parts.
 

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Would be interesting to know the state of your CV joints! One of mine at 80 or is it 90k miles has develped a split in the gaiter, so weeping grease. I've decided to replace with a new OEM set, so have imported these from USA. Some here have had good results with a cheaper clone item made in China. So in a while I will have an old-but-maybe-serviceable-if-you-want-to-renew-a-gaiter pair of CVs. For all I know these may have may 1000s of miles left in them as far as the metal bits are concerned.

Did I mention the brake disc rattle? If refurbing your brakes, you'll find the 2 slider pins. Nominally 10.0mm dia, one of them is 10.0 :), the other is around 9.75 and has a nasty rubbery sleeve to take out the slack!!! o_O. Get yourself 4 more of the 10.0 plain pins & put these in place of the nasty rubbery ones. That way it won't rattle. & you can then ditch that totally unnecessary mess of an anti-rattle dangly-damper thing they fit on the rear discs. Warning; a Vx dealer won't do this for you, as it's an unauthorised part in the wrong hole! But this is how Mazda 6 does it, no nonsense, no rattle there.

You'll also want to check out the automatic handbrake cable; these are known to rust-up or something. Am sure I've seen a post in here somewhere about accessing this under the rear wheel arch, and adding some extra waterproofing or something.
 

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Discussion Starter #4
Thanks both. Yes switches are on their way from Andy. Yes I forgot to mention CV joints they will certainly have to be included.
Most major items are on order but I need to print the manual to specify the smaller stuff.
I am not quite sure yet how to obtain the 10mm pins.
 

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Discussion Starter #5
I am suddenly thinking there are 2 CV joints on each shafts. Is it just the outer one that usually fails?
 

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Discussion Starter #6
You may want to read up on the steering lock module, available from eBay in the States, and decide if you want to be prepared to replace it or leave it unattached but plugged into the car. Also, the door lock buttons, available on eBay here courtesy of @HandyAndy, although not critical to the running of the car it is nice if everything works as it should.
All the stuff you mentioned is fairly straightforward GM stuff regarding repair/maintenance it's trying to locate the parts.
Yes I am struggling to find driveshafts at a good price. They can be had for 40 bucks in the States but 175 dollars shipping. So far I cannot find them in the UK.
 

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Yes I am struggling to find driveshafts at a good price. They can be had for 40 bucks in the States but 175 dollars shipping. So far I cannot find them in the UK.
Someone on another thread set-up a freight forwarding address. Worked out considerably more hassle, but a lot cheaper.

Alternatively, fly out there, it's probably cheaper these days!
 

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Yup, that's me! Have documented the process & costs in another thread here:
Cost effective Drive Shaft Replacement - Volt (or Ampera)
Just added the final bit; UK customs inpost & handling etc was a final £84.03 last week! But at least I have them, and plenty of time now to bash away with the rubber mallet swapping the old ones out. It's also cost me about £80 to get a torque wrench that's man-enough to tighten the nuts properly!

I wouldn't say this is a cheaper process; cheaper than using a Vx dealer maybe, but costlier than buying the look-alike clones on eBay, probably.

Edit: Final bills paid. so CVs, Shipping, Customs+VAT totalled £460, took 3 weeks in all.
 

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Discussion Starter #9
I have now included new calipers in the project and new front brake hoses. As yet the rear hoses are a bit mysterious. One ad seems to imply they are the same as the front but most list rears. Still looking for the right price.
 

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IMHO swapping out calipers and hoses is not needed. THey are barely used and only thing that typically needs replacement is rotors and pads (usually due to rust, not wear). Calipers themselves are usually in good nick, just clean pad guides.
 

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Discussion Starter #11
IMHO swapping out calipers and hoses is not needed. THey are barely used and only thing that typically needs replacement is rotors and pads (usually due to rust, not wear). Calipers themselves are usually in good nick, just clean pad guides.
My concern with the calipers is that due to lack of use corrosion can set in on the bores leading to sticking. Having removed them I can refurbish ready for the 300000 miles hopefully.
With regards to the hoses I take the view that Constant movement will eventually lead to failure. My objective is to replace everything which is subject to wear, bit like a Zero hours rebuild on an aircraft engine.
 

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My concern with the calipers is that due to lack of use corrosion can set in on the bores leading to sticking. Having removed them I can refurbish ready for the 300000 miles hopefully.
Rust in bores is more related to brake fluid accumulating water than amount of actuations. Remember, piston is moving in the rubber O-ring and piston is phenolic resin, not steel. There is nothing that can rust. I replaced OEM brakes after 8 years (my front disks were rusted and gone) and found that calipers were in great shape. You could press in pistons with your hands. YMMV.
 

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Discussion Starter #13
Rust in bores is more related to brake fluid accumulating water than amount of actuations. Remember, piston is moving in the rubber O-ring and piston is phenolic resin, not steel. There is nothing that can rust. I replaced OEM brakes after 8 years (my front disks were rusted and gone) and found that calipers were in great shape. You could press in pistons with your hands. YMMV.
Fair enough. My brake fluid has not been changed in 8 years, accumulating water could be anticipated.
 

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Discussion Starter #14
Yup, that's me! Have documented the process & costs in another thread here:
Cost effective Drive Shaft Replacement - Volt (or Ampera)
Just added the final bit; UK customs inpost & handling etc was a final £84.03 last week! But at least I have them, and plenty of time now to bash away with the rubber mallet swapping the old ones out. It's also cost me about £80 to get a torque wrench that's man-enough to tighten the nuts properly!

I wouldn't say this is a cheaper process; cheaper than using a Vx dealer maybe, but costlier than buying the look-alike clones on eBay, probably.

Edit: Final bills paid. so CVs, Shipping, Customs+VAT totalled £460, took 3 weeks in all.
I have read that the front sway bar clamps use stretch bolts. If they do then I expect all the mounting bolts could be the same. What a damn nuisance, probably means having to buy them from a main dealer.
 

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Discussion Starter #15
Yesterday I collected a secondhand volt rear axle to refurbish. I removed 10 stretch bolts so far. I am reluctant to buy all these from Vauxhall at their prices. Fundamentally the bolts are not that special but they do have a shoulder like a built in washer.
I do wonder if something can be sourced to replace these bolts. If a high tensile bolt were used it might be within the elastic range? Whilst providing the required shoulder pressure. When torque tightening the actual shoulder pressure is dependant on the lubricant on the threads. These bolts seem to have coloured substance on part of the thread possibly a locking compound. Of course the original bolts are not torqued but angle tightened to the required stretch.
 

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Knowing the final angle, and the thread pitch, and length of bolt not-in-the-thread, it's straightforward to calculate the %age strain in the bolt, and so the tensile stress it ends up at. Plus there will be some initial tensile stress, which if we assume frictionless tightening, is proportional to the torque applied. (I'm assuming they did it like the wheel nuts, torque to 111 ft-lbs, slacken 45 degrees, tighten to 185 ft-lbs). We can probably knock off 10% to allow for friction reducing effective torque as a reasonable estimate. Question is, does the combined stress exceed yield stress for whatever material is in the stretch bolts? Presumably it must, otherwise you could re-use the existing bolts ad nauseam. The problem then is to determine what stress that actually is, as exceeding this by too large an amount using high-tensile bolts risks stripping the thread in the receiving hole! Do you know what material that hole is tapped into? If it's mild steel, we can calculate the max tensile force it can take as being Pi * bolt_Nominal_Diameter * bolt_Depth_In_Hole * Yield_Shear_Stress_Mild_Steel (half the Yield Tensile Stress will do) and then factor-in whatever safety factor you want.

So hopefully the tensile force required to strip the threaded hole in shear mode greatly exceeds the tensile force in the stretch-bolts at their tensile yield stress! If there's a spare, unused threaded hole in the rear axle (or you're prepared to sacrifice the original one!) you could see what torque is required to strip these holes, using an HT cap-screw.

Young's modulus will be the same for whatever variety of steel is used in these, stretch/high-tensile/mild.

If you're happy with say high-tensile socket-head cap screws as a replacement (I would!) then it should be possible to get some shoulder washers of reasonably hardened steel to suit. If you can't find any of these, I can make you some on my lathe.
 
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Discussion Starter #17
Knowing the final angle, and the thread pitch, and length of bolt not-in-the-thread, it's straightforward to calculate the %age strain in the bolt, and so the tensile stress it ends up at. Plus there will be some initial tensile stress, which if we assume frictionless tightening, is proportional to the torque applied. (I'm assuming they did it like the wheel nuts, torque to 111 ft-lbs, slacken 45 degrees, tighten to 185 ft-lbs). We can probably knock off 10% to allow for friction reducing effective torque as a reasonable estimate. Question is, does the combined stress exceed yield stress for whatever material is in the stretch bolts? Presumably it must, otherwise you could re-use the existing bolts ad nauseam. The problem then is to determine what stress that actually is, as exceeding this by too large an amount using high-tensile bolts risks stripping the thread in the receiving hole! Do you know what material that hole is tapped into? If it's mild steel, we can calculate the max tensile force it can take as being Pi * bolt_Nominal_Diameter * bolt_Depth_In_Hole * Yield_Shear_Stress_Mild_Steel (half the Yield Tensile Stress will do) and then factor-in whatever safety factor you want.

So hopefully the tensile force required to strip the threaded hole in shear mode greatly exceeds the tensile force in the stretch-bolts at their tensile yield stress! If there's a spare, unused threaded hole in the rear axle (or you're prepared to sacrifice the original one!) you could see what torque is required to strip these holes, using an HT cap-screw.

Young's modulus will be the same for whatever variety of steel is used in these, stretch/high-tensile/mild.

If you're happy with say high-tensile socket-head cap screws as a replacement (I would!) then it should be possible to get some shoulder washers of reasonably hardened steel to suit. If you can't find any of these, I can make you some on my lathe.
Yes I considered socket head at my local supplier who had them in higher grade. However it turned out there is a source on Ebay of flange bolts in the correct 10.9 high tensile grade.
My problem now is the body mounted bolts which I do not know the size of.
I can tell the bolts removed so far are stretched by the torque required to undo them. When a bolt is tightened within its elastic limit it releases immediately but the stretch bolts continue to grip for up to a quarter turn. This is presumably bacause the bolts will have stretched in the threaded attachment, this distortion causing friction.
 

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Discussion Starter #18
The removed bolts have some compound on them. Yellow or blue depending on the use. I notice that the new caliper bolt have a blue compound on the thread. When I buy replacement bolts I am wondering what to use on the thread. It could be a thread lock or might be a lubricant? There are many locktite grades and other brands are available.
 

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