2009 Chevy Impala LS

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MostMint
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Re: 2009 Chevy Impala LS

Postby MostMint » Mon Dec 30, 2013 11:41 am

Ugh tried to swap out the driver side halfshaft yesterday but I could not get the halfshaft out! I just put it in a few weeks ago and it is not seized on the shaft but that little clip inside just won't let go. I spent several hours on this. I'm hoping I can reach it from the inside by dropiing the tranny pan.

I also discovered the "new" power steering rack is leaking. Another ugh. I might be done buying anything with moving parts from Autozone.
[quote="Basement Paul"]Is that a mint rocketship on the hood?? :shock:
-BP[/quote]

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MostMint
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Re: 2009 Chevy Impala LS

Postby MostMint » Tue Dec 31, 2013 6:36 pm

Today I decided the Blizzaks off the Camaro need to go on this car so I had them dismounted from the Camaro rims.

I also cleaned up the mats ($2 at pull a part - they are from a Saturn but they are factory mats and the fit OK) they are drying now after a good scrubbing

The last thing I did was start on inventory all the parts I have for this car. The parts I am not planning to use soon are now in the attic.
[quote="Basement Paul"]Is that a mint rocketship on the hood?? :shock:
-BP[/quote]

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Re: 2009 Chevy Impala LS

Postby MostMint » Mon Jan 06, 2014 7:18 am

One of the Blizzaks was damaged in the dismounting, so I mounted three tires and drove with one all season for several days. The Firestone store gave me a replacement tire for the one that was damaged. So over the weekend I got it on the rim. While I was at it I bought a replacement valve stem and put the TPMS sensor in the tire. So finally no more TPMS light coming on every time I drive.

I also tried my new prying tools and still was not able to get that halfshaft out. I reasoned that maybe I should change the hub since this side was hit in the accident. So I took the hub I had removed from the LF and installed it. That fixed the problem!

I went to Maaco for an estimate on paint. With 11 hours of body work and the UV protected acrylic enamel it will be just under $1000 to do. This sounds fair, but the problem is that I saw a car they just painted and it was all orange peel! They use DuPont paint so I am quite sure the painter is doing something wrong. I tried a local body shop who does my insurance repairs but they have a fairly expensive paint and apparently can't adjust the prep work so we're talking like $4k to go that route - not acceptable! He did offer to let me rent the spray booth should I try to do this myself. I know I can lay down the paint better than the Maaco guys so I may consider this route. More investigating needed here.

I also want to address the hole in the firewall. There is a round 1.25" hole near the middle of the firewall with nothing in it. This has been confusing to me so I looked under the SS hood and found the throttle cable goes through that hole. For whatever reason it goes through a different hole I can't see in this car.
[quote="Basement Paul"]Is that a mint rocketship on the hood?? :shock:
-BP[/quote]

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Basement Paul
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Re: 2009 Chevy Impala LS

Postby Basement Paul » Tue Jan 07, 2014 5:31 pm

Isn't this car drive by wire?

-BP

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MostMint
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Re: 2009 Chevy Impala LS

Postby MostMint » Tue Jan 07, 2014 8:42 pm

It is but there is some cable that looks a lot like a throttle cable that comes through the firewall. To me it seems like the cruise control cable but that does not make sense either.
[quote="Basement Paul"]Is that a mint rocketship on the hood?? :shock:
-BP[/quote]

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MostMint
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Re: 2009 Chevy Impala LS

Postby MostMint » Thu Jan 09, 2014 4:33 pm

Looking at the rear doors I was able to fix the inside door latch - the cable was not connected to the handle so that was an easy fix. While the door was apart I investigated the rear door lock buttons. They are currently stuck in the lock position - this is because there is no rods in the door connecting them to the lock. Apparently the police do not want prisoners unlocking the doors themselves.

I also notice the doors do not automatically lock when the car goes in drive. I am not sure if I can change this or if that feature is deleted on a police car.

I spoke to Copley Auto and Collision about getting the care painted. I have dealt with them for a long time on all my car painting needs. Problem is they use an expensive paint system and they also can't do anything half way. John said it would run me about $4500 to get the car done. Can't do that. He did offer to rent me the spray booth there in case I want to paint it myself. We discussed Maaco and I explained the paint quality issue - he wondered if a different guy put on the lower quality paint due to the different result in the finish.

During the week I talked with my friend Tony D and he suggested Hissem Autoworks. This is a local guy who can adjust the products to meet the car. So I called them and spoke with Tom Hissem who is the owner. It is a one-man operation now and he said he could not take on more work at this time due to his son leaving the business. He did spend about 15 minutes talking about paint. He told me today's acrylic enamels are not the same as the older paints - due to govt regulations - and are much harder to get them to lay down flat. He suggested the acrylic urethane with the integrated clear coat. This was valuable info! So the next step is to talk with Maaco and see if I can get a look at a car they painted with that material. IIRC that is another $200 but both places thought that the price was really good so I have to see if I can make it work.
[quote="Basement Paul"]Is that a mint rocketship on the hood?? :shock:
-BP[/quote]

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GMJohnny
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Re: 2009 Chevy Impala LS

Postby GMJohnny » Fri Jan 10, 2014 6:14 am

I know you are going to think this is crazy...... but........

Being someone who is involved in making machines and trucks look good after
they return from combat, I've found aerosol spray paints to be totally awesome.
Current spray can technology allows for easy painting and extremely durable finishes.
I know you don't want to hear this, because nobody paints a car with a spray can
because it isn't durable.... wrong! I can show you a van at work that I painted a body
panel on after one of our truck drivers drove it into a branch chipper and we had to
fix it quickly. After being on the truck for a year and a half, you couldn't pick out what
panel I painted .... with spray cans. My prep work was awesome ( which I think is
a huge part of the deal ) and the finish looks factory. If it were me, I'd try a door
and see what you think. Being that the car is black, I don't think you can go wrong.

My opinion...... Good Luck!

GM

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MostMint
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Re: 2009 Chevy Impala LS

Postby MostMint » Tue Jan 14, 2014 11:00 pm

I decided to go ahead with the Maaco deal so I spent last weekend getting it ready to go. The bumper cover had a small tear at the top near the LF wheel well which was poorly patched and sticking out. To remedy that the original plan was to remove inner fender and see what was lined up wrong. Well the cover was not lined up right with the fender but I also learned the bondo was making the whole thing stick out. While playing with it the bondo started cracking up so I removed all of it and started over. I used the most hi tech bonding agent known to man - Gorilla Glue! First I used some to bond the two edges together (sorry should have taken a pic!) of a 4" rip. Once that set up I used another layer to fill in the gaps and close it up. I covered that with spot putty to get it in range of acceptable.

I was also working on alignment of the LF fender to hood and door. It seems the whole structure is a bit low so I put some shims under the fender to raise it up some and also raised the hood to the fender so the alignment of the hood to fender is much better. This is most important as it is what you see when you are driving! I spent way too much time trying to get it right though and I think the end result was a little worse than where it was somewhere in the middle of the process. Everything is so malleable - unless you have a template it is hard to tell what is "right".

I also fixed a small dent in the edge of the hood. I put some tape on the bottom edge of the lip and hit it with a hammer and it straightened right out. With that success under my belt I did the same thing to a small dent in the bottom edge of the driver door and fixed that too.

I did put some paint on the driver rocker panel in the door jamb and on the white at the front edge of the rear doors in case the paint job did not reach there. This is easy now as overspray onto the door surface does not hurt anything. That spray can gloss black laid down real nice like John said and it made me pause, until I remembered all the hours to get the surface right. Maybe if it needs repairs in the future...

While I had the LF headlight out I found a stray wire loom with two cut wires in it. I tracked it all the way to the other side of the car where it plugged into the wiring harness. I have no idea what it used to do but it is off the car now. I also found a metal bracket behind the bumper cover in the LF that was holding nothing (maybe used to hold some police component) and I removed that too. The bolts holding it in did not look like a factory setup. There are a few plugs into the siring harness in the front that don't attach to anything and there is nothing in vicinity to attach up. I wonder if the police cars have a custom wiring harness from the factory.

After that I decided to remove the chrome trim off the trunk, the 3rd taillight, the front license plate bracket and the hubcaps. I also planned to remove the headlights, taillights and rear plate once I get to Maaco to avoid any issues with masking missing something.

In between I washed the car and had a good look at it. Well I found a bunch more stuff that was not in the estimate. I went in to Maaco on Monday morning and went over these items with the estimator. With the extra $200 for better paint and the extra bodywork the estimate is $1467. I did draw the line though there will still be a few dings in the car - my plan was to address the major stuff and the bad bodywork installed by the prior owner. It was interesting too as he went to work with a green and yellow paint markers on the car (green = do and yellow = do not do). When the manager came out to answer a question from the estimator he spotted some things that he and I had missed. Most were no go but at least I won't be surprised since I saw the flaws before they got their gorilla paws on it. What I learned here is to get the best guy in the place to be part of the process so nothing obvious is missed.

Now I am in the waiting phase and I can't stand it. They are supposed to call me when it is ready for paint so we can do any last minute adjustments. Hopefully that will be tomorrow since the car is supposed to be done by Friday.

On the trip there I noticed there is play in the steering column - like the bushings in the column are worn out so the wheel moves left to right.
[quote="Basement Paul"]Is that a mint rocketship on the hood?? :shock:
-BP[/quote]

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MostMint
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Re: 2009 Chevy Impala LS

Postby MostMint » Fri Jan 24, 2014 11:44 pm

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As you can see the car is done. There was one surprise the trunk needed some extra work since there had been a quarter size hole drilled in it and the prior owner just filled it with bondo and it did not hold. This cost an extra $80.

The car looks 100% better. Parts of it the paint laid down real nice. Other parts are quite orange peely and there are a few chunks in the paint but it will do. The black shows some of the bodywork and all the little dings, but they did a good job getting rid of the scratch marks and smoothing things out.

Overall I'm quite happy with how this car turned out. There are still a few things to look after but I drove it like a regular car all week. Oh and I named it Elwood in honor of its Blues Brothers roots.
[quote="Basement Paul"]Is that a mint rocketship on the hood?? :shock:
-BP[/quote]

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MostMint
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Re: 2009 Chevy Impala LS

Postby MostMint » Thu Feb 06, 2014 10:18 pm

So I have put over 1100 miles on Elwood so far and the mileage is working its way up - now average 20.7 on the computer. The bitter cold was hard on the mileage. And I still love my Blizzaks on this car.
[quote="Basement Paul"]Is that a mint rocketship on the hood?? :shock:
-BP[/quote]

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MostMint
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Re: 2009 Chevy Impala LS

Postby MostMint » Thu Feb 13, 2014 9:30 pm

So I've noticed I need to put the fan on 3/4 to get a decent flow of air into the interior. After some time it dawned on me that this car has a cabin air filter. Looking at the manual I have to remove the wiper arms, then the plastic trim to access the cover panel for the cabin filter. Really!???

Also the center console is missing the latch for the lid. I can't imagine where it went. Anyway I ordered a new one for like $30. Argh wish I had figured this out before we went to pull a part probably could have gotten it for $3. By now the 06 that was there is gone.
[quote="Basement Paul"]Is that a mint rocketship on the hood?? :shock:
-BP[/quote]

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Re: 2009 Chevy Impala LS

Postby TireSmoker » Sat Feb 15, 2014 6:07 pm

Thank you for mentioning the cabin filter. I had a similar problem with my truck but didnt realize it even had one till I googled it after reading your post. Picked up a new cabin filter today and airflow is much improved. Old filters (there's 2) were gross.

-Dave

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GMJohnny
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Re: 2009 Chevy Impala LS

Postby GMJohnny » Sun Feb 16, 2014 6:50 am

You guys need to buy "K&N" or "Green" cabin air filters for increased air velocity and
higher cfm output. Perhaps a twin squirrel cage blower system would be a plus also.

GM

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Re: 2009 Chevy Impala LS

Postby MostMint » Thu Feb 20, 2014 12:23 am

Despite what the Haynes book says you do not need to remove the wipers to change the filter. The plastic trim is two piece. Filter that was in there was NAPA gold and basically clean. Not sure why the fan is loud - maybe too many hours idling with the fan on.

While I had the car in the garage I checked the oil and it had not burned a drop yet.

I also used some gorilla tape to cover the hole in the firewall.

Last week I ordered the latch for the center console and installed it last night.

I have a couple balky seat belt latches I looked at them. The one in back I just blew it out and it seems OK now. The one on pass frt is ailing due to the plastic sleeve being damaged. The latch works OK but the latch is pointed a little toward the center console and the natural action of the release does not eject the buckle right.
[quote="Basement Paul"]Is that a mint rocketship on the hood?? :shock:
-BP[/quote]

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MostMint
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Re: 2009 Chevy Impala LS

Postby MostMint » Fri Mar 28, 2014 10:43 pm

Today I ran an experiment where I programmed a TPMS sensor from this car to work with the SS. This is good news now I can get another set of tires/wheels with the sensors and I can move them between cars at will.

What I learned though is the TPMS reprogram sequence is kicked off by the remote lock/unlock buttons. And it works great on the SS but Elwood did not come with a remote or the receiver for a remote. Police cars apparently do not need that feature. I don't have an owner manual so this will require some digging.
[quote="Basement Paul"]Is that a mint rocketship on the hood?? :shock:
-BP[/quote]


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