Advice/Expertise on Replacing Sub-Frame plus Engine Cradle - 3000GT/Stealth International Message Center
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Old 05-16-2019, 08:39 AM   #1 (permalink)
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Hey guys,

I have a bent subframe and apparently the engine cradle as well. I’m going to pick up the 3 front pieces (picking up everything but what is circled) for the subframe this week and install them to hopefully fix the horrible positive camber I have on my front right from the wreck.

I looked over the service manual on 3sx website for the car and could not find anywhere about the installation or taking off of the subframe/engine cradle. Can someone tell me where it is in there or point me to a thread (that I couldn’t find) of replacing the subframe?
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Old 05-16-2019, 01:26 PM   #2 (permalink)
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Default Re: Advice/Expertise on Replacing Sub-Frame plus Engine Cradle

the left and right cross members can be done in your garage with the car on jack stands. pretty simple as i recall. the front one requires that the radiator come out and the engine is supported, again can be done in your garage with the car on jack stands. bolts have a high torque spec, so have a breaker bar handy to bust'em loose.


Someone else should confirm, but the rear support, circled red in your picture, I believe has the lower control arms on it, in addition to the rear motor mount. personally i would not do that one myself unless you had a hoist and the ability to align your wheels. while doing the rear one you might as well put in a new motor mount as well as any worn suspension parts like bushings, tie rods or ball joints, and repair your steering rack if it leaks. A shop will probably want to charge a full day to swap in a new rear support while not doing other incidental repairs.
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Last edited by gawdzinner; 05-16-2019 at 03:25 PM.
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Old 05-16-2019, 02:33 PM   #3 (permalink)
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Originally Posted by gawdzinner View Post
the left and right cross members can be done in your garage with the car on jack stands. pretty simple as i recall. the front one requires that the radiator come out and the engine is supported, again can be done in your garage with the car on jack stands. bolts have a high torque spec, so have a breaker bar handy to bust'em loose.


Someone else should confirm, but the rear support, circled red in the picture, I believe has the lower control arms on it, in addition to the rear motor mount. personally i would not do that one myself unless you had a hoist and the ability to align your wheels. while doing the rear one you might as well put in a new motor mount as well as any worn suspension parts like bushings, tie rods or ball joints, and repair your steering rack if it leaks. A shop will probably want to charge a full day to swap in a new rear support while not doing other incidental repairs.
Thanks for the video! Ok good to know for the front one with taking out the radiator; I have a couple breaker bars. When you say supposed the engine,I could use a jack to keep it lifted and in place?
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Old 05-16-2019, 03:21 PM   #4 (permalink)
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Default Re: Advice/Expertise on Replacing Sub-Frame plus Engine Cradle

yeah, the guy in the video puts a board and jack under the oil pan, typically a no-no but you may not have other options. I recall doing the same but using a board with a hollowed out area for the oil pickup.
I've never done the front cross member myself, but he seems to "let it hang" lol
by the way, he seems to let the radiator stay where it is and just folds the intercooler hose back to gain access to the front motor mount bolts, whatever works I guess! I have a larger aluminum radiator, so there's not much room.
the problem with these 25+ year old cars is that you discover/uncover other issues when doing a major teardown, and that means more fixes/parts slowing you down.

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Old 05-16-2019, 03:32 PM   #5 (permalink)
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Default Re: Advice/Expertise on Replacing Sub-Frame plus Engine Cradle

^why the heck do you have to take the radiator out for any of those pieces? you don't have to on my car..

I did a subframe restore on mine last summer and had them all out. didn't need any support under the car for the front pieces, as I have hard Poly motor mounts. OEM ones may need support

The rear big piece is where the work is. All the other subframe pieces come off with just a few bolts. The big piece needs lots of parts removed to get it out. Off the top of my head, downpipe, transfer-case, steering rack, control arms, sway bay, unbolt the rear motor mount (this is one of the most annoying bolts to get to. IDK if there is a trick to the rear mount or not, but mine involved several long extensions, swivel joint sockets, a regular box wrench strategically placed to wedge on something, etc.
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Old 05-16-2019, 03:53 PM   #6 (permalink)
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Default Re: Advice/Expertise on Replacing Sub-Frame plus Engine Cradle

thanks vsol, i've not done the front/rear cross members myself, I'm going by what i recall seeing while rolling around under the car! lol
Good luck Sean!
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Old 05-17-2019, 06:42 PM   #7 (permalink)
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Quote:
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^why the heck do you have to take the radiator out for any of those pieces? you don't have to on my car..

I did a subframe restore on mine last summer and had them all out. didn't need any support under the car for the front pieces, as I have hard Poly motor mounts. OEM ones may need support

The rear big piece is where the work is. All the other subframe pieces come off with just a few bolts. The big piece needs lots of parts removed to get it out. Off the top of my head, downpipe, transfer-case, steering rack, control arms, sway bay, unbolt the rear motor mount (this is one of the most annoying bolts to get to. IDK if there is a trick to the rear mount or not, but mine involved several long extensions, swivel joint sockets, a regular box wrench strategically placed to wedge on something, etc.
Awesome, thank you for the info man!
I’m planning on doing the front 3 pieces this weekend. But the rear cradle I’m going to have to wait and buy some bushings and other goodies to change out since I will be doing a huge overhaul.

When you did the rear cradle, how did you keep the engine supported?
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Old 05-17-2019, 06:46 PM   #8 (permalink)
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Quote:
Originally Posted by gawdzinner View Post
yeah, the guy in the video puts a board and jack under the oil pan, typically a no-no but you may not have other options. I recall doing the same but using a board with a hollowed out area for the oil pickup.
I've never done the front cross member myself, but he seems to "let it hang" lol
by the way, he seems to let the radiator stay where it is and just folds the intercooler hose back to gain access to the front motor mount bolts, whatever works I guess! I have a larger aluminum radiator, so there's not much room.
the problem with these 25+ year old cars is that you discover/uncover other issues when doing a major teardown, and that means more fixes/parts slowing you down.
Yeah that is a big no no... the wreck dented my oil pan up and bent my oil pickup. Last month I dropped my pan replaced oil pickup and pushed the dent out.... is there any other way to support the engine?
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Old 05-17-2019, 08:05 PM   #9 (permalink)
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Default Re: Advice/Expertise on Replacing Sub-Frame plus Engine Cradle

The weight of the engine and trans is supported by the side mounts on the fenders. The front and rear lower mounts that bolt to the crossmembers only restrict rotation of the engine from torque. As long as you dont remove the side mounts you dont need to support the engine with anything else. If you really want to you can use a 4x4 across the fenders with a chain.
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Old 05-18-2019, 10:25 AM   #10 (permalink)
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Default Re: Advice/Expertise on Replacing Sub-Frame plus Engine Cradle

https://shop.harborfreight.com/media...mage_11976.jpg

One of these engine support bars might work as well.


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