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Cake monster
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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
Hey everyone.

As you might remember from this thread, I bought a 1996 Sable LS w/24v back in December. I haven't really bothered doing anything with it, it's so frigging cold out that I haven't even taken pictures of it until today.

I thought I'd post a few pictures of it, for everyone to comment on. :lol2:

I got it for $500.

The Good:



Such a beautiful engine.



The paint is in near perfect condition for the most part. Tires are still decent.



Some rust starting to show on the door seam.



Nice looking quarters with little rust, I'll be injecting oil into the seam there.



No bumper scratches!



Shifter is in nice shape.



That all works, but the A/C needs to be fixed.



km/h speedo and that's 57,299 Miles for you Americans. :p



Clean roof liner.



Clean back seat.





The not so good:




Dash area needs to be glued down when it's warm out.



Front end work needed.

The really bad:

I didn't take pictures because I didn't feel like getting on the ground and ending up snowy, but the rocker is shot from the end of the front door back on the passenger side. Pretty much missing, like the pictures in other threads.



I did screw up buying the car, I didn't check the passenger floor, until my foot went through it. I know it was dumb of me, but the passenger side of the car was surrounded in snow and it was hard to get underneath to beat on the floor to check for solidness. I knew the drivers floor needed a small patch, it's not nearly as bad as the passenger side, it's still worse than I thought though, next time I'll pull the carpets to check. :pwned:

I'm more pissed at myself because if I had noticed when I bought it, I wouldn't have paid $500 for it. But I didn't lose too much money on it so I'm still pretty happy. I'm still going to put it on the road, I just need warmer days so I can get outside to work on it. I'm going to head up to the sheet metal place this week and buy a few sheets of steel for the job, I'll form the floor patches inside. There's no other perforation under the car, the trunk is solid, the rear struts towers appear to be, but I haven't tore out the back seat yet, I've only seen the backs of the towers from the trunk.

I'll be posting here when I make the repairs. I'll document the rust repair as reference for people who want to do it in the future, I'm going to be using an air cutter, grinder (air and electric), reciprocating saw (electric), drill, MIG welder, small sand blaster, wire wheels and a large vice as the main tools. So you'll need that stuff to follow the instructions. ;)

I'd like to do an A/C charge howto thread as well.

Any comments welcome!
 

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I still dont think you got hurt for $500. I love that royal blue color! My ford favorite (along with Dans rosemist)!
 

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I say 500 is pretty good even with the issues you found. Around here any car that actually runs half way decent goes for WAY over 500!
 

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That's a good deal for $500. :)
 

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It'll be a fun project for you. Glad you picked up such a low mileage, inexpensive car. Great color indeed. Looking forward to thread updates!
 

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I still dont think you got hurt for $500. I love that royal blue color! My ford favorite (along with Dans rosemist)!
My last car a 96 Sable LX looked identical to this car minus the floor shifter and EATC. I too love this color. I sold the car last december with 150K miles with no major engine or trans. problems. Or course the trans. ax4n fluid and filter and flush was done every 30k.

Rust was another issue. I fixed a small rust out on driver floor pan and rr dog leg.

I would definitely check out the brake lines running under the driver side running from firewall to rear strut tower for rustout and pull the rear seat/hat rack to check the rear upper strut mounts for rust out before proceedly any further.

The AC worked great until the last six months when the compressor seal started to leak. My mechanic pumped out the freon, put in some stop leak, and put in freon and solved the problem.

Good Luck, with the vehicle.
 

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Cake monster
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Discussion Starter · #8 ·
My last car a 96 Sable LX looked identical to this car minus the floor shifter and EATC. I too love this color. I sold the car last december with 150K miles with no major engine or trans. problems. Or course the trans. ax4n fluid and filter and flush was done every 30k.
If people oiled their cars yearly, it might not happen so much. I don't understand why people will go to the trouble to keep the fluid in their engine/tranny clean but won't even think about the body until it's too late. It isn't expensive to have it done yearly. Oil is one of the best rust retardants you can find.

Rust was another issue. I fixed a small rust out on driver floor pan and rr dog leg.
I'm going to remove the rear tires and drill several holes in the inner quarter above each wheel arch, so oil can flow through the seam; the quarter/wheel arch is two pieces of metal with a gap in-between from the looks of it. There's also a yellow foam inside of there for some dumb reason. I fixed a Taurus with worse floor rot than that one, it was about twice as rotted as the pictures in this thread. I'm gonna take an Air Nibbler and cut the rot right out, weld clean steel in. The floors rot from crap being collected in the center rail that goes through the middle of the pan on each side, it also rots at the gap where the subframe/body mount attach to the floor, the rippled area. There's also no rocker left on the passenger side, like I said earlier.

I would definitely check out the brake lines running under the driver side running from firewall to rear strut tower for rustout and pull the rear seat/hat rack to check the rear upper strut mounts for rust out before proceedly any further.
Haven't bothered much with the brakes, but they're already blown, I bought it with swiss cheese brake lines. I'm only keeping the car assuming that the rear towers are still intact, which they appear to be from the trunk area, though you can only see the backs of them from the trunk. It went down to somewhere around -8f last night and I ain't tearing nothin' apart in this weather :lol2:

The AC worked great until the last six months when the compressor seal started to leak. My mechanic pumped out the freon, put in some stop leak, and put in freon and solved the problem.

Good Luck, with the vehicle.
I have to get the A/C working as well, but I do have tools for the job. Thanks for the advice!

Thanks for the encouragement, everyone!
 

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i think you go t a great deal for a car with that few miles on it. you could easily make your money back selling parts off it.

i recently bought a 97 sho (in november) and found more hidden rust then i was expecting


my passenger rocker. the cover fell off in my hands... oh well it will get fixed and the car will be mostly rust free. I was lucky with this car though all teh brake lines except one have already been replaced, the brakes have all been replaced, and it had brand new tires among other things. i paid a thousand for it with 148k miles on the clock.

we had a 97 sable wagon in that color and loved it i also had a 96 contour in blue the color is nice for sure. i kinda wish it had been offered on the SHO...
 

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Cake monster
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Discussion Starter · #10 ·
i think you go t a great deal for a car with that few miles on it. you could easily make your money back selling parts off it.

i recently bought a 97 sho (in november) and found more hidden rust then i was expecting


my passenger rocker. the cover fell off in my hands... oh well it will get fixed and the car will be mostly rust free. I was lucky with this car though all teh brake lines except one have already been replaced, the brakes have all been replaced, and it had brand new tires among other things. i paid a thousand for it with 148k miles on the clock.

we had a 97 sable wagon in that color and loved it i also had a 96 contour in blue the color is nice for sure. i kinda wish it had been offered on the SHO...
That's basically what my passenger side is like. A 6x3ft sheet of steel is around $25 locally. Do you happen to have more photos of the damage? I REALLY don't feel like getting under the car to look in this weather. How far gone is that center piece? What about that inner lip? From the photo, it looks like the center part needs to be cut about an inch up, and the inner lip almost looks savable, unless it has a seam.

What a terrible design.

Thanks for the photo!
 

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yeah i have a couple more i will see if photobucket will work this time around.
 

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ok i guess i only have one more...

here is a pic of what it should look like though


this is from our crashed 98 wagon that i will be harvesting the rockers from when it warms up
 

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Cake monster
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Discussion Starter · #13 ·


How are the doors on your wrecker? It looks like it needs a new seam installed. If your old doors are clean you could just replace the door, or take the seam from it. You could also make one too. In about a year or two, that door will likely be rotted out on the bottom. I marked where I think I see the bubbling.

The bottom of the dog leg isn't looking too good, are you taking the dogleg off the other car too? The center lip looks like it needs to be cut an inch or two up.

I have all the same issues. :lol2:
 

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well i have had the car up on the lift several times and the only really rusty spots are the rockers. there is a bit of bubbling starting on the dog legs so that will be addressed at the same time as the rockers. i honestly cant remember how much rust is on the lip of the doors bu ti think my sable has more (can only tell with the door open). anything else is just surface rust that will be ground off and undercoated. dont worry it will be a rust free car by the time this next fall rolls around. maybe even dent free? lol
 

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Cake monster
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Discussion Starter · #15 ·
Just a small update:

The car is surrounded by about 4 feet of snow. I was shoveling the driveway today, and I smelled gas. The tank started leaking on the passenger side, front of tank. Son of a bitch.

The snow should melt this week hopefully, I'd love to get out and work on it if it does.
 

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Just a small update:

The car is surrounded by about 4 feet of snow. I was shoveling the driveway today, and I smelled gas. The tank started leaking on the passenger side, front of tank. Son of a bitch.

The snow should melt this week hopefully, I'd love to get out and work on it if it does.
JW, I just paid attention to your OP and noticed your car is my Bulls doppelganger, right down to the color. I've got the moonroof option on mine, same color leather interior. Got mine for $500 with rotted rear brake lines. Rockers are shot, but drives like a champ. Tank drop is not too hard to do. Good luck with the Sable.
 

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I should feel lucky, my '97 with 166K has solid floors and truck and no rusted out brake lines, but the rocker area under my left rear door is rusting fairly bad. I feel like I should be asking a lot more than $500 for it!! why only $500? because it's missing the front pass. window from when it was broken into last June.
 

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Cake monster
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Discussion Starter · #18 ·
Well, I decided to start cutting into the floor today. It didn't go exactly well, the unibody mount is pretty much shot:



I'm going through my options right now. I'll post my choice when I come to it. I think I understand why this happens like it did. You can see the converter pipes, because that's how far back the rot goes. Basically, the rot started near the cats, my explanation for that is this:

Snow, ice and salt collects in that area. The cats get hot and melts it into the seams, the hollow area between the mount and floor sweats from the warmth coming off the cat and that exacerbates the corrosion.

It needs to be entirely replaced from the left side of the mount over. This is much harder to repair than a rocker or floor panel.

I don't know if I can fabricate something that complex and I won't know until I cut the other side of the floor out to see how it's put together. If I can't, that leaves me with cutting it out of a junk yard car with a reciprocating saw and welding it into mine.

I'm not sure what to do.
 

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Cake monster
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Discussion Starter · #19 ·
I've come to my conclusion.

The car is being scrapped. I can't make the mount and I can't find a decent one at the wreckers, then I still have to weld it in and contend with every other issue. If it was just the rocker panels and some floor rot, I could have fixed that easily, but it looks like the dash will have to be removed, along with the entire subframe/engine/transmission to access what I need. In simple terms, the unibody is rotted and there's simply nothing left to patch. The car is ruined, the subframe isn't even attached at that point anymore, it's structurally dangerous.

It's my fault, I made one of the most common mistakes when buying a used car, I based my opinion on the shape of the car based on mileage, which is why I'm having this issue right now. I haven't seen a 96 this rotted, I beat most of the mount off the car with a hammer, it was just dust.

If anyone wants stuff off it, let me know. It's going within the week.

:mellow:
 

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keep the jbl audio system its worth something to someone. also keep the power antenna if it has one. um not really sure what else off the top of my head...
 
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