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Old 12-04-2011, 07:01 PM   #1 (permalink)
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Default 99 Tracker/Vitara - Front crossmember

Hi,
I just picked up a 99 Tracker with the rotted front crossmemeber issue. Has anyone replaced this themselves, and where did you find the best price on a new one? Do the control arms need to come all the way out, or can just the front mounts be dropped and sneak it by? Any tips?
1999 Tracker 4 door 4x4, 65K miles

Also wondering if the Vitara side body cladding fits.. it would cover up the rusted rockers after I sand and repaint.
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Old 12-04-2011, 09:19 PM   #2 (permalink)
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Do the search. This issue (including dealer free repair in some cases) has been discussed. Besides, no one here can evaluated / recommend a path of repair without detailed pictures and knowing the extent of your rust problem.
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Old 12-05-2011, 06:19 PM   #3 (permalink)
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Perhaps I should clarify...

After searching for a writeup on how to replace the front crossmember, I'm coming up with a blank. As my local dealership has refused to fix the tracker due to being two years outside the date where they have to fix it, I am on my own. I don't expect the GM representative on edmunds forums that answers most of the complaints will be able to pull any strings, and to be honest, I'd like to fix this now. Given that the best response I can find here to date is "It's not that hard", can anyone elaborate with more detail or a link to a writeup with pics or offer any tips on the replacement process? It seems that most people who are turned down by their dealer just have a local shop do it.
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Old 12-05-2011, 07:46 PM   #4 (permalink)
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Quote:
searching for a writeup on how to replace the front crossmember
I don't think that you'll find intricate detail or a "how to" in this area. I've been affiliated with this forum for about six years, and although the subject has been brought up on occasion, repairs of this nature have been dealer, or pro shop completed or simply deemed impractical / not cost effective to perform on an older vehicle.

You'd need specialized equipment to ensure frame integrity / straightness, not to mention the needed cutting (Plasma or?) equipment, good donor metal replacement sections and above all...Metal Fabrication expertise / machinery (just to mention the major requirements).
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'53 Chevy 3100 Pick-up w/327 SB, TH400 trans w/78' Nova rear end.
'03 Honda Odyssey (Momma's ride)
'72 Chevy Nova. One owner, SB, A/C, power disc/drum & steering
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Old 12-05-2011, 08:09 PM   #5 (permalink)
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The bolt on front crossmember on 99-up vitaras? While I understand that it's deemed impractical by many on older mileage cars, it's been done and the subject of a recall. Mine's in otherwise good shape, and under 65K miles. It's part number 91177632 in the GM catalog. Looks like I'll have to take lots of pics and write it up.
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Old 12-05-2011, 09:47 PM   #6 (permalink)
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I'm picturing a significant rust issue based on...

Quote:
would cover up the rusted rockers
I've got this mental picture that you've got serious rust issues that go beyond replacing just the crossmember. What about the adjacent and connecting frame portions?

Again like I said earlier...you need to post pics of just what you are dealing with. Maybe then someone can help you determine a more definitive direction to take.

Have you even looked closely at what you need to replace and whether you have bolt-in, weld-in or riveting needs? And to what extent?

Quote:
it's been done
Sure! Anything is possible, but do you have the expertise and $'s? And is it worth the effort? Only you can answer those concerns.
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'53 Chevy 3100 Pick-up w/327 SB, TH400 trans w/78' Nova rear end.
'03 Honda Odyssey (Momma's ride)
'72 Chevy Nova. One owner, SB, A/C, power disc/drum & steering
.
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Old 03-03-2012, 10:54 AM   #7 (permalink)
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Max View Post
I'm picturing a significant rust issue based on...



I've got this mental picture that you've got serious rust issues that go beyond replacing just the crossmember. What about the adjacent and connecting frame portions?

Again like I said earlier...you need to post pics of just what you are dealing with. Maybe then someone can help you determine a more definitive direction to take.

Have you even looked closely at what you need to replace and whether you have bolt-in, weld-in or riveting needs? And to what extent?

Sure! Anything is possible, but do you have the expertise and $'s? And is it worth the effort? Only you can answer those concerns.

Good day!

I'm going to be attempting the crossmember repair this weekend. It is in fact a bolt on crossmember. I am in the same boat. Frame is clean everywhere else, crossmember rusted through where the lower control arm mounts.

If anyone has any pointer, please let me know. I will try and take some pictures and maybe provide a writeup to help out others.

Keep in mind that these trucks are ridiculously simple and I encourage anyone to attempt any repairs if you feel up to it.

Cheers!
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Old 03-03-2012, 11:12 AM   #8 (permalink)
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Quote:
I will try and take some pictures and maybe provide a writeup to help out others.
Looking forward to it!
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'99 Grand Vitara JLX, 2.5L V-6, 4WD, 5 spd std, '00 "Limited" leather interior.
'53 Chevy 3100 Pick-up w/327 SB, TH400 trans w/78' Nova rear end.
'03 Honda Odyssey (Momma's ride)
'72 Chevy Nova. One owner, SB, A/C, power disc/drum & steering
.
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Old 03-03-2012, 02:46 PM   #9 (permalink)
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dont forget the springs on these trucks sit directly on the control arms, simply unbolting them could cause serious injury.
make sure to support the control arms when removing them.
also the bolts that mount the control arms to the frame sometimes seize and break.
this will lead to much cursing..
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Old 03-03-2012, 02:52 PM   #10 (permalink)
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i have a copy of the recall notice with replacement instruction.
if you PM me an email addy, i can send it to you..
or Max, if i send to you, you could do that media share thing you do..?
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