So we meet again.
I've had it for a couple weeks because I was getting tired of hearing the brake grinding issue plus the stereo makes an intermittent high pitched, rev-based buzzing noise. I can make it stop, but it always comes back. I've had everything apart 10 times to try to fix it to no avail.
So I replaced the front pads (with OEM) - the right outside pad was worn much worse than the others and it was uneven. I bought a new rubber boot thing for the lower caliper pins and silicone grease to make sure everything was working like it was supposed to. It kept grinding so I bought new OEM rotors. It was still grinding. So I took it to a shop and we messed with the pad hardware and it seemed to fix it. But, turning the wheel at certain angles causes it to STILL grind. So, I've come to grip with the fact it grinds. Maybe it needs a new knuckle, but I'm not ready to drop the money on that when, for the most part, it drives fine. I will continue to keep an eye on it.
It is also wearing tires unevenly - badly. The inner shoulders of the front tires is worn flat while the outside tread looks new. I've had it aligned twice already, but I'll give it another shot. So I bought a new set of 4 Continentals and I'm dropping it off this morning to get them mounted, balanced, and an alignment.
While I was at it I decided to finally replace the rear shocks. The right rear was blown when I got the car, it would knock every once in a while, but it drove fine so I left it. But I figure it's time and I didn't think it would take long. Wow, was I wrong. I started at around 3pm and finished after 10. I stopped for dinner, of course, but it took way longer than I thought it would.
I got non-adjustable Konis. I've had good luck with Koni and the price was pretty close to the KYBs also available. The fronts are KYBs that came on it, but they are still good. Once they are worn out I'll replace them with matching Konis.
After a few hours of work:
My mom has been doing exactly what I got the car for - banging it around. Since it already had some dings and dents I figured she could knock it into things and get door dings and it'd be fine. She's now closed her garage door on the beautifully repaired bumper twice. I've done the best I could touching it up and buffing it since.
She's also closed her tennis ball stop system in the door twice, both times pulling a screw out of the ceiling of the garage and slamming it into the roof. There is one big dent from that and several large scratches.
She drove it into a drainage ditch and got stuck while picking up my nephew from school. People had to lift the car out of the ditch for her.
Otherwise it's been a great car. She claims to love it and balks at any suggestion to replace it. Though she's been driving my leased 2016 Buick Regal GS for a couple weeks, I'll see how keen she is to give that back now. Plus she saw an LC500 the other day and said she wants that as her next car. Hmmm, we'll see about that.