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Ugh! Front end issues. I need advice.

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  • Ugh! Front end issues. I need advice.

    This is kind of a long post but I need some help troubleshooting a front end issue and I feel it's necessary to explain the whole situation before asking for input.

    In April I completely overhauled my suspension. Things that were installed / replaced are; fixed camber plates, upper strut bearings, springs, shocks, control arms, delrin offset control arm bushings, tie rods, sub frame reinforcement, sway bars, sway tab reinforcement, adjustable sway links, trailing arm bushings, trailing arm tab reinforcement, IE rear shock mounts... more.

    A couple of months ago I spun and hit a tire wall at the track. It wasn't a hard hit, but the left front fender/wheel took most of the impact. After the accident I immediately pulled into the pit, lifted the car, took both front wheels off and thoroughly inspected the front suspension. I made it a point to take a careful look at the the control arms for sings of stress/fractures. Everything looked perfect, straight and tight.

    I put the wheels back on and took it for a quick spin around the paddock, then out onto the local roads. No problems. Everything felt fine. Car was tracking perfectly straight.

    I took the car back out on the track. The first time I hit the front straight and approached 100mph the front end started to wander a bit. Almost as if it had too much toe out. I did a few more laps and went back into the pits. Again I lifted the car and did an inspection. No visible problems. At this point I assumed that the alignment went out a bit and it just needed to be re-set. So I took it back out onto the road for another test, now it was pulling slightly to the left. No problem, I finished out the time trials, taking it very easy. I then trailered the car home where it sat in my driveway for 2 months.

    Last week I took it out for a quick spin. I was planning on getting an alignment done in a few days. At first the car was tracking perfectly straight. Then it gets weird... I take my first left turn, now the car is pulling HARD to the left, very hard. I jerk the wheel quickly to the right in frustration... now car tracks perfectly straight. I take another left... car tracks hard left... I take a right... car tracks straight. I drive the car around for a while and things start to mellow out. After about an hour I can still get it to pull left but not nearly as hard as it did when I first took it out.

    Any thoughts as to what could cause this behavior? What else should I look at?

    I plan on replacing the tie rod on that side this weekend, but I'd be really surprised if that were the issue. The tie rods have no sign of play or stress. And when the car is stationary and I jerk the wheel left and right it's tight, there are no clunking sounds and no play at all.

    I'll also take a good look at the delrin control arm bushings. Maybe they're rotating in the lollipop? I did drill and tap them after I pressed them in but you never know.

    Thoughts ? Suggestions? Humorous antidotes?
    I'm at a loss.

  • #2
    I would start by taking some measurments of the critical suspension pick up points. Also measuer the toe.

    Sounds like something may be binding and then letting go. Possible rack damage/binding??

    Jordan
    "Never lift"

    Comment


    • #3
      steering rack could be slightly damaged, may have also damaged the steering knuckle causing a binding during turning.

      Jack it up and by hand, run your front wheels through their full range of motion, left to right. Go slow and smoothly to see if you feel any sort of binding/hesitation/friction.

      check you control arm mounting points on the struts/subframe and make sure these are moving freely and are not binding.

      Its a shame it happened. So soon after you just got it all back to straight again. :sosad:
      Chris L.

      Spray paint and tire shine doesn't equate to a "restoration!"

      Comment


      • #4
        Originally posted by UNHCLL
        Jack it up and by hand, run your front wheels through their full range of motion, left to right. Go slow and smoothly to see if you feel any sort of binding/hesitation/friction.
        Tried that, silky smooth.

        Thanks for the advice guys, I'm really hoping it's not the rack.

        Comment


        • #5
          it sounds like a bushing somewhere that maybe was cracked or dislodged, thatway when you turn hard, it shifts. I'm thinking that if it were the rack, both tires would shift cause it to track straight, but the steering wheel would be off center. So that leaves any bushing that is on one side of the suspension. I have also heard of bushings that appear fine when the loaded but you can see they are busted when unloaded (like with the front springs out).
          But then again I really don't know what I'm talking about, haha
          "It is needless to say that self-propelling vehicles, like other machines, will never do as much for one who does not understand them as for one who does."

          Comment


          • #6
            Just thinking out of my ass here,

            Could you have bent the strut tower by chance? When you turn left the bearing at the top( sorry i cant think of the name right now) s binding up, jerk the wheel and it unbinds the other way?
            Just something else to look at anyways.

            Jess

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            • #7
              she's mad at you for beating her up and setting her out to pasture for so long with no attention

              Karl Kraus --Education is a crutch with which the foolish attack the wise to prove that
              they are not idiots.

              Comment


              • #8
                This may be a stupid question, but have you checked the rear tire presures?
                I would replace the tie rod, the control arm, and the strut bushing on the driver's side of the car.
                If the tire pressures are ok, then something is damaged, most likely a ball joint.
                m.

                Comment


                • #9
                  Originally posted by Eric
                  she's mad at you for beating her up and setting her out to pasture for so long with no attention
                  Ha!
                  So a good wash and wax should do the trick? Nice.

                  Comment


                  • #10
                    Originally posted by Mmark
                    This may be a stupid question, but have you checked the rear tire presures?
                    Hmmm, maybe I'm looking at the wrong end of the car? Could something be amiss in the rear suspension? I'll take a good look.
                    Thanks

                    Comment


                    • #11
                      it needs to be put on an alignment rack to see what's what first; a boogered alignment and road crown/rut can cause what you described
                      A friend will come bail you out of jail, but a TRUE friend will be sitting next to you in the jail cell saying, "Dude, that was focking awesome!"

                      Comment


                      • #12
                        Originally posted by Mick
                        Ha!
                        So a good wash and wax should do the trick? Nice.
                        don't forget to clean her tailpipe:p

                        Karl Kraus --Education is a crutch with which the foolish attack the wise to prove that
                        they are not idiots.

                        Comment


                        • #13
                          Originally posted by TeamM3
                          it needs to be put on an alignment rack to see what's what first; a boogered alignment and road crown/rut can cause what you described
                          I've been putting off the alignment because I assumed something was f-ed up and needed to be fixed first. Plus I'm a cheapass and didn't want to have to have it aligned twice if parts needed replacing.

                          I hope you're right. I'm gonna take a nother look at it this weekend and drop it off on Monday for an alignment.

                          Comment


                          • #14
                            Whats an alignment cost down there in MA? $85?

                            You can "eyeball" the alignment yourself. Park the car on a flat, smooth surface, use 2 identical "plates" placed flush against the outside of each wheel. Use 2 tape measures and measure distance from plate to plate infront and behind the wheels. If there is a big difference, you'll notice it right away.

                            Then you can center the rack, and make the adjusments from there.

                            Might be better/cheaper than dropping the money for multiple alignments.

                            HTH & best of luck!
                            Chris L.

                            Spray paint and tire shine doesn't equate to a "restoration!"

                            Comment


                            • #15
                              Originally posted by UNHCLL
                              Whats an alignment cost down there in MA? $85?

                              You can "eyeball" the alignment yourself. Park the car on a flat, smooth surface, use 2 identical "plates" placed flush against the outside of each wheel. Use 2 tape measures and measure distance from plate to plate infront and behind the wheels. If there is a big difference, you'll notice it right away.

                              Then you can center the rack, and make the adjusments from there.

                              Might be better/cheaper than dropping the money for multiple alignments.

                              HTH & best of luck!
                              There's a place near me that does it for $60 because all they can do is center the wheel and 0 the toe.

                              I was planning on trying to get it close myself this weekend. I was gonna try the trick where you roll both front wheels onto a couple of vinyl floor tiles with a bit of grease between them to allow the wheels to move. Anyone tried this?

                              Mark you align your cars yourself right? What's your method for keeping the wheels from binding?

                              Comment

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