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88 suspension question by Smooth 88coupe
Started on: 02-23-2004 03:10 PM
Replies: 24
Last post by: fierogt88 on 03-03-2004 02:26 PM
Smooth 88coupe
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Report this Post02-23-2004 03:10 PM Click Here to See the Profile for Smooth 88coupeClick Here to Email Smooth 88coupeSend a Private Message to Smooth 88coupeDirect Link to This Post
This is an odd question and I'm not sure that I can explain it very well. First I will tell what has been done: Complete rebuild of front suspension (ball joints upper and lower, bushing upper and lower, sway-bar linkage (poly), and shocks) Later my rack went out so I replaced it and the tie rods. Everything was replaced with rubber (except the sway-bar linkage) So, as far as I know everything that is under the front of the car is new minus the sway bar itself. Not long ago I noticed that the lower left ball joint wasnt in properly so replaced that. Since then I havent noticed anything lose or inproperly put in. However, when I drive, I feel the steering wheel shake, and sometimes a rattleing in the front. My guess is that it is the rack but I have no way to find out. I have checked the bolts and they are torqued correctly. I get my tires rotated every 3000 miles and have them balanced (I do it myself cause I work at Discount Tire) so its not that. Could it be alignment?? I am planning on getting it checked when I go home. I live 500 miles from home and it is one of my biggest fears when driving home. Please let me know what you think it might be.
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Dave Mathis
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Report this Post02-23-2004 03:35 PM Click Here to See the Profile for Dave MathisSend a Private Message to Dave MathisDirect Link to This Post
If it rattles when you drive, it just about has to be tires-wheels or maybe even a bent hub. I have a fairly new set of tires on mine, and they aren't quite round. Balanced, but not round.
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Tom Slick
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Report this Post02-23-2004 04:32 PM Click Here to See the Profile for Tom SlickClick Here to Email Tom SlickSend a Private Message to Tom SlickDirect Link to This Post
how fast are you driving when noticing the shakes?
are you on a smooth road?

this one got me puzzled...

toms...

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Deezlfitr
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Report this Post02-23-2004 09:07 PM Click Here to See the Profile for DeezlfitrClick Here to Email DeezlfitrSend a Private Message to DeezlfitrDirect Link to This Post
Sometimes, even though you have the tires balanced properly, when bolted up to the hub (especially the front), the balance job goes out of whack! About the only remedy is to have each front wheel spin balanced on the car! Kind of a PITA but it does work! Used to have a '67 Corvette and this was the ONLY way to stop the steering wheel shakes! Good luck!

[This message has been edited by Deezlfitr (edited 02-23-2004).]

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Fformula88
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Report this Post02-23-2004 09:34 PM Click Here to See the Profile for Fformula88Send a Private Message to Fformula88Direct Link to This Post
With everything replaced and double checked, its an odd one. I'd have them check over the tires and rims really good. Possibly a bent rim, or a bad belt in a tire? I had a tire with a bad belt that had me convinced my front suspension was shot. Luckily I took it in to be checked first. One tire later I was driving fine again. Also, could the alignment be off? Possibly a bad wheel bearing causing a wobble?

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GTDude
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Report this Post02-23-2004 10:02 PM Click Here to See the Profile for GTDudeClick Here to Email GTDudeDirect Link to This Post
Nothing in an alignment can cause the tires to shake. It must be a wheel or tire problem. My bet is on the tires. Try switching them to the back or trying a diff set.

If you had something loose in the steering, then if you hit a bump it could cause the steering wheel to shake, but not just going down the road. Tire or wheel.

Phil

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87 FIERO GT 2.8 5spd

GM auto tech for 27 years. Specializing in electrical and computer problems. Now on workers comp. and it looks like I will be unable to return to work as a tech.

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GTDude
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Report this Post02-23-2004 10:07 PM Click Here to See the Profile for GTDudeClick Here to Email GTDudeDirect Link to This Post

GTDude

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While spin balancing....on the car.....far exceeds all other types of balancing...even computer balancing, it is increasingly hard to find a shop that has the adapters to fit all the wheel types. Most places quit spin balancing 15 or 20 years ago.

The reason spin balancing is best is because it balances, wheel, tire, rotor....etc. The most perfect for of balancing that I know of.

Phil

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87 FIERO GT 2.8 5spd

GM auto tech for 27 years. Specializing in electrical and computer problems. Now on workers comp. and it looks like I will be unable to return to work as a tech.

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Great88Fiero
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Report this Post02-23-2004 10:07 PM Click Here to See the Profile for Great88FieroClick Here to visit Great88Fiero's HomePageDirect Link to This Post
The traditional way to figure out if it's a bad belt/tire/wheel is to swap the fronts with the rears. Of course, the different offsets/tire size of the 88 Fiero makes this only a temporary measure. I've seen enough 88's with such a mixture of front/rear wheels and front/rear tires that I'm sure a quick spin to see if it's in the wheels/tires wouldn't hurt.

In case I'm not being clear, if you have a front end vibration, a quick way to tell if it's a wheel or tire is to swap the front tires with the back. Lets say a tire is out of balance. On the front, it's gonna shake the wheel, but on the back, while it may vibrate the car some, the steering wheel won't act as a palm massager. If the problem is the same, then it's not the wheels or tires but something else.
HTH.

Ben
88GT

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Smooth 88coupe
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Report this Post02-23-2004 11:07 PM Click Here to See the Profile for Smooth 88coupeClick Here to Email Smooth 88coupeDirect Link to This Post
I know it is not the tires. I did a very close inspection of my tires last time I was in town and even then I felt a shaking feeling. I dont normally get shaking. It is more like, a rattling in the front of the car. It is hard to explain. The roads...on smoother rodes it is better but I can still feel it and really bad on rough rodes. It kinda feels like the steering is "jumping up and down but I dont know how it could do it. I double checked the torque on the bolts . BTW-the rack is from The Fiero Store.
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Report this Post02-24-2004 12:46 AM Click Here to See the Profile for JazzManClick Here to Email JazzManSend a Private Message to JazzManDirect Link to This Post
Rattling or knocking felt through the steering wheel is usually a bad right-side rack bushing or a bad inner tie rod. If you try to move the inner tierod where it attaches to the rack it should have zero movement. Another thing you can do, I kid you not, is to have someone kick the tires while you listen under the car for where the rattling is coming from. Just because the rack is from the Fiero Store doesn't mean it's good, you need to check it yourself.

JazzMan

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Larry Nakamura
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Report this Post02-24-2004 05:04 AM Click Here to See the Profile for Larry NakamuraClick Here to Email Larry NakamuraSend a Private Message to Larry NakamuraDirect Link to This Post
I had a rattle issue on my 88GT. It turns out there was a service
bulletin on the 88 rack bushing tollerences not being correct and
could cause a rattle. I had them try replacing them once, but didn't
get rid of the problem. Then I had them replace the rack with one
that had been made after the tollerences were corrected. Problem
was fixed. Maybe something to keep in mind if it isn't a tire
ballance issue.
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Smooth 88coupe
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Report this Post02-24-2004 02:47 PM Click Here to See the Profile for Smooth 88coupeClick Here to Email Smooth 88coupeSend a Private Message to Smooth 88coupeDirect Link to This Post
The rack is from the fiero store and has the brass bushing. Could it need more grease? I grease it when ever I get the chance. What should I do if I do hear the rattling when I kick the tires.
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Paul Prince
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Report this Post02-24-2004 03:11 PM Click Here to See the Profile for Paul PrinceClick Here to Email Paul PrinceSend a Private Message to Paul PrinceDirect Link to This Post
Are your front wheel bearings good? Any lateral or vertical play?..........Paul
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Smooth 88coupe
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Report this Post02-25-2004 01:53 AM Click Here to See the Profile for Smooth 88coupeClick Here to Email Smooth 88coupeSend a Private Message to Smooth 88coupeDirect Link to This Post
The bearing are fine as far as I know. I have wondered about the right rear but not a great deal. The rattling also has a "popping" sound to it every now and then. I havent really been able to do much because it was raining here today but I will when I get the chance.
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stuartlowery
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Report this Post02-25-2004 10:13 AM Click Here to See the Profile for stuartloweryClick Here to visit stuartlowery's HomePageClick Here to Email stuartlowerySend a Private Message to stuartloweryDirect Link to This Post
Here let me try to help you out some. Next time you have the wheels and tires off GRAB THE TOP OF YOUR SHOCKS. Try to pull the top of the shock off the car towards the hub. This may sound stupid but I've had to fix both of these myself. Next try to push on it the do this back and forth and look for movement. IF YOU SEE ANY then this is your rattle. Any movement here is from the spot welds letting go on teh upper shock mount. And they rattle bad when driving if they are loose. Check both sides and if you have any movement at all have the mounts rewelded back on. Get a good welder to do it for you cause you don't want them comming apart. If this has been rattling for a while you may find some tearing of the metal. Just weld it back.

EDIT just realized you have an 88. I haven't looked at the 88 front suspension so if your shock isn't BEHIND THE A-ARM THEN DISREGAURD THE ABOVE. But still make sure your shock is tight and the bushings are good on it.

[This message has been edited by stuartlowery (edited 02-25-2004).]

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Smooth 88coupe
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Report this Post02-26-2004 12:40 AM Click Here to See the Profile for Smooth 88coupeClick Here to Email Smooth 88coupeSend a Private Message to Smooth 88coupeDirect Link to This Post
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rodmcneill
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Report this Post02-26-2004 01:26 AM Click Here to See the Profile for rodmcneillClick Here to Email rodmcneillSend a Private Message to rodmcneillDirect Link to This Post
I was getting a clunk and a jiggle in the steering wheel of my 86 GT when I went over rough pavement. I thought it was ball joints or tie rods, turned out to be worn out poly sway bar clamps in the front. I replaced them with greasable ones. Rubber ones can wear out too depending on mileage. The alignment shop said they had seen a few of these recently ( other cars, rubber clamps) By the way they did not charge for the diagnosis, having a lift and experienced front end mechanics taught me a lesson.
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Smooth 88coupe
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Report this Post02-27-2004 12:01 PM Click Here to See the Profile for Smooth 88coupeClick Here to Email Smooth 88coupeSend a Private Message to Smooth 88coupeDirect Link to This Post
I tried kicking my tires and I didnt hear the noise. I then took it for a drive and I tried to hear but couldnt. I did notice that the steering wheel had play in it. Could an alignment help that?
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Raydar
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Report this Post02-27-2004 12:24 PM Click Here to See the Profile for RaydarClick Here to Email RaydarSend a Private Message to RaydarDirect Link to This Post
Just for grins, check the nuts on the ends of the upper control arm shaft. If they are even a little bit loose, it will allow the contol arm to rattle. Sounds like the front end is coming apart.

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Raydar
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Coming soon...
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gt88norm
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Report this Post02-28-2004 12:49 AM Click Here to See the Profile for gt88normSend a Private Message to gt88normDirect Link to This Post
Steering-wheel play? look to tie-rod ends
On this rebuild did you do control-arm bushings?

On my '88 a po had an alignment done and the technician (NOT technologist) missed the paddle
nuts w/ one of the bolts, ate up bushings can be exciting (in an un-fun sort of way)!

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JazzMan
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Report this Post02-28-2004 01:41 AM Click Here to See the Profile for JazzManClick Here to Email JazzManSend a Private Message to JazzManDirect Link to This Post
Look to see if both the 11 mm nuts on the steering shaft that connects the column to the rack are tight.

JazzMan

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fierogt88
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Report this Post03-01-2004 01:19 AM Click Here to See the Profile for fierogt88Click Here to Email fierogt88Send a Private Message to fierogt88Direct Link to This Post
 
quote
Originally posted by Raydar:

Just for grins, check the nuts on the ends of the upper control arm shaft. If they are even a little bit loose, it will allow the contol arm to rattle. Sounds like the front end is coming apart.

This was *exactly* the problem when I first bought my 88 gt.

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Smooth 88coupe
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Report this Post03-01-2004 10:44 AM Click Here to See the Profile for Smooth 88coupeClick Here to Email Smooth 88coupeSend a Private Message to Smooth 88coupeDirect Link to This Post
That sucks! I'll check that when I go home for Spring Break. I have no other way to fix it or deal with it right now. Would it be wise to replace with the upper control arm paddle nuts from the Fiero Store? Now that I know what they do. When I replaced the front I didnt know what I was getting into and didnt know what to get and now I know but dont really want to dig back into the car unless I have to. The way we did it wasnt the professional way and I regret it. But I got it done for free and you get what you pay for.
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Smooth 88coupe
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Report this Post03-03-2004 01:16 PM Click Here to See the Profile for Smooth 88coupeClick Here to Email Smooth 88coupeSend a Private Message to Smooth 88coupeDirect Link to This Post
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fierogt88
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Report this Post03-03-2004 02:26 PM Click Here to See the Profile for fierogt88Click Here to Email fierogt88Send a Private Message to fierogt88Direct Link to This Post
My problem was the nuts on the ends of the shaft, not the paddle nuts.

But, it could be either one... check both.

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