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Rear End Sway by bomluuk
Started on: 05-28-2014 12:27 PM
Replies: 106 (2956 views)
Last post by: 4thfiero on 02-24-2015 09:06 AM
edfiero
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Report this Post06-06-2014 12:16 PM Click Here to See the Profile for edfieroClick Here to Email edfieroSend a Private Message to edfieroEdit/Delete MessageReply w/QuoteDirect Link to This Post
 
quote
Originally posted by bomluuk:

86 GT.
I get a real bad sway when driving on the freeway. Its not scary, but it is definately noticeable. I seem to remember it happening when I got new tires put on the rear.
I'm currently running 205/40/17 in the front and 235/45/17 in the rear. Nitto NT555 Extreme ZR on 17x7 wheels.
Is this more likely the issue, or would it be more likely that there is something else off with the rear suspension.


I had sway in my rear end. First changed the Hubs thinking that the bearing may be wearing, since they were orginial but the problem turned out to be lower ball joint.
Jack up one side of rear. Grab tire at 3 and 9 o'clcock rock it back and forth, have helper see where wiggle is coming from. Could be Tie Rod, or Bushings, but my vote is for ball joint
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Report this Post06-09-2014 12:05 PM Click Here to See the Profile for bomluukSend a Private Message to bomluukEdit/Delete MessageReply w/QuoteDirect Link to This Post
Replaced the inner tie rods and took it in for an alignment. It seems to have helped the problem, but it still sways a little. I'll check the ball joints and replace if necessary. I think when its time for new tires, I'm gonna go back to stock size with 15" lace wheels. They're cheaper anyway
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Report this Post06-09-2014 12:50 PM Click Here to See the Profile for CsjagClick Here to Email CsjagSend a Private Message to CsjagEdit/Delete MessageReply w/QuoteDirect Link to This Post
are the engine and tranny mounts the original ones, when I changed mine it made a big difference, before I could feel wiggle and sway now thats gone.
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Report this Post06-09-2014 02:04 PM Click Here to See the Profile for bomluukSend a Private Message to bomluukEdit/Delete MessageReply w/QuoteDirect Link to This Post
 
quote
Originally posted by Csjag:

are the engine and tranny mounts the original ones, when I changed mine it made a big difference, before I could feel wiggle and sway now thats gone.


No. Engine, tranny, and cradle mounts have all been replaced with poly within the past ~300 miles.
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Report this Post06-10-2014 05:45 PM Click Here to See the Profile for Mickey_MooseClick Here to visit Mickey_Moose's HomePageClick Here to Email Mickey_MooseSend a Private Message to Mickey_MooseEdit/Delete MessageReply w/QuoteDirect Link to This Post
 
quote
Originally posted by bomluuk:


When you say check the struts, do you mean take the strut apart and compress it?


yes

Suggestion - remove it with the knuckle so it doesn't mess with the alignment, or scribe the metal along the edge of the strut to mark it's position before you take it apart.

[This message has been edited by Mickey_Moose (edited 06-10-2014).]

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Report this Post06-12-2014 07:20 AM Click Here to See the Profile for jimmoClick Here to Email jimmoSend a Private Message to jimmoEdit/Delete MessageReply w/QuoteDirect Link to This Post
Im wondering if the the inner tie rod mounting points are fatigued or cracked and allowing flex. Ive been having the same issue with my car and thats the next place im checking this weekend. My sway is only noticeable above 60mph.
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bomluuk
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Report this Post09-25-2014 05:22 PM Click Here to See the Profile for bomluukSend a Private Message to bomluukEdit/Delete MessageReply w/QuoteDirect Link to This Post
Just an update:

Inner tie rods have been replaced.
Both rear hubs have been replaced.
Car still sways.

What else to check:
1. Inner tie rod connection points
2. Control arm bushings
3. ball joints
4. struts
5. ???
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bomluuk
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Report this Post09-26-2014 07:21 PM Click Here to See the Profile for bomluukSend a Private Message to bomluukEdit/Delete MessageReply w/QuoteDirect Link to This Post
Here are the alignment specs from when I got it aligned last.

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Report this Post09-28-2014 07:58 AM Click Here to See the Profile for flimbobSend a Private Message to flimbobEdit/Delete MessageReply w/QuoteDirect Link to This Post
Rear lower ball joint is held in place with 4 nuts/bolts. Mine had worked their way loose. Ended up replacing the hardware and using thread seal on them. Never had the problem again......
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Alex.07.86GT
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Report this Post09-28-2014 11:03 AM Click Here to See the Profile for Alex.07.86GTSend a Private Message to Alex.07.86GTEdit/Delete MessageReply w/QuoteDirect Link to This Post
 
quote
Originally posted by bomluuk:

Here are the alignment specs from when I got it aligned last.



If all is good in the rear, check the front end. At this stage in the game you shouldnt have any original suspension parts.

When you go for a new wheel alignment they will tell you if you have a bad part or not. So change whats original and go prepared!
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bomluuk
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Report this Post09-28-2014 08:33 PM Click Here to See the Profile for bomluukSend a Private Message to bomluukEdit/Delete MessageReply w/QuoteDirect Link to This Post
 
quote
Originally posted by flimbob:
Rear lower ball joint is held in place with 4 nuts/bolts. Mine had worked their way loose. Ended up replacing the hardware and using thread seal on them. Never had the problem again......


They're stock so they're still riveted in. I did order new ones to put in though.

 
quote

If all is good in the rear, check the front end. At this stage in the game you shouldnt have any original suspension parts.
When you go for a new wheel alignment they will tell you if you have a bad part or not. So change whats original and go prepared!


They haven't said anything thus far. But I have ordered all new ball joints and bushings, front and rear
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Report this Post09-30-2014 06:08 PM Click Here to See the Profile for bomluukSend a Private Message to bomluukEdit/Delete MessageReply w/QuoteDirect Link to This Post
So the other day I noticed my car handling VERY poorly. Turns out my rear driver tire was very low. I pulled it, looked at it and found the object.
Thats the bad news.
The worse news is I now have a bubble in my tire.
Here is my question that i'd like to put to a vote (regardless of the responses, I'm still replacing all my suspension parts):

Should I go back to stock 215/60/15 or just replace my one tire with a new 235/45/17?
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Report this Post09-30-2014 08:19 PM Click Here to See the Profile for Gall757Send a Private Message to Gall757Edit/Delete MessageReply w/QuoteDirect Link to This Post
What sort of contest is this? The car suspension was designed for 60 series tires and works best that way, but if you get decent 45 series tires they should not come apart on you....the ride will be a little harder. I prefer the stock sizes...but if you don't mind the bumps.....either should work.
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Report this Post09-30-2014 09:36 PM Click Here to See the Profile for infinitewillSend a Private Message to infinitewillEdit/Delete MessageReply w/QuoteDirect Link to This Post
I had very badly separated belts in the drivers side rear tire when I bought my '87 GT. The car wandered scary amounts. Swapped a new set of Bridgestone Potenzas and a fresh alignment and I have been rock solid since. Maybe it's the tires?

Dr. W.

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Report this Post09-30-2014 09:52 PM Click Here to See the Profile for bomluukSend a Private Message to bomluukEdit/Delete MessageReply w/QuoteDirect Link to This Post
 
quote
Originally posted by Gall757:

What sort of contest is this? The car suspension was designed for 60 series tires and works best that way, but if you get decent 45 series tires they should not come apart on you....the ride will be a little harder. I prefer the stock sizes...but if you don't mind the bumps.....either should work.


not sure what contest you're referring to. I'm just asking some opinions. I didn't notice any difference in ride stiffness between my 60 series and my 45 series.
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Report this Post09-30-2014 09:54 PM Click Here to See the Profile for bomluukSend a Private Message to bomluukEdit/Delete MessageReply w/QuoteDirect Link to This Post

bomluuk

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Member since Apr 2012
 
quote
Originally posted by infinitewill:

I had very badly separated belts in the drivers side rear tire when I bought my '87 GT. The car wandered scary amounts. Swapped a new set of Bridgestone Potenzas and a fresh alignment and I have been rock solid since. Maybe it's the tires?

Dr. W.



Maybe so. All I can say is I'll be happy when it's fixed.
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Alex.07.86GT
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Report this Post09-30-2014 11:18 PM Click Here to See the Profile for Alex.07.86GTSend a Private Message to Alex.07.86GTEdit/Delete MessageReply w/QuoteDirect Link to This Post
you changed all those parts just to find out it was your New Tires???
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Report this Post10-01-2014 02:27 AM Click Here to See the Profile for bomluukSend a Private Message to bomluukEdit/Delete MessageReply w/QuoteDirect Link to This Post
 
quote
Originally posted by Alex.07.86GT:

you changed all those parts just to find out it was your New Tires???


The only thing I've changed so far are the inner tie rod ends (Edit: and wheel/hub assembly). Not sure it is the tires, at this point it's still a mystery.

[This message has been edited by bomluuk (edited 10-01-2014).]

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bomluuk
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Report this Post10-06-2014 01:05 PM Click Here to See the Profile for bomluukSend a Private Message to bomluukEdit/Delete MessageReply w/QuoteDirect Link to This Post
Just for maintenance records:
4 Oct 2014
Rear control arm bushings replaced
Rear ball joints replaced
back to 215/60/15 tires on rear
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Report this Post10-06-2014 06:13 PM Click Here to See the Profile for sspeedstreetClick Here to Email sspeedstreetSend a Private Message to sspeedstreetEdit/Delete MessageReply w/QuoteDirect Link to This Post
I had this same problem on my 1988GT after putting new tires on all 4 corners. Really squirrely in the rear. I believe it was the molding tits on the tires. When they wore off, so did the swaying.
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Report this Post10-07-2014 09:22 AM Click Here to See the Profile for 2.5Send a Private Message to 2.5Edit/Delete MessageReply w/QuoteDirect Link to This Post
Related. Sounds odd but check the front shocks. If one is "dead", not doing its job, the car can dive on that corner, throwing the whole feel off.
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Report this Post10-07-2014 02:02 PM Click Here to See the Profile for bomluukSend a Private Message to bomluukEdit/Delete MessageReply w/QuoteDirect Link to This Post
 
quote
Originally posted by 2.5:

Related. Sounds odd but check the front shocks. If one is "dead", not doing its job, the car can dive on that corner, throwing the whole feel off.


I'm replacing the front control arm bushings and upper ball joints starting today. I'll make sure to check the shocks while I'm there.
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Report this Post10-09-2014 12:39 AM Click Here to See the Profile for bomluukSend a Private Message to bomluukEdit/Delete MessageReply w/QuoteDirect Link to This Post
 
quote
Originally posted by 2.5:

Related. Sounds odd but check the front shocks. If one is "dead", not doing its job, the car can dive on that corner, throwing the whole feel off.


Anybody notice anything wrong?


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Report this Post10-09-2014 08:35 AM Click Here to See the Profile for 2.5Send a Private Message to 2.5Edit/Delete MessageReply w/QuoteDirect Link to This Post
You got a dead one! Hope replacing it helps your prob
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bomluuk
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Report this Post10-11-2014 08:45 PM Click Here to See the Profile for bomluukSend a Private Message to bomluukEdit/Delete MessageReply w/QuoteDirect Link to This Post
Replaced the shock, as well as the sway bar bushings. Got it aligned and took it for a ride. It doesn't sway anymore!
Washed and ready to go. Thanks everyone for all the help and suggestions.
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Report this Post10-11-2014 10:28 PM Click Here to See the Profile for fierofoolClick Here to visit fierofool's HomePageClick Here to Email fierofoolSend a Private Message to fierofoolEdit/Delete MessageReply w/QuoteDirect Link to This Post
I've been watching this thread closely because I have the same problem on my 86SE. Since it's seldom driven I've not taken a lot of time trying to find the problem, but it had a very serious wiggle in the rear. Scary wiggle. One that would make your heart skip a few beats.

The initial finding was that all the ball joints were floppy. Not loose, but floppy. It was like that when I bought it. All ball joints and tie rods replaced, front shocks replaced, rear aftermarket swaybar removed, poly bushings installed on front sway bar and rear control arms. It has low profile 45's on 17 inch rims. It still wiggles badly if you hit a little imperfection in the roadway and has torque steer when alternately accelerating and decelerating but otherwise it's solid as a rock on smooth straight roads or in the curves.

Recently someone told me they had the same problem and found the alignment shop didn't tighten one of the rear strut bolts. The same alignment shop found it after the owner replaced a bunch of other parts, like ball joints and tie rod ends. At least the shop was honest enough to admit they screwed up.
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bomluuk
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Report this Post10-22-2014 02:56 PM Click Here to See the Profile for bomluukSend a Private Message to bomluukEdit/Delete MessageReply w/QuoteDirect Link to This Post
So after driving my car for 8 days, I am still experiencing some symptoms (but different) which are leading me to believe I have a bad rear strut as well.
When I swerve to the right, the car goes back to straight fairly quickly.
When I swerve to the left, the car rocks a little then goes back to straight.

First question: does this diagnosis seem correct?

Second question: If I pull my strut from the tower (3 bolts at the top), will that prevent me from needing to get another alignment when I put it back together?
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Report this Post10-22-2014 04:10 PM Click Here to See the Profile for fierofoolClick Here to visit fierofool's HomePageClick Here to Email fierofoolSend a Private Message to fierofoolEdit/Delete MessageReply w/QuoteDirect Link to This Post
 
quote
Originally posted by bomluuk:


Second question: If I pull my strut from the tower (3 bolts at the top), will that prevent me from needing to get another alignment when I put it back together?


It won't preserve alignment specs, though the three bolts at top have no bearing on alignment. When you remove the two pinch bolts at the bottom of the strut, the alignment is disturbed. You would have to get the new strut back in exactly the same position. Possible, but highly unlikely to get it exact without an alignment machine. If removing and reinstalling the old struts, such as when doing other repairs, you can mark the position of the struts but that won't work when installing new ones. Just be careful after you get the new struts installed. The rear can get very unstable when taking it back to the alignment shop.

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Report this Post10-22-2014 04:15 PM Click Here to See the Profile for bomluukSend a Private Message to bomluukEdit/Delete MessageReply w/QuoteDirect Link to This Post
 
quote
Originally posted by fierofool:


It won't preserve alignment specs, though the three bolts at top have no bearing on alignment. When you remove the two pinch bolts at the bottom of the strut, the alignment is disturbed. You would have to get the new strut back in exactly the same position. Possible, but highly unlikely to get it exact without an alignment machine. If removing and reinstalling the old struts, such as when doing other repairs, you can mark the position of the struts but that won't work when installing new ones. Just be careful after you get the new struts installed. The rear can get very unstable when taking it back to the alignment shop.


Thanks. I was just planning on pulling it to check it, then putting it back for the time being. Then I'll get to replacing it when I have the time. Thanks again.
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Report this Post10-22-2014 05:30 PM Click Here to See the Profile for fierofoolClick Here to visit fierofool's HomePageClick Here to Email fierofoolSend a Private Message to fierofoolEdit/Delete MessageReply w/QuoteDirect Link to This Post
Then let me clarify my answer. If you're dropping the rear assembly, removing the 3 bolts at the top is the way to do it without disturbing the alignment. The two pinch bolts at the bottom of the strut and the tie rod are the alignment controllers.
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Report this Post10-23-2014 12:01 AM Click Here to See the Profile for bomluukSend a Private Message to bomluukEdit/Delete MessageReply w/QuoteDirect Link to This Post
 
quote
Originally posted by fierofool:

Then let me clarify my answer. If you're dropping the rear assembly, removing the 3 bolts at the top is the way to do it without disturbing the alignment. The two pinch bolts at the bottom of the strut and the tie rod are the alignment controllers.


Copy that.
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Report this Post10-23-2014 07:20 PM Click Here to See the Profile for thesameguyClick Here to Email thesameguySend a Private Message to thesameguyEdit/Delete MessageReply w/QuoteDirect Link to This Post
Is it possible you have the tires overinflated? 235mm is a wide tire for a 2700lb car. On my bone-stock Solstice GXP w/ 245s, 31psi vs. 30psi was the difference between a nice handling car and a Zamboni. On the Fiero (225 f / 245 r) I keep it at 30psi all around and the car sticks like glue.
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Report this Post10-24-2014 07:32 PM Click Here to See the Profile for bomluukSend a Private Message to bomluukEdit/Delete MessageReply w/QuoteDirect Link to This Post
I went back to stock tire size and it still isn't handling like it should. There's something else wrong.
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Report this Post10-25-2014 08:08 PM Click Here to See the Profile for fierofoolClick Here to visit fierofool's HomePageClick Here to Email fierofoolSend a Private Message to fierofoolEdit/Delete MessageReply w/QuoteDirect Link to This Post
I've had everything except the rear struts replaced on my suspension. Front ball joints and tie rod ends, rear ball joints and tie rod ends, rear control arm bushings, and after about 3200 miles, another set of rear ball joints. The alignment shop had spent 2 1/2 days trying to get things in order and the car still had a bad wiggle in the rear. That's why I was watching this thread so closely. I had run out of things to replace. New rear struts are scheduled within the next week or so in a parts trade-off.

When the rear control arm bushings were replaced, the mechanic said he found that both new ball joints were bad. One was a NAPA and the other a Rodney Dickman. They were both replaced with ball joints from either Advance or AutoZone. On the 75 mile drive home, the car was all over the road. Still had the twitch.

Today I jacked up the rear to take a suggestion given to another PFF member. Checked the cradle bolts and found the left rear to be loose, but it appears that the nut is spinning inside the frame. Even with that, it's pretty darned tight.

Next, I gave it the wiggle test. BINGO! Got my brother to look at it while I wiggled some more. Both rear wheels had about a half inch of wobble in them. My brother spotted the movement in the ball joint. I checked the pinch bolts and they would turn pretty freely. After tightening both and reinstalling the wheels, I took it for a good test drive. No torque steer. No wiggle-wobble.

So, even if you think everything's tight, go back and double check. A number of well-qualified Fiero people missed this simple issue and I've spent a lot of money in the meantime.
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Report this Post11-02-2014 09:04 PM Click Here to See the Profile for bomluukSend a Private Message to bomluukEdit/Delete MessageReply w/QuoteDirect Link to This Post
Pulled my driver's side strut to test it. Bad. Pulled my passenger side strut so I can replace it at the same time as the driver. Tested for fun. It was bad also.
So here are the statistics: 75% of the shocks/struts I bought and drove for 10,000 miles on, went bad. (FYI these are the struts I used.)

Video for fun:


I'll never buy Gabriel again.
KYBs are on their way.
 
quote
Originally posted by fierofool:

I've had everything except the rear struts replaced on my suspension. Front ball joints and tie rod ends, rear ball joints and tie rod ends, rear control arm bushings, and after about 3200 miles, another set of rear ball joints. The alignment shop had spent 2 1/2 days trying to get things in order and the car still had a bad wiggle in the rear. That's why I was watching this thread so closely. I had run out of things to replace. New rear struts are scheduled within the next week or so in a parts trade-off.

When the rear control arm bushings were replaced, the mechanic said he found that both new ball joints were bad. One was a NAPA and the other a Rodney Dickman. They were both replaced with ball joints from either Advance or AutoZone. On the 75 mile drive home, the car was all over the road. Still had the twitch.

Today I jacked up the rear to take a suggestion given to another PFF member. Checked the cradle bolts and found the left rear to be loose, but it appears that the nut is spinning inside the frame. Even with that, it's pretty darned tight.

Next, I gave it the wiggle test. BINGO! Got my brother to look at it while I wiggled some more. Both rear wheels had about a half inch of wobble in them. My brother spotted the movement in the ball joint. I checked the pinch bolts and they would turn pretty freely. After tightening both and reinstalling the wheels, I took it for a good test drive. No torque steer. No wiggle-wobble.

So, even if you think everything's tight, go back and double check. A number of well-qualified Fiero people missed this simple issue and I've spent a lot of money in the meantime.

I'l double check everything when I'm putting in the KYBs. Thanks.

[This message has been edited by bomluuk (edited 11-03-2014).]

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Report this Post11-02-2014 10:57 PM Click Here to See the Profile for 1fast2m4Send a Private Message to 1fast2m4Edit/Delete MessageReply w/QuoteDirect Link to This Post
I Too am watching this closely< I have ha a BUNCH of Fiero's over the years and two, one my current 86 SE and another 86GT just have had a bad, SWAY at highway speeds, the faster they go the worse they sway. it's just not safe over 60mph. I've done ball joints, bushings, alignments and even the bushing in the rack. I never thought to try shocks. i hope shocks do it.

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HX-40, FrozenBoost I/C, 80lb injectors & E85 Coming soon.....

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Report this Post11-03-2014 08:48 PM Click Here to See the Profile for fierofoolClick Here to visit fierofool's HomePageClick Here to Email fierofoolSend a Private Message to fierofoolEdit/Delete MessageReply w/QuoteDirect Link to This Post
Not to hijack, but to add things to look for. Yesterday the mechanic was driving my 86SE up to the parts store to order the struts. On the way back the right rear CV gave way. The resulting change in wheel angle put him into a spin and a lady's front yard, destroying the right rocker panel and rear quarter along with the right rear spindle. There was no noise or indication of any outer CV problems and the nut was torqued to 200 lb/ft
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Bloozberry
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Report this Post11-03-2014 09:27 PM Click Here to See the Profile for BloozberrySend a Private Message to BloozberryEdit/Delete MessageReply w/QuoteDirect Link to This Post
That's odd... the CV joint/axle doesn't change the suspension's geometry in any way, so its failure shouldn't affect controllability unless the axle dropped down and dug into the pavement, or perhaps if the failure occurred under heavy throttle where asymmetric thrust might become a factor.
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Gall757
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Report this Post11-03-2014 10:01 PM Click Here to See the Profile for Gall757Send a Private Message to Gall757Edit/Delete MessageReply w/QuoteDirect Link to This Post
+1

Do you know this mechanic well?
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fierofool
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Report this Post11-03-2014 11:13 PM Click Here to See the Profile for fierofoolClick Here to visit fierofool's HomePageClick Here to Email fierofoolSend a Private Message to fierofoolEdit/Delete MessageReply w/QuoteDirect Link to This Post
Yes, I've known him since 1993. He's been the number 1 Fiero mechanic in and to the Georgia Fiero Club and many other Fiero owners around the southeast. He was on a residential street and as I recall from driving on it, the max speed limit is either 35 or 45. He wouldn't have been dogging the car.

Ironically, my car was the first Fiero he had worked on way back in '93, aside from his own. It was his first time to replace a clutch in a Fiero. Tonight, he told me that due to his failing health, mine will also be the last. Many will know him as Aerodonamic or Don Hulse.
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