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Wide tired Fiero owners. Do you have steering issues? by solotwo
Started on: 05-14-2013 10:44 AM
Replies: 75 (2048 views)
Last post by: solotwo on 05-27-2014 10:54 PM
solotwo
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Report this Post05-14-2013 10:44 AM Click Here to See the Profile for solotwoSend a Private Message to solotwoEdit/Delete MessageReply w/QuoteDirect Link to This Post
Yes I know it is kind of a dumb question. Like duh wide tires steer harder. I recently bought this car and I am trying to iron out the issues. I think I may have a rack issue or an alignment issue. When turning I have to turn the steering wheel back to get the tires to come back to the centered position. Hmmm I have only noticed it when turning left. I am going to have to go out and drive and make right hand turns to verify.

Have any of you wide tires in the front Fiero owners experienced this?


And the clunk I get is may be bad ball joint, tie rod end or worn rubber bushings. It seems to be on the left-drivers side only.

[This message has been edited by solotwo (edited 05-14-2013).]

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olejoedad
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Report this Post05-14-2013 10:49 AM Click Here to See the Profile for olejoedadClick Here to Email olejoedadSend a Private Message to olejoedadEdit/Delete MessageReply w/QuoteDirect Link to This Post
What year, what wheel offset, what width tires, what wheel width?

A bad ball joint, tie rod end, etc. does not help with your diagnosis.
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Report this Post05-14-2013 11:19 AM Click Here to See the Profile for solotwoSend a Private Message to solotwoEdit/Delete MessageReply w/QuoteDirect Link to This Post
Sorry olejoedad. 87 GT with 17" x 8 wheels with yokohama 225/45R17 tires on the front. I do not know the offset, I was not given that information from the previous owner. The wheels have all most all of the width to the inside towards the vehicle.
I am taking tomorrow off to work on the car and plan on looking at this issue also.

[This message has been edited by solotwo (edited 05-14-2013).]

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Bloozberry
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Report this Post05-14-2013 12:28 PM Click Here to See the Profile for BloozberrySend a Private Message to BloozberryEdit/Delete MessageReply w/QuoteDirect Link to This Post
The 225 width tires aren't going to create any noticeable difference in steering effort from say the stock 215 tires. And while I know where olejoedad is going with the wheel offset questions, I don't believe you have a scrub radius problem if, as you stated, most of the extra wheel width went under the car rather than towards the outside.

I do believe you have more than one problem though. A worn ball joint (or two) can certainly cause the caster to change enough to affect the tendency for the steering wheel to return to center after a turn, but so can having the wrong static caster too. As olejoedad suggested, first get the worn parts addressed then you'll be able to more accurately pinpoint any other problem.
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solotwo
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Report this Post05-14-2013 12:37 PM Click Here to See the Profile for solotwoSend a Private Message to solotwoEdit/Delete MessageReply w/QuoteDirect Link to This Post
Thank you! I will check to see if I need to replace parts.

I just checked all the correspondence and information given to me from the P.O. He states "all new ball joints, tie rods, shocks and struts. Sooooooo it should not need any thing. P.O. claims the work was done around 187K , chassis now has 203K. I'll check anyway but.

[This message has been edited by solotwo (edited 05-14-2013).]

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TONY_C
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Report this Post05-14-2013 02:29 PM Click Here to See the Profile for TONY_CSend a Private Message to TONY_CEdit/Delete MessageReply w/QuoteDirect Link to This Post
 
quote
Originally posted by solotwo:

Thank you! I will check to see if I need to replace parts.

I just checked all the correspondence and information given to me from the P.O. He states "all new ball joints, tie rods, shocks and struts. Sooooooo it should not need any thing. P.O. claims the work was done around 187K , chassis now has 203K. I'll check anyway but.



If he changed ball joints at 187,000 miles, chances are that they were not the first set of new ball joints. If so, you mayu have a ball joint that is loose in the lower control arm as they are pressed in and the hole in the LCA does get a bit sloppy. It happened to my car, I ended up tack welding the new ones in. You do get some weird steering inputs when the ball joints are loose in the LCA holes.
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solotwo
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Report this Post05-14-2013 03:05 PM Click Here to See the Profile for solotwoSend a Private Message to solotwoEdit/Delete MessageReply w/QuoteDirect Link to This Post
Just got back from lunch and it seems to have a dead spot or bind just before it gets back to center turning right or left. I bet the rack is original and needs to be replaced. Now to find a source for a GOOD rack.
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Report this Post05-14-2013 03:35 PM Click Here to See the Profile for BloozberrySend a Private Message to BloozberryEdit/Delete MessageReply w/QuoteDirect Link to This Post
Binding in one spot most often occurs because surface rust has built up on the rack (the part with the teeth) and it binds when the rusty part tries to pass through the passenger side bushing in the housing. It sounds like you've already committed to removing the rack anyways so it really isn't much more work to disassemble it, in fact it's really easy. With the rack out, you can wire wheel the rust off and grease it well so it doesn't form again, and reuse it without any problems. To be on the safe side, I'd order a new passenger side rack bushing to replace it on spec as it is probably worn.
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solotwo
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Report this Post05-14-2013 03:43 PM Click Here to See the Profile for solotwoSend a Private Message to solotwoEdit/Delete MessageReply w/QuoteDirect Link to This Post
Well I dont have the $ to replace it so I will live with it for now.
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Report this Post05-14-2013 04:48 PM Click Here to See the Profile for mcguiver3Send a Private Message to mcguiver3Edit/Delete MessageReply w/QuoteDirect Link to This Post
solotwo
I'm interested in the 17x8 wheels you have in the front.
I am running a 17x7 with a 40mm offset and it clears everything on my 88 race car.
The rear is a 17x8 with a 48 mm offset. I tried it on the front and it did not fit, Way too many issues with clearance.

Bob
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solotwo
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Report this Post05-14-2013 05:21 PM Click Here to See the Profile for solotwoSend a Private Message to solotwoEdit/Delete MessageReply w/QuoteDirect Link to This Post
 
quote
Originally posted by mcguiver3:

solotwo
I'm interested in the 17x8 wheels you have in the front.
I am running a 17x7 with a 40mm offset and it clears everything on my 88 race car.
The rear is a 17x8 with a 48 mm offset. I tried it on the front and it did not fit, Way too many issues with clearance.

Bob


What you want to buy them? The PO installed 18's on the rear


Does this help?
Does this show them better or would you like an up close picture?

[This message has been edited by solotwo (edited 05-14-2013).]

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mcguiver3
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Report this Post05-14-2013 05:57 PM Click Here to See the Profile for mcguiver3Send a Private Message to mcguiver3Edit/Delete MessageReply w/QuoteDirect Link to This Post
I don't need them I was just curious about the offset and how they fit.
Do you know the backset?
Sorry I miss stated in my previous post.
Those are my back set measurements.
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solotwo
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Report this Post05-14-2013 11:57 PM Click Here to See the Profile for solotwoSend a Private Message to solotwoEdit/Delete MessageReply w/QuoteDirect Link to This Post
Sorry that information was never given to me by P.O.
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Report this Post05-15-2013 03:15 AM Click Here to See the Profile for jscott1Send a Private Message to jscott1Edit/Delete MessageReply w/QuoteDirect Link to This Post
 
quote
Originally posted by solotwo:

Well I dont have the $ to replace it so I will live with it for now.


Be careful, I had my rack fail and suddenly I had no steering. Luckily I was in the driveway when it happened.
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Report this Post05-15-2013 06:48 AM Click Here to See the Profile for ArchieClick Here to visit Archie's HomePageClick Here to Email ArchieSend a Private Message to ArchieEdit/Delete MessageReply w/QuoteDirect Link to This Post
I think you have a serious safety issue here.

Whether you have bad ball joints, a rack issue, bad "A" arm bushings or a bad alignment, you should be addressing it now.

If it does have "all new ball joints, tie rods, shocks and struts" & if the lower ball joints are in the "A" arms tight, then you could have bad "A" arm bushings or the top sleeve that the upper control arm bolt goes thru could have broken welds where it attaches to the front cross member. either one of these can cause the "A" arm to move in directions it's not supposed to go.

You should either address the issues now or park the car. Save a life, it could be your own.

Archie
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Report this Post05-15-2013 11:02 AM Click Here to See the Profile for BlacktreeClick Here to visit Blacktree's HomePageClick Here to Email BlacktreeSend a Private Message to BlacktreeEdit/Delete MessageReply w/QuoteDirect Link to This Post
At this point, I don't think I'd be worried about how wide my front tires are. I'd be worried about the front suspension falling apart. The hard steering and binding you mentioned could be a bad spot on the rack, or a failing ball joint, or maybe a little of both. Whatever the case may be, it needs to be dealt with ASAP.

After you get the front end fixed, see how it steers then. I'm willing to bet your concerns about tire width will suddenly disappear.
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solotwo
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Report this Post05-15-2013 05:20 PM Click Here to See the Profile for solotwoSend a Private Message to solotwoEdit/Delete MessageReply w/QuoteDirect Link to This Post
 
quote
Originally posted by Blacktree:

At this point, I don't think I'd be worried about how wide my front tires are. I'd be worried about the front suspension falling apart. The hard steering and binding you mentioned could be a bad spot on the rack, or a failing ball joint, or maybe a little of both. Whatever the case may be, it needs to be dealt with ASAP.

After you get the front end fixed, see how it steers then. I'm willing to bet your concerns about tire width will suddenly disappear.


I am leaning towards the rack.





I dont see anything broke. As you can see supposedly Prothane was installed. I am going to check the ball joints, but looking at them they look ok.

[This message has been edited by solotwo (edited 05-15-2013).]

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solotwo
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Report this Post05-15-2013 06:54 PM Click Here to See the Profile for solotwoSend a Private Message to solotwoEdit/Delete MessageReply w/QuoteDirect Link to This Post
Ok tried the 6-12 on both front wheels. Both have a tiny bit of play. I am thinking the wheel bearings need to be tighten down just a little.
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Report this Post05-15-2013 09:14 PM Click Here to See the Profile for Dennis LaGruaClick Here to Email Dennis LaGruaSend a Private Message to Dennis LaGruaEdit/Delete MessageReply w/QuoteDirect Link to This Post
 
quote
Originally posted by solotwo:

Ok tried the 6-12 on both front wheels. Both have a tiny bit of play. I am thinking the wheel bearings need to be tighten down just a little.


How do you define "a tiny bit"? You also say that you have a problem with the tires returning to the neutral (straight) position. Have you verified that the rack is indexed properly.? When you turn the steering wheel do you feel any play? Is the steering wheel centered while driving in a straight line?
Steering issues are to be taken seriously, so get in there and see what gives.

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Report this Post05-15-2013 09:49 PM Click Here to See the Profile for cmechmannClick Here to Email cmechmannSend a Private Message to cmechmannEdit/Delete MessageReply w/QuoteDirect Link to This Post
Just a few notes. Need to check for stiffness with both wheels off ground(unloaded). This way you can tell if it is a rack/tight suspension issue or a tracking issue.
Sticking Ball joints(never greased) can cause lack of rebound but normally both directions.
Most cars with power steering have more positive caster. To improve cornering performance, steering rebound(centering)and reduce (wander). However this increases steering effort.
Typically cars without power have less positive caster. To lessen the steering effort, But at cost of handling. Raising the rear ride height will decrease the caster more.
Cars without power steering and set to sport type handling will be set to happy medium. For me I like to see it around 3 degrees or higher on mine.
That's with 215/55/16 on front. Good rebound, great cornering, but slight wander at speeds over 78. However I think that is air building up under the front.I might go higher caster after I go through the rear suspension this summer. I'll also will be changing the tire size on the rear and adding around 70lbs to the drive train.
Iv'e seen as much as 8 degrees and higher on European cars with power steering.
I would agree with the others on it being a rack issue. It never hurts to check everything else.

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solotwo
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Report this Post05-15-2013 09:51 PM Click Here to See the Profile for solotwoSend a Private Message to solotwoEdit/Delete MessageReply w/QuoteDirect Link to This Post
tighten up the wheel bearings and lubed ball joints. I looked at all the ball joints. I did the 6-12 and found a very very minor movement so I checked the wheel bearings and snugged them just a little after going through the process to check them.

Drove it to work this am, the snugging up of the wheel bearings and lubing the ball joints seemed to help a little. Still a little binding or dead spot. The binding reminds me of the same I had with my 88 before I replaced the rack. I have an AC Delco rebuild ordered.

[This message has been edited by solotwo (edited 05-16-2013).]

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solotwo
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Report this Post06-05-2013 09:04 AM Click Here to See the Profile for solotwoSend a Private Message to solotwoEdit/Delete MessageReply w/QuoteDirect Link to This Post
I

[This message has been edited by solotwo (edited 10-10-2013).]

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Report this Post06-05-2013 10:10 AM Click Here to See the Profile for crashyoungClick Here to Email crashyoungSend a Private Message to crashyoungEdit/Delete MessageReply w/QuoteDirect Link to This Post
Check the tie rod ends that screw into the rack, they may have too much slop, or be loose.
Get a friend to assist you in watching and moving things, steering and suspension problems
can be a bear to find on your own.
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Report this Post06-05-2013 10:27 AM Click Here to See the Profile for rourke_87_T-TopClick Here to Email rourke_87_T-TopSend a Private Message to rourke_87_T-TopEdit/Delete MessageReply w/QuoteDirect Link to This Post
 
quote
Originally posted by solotwo:

I have found where the clunk is coming from. The brakes are the source. Seems to be from the left front.


Worn left upper crossmember sleeve.
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Report this Post06-05-2013 10:56 AM Click Here to See the Profile for 2.5Send a Private Message to 2.5Edit/Delete MessageReply w/QuoteDirect Link to This Post
 
quote
Originally posted by Bloozberry:

Binding in one spot most often occurs because surface rust has built up on the rack (the part with the teeth) and it binds when the rusty part tries to pass through the passenger side bushing in the housing. It sounds like you've already committed to removing the rack anyways so it really isn't much more work to disassemble it, in fact it's really easy. With the rack out, you can wire wheel the rust off and grease it well so it doesn't form again, and reuse it without any problems. To be on the safe side, I'd order a new passenger side rack bushing to replace it on spec as it is probably worn.


Where would be a good write up of this?
Thanks
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solotwo
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Report this Post06-05-2013 11:07 AM Click Here to See the Profile for solotwoSend a Private Message to solotwoEdit/Delete MessageReply w/QuoteDirect Link to This Post
 
quote
Originally posted by rourke_87_T-Top:


Worn left upper crossmember sleeve.


Or are you referring to the upper a arm?
It does not do it all time.

[This message has been edited by solotwo (edited 06-05-2013).]

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Report this Post06-05-2013 03:10 PM Click Here to See the Profile for BloozberrySend a Private Message to BloozberryEdit/Delete MessageReply w/QuoteDirect Link to This Post
 
quote
Originally posted by 2.5:
Where would be a good write up of this?


PM sent.

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Report this Post06-05-2013 04:55 PM Click Here to See the Profile for Old LarSend a Private Message to Old LarEdit/Delete MessageReply w/QuoteDirect Link to This Post
I had a reman rack installed in my 88 GT years ago and from day one it had a dead spot in it which was irritating. I finally got a used rack fro the Fiero Factory and installed that. I suspect that the rebuilt rack was rebuilt from a damaged rack and it had some internal issues with it. The Fiero Factory's rack was upgraded with some of Rodney Dickman's components and has been reliable for more than a decade.
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Report this Post06-05-2013 05:31 PM Click Here to See the Profile for solotwoSend a Private Message to solotwoEdit/Delete MessageReply w/QuoteDirect Link to This Post
I ordered a AC delco rack from work.
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Just try this and report results, take the wheel off, compress the suspension from under the lower arm. Important !

Then try to move the entire brake assembly, from 11 O Clock to 1 O Clock, watch the upper arm, if the upper arm does a little see sawing motion, you will know where that clunking noise is coming from when you step on the brake, it's the long upper bolt pitching inside the sleeve. The bolt is making the noise. When you pull the bolt you will see how "shiny" it is, that bolt is hardened steel, the crossmember tube is softer, mild steel, egged out. I'm willing to bet five bucks.
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rourke_87_T-Top

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quote
Originally posted by solotwo:






Right there
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Report this Post06-06-2013 09:02 AM Click Here to See the Profile for solotwoSend a Private Message to solotwoEdit/Delete MessageReply w/QuoteDirect Link to This Post
 
quote
Originally posted by rourke_87_T-Top:


Right there


I sure as heck hope not.

[This message has been edited by solotwo (edited 10-10-2013).]

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Report this Post06-10-2013 11:31 PM Click Here to See the Profile for solotwoSend a Private Message to solotwoEdit/Delete MessageReply w/QuoteDirect Link to This Post
 
quote
Originally posted by Dennis LaGrua:


How do you define "a tiny bit"? You also say that you have a problem with the tires returning to the neutral (straight) position. Have you verified that the rack is indexed properly.? When you turn the steering wheel do you feel any play? Is the steering wheel centered while driving in a straight line?
Steering issues are to be taken seriously, so get in there and see what gives.


N

[This message has been edited by solotwo (edited 10-10-2013).]

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solotwo
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Report this Post06-10-2013 11:38 PM Click Here to See the Profile for solotwoSend a Private Message to solotwoEdit/Delete MessageReply w/QuoteDirect Link to This Post
 
quote
Originally posted by rourke_87_T-Top:


Worn left upper crossmember sleeve.


I checked it out over the weekend. I had my wife push on the brakes and I tried moving the wheel/tire assembly back and forth. There is play in the steering and it could be the source of the clunk. I really reefed on the wheel and at the same time tired to see if the upper control armed moved. It was either me moving from the force applied or the upper control arm looked to possibly move ever so slightly.
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Report this Post06-10-2013 11:41 PM Click Here to See the Profile for solotwoSend a Private Message to solotwoEdit/Delete MessageReply w/QuoteDirect Link to This Post

solotwo

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quote
Originally posted by rourke_87_T-Top:


Right there


Ok you are referring to the upper control arm/sleeve/bolt along with prothane control arm bushing.
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Report this Post06-10-2013 11:51 PM Click Here to See the Profile for solotwoSend a Private Message to solotwoEdit/Delete MessageReply w/QuoteDirect Link to This Post
 
quote
Originally posted by rourke_87_T-Top:

Just try this and report results, take the wheel off, compress the suspension from under the lower arm. Important !

Then try to move the entire brake assembly, from 11 O Clock to 1 O Clock, watch the upper arm, if the upper arm does a little see sawing motion, you will know where that clunking noise is coming from when you step on the brake, it's the long upper bolt pitching inside the sleeve. The bolt is making the noise. When you pull the bolt you will see how "shiny" it is, that bolt is hardened steel, the crossmember tube is softer, mild steel, egged out. I'm willing to bet five bucks.



Thanks!

[This message has been edited by solotwo (edited 10-10-2013).]

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solotwo

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quote
Originally posted by rourke_87_T-Top:

Just try this and report results, take the wheel off, compress the suspension from under the lower arm. Important !

Then try to move the entire brake assembly, from 11 O Clock to 1 O Clock, watch the upper arm, if the upper arm does a little see sawing motion, you will know where that clunking noise is coming from when you step on the brake, it's the long upper bolt pitching inside the sleeve. The bolt is making the noise. When you pull the bolt you will see how "shiny" it is, that bolt is hardened steel, the crossmember tube is softer, mild steel, egged out. I'm willing to bet five bucks.



I'll give a try again. I am thinking of taking the day off tomorrow.

[This message has been edited by solotwo (edited 10-10-2013).]

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solotwo
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Report this Post06-11-2013 11:55 AM Click Here to See the Profile for solotwoSend a Private Message to solotwoEdit/Delete MessageReply w/QuoteDirect Link to This Post
 
quote
Originally posted by rourke_87_T-Top:

Just try this and report results, take the wheel off, compress the suspension from under the lower arm. Important !

Then try to move the entire brake assembly, from 11 O Clock to 1 O Clock, watch the upper arm, if the upper arm does a little see sawing motion, you will know where that clunking noise is coming from when you step on the brake, it's the long upper bolt pitching inside the sleeve. The bolt is making the noise. When you pull the bolt you will see how "shiny" it is, that bolt is hardened steel, the crossmember tube is softer, mild steel, egged out. I'm willing to bet five bucks.


The left side seemed ok to me. I used rourke_87's method but added applying the brakes. I did not notice any movement. There may have been a little but it was hard to tell, BUT getting clunking and play from the rack. I ordered a rack from work several weeks ago but has not come in. So I think I need to contact another source. Now to do the right side. Same on that side.

[This message has been edited by solotwo (edited 06-11-2013).]

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Report this Post06-11-2013 05:13 PM Click Here to See the Profile for solotwoSend a Private Message to solotwoEdit/Delete MessageReply w/QuoteDirect Link to This Post
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[This message has been edited by solotwo (edited 10-10-2013).]

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Report this Post06-11-2013 05:29 PM Click Here to See the Profile for BloozberrySend a Private Message to BloozberryEdit/Delete MessageReply w/QuoteDirect Link to This Post
Just a bit of history: The OEM ball joints weren't welded in... they were just pressed into the control arms from the bottom. Back when the lower control arms were new off the production line, the hole where the ball joint would eventually go in was made slightly small so that when the ball joint was pressed into it, the little splines or teeth on the OD of the ball joint would cut into the metal of the control arm, locking into place. The entire control arm/ball joint assembly was made to be disposable but the aftermarket came up with a way to save the lower control arms (which weren't being produced anymore) by simply pressing the OEM joint out once it was worn, and replacing it with a new one. The reason replacement ball joints are recommended to be spot welded is because the hole in the control arm would be stretched and scored by the old one.

So, if your old ball joints aren't spot welded in, then they should just press out through the bottom of the control arm but you may need a hydraulic press to do it. Any general automotive repair shop will probably do it for a nominal amount of money if you bring the arm in. Your new joints should be tack welded into place for the reasons above.
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