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Car Floats/Wanders at Highway Speed by KaijuSenso
Started on: 03-31-2015 01:36 PM
Replies: 20 (653 views)
Last post by: 4TFiero85 on 06-05-2015 09:24 AM
KaijuSenso
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Report this Post03-31-2015 01:36 PM Click Here to See the Profile for KaijuSensoSend a Private Message to KaijuSensoEdit/Delete MessageReply w/QuoteDirect Link to This Post
I can't quite figure out why my 86 GT floats/wanders at higher speeds. It grabs and gets pulled by the ruts in the road but is smooth over bumps. The issue isn't as noticeable at 35mph.

It was first noticed the last time I installed the cradle so I assumed it was just alignment (I don't remember having this issue directly after finishing my engine swap, only reinstalling the engine for the second time). First the shop wouldn't align my car because they said it had a bad tie rod, after doing the standard "wiggle" test, there seemed to be no play left/right or up/down and the only play I could find felt like from the rack bushing. Replaced the rack bushing with a Rodney part a few weekends ago and greased everything well, rack feels good except for a small dead spot in the middle. I got the alignment done at a Belle Tire and they didn't tell me there were any issues (the rear toe was well out of spec)

My car has a completely rebuilt front/rear suspension with poly bushings, Eibach 1" lowering springs, Koni reds, front and rear swaybar, new Rodney tie rods and ball joints, and aluminum cradle bushings.

Currently my only thought is to replace the steering rack damper. It is starting to rust through the housing but when I removed it to rebuild the rack, it still had resistance, I'm just not sure how stiff it's supposed to be. Otherwise I'm running out of things to check.

Can anyone give me some tips on exactly how to check the suspension components for looseness? There has to be something I'm missing from a regular look over.
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bomluuk
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Report this Post03-31-2015 01:43 PM Click Here to See the Profile for bomluukSend a Private Message to bomluukEdit/Delete MessageReply w/QuoteDirect Link to This Post
I'm also trying to fix this problem in mine. I've done lots of work to it and it is still and issue.

I've read in a couple threads that the actual steering column could be the issue. I don't have a link right now but if I have some time I'll try to find it and post it.
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Harley95
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Report this Post03-31-2015 01:45 PM Click Here to See the Profile for Harley95Click Here to Email Harley95Send a Private Message to Harley95Edit/Delete MessageReply w/QuoteDirect Link to This Post
mines always follows the road at any given speed, I rather enjoy it. I ride motorcycles all the time and when I'm not I'm jamming in my Fiero (88 Formula 4t60), I always loved rack and pinion, it feels just as natural as a bike.

[This message has been edited by Harley95 (edited 03-31-2015).]

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2.5
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Report this Post03-31-2015 01:56 PM Click Here to See the Profile for 2.5Send a Private Message to 2.5Edit/Delete MessageReply w/QuoteDirect Link to This Post
Did they give you a sheet stating what the alignment is now set at?
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Gall757
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Report this Post03-31-2015 01:57 PM Click Here to See the Profile for Gall757Send a Private Message to Gall757Edit/Delete MessageReply w/QuoteDirect Link to This Post
Do you have stock wheels and tires? Tires that are too big for the wheels will 'roll' sideways at speed, esp. if they are under-inflated. Fieros are sensitive to this stuff.
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Report this Post03-31-2015 02:00 PM Click Here to See the Profile for 2.5Send a Private Message to 2.5Edit/Delete MessageReply w/QuoteDirect Link to This Post
IMO a wide offset rim sticking out from thw car farther than stock can cause the feeling of tracking road grooves too.

[This message has been edited by 2.5 (edited 03-31-2015).]

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Csjag
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Report this Post03-31-2015 04:39 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
I think that lowering the cars suspension will change the way the suspension reacts to the road and that combined with changing tire size and wheel offset is probably what is amplifying the "tracking" you are feeling. I would imagine that tire tread pattern and rubber compound also has an affect.
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KaijuSenso
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Report this Post03-31-2015 04:39 PM Click Here to See the Profile for KaijuSensoSend a Private Message to KaijuSensoEdit/Delete MessageReply w/QuoteDirect Link to This Post
Stock wheels and tire sizes. Front grand am brake upgrade is pushing the track out 14mm or so total (rear is Seville upgrade so should be very close to stock track)
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Csjag
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Report this Post03-31-2015 04:41 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 shocks and struts in good condition?
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Csjag
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Report this Post03-31-2015 04:46 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

Csjag

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I also remember reading a thread about lowered cars and they were saying that some shocks and struts do not work properly when the car is lowered because it takes them out of their normal travel range.
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TopNotch
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Report this Post03-31-2015 05:39 PM Click Here to See the Profile for TopNotchClick Here to visit TopNotch's HomePageSend a Private Message to TopNotchEdit/Delete MessageReply w/QuoteDirect Link to This Post
Too much tow-in on the rear wheels.
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KaijuSenso
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Report this Post03-31-2015 07:11 PM Click Here to See the Profile for KaijuSensoSend a Private Message to KaijuSensoEdit/Delete MessageReply w/QuoteDirect Link to This Post
All suspension components are a few years old and installed by me, only a few thousand miles on them. For reference the suspension is the kit offered by the fiero store (for part reference, not that they designed parts that work together optimally)

Is there a better way to check wheel bearings?

Belle Tire was basically closed by the time they finished my car and the specs "didn't print" so I'm thinking they didn't do a prime job. It did feel much better then when I dropped it off though. Dropping the engine again for a clutch soon so I'll need another alignment anyway.
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JohnWPB
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Report this Post04-01-2015 12:26 AM Click Here to See the Profile for JohnWPBClick Here to visit JohnWPB's HomePageSend a Private Message to JohnWPBEdit/Delete MessageReply w/QuoteDirect Link to This Post
I have no way of knowing for fact, on your car what is wrong. I do however know alignment will 100% cause this. It took Firestone 5 times to get my alignment correct, and remove the floating feeling. I purchased their life time alignment for a little over $100, and am certainly glad I did get the lifetime option!

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Patrick
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Report this Post04-01-2015 02:10 AM Click Here to See the Profile for PatrickClick Here to Email PatrickSend a Private Message to PatrickEdit/Delete MessageReply w/QuoteDirect Link to This Post
 
quote
Originally posted by KaijuSenso:

Is there a better way to check wheel bearings?


When my '88 Formula started making "squawking" noises from the back, I jacked up the rear end and soon discovered what the problem was. When I grabbed the driver's side rear tire at 3 and 9 or 6 and 12 and push/pulled the assembly a bit, it was pretty obvious the wheel bearings were shot. Not only could the excessive play easily be felt, but I could see the brake rotor moving back and forth while the caliper was stationary.
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sardonyx247
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Report this Post04-01-2015 02:27 AM Click Here to See the Profile for sardonyx247Click Here to visit sardonyx247's HomePageClick Here to Email sardonyx247Send a Private Message to sardonyx247Edit/Delete MessageReply w/QuoteDirect Link to This Post
I would say it is your alignment.
When a shop does alignment they only get it "in range" and most shops don't want to do caster or camber, they just want to do toe and make a quick buck, when they realize they have to do caster or camber that's when they come up with "you have a bad part" same thing happens even if they do do it and you come in for warranty, oh you have a bad part.
And the printer is usually hooked straight to the alignment machine, so they probably didn't even get it in range and didn't want to show you.

I have learned to do my own alignments because I can get the numbers where I want them, and got tired fighting alignments shops to do it right or honor a warranty.
Sometimes it takes a couple of time as you always want to test drive it then recheck the specs. Most shops don't do this.

On the plus side when you take it back and say it's not right, they can't dispute you as they have no printout.
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Csjag
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Report this Post04-01-2015 07:27 AM 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
Something else to check if you haven't already would be the engine/transmission mounts. My car doing what yours is and after I changed the engine and transmission mounts it solved it. Good luck, I hope you find the problem.
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Report this Post04-01-2015 11:33 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 KaijuSenso:

Belle Tire was basically closed by the time they finished my car and the specs "didn't print" so I'm thinking they didn't do a prime job. It did feel much better then when I dropped it off though. Dropping the engine again for a clutch soon so I'll need another alignment anyway.


I'd have them recheck it for free and give you numbers, its not your fault it didnt print.

I blame the alignment too. It is the place to start at least.

[This message has been edited by 2.5 (edited 04-01-2015).]

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Riddick85
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Report this Post04-01-2015 11:45 AM Click Here to See the Profile for Riddick85Send a Private Message to Riddick85Edit/Delete MessageReply w/QuoteDirect Link to This Post
Another thing no one has mentioned is worn out cradle bushings. My rear end kind of had a disconnected feeling like it couldn't keep up with the front end.

I just put solid bushings in and has been great since
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maddoc
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Report this Post04-01-2015 02:08 PM Click Here to See the Profile for maddocSend a Private Message to maddocEdit/Delete MessageReply w/QuoteDirect Link to This Post
I had a similar Problem with my 88 about a year ago. I had 4 new tires put on , that's when it started. Their was too much air in the tires. Scared the hell out me at highway speeds. Once I let a couple pounds of air out I took it back on the highway and no more Problem. Something to consider. Hope you get it solved.
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sardonyx247
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Report this Post04-01-2015 03:47 PM Click Here to See the Profile for sardonyx247Click Here to visit sardonyx247's HomePageClick Here to Email sardonyx247Send a Private Message to sardonyx247Edit/Delete MessageReply w/QuoteDirect Link to This Post
 
quote
Originally posted by Riddick85:

Another thing no one has mentioned is worn out cradle bushings. My rear end kind of had a disconnected feeling like it couldn't keep up with the front end.

I just put solid bushings in and has been great since


 
quote
Originally posted by KaijuSenso:

and aluminum cradle bushings.

.

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4TFiero85
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Report this Post06-05-2015 09:24 AM Click Here to See the Profile for 4TFiero85Send a Private Message to 4TFiero85Edit/Delete MessageReply w/QuoteDirect Link to This Post
i have the same issue with my fiero. last year i replaced all front ball joints, bushigs as well as installing Koni struts and shocks. I did the alignment myself and adjusted everything to spec. with no change. I readjusted the alignment based on the size of the wheels and the 1.8" lowering springs, still no change. this year i installed a fiero store rear stabilizer bar and aligned it again, still no change. i'm determined to fix it so i'll keep you posted.
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