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post #1 of 22 (permalink) Old 03-19-2012, 08:24 PM Thread Starter
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Some kind of alignment issues?!

Well I just got my car back from having an alignment done and tires replaced from being worn down on the inside to the belts after only a couple of months.

That was about the only thing fixed but as I understand the story (I wasn't the one to pick the car up) there is a larger problem that needs to be solved or this will keep happening to my alignment.

They say it's because the car was wrecked and rebuilt, and in order to actually find the problem it would likely cost more than the car is worth (This makes me sad tbh)

So I figured I would ask here if perhaps anyone had any ideas as to what could be causing this, other than ball joints because those weren't replaced and unless they were causing the problem or not in working order they weren't going to fix it.

What could possibly cause an alignment to keep going out? The car was just saftied and $1100 worth of work done on it a few months ago at the same garage, which is a well trusted and known shop.

I'd like to know whats going on before I try and trade the car in for something else, I do so like the cougars.

Rest In Peace Mom.
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post #2 of 22 (permalink) Old 03-19-2012, 08:27 PM
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Wear on the inside is indicative of too much toe OUT or negative camber. Lock up your e-brake, get out of the car and try to move your front tires around with your foot on top of the tire. If you can move either front wheel even a little, figure out what is letting the tire move and replace it.

Also, go somewhere that will do a good 4 wheel alignment on your vehicle (that is what these cars require since the rear is IRS). I go to the local Ford dealership - it's only $69 and they do a great job.

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post #3 of 22 (permalink) Old 03-19-2012, 08:27 PM
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Well, if the front suspension is in good condition, the only thing that I can think of that would cause an alignment to change (short of suspension parts that wear/fail abnormally quickly) is a bolt/nut not torqued to spec, allowing the suspension geometry to change under loaded conditions.

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post #4 of 22 (permalink) Old 03-19-2012, 08:31 PM
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Originally Posted by theterminator93 View Post
Well, if the front suspension is in good condition, the only thing that I can think of that would cause an alignment to change (short of suspension parts that wear/fail abnormally quickly) is a bolt/nut not torqued to spec, allowing the suspension geometry to change under loaded conditions.
What bolt or nut are you talking about? The only thing I can think of that would cause that is strut rod, UCA, or the inside LCA nuts. If any of those are moving, you would hear it creaking and popping as you drove the car.

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post #5 of 22 (permalink) Old 03-19-2012, 08:33 PM
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Any or all of the above. Both times I had alignments done (I should have learned the first time) the shop didn't fully torque the inner LCA bolts and I was getting popping every time I did a brake-turn maneuver.

-Brandon
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post #6 of 22 (permalink) Old 03-19-2012, 08:34 PM
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Originally Posted by theterminator93 View Post
Any or all of the above. Both times I had alignments done (I should have learned the first time) the shop didn't fully torque the inner LCA bolts and I was getting popping every time I did a brake-turn maneuver.
That would definitely do it. Also, there is a cam on that bolt/nut, so if it's loose, you need a re-alignment after you tighten it.

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post #7 of 22 (permalink) Old 03-19-2012, 10:43 PM Thread Starter
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I was getting A LOT of noise when driving over our horrible roads, and some odd creaking or banging like noises when turning. But when I checked prior to taking it in everything was tight.

Rest In Peace Mom.
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post #8 of 22 (permalink) Old 03-19-2012, 11:00 PM
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Sure sounds like strut rod bushings.....

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post #9 of 22 (permalink) Old 03-20-2012, 07:20 AM Thread Starter
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Strut rod bushings are new, those were replaced when it was saftied because there was really nothing left of them.

Sometimes when turning into a place like a parking spot and braking I hear a thump like noise that sounds like something shifting.
I know my end-links are bad but I'm not worried about that at the moment.

I'm going to find out how it sounds driving it now that it's been mildly repaired.

Rest In Peace Mom.

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post #10 of 22 (permalink) Old 03-20-2012, 08:32 AM
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Ball joints can and will make a bunch of noise, which is more likely your problem if the strut rod bushings have already been replaced. Like you said the endlinks are bad so replace those, they arent expensive. Big thing is to get in there and start wiggling everything to see what's loose.

This is how bad my UCA was with 148K on the car...





Those made a TON of noise when driving.

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post #11 of 22 (permalink) Old 03-23-2012, 02:14 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by GRNDPNDR View Post
They say it's because the car was wrecked and rebuilt, and in order to actually find the problem it would likely cost more than the car is worth (This makes me sad tbh)
This is BS.

My black Cougar, Lazarus, has been bent twice. I had it straightened (mostly) in 2004, and recently ended up bouncing it off some curbs, and bending the unibody again.

It's lined up and drives perfectly, even tho it is visibly bent. (slightly, you have to look close.)

It drives great since I had it realigned, and replaced all the parts I broke.

(And chained the engine down, lol.)

It visibly needs to be put back on the table.

My point is, unless your car is that bad off, it's alignable.

If the rack or tie rod ends are bad, or camber is off, it will wear as you describe; I've seen it from all three.

I'd find another shop; our cars are amazingly adjustable.

Be sure to tell shops to tighten everything with the weight on the wheels; it makes a difference too.

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post #12 of 22 (permalink) Old 03-23-2012, 02:29 PM
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You definitely have some worn suspension components. If a car's structure is damaged in an accident, it can definitely throw the alignment off, but once it is straightened, it can't keep throwing the alignment off. The straightened frame rail is still made of metal, and it will not have enough flex to it to move the suspension mounting points around. That is simply a shop that either can't figure out the problem or doesn't want to get involved in figuring out the problem, and they tell you that to make you go away.

You said the strut rod bushings were replaced. Who replaced them? What parts did they use? Did they replace the bushings to the subframe, or just to the control arm? What about the upper ball joints? Have you checked to make sure all the bolts are even tight? First thing to do is like NetKeym said, try to move the tire around. If you get any play, there is something loose in the suspension, and then you need to get under there and see what is moving. And once you find the problem and correct it, take it to a good alignment shop for a 4 wheel alignment, and you should be good to go.

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post #13 of 22 (permalink) Old 03-23-2012, 05:33 PM
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Did they replace the struts? I had a simular problem and it was the struts.

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post #14 of 22 (permalink) Old 03-23-2012, 05:40 PM
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I don't see how you can replace struts on these cars when they don't have any.

Shocks, now that I could see.

The only way I could see the front coilovers causing the problem is if the springs broke or started sagging after the alignment was done.

-Brandon
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post #15 of 22 (permalink) Old 03-23-2012, 05:44 PM
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Sorry but i just bought a set of struts to go on the front of my bird... proper term maybe coilovers but i ordered struts from summitracing... but yes the springs was sagging like they was weak...

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post #16 of 22 (permalink) Old 03-23-2012, 05:46 PM
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Originally Posted by theterminator93 View Post
I don't see how you can replace struts on these cars when they don't have any.

Shocks, now that I could see.

The only way I could see the front coilovers causing the problem is if the springs broke or started sagging after the alignment was done.
I don't understand why y'all give people such a hard time about this. Like CJAW12 said, a lot of places call them struts for our cars (Summit included).

What is a strut? A shock with a coil over it. What is on our cars? Oh, a shock with a spring over it.....

I know the difference, the strut turns with the wheels while our cars it does not, but still.

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post #17 of 22 (permalink) Old 03-23-2012, 05:48 PM
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Quote:
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I don't understand why y'all give people such a hard time about this. Like CJAW12 said, a lot of places call them struts for our cars (Summit included).

What is a strut? A shock with a coil over it. What is on our cars? Oh, a shock with a spring over it.....
Exactly my friend... thanks

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post #18 of 22 (permalink) Old 03-23-2012, 05:53 PM
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You can call them what you want, but a strut is a part of the steering geometry because it rotates with the knucke; only one ball joint. Not the case for us; facts are facts.

-Brandon
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post #19 of 22 (permalink) Old 03-23-2012, 05:55 PM
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You can call them what you want, but a strut is a part of the steering geometry because it rotates with the knucke; only one ball joint. Not the case for us; facts are facts.
Yes, I know and I added that to my original post, but it's the same difference - maybe you should buzz an email off to summit racing



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post #20 of 22 (permalink) Old 03-23-2012, 06:04 PM
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Yeah, I chalk it up to the industry's generalized terminology calling the front load bearing component of any car's suspension a strut, despite technicalities. Monroe Quick-strut, etc.

It is nitpicking, and as you once pointed out - I love to nitpick. IMHO it's better for all of us if we keep everyone on the same page though, hence my persistence in certain topics.

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post #21 of 22 (permalink) Old 03-23-2012, 06:19 PM
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Well I stand corrected, but go to a parts store around here and ask for coil overs you'll get a honda part.

-Chris
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post #22 of 22 (permalink) Old 03-23-2012, 10:31 PM
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You can call them what you want, but a MACPHERSON strut is a part of the steering geometry because it rotates with the knucke; only one ball joint. Not the case for us; facts are facts.
A strut is a structural member. Not all struts rotate (hey, how about the struts that hold a small plane's wing up from the fuselage? If THEY rotate, the pilot will typically be putting brown in the seat ... )

A MACPHERSON strut is a specific strut design, as you're describing.

From an engineering standpoint, if MacPherson had NEVER designed the suspension that bears his name, the MN12 would have a strut. Actually two - there's a rod, and there's the spring/dampener combination.

And with that, I'll take my pedant's pendant off ...

RwP

Last edited by RalphP; 03-23-2012 at 10:32 PM. Reason: Spelink Errur.
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