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Steering issues, running out of ideas

 
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Old 09 Oct 2017, 08:25 pm
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Thumbs down Steering issues, running out of ideas

First of all, thanks to everyone involved in this forum. I've used this site so much to help understand this vehicle much better thanks to all of you.

We have a 2001 Cruiser, been a reliable vehicle aside from the steering. In the 2-3 years we've had it, I've replaced:
Power steering pump
Rack and pinion (including outer and inner tie rods)
Struts and coils, both
Control arms, both
Stabilizer bar and both links
Brand new tires, all 4
Both brake calipers
Brake pads

The issue I'm having is that it makes a pop/light bang sound over any bumps. My local mechanic won't align it because of the list above needing to be fixed. The last time, he told me he couldn't do it because the control arms and stabilizer bar were bad, so I've done those in the last week. Upon general inspection, the tires are rather straight, I've jacked the car up and tried to move the wheels, but they don't, they're sturdy. I'm literally out of ideas as to what could still be giving us trouble.

In a probably related issue, the steering is loose as well. Turning to the left is slightly delayed, turning to the right is more delayed, you almost have to turn about 45 before the car starts to turn right.

Any ideas bros?
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Old 09 Oct 2017, 09:52 pm
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Join Date: Aug 2014
Location: Thousand Oaks, CA
Posts: 6,021
Default Re: Steering issues, running out of ideas

Your Pt Cruiser might be exhibiting a popping sound from the front hub/half shaft area.

The link below will give you some information that you can use to diagnose if this might be the problem.
Tech Tip: Front Hub/Half Shaft Click/Pop Sound on PT Cruisers and Neons
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Old 10 Oct 2017, 06:12 am
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Location: Lake Wales, FL
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Default Re: Steering issues, running out of ideas

Is the noise in the front end or possibly being transferred from the rear? I'd take a look at the watts link in the rear. Just in case. If you're sure it's from the front, then follow Steves advice. Are you sure you got the correct size sway bar bushings? The only way to know for sure is if you measured the bar.
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Old 10 Oct 2017, 06:16 am
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Default Re: Steering issues, running out of ideas

Alright, I'll try that out, thank you brother. I'll report my findings when I can.
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Old 10 Oct 2017, 06:20 am
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Default Re: Steering issues, running out of ideas

I'm not sure, Doc, but I THINK there are 3 different size sway bars. If they bushings are not the correct size, they'll rattle and thump under your feet, for sure. That's about the only thing I can think of based on what you've replaced.
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Old 10 Oct 2017, 06:29 am
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Default Re: Steering issues, running out of ideas

The sway bar links were from advance auto and they claim they're the exact fit. The rubber bracket things that hold the sway bar to the crossmember I didn't change out, they were somewhat new. Got the sway bar from a 2007 cruiser at a junk yard that was in ridiculously great condition.

It sounds like it comes from the front left though.
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Old 10 Oct 2017, 07:44 am
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Location: Winter Haven, FL
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Default Re: Steering issues, running out of ideas

Yes, I was thinking sway bar bushings, too. That's the only thing I didn't see on your list. The good news is they're inexpensive and easy to replace. Measure the bar diameter before you order them.

RVC
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Old 10 Oct 2017, 07:54 am
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Default Re: Steering issues, running out of ideas

Quote:
Originally Posted by DocHojo View Post
In a probably related issue, the steering is loose as well. Turning to the left is slightly delayed, turning to the right is more delayed, you almost have to turn about 45 before the car starts to turn right.
why would anyone recommend swaybar related stuff with this written?
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Old 10 Oct 2017, 07:55 am
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Default Re: Steering issues, running out of ideas

Quote:
Originally Posted by DocHojo View Post
the 2-3 years we've had it, I've replaced:
Power steering pump
Rack and pinion (including outer and inner tie rods)
Struts and coils, both
Control arms, both
Stabilizer bar and both links
Brand new tires, all 4
Both brake calipers
Brake pads

The issue I'm having is that it makes a pop/light bang sound over any bumps. My local mechanic won't align it because of the list above needing to be fixed.
what list above needs to be fixed? i'm confused.
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Old 10 Oct 2017, 08:04 am
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Default Re: Steering issues, running out of ideas

Just throwing this out there to see what sticks but did you check the steering column and shaft for binding and looseness?
Mike
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coil, control arm, rack and pinion, steering, strut


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