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Steering and roll problem

 
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  #1 (permalink)  
Old 17 May 2014, 01:38 pm
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Default Steering and roll problem

Haven't posted here in a while. I've been enjoying my new challenger. So here's my problem with the PT.

After hitting something on the road with the right front wheel my car has had delayed steering and excessive body roll. Going 50mph and swerving left and right feels extremely unstable. I have been under the car several times and the only thing I ever found loose was the steering rack, not the inner tie rod but the rack had excessive play where it exits the case. Due to expense and difficulty in replacing the rack I ignored it. I removed the sway bar and it was not bent or broken. The end links and bushings all look fine. I replaced the strut just in case (had a warranty so it was no cost). Recently I bit the bullet and replaced the rack. Not as bad as I thought. But after an alignment the car still had delayed steering and excessive body roll. Any thoughts?

I have an '02 touring edition with energy suspension bushings all the way around.

Additional info

Last summer I was driving the PT at night and saw something very big in the road way too late to do anything about it. It looked to be about the size of a railroad tie. I hit it with the right front wheel. It made a horrendous noise and lifted the car up quite a bit. I could hear and feel something hitting the underside of the body. Whatever I hit seemed to have been somewhat destroyed on initial impact since there was much less noise and body lift when the right rear wheel went over it. The front right tire blew out. I stopped and put the spare on to get home. Got a new tire a few days later. Also rotated wheels front to back. Also had all 4 wheels balanced.
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Old 18 May 2014, 11:15 am
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Lightbulb Re: Steering and roll problem

How old & what condition are your front strut assemblies,and maybe even your lower control arms in?.....If those are worn,they could very well be causing your issue.
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Old 18 May 2014, 02:47 pm
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Default Re: Steering and roll problem

Hi welcome back to the forum

I am the only one that has to follow the rules here, thus my infraction tally

Anyway, Perhaps you should check your wheel while you have everything off check the inside of your wheel for cracks
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Old 18 May 2014, 03:12 pm
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Default Re: Steering and roll problem

YOU did what, Ignore a major safety issue
"After hitting something on the road with the right front wheel my car has had delayed steering and excessive body roll. Going 50mph and swerving left and right feels extremely unstable. I have been under the car several times and the only thing I ever found loose was the steering rack, not the inner tie rod but the rack had excessive play where it exits the case. Due to expense and difficulty in replacing the rack I ignored it. I removed the sway bar and it was not bent or broken. The end links and bushings all look fine. I replaced the strut just in case (had a warranty so it was no cost). Recently I bit the bullet and replaced the rack. Not as bad as I thought. But after an alignment the car still had delayed steering and excessive body roll. Any thoughts?

I have an '02 touring edition with energy suspension bushings all the way around"

If you think fixing the rack is expensive, what do you think its going to cost when the car hits a tree because its not steering correctly?
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Old 18 May 2014, 10:25 pm
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Default Re: Steering and roll problem

Struts are 1-2 years old. Right one was replaced after the event. Control arms had new ball joints and bushings (energy suspension) about 2 years ago.

I didn't ignore a major safety issue. The steering rack was not bad, it was just the only thing I found that had any play. I couldn't rationalize how that play caused the roll and steering problem. My recent replacement of the rack confirmed my gut feeling about it since the car behaves the same after replacing it.
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Old 19 May 2014, 08:13 am
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Default Re: Steering and roll problem

Did the front end alignment get done.
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Old 19 May 2014, 10:07 am
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Lightbulb Re: Steering and roll problem

Quote:
Originally Posted by PT_Patriot View Post
Control arms had new ball joints and bushings (energy suspension) about 2 years ago.
That could be an issue(long shot?),but I know I've seen a couple threads where members reported premature failure of their Energy Suspension bushing on the control arms(around 2 y/o?)......May not be your case,but worth mentioning.
Have you been able to get a good look at the vertical control arm bushing?....If it is torn/worn at all(maybe from the incident?),that could cause it to be somewhat 'wonky' when driving.




Quote:
Originally Posted by eightball View Post
Hi All,

Long-time reader, first time poster.

Two years ago I removed my control arms and took to a shop (I sent parts along) to be rebuilt. I had moog ball joints put in, and energy bushings (I also gave the guy instructions. It was a NAPA machine shop, so I'm fairly certain they knew what they were doing.

Alas, the steering feels a little sloppy around corners now, like its gonna tip over. I had winter tires put on, and I got the alignment checked, and the guy told me the lower control arm was too low where the vertical bushing is, and then he put a pry bar between the control arm and frame and showed me there was about 1/2" or so of movement. They said they couldn't align it becuase of the LCA being to low, and that the aftermarket bushings are wrong.

I just looked over a PDF of the instructions for the energy kit, and it looks like (from my memory) everything was put in right.

What gives?

Everything on the front end is new except the struts (2003, 86,000 miles) and I was going to take everything apart and look at it when I replaced the struts next week, but would like to have parts on hand.

Should there be any play in the bushings? I asked the guy to make sure the bolts were tight - they were at AT LEAST 220 ft pounds of torque - so plenty tight there....
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Old 19 May 2014, 11:14 am
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Default Re: Steering and roll problem

Front end alignment showed a minor out of range camber but they were able to get it in range just by moving the top of the strut. Toe was the big problem since I just replaced the steering rack.

I guess I will be going back under it to do a thorough inspection of the bushings. Maybe I'll remove the control arm and inspect all three pieces of the vertical bushing. I was never very fond of the design of the Energy Suspension vertical bushing.
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Old 19 May 2014, 05:40 pm
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Default Re: Steering and roll problem

Quote:
Originally Posted by PT_Patriot View Post
I was never very fond of the design of the Energy Suspension vertical bushing.
That is a very true statement! It is a great example of what happens when you over-engineer something.
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Old 30 Jul 2014, 05:52 pm
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Default Re: Steering and roll problem

A few weeks ago I took the PT to a mechanic. He thoroughly checked things out and said he found nothing loose, no bushings worn, ball joints were good, struts good, wheel bearings good. The only thing he said was that one of the front tires was slightly out of round. The front tires were worn almost to the point of requiring replacement so I got 2 new tires. The problem is now gone!

My guess is that the right rear tire was damaged when I hit the mystery object in the road (the right front blew out). When I got 2 new tires the shop moved the rear tires up to the front and put the new tires on the rear. Since I had just hit something in the road with the right front tire I was fixated on something being wrong with the suspension and never though about the rear tire being damaged and then moved up to the front.

Thanks to all who replied.
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