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Wonkie Steering

 
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  • 2 Post By chuzz
  • 1 Post By Birdman
  • 1 Post By Handy_Cruiser
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  #1 (permalink)  
Old 11 Oct 2017, 06:34 pm
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Join Date: Oct 2017
Location: Calgary,Alberta,Canada
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Default Wonkie Steering

Hi... This is my first post here and I will be up front that I'm not sure how much time I will spend here, but I have a problem I need expert help with.

I picked up a 02 Cruiser a couple weeks ago...236,000 kms (I'm in Canada).

I know it needs a bunch of suspension work(Control arm bushings, watts link, etc), but there is one thing puzzling me....

Read this carefully...it may sound crazy but it's true...

When I make a left turn off one street to another, after making the turn, I find the steering wheel point just a tiny bit off center to the RIGHT. Then after driving between 50 to 200 feet, the whole car makes this "sway" or "drift" to the right very quickly then corrects itself and all is well. Steering wheel is centered and all drives fine.

I've been in the automotive industry for about 25 years including mechanics, car audio, and now a parts man for the last 17 years...and I have never experienced anything like it.

Can anyone shine some light on the problem?

BTW, I really do like your site and hopefully I will keep the cruiser long enough to come gleen some wisdom from time to time.

Thanks for any help
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Old 11 Oct 2017, 07:33 pm
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Location: Gladewater, Texas
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Default Re: Wonkie Steering

Welcome to the forum from Texas.


Sounds like it is possibly a worn tie rod end.
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Old 11 Oct 2017, 08:06 pm
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Join Date: Aug 2014
Location: Thousand Oaks, CA
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Default Re: Wonkie Steering

Welcome to the forum.
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Old 12 Oct 2017, 08:18 am
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Default Re: Wonkie Steering

Quote:
Originally Posted by Birdman View Post
Hi...


.....whole car makes this "sway" or "drift" to the right very quickly then corrects itself and all is well. Steering wheel is centered and all drives fine.
in addition to all the junk if the front, i would inspect the watts link in the back. it keeps the rear end centered so it's possible the weird effect is coming from there. rear axle moving around would give the "drift" feeling. have someone fat rock the ass end side to side while you look underneath at the rear axle

welcome to the forum.
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Old 12 Oct 2017, 01:37 pm
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Join Date: Oct 2017
Location: Calgary,Alberta,Canada
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Default Re: Wonkie Steering

Thanks for the warm welcome and for the info.

Now that I have a bit more time to type than I did yesterday, I'll share a bit more info and background.

I've given the front end a shake down a couple times trying to find anything that would show me where the funny steering and the clunking is coming from.

Everything feels tight, but I did see the control arm bushings are falling apart, which, when the wheel is off the ground, causes the control arm to sit solid on the frame rail. Which leads me to think the clunking is either the control arm banging on the frame or upper strut mounts...or both... it sounds like it's primarily from the right front. As well, it doesn't appear the ball joints have been greased in sometime, so I would suspect they aren't helping matters either.

This poor car has been so neglected.. the body is ok...exhaust is ok...it runs ok... but I literally had to use a hammer and chisel to get the oil filter off and of course all the suspension issues.

I will definitely look at doing the watts link first and soonest. it seems that this little gadget does a lot more than it appears. I don't understand how it works, but it seems to be pretty vital to handling and ride comfort as I have read in other posts on this forum. But answer me this... to get the watts link off the axle, does it simply slide off or is there a tool needed? I've read a few different things in relation to this and some say you need a puller, others say it's simple to pull off.

Ok...I'll stop talking now and let you good folks have the floor...hehehe
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Old 12 Oct 2017, 04:10 pm
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Join Date: Aug 2015
Location: Lake Wales, FL
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Default Re: Wonkie Steering

If you're going to keep it and drive it, just go ahead and replace the lower control arms. You can get the whole thing at rockauto pretty cheaply and installing them is not that difficult. I got the Moog assemblies for both sides. Just watch the position of the ball joint bolt. Mine had to be turned in order for the bolt to go back in. 180 degrees did the trick. The hardest part is getting the 180 ft.lb. torque on that rear bolt when you put it back together. I'm old, disabled and scrawny, so I used a cheater bar on my torque wrench. I THINK I over torqued them, but didn't care. I sold the PT.
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Old 17 Oct 2017, 01:43 pm
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Join Date: Oct 2017
Location: Calgary,Alberta,Canada
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Default Re: Wonkie Steering

Quote:
Originally Posted by chuzz View Post
You can get the whole thing at rockauto pretty cheaply ......


LOL... I work for Napa...
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Old 17 Oct 2017, 03:27 pm
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Default Re: Wonkie Steering

Quote:
Originally Posted by Birdman View Post
LOL... I work for Napa...
That's cool. But often RockAuto is cheaper than what the jobbers pay from their warehouses. Even if I did work at a parts store, I'd still compare online prices before I bought something like this. I just wouldn't tell them at work.
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Old 17 Oct 2017, 05:36 pm
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Default Re: Wonkie Steering

Quote:
Originally Posted by Birdman View Post
LOL... I work for Napa...
Thats KOOL! I bet you also buy from a local warehouse distributor for other then NAPA brand parts so if your "BOSS" extends employee discount or if you are allowed to go pay cash under employee name (check with the NAPA parts store owner or your manager before doing this as it may be against company policy) I am sure you get Rockin prices on parts.

Last edited by NitroPT; 17 Oct 2017 at 05:38 pm.
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Old 18 Oct 2017, 11:56 am
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Default Re: Wonkie Steering

Quote:
Originally Posted by Handy_Cruiser View Post
That's cool. But often RockAuto is cheaper than what the jobbers pay from their warehouses. Even if I did work at a parts store, I'd still compare online prices before I bought something like this. I just wouldn't tell them at work.
Don't be scared, Handy. I've bought parts for my Cruiser from RockAuto and told my boss that I did and gave the reason why.
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