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Old 06-05-2019, 05:10 PM   #1
TwoFistedJustic
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Default Rebuilt suspension feels a little loosy goosy

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I just rebuilt my front and rear suspension. Now it feels a little loose on the freeway. If I make a quick change from one side of the lane to the other, instead of snapping back straight, it sloshes a little.

Also, if I center the steering wheel it pulls to the left, where if I just let go, it pulls slightly to the right.


What I did:

Front:
Pulled power steering rack, replaced inner and outer tie rods with new Moog parts.

Replaced lower control arms with new Moog parts.

Replaced wheel hubs and bearings with new SKF parts.

Removed front stabilizer bar, treated surface rust, reinstalled.



Rear:
Replaced stabilizer links with new Moog parts.
Pulled lateral links and replaced rubber bushings with poly.
Pulled trailing arms and replaced rubber bushings at knuckle with poly. I didn't replace the pressed in bushings.


I greased all the metal to metal contact points and zerk fitting with moly grease; and the poly bushings and contact points with the super-tacky white grease that came from Energy Suspension with the kit.


I took the car to a local shop and had a four wheel computerized alignment done. They said it only needed a toe adjustment and charged me half price.



Should I be concerned about the issues mentioned at the top?
What ought I to be looking for?
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Old 06-05-2019, 07:28 PM   #2
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Default Re: Rebuilt suspension feels a little loosy goosy

Take it back to the alignment shop and ask why it now steers so poorly. If they can't figure it out, then the first thing to look for is a new shop.

Worry about it? If it is now steering poorer than before, when it had the old worn parts, then I would sure worry. Something must be grossly wrong, and it is hard to tell if the steering will suddenly get far worse.
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Old 06-06-2019, 08:28 PM   #3
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Default Re: Rebuilt suspension feels a little loosy goosy

It is definitely steering better than before. But then it was way off before.

It's only a little off now. I just expected it would be dead on, or close to dead on.
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Old 06-06-2019, 09:00 PM   #4
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Default Re: Rebuilt suspension feels a little loosy goosy

"Also, if I center the steering wheel it pulls to the left, where if I just let go, it pulls slightly to the right."

Did I misunderstand, isn't that the way it is now, after the alignment? That alone would be unacceptable to me, the looseness would be only an added aggravation/worry.
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Old 06-07-2019, 03:24 PM   #5
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Default Re: Rebuilt suspension feels a little loosy goosy

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Originally Posted by TwoFistedJustic View Post
I took the car to a local shop and had a four wheel computerized alignment done. They said it only needed a toe adjustment and charged me half price.
Did the shop check caster / camber angles and give you a printout?

It's possible the shop only checked and adjusted toe. If they thought that caster and camber were not adjustable, maybe they didn't check.

My minivan's caster/ camber is not adjustable with OEM struts but the place I go to checks anyway. Both caster and camber are slightly off on the right side front, after my son had a disagreement with a curb last winter.
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Old 06-08-2019, 11:16 PM   #6
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Default Re: Rebuilt suspension feels a little loosy goosy

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Originally Posted by alordofchaos View Post
Did the shop check caster / camber angles and give you a printout?

It's possible the shop only checked and adjusted toe. If they thought that caster and camber were not adjustable, maybe they didn't check.
They did only adjust toe. And yes to the printout.
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Old 06-09-2019, 09:23 AM   #7
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Default Re: Rebuilt suspension feels a little loosy goosy

My initial thoughts:
That 0.7 thrust angle and the hideous camber settings are not good enough for a small car that is intended to be driven in a straight line.
The rear toe is nothing to brag about either.
The front and rear track width of these cars are not the same.óMade worse by ignoring camber. This could give the time-pressured alignment technician mental confusion.
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Old 06-09-2019, 12:20 PM   #8
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Default Re: Rebuilt suspension feels a little loosy goosy

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My initial thoughts:...
Iíve rejected Walmart shopping carts with better alignments than that!
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Old 06-09-2019, 07:09 PM   #9
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Default Re: Rebuilt suspension feels a little loosy goosy

Looking at the rear toe, left and right are both out of spec, but they add up to an 'in spec' total. But my intuition tells me that having both sides out of spec is bad, even if they average out to "in spec". It total toe min is 0.00 and max is 0.50 then we could have a left toe of -1.75" and a right toe of 2.00 inches and the total would be well within spec. But that car isn't going to drive right.

Am I in the ball park?

And how does thrust angle affect our cars?
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Old 06-09-2019, 08:03 PM   #10
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Default Re: Rebuilt suspension feels a little loosy goosy

Find a real alignment shop and get the job done right then evaluate the handling.
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Old 06-09-2019, 08:20 PM   #11
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Default Re: Rebuilt suspension feels a little loosy goosy

Getting it aligned properly *elsewhere* is definitely on my list. As is embarrassing that shop into giving me a refund.

So what should I look for in choosing an alignment shop? How can I assess what is good and what is not-so-good? (Bearing in mind that the shop I went to has many five star reviews on Google and Yelp, and is highly recommended by people I know)
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Old 06-09-2019, 08:31 PM   #12
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Default Re: Rebuilt suspension feels a little loosy goosy

Clearly those reviews were less than helpful. You want a shop the only does alignment and suspension work. Preferably cars and light trucks. No muffler, tire and brake shops.
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Old 06-09-2019, 09:22 PM   #13
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Default Re: Rebuilt suspension feels a little loosy goosy

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Originally Posted by OldNuc View Post
Clearly those reviews were less than helpful. You want a shop the only does alignment and suspension work. Preferably cars and light trucks. No muffler, tire and brake shops.
Should I be concerned about laser this or computerized that? Does it even matter for our cars?
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Old 06-09-2019, 10:00 PM   #14
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Default Re: Rebuilt suspension feels a little loosy goosy

The equipment matters far less than the person using it. Ask them which parameters they can/will actually adjust on this type vehicle, not just measure. Ask them how closely they will make readings on both sides match, as well as being "in range".

Maybe I should be more emphatic: a skilled person can get alignment correct with just a level and tape-measure. An unskilled person may not get it correct no matter what equipment is available.
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Old 06-09-2019, 11:07 PM   #15
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Default Re: Rebuilt suspension feels a little loosy goosy

+1^^^ If you find the shop I described they will know what to do. You want this set to the mark, not the range. The procedure is to set the rear first then the front and then recheck the rear and back to the front if rear is readjusted, rinse and repeat until no further tweaks required.
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Old 06-11-2019, 02:43 PM   #16
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Default Re: Rebuilt suspension feels a little loosy goosy

Thanks guys! That helps a lot.

The next question is:

What specs are adjustable on this car?

I know toe is determined by tie-rods.
And camber by the the two heavy strut bolts attached via the steering knuckle.

I think thrust angle is probably determined by the alignment of the rear subframe, which I know is adjustable, because I had it down to get at the lateral links and eyeballed its alignment (resulting in it being quite off).

What about caster?
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Old 06-11-2019, 05:35 PM   #17
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Default Re: Rebuilt suspension feels a little loosy goosy

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Iíve rejected Walmart shopping carts with better alignments than that!
No wonder some carts have front end wobble. I wonder, do shopping cart alignment shops exist......

TwoFistedJustic, if wheel alignment improved from repairs after alignment but still off, you can bring your car back to the alignment shop and explain the problem. Assuming they did something wrong with many here suggestions to bring your car elsewhere without giving the shop a chance to explain and correct this problem doesn't help the shop with feedback and second guessing off poor expertise. Anyone can take short cuts with alignments when bread and butter alignments allows shops to shotgun it from previous experience while presuming the majority of vehicles don't exhibit crash damage with frames not in perfect form. Complacency. No different from the occasional dealer or repair shop forgetting to refill engine oil when closing time comes and everyone runs out the door and the next day no one remembers to fill an engine with oil.........

Perhaps giving the alignment shop a second chance can correct this problem.
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Old 06-11-2019, 06:27 PM   #18
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Default Re: Rebuilt suspension feels a little loosy goosy

I went back to the shop for an explanation.

To paraphrase the answer:

"Your car needs rear toe shims and a front caster/camber kit and we don't do that here. So I charged you $50 to do an insufficient job. Then I waited till you figured out on your own that something was amiss, and for you to come back here wondering 'wtf?' to tell you. And by the way you need to take the car to a dedicated alignment shop. There's one about a mile from here that you could have easily gone to without coming here first. But I wanted your $50."


By the way, can anyone recommend a good caster/camber kit for an SC2?
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Old 06-11-2019, 07:22 PM   #19
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Default Re: Rebuilt suspension feels a little loosy goosy

With the shop taking your money and presuming they're not refunding this partial alignment knowing full well they should have called you to allow you the opportunity of making an informed decision whether to continue or not places them in a poor light. You can report their less than professional attitude to the, BBB, consumer reports and local yelp to allow others to read your thoughts. While you lost this round, word of mouth in online reports may reduce or eliminate this occurring to others. At the least, if online reports becomes known to this business and hurts them, they may reconsider their business attitude.

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Old 06-11-2019, 07:40 PM   #20
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Default Re: Rebuilt suspension feels a little loosy goosy

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A single voice is heard when given an audience to dispel dishonesty from poor business practices. Guess how I know?
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