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Old 12-17-2012, 02:12 PM   #1
rcw3586
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1993 SL2
1994 SL
Default Tire interference normal?

When I bought this 93 SL2 a year ago it had a fairly new set of P195/60R15 tires on it. These are the factory original size. When I damaged the right front tire I decided to swap my P175/70R14s from my 94 SL onto it. This worked great and I had no issues until one of those started to leak.
I bought a new P195/60R15 tire and put the original set back on the car. Now, I started to notice that whenever I backed out of my driveway a loud scraping sound came from the right front wheel well. I figured that I may have displaced the plastic inner fender somehow.
I put the car up on stands and ran the car in gear while turning the steering wheel all the way right and left. To my horror, the sound came from the right wheel well when I turned right and the left one when I turned left.

Locking the wheel in the extreme positions with the engine off revealed that the tires were hitting the subframe in the areas where the rear bolts hold it on.
I know that the suspension isn't compressed in this condition - but even so, is this normal?
The car has never been in an accident to my knowledge and everything looks copestetic down there.
Is it possible that there are some steering limit bumpers that are missing?
What normally limits the steering travel?
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Old 12-17-2012, 04:00 PM   #2
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Default Re: Tire interference normal?

Not sure how to fix it but I'd say thats not normal. It never happens on my SC2. Only vehicle I know of that makes any weird noises when you turn the wheel all the way is my dads old plow truck and even them its just the power steering whining and not the tires.
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Old 12-17-2012, 07:33 PM   #3
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Default Re: Tire interference normal?

Something is out of whack. Take a look with the wheels on the ground. Sway bar ends and bushings will let the tire move back in the wheel well.
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Old 12-18-2012, 02:30 PM   #4
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Default Re: Tire interference normal?

The bushings and sway bar look okay. What is supposed to limit the steering travel?
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Old 12-18-2012, 06:37 PM   #5
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Default Re: Tire interference normal?

The design of the rack. It is possible you do not have an original rack in that car.
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Old 12-18-2012, 09:30 PM   #6
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Default Re: Tire interference normal?

i just noticed my new 205 60 15's squeal a little while turning hard into a parking spot theyre rubbing on the plastic mud covers in the wheel well when i turn hahaha whatever!
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Old 12-18-2012, 09:31 PM   #7
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Default Re: Tire interference normal?

Quote:
Originally Posted by rcw3586 View Post
When I bought this 93 SL2 a year ago it had a fairly new set of P195/60R15 tires on it. These are the factory original size. When I damaged the right front tire I decided to swap my P175/70R14s from my 94 SL onto it. This worked great and I had no issues until one of those started to leak.
I bought a new P195/60R15 tire and put the original set back on the car. Now, I started to notice that whenever I backed out of my driveway a loud scraping sound came from the right front wheel well. I figured that I may have displaced the plastic inner fender somehow.
I put the car up on stands and ran the car in gear while turning the steering wheel all the way right and left. To my horror, the sound came from the right wheel well when I turned right and the left one when I turned left.

Locking the wheel in the extreme positions with the engine off revealed that the tires were hitting the subframe in the areas where the rear bolts hold it on.
I know that the suspension isn't compressed in this condition - but even so, is this normal?
The car has never been in an accident to my knowledge and everything looks copestetic down there.
Is it possible that there are some steering limit bumpers that are missing?
What normally limits the steering travel?
all of my sattys have done this my 1995 and my 1999
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Old 12-20-2012, 12:27 PM   #8
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Default Re: Tire interference normal?

you mentioned the original tire was damaged, but not how it happened. if the wheel was hit hard, the subframe may be bent. look where the lower control arms attach to the subframe and check to see if the metal is buckled or significantly wavy there. it should be pretty flat. if not, your subframe is bent, causing the lack of tire clearance. might have bent other suspension parts, too.
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Old 01-07-2013, 11:19 AM   #9
rcw3586
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1994 SL
Default Re: Tire interference normal?

Quote:
Originally Posted by mansaturn View Post
you mentioned the original tire was damaged, but not how it happened. if the wheel was hit hard, the subframe may be bent. look where the lower control arms attach to the subframe and check to see if the metal is buckled or significantly wavy there. it should be pretty flat. if not, your subframe is bent, causing the lack of tire clearance. might have bent other suspension parts, too.
Sorry it took so long to reply to this. That Christmas holiday thing, you know?

The tire was damaged when some a*hole next to me changed into my lane and forced me up onto the sidewalk with a granite curb. It wasn't a hard hit. The tire just climbed up the curb but the sidewall was internally ruptured by the sharp edge. I inspected the steering, suspension and frame and there didn't seem to be any damage or alignment issues.

However....
Over the Holiday week, I started noticing a clunk from the right front which got worse each time I drove the car. It would make a clunk each time I changed direction from reverse to forward or forward to reverse.
I figured this had to be something loose related to my recent conversion from Auto to Manual. I pulled the wheels and splash shields and checked all the hardware. I discovered that the bolts which hold the sway bar brackets to the subframe had worked loose.
The shop manual calls for using blue Locktite and torquing to 103 lb-ft. I broke my 15mm socket doing this. I know I never used the Locktite on them before - this time I did. There is a serious amount of force on these brackets. Almost all the force from braking and accelerating is transmitted from the front suspension to the chassis through these brackets.
Tightening them did solve the clunking problem but since I still have the smaller wheels/tires on I can't be sure if I've solved the tire clearance issue. Frankly, I don't see how it would. The bolts weren't loose enough to allow the brackets to lift up. That test will have to wait until spring.
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Old 01-07-2013, 12:05 PM   #10
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Default Re: Tire interference normal?

Normally these cars have such a limited steering range to prevent that (probably the worst U-turn of any small car). Loose control arm bushings or sway bar bushings could allow the wheels to move further than they are supposed to. You seem to have found what loosened your anti-sway bar.
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