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    Thread: '06 Ongoing Steering/Handling Issue Summary

    1. #11
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      Your list of questions is what you should be checking.

      The crowbar isn't entirely necessary. Helpful, but not necessary. If you leave the wheel and tire on, that is your leverage. Which way you can get those to more is what leads you to what you need to check closer.

      A sway bar bushing, like near the steering rack, would act differently than a missing or broken end link. For one you would hear a knocking type of noise when it left its stock position. It would also still hold the suspension evenly side to side. So you would;t have the wandering issues. An end link or a broken sway bar would allow each side of the car to act independently. I can't say it would allow enough movement to describe your braking/pulling. But the amount of torque steer coming back into play could. This is another discussion the amount of play that is actually there, and amount to be perceived by you. Since I am not driving the car.

      You can grab the end links, move them around, see if they move. There is a ball joint on each end. This is where typical garages fail most of the time. With the suspension hanging, the joints naturally get "hung up" which feels just like a good joint. The weight needs to be off the the joint to check them, i.e. even with a car on the lift, you need to jack up the control arm to relieve the joints to check Them. This is also the EXACT same issue with checking the inner CV. Although to check that, its best to also have one working the steering wheel.




    2. #12
      What do you mean there's no turbo? northguest47's Avatar
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      Got a third party certified technician in on this over the weekend. We got the car to pull to the right using the engine braking effect at slow speeds, as well as pulling to the right braking at hwy speeds. Either way when you let off the brakes in neutral, the pulling ceases and the car goes reasonably straight. Techie is going to look the whole front end over at their shop in the city. Now, before that, the last shop will be offered an opportunity to take one last good look at the front end again, if they do it free of charge. (Edit: they weren't interested, used the 'aftermarket' parts card) One thing this mechanic pointed as you say, Rabbit is that broken sway bar bushings are really noisy, and breaking one side affects both sides of the car. Being that my cars floating steering is not a symmetrical effect he doesn't think it would be the sway bar in my case, more leaning towards, control arm or upper a-arm I think he said. Loose end-links would be noisy too he said. Thats the weird part, there is no noise to help out the diagnosis. (Edit: until the part broke, see below..)
      Last edited by northguest47; 07-02-2017 at 04:53 AM.

    3. #13
      What do you mean there's no turbo? northguest47's Avatar
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      The first part of this post got erased, so re-writing.. so after two years of this handling issue I believe it is solved- two days ago after 5 miles on a gravel road I heard a clunk metal type sound from the pass frt while making a medium speed left turn once back on the pavement. When I got home whilst parking and steering to the right towards lock, there was a really bad grinding sound, so I decided to stop steering to the right that much until I got under the car. Turns out that clunking sound was the sway bar adapter bracket breaking in two and under steering to the right the loose end would scrape the frame. I'll talk to Rabbit and see if he agrees to remake the brackets, but twice the thickness perhaps. Also one of the end-links was clicking with just the most minute amount of play, so I'll replace that too... all the other bushings I could see looked in good condition... Edit: I thought I had some motor noise issue, that I mentioned here but see next post.
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      I bet this bracket was 'flexing' under load and the drivers side bracket was solid - thats what caused the unsymmetrical sway imho.
      Last edited by northguest47; 07-06-2017 at 05:31 PM.

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      MetroMPG (07-06-2017)

    5. #14
      What do you mean there's no turbo? northguest47's Avatar
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      Pared down the post a bit, here are the conclusions. The power steering rack needed replacing and was not the reason for poor handling (prob just rusted from all the salt). The passenger side front end-link adapter bracket was flexing and failing from metal fatigue and eventually broke two days ago. Removed the loose end, tied off the link for now, and am currently driving the car with no sway bar (as was since it broke that other day, but all that was in the city). The handling with no sway bar is waay better than the handling with the malfunctioning sway bar. Its not as precise as with it, but honestly with the coil-overs its surprisingly still pretty darn good, just not good enough, as I now know how much improvement connecting the sway bar adds.
      So lets just wait for a response, but I'm thinking the logical followup is to re-make beefed up versions of those brackets (or double them up, ie. order two more sets) and get the sway bar reconnected along with replacing the passenger side control arm for the same one that's on the drivers side because currently they aren't the same (drivers side aftermarket, pass side oem, 3rd party techs recommendation)
      The final conclusion for this matter is that with three shop visits, neither shop noticed the failing part, and this is likely the cause of the wonky handling. While I can't expect a shop to notice an 'aftermarket' part (its a simple angle bracket), I find it rather unsettling that they didn't check the sway bar connections very closely obviously, as the rust and failure line would have been noticeable, I bet any money, but we will never know cuz it broke off on its own.

      Edit: thought maybe I had a timing belt issue with some noise, but I calmed down and went back under the car while it was idling.. its that lower pulley squeaking and I could see the bearing or collar turning as well, the sound is that of a loose un-lubricated, damaged bearing with the balls squeaking and grinding in that pulley, so its not a big issue but does need replacing. Here is a picture attached of the pulley in question:Name:  IMG_1099.jpg
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      Last edited by northguest47; 07-02-2017 at 09:18 AM.

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    7. #15
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      I honestly have to say, wow. That is a clean break of a part that based on the calculations was already stronger than it needed to be. In fact the weak point was supposed to be the ball joint separating.

      Was there any other deflection in the shape of the part? like is the part bent to a radius? It would need to have been s shaped to break. I wonder if it folded around your strut on a hard jounce.

      Maybe stepping the metal up to 3/8" would be the solution. That would be much thicker. I believe (from everyone who bought sets) that this is the only bracket that failed. So I would hope it was a defect in the metal. Like I said, the design meant the balljoint should fail first. I snapped a the ball joint on my set, I was lowered about 6" from stock at the time, (about 1/2" clearance of subframe to ground with stock sized tires, I was running huge wheels and tires that lift it up). But I had no issues with misshaped brackets.


    8. #16
      What do you mean there's no turbo? northguest47's Avatar
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      Just a quick update, I've been corresponding with Rabbit, and he's gonna bump up the thickness on his next set of brackets. I am going in on that order. So I guess this thread won't get an update until the new brackets are installed. Until then, this frustrating issue is now looking solved. I feel so relieved after being stumped for so long. So until the install session, adieu.

    9. #17
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      this frustrating issue is now looking solved. I feel so relieved after being stumped for so long.
      Glad to hear, northguest.

    10. #18
      What's wrong with my car? plan b's Avatar
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      Any news on a update?? My car has been having the same issue you described for a long time and I want to find a way to fix it. It's super annoying.

      Any info is appreciated.

    11. #19
      What do you mean there's no turbo? northguest47's Avatar
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      Well the update is that I picked up the end-link adapter brackets today from the post office! And plan b to respond to your question my car doesn't have any major wonky handling issues anymore since the sway bar was disconnected. Perhaps you could try that too?
      My handling issues were likely a combination of some loose bushings or tie-rods, but more significantly because 1) one of the sway bar adapter brackets was slowly succumbing to metal fatigue and was flexing, and 2) I don't have identical control arms on the car right now, drivers side is aftermarket, passenger side OEM so it was suggested to me that the passenger side control arm bushing might be softer than the drivers side (plus its a lot older too).
      So next up is the shop session to re-connect the sway bar and replace the passenger side control arm.

    12. #20
      What do you mean there's no turbo? northguest47's Avatar
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      Just wanted to say haven't forgotten out this work, just been re-directed for months, winter should clear up some time to get the mega-beefy adapter brackets on and whatnot. I've since moved from the west coast and unfortunately won't have those twisty roads anymore... I expect it will be impossible to warp these new brackets. Sorry rabbit for stalling on this one, once its done an update will be made.





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