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Discussion Starter #1
After thoroughly searching the forums and reading excruciatingly through all you guys have done to solve mysterious steering/suspension tendencies, I have solved mine. I wanted to share this with others who are facing similar symptoms.
A few months ago I began to notice that my car was becoming increasingly difficult to drive straight on roads with imperfections (like grooves, pits, bumps, experience many of you have described). The car would track straight with no vibrations on perfectly smooth roads, but as soon as I encountered uneven surfaces (like when CalTrans repaves half of a lane leaving long lengths of what are they thinking???) the car would jerk quickly to that side. I would then try to correct by slightly pulling it the other way only to find the car quickly going too far that way, then back again ad-nauseam (uber-frustrating driving experience).
I considered the following possibilities based on reading posts here:
-sway bar links
-tie rod ends
-control arm bushings
-rear trailing arm bushings
-rubber steering guibo thingy

Based on the fact that a 'wobble' also seemed to exist in my wheel when I drove into my driveway, I determined that my front control arms (and bushings) were at least part of the problem. I found no other looseness when inspecting the suspension. I ordered the Meyle HD control arms and bushing and installed them myself (again, relying heavily on your guys' diy :bow:).
This only partially ameliorated the trouble. The car still seemed uneasy over grooves and bumps, but seemed firmer and easier to correct. Also, the 'wobble' and slight clunking sound was gone.
After doing that I knew my alignment would be off, so I scheduled an appointment with my local Santa Barbara indy.
And here's the kicker...
Before aligning it, he discovered that the front BF Goodrichs were 'separating' causing the erratic steering. He also mentioned the possibility of worn struts, but the tires should be done first. So, I promptly ordered a set of Kumho Ecsta ASXs. Once he installed those and aligned the car (which he said was way off), the car drives beautifully again.
So, I hope if you are suffering theses symptoms, you will at least consider that it might be your tires. I knew mine were worn, but thought they had several months left.
I have not yet pushed the car around turns to determine if these new Kumhos have sacrificed handling, but I will and I'll post it here.
I suspect that the alignment was way off even before doing my control arm bushings, and that was contributing to the issue.

Other fixes I'm considering just to firm things up:
-SLO Towns sway bar links adjustment to put suspension in 'neutral' position (I feel an understeer/oversteer issue when going around corners...would appreciate some advice here.)
-steering column guibo thingy (anyone with experience on this, other than those who have already posted?)
Good luck...

1,176 Posts
bp: I've replaced most of the parts you mentioned, most recently the CAs and bushes, I'm scheduled for an alignment with a top notch indy on Thursday and I hope this takes care of the remaining, albeit subtle "twitch". Stay tuned.

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