Strange steering/suspension issue

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F3ARED
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Joined: Wed Sep 28, 2005 11:55 pm
Location: Melbourne, Victoria

Strange steering/suspension issue

Post by F3ARED »

Fellas,

My poor old sedan has been forced back into daily drive duties and has recently developed a frankly bizzare issue thats driving me mental. Its developed a loud intermittent knock in the front end which usually occurs when at lock/exiting a driveway. Also exhibits weird steering behaviour - steering will be light and normal with no issue; itll clunk and then from that point on the steering will be loaded up/heavier. Theres also been occasions where i havent been able to get full lock [and unfortunately each time this happens i havent been able to stop and get out and have a look]. It appears something is binding in the front end - but f*#cked if i know what or where to start. Everything except the steering rack and rack boots were replaced 30k ago - this includes ball joints upper and lower, all front end bushes, sway bar links, sway bar bushes, rack ends, tie rod ends, springs, shocks - the works.

What the hell is going on here, and what am i missing?
Previously GeminiCoupe/GeminiRollingShell/SCAR3D/Jonnoisac#nt

78 TD Gemini Sedan - R.I.P
81 TE Gemini Sedan
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OTD 079
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Joined: Thu May 19, 2005 4:25 pm
Location: Brisbane

Re: Strange steering/suspension issue

Post by OTD 079 »

My initial guess was going to be bad ball joints - that was until I read a bit further and they have already been replaced. Perhaps the quality of new stuff is not like it used to be and they have failed early??
F3ARED
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Joined: Wed Sep 28, 2005 11:55 pm
Location: Melbourne, Victoria

Re: Strange steering/suspension issue

Post by F3ARED »

Admittedly that was my first thought as well. Although theyve been changed I cant rule them out completely until i get the front end in the air and lever on the arms/check for play but it definately feels like something is binding. Theres also evidence the swaybar has hit the sump at some point which is even more confusing - ive never, ever, experienced anything like this and in almost 20yrs of driving/owning geminis [f*#k i feel old saying that...good thing i was 15 when i got my first lol].

Failing ball joints?
Swaybar binding?
Bush shell loose in control arm?

Cant honestly think of anything else that would give these symptoms. Car has had a hard life and the 30k on it since doing the front end arent easy ks either [track day at wakefield, skidpan day, driving up the east coast to ballina] but id have thought there would be more life in it left than that.

N-

ps good to see your still around!
Previously GeminiCoupe/GeminiRollingShell/SCAR3D/Jonnoisac#nt

78 TD Gemini Sedan - R.I.P
81 TE Gemini Sedan
cjcrow
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Location: Perth

Re: Strange steering/suspension issue

Post by cjcrow »

Steering coupling bushing and so the steering coupling is possibly hitting on the cross member?
F3ARED
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Re: Strange steering/suspension issue

Post by F3ARED »

cjcrow wrote:Steering coupling bushing and so the steering coupling is possibly hitting on the cross member?
Also been done; all bolts are still present and not showing signs of failing. Tyres are less than 20k also - basically i replaced everything in the front end except rack bushes because the set i bought were cut by superpro in the wrong spot and wouldnt clamp properly, and the rack itself

It also occasionally pulls to a side and wanders with the road as another symptom. Never experienced anything like it
Previously GeminiCoupe/GeminiRollingShell/SCAR3D/Jonnoisac#nt

78 TD Gemini Sedan - R.I.P
81 TE Gemini Sedan
cjcrow
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Location: Perth

Re: Strange steering/suspension issue

Post by cjcrow »

I'm going to say the pinion within the rack then. Do you have a spare rack you can swap over?
F3ARED
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Joined: Wed Sep 28, 2005 11:55 pm
Location: Melbourne, Victoria

Re: Strange steering/suspension issue

Post by F3ARED »

No spare rack to throw in but i think i may have possibly solved it. Jacked the car up and on full extension heard a giant twang. Poking around and it appears even with the shortened gabriels in the front the spring was just loose enough to slip out of the seat and become wedged.
Previously GeminiCoupe/GeminiRollingShell/SCAR3D/Jonnoisac#nt

78 TD Gemini Sedan - R.I.P
81 TE Gemini Sedan
F3ARED
Moderator
Posts: 2703
Joined: Wed Sep 28, 2005 11:55 pm
Location: Melbourne, Victoria

Re: Strange steering/suspension issue

Post by F3ARED »

So, I thought i had solved the issue but it appears not. Have a suspicion that the problem is far worse than merely an issue with components in the suspension. Suspect the body shell is suffering from severe metal fatigue. Have compared my car to my wifes white TE, and Jonno was kind enough to check out his cars and its looking like my car might be f*#cked. Is anyone able to post some pictures of the following areas on there car for comparisons sake:

Front control arm mount to body [under the floor/footwell area] looking from back of car forward, in particular the gap between the mount and floorpan
Passenger chassis rail to inner gaurd join, looking down near battery tray area
Chassis rail drivers side to inner gaurd join, looking down near the relay box

Ta
Previously GeminiCoupe/GeminiRollingShell/SCAR3D/Jonnoisac#nt

78 TD Gemini Sedan - R.I.P
81 TE Gemini Sedan
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