Alignment Mystery (misery) solved. NEW QUESTION 88 80q
TooManyAudis at aol.com
TooManyAudis at aol.com
Mon Mar 12 19:01:51 EDT 2007
Thanks for the reply.
Seems that if anyone has experience with these cars, it is you.
I will take a look at the control arms as well. -- I just replaced all 8
control arm bushings, and the control arms were fine, but that was several
weeks ago and before the mystery alignment problem. However, I will also take a
look at the adjustments on the ball joints, perhaps if one is all the way in,
and the other all the way out, this would account for a "shift" to one side
or the other. Maybe, maybe not. I'm not sure how one adjustment affects the
other, although I doubt that these adjustments are totally independent of
The tie rods were most likely bent for some time -- and whatever caused the
noticeable sudden change probably took less impact to severely bend a
"pre-bent" tie rod than if the tie rod(s) had been unbent to that point.
We are entering the time of diminishing returns -- 250k on car, many dings
on the body -- maybe worth $600 to $750 or so to a buyer, but cheap to own (no
payments, ins. less than $50 / month -- decent gas mileage means I can keep
most of mileage $ from my company = untaxed income), fairly easy to maintain
and a go-anywhere in any kind of weather conditions vehicle.
Unfortunately, due to work (and pitiful trunk space), i'd be better off with
a small SUV, a small avant or something with a trunk and folding rear seats.
However, my checkbook dictates that I'll be keeping this car for a few more
months (at least) and it is potentially cheap enough to keep as a highway
car with a larger vehicle for work-related activities.
So, I have my eye on a new LH tie rod on ebay (currently $1.50). Don't any
of you vultures bid me out of this one...
> The car has over 250k on it. And, it appears that over that time, some
> things have shifted that would make aligning the wheels, steering wheel
> center of rack travel pretty tough to do.
That really shouldn't be - did you figure out how your tie rods were
bent? As I recall, the car was parked and afterwards the wheel was way
You could have a bent control arm (about $70 with new bushings I think),
perhaps a ball joint has been tweaked, or a damaged strut bearing...
or something like that.
> I am curious as to whether a tie rod from a slightly older vehicle (4kS
> 4kCSq) would be slightly shorter in overall length (1/2" or so ideally,
> making it possible to make a dead-on alignment.
I'd get the right part and bring it to the shop for the FEA.
> The alternative is to align the drive wheels to the steering wheel, with
> rack being slightly off center in its travel (steering wheel would have to
> be straightened 30 to 45-degrees).
Doable, I suppose, but why not figure out why the tie rods won't adjust
right with the rack centered first?
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