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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
Well, I decided that winter ain't gonna happen here and it's time to break out the spring projects for the '95 9C1. Last week I installed the Bilsteins, new sway bar bushings and end links, and cc621 springs in the rear (blech, too high, but goes will with the stock 9C1 front springs).

Today I had my Tire Rack Kumho 712s (stock 255 size) put on my new Impala rims, and a front end alignment done (to stock Caprice specs). Looks great, but the problem is that the car is wandering all over the place. The Kumhos seem to follow every groove and bump in the road, and there's a lot of them since studs are legal here (freeway = slot car track).

My question is: Do these tires really do that or did I get a bum alignment? Are Impala SS alignment specs different than the caprice? Thanks!
 
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Discussion Starter · #2 ·
Your idler arm and (probably) centerlink are toast. The skinny Caprice tires will "mask" the issue for a lot longer than SS size tires.

I'm really surprised (OK, not surprised
) that your alignment place didn't catch this....
 
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Discussion Starter · #3 ·
I should have mentioned, Idler arm is new. Was replaced with a Problem Solver version about 2 months ago.

Didn't touch the centerlink, how do you tell if it's worn?
 
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Discussion Starter · #4 ·
Hey Tlentz! I've had the same problems with my Imp rims and tires on. Big time wander unless on a smooth highway. Now, I've replaced every component on the front suspension except the upper ball joints and it still wandered.
Now I have some 15x8 steel rims with 235/70's up front and I PINKY drive. It's the wide tires that the imp has that causes that and the rims may contribute a little too. Try 245's up front and see if that helps...
 
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Discussion Starter · #5 ·
You can also play around with your tire pressure. I've found a couple pounds off and my KWDS start "biting" grooves alot more. I think the biggest factor is the width of the tire though. I'm thinking of trying a steering dampener.
 
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Discussion Starter · #6 ·
Put the front end in the air (jackstands on the frame) and move both front tires in and out where the tie-rods are and look for any moving joints like where the tie rods go into the spindle and center link.

I had something weird happen to my Olds when I swapped some suspension parts on it last year. I replaced both upper/lower A arms (new ball joints), put global west springs in, 12" station wagon rotors and Impala SS wheels with 255/50 RE730s. I had been running a set of 17x8" steel wheels from Wheel Vintiques on all 4 corners with 255/50 RE730s. When I replaced all those parts, the center link and pitmam arm (both original at 100k miles) were good. Four months and 4000 miles later, both items were wiped out. I'm thinking since I was driving the car harder it wore the parts out at an exponential rate.
 
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Discussion Starter · #7 ·
Tom,
Unexpected camber changes will cause a car to wonder. Since you had an alignment recently, just to be safe, check that the alignment shims are still in place. Check that the nuts that hold the pivot shaft (and shims) are tight. I think that the spec is 70 lb-ft. Many shops don't tighten the nuts properly. Also, many shops don't use the right kind of shims for our 1/2" diameter bolts. They use shims designed for thinner bolts that don't go in deep enough.
Is there play in the wheel bearings? Jack up the front and push in and pull out on the top of the tire. Movement and noise? Tighten the bearing to see if that takes care of it. If not, have assistant move the top of the tire in and out and look at the upper ball joint.
Check that upper and lower ball joint nuts are tight. Are the tapered holes for the ball joint studs in the spindles good?
In northern Europe where I am from and the roads often have deep wear due to studded winter tires, many won't put anyting wider than 235 in the front. (It is not very common to have wide tires there anyways, but I am talking about the enthusiasts who put wide tires in the rear). Some consider that even 235 is pushing it.
Please post what it was after you get it resolved. Good luck!
Tim
 
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Discussion Starter · #8 ·
<BLOCKQUOTE>quote:</font><HR>Originally posted by BackInBlack:
Please post what it was after you get it resolved.<HR></BLOCKQUOTE>

Well, the official diagnosis is: Nothing's wrong! Hmmph. Tie rods, center link, and wheel bearings all check out fine, no slop to be found. Alignment is correct, verified by another shop.

I added a little air to the tires, they're at 38F/36R now, and that helped a miniscule amount, but it's still wandering badly. Ball joints and control arm bushings are all that I haven't checked yet (bushings look in good shape visibly). Guessing it just must be the tires....
 
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