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Discussion Starter #1
What effect would an improperly seated front spring have on:

1. Ride?
2. Handling?
3. Noise?
4. Alignment?
5. Tire wear?
6. Tie rod wear?

Thanks
 
T

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Discussion Starter #2
Depends on how it is improperly seated - top, bottom or both and whether vehicle was aligned after the spring was removed and then installed improperly. That is assuming removal and reinstall caused the improper seating - I can’t imagine what else would cause it. If the vehicle was aligned after the work, the only issue would be ride height (higher or lower - again depending on how it is mis-installed) and maybe noise on suspension travel if improper seating is on the top.
Care to give us more information so that we can be more specific?
 
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Discussion Starter #3
Okay!

OEM springs were removed and replaced with ST's. Top of right front spring was displaced forward. Top coil was in the center of the spring seat. Several tabs were bent. Bottom was properly seated. Car was aligned SEVERAL times after springs were installed. All front end parts were replaced. (Tie rods, center link, idler arm) Car was aligned again. Prior to the rebuild, I was getting severe inner tire wear. (285/40's) Some is to be expected but it was BAD. Tire wear is much better now. Steering wheel is not centered and car pulls to the right. There is some noise in the suspension.

Since the car is up on the stands for the T56 repair, I have removed the spring, repaired the tabs and correctly reset the spring. I will not be able to drive the car for another week or so. I was wondering, and I guess I should have asked this straight out, could the mis seated spring have caused some of my alignment or tire wear problems? Should I have it aligned again now that the spring is in place? Also, about the alignment problems, when the tech's work on the car, they are unable to center the steering due to the fact that the right side tie rods bottom out on each other. (I know, thats another subject!)

Does that help?

TIA
 
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Discussion Starter #4
<BLOCKQUOTE>quote:</font><HR>. I was wondering, and I guess I should have asked this straight out, could the mis seated spring have caused some of my alignment or tire wear problems?<HR></BLOCKQUOTE>

Not only "could", but probably has been!

<BLOCKQUOTE>quote:</font><HR>Should I have it aligned again now that the spring is in place?<HR></BLOCKQUOTE>

yes

<BLOCKQUOTE>quote:</font><HR>Also, about the alignment problems, when the tech's work on the car, they are unable to center the steering due to the fact that the right side tie rods bottom out on each other<HR></BLOCKQUOTE>

Yes, and I'll bet the spring being right will "fix" this.
 
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Discussion Starter #5
As usual, YOU ARE DA MAN!!!!!

Seriously, Thanks again for the info. I should have known you would have the answers.
 
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Discussion Starter #6
Considering the problem you describe with the tie rod adjustment, it sounds to me like you have a bent pitman arm or a bent steering arm on the right side (part of the knuckle).

The gap between the inner & outer tie rods (or you can measure the overall length of the left & right tie rod assemblies), from tapered stud to tapered stud, should be very close to the same when the car is properly aligned. If they are not, the knuckles aren't symmetrical, or the pitman arm is bent.
 
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Discussion Starter #7
I'll measure tomorrow. Thanks for the info. The pitman arm is the one on the steering box right?
 
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Discussion Starter #8
Yes pitman arm is the one on the steering box. The one on the passenger side is the idler arm.
I almost had the same problem when I put the GW springs on the front, but an alert student noticed the passenger side spring off center when we were installing the SW rears. A good example of more eyes are better. Front springs are hard to get properly installed.
 
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Discussion Starter #9
Okay, I measured the total lenght of the tie rods, tapered stud to tapered stud. Passangers side was 17 1/8 inches and the drivers side was 19 1/4 inches. Front suspension is off the ground and hanging. Wheels are as straight forward as I can get them. I did notice that the outer tie rod on the passangers side has a bend in it where the drivers side does not. Is this normal? I don't have the old ones to compare the two. I do kinda recall that they were different when I installed them. How do the measurements sound? Does it sound like the pitman arm is bent. Maybe the steering box is damaged? Any other suggestion?

TIA
 
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Discussion Starter #10
Sounds way too far off, and surely could account for the abnormal wear on the tire.
Both outer tie rod ends are interchangeable with each other, as are both inners with each other. One part number for inners and another for outers. My outers, both the originals and the Moog, have a slight bend in them.
Inners have grease fitting facing the center of the car - outers have the grease fitting facing the ground.
Did you change the center link? It may be possible to get that in reversed end to end. The inner tie rod ends mount to the rear of the center link.
Maybe the parts you got were boxed wrong.
You are not that far away. Message me and I can bring my car over and we can compare them side-by-side. This weekend will not be the easiest, but I am sure we can work something out to help solve your problem.
 
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Discussion Starter #11
Well, I did notice the bend in the drivers side while working on it this morning so the parts should be okay. I did change the center link when I rebuild it. It is installed correctly. The tire wear is fine after the last alignment in July of last year. I'm just concerned about the pull to the right more than anything. I'll be checking the rear brakes when I get the tranny back in it. I know a stuck slider can cause it to pull too. Could you take some measurements of your tie rods? I know each car is different, but it would help me to judge just how off mine is. Do you thing I should get it realigned now that the spring is correctly seated?

Thanks for you help.
 
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Discussion Starter #12
BBHP/Terry--

Center link wouldn't be the problem--the taper on each end is a different size, so the link will only fit one way, really. I still say there is a problem with the pitman arm or one of the steering arms.

It is interesting that one of the outboard tie rods has the correct "bend" in it where the other doesn't. Inner & outer tie rods are different taper, so I would be VERY surprised to find those reversed, and it wouldn't make the kind of difference in length in the tie-rod assemblies that you have described.

If the car has ever been hit in front, or either of the front wheels hit hard and bent anything, I have to go back to the 2 items I mentioned--one of the knuckles, or the pitman arm (or the pitman shaft itself inside the steering gear). This assumes you are centering the steering gear/wheel when the alignment is being checked.
 
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Discussion Starter #13
Okay, lets go on this:

The center link is new and correctly installed. The Tierods are new and correctly installed. Ball joints are all okay. Springs are seated correctly. Shocks are good. Brakes are not dragging. Steering wheel is turned to the left. Car is pulling right. Tires are wearing good. Car stops straight as an arrow. Lenght of adjusted tierods, is different by two inches. If the streering wheel is centered when aligned then the passangers side tierods bottom out on each other.

Do you still think the Steering box is to blame? Bent shaft? The pitman arm only installs one way as it is keyed. How do you tell if it is bent? Please define "steering knuckle" so I am on the same page as you. What damage would you expet to see in the steering box if it were hit? Can it be tested?

Thanks.
 
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Discussion Starter #14
Knuckle is GM-speak for spindle--the steering arm is the part of the knuckle that the tie rod attaches to.

As for the steering gear itself, when the steering wheel is straight ahead in its center position, where is the pitman arm? It should be aligned straight fore-aft, at 90 degrees to the center link, or very close to it.

If you removed the pitman arm from the gear (not easy), you would want to see if the pitman shaft itself had any signs of twisting--the splines would show deformation, when they should be straight. That takes a pretty hard hit.

Good luck finding the problem!
 
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Discussion Starter #15
Sorry guys, I was unaware of the different tapers on the ends of the center link and tie rods until after I posted. Looks like assembly is pretty foolproof.
Bent parts, as suggested, are a good place to go.
Did you at any time have the steering box disconnected from the steering column shaft? I'm thinking that the steering box may not be centered when the steering wheel is centered. Turn the steering wheel lock-to-lock counting the number of turns, then turn it back half way - is it centered?
I'll make some measurements later today and post them tonight. Busy day today.
 
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Discussion Starter #16
Tie rod length:
Driver's side 18 7/8
Passenger's side 18 5/8

I am a little surprised - that is more difference than I would have expected. OH well. This is on the car that I have not readjusted since I bought it, but it drives fine.
Terry
 
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Discussion Starter #17
Listen to Navy Lifer on the twisted sector.
This is actually WAY more common than people think. With the steering wheel centered the center link should be centered in the car. Measure from right inner tie rod bolt to left inner control arm bolt. Compare to the other way. They really should be the same and any more than about 1/2" difference you need to go looking. In a perfect world the steering wheel should be straight, the flat on the box input should be parallel with the machined area of the top of the hose fitting area of the box and the the center link should be square in the car. If not, possible causes are pitman arm although the sector seems to be twisted more often. this can be caused by smacking a curb big time. If the car a ever been crashed then you might also have to be thinking about the position of the left front frame rail. It can also be rolled a bit which can cause all sorts of unseen grief. When the frame is rolled the pitman arm height changes left to right differently causing the center link to angle on turns.
Also make sure the diff is in the car straight. I have seen cars with big tie rod length differences due to a big dog traking problem.
Just some more thinks to consider. Regards, Gerry
 
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