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Discussion Starter #1
The rack I think is fine. It holds the alignment from the shop, but potholes and irregularities in the road transmit to the wheel. I'm wondering what suspension piece(s) might be contributing to that? I've replaced the upper control arms/ball joints, I know I need to do the driver's side sway bar bushing (the one under the oil filter, it's torn, probably from being soaked in oil every oil change).. but are there other components I should be looking at?

Thanks Amigos!
Nate
 

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There will be some of that due to being rack and pinion - R&P has a low "irreversability" to it compared to the recirculating ball (Saginaw) design.

Also, if your toe isn't right, it can be grabby. Same for caster - positive caster will get the car going straight after a turn; negative will make it turn on every bump. Toe also affects steering the same way; toe out will make it dance like a cat on a hot tin roof.

As to "what parts worn" - dang near any of them. Sway bar not so much; that comes into play when the car is turning and transferring weight from one side to the other. But a worn ball joint (upper or lower), worn tie rod ends, worn shocks, over or under inflated tires, worn bushings - all of that can contribute by not keeping the front end in one "piece" during bumps (i.e., bushing shifts, angles shift, that shifts toe and/or camber and/or caster, car changes direction. Repeat for almost any other part.)

RwP
 

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Discussion Starter #3
New front shocks are on the agenda.. The alignment guy didn't note any issues with play...
I'll do the shocks then see how that works.
 

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Since it's easier to pull the shocks with the LCA out, I'd also do the LCAs, and get it realigned.

It's old enough that the LCAs, if still factory, are WAY suspect.

RwP
 

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Very easy, I did all that a few months ago in the driveway with hand tools. Just take it all apart and put it back together in reverse. A torque wrench is advisable, you can look up all the specs in a haynes manual, or just browse the forum here and it'll pop up.

Replace what you can while you're in there. I did shocks, strut rod bushing, and upper control arms when I did it. Recently my stabilizer bar linkage got shitty on me so I had to go in there and do that....... stupidly I should have done those when I was in there the first time. Also, hit every bolt and nut with pb blaster the day before you start, it'll make it much easier.
 

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Discussion Starter #7
She's going to the mechanic for some work tomorrow, after that... the fun begins.
 

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If the front shocks are bad/ blown out, I could see that sort of thing happening when you hit "road irregularities"..
I would also take a look at the steering Rag Joint, just to see what kind of shape that's in..






Rayo..
 

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Easy DIY ?
It depends on how experienced you are and how many tools you have. I would not do the job without air tools.

I started a front shock job on my old '95, but put it back together and took it to a shop. I ended up breaking a weld off one of the alignment guides by using inadequate methods of part removal. And I didn't have air tools at the time.

Now I have air tools, and did the suspension on two MN12's. Suspension is heavy duty work.

Al
 

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Discussion Starter #10
No air tools, but do have a breaker bar! :) yeah before I go too deep I'll have to have a good look.
 

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Discussion Starter #12
Oh, I was being funny. I'm not using a breaker bar on anything. If I can't get it off with my tools, someone who has the right tools can.
 

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I used my deWALT brushless impact driver to loosen up the rear suspension. Made easy work of it, just one hit with the impact wrench and off it came, but then again this is a rust free 62k mile car so siezed up bolts nuts aren't expected. My springs that I took off from the rear still have the factory plastic/paper tag that says the manufacturing date and stuff.
 

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Oh, I was being funny. I'm not using a breaker bar on anything. If I can't get it off with my tools, someone who has the right tools can.
I was referring to T6Rocket's post.


Nothing wrong with a breaker bar, some of us don't live and die by impact wrenches, and many times they're mishandled by so called professionals.
 

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Discussion Starter #15
I'll bring up this old post again.

If I want to replace the power steering rack, it LOOKS rather doable. The rack looks like it's mounted on the bottom of the firewall with two large bolts. That and the tie rod ends, two hoses and the steering connection appear to be it, and they all look like they can be done with the car on a lift.

Am I wrong? Is there some part or process that's extra difficult on this?
 

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Beware of replacing parts because you 'think' it's bad or because people who have never seen the car 'tell' you it's bad.

My car seemed to have big problems with the front suspension. So I ordered $250 worth of parts and replaced them. But if I had taken things apart beforehand, I would have realized the only part that needed replacement was a lower control arm. There was a bushing cup installed backward and maybe some nuts that weren't torqued tight enough and these issues would cost $0.00 to fix.

How do you know the rack and pinion is bad? The way to check it is to disconnect the tie rods from the spindles and then see if something is loose or binding between the tie rods. Replacing a rack and pinion is straightforward. I don't know about MN12s, but on many cars, the hose connections are the trickiest part of the job. Also, the "rebuilt' rack you receive may not be much better than the old one in some ways.
 

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Discussion Starter #17
Not sure it's bad, just thinking ahead. Like you I ordered two lower control arms. They're in the basement now waiting for me to install.

It's a mixture of steering vibration and looseness and vibration. I'm assuming for now the lower control arms are probably just worn from age, not from use. The car only has 83K on it. But if parts are original, then old rubber does wear.

It's actually had two alignments and neither shop mentioned any bad parts, and I checked the inner/outer tie rods on the passenger side, nice and tight.

Really just wanting to know if a future replacement is a PITA?
 
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