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4ZUA787
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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
Ok i have a little problem, i was driving along today and as i was making a turn from one street to anthor "due to sun glare" i hit my left front tire on the median curb, i hit at something of 20 mph or lower, so it was pretty hard. i pulled over to the side of the road and i see that my trim ring is missing and that my rim is pretty smashed up, so right then i no im going to have to put the spare on so i pull out the spare pull out the jack jack it up take off the wheel which is still holding air but pretty messed up, i do a quick inspection of the components like a-arm yada yada yada put spare tire on, i then proceed to pull into the parking lot about 25 yard in front of me i right away notice my allignment is way off and i mean way off, i then do a brake check brakes seem to work fine, i then proceed home about a mile away, and this is were i am now, wondering what things do you all on this site recommend i take an extra thorough look at, i will hopefully be putting it up on the lift tommorow and taking off both front wheels and doing a thorough inspection. any tips or ideas are welcome.
 

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Old Opeler
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5,564 Posts
The front suspension components on a GT are quite light and can get tweaked and bent by running into curbs.
A preliminary check can be done by "eyeball"; checking that one side looks like a miror image of the other and if there are noticable differences in shape.
Next remove the front wheels and put the car back down on a flat concreate area using solid wooden blocks under the lower "A" arms. Now use a large Builder's Square to check the alignment of the spidles and ball joints etc - checking one side against the other to detect any differences. Stand the square on the concreate and eyeball the angle (fore and aft) of the spindle and then side to side. Also check the centre heights of the stub axles.
If you find major bending and differences then a good check on a proper wheel alignment set up is needed to find out what is bent and thus needs fixing.
 

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4ZUA787
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665 Posts
Discussion Starter · #3 ·
first things first today i droped by my buddy who is great at allignments and he couldnt take to long of a look at it but what he did was check the distance from the tire to the wheel well and compared those they were off, not a suprise he thinks it may just be a toe adjusdment needs done, but since i havent cheked for any bent or tweaked things i wont no for sure till saturday when he can have time to put it on his machine and check all the numbers accurately. thanks for the tips on checking for bent things i will do this tommorow. its kinda wierd having to hold the wheel to the side in order to go straight.
 

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4ZUA787
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665 Posts
Discussion Starter · #5 ·
well today i did i pretty thorugh look at each side to see if anything major had happend to anything, as well as i got a new tire to replace the one that hit since that tire was pretty messed up when i pulled it off the rim, well it is a little better now that i have the new tire and rim on there, but yes it pulls and as well the wheel is off center, any ideas, im hoping its just a toe allignment or something easy.
 

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boomerang opeler
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5,636 Posts
its a hit so its bent something :(
no doubt about it
at best its the steering arm from the rack
at worst its the upper and lower arms and the steering arm
if you can not find it get it tested at your local body shop/ wheel alignment place as its your life you are gambling with and you have to go to navada or atlantic city to do that:)
play safe have it looked at
ps your new tire will scrub and die in a short while if its not right
 

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Unfortunately toe-in won't make the car pull to one side. The toe-in can effect the centering of the steering wheel though. You need to get the car up on an alignment rack and check for caster and camber. I have seen the steering knuckles bend on Kadetts that were hit from the side. This can effect both camber and caster.
 

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4ZUA787
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665 Posts
Discussion Starter · #8 ·
well since i now have 4 tires on my gt that are the same brand and size and everthing the wheel is still off, but the pulling and squeeling of the tires has gone away when i brake, wheel will not pull when i hit the breaks like it did when ihad my spare on there, i didnt get a chance to use the allignment machine today so ill heave to wait till monday befor i can tell yah all what the diagnosis is.
 

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If the only pulling you experience is during breaking, that is not likely an alignment issue. I thought you meant that the car pulled to one side without the brakes applied. The main symptom of toe-in problems is tire wear. If the steering wheel was straight before the accident, but now is turned, the toe-in definately needs to be corrected. After an incident like you described the front end parts need to be inspected thoroughly and the car's alignment needs to be checked. At the very least you could ruin a perfectly good set of tires if you continue to drive it.
 

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4ZUA787
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665 Posts
Discussion Starter · #10 ·
ok finally got to put it up on the rack took a bout ahlf hour look jus with flash light and a tape measure checking diffrent distances i corrected the steering wheel being off it was the toe, but then my buddy with the allignment rack said that there was still something messed up and that i should just replace the lower and upper control arm and the spindle jus so everything is new and we no its not bent and if that doestn fix it then its something worse possibly body tweaked or something, well i only have a drivers side spindle in my parts collection so tonight i swap the old spindle for this "new" spindle it seems to be even beter with this new spindle and one new ball joint for the upper control arm, but i then took a look at the lower control arm and looked at an extra one i have for my passenger side and is in awsome shape and compared, i noticed that on the extra one theres a distinct oval type shape were those rubber bump stops hit, well the one on my car isnt a perfect oval anymore to say the least, so this means i need to find a good condition lower drivers side control arm and as well i need new bushings for both upper and lower on that side, can anyone help me out on either thing either bushings or lower control arm i dont want to have to order from ogts unless no one on here has one i could trade for anthor part or for cash. thanks in advance. :cool:
 

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straightening bent upper control arm

In finishing up the upper control arm project on my car, we got to the point of finding a way to make sure it is straight and square. Even eyeballing assured me it wasn't.
I had reamed out the bushing eyes to 1" in order to use a spherical bearing in there instead of a rubber bushing. So in rummaging about to find a bar that fit nicely in the bore, I found that my big tent stakes were 1", some emery cloth cleanup made them fit beautifully. And the sharp point made it easy to see how out of line one hole was from another as the stake went through. Best of all, the stake acted as a big bar to bend the control arm into alignment, with the control arm mounted securely in a vise at the ball joint area.
This method took a little tweaking around, but eventually the bar would slide freely through both eyes, meaning they were quite even with each other.
The shocking part was how easily manipulated they were. The control arm truly is a very twinky little unit. This particular one is going to get some reinforcement done to it... before it gets bent, not like the last one.
The "bolt from hell" is now a custom made stud 9-1/2" long, 1/2" diameter.
There will be some outer support tabs added (outside of the control arms, at each end of the bolt) so that the original inner sleeve isn't trying to do all the work.
This has been in progress for months, among other things. A step at a time, an idea at time, analyzed and "slept on" until it looked right.
I like how incredibly smooth and easily the arm rotates yet how solid and rigid it is. No bushing flex here!
I'll add some photos once it's all ready for final assembly. You'll be surprised at how simple it really is. After enlarging the eyes to 1" there just happened to be some grooves left in the bores, I don't know what they are for, but now they hold snap rings to keep the bearings from moving towards each other. It's like this was meant to be!
 

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Are you saying that you replaced the bushings with spherical bearings? The bushings do more than just provide a pivot point. They also act as dampeners. Bearings can't do that.
 

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Yes, in this application I don't want any give, I need the wheel camber and caster to be rock solid at full bump in a hard left turn at 60mph. :yup:
What Jeff isn't telling you, is his car is a circle track racer, and the suspension in that environment doesn't need any dampening other than the shocks and springs.
 
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