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Help with the front end sup

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  1. #1
    Senior Member JaycenK's Avatar
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    Help with the front end sup

    Hello all. I have a 97 Z-28 that I had a problem with the front end. Even with the front end aligned it had what I can only explain has a dart steering. While driving straight car would hit some patches, or irregularities in the road and would dart one direction and as I correct it would then dart to the other direction until I get to smooth road again. There doesn’t seem to be any slack in the steering or suspension either. Now I know they do it to an extent from the factory this car has been in my family since new.
    I decided that I would go ahead and rebuild the front end and replace everything. We are talking upper and lower Ball joints, inner and outer tie rods, Polly bushings upper and lower as well as sway bar and new KYB shocks and struts. I also did the rear bushings. After alignment I still had the problem so I went ahead and changed the steering knuckle. Same problem. I changed the rack as well and same problem.
    I was wondering if anyone has had this problem. I am thinking of changing the hubs next but I thought maybe someone could point me in the right direction. I didn't have bad tire wear either and I just put a set of 17x9.5 wheels with 275's up front and it is a little better but still little hard to control when in traffic at 60mph with cars on both sides at the ruff spots on the road. Thanks guys

  2. #2
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    Subscribed.

  3. #3
    Senior Member JaycenK's Avatar
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    meaning you have the problem too?

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    Quote Originally Posted by JaycenK View Post
    meaning you have the problem too?
    Id like to see what the problem is. Im about to dive into my front end this spring. Im replacing every component.

    My ideas are

    1. Hubs... you havent replaced them yet
    2. The alignment is way too "tight"

  5. #5
    Senior Member JaycenK's Avatar
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    Ah ok. Yea Hubs were next anyway but yea it's been aligned 4 times 3 different places and each times and same thing.
    Here is a hint I had a nightmare with TRW stuff!! DON'T USE TRW ball joints or tie rods.
    TRW ball joints- I had a Chevy dealer push out the old and push in the TRW's and they bent the lower control arms. Turns out the TRW stuff when measured where to damn big and bent both lower control arms and I had to go to a junk yard and get 2 more then I used NAPA stuff and it went in fine. Took them back and asked to see the regular sized ball joints and the over sized just to see if it was a right box wrong part deal and it wasn’t.
    TRW Tie Rods- I put a set on and one was machined wrong and messed up my inner tie rod. Went back to parts store and sat there going through boxes of tie rods (6) until I found one that was machined right. So stay far away from TRW, go with NAPA or GM. Not sure about moog.

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    Quote Originally Posted by JaycenK View Post
    Ah ok. Yea Hubs were next anyway but yea it's been aligned 4 times 3 different places and each times and same thing.
    Here is a hint I had a nightmare with TRW stuff!! DON'T USE TRW ball joints or tie rods.
    TRW ball joints- I had a Chevy dealer push out the old and push in the TRW's and they bent the lower control arms. Turns out the TRW stuff when measured where to damn big and bent both lower control arms and I had to go to a junk yard and get 2 more then I used NAPA stuff and it went in fine. Took them back and asked to see the regular sized ball joints and the over sized just to see if it was a right box wrong part deal and it wasn’t.
    TRW Tie Rods- I put a set on and one was machined wrong and messed up my inner tie rod. Went back to parts store and sat there going through boxes of tie rods (6) until I found one that was machined right. So stay far away from TRW, go with NAPA or GM. Not sure about moog.

    I have moog already pressed in. Family has been using them for years. UMI uses them as well as other performance companies.

  7. #7
    Senior Member JaycenK's Avatar
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    good to know I can go the Moog way if I ever need to thanks.

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    Crazy Canuck ! Eugenio_SS's Avatar
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    1. check if there is play in the hubs
    2. post your alignment specs
    3. what tire size are you using and which tire ?
    Eugenio_SS
    almost stock triple-black 2000 SS convertible with 17x11s on all 4 w/ 315s at the track or on the street with 18x10.5s on all 4 w/ 315s: (1), (2)

  9. #9
    Senior Member bigrondownhiller's Avatar
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    The roads where I live are terrible. I too have 275's on my car. You will feel it pulling when it hits ruts and irregularities in the road. Like eugenio said post up the alignment specs.

  10. #10
    Firebird Encyclopedia 9T8W66's Avatar
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    I have had similar problems but after my new suspension setup (Strano Springs and Koni's) and a good Autocross/Street alignment the darty feeling semed to pretty much go away.
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    Senior Member JaycenK's Avatar
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    Well I went to go get my specs out of the car and couldn't find them so I will have to look around or have it done again. Any recommendations on where I want to be on the alignment from stock specs?

  12. #12
    Senior Member JaycenK's Avatar
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    Oh I will pull the wheels off tomorrow and check the hubs the best I can. Tires are Nexen 3000 275/40/17 on all 4

  13. #13
    Crazy Canuck ! Eugenio_SS's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by JaycenK View Post
    Well I went to go get my specs out of the car and couldn't find them so I will have to look around or have it done again. Any recommendations on where I want to be on the alignment from stock specs?
    toe = 0"
    castor = +4.5'
    camber = -0.5' try to get as much as in the negative as possible, if you can't reach -0.5.

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