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 Post subject: EL Steering problems
Posted: Mon Apr 13, 2009 2:25 pm 
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Hi Guys,

The other week i bought new tyres and had an alignment an balance done and had a camber kit installed, the car drives very well now and in a straight line for once but it still moves a round a bit when hitting certin bits of road e.g. driving along the torquay h/way and getting into a wheel rut the car will kind of sidestep one way or the other.

Its annoying at 60kph and kind of scary at 100kph its like its got a mind of its own, any suggestions on what could be causing this would be greatly appreciated!

Thanks.

 

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 Post subject: Re: EL Steering problems
Posted: Mon Apr 13, 2009 4:32 pm 
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Lower inner control arm bushes rooted... Possibly castor rod bush as well.
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 Post subject: Re: EL Steering problems
Posted: Tue Apr 14, 2009 1:30 am 
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I would go for what arm79 has suggested first - then the only thing I can offer is that I personally dial in a bit more Toe out than the alignment people normally use - ie. about 1/8 turn on each tie rod (tho I have gone as much as 1/4) - which I find improves overall stability and makes the car feel better on turn in.

Some years ago I became concerned at the amount of free play / slop my steering had at centre and went to a suspension shop - the guy drove it then looked it over and checked the alignment and his comment was that the slop was due to rack adjustment and a little bit of play in the tie rod inner ends. I opted to just have him retorque the rack adjuster which worked fine - and when I asked him about the alignment he said that "normally on the figures it would need adjustment - particularly with the toe in - but on the road it handles so well I really don't want to mess with it".

 

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 Post subject: Re: EL Steering problems
Posted: Tue Apr 14, 2009 10:23 am 
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I don't think it will be alignment, as both settings for these cars (Standard and XR) won't cause that sort of problem. XR setup is the better of the 2, but can cause some tramlining on rough roads.

If its pulliing that much its causing you to leave lanes and be worried about driving, then its definitely a bush, most probably the lower inner control arm. By the age most of these cars are at, and from memory Timmy has 17" rims, these bushes would be near destroyed.

My old man has a similar problem on his NL. Alignment didn't fix it, nor did me tightening the rack. Knowing how theswe things chewed out those front bushes, I went and replaced all the fronts and it was problem solved. Once its all done you can see where the problem lies. In his case, the drivers side inner lower bush was that rooted that the wheel went from having negative camber to postive camber. This was noticable just by eye. So the bush must have had 10mm free play.

Passenger side was same, but no where near as bad.

In cases like this when your travelling down a rough road and hit a bump, when the rooted bushes become unloaded the wheels move around and get pulled across the road wherever the road feels like taking you. When they load back up again, your steering will be pulled around as the normal alignment comes back into play. Very very scary feeling.
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 Post subject: Re: EL Steering problems
Posted: Tue Apr 14, 2009 12:23 pm 
Getting Side Ways
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arm79 wrote:
I don't think it will be alignment, as both settings for these cars (Standard and XR) won't cause that sort of problem. XR setup is the better of the 2, but can cause some tramlining on rough roads.

If its pulliing that much its causing you to leave lanes and be worried about driving, then its definitely a bush, most probably the lower inner control arm. By the age most of these cars are at, and from memory Timmy has 17" rims, these bushes would be near destroyed.

My old man has a similar problem on his NL. Alignment didn't fix it, nor did me tightening the rack. Knowing how theswe things chewed out those front bushes, I went and replaced all the fronts and it was problem solved. Once its all done you can see where the problem lies. In his case, the drivers side inner lower bush was that rooted that the wheel went from having negative camber to postive camber. This was noticable just by eye. So the bush must have had 10mm free play.

Passenger side was same, but no where near as bad.

In cases like this when your travelling down a rough road and hit a bump, when the rooted bushes become unloaded the wheels move around and get pulled across the road wherever the road feels like taking you. When they load back up again, your steering will be pulled around as the normal alignment comes back into play. Very very scary feeling.



Thanks for the help guys, yeah it's definitely not the best feeling certinly at high speed anyway.

Will i be able to check these bushes myself or will i have to take it down to the mechanics?

 

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 Post subject: Re: EL Steering problems
Posted: Tue Apr 14, 2009 12:32 pm 
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Jack the car up one side at a time and put a lever (like a tire iron or something) between the k-frame and control arm and try and move the control arm. If there is any movement, then bush is rooted. They should have basically zero movement with that kind of load..

The only problem is with the rubber bushes, doing this may not show any movement unless they are really f**k. Its usually when they have loads on them that is shows up they are f**k. This was the case with my dad's NL.
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 Post subject: Re: EL Steering problems
Posted: Tue Apr 14, 2009 2:01 pm 
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Thanks mate i'll give that a try.

 

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 Post subject: Re: EL Steering problems
Posted: Wed Apr 15, 2009 1:09 am 
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Its called tramlining (where the tyres follow the road)
It maybe related to the tyres you bought, some are alot worse than others (in particular cheap ones)
The bigger the tyre the worse it is also.

EDIT
Ive noticed youve got 19s in your pictures so id say its more than likely related to tyres.

Also if they are directional tyres, make sure they are pointing the correct direction.

 

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 Post subject: Re: EL Steering problems
Posted: Wed Apr 15, 2009 8:22 am 
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I think arm79's advice is absolutely the first direction to go - but Sturmovik reminds me of a situation I had several years ago with Michelin MXV tyres where over the the space of a couple of weeks the car rapidly bacame very nasty to drive - the sensation was classic tramlining but had me buggered because it was happening on even lovely smooth roads.

It turned out to be the front tyres - they physically looked fine, had heaps of tread (were only about 5 months old in fact) and were correct pressure etc. - it was a Beaurepairs place that finally narrowed it down to the tyres - they did so after spending a couple hours swapping and switching tyres to all positions and driving the car etc. - and it was BOTH front tyres that had gone bad together. I put new tyres on (NOT Michelins) and it was sweet. The Michelins on the rear went stupid a few months later - car felt like it had a flat even tho the tyres were both physically externally perfect and correct pressure etc.

 

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 Post subject: Re: EL Steering problems
Posted: Wed Apr 15, 2009 12:59 pm 
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Im with arm79 on this one. Just replaced my lower control arm bushes yesterday as it was doing the same thing (a mind of its own) it feels alot better now and a tighter front end, just have to get the wheel alignment done today as the camber has changed and can be seen along with more toe in now.
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 Post subject: Re: EL Steering problems
Posted: Wed Apr 15, 2009 2:13 pm 
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Sturmovik wrote:
Its called tramlining (where the tyres follow the road)


As you said, tramlining is where the tyres follow the road, generally following cracks and camber variations. This would/can be caused by certain tyre and alignment combinations.

But tramlining is not when you hit a rut or a pothole in the road and it pulls the car into another lane. There is another problem there, particularly when we are talking e-series Falcons of this age.

My EL (and even my new BF) tramlines a little (with the factory alignment settings), but it still stays unfailingly on course when I hit a pothole or wheel rut, whether it be at 60km/h or 100km/h. If I do have to make a correction, its only minor, and the steering always has a solid feel and never scary. It doesn't feel all loose and floaty like when you have bad bushes.

It would remiss for Timmy to consider the 2 problems the same, because they aren't.
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 Post subject: Re: EL Steering problems
Posted: Wed Apr 15, 2009 6:01 pm 
Getting Side Ways
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Sturmovik wrote:
Its called tramlining (where the tyres follow the road)
It maybe related to the tyres you bought, some are alot worse than others (in particular cheap ones)
The bigger the tyre the worse it is also.

EDIT
Ive noticed youve got 19s in your pictures so id say its more than likely related to tyres.

Also if they are directional tyres, make sure they are pointing the correct direction.


The rims are 18" and ive just had falken tyres put on not 3 weeks ago so i dont think it's the tyres causing the problem, i think arm79 hit the nail on the head suggesting the bushes were stuffed.

 

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 Post subject: Re: EL Steering problems
Posted: Wed Apr 15, 2009 8:24 pm 
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Had wheel alignment done today after the bushes were replaced. It went from 2mm toe in to 12mm! so basically the lower control arm bushes allowed the control arms to pull away from the K frame. Steers so much better know and keeps a straight line.
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 Post subject: Re: EL Steering problems
Posted: Thu Apr 16, 2009 9:12 am 
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Timmy97EL wrote:
Sturmovik wrote:
Its called tramlining (where the tyres follow the road)
It maybe related to the tyres you bought, some are alot worse than others (in particular cheap ones)
The bigger the tyre the worse it is also.

EDIT
Ive noticed youve got 19s in your pictures so id say its more than likely related to tyres.

Also if they are directional tyres, make sure they are pointing the correct direction.


The rims are 18" and ive just had falken tyres put on not 3 weeks ago so i dont think it's the tyres causing the problem, i think arm79 hit the nail on the head suggesting the bushes were stuffed.


Hey, what type of Falkens did you get? - I've been looking at ZE912's

 

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 Post subject: Re: EL Steering problems
Posted: Thu Apr 16, 2009 3:32 pm 
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Greenmachine wrote:
Timmy97EL wrote:
Sturmovik wrote:
Its called tramlining (where the tyres follow the road)
It maybe related to the tyres you bought, some are alot worse than others (in particular cheap ones)
The bigger the tyre the worse it is also.

EDIT
Ive noticed youve got 19s in your pictures so id say its more than likely related to tyres.

Also if they are directional tyres, make sure they are pointing the correct direction.


The rims are 18" and ive just had falken tyres put on not 3 weeks ago so i dont think it's the tyres causing the problem, i think arm79 hit the nail on the head suggesting the bushes were stuffed.


Hey, what type of Falkens did you get? - I've been looking at ZE912's


I've got the ZE 329's they are dear enough but are quite good very quiet compared to my oid ones and also very good in the wet, how much are the 912's per tyre?

 

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