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Old 10-10-2017, 07:21 PM   #1
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Replaced suspension-now weird handling

I just finished replacing all the control arms, drop links, trailing arms, etc. on my 2000 S and now the car has an extremely unusual feel when driving. I feels almost like the wheels are wobbly and not tightened. I havenít driven over 5mph due to the unsteady feeling. Iím a bit surprised by this as everything I read made it seem like a straight forward repair and Iíd be on my way. Iíve made an appointment for an alignment thinking something is really out of whack, but Iím concerned that I did something wrong. Has anyone had this happen afterwards? Can the alignment or camber be so far out of spec after this?

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Old 10-10-2017, 08:15 PM   #2
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"Can the alignment or camber be so far out of spec after this?" A big yes! Your alignment guy should give you a printout with the beginning and ending specs for your vehicle's alignment.
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Old 10-10-2017, 10:02 PM   #3
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Has anyone had this happen afterwards?
Yes.


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Originally Posted by JDL30 View Post
Can the alignment or camber be so far out of spec after this?
Yes.

That's not to say that something isn't physically installed properly but a crazy alignment can make a car feel crazy.
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Old 10-10-2017, 11:25 PM   #4
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Any time you change ANYTHING to do with the suspension you need it aligning, especially if you DIY.
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Old 10-11-2017, 02:15 AM   #5
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Did you tighten up the nuts to the right specs - torque wrench?

Did you tighten up the drop arms and trailing arms with the car standing on his own wheels?

If you have changed the drop arms your car needs an alignment.

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Old 10-11-2017, 12:09 PM   #6
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I did torque everything to the correct settings, but I did not get the trailing arms and drop links tightened while under it's own weight. On the rear I used the jack to put the suspension under load for the trailing arms though that wouldn't be too accurate now would it?

It's scheduled for an alignment next week Thursday with the indy Porsche guys, but it's killing me. I could tell just in the short, slow drive how much all this work improve the squeaks a rattles so I'm dying to get it aligned and really get it on the road. Would standard tire shops be OK to take it too for the alignment? I know they won't replace my shocks as I've already tried that. They declined to work on it.
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Old 10-11-2017, 02:46 PM   #7
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JDL, be sure to tell whomever does your alignment to loosen up all the suspension points you replaced after it's on a rack sitting on the tires under full load and then retighten them.

I replaced my entire suspension myself in my garage on jack stands (what a pain!) and the shop I hired to do my alignment charged me $210 to loosen and retorque all the bolts of the various suspension parts under load before the alignment (that price included the alignment, btw).

Driving the car over there I thought I was going to run myself off the road the car behaved so badly and it was terribly unpredictable... read SCARY.
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Old 10-11-2017, 03:28 PM   #8
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Thanks RandallNeighbor. When I made the appointment I told them what I'd replaced and why it needed the alignment, but I'll be sure to ask them to re-tighten things per your direction. I'm also thinking of having it towed on a flat bed rather than try to drive it. It's only 5 miles away, but all on busy roads and it reacted so unpredictably on my short neighborhood test drive that I don't think I want to go that far. For my own safety and so I don't mess up traffic.
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Old 10-11-2017, 07:16 PM   #9
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When your doing this as a DIY you should have some basic alignment verification tools to get the car close to drive-able so you can get it to a alignment safely.

An inclinometer of some type. A digital one is best. A straight bar long enough the reach front to rear, and across the tires. A carpenters square. A marker, and a ruler.

You can use these to do a simple alignment that should get you to a garage. I use these at the track if I feel I'm not tracking right or the car feels twitchy. You might be surprised how close you can come this way with a little practice.
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Old 10-11-2017, 10:02 PM   #10
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When your doing this as a DIY you should have some basic alignment verification tools to get the car close to drive-able so you can get it to a alignment safely.

An inclinometer of some type. A digital one is best. A straight bar long enough the reach front to rear, and across the tires. A carpenters square. A marker, and a ruler.

You can use these to do a simple alignment that should get you to a garage. I use these at the track if I feel I'm not tracking right or the car feels twitchy. You might be surprised how close you can come this way with a little practice.
That is true! When I rebuilt my suspension, I tried really hard to eyeball things so that at least the toe-in was close, and the camber was sort of equal. I was very gratified to get the printout from the alignment guy that showed how close I was! He told me that except for the camber on the front, everything was within factory specs!

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