Front-end issues, some questions
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Cadillac Seville / Cadillac Eldorado Forum Discussion, Front-end issues, some questions in Past Cadillac Vehicle Discussion; Hey everyone, this is a long post..... So, I have 7 days off for the holidays, which makes for a ...
  1. #1
    Eldorado guy is offline Cadillac Owners Fanatic
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    Front-end issues, some questions

    Hey everyone,

    this is a long post..... So, I have 7 days off for the holidays, which makes for a good time to get some things done on the Seville. Just today, I replaced the front stabilizer end links, which seem to have solved my clunking issue that I was experiencing every time I left the driveway or cranked the wheel at low speeds. It was easy, and it was only around seven dollars per side. I went with Moog, as I didn't feel like bothering with the dealer.

    I've been noticing a few different issues with the front suspension and steering. One thing that irritates me, is that I have about a quarter inch of play in the steering wheel. Maybe just a little less, but close to a quarter inch. I recently had the ISS replaced, so that's not the culprit. There is no play from 9 and 3 o'clock or from 12 and 6. The outer tie rod ends feel as tight as can be. I didn't think much about the inners. The steering rack mount bolts are tight. To me, this sounds like I have play in the rack itself. Do I sound correct, or am I missing something? If it's the rack, I'll probably just leave it, until it either starts leaking or gets a decent amount of play, as they are several hundred dollars for a reman unit and I've heard that they typically start leaking after a year.

    Next, I have play in the steering column itself. When grabbing the steering wheel at 9 and 3, I can move it from side-to-side and get a nice clunk. I an also pull down or push up, and get that same play at 12 and 6. What would cause this? Actuators for the tilt?

    Next, I have a couple noises coming from the front suspension. I'm not sure if the first one is brake related or something else. I can hear a loud "pop" that comes out of the right wheel when coming to a stop (at a few miles per hour before I stop). This is fairly rare, but becoming more common. Even though I just did the front rotors about 7k miles ago, it feels as if they are warped again, like they were when I bought the car. I don't understand how this happened, as I don't recall ever letting them heat up or making any real hard stops on them, yet they still feel warped. With the old rotors, I was getting a pop that would happen with every rotation, brake applied or not, because the rotors were warped bad and the caliper was making noise as it slid on it's pins. This sound is a little different and it only happens once, not with every rotation. I lubed the pads and pins and looked at the brake on that side. It looked fine. I had a helper crank the wheel back and forth while I felt each of the strut mounts for clunking or grinding and they felt smooth as silk. Can anything else cause this issue?

    Finally, I have a squeak coming from the driver side whenever I hit small bumps. It doesn't happen over large bumps/dips. I had a helper rock the car up and down at the driver fender while I looked around with a flash light. A squeaky creek sound sounded like it was coming out of the front bushing on the lower control arm on the driver side. I would say that squeaky creek turns to a full-blown squeak when it's being moved real fast, as it would be when running over bumps at 35-40 mph. So, if I replace a lower control arm, shouldn't I replace the lower control arms in pairs, being they have the ball joints riveted in (I was taught that you do ball joints in pairs) and if one side has a bad bushing, doesn't that give an idea how the other side is doing? I don’t like having to get alignments with every oil change. Also, what do you guys thing of Moog replacements? I've been told that they were some of the best replacement parts you can buy, mostly made in the US, and they come with a good warranty. Anyone used them on their Cadillacs? Moog replacements are roughly $70 each, while AC Delco replacements are around $150 each. I could do both sides with Moog for the price of one AC Delco side.

    Sorry for the long post and tons of questions, I just want to figure some of these things out and see what I need to think about replacing. I'm real picky about noises. I love creeks and rattles of a classic car, but noises in the STS drive me nuts . Any help and advice is greatly appreciated. Without the forum’s help, I'd probably just pull my hair out.

    Thanks,
    Dan

    Edit: Work done so far to front end/steering over the last 15K miles:

    Driver side CV axle
    Passenger front hub assembly
    Stabilizer bar end links
    Intermediate Steering Shaft and Steering Wheel Position Sensor

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  3. #2
    Submariner409's Avatar
    Submariner409 is offline If it won't run, stick on fender vents
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    Re: Front-end issues, some questions

    Rotors are machined from cast iron and do not 'warp'. Get out of town and clean the pads and rotors: Make several aggressive stops from 70 mph or so. Do not come to a complete stop, and if you must, do not hold the brakes - ease off: hot, fast stops heat up the brakes/rotors and burn off pad deposits on the rotors (your "warp") - BUT if you sit with hot brakes applied you're back to square one - the hot pads deposit resins and material on the rotor again. The idea is to scrub the rotors clean and then drive for 5 - 10 miles to cool it all down.

    A front suspension pop or clunk when slowing to a stop may be an upper strut bearing. I have the same car as you and no weird suspension noises at 68,000 miles. because I frequently drive the car hard and fast so I went to EBC slotted rotors and Redstuff ceramic pads. Smooth as glass.

  4. #3
    Eldorado guy is offline Cadillac Owners Fanatic
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    Re: Front-end issues, some questions

    Hey Sub,

    thanks for your help. I didn't realize that rotors don't actually warp. Thanks for the info. I will give your suggestion a shot and see if I can clean them off.

    As for the upper strut bearing, I found that rock auto will sell you a whole mount, or one with out the bearing. They do sell the bearing seperate. Being that the bearing is a servicible unit within the mount, is it worth it to just replace the bearing, or do you typically just replace the whole mount? I saw that I can get an AC Delco bearing from them.

    Thanks,
    Dan

  5. #4
    pocketpared is offline Cadillac Owners Fanatic
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    Re: Front-end issues, some questions

    Actually...if lug nuts are tightened with an airgun set way beyond the proper torque specs the rotors can acquire a wobble. I have a friend that has been a Toyota mechanic for at least 35 years, a master tech for maybe 10, and he pointed this out to me years ago. Maybe that applies only to imports with thin rotors but it does happen.

  6. #5
    Eldorado guy is offline Cadillac Owners Fanatic
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    Re: Front-end issues, some questions

    So, while trying to figure out which LCAs I was going to purchase, I decided to go inspect mine one last time. I looked at the joint with the "bad" bushing and saw something familiar that had worked it's way into visibility; an air filter clip that I had dropped months ago. I removed it with help from a flathead screwdriver and now the squeak is gone! The clip has a nice, clean flat spot on it.

    The last time I heard the pop noise was 50 feet after I had reinstalled that caliper and installed the stabilizer link bushings, so I'll listen for it for the next week or so and see what I find.

    Thanks,
    Dan

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