Loose front components
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Suspension, Brakes and Tires Discussion, Loose front components in Item Specific Cadillac Discussion; I had a chance to be in a 10 yrs old (as old as my 95 SDV with 100k+) Toyota ...
  1. #1
    100
    100 is offline Cadillac Owners Enthusiast
    Automobile(s): 1995 Sedan De Ville (4.9 L)
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    Loose front components

    I had a chance to be in a 10 yrs old (as old as my 95 SDV with 100k+) Toyota Corolla. I had to admit that I was impressed. Well, not comfortable, not roomy, many complaints, of course, but it was pretty solid. I have realized how sloppy my DeVille is, now. I don't have a particular problem on my car, but now I feel that I need to (or can) do something to make it drive better.

    My front struts feel fine (but I am not that positive), no leaks, so I am thinking to check around tie rod ends, ball joint, stabilizer bar. The tie rod ends look rusty and need replacement, rubber seal around the ball joints look broken. I need to replace them, although I don't have any play when I shake wheels. The stabilizer bar? I don't know what I can do...

    Any ideas what I should do? How can I check if my struts are solid. Also about ball joint, what type of ball joint separator should I use, puller-looking or fork-looking type? I cannot find a puller-looking ball joint separator around...

    Thank you!

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  3. #2
    elwesso's Avatar
    elwesso is offline Cadillac Owners Master
    Automobile(s): 2005 CTS-V, 1994 Infiniti Q45
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    Re: Loose front components

    basically, your shocks and springs work together to keep the car planted on the groud. The springs force the wheel down to the road, and the shock (absorber) stops the spring from bouncing....

    The best way to tell if your shocks are bad, is to bounce each corner... On a Deville it should be pretty easy to get one corner of the car bouncing since they have pretty soft springs... When you get it bouncing, let go and the car should go up, and then settle back down instantly and stop moving (for the most part). if it moves more than once after you let go, they are probably bad... Just remember, the shocks job is supposed to stop the car from bouncing... So that should make sense..

    If you have over 100k on your suspension, it is in need of rehab... just due to things being old (now 11 years old)... Youll want to replace anything rubber in there... however fresh shocks will make it feel really good...

    Could you describe HOW it is sloppy?

  4. #3
    100
    100 is offline Cadillac Owners Enthusiast
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    Re: Loose front components

    Thanks Wes,

    Quote Originally Posted by elwesso
    When you get it bouncing, let go and the car should go up, and then settle back down instantly and stop moving (for the most part). if it moves more than once after you let go, they are probably bad...
    Only once. It comes up and that's it. I think the shocks work fine for vartical motion. I feel like the car swings (not really that bad) at low speed. So, for example, are there any modes of failure which cause the shock to move side way (like a hole gets worn and becomes larger, allowing the shaft of the shock to have excessive play in side way).

    Quote Originally Posted by elwesso
    If you have over 100k on your suspension, it is in need of rehab... just due to things being old (now 11 years old)... Youll want to replace anything rubber in there... however fresh shocks will make it feel really good...
    You are right. When I will have a chance, I will replace the shocks. I am sure they will be much better than what I have now. But my main complaint is not directly related to the bouncy shocks. Well, of course, I am not sure though...

    Quote Originally Posted by elwesso
    Could you describe HOW it is sloppy?
    This is difficult... Being a Japanese, explaining subtle thing like this in English is pretty difficult... Well, to me, when the car hit a very little bump (like fixed cracked road), I feel like the suspension is not rigidly attached to the car. But when the car hit a bump, I don't feel much sloppiness. It is most pronounced when the car hit a little thing... Sometimes, I feel like the car shakes sideway at low speed (like 10-20 mph) on a not-perfectly smooth road. At higher speed, the problem seems to be less noticable... Ahh, sorry, I can't describe any better.

    Anyway, thank you for your comments!

  5. #4
    elwesso's Avatar
    elwesso is offline Cadillac Owners Master
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    Re: Loose front components

    I understand what your saying.....

    So basically you have a deal where your suspension does not feel connected to the frame of the car... makes sense...

    The shock/spring combo have a huge impact on handling, as they support pretty much all the weight of the car, and for your benefits it supports all the weight (wanted to clarify for semantics sake)...

    It sounds to me that the car stays composed as far as vertical travel, meaning the car isnt wallowing all around the place... like whenever you go over a big dip, its not bouncing everywhere.....

    Even though it may not fix it, i ALWAYS recommend people starting with simple things and then going to the more complex things. Id start by replacing some bushings, i dont know how the suspension is setup, but youll definitely want to replace your sway bar bushings (the end link bushings and the frame bushings).....

  6. #5
    Krashed989's Avatar
    Krashed989 is offline Cadillac Owners Connoisseur
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    Re: Loose front components

    My first thoughts were wheel bearings and alignment.

    There are ways to check pretty much every component of the chassis to see what's bad. If your sway bar bushings were bad you would hear a clunk noise over bumps, and some cadillacs don't have end link bushings (they just have the frame bushings, and ball joints on the end links). My point is, if you're going to replace something, make sure it's bad first.

  7. #6
    100
    100 is offline Cadillac Owners Enthusiast
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    Re: Loose front components

    Thank you guys!

    Well, my stabilizer bar (is it the same as the sway bar?) has total of 4 ball-joints-looking joints. Although I could not take them a part (nuts came off, but without a puller, I couldn't separate it from the struts), I don't think they have any play.

    Wheel bearings are new idea to me. How can I check? I have lifted the front and checked any play around the drive shafts, but there were no play. When I tried to rotate the front wheels by hands, they did spin smooth.

    The most difficult part is that when I tried to reproduce the "loose components symptom" by hands while the front of the car is lifted, I just cannot give a strong enough "hit" to the car... By hands, all components I checked seemed to be pretty tight and no obvious play.

    Parts that I checked play are:
    top strut mounts bolts (3 on one side),
    the nut on top of the shock (24 mm, big one),
    cradle (sub-frame?) mount bolts (total of 6),
    ball joints, tie rod ends, stablizer bar.

    They seem to be tight (by hands) and no play...

    I thought the alignment was fine, since the car goes straight without holding the steering wheel and when it goes straight, the steering wheel is also straight.

    Well, to be honest, I don't think I know how to check those components right, so I have checked by my own way that may be very wrong. So any suggestions will be very welcome.

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