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Old 01-03-2017, 08:22 PM   #1
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Suspension Play Conundrum

When the car is on the ground and the driver's side front wheel is shaken between 12 &6(car is rocked transversely), there is noticeable play being taken up top to bottom, as if the wheel bearing was bad.
I jacked up the car and could not replicate the conditions (testing for wheel bearing issues). Indeed the wheelbearing seems very tight, as do the ball-joints, as well as the near-new poly bushes. The car drives poorly and wanders/tramlines and all signs point to a wheelbearing, but again, it is tight, as is every other usual suspect. Does anyone have any ideas as to what it could be?

I did disassemble the suspension down to the hub, put a pair of vice grips on it, and pushed/pulled with all my strength and the hub/wheel bearing didn't move at all...totally flummoxed!
TIA!
-Cm
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Old 01-04-2017, 10:09 AM   #2
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Strut mount?
They're pretty well known to deteriorate and separate.
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Old 01-04-2017, 01:23 PM   #3
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Ironically, the strut mount is brand new on that side...although, it is certainly possible that the mount was of shoddy quality
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Old 01-04-2017, 05:56 PM   #4
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Does the strut appear to move if you have the hood open when you're doing it?
Any chance of getting someone to either assist in rocking the car or peering underneath to see if you can pinpoint the play?
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Old 01-10-2017, 09:01 AM   #5
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No, I have pried at the strut mount and bounced it all around. When I turn the wheel however, the strut mount visibly distorts, but there is no "slack" per-se being taken up. The only thing I can surmise is that there appears to be play in the rack, although it is only a slight amount. These cars have the loosest front ends I think I've ever seen. There is so much rubber and flex, goddamn everywhere...The rack collar,where the tie-rods connect, moves up and down a little, the rack flexes the firewall , the bushings (which are all hard flavors of Nick's poly bushings) flex, the strut mount flexes. But as far as I can tell, nothing is loose. The other bizarre possibility,is that I noticed when I pushed HARD on the sidewall @12 o'clock on the tire, when the car is on the ground it wobbles on the soft sidewalls laterally. It is possible that the steering knuckle is hitting the 215 wide snow tires on the sidewall, giving the feeling of play being taken up. Otherwise, everything is tight. Very unnerving, as it seriously undermines my confidence in the machine...
_Cm
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Old 01-10-2017, 10:45 AM   #6
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It doesn't line up with all the syptoms exactly, but your firewall isnt cracked where the rack mounts is it? That would probably be more likely on the passenger side but.. Are the rod bolts that attach to the rack tight? Those are 3 and 9 o'clock problems though hmm

The good part about these setups being so crude is that there are only a few credible possibilities here I guess
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Old 01-10-2017, 10:47 AM   #7
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The suspension arm bolt and rear subframe/stanchion arm bolt are tight? Strut collar tight?
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