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Old 10-09-2012, 05:07 PM   #1
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Odd alignment issue

So I went to get my car aligned and I have some toe issues on the front wheels. The front left wheel is pointed out to the left more than it should be (i'm no sure if that's positive or negative...). Anyways, the place that did the alignment could not get it to work after three tries and I watched them do it the first time. The guy was under the car and aligned the front wheels within spec. He then had his coworker get in the car and steer left, right, and then back to center. Upon returning to center the alignment was off again. We did this three more times and I was the one turning the wheel the last two times with the same result.

HOW IS THIS POSSIBLE?!
The only adjustments can be made by the tie rod and I've replaced those with new ones. What am I missing?
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Old 10-09-2012, 06:56 PM   #2
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Have you replaced the bushings on the inner tie rods? They could be trashed.
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Old 10-09-2012, 07:06 PM   #3
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^ that or bad ball joints, loose strut collar, or bad/loose strut mounts, bad outer tie rod ends (replaced?), bad control arm bushings, etc. Something is moving at the top or bottom.

Jack one side of the car, leave the other wheel on the ground. Wiggle it at 12 and 6 and then 9 and 3. Look for play.

How many miles? What's been replaced?
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Old 10-10-2012, 04:15 PM   #4
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The only adjustments can be made by the tie rod and I've replaced those with new ones.
^Tie rod ends have been replaced.
Polyurethane strut mounts, polyurethane control arm bushings, sway bar end links, shocks/springs, and a pair of used control arms/ball joints that have about 20k or less on them. All of this was done this past May.

I know they're used but the ball joints felt nice and tight when I picked them up and when I tested them. I'll try prying at them again with a prybar but there was no play when I tested them last time.

I bought inner tie rod bushings but the old ones seemed to be in good shape (no cracks or signs of wear). The alignment wasn't off before I did all the suspension work so I don't think it was these.

I do hear some harsher road noise going over bumps but I figured that was the poly strut mounts.
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Old 11-12-2012, 06:37 AM   #5
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So I haven't driven the car for about 3 weeks now because of having my turbo rebuilt.

While it's on the stands though, I'm ordering poly stanchion bushings since I didn't know they even made these back when I originally bought the suspension parts. I heard from someone else that when they did an entire suspension overhaul on their 9-3, they noticed that the car lost alignment pretty easily and these were the only bushings that weren't replaced. Once he swapped these in, the car practically realigned itself.

My questions is, has anyone else noticed this happen to them?
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Old 11-17-2012, 12:13 AM   #6
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So I haven't driven the car for about 3 weeks now because of having my turbo rebuilt.

While it's on the stands though, I'm ordering poly stanchion bushings since I didn't know they even made these back when I originally bought the suspension parts.
Poly stanchion arm bushings aren't usually recommended. Nick Taliaferro says that they're stiffer in the direction that makes the arms harder to put on, but they're no stiffer than the stock rubber bushings in the direction that the arms move. The only advantage I can see to them is that the average person can install them. Aftermarket rubber bushings are cheap, but you'll have to pay a shop to press them in.
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Old 11-17-2012, 12:25 PM   #7
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Poly stanchion arm bushings aren't usually recommended. Nick Taliaferro says that they're stiffer in the direction that makes the arms harder to put on, but they're no stiffer than the stock rubber bushings in the direction that the arms move. The only advantage I can see to them is that the average person can install them. Aftermarket rubber bushings are cheap, but you'll have to pay a shop to press them in.
I know the OEM ones are the better buy, but does that mean the aftermarket stock style bushings are the same quality as the OEM Saab bushings?
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