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Front end tune up; General parts list
Topic Started: Jun 16 2018, 11:21 PM (257 Views)
Maybemaybenot
Noob
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It's me again. "Little Blue" is running smoothly however she is approaching 300k and I don't think the P.O. did any work to the front end. My question for the Geo Oracle's is do you guys have a recommended list for beginning a front end rebuild? In the name of not making thungs redundant, I want to get an idea of what to order in the way of parts. I don't want to even start with it until I have a good list of things that are generally good to change. I assume controll arms, axles, struts, bearings (wheel inners and outers and axle right?), tie rod ends
... what else can you guys come up with? Or more simply, is there a thread with a suggested parts list?

Thanks in advance!
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suzukitom
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Tom

A thorough front end assessment is your first step. 300,000 miles on smooth paved interstate might produce less wear than 50,000 miles of commuting on potholed city streets. If you are in the rust belt, check for holes in the frame horns before deciding to invest in front end parts.

Replace only what is worn out.

Ball joints in the control arms might be the first to wear if the rubber boots are ripped, wheel bearings that are well greased, might well last the life of the car. If quiet and freely rotating when you jack up the car and spin the wheel/tire, and there is no rough sounding noises or 'in-and-out' play, carry on with your inspection...

With the car in the air and jack under the control arm (to put load on the suspension), check each side for sources of any play or looseness in the tie rods by having a helper turn the steering wheel from side to side while you check for looseness or leaky or noisy struts, and worn or cracked rubber bushings that have play.

Check for whether the CV axle boots are torn at the wheel side. If the boots are ripped, but grease has not yet been contaminated by road grit, installing new boots for the OEM axles, in my opinion, are better than cheap aftermarket axles, which can fail and accelerate vibration and wear in other suspension and steering parts.

I've omitted commenting on the rear suspension for now as the front end on FWD cars tend to suffer more wear.
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Maybemaybenot
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Thanks, Suzukitom. I will definitely check it out before buying parts. Really there are three symptoms that concern me:
1. As I depress and release the clutch when shifting from 1st and 2nd I get a sound that is more than a click. I hesitate to say knock. It only does it once on the depression of the clutch and once when I release it
2. When I brake at 50+ mph, my passenger wheel shudders. My experience says rotor issues but my instinct says balljoint and or wheel bearing
3. When driving over semi bumpy pavement, she rattles considerably.

I generally don't like throwing parts at something but I don't want to keep taking the suspension apart unnecessarily.
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PTA2PTB
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I'm totally awesome! I swear.

I think you should fix it, just enough so you can drive it to the Metro Meet(s) this year. ^o)

And if you could wrangle a couple vacation days off from work, the Friday preceding and the Monday following, you could just bring all your new front end parts with you out to the Minnesota Meet, and we'll help you install them!

https://i.imgur.com/EY8ZdHQ.jpg
https://imgur.com/a/4GRdX

Doesn't get much better than that. Oh, and did I mention, they have.........BACON! :bacon :bacondance
Edited by PTA2PTB, Jun 17 2018, 09:36 AM.
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Maybemaybenot
Noob
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PTA2PTB, thanks for the personal invite! As for 'Little Blue' she hits the road slick on my 15 minute rise to MCAS Cherry Point, NC every day. I'm not sure she is up to a Geopalooza or Metros On The Gulf run!

I put it on my dad's rack in his garage today and gave the tires and axles a good shaking. And my findings are these:

1. Torn boots on both tie rod ends
2. Torn boots on both ball joints

I suspect the rattle I hear when I hit small bumps is the ball tie rod ends. The wobbly wheel I think is the ball joint beginning to fail. And I'm just gonna do new struts for the heck of it.

I don't hear any roaring what so ever so I assume the bearings to be good. Likewise, I don't observe any clicking yet so the axles seem ok for now.

Any thoughts?
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suzukitom
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Tom

good assessment.

kyb struts are a good brand.

to keep your outboard cv axle boots in good shape, wipe them clean with a shop rag and smear a light coat of food-grade silicone (sold at diver supply shops) in the folds of the rubber bellow surfaces to prevent cracking.
Edited by suzukitom, Jun 17 2018, 09:45 PM.
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Maybemaybenot
Noob
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Ok, so I have an update. I did a minimal front end tune up. Lower control arms tie rod ends and front struts. The chatter is almost non existent now! Thanks for all the support!

My only issue now is in between gears I hear a pretty distinct "thump-thump" as I depress and release the clutch. I guess this could be from several different causes. Worn axles and or output shaft hearings with play in them, worn spindle bearings with play in them, loose or failing motor mounts, or even my shift pattern. I say shift pattern because the more I slow down my clutch/throttle change, the noise is quieter. It my not be a big deal, I just hate to risk messing something up. Thanks again for the help!
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suzukitom
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Tom

is the thump-thump noise matched by any sensation felt through the clutch pedal? is the clutch pedal upper pivot greased and is the clutch cable end frayed? (awkward to view spot. I use my phone camera )

or does it sound and feel like slop being taken up by play in the differential? since you have new control arms, you can check for any looseness in the outer cv joint or in and out play to rule out wear in an otherwise quiet wheel bearing.
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Maybemaybenot
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Suzukitom, I definitely cannot feel the issue in the clutch. I'm afraid it sounds more like slack being taken up when I put power back to the wheels. I am going to rotate my tires this weekend so I will check in and out movement in the bearings as well as axle slop forward and backward when I jack it up before I take off the wheels.
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sphenicie


suzukitom
Jun 16 2018, 11:52 PM


Replace only what is worn out.



This is one option.

I certainly do not prescribe to this theory of vehicle maintenance.

If the left side inner wheel bearing is shot...……...I am going to replace the outers as well. Both sides.

Why?

Well, duh, I dont want to tear it apart, again, to do the other one in a month or ??

If the right strut is shot, you know what, the left has the same amount of miles on it...……..replace it! Even if it has some life left in it, it WILL handle MUCH different than the one you replace. Then in the future, you will replace the left, which WILL handle different from the now old right side, and you will never achive a proper ride.



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suzukitom
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Tom

Maybemaybenot
Jul 13 2018, 05:00 AM
Suzukitom, I definitely cannot feel the issue in the clutch. I'm afraid it sounds more like slack being taken up when I put power back to the wheels. I am going to rotate my tires this weekend so I will check in and out movement in the bearings as well as axle slop forward and backward when I jack it up before I take off the wheels.
in addition to any play, the sound of a worn/loose wheel bearing can sound like a clang.
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suzukitom
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Tom

sphenicie
Jul 13 2018, 06:13 AM
suzukitom
Jun 16 2018, 11:52 PM


Replace only what is worn out.



This is one option.

I certainly do not prescribe to this theory of vehicle maintenance.

If the left side inner wheel bearing is shot...……...I am going to replace the outers as well. Both sides.

Why?

Well, duh, I dont want to tear it apart, again, to do the other one in a month or ??

If the right strut is shot, you know what, the left has the same amount of miles on it...……..replace it! Even if it has some life left in it, it WILL handle MUCH different than the one you replace. Then in the future, you will replace the left, which WILL handle different from the now old right side, and you will never achive a proper ride.



that's a good point.

I was thinking of newer Metros with the one piece wheel bearing. it makes sense to replace the inner/outer at the same time.

tires/brake pads to ensure even wear. but struts and control arms I like to replace as needed since they don't seem to wear out evenly.

I use new OEM or good used OE parts. it is tempting to use affordable aftermarket parts but I observe unpredictable wear patterns. For example a Moog control arm ball joint can wear out in less than 40,000 miles. The driver side seems to always go first on my cars.
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Maybemaybenot
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Oh yeah. I am totally about doing both sides of a repair too! However I am not about fixing things that aren't broken. Sometimes it is a catch22 because these cars are getting some age and given enough time, I could justify buying all new everything. In regards to the wheel bearing suspicion, wouldn't a bad bearing identify as a rubbing or roaring sound from the spindle area?
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suzukitom
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Tom

Maybemaybenot
Jul 13 2018, 03:43 PM
Oh yeah. I am totally about doing both sides of a repair too! However I am not about fixing things that aren't broken. Sometimes it is a catch22 because these cars are getting some age and given enough time, I could justify buying all new everything. In regards to the wheel bearing suspicion, wouldn't a bad bearing identify as a rubbing or roaring sound from the spindle area?
I recorded the clang sound on my phone. The worn wheel bearing allowed the hub/cv axle assembly to have some extra rotational movement as it passed through the knuckle. The sound it made as it took up the clearance was a clang. I thought it sounded more like a worn differential, as it was pronounced during transition between drive/coast and during gear shifts but the new wheel bearing corrected it entirely. If I can figure out how to post the sound file here I will do it later.

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Maybemaybenot
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Once again, Suzukitom, you live up to your Forum Title of tech certified! Your explanation experience sounds exactly like what I am hearing. I am relieved to think it is simple as wheel bearings and not the differential. My relief surpasses any despair for having to take the wheel assembly partially apart. As always thanks again!
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