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Old 05-20-2008, 03:44 PM
patbob's Avatar
Its a Whatsit
Join Date: Oct 2006
Location: Portland, OR
Posts: 837
Talking Finally figured out what was wrong

I finally figured out what was wrong with the steering on this car. That's the good news. The bad is that I ended up replacing some painful parts that were not the problem since my last update.

So, to cut to the chase, it was the differential mount. Ba-dum-bump.

Long story:
Last summer, thinking the problem still was up in the front end, I replaced the LCA bushings and lower ball joints. Even though that (now removed) Wade Products air filter setup was venting the blowby in front of the passenger LCA bushing, and it had degraded as a result, they were both in find condition. So new ones were not really needed. As long as I was in that far, and because I have no service records, and because they might have been the cause of my problems too, I also replaced the lower ball joints. I cut one open and it was perfect inside with no signs of wear. So that wasn't the problem either. My conclusion was that the problem was not in the front end -- there being pretty much nothing left to replace up there -- so, if not the front, it must be the back.

For lack of anything better to try, and because I knew the diff mount needed replacing (the back ended lifted up quite a bit when put into reverse), I went ahead and replaced it first. I didn't think it could be causing the remaining steering problems, but apparently it was.

Now the car doesn't follow the ruts, and I don't feel like sometimes it might possibly be briefly going down the road a little sideways, and I don't feel like I have to devote 110% of my attention to keeping it in the lane on the freeway. On the freeway, I can actually afford my attention to wander from steering for the fraction of a second it takes to check the speedometer, or the temperature, or the oil pressure. Hurrah!

I'll post pictures of the whole trivial replacement in a bit (perhaps in another thread), but here's a picture of the new and old mounts side by side:
She go left when I accelerate, right when I coast-mountcomparison_small.jpg
The old mount doesn't look that bad, but oh what a difference.

Thanks for all the help I got here from all of you .
'83 300DTurbo

Broadband: more lies faster.
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Old 10-28-2009, 04:16 PM
patbob's Avatar
Its a Whatsit
Join Date: Oct 2006
Location: Portland, OR
Posts: 837
the final piece of the puzzle

One more update for those that might find this thread in the archives since it seems I finally fixed the last remaining problem..

After my last update, the car wouldn't exactly veer when going down the road anymore, but it felt like it wasn't always going straight forward -- somtimes it felt like it was going down the road at a slight angle. Most of the time it felt like it was running true.. but every so often, it wouldn't for a bit. This was subtle and only temprorary, probably related to road surface variations. Most people might not even notice it, but I did and wanted to fix it for my own reasons.

It turns out that the problem was the trailing arm bushings. No real suprise there, that's what's supposed to be the failure when one has this sort of problem. Interestingly, the old bushings were not worn out -- they were soft and pliable and not all cracked or chewed up. Even so, replacing them eliminated this behavior.

I've driven the car for a month, 400+ miles, and a couple of tankfuls now and the problem has not returned like it always used to. It seems this has indeed fixed it.

Hurrah, end of story
'83 300DTurbo

Broadband: more lies faster.
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Old 10-28-2009, 08:59 PM
Registered User
Join Date: Nov 2004
Location: Nova Scotia, Canada.
Posts: 6,510
Theirs nothing like these quick fixes. Peserverence got you there. Commendable and much good information posted for others.
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