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Guest Message by DevFuse
 

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wander at higher speeds


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14 replies to this topic

#1 deiscient

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Posted 03 March 2005 - 05:55 PM

Hi, folks. S'mee again...

I have been noticing over the course of the past ~2 years that my '93 L has a bit of difficulty holding a straight line when traveling at highway speed (55+). Almost feels like driving through a crosswind even when there isn't much; seems like a lot of steering-wheel compensation is needed. Lower speeds feel just fine. I had several different alignment specialists look it over in the past year and all said the steering and suspension are in fine shape, even considering the mileage (just broke 123K). Nobody raised any red flags about abnormal tire wear.

Is this perhaps an indicator that the struts are going? I asked about this recently and was told that they look fine. The "bounce test" works OK; just a single down-up cycle when I jump on the bumpers. Or is my driving just too spirited?

#2 The Dude

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Posted 03 March 2005 - 06:16 PM

I just started experiencing the same thing with my Forester at 175,000 miles. The car veers a little at highway speed when a strong wind hit it. My first guess? Ball joints. Genuine Subaru ball joints are only $35.00 each, and they look pretty easy to replace. Another possibility, tie rods end, also not too bad. Hopefully not the steering rack, mucho bucks.

#3 SevenSisters

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Posted 04 March 2005 - 09:54 PM

Drop your tire pressure to factory specs.

#4 Spazz698

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Posted 05 March 2005 - 06:18 AM

My car was doing that too, I was thinking it was the ball joints, but when I inflated my tires to 40psi (they can handle 45 max) instead of factory specs it stopped.

#5 Tiny Clark

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Posted 05 March 2005 - 11:00 AM

I get a bit of side roll when a frikkin' AUDI or Mercedes passes me going about 120!

#6 sregor13

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Posted 18 March 2005 - 11:22 PM

Got the same thing going on. Did the tire pressure thing work?

#7 Chef

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Posted 19 March 2005 - 02:49 AM

I've got the same thing, pretty mild though. My tires are nearly new and all inflated the same (~32 psi, 35 max on these suckers). My alignment appears fine, and the struts are the air ones so they are not in question. Probably ball joints like suggested.



Got the same thing going on. Did the tire pressure thing work?



#8 deiscient

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Posted 23 March 2005 - 12:44 PM

I will definitely say that the pressures posted on the door jamb are bogus. Disregard them completely! I have kept all 4 inflated to 34 lbs ever since my original tires wore out their shoulders at 34K mi. while the Lincoln Memorial sunk into the center tread. My second tire set ran nearly 60K mi. and were pretty evenly worn all around at EOL. I am currently on Yoko. Avid Tourings and keeping them likewise inflated.

Will inspect the ball joints soon, hopefully.

#9 frag

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Posted 23 March 2005 - 01:19 PM

Another possibility worth checking.
1) Check to see if you have steering play. Whatch the left front tire and move the steering wheel slightly. Does the wheel move immediately or do you have to turn the steering more to have it move? If there is no steering play, disregard what follows.
2) If you have steering play, open the hood and check the TWO universal joints that connect the steering column to the steering rack.
I had a problem similar to yours a couple of years ago and I found out that the SECOND universal joint (the lower one) had a lot of play at the lower connection end. I tightened it and no more steering play and no more wandering.
Just a possibility worth checking.
Good luck!

#10 deiscient

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Posted 23 March 2005 - 02:09 PM

Another possibility worth checking.
1) Check to see if you have steering play. Whatch the left front tire and move the steering wheel slightly. Does the wheel move immediately or do you have to turn the steering more to have it move? If there is no steering play, disregard what follows.
2) If you have steering play, open the hood and check the TWO universal joints that connect the steering column to the steering rack.
I had a problem similar to yours a couple of years ago and I found out that the SECOND universal joint (the lower one) had a lot of play at the lower connection end. I tightened it and no more steering play and no more wandering.
Just a possibility worth checking.
Good luck!


Merci, mon ami.

BTW, the odo. hit 123456 as I parked this AM. How cool is that? Too bad I didn't have a camera or I would post a pic.

#11 frag

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Posted 23 March 2005 - 02:52 PM

I just remembered : look closely, the second U joint is immediately after the first one and obscured by it. I you dont look carefully you might miss the lower joint which was the loose one on my car.

#12 beezer

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Posted 23 March 2005 - 03:02 PM

Frag just wondering, I haven't taken a look for myself, but how do you tighten them?

#13 frag

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Posted 23 March 2005 - 03:10 PM

Frag just wondering, I haven't taken a look for myself, but how do you tighten them?


It's not the U joint itself that's sometimes the problem it's where the joint connects either to the steering column or to the second joint or where the second joint is connected to the rod that comes from the steering rack.
It's intuitive: you'll see a pinch bolt and you just tighten it with a socket and drive.
Play lightly with the steering first and you'll see if it's loose.

#14 beezer

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Posted 23 March 2005 - 03:14 PM

Thanks!

#15 deiscient

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Posted 23 March 2005 - 03:18 PM

Frag just wondering, I haven't taken a look for myself, but how do you tighten them?


The tech page on Autozone shows some nice diagrams and tech info (torques, etc). Scroll down to the Legacy section.




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