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Steering has play, does not return center and knock or thud from wheel on left turns

Discussion in 'VZ Holden Commodore (2004 - 2006)' started by aszaheer, Jun 29, 2014.

  1. aszaheer

    aszaheer New Member

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    Sorry for the crappy title, I'll try to explain it a bit better here. :) Whenever I turn left starting from a complete stop or really low speed, I get a thud from the left wheel if I accelerate moderately. I'm not sure if it is the wheel but that is where it feels like. I just got new tie rods on both tires and there is no play now in either direction. However, the sound is still there. I have to accelerate really slow on roundabouts and u-turns due to this coz it sounds like something might break.

    I have play in my steering wheel too and it does not return to the center after turns. Lets say it only returns to the 10 o'clock and 2 o'clock positions depending on the direction of the turn. And I would say the wheel feels quite loose between those positions too. I read something in previous posts that it has something to do with front strut mounts and steering bushes. I had the mounts and bearings replaced a little while but it hasn't helped with the issue. I'd like to know which bushes might help. Is it all the front suspension bushes in general or are there any particular ones related to the steering wheel issue?
     
  2. sidecar55

    sidecar55 Member

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    Watch out for the steering column bearings, we replaced one last week.
     
  3. XioiX1983

    XioiX1983 New Member

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    Castor settings are responsible for returning the wheels to centre. I would replace the bushes etc. The knock or grind from left whe could also be a wheel bearing.
     
  4. _R_J_K_

    _R_J_K_ Well-Known Member

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    Sounds like your radius rod/z-bar bushes, these are responsible for castor and keeping the lower control arm in place (which would explain your thud).
     
  5. Big-Al

    Big-Al Banned

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    Take your car in for one of those free safety inspections and then replace the parts they say are stuffed yourself. Don't forget to get a 4wheel alignment to finish the job :)
     
  6. Darcon666

    Darcon666 Evil is always around you

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    Hey aszaheer

    Good explanation but there are too many things that could be wrong... from a simple missing nut on the castor bush(seen this myself) --> cracked/broken/bent/about to snap something.

    As Big-Al said... take it to the professionals and at least get a detailed report... you can then make a choice to fix it yourself if you are handy with the tools OR leave it to the pro's and pay $$$($).

    Good luck
     
  7. diysv6

    diysv6 Member

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    I had a non power assisted rack and pinion steering box outer support bearing collapse. The steering made all sorts of odd noises as the left front wheel was changing toe in/out and the shaft was hitting the steering rack tube. I would think that could happen to a power assisted steering assembly, but would it be accompanied by loss of power steering fluid in the reservoir. Is that a possibility?
     
  8. aszaheer

    aszaheer New Member

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    Thanks for the info guys! My radius rod bushes don't have any missing nuts but they do have a cracks in the rubber. I will get it checked before getting the work done but just wanted a better picture of what it needs. Looks like I'll be replacing most or pretty much all of the bushes soon. Does anyone have any experience with the cheap aftermarket ones? Not the branded stuff coz the cost really piles up once you start replacing parts.
     
  9. hotrod

    hotrod Banned

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    when you say cracks in the rubber you sure its not the ribs in the rubber , like big L said go and get it checked out at Pedder's or someone first too many possible without seeing it.
     
  10. aszaheer

    aszaheer New Member

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    So i guess I found what might be causing the thud. The ball joint looks really screwed. Also here are pics of the radius rod bushes. Do you think replacing them will help with the steering wheel issue?
     

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  11. Benboy

    Benboy Well-Known Member

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    It appears that you may not fully understand just what the problem with your vehicle is. As it apparently relates to steering, which is a critical aspect of vehicle control (etc), I suggest that you should really have the vehicle assessed by a competent mechanic with a view to getting any replacement/repairs carried out by someone that knows what they are doing. Get it wrong and you could suddenly find the vehicle out of control and likely to cause death or injury to others.
     
  12. hotrod

    hotrod Banned

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    mate don't go second guessing things its not worth your life or others , go and get it looked out , rubber has a split on ball joint doesn't mean a thing but not to say the joint stuffed , who replaced your tie rod ends ? they should of picked up other problems with your suspension . your radius bushes look fine in picture.
     
  13. hotrod

    hotrod Banned

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    one more thing have you had a wheel alignment done after you fitted new tie rod ends.
     
  14. aszaheer

    aszaheer New Member

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    I took it to a mechanic coz I needed new breaks at the time and asked him to check for any suspension issues. All he said was is you need new tie rods and engine mounts, and then we'll see how it goes from there. And yes I did get it aligned after as well. I drove around for a bit, did a few hard left turns and there was no thud. after a couple of days I had the same noise again. BTW i didn't do the engine mounts coz the guy wanted the car for a day and i didnt have time.

    The plan is to get it looked at by someone else and get the work done properly this time, hence the posts. The steering wheel is fine actually, been like that a long time. It just doesn't return to the center at low speeds unlike other cars.
     
    Last edited: Jul 2, 2014
  15. A9L

    A9L Donating Member

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    Can I ask how many kms the car has done and if they have been city or country clicks?
     
  16. hotrod

    hotrod Banned

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    sounds to me he is ripping you why say go from there , don't go back to him go else ware.
     
  17. vc commodore

    vc commodore Well-Known Member

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    This knock....do you hear it going over bumps? If you do, it sounds like the balljoint would be causing the problems you describe...


    Unfortunately, these sorts of issues could be a few things, so pin pointing them over the net, or even straight away upon inspection can be a little difficult....you actually have to have the problem raise it's head when checking the car...so by the sounds of it, the problem wasn't there when the mechanic checked the car, which means a particular members response was uncalled for, by saying you're being ripped...

    As for going to Pedders...Be wary....that particular company has a habit of "finding" issues that don't exist...If you wish to find out how that particular company operates, PM me, as I am unsure how the moderators will react with my opinion.

    Finally, I have never worked for them, so it isn't a case of sour grapes....I have had plenty of first hand experience of unhappy people seeing me as a result of their practices...
     
  18. Not_An_Abba_Fan

    Not_An_Abba_Fan Exhaust Guru

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    Strut top bearings will knock and cause the steering to not return to centre as well. There are so many different things on a Commodore that can cause your issue. I would take it to someone who knows Commodores to get checked out. And not necessarily a mechanic.
     

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