Front end alignment question

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Old 01-04-07, 12:16 PM
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Front end alignment question

When I replaced the front strut cartridges, I found one of them sitting skewed inside the strut. I am thinking about repositioning the strut slightly so that the cartridge will be centered. Since the strut bottom is "fixed" at the steering knuckle, I plan to move the strut top slightly.

Question: Will I still be able to get proper wheel alignment? If I may rephrase, do most cars have enough room for alignment adjustment when the strut is moved by 1 or 2 degrees?

Thanks.
 
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Old 01-04-07, 02:45 PM
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Your struts should only fit in one direction. When you go to get an alignment, the shop will make the necessary adjustments to bring your car to manufacturer specs.
 
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Old 01-04-07, 02:53 PM
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can you explain how the cartridge was offf center. Unless it is a GM W body, every other car I have ever seen that used cartridges have a cap on the top of the housing that keeps the cartridge centered.

I don't remember exactly how the W bodies are set up but I am positive that the carridge on them is also held centered.

If the cartridge is off center, you have a worn out part or you are missing something.
 
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Old 01-04-07, 03:02 PM
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That reminds me,
That hat at the top of the strut tower/spring has to be facing a certain way. Usually there is a "OUT" stamped on the side of the hat that needs to be facing the outside of the car. This hat has a angled surface on top, so, if it's not lined up correctly, the strut will not seat right.
 
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Old 01-04-07, 03:13 PM
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I was wondering (like nap )how this came to be........Most manufacturers set up the strut tube so the cartridge has nowhere to go but straight in......and the big nut locks er in place......Bearing/strut plates USUALLY have the studs set up so you can't put them in wrong either...............and then there's Mazda.........To align a Mazda (caster/camber wise) you remove the upper nuts holding the strut .......lower it.........rotate the offset bearing plate to the best position overall.......and shove it back up through the fender.........Are we dealing with a Mazda????
 
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Old 01-04-07, 10:24 PM
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Thanks for the advices. The car is Chevy Lumina 97. The left front cartridge was off center. I had to push the cartridge stem to one side in order to put the rubber doughnut in. Basically, the rubber doughnut barely went in. I bet the cartridge is a little curved because of the lateral force. I was wondering if I could move the strut top so that the cartridge would be centered naturally.

The old cartridge was also sitting skewed inside the strut.
 
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Old 01-05-07, 08:06 AM
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If we're talking about a "W" body GM Yeah, you will have a bit of a fight lining things up. .........especially if you're not on a lift where you can control the amount of weight on the wheel............Basically........if you put all the parts back you really CAN'T do anything wrong........Drop the cartridge in, tighten the nut, put the rubbers back in up top and adios............Is the car making noise or giving you a specific problem???
 
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Old 01-05-07, 10:02 PM
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Since the new cartridges were installed, the car has been making creeping noise when the steering wheel is turned.

Yes, the car is W platform. No, the car was not on a lift.

According to shop manual, the cartridge is supposed to lean somewhat to one side, which is marked on the installation fixture. And it leaned in the right direction. Apparently, it leaned a little too far?

Thanks.
 
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Old 01-05-07, 10:11 PM
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Most likely the spring isolators slipped off or came off during removal and install. Only way to fix is to remove strut/spring assembly, install new isolators.

This happened to me. I replaced the isolators and also sprayed the strut perch with lithium grease.

Does it sound like this?

Does it make this noise while car is parked and pushing down on that side of the wheel well?
 
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Old 01-07-07, 07:23 PM
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1) What is "spring isolator?" Is it the thing that sits at the bottom of the spring?

2) When I bounce the car, it does not creep. It creeps most when steering is turned. When the car nose dives at sudden stop, it creeps a little, too.

Thanks for help.
 
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Old 01-07-07, 07:41 PM
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Yes, it's a rubber sleeve at the bottom of the spring. It prevents the metal of the spring from rubbing the strut perch.

If it were this, then it "should" make this noise when pushing down on the vehicle.

I would now look at your front wheel bearings and steering system.
 
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