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Old 04-20-2009, 12:11 AM
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Wandering C4 Corvette front end

Ok, I must admit, when it comes to suspension problem diagnosis and repair I'm a parts changer at best. Maybe some of you guys can help point me in the right direction.

I have an 87' Corvette Coupe with the Z52 suspension pkg. and approx. 150k miles. I took it out friday night to run around with a few friends since Super Chevy was in town. When I got up to speed on the highway I noticed everytime I hit a bump in the road the front end swayed side to side for a second or two. Nothing feels loose, but I must admit that the shocks and bushings are all original and the tires are ancient. So ancient that I'm ashamed to admit that I risked my safety driving on them. I recently replaced both front hub assemblies. I've also got brand new Bilstiens for the front that I haven't put on yet. I plan to go to Tire Rack as soon as I leave this site to purchase some new shoes. Anyway, what would cause this side to side wobble? It's not a jarring motion but kind of a smooth wiggle, but it does make the front end feel a little unresponsive. Thanks, Brian

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Old 04-20-2009, 07:14 AM
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A number of things can cause this, I would suspect the tires first. If they are old radials it's possible a belt has shifted. On the other hand I would go over the suspension very carefully while it's up on the rack for tires,.....if they let you. Improper alignment can also cause this.

Vince
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Old 04-20-2009, 08:14 PM
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I rebuilt the entire brake system last summer and had the car up on 4 jack stands while doing it. I went through it pretty thoroughly and found a little wobble in the passenger side wheel. It ended up coming from the hub so I replaced both sides (found a buy 1 get 1 half off on OEM's). Other than that every thing seemed tight save for a few worn out bushings. I have a feeling that the bushings are next on the mile long list of things to dump money into. I swear evreytime I drive it something else breaks. It's a never ending cycle and before long I'll have rebuilt the entire car. My guess is that the shimmy is from worn upper and lower A-Arm bushings. I'm looking for someone with more experience in this area than I to make a suggestion on where to start looking and replacing.

One other thing, I know "Energy Suspension" sells complete polyurethane front end rebuild kits for the C4. I have heard that switching everything to polyurethane stiffens everything up so much that the car will beat you to death. I was considering replacing some with poly and some with rubber, but which ones should I swap to improve handling yet still be able to take a short road trip with the buddies?

I checked out the Bridgestone G-Force's on tirerack.com for $119 a piece. Anyone have any experience with these? Just looking for a decent, quiet ride that handles ok in the rain.
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Old 04-20-2009, 10:54 PM
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The tires are the most important piece of the suspension puzzle, make sure they are in good shape first. Look closely at the a-arm bushings. If the rubber is gone anywhere on them, they are due for replacement and that can cause the problem you are describing. Also check your ball joints, they can cause the same type of symptoms. Original Corvette inner control arm bushings are not overly compliant, especially for street use like you describe. I would replace all the inner control arm bushings with quality stock replacements, and all anti-roll bar bushings (end link and frame) with polyurethane. That will isolate you from harshness, but give you a more responsive front end. Check the steering rack bushings also. Replace them with poly if they need to be replaced. Even the shock mount bushings can be replaced with poly if you like. Then get a good front end alignment from someone who knows what they are doing!

Andy
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Old 04-20-2009, 11:31 PM
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The suspension is a transverse leaf spring design. I don't remember off the top of my head how the ends attatch. If I keep it I plan to pull the engine this summer and drop in a fresh long block. I suppose ill drop in a new rack and ps pump at the same time. I noticed that the ball joints in the upper control arm look like a pretty difficult job. Has anyone had an experiance with these? If I replace one balljoint or bushing I'm gonna do all of em at once, that way I'm not replacing something every 3 months. Man Typing on a blackberry is hard
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Old 04-21-2009, 11:14 PM
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Quote:
Ok, I must admit, when it comes to suspension problem diagnosis and repair I'm a parts changer at best.
Quote:
150k miles.
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I'm gonna do all of em at once, that way I'm not replacing something every 3 months.
I'd say you diagnosed it pretty well. It needs every wear part in the suspension replaced. (You just didn't want to hear that

thnx, jack vines
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