What wanders like a tie rod, but... - Mazda3 Forums : The #1 Mazda 3 Forum
 
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post #1 of 9 (permalink) Old 04-23-2016, 12:38 AM Thread Starter
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What wanders like a tie rod, but...

The car follows the road. Grooves, cracks, etc. Granted, I have wider tires now
It's expected. However.... It doesn't tramline like I understand it should. I'm not wrestling the wheel. Instead, I'm making instantaneous corrections AFTER it shoots off to the side. I get about 10% feedback in the steering wheel when it happens, generally at the end of the movement, which is generally rather moderate or violent. . FEELS like bad tie rods. But all 4 tie rods are newer. The tire wiggle test yields nothing - both tie rods and ball joints tests are solid. I do however have 357,000 on this chassis.

Ideas? Could it possibly be the rack is worn out, but wouldn't show up during the wiggle test?


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post #2 of 9 (permalink) Old 04-23-2016, 11:52 AM
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Any free play in the steering?

My other car is a Honda Civic...
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post #3 of 9 (permalink) Old 04-23-2016, 12:20 PM Thread Starter
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I've been trying to decide that for weeks. It's not obvious like the tie rods are. Like I said, the wiggle test doesn't yield anything, I'm wondering if it's just numbly loose (yes, I just invented the word numbly). Driving down the freeway this morning, letting it dart back and forth on the crowns of the deep grooves, it certainly feels like there's a dead zone, but it's not so much that there's absolutely no response from the front end... Its only a dull response for a tiny section if that makes sense.


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post #4 of 9 (permalink) Old 04-23-2016, 04:58 PM
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Have you had the alignment checked? How are the front lower rearward CA bushings?
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post #5 of 9 (permalink) Old 04-23-2016, 07:40 PM
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And how are the tires?

Sent from the wrong side of the tracks.
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post #6 of 9 (permalink) Old 04-29-2016, 06:03 PM Thread Starter
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Tires are perfect and new. Fronts have circumferential thread in the middle. Yea I'm thinking it's the control arm bushings. Not terribly old. But worked hard. Probably 40k tough miles. Visual inspection is okay but serious flex. I've been looking into hardened rubber stock to make my own semi-solid bushings. With the numb feeling in the steering wheel I don't think it's the alignment. Could be but betting on bushings first.


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post #7 of 9 (permalink) Old 04-29-2016, 08:55 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by zoomtictac View Post
I've been looking into hardened rubber stock to make my own semi-solid bushings. With the numb feeling in the steering wheel I don't think it's the alignment. Could be but betting on bushings first.
With all the different sizes of bushings it would be easier to just buy poly replacements.
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post #8 of 9 (permalink) Old 04-30-2016, 12:44 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by zoomtictac View Post
Tires are perfect and new.
I've had drastic changes in driveability depending upon types/size/inflation of tires. You say they are "new", but could that be the difference you feel? And if they are new, could they be underinflated?
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post #9 of 9 (permalink) Old 05-02-2016, 04:01 AM Thread Starter
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I've bought many sets of different style tires over the years, it's not the new tire feel. And I've tried them at 30, 34, and now 38 psi.

Once I pin down the material I'm using, I'll be making some solid bushings, see if that makes a difference. I may use poly, may use rubber... but still shopping around.


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Last edited by zoomtictac; 05-02-2016 at 04:17 AM.
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