Porsche 944 The Porsche 944 and 944 Turbo was a huge success for Porsche throughout the 1980s.

Steering/Suspension Nightmare

  #1  
Old 09-19-2010, 06:15 PM
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Default Steering/Suspension Nightmare

Dear Doc,
After mentoring me through countless glitches in the past 3 yrs, I have to ask for your advice once again with one of those ongoing repair processes that never seem to fix the initial problem. I am (or my mechanic is) slowly replacing my entire front end piece by piece which is eventually going to cost a fortune. I brought the car in about a month ago to diag a knocking (you advised ball joints) which corrected the knock, and loose steering causing crawling all over the place at 60+MPH. To correct the steering/handling they have replaced the rack, all bushings, new bearings and 4 wheel balance/alignment and they're now telling me it must be a bad strut.. It's still feeling like the wheels are going into a slight vibrating speed-wobble when reaching highway speeds and the car is pulling toward crowns. I am totally frustrated with this so I was checking the front wheels on Friday by pushing on the sidewall first to the rear of the front wheel then to the front of the wheel and found that there was a slight play and knock when I pushed hard against the front edge of the sidewall. The mechanic got really mad when seeing me do this ..and we had it out. He said "go ahead, try tightening the bearings some more, you'll blow them out if they're too tight." Well, I already understand the basic 944 hub/bearing adjustment rules, but should the wheel still have movement ...as he says "that's normal, there has to be a little play in the wheel or the bearings will overheat/seize." Well, If you are at 40mph or more, if you let go of the steering wheel, it rocks back and forth 'on it's own' over uneven pavement. Is there a steering dampener on the 944? Think a dead strut would cause this? Have you thought of how nice it would be to vacation in Canada for a few days?!
...Wouldn't think of a repair without you standin' in the wings Doc!
 
  #2  
Old 09-19-2010, 09:36 PM
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There should be an itty bitty bit of play in the wheels when you wiggle them to check the bearing. There should not be any clunking or major movement though. A bad upper strut bushing would definitely cause wandering, and if the struts are original, then they are likely shot as well. There isn't a steering damper on the cars per sae.

WHen they did the rack, did they do the INNER and the OUTER tie rods at the same time? A clunk when pushing on the forward aspect of the wheel makes me thing bad inner tie rod.
 
  #3  
Old 09-20-2010, 05:21 AM
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No they didn't do the tie rods. Probably original struts. I'll go ahead with strut replacement this week. If the problem persists, I'll try tie rods next.
Thanks again Doc.
 
  #4  
Old 09-20-2010, 09:43 AM
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I would pop the tie rods off first and check them before tackling the struts. It is more likely a tie rod go bad then a strut mount (though it does happen as well, just not as often). You can pop the outer end off the spindle and see how the inner tie rod assembly moves. If it is majorly floppy with no resistance, then it is probably shot. If it holds itself up in one position, then it is likely still good.
 
  #5  
Old 09-20-2010, 07:26 PM
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Okay Doc, Although the new Konis were installed this afternoon, they closed up tonite with the car still on the hoist as they also found a seized caliper, (uneven pad wear) and bad old brake fluid (never seen "jelly" brake fluid before). ...and thanks I'll keep ya posted on the tie rod condition Doc, everything helps as I need to cover as much as I can before the car comes down, 'cause these guys won't want to see me again for a very long time.
 
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