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post #1 of 9 (permalink) Old 02-08-2012, 11:26 PM Thread Starter
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Please Help ! Suspension Issues ?

I have a 2005 LS Cobalt 2.2 Auto/
I recieved this car as a hand me down from my wife . I had a beat up S10 Blazer with a ton of miles before this balt .
Any way I got the Balt with 156,000 on it and overall cant complain to much because Im at 195,000 now .
The car has been eating up tires on the insides and also on the outside edge.
It wanders on the highway and will follow any rut or groove on the road .
Also I have this random steering wheel shaking going on . If I go over 60 miles a hour forget it ,It feels like the wheels are gonna leave the car .
You can watch the passenger seat shake with the car .
I can let go of the steering wheel while doing 60 and it dont really shoot of the road like you would expect . the steering wheel just wobbles back and forth like it would when you have bad rotors and hit the brakes .
When I am parked in a driveway I can turn the steering wheel back and forth and hear a clunk or poping noise .
I also have the famous rattle in the dash when going over small bumps along with a knock here and there ,

So heres the deal :I read a shit ton of threads on here trying to get this figure out becuase It feels unsafe to drive but I need and love the car .
I want to do it myself because I dont trust garages to much and Its cheaper doing things yourself plus you get to learn your car .

I am thinking my problem is the inner tie rods are no good on inside of the steering rack and causing the tires to wander all over the road and are getting chewed up on the inside and outside threads /this would explain the poping/clunking when turning the wheel parked also ?

It seems to make sense to me /what are you guys and gals thoughts on this ?

I have been looking for play in the wheel bearings and ball joints and there is none to speak of .
only thing I have yet to check out are the axles/tie rods

I replaced the end links with moogs
replaced sway bar bushings with moogs
replaced the control arm bushings with oem bushings
I put a duralast ball joint on the passenger side (drill out /bolt on )
I have yet to do the drivers side ball joint but am planning on it .

I got a steering rack off a low mile roll over and am planning on putting it on my balt / anyone who has done this please give me some pointers /I dont wanta mess up a airbag clock spring .
can I just turn the wheel with the key out till it locks and call it good to start tearing into it?
What should I mark the shaft relationships with (theres not much room )
Lastly how do you get the steering shaft to come off the rack and pinion ?
I tried it once before and gave up because I had the pinch bolts out and it would not budge off of the rack shaft.
Do they have a tool I can rent to remove the shaft (maybe some kinda pulller)

Sorry so long but I wanted to give as much info as possible ....
Thanks ahead of time
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post #2 of 9 (permalink) Old 02-09-2012, 05:58 AM
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A nickname is better than newcomer an it gives us a reference.

If you have scalloping on your tires, your struts might be finished (the shaking is actually tires bouncing up and down). This would also explain the jumping of the front end. I'm not discounting the inner & outer tie-rods, because this explains the wandering, but with this high mileage I would look at these also, if they have never been changed. Unfortunately some stuff just can't be done in the backyard so don't forget to get it aligned once you've changed all these parts.

As far as the steering rack, removing the rear transmission mount (3bolts) helps in accessing and giving you room to remove the rack.

Shaft usually comes loose with a little hammer tap once you remove the bolt. Inspect the uni on that middle shaft while you have it apart. Also don't forget to measure total lenght of rack tie-rod end to tie-rod end and transfert this measurement to newer one.

Anymore questions just ask if I can't answer I'm sure somebody here can and will. Nothing feels better than fixing your own car IMO.
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Last edited by Coby7; 02-09-2012 at 07:01 AM.
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post #3 of 9 (permalink) Old 02-09-2012, 10:20 AM Thread Starter
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So you think the tires going bald on the inside and outside is from the wheels hopping ? would a bad transaxle mount make wheels hop also ?
Because my motor really moves back and forth under the hood
looks like Im gonna be needing new mounts in my neart future also
I have tryed the whole tap it with a hammer deal ( turned into beat the hell out of it with a hammer and still didnt come off ,thats why Im thinking Im gonna need a puller of some sort to get the steering shaft off )
yeah I am sure the struts are way overdue for replacement / but I am in the poor house so I can only do what my money will allow .
Thats why Im going with a used low mile rack rather than a new 1 .
Anyone know the cost on a new steering shaft (they should be free /they are junk )
how hard would it be to take my struts aparts and put my old springs on new cartriges?
and who can school me on that ?
may just save up and buy Fe5 quick struts from CrateEngineDepo .
But thats 3 hundred alone .
how do I register ?

My wife father was trying to tell me its shaking from warped rotors /I said I doubt that because it does it driving and braking
I know the rotors are warped but I cant see them causing the wheel to shake just driving down the road ...
He tells me it will because the inner brake pad is riding against the rotor regardless if I am braking or not

But anyway I got me some new rotors from BrakePerformanceParts.com
slotted and cross drilled (zinc coated black ) yey!!
with some cheapo raybesto service grade pads ...Had them for awhile but figured why put new pads on spanked rotors.
I have heard others saying dont get slotted or drilled rotors
they dont do anything but look good and eat pads
I figure I will try something against the grain and ordered them up /
this is the forth set on this car so if it does help from warping as they claim great
If not they look good (I dont mind them looking good )

Last edited by 2005/LS; 02-09-2012 at 10:33 AM.
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post #4 of 9 (permalink) Old 02-09-2012, 10:30 AM
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if you call like napa or company like that you should be able to get stock replacement loaded struts assuming less then ced , you would need spring clamps but if you have never done it i would recommend get it done professionally!!!! safety first lol
for the shaft spray with penetrating fluid then turn steering wheel so opening in shaft faces you and use pry bar and hit the slit opening not to hard then turn wheel to straight ahead use pry bar to pry up on shaft should slide off

09 SS/TC 4DR G85
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post #5 of 9 (permalink) Old 02-09-2012, 11:09 AM
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Originally Posted by 2005/LS View Post


But anyway I got me some new rotors from BrakePerformanceParts.com
slotted and cross drilled (zinc coated black ) yey!!
with some cheapo raybesto service grade pads ...Had them for awhile but figured why put new pads on spanked rotors.
I have heard others saying dont get slotted or drilled rotors
they dont do anything but look good and eat pads
I figure I will try something against the grain and ordered them up /
this is the forth set on this car so if it does help from warping as they claim great
If not they look good (I dont mind them looking good )
IMO and this is only an opinion. If your in an area where they use road salt in the winter I would stay away from drilled rotors. The inside of the hole will rust a swell a circle around the holes (see picture)then your rotors get gradually noisy to the point where it will be unbearable. Secondly a warped rotor will not make your car shake unless you come on to the brake except if you have a seized caliper. If you don't want your new rotors to warp ....
1. Clean hub with wire wheel before you install new rotor.
2. I always butter the hub with antiseize compound.
3. Clean and lubricate caliper bracket guides and pins properly. New stainless runners is a plus.
4. Torque lug nuts equally to specs. I think 100 for aluminum and 110 for steelies.

I have never had a warped rotor since following this procedure.
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post #6 of 9 (permalink) Old 02-09-2012, 11:13 AM Thread Starter
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NICE.
I will use your tips to derust my hubs ..
Thanks for all the help thus far
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post #7 of 9 (permalink) Old 02-10-2012, 07:17 PM Thread Starter
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post #8 of 9 (permalink) Old 02-11-2012, 06:25 AM
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crateenginedepot.com has all around struts and shocks with springs for 600 that are SS. So you get a drop, better performance, and a better price from retail stores. Also, they have the tie rods and sway bars. I am saving up to do it all at once, I'm sick of the bushings going out every couple months.
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post #9 of 9 (permalink) Old 02-28-2012, 06:08 PM Thread Starter
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well I did a drivers side ball joint today and rotated my tires .
The steering wheel shaking on the highway has been greatly reduced .
but the drivers side tire was so spanked on the ouside thread it was almost bald :(
so now its on the back . Im broke and my inspection is up next month .
So far I put the new brakes and rotors and a ball joint to try and get her up to par.
I got a slight pull to the left so Im thinking about getting alignment soon.

So now my problems are I still got this clunk/pop noise when I turn the wheel parked .
Thinking either I shaft, or Tie rods

I have yet to put the used steering rack in I have (being lazy)

Anybody got a step by step how to for replacing strut shafts ? disassembling /compressing springs ect ?

I plan on doing a strut job next . I noticed oil on the stut plates on the drivers side today .
They never been changed and the car now has 198,000
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