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Discussion Starter #1
Well the topic description is the summary. Heres the story I was driving down a block and the roads are lightly covered with snow and I stop at the stop sign at the end of the block and go to make a left hand turn. As I start to go I have no problem with traction. Then the inside front tire starts to spin and I let off some to try and get traction while still sliding towards a curb and a sign! Not going very fast maybe, 5mph but uncontrollably non the less, I hit the brakes and get little to no braking help as the ABS doesn't do its thing for this whole episode but has worked the rest of the night for a few close calls when stopping for stop signs in slick areas. So I had somehow managed to hit the curb with the front right wheel. Now figuring that I had just bumped the curb and didnt go fast enough to jump the curb and hit the sign that was staring me down, I figured all was good. I was only a block from home so continued about my journey home when I noticed that I had to turn the wheel to a little bit to the left to track straight. Thinking that the tires might be spinning, and me not noticing (even though that was highly unlikely) I continued home and when I get in the driveway get out I notice that with the wheel straight the left front tire is dead on straight. But the right front wheel point a little to the right about 15* (noticeably thats for sure)
Now im mad, and probably looking at having a part or 2 replaced.

What could I have bent? mind you this is still the stock suspension at 89,000 miles. I recently had an alignment done for free and the car has been in spec till today. Now it is probably unalignable due to my incident and parts all have to be in good condition to have an alignment. I guess this will have to be fixed along with the heater core being replaced since its practically dead.

So whats the bad news fella's I already have found out about the upcoming $450 bill for the heater core install/replacement. How much do I have to tack on for the crooked wheel?

Thanks,
Nick Saturday
 

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If it bent/broke anything I would wager it's the outer tie-rod, but thats not a guarantee. You may have just knocked it out of alignment and it can be put back into spec without fixing any parts. I hit a curb straight-on at 45mph and bent both front rims and blew out one of the tires. I only needed an alignment and nothing more. It's been a year since that happened and no problems so far.

Good luck
 
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I agree on the alignment. I doubt hitting a curb that slowly would damage anything.

As far as the heater core, before you have it replaced, what is the issue? Is it plugged or leaking? The reason I ask is that I have seen many Vulcan-equipped cars with little or no heat, and thought the core needed replacing. In all of these vehicles, including my 97, it was just a matter of back flushing the heater core, which you can do yourself for about $20. The Vulcan engines tend to turn the coolant brown, clogging the heater core. A back flush cleans this out, and restores the heat.

If you need more details, let me know and I'll go into the procedure. I'm actually putting together an article on it, I just need to get the pics together.
 

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I jumped the center curb doing about 20 mph, when making a left turn.

it was damm dark && the curb did not have one of those poles...
 

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I agree with the alignment. Thats probably all thats wrong. You may want to visibly inspect the parts like the outer tie rod, lower control arm, etc. to make sure theyre not bent. Compare them with the other side.
 

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Discussion Starter #6
I visually inspected everything as good as I could as I can't find the key for where the ramps are for me to get it up on them. Everything seems fine, the car doesn't make any weird noises, but I do have to turn the wheel left which the 12 heading straight (wheel straight driving straight) on the wheel would now be at about the 10 to drive straight (12 at 10 instead of 12 at 12) If that makes any sense. Should I just take it to an alignment shop and ask for a front end alignment and hope that does it. They could just tell me that the car is unalignable because of the following reason.... and put what part is broke right? Thanks Guys!

Nick Saturday
 

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Discussion Starter #7
Well I took it for a front end alignment. I have come to find out that I did indeed knock the alignment out of wack, and probably ask them to check the rear alignment as I can have the alignments done for free (under some sort of warranty). The ball joints are going to need to be replaced though due to excessive play in the right one (gee I wonder why
) and the left one since its starting to have a excessive amount of play. Thanks alot guys for the help, and Thanks to Bob for the Heater Core procedure in which case he saved me about 400 dollars!
I have fixed the heater core! Yay for heat! Thanks again!

Nick Saturday
 

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Discussion Starter #8
Well it seems that there may be more damage then just needing an alignment. We had both lower ball joints replaced. Now they say they can't align it, because "the frame is bent, or something", it seems that they dont really know. My dad was speaking to them and that is what he came up with. They also stated that the camber is way too far out of spec. What the heck could be messed up? I hit this curb no faster then 10mph, and I the wheel was turned to the left for my left hand turn, and right wheel struck. So we have 2 new lower ball joints, and a car that is unalignable currently as they put it. Well actually they said they could align it, but it would go back out of alignment. Seems that its going to have to go to a body shop.


I have a graph of the alignment specs aswell. Im searching for a place to host it, if anyone can that would be great.

Nick Saturday
 
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If I were you, I would go someplace else and get a second opinion. I don't really see how you can do that bad of damage with such a slow collision... although you never know...
 
B

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If it's deemed unalignable, there's some other damage. Especially if they said it would go back out. Email that graph to me at [email protected] and I'll host it and post it.
 

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UNCLE BOB'S HOST AND POST. Sounds like a cool restaurant.


Umm... bearing?
 
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Here's the graph.

Alignment

And here's my thoughts, based on the graph. The camber is off on the right side, and so is the caster. To explain better, camber is the angle of the wheel in a vertical plane, like this:

Looking at front of car-- / or \ .

Caster is the angle of the whole knuckle assembly on the car, perpendicular to the horizontal axis of the car:


Looking at the side of the wheel-- / or \ .

On the Taurus/Sable, this is not very adjustable in stock form. There's a lot of reasons this can be out, but with a hit that light I'll suggest what my guesses would be:

-You've bent a strut rod, or strut rod mount on the subframe, or damaged one of the bushings. This is the rod that connects the control arm to the front of the subframe, and keeps the control arm from flopping front to back.

-You've ruined a strut mount, or strut bearing. These are an integral assembly at the top of the strut, and hold the strut to the strut tower.

-You've bent the strut tower, or the framerail of the car.

Things I won't suggest based on the age of the car, and the speed at which you hit the curb:

-Bent subframe, highly unlikely. I'm fixing a Gen 2 SHO now (no not the red one) that hit a curb and stone wall at about 40 mph, and it's subframe was not bent.

-Bad subframe mounts, unlikely due to the age of the car.



You've already replaced the control arms (they're part of the balljoint), so we can rule that out. Honestly, a competent alignment shop should have been able to tell you what was wrong. (Translation--don't go back to that jackass again
)

I would suggest at this point to take the car to a body shop that does frame straightening. They can put it on a frame machine and tell you if there's anything bent or otherwise funky about the front end.

The alignment could be done by drilling out the welds on the upper strut plate, and adjusting accordingly. Usually that is only done when the car's been lowered, or the frame's been straightened though. You really want to get to the root of the problem, and get it fixed before you have anyone break the strut plate free to align it.
 

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Discussion Starter #13
Thanks Bob. My took the place to a front end body shop, and they looked it over. He said probably strut, or spindle (knuckle?) bent. He told my dad that he can realign it which he did, but it will still be a little off. According to what he wrote down it is now 1 1/2*+ for Camber. Seeing as soon the car will be needing new shocks?/struts, we will have it all done at that time. For now he said just to make sure to rotate the tires frequently.

Whats your opinions on this, and what should I consider doing? Thanks for all the Help you guys, and big thanks to Bob for help with this problem and my heater core fix that he provided me with step by step instructions!

Nick Saturday
 
B

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I'd say the second guy is more trustworthy. Seeing that you'll be getting struts soon, I would take his advice, and rotate the tires more frequently, and then fix the problem when the struts are replaced.


BTW, I have a spare Gen 3 knuckle if you need one.
 

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adjust the subframe first and a good aliangment guy can do it (bring it to me its easy)
 

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I know this tread is from 3 years ago but I thought I'd just throw in that I did the exact same thing you did in my car, but I was going about 40 MPH. I hit with the right front with the wheel turned so it was a direct side shock. I ended up bending and twisting the whole sub frame. Also needed a new rim, a new wheel, and a few other parts here and there including a control arm. The whole ordeal cost me $2500. :( Now I make sure to not drive faster then I should in the snow.
 
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