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View Full Version : A question for the supension experts.



downhill
09-13-07, 11:36 PM
I had an accident a while back where a kid lost control of his truck and hit my parked work truck. It's a 2003 chev 3/4 ton.

Anyway, it destroyed the upper control arm on the drivers side.

So....when I get it back, I drove it for a day and got a rattle in the front end. Checking it out, I found a loose shock. They must not have got all the bottom bolts tightened.

So I called the shop up and set it up for them to look at it the next day. The shop is about 65 miles from my house.

When I get about 45 miles from there, I'm on a very rough section of very old concrete interstate. My truck starts hopping like an old Ford pickup with them I beam suspensions when they hit really rough spots. It lasted for about 20 yards then smoothed out. I figured it was because of not having a shock on the left side and was just getting wheel hop.

About 40 miles later, I'm in town, a block from the place and had to make my first hard turn.

Again that wheel hop only I knew something was up. I managed to get it into a parking lot that was at that corner.

I got out and found the frigging (*edited by dh....tie rod had fallen out*) control arm had fallen out! No kidding!

So my question is.... is it possible for that wheel to travel along like the truck was being towed? Just kinda finding it's way down the road till I made that left hand turn?

burple
09-13-07, 11:54 PM
It is the upper so yes. The force of the coil in the pocket can keep it in place for a certain amount of time. I doubt it had gone too long with the bolts fully gone though. Even going forward, it would eventually pulled lose from the frame. But when you turned and the camber shifted it would definitely pull it lose. And the previous bounce you were felling was probably the shock binding up from the arm shifting. I am surprised it did not bind up and lock your steering though when it came lose.

downhill
09-14-07, 12:19 AM
Oops.....I had control arms on the mind I guess. I ment the tie rod. Specifically the one on the left side.

This would allow the tire to go anywhere it wanted. Sorry bruble. I should have proof read my post. :D

burple
09-14-07, 12:56 AM
In that case then no. It had to of pulled lose when you turned. If it was actually all the way out while you were driving, the wheel would be all over the place. I bet it pulled lose when you turned. It can stay in the spindle while going forward due the how long the linkage shaft it. But it is on a knuckle so when you turned, it pulled it out. Good thing it did not pull lose while you were driving. You would have been in the ditch or another car in a heartbeat. I run a Chevy forum and have seen the carnage caused from things like this. Especially since the forum I am on is mostly modified vehicles and sometimes thing do not go right.

downhill
09-14-07, 10:38 AM
Well then, that's a pretty scary thought. The freeway here is 75 mph. I usually do 5 mph over.

If that tie rod would have dropped out while I was motor scootin', that might have been a rough ride.


I just wondered if possibly that wheel might have acted like one being towed.

Thanks for the reply, burple.

burple
09-14-07, 12:47 PM
You are welcome. I am not sure I follow what you meant about one being towed. But if the tie rod was lose, that side would simply have no control. It may track for a little while but that is it. And yes you were lucky. Glad it was not a worse case scenario.

downhill
09-14-07, 02:35 PM
You are welcome. I am not sure I follow what you meant about one being towed. But if the tie rod was lose, that side would simply have no control. It may track for a little while but that is it. And yes you were lucky. Glad it was not a worse case scenario.

The owner of the body shop, (really a nice guy) offered to buy me beer all afternoon at the next door pub. I had to decline due to I was still working so then he offered to buy me a steak lunch......but I had just had lunch.

I'm sure he felt pretty bad as well as the tech who worked on it.

I'll ask one more quesiton of the experts. Most tie rod ends use a castle nut with a cotter key to keep them from loosening up. I've notice a trend to use a plastic washer under a "crimped" nut. One that has indents in the nut.

The kid who fixed the problem, used a regular type of nut that when you tighten it, it's self locks. The ones with plastic in them. You see them everywhere now. Is that kosher for this type of application?

burple
09-14-07, 02:44 PM
The owner of the body shop, (really a nice guy) offered to buy me beer all afternoon at the next door pub. I had to decline due to I was still working so then he offered to buy me a steak lunch......but I had just had lunch.

I'm sure he felt pretty bad as well as the tech who worked on it.

I'll ask one more quesiton of the experts. Most tie rod ends use a castle nut with a cotter key to keep them from loosening up. I've notice a trend to use a plastic washer under a "crimped" nut. One that has indents in the nut.

The kid who fixed the problem, used a regular type of nut that when you tighten it, it's self locks. The ones with plastic in them. You see them everywhere now. Is that kosher for this type of application?

Honestly I would not use one for that app. I would use the good ole nut and cotter pin. too much stress is placed on those parts to rely on that type of nut IMO. I know some of the smaller imports are using them for suspension, but on a big truck I would not trust it.

joecool169
09-16-07, 12:02 PM
Often times you have no choice as a shop but to install the part as it comes out of the box, if you drill it for a cotter key and put a different nut on it you become liable, and the warranty on the part is void.

burple
09-16-07, 12:20 PM
Often times you have no choice as a shop but to install the part as it comes out of the box, if you drill it for a cotter key and put a different nut on it you become liable, and the warranty on the part is void.

This is true depending on which manufacturer they went with for the part. So many are going over to this type of locking nut now. So I could see them having to use a locking nut in that case as to not void the warranty on the repair. The problem is that it is a 2003 fullsize 3/4 ton. Personally I would use a replacement that has the cotter pin app. But that is me.

downhill
09-16-07, 11:40 PM
Often times you have no choice as a shop but to install the part as it comes out of the box, if you drill it for a cotter key and put a different nut on it you become liable, and the warranty on the part is void.

True and I wouldn't do it anyway. I'd try and find the right replacement nut and not a typical locking nut.