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  1. #1
    Join Date
    Apr 2001
    Location
    Central CA USA
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    SUSPENSION MAINTENANCE TIPS - fix it before it breaks!!!!

    This is mainly aimed at those who Autocross or Track their cars.

    When should you replace an axle, diff, overhaul the trans or other major suspension components?
    What should you check after an event/before the next one?
    What is on your annual winter suspension check list?
    What part broke after how long/how much use?
    Let's fix those problems or cycle out old parts before they break!

    Suspension related tips only please.
    David
    Last edited by David Pozzi; 04-19-2015 at 09:05 PM.
    67 Camaro RS that will be faster than anything Mary owns.

  2. #2
    Join Date
    Feb 2002
    Location
    Springfield, MO
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    4,731
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    I'm curious to some of these answers David. I can say that the "upper end" rod ends only last a couple years on the upper mount of a TQ arm suspension in a mildly higher HP car! Glad I caught it when it was stretched and before it broke!
    Jimmy

    69 Camaro Twin Turbo'd
    58 Nomad 348 Baby Rat

    http://www.fquick.com/shmoov69


  3. #3
    Join Date
    Sep 2005
    Posts
    40,751
    Country Flag: United States
    Good Thread David.

    After an event, I usually spend the following weekend going over my car. Check Tire Depth, Check Shocks, Springs, Arms, for anything loose or weird. Check Brake Pad Thickness & see if there is any scoring or cracks on the rotors. Grease Fittings. Check & change fluids according to schedule. Thoroughly clean the car - basically have the car ready for the next event way ahead of time.

    I agree with cycling out old parts before they hurt you - just because you have pricey parts, doesn't mean that free from abuse & wear!

    BMR SUSPENSION
    T.C. Davis




    813-986-9302 Phone
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  4. #4
    Join Date
    Aug 2012
    Location
    Peoria, AZ
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    1,692
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    Most importantly...listen to what your car it telling you when driving it... If you hear some strange noise, feel some unusual vibration, or the car has some other strange reaction to a driver input...find out why. Where there is smoke, there is generally fire.

    After several steady years of tracking and autocrossing my car, I've gotten used to the weak points that show their ugly heads before others...and I watch them more closely. Power steering hose leaks for instance, rear axle seal leaks as well.

    After every event I put the car up on the lift and visually check everything. I have marks on my rear upper and lower control arms to see if they've come loose and turned out of adjustment (from experience again) and know every bolt on the bottom side of the car, and what it should look like when tight.
    Lance
    1985 Monte Carlo SS Street Car

  5. #5
    Join Date
    Apr 2001
    Location
    Central CA USA
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    Sorry I haven't had time to put together a complete list of things we check, here are a few that come to mind.
    Anything that has horsepower going through it is up for inspection. Engine mounts, engine frame mounts, mainly are the bolts tight and no cracks in brackets or frame. Then trans to bellhousing bolts, Trans crossmember bolts to the frame rails and trans tailhousing. Look at U joints, driveshaft, then differential for leaks or trouble. Check the Leaf spring front mounts, the three bolts on a Camaro can come loose. Look at the U bolts to the rear axle housing and check that the rear axle hasn't slipped forward on the leaf spring. I don't like the rubber GM leaf spring pads, they may allow slip. If it's a 3 link rear suspension look at trailing links and panhard mounts and crossmember, look for cracks looseness or worn rod ends. If you have coil over shocks, look at the mounting bolts for tightness, any binding or contact.

    Up front, check the steering linkage for play, all bolts for tightness, we dab paint on them so it shows if they backed off. Brake system front and rear for rotor damage/cracks/wear, and brake pad wear. Caliper bolts tight? Brake hoses OK? Look for leaks and check left and right side of engine area for heat damage of wires, hoses, etc. a lot of heat accumulates near the firewall just behind the headers. Check header and engine bolts. Fan belts and all hoses. Wiggle front wheels off the ground and look for bearing play, steering system play. Three or four times a year check subframe to unibody bolt torque. Check all fluid levels. Bleed brakes before any day on a road course. Not needed for autocross. Torque wheels.
    67 Camaro RS that will be faster than anything Mary owns.

  6. #6
    Join Date
    Aug 2012
    Location
    Peoria, AZ
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    1,692
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    Just put my car on the lift last night to inspect after the USCA event. At the end of session 3 I heard a grinding noise as I came off the track, the car was too hot too touch at the time and I wasn't going to take it back out on that course with an undiagnosed noise...so I put it on the trailer. Upon inspection last night I found a loose left front wheel bearing, a flat spotted tire, and excessive backlash on the right side axle... Super glad I didn't take it back out on the track as the wheel bearing would have certainly completely failed with much more track time on it.

    LISTEN TO YOUR CAR!!!

    I'm amazed at how well my EBC Yellows have held up, I figured they would be toast by now but they still show a lot of pad left a year and a half after installing them. All suspension bolts appear tight, no rub marks anywhere, no leaks (except that small PS leak that reappears every year or so at the pump), and no melted wires anywhere around the engine. Car seemed to survive the extreme abuse pretty well over all. I'll work on the weak spots and hopefully make them better and get back out after it again soon.
    Lance
    1985 Monte Carlo SS Street Car

  7. #7
    Join Date
    Mar 2005
    Location
    Woodbine, MD
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    2,769
    Country Flag: United States
    Douglas Lutes
    1988 Monte Carlo SS

    "Never race anything you can't afford to set on fire and push off a cliff."

  8. #8
    Join Date
    Apr 2016
    Location
    clarkston, mi
    Posts
    84
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    for you guys that use the jeep cherokee center steering link, the rubber on the part that goes to the steering wheel shaft can come loose if it is near the header, my schoenfield header was really close to the rubber part of center shaft and cause the rubber to slip. i flattened out the metal that was over the rubber, about 3/16" and put a 5/16" bolt thru the metal on the outside and the shaft in the middle. there was no slippage when the car was running, but when i was pushing it into the garage (motor not running) i heard a strange noise, then i found the steering wheel was not centered, rubber slipping. it would be a bad feeling to turn the steering wheel and the tires do not turn.