1. #1
    bradleyheathhays's Avatar
    bradleyheathhays is offline Senior Member
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    Tracking / steering issues

    My '11 Crown Vic has got 315k miles on it and I'm having some kind of tracking problem that I think is coming from the steering. If there's not much wind it drives straight down the road just fine up to about 60 mph. But if the winds up some, or if I take it up to 70, it's tracking characteristics start to get weird and unsettling. Rain seems to cause it to get worse as well. The feeling is not dissimilar to hydroplaning.


    I got the wheels off the ground and pushed/pulled on all the tires..3 and 9 o'clock, 6 and 12. Back wheels were solid, and the fronts were ok when I did the 6 and 12, but on the 3 and 9 test the tires moved about 1/4". They didn't move easily say as if they were completely loose, but it didn't take all that much effort to get them rocking either. At each limit of movement there's a low grade thud that's coming from somewhere between the two wheels, pretty close to the center of the car I'd say. I don't know if the movement I'm seeing is normal, but the degree the steering seems to be unpredictable would seem to correlate to about the degree of movement I'm seeing with the 3 and 9 test.


    Any ideas on where I go from here?

  2. #2
    JPNinPA's Avatar
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    Tracking / steering issues

    I'd start with verifying tire pressure, wear, balance. Shocks and springs or struts. Sway bar, end links and bushings. Then move to alignment. Toe, camber and thrust angle.

    On the 3-9 o'clock get someone to verify with you. Might be a frame bushings, tre or bearing.

    Regards,
    JPNinPA

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  3. #3
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    Re: Tracking / steering issues

    I gotta pee, be right back.
    Needs to go yonder.

  4. #4
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    Re: Tracking / steering issues

    Oh $hit, I was on the wrong threead and being a wise guy . Well, we get backfires sometimes.
    Needs to go yonder.

  5. #5
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    Re: Tracking / steering issues

    Thanks for the good advice JPN and glad you got to pee Gennybro. I just got the car back from a front end inspection and they're saying my biggest problem is that both lower ball joints need to be replaced. I've done work similar to this before (using a pickle fork to separate joints and using a rented ball joint press) but they were advising it might be too tough of a job to do by myself in my driveway. I have a 1000lb impact wrench but only a really small compressor. What do you guys think about attempting this job myself? Any advice?

  6. #6
    JPNinPA's Avatar
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    Tracking / steering issues

    There is no half way on this. Is this your only car? Uppers look easy. Lowers come out easier than new goes in. Just be sure they press straight in. If they are not straight you have to press out and start with another new one.

    There are several you tube videos on this.
    Regards,
    JPNinPA

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  7. #7
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    Re: Tracking / steering issues

    Well I've decided I'm gonna give it a shot at doing this myself. 'Couple' questions...

    - I know the lower BJ presses out, but does the top one press out as well?

    - Does the sway bar link have to come off for better access?

    - Anything else I should change out while I'm in there? So far I'm gonna be doing both upper and lower BJs and probably the tie rod ends.

    - I've been told to use green loc tite. That would be used on the threads on the bottom of the BJs?

    - Also been told to watch out for the spring shooting out at me but I believe I have a shock in spring, a strut? Is there any danger of this spring suddenly popping out after tension is eased? I don't plan on removing the spring at all.

    - The Moog BJ I'm considering at Rockauto doesn't appear to have a grease boot. Am I looking at this picture wrong? Is that black part a boot that will expand when it's filled up?

    Tracking / steering issues-moog-bj.jpg

  8. #8
    JPNinPA's Avatar
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    Tracking / steering issues

    It depends. I don’t gave a manual for yours but if you post a pic I could tell you.
    Some replace the upper arm and ball joint. Some have a pin bolt holding the upper in. Others are pressed.

    Post a pic I'll post a video I saw but Im not sure how yours is set up.
    Is this what it looks like?Name:  IMG_2840.JPG
Views: 20
Size:  28.3 KB

    Never used green but its the lowest of strengths.

    The spring should never shoot out in a strut but post a pic.

    Yes the black is the boot where the grease is beneath. It may not fill and expand out. The design is different for the cars design.


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  9. #9
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    Re: Tracking / steering issues

    Thanks for answering all my questions. That's the setup I have, in the picture, so I've figured out recently that I'm ok with the spring issue. And I figured out the top bj has to press out because they're offered on rock auto.

    Loving those cheesy smiles at the end of the vid btw

  10. #10
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    Tracking / steering issues

    Many replace the entire top swing arm with new already pressed in ball joint.
    You get the new rubber bushings also.

    And yes removing the end links would open room to remove the ball joint.

    And here is the facts on green thread locker. I only use anti-seize on parts unless I go back a week later and find they loosened.

    "Loctite Green Threadlocker is recommended for locking preassembled fasteners, e.g. electrical connectors and set screws. The product is categorized as medium-to-high-strength for wicking. It is also available in a liquid form, cures in 24 hours and can be removed with heat and hand tools."

    There are 5 types of green.
    One is over 300 ft-lb break free torque.
    Over 100 deg C degrades strength.


    I just removed struts that someone used blue loctite on. The grease from the cv boot started erupting out of the breather before the blue reached glass transition temp and softened. I thought the strut was going to explode.





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    Last edited by JPNinPA; 08-22-2019 at 09:19 PM.
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