Results 1 to 7 of 7
  1. #1
    Join Date
    Jul 2018
    Location
    NE Florida
    Posts
    3
    Post Thanks / Like

    Hit huge pothole, need some advice on front end issue

    Guys,

    I was out on a back-roads cruise last Saturday with the wife, and while I was looking at my Google Maps app on my phone, I didn't see a huge pothole in the road and my passenger side tire dropped into it at about 40 miles per hour--no lie, the dang thing was at least 24" across and 10 inches deep--and the impact and shudder was tremendous, scaring the bejeezus out of us. Right afterwords the car developed a symptom where the steering wheel now pulls intermittently to the right as I drive; those who have ever had a bent wheel or a tire with separated cords will know the feeling I'm talking about...it's a constant jitter every time the wheel makes a revolution, and if I turn loose the wheel, the car will pull/creep to the right...it does it even worse at highway speeds.

    At first I thought it might be a bent alloy wheel, so I swapped it out for a good spare I have, and it still does the same thing. I checked the tire balance weight to see if it was gone, but it's still there. Then I crawled under the car to see if I could spot any visible damage, but I can't see anything. I also jiggled the disc and hub assembly (while the wheel was off) to see if there was any severely loose play, but the car has 184K miles on it, and the front suspension is in need of an upgrade, anyway...I can't really feel any undue slackness in the assembly. One thing that seemed odd to me was how tight the caliper pads were gripping the disc itself, especially when I tried to rotate the hub...but that may be normal for this car, as far as I know.

    Anyway, my question is this: What part(s) exactly would have been affected by hitting the pothole, in the sense that it would be causing this issue? Is it possible I just ruined the alignment on that side, or could I have bent something like the lower control arm? I'm going to order a complete front end rebuild kit, but I was just curious as to where I would specifically look for damage of the type that would cause it to steer this way.

    Any help you can give will be much appreciated.

    Rob
    2005 Dodge Magnum R/T * 1957 Plymouth Savoy * 1974 Dodge Monaco 440 Bluesmobile * 1962 Ford Falcon 2-door Ratwagon * 1943 Ford GPW * 2000 Cadillac Eldorado ETC



  2. #2
    Join Date
    Feb 2016
    Posts
    25
    Post Thanks / Like
    I think you're on the right track going through the front end. With 184k on it, it is likely due for a refresh. My gut says the alignment is pretty far out, but I've never had something so far out that it felt like a bent rim. Can you feel the "shake" in the steering wheel or is it a vibration you feel in the car? If you can't feel it in the steering wheel I'm wondering if you bent the rim or hub flange on the rear wheel of the same side.


    Sent from my iPhone using Tapatalk

  3. #3
    Join Date
    Mar 2016
    Posts
    1,571
    Post Thanks / Like
    Tire may have a bubble in it. Could have brought the toe out too.
    Jack the front end up and put a dial indicator on the wheel lip, spin the wheel and see if it moves much.

  4. #4
    Join Date
    Jul 2018
    Location
    NE Florida
    Posts
    3
    Post Thanks / Like
    Quote Originally Posted by ramblinmike View Post
    I think you're on the right track going through the front end. With 184k on it, it is likely due for a refresh. My gut says the alignment is pretty far out, but I've never had something so far out that it felt like a bent rim. Can you feel the "shake" in the steering wheel or is it a vibration you feel in the car? If you can't feel it in the steering wheel I'm wondering if you bent the rim or hub flange on the rear wheel of the same side.


    Sent from my iPhone using Tapatalk
    Yeah, Mike, I feel it through the wheel, and you can actually watch the wheel jerk back and forth, even at speeds below 1mph (idle creep). Funny thing is, I don't remember the rear wheel hitting the hole...it must just have skirted the edge, since the car jerked over as soon as the front tire climbed/bounced out.

    Quote Originally Posted by DBL.DWN View Post
    Tire may have a bubble in it. Could have brought the toe out too.
    Jack the front end up and put a dial indicator on the wheel lip, spin the wheel and see if it moves much.
    I'll give that a shot, DD...I've got it up on jackstands (on the frame) in preparation for my new front end parts kit, which should be here by tomorrow or Saturday.

    Thanks for the replies, fellas.

    Rob

  5. #5
    Join Date
    Nov 2007
    Location
    NorCal
    Posts
    847
    Post Thanks / Like
    Ouch, we call that a man trap.

    Considering your front wheel basically Stopped while the car traveled forward until it was wrenched out of the hole, its quite likely you've slipped one of the control arms in its adjustment slot.

    With few adjustments we often take a bar and loosen the cradle and wrench it over to get the perfect alignment.

    It would be worth it to get on an alignment rack before doing anything - then you'll know exactly which part bore the brunt of the impact by which type (camber/caster/toe) and direction (+/-) it moved. That will let you zero in on what got jacked so you can closely inspect everything. If you wait until after you swap parts, you may not find something that could rear its head later.

    Hope that helps.
    X E Ryder
    Just Another Motorhead, Really.
    (midlife crisis activated)
    Likes Al Evans liked this post

  6. #6
    Join Date
    Jul 2018
    Location
    NE Florida
    Posts
    3
    Post Thanks / Like
    Quote Originally Posted by X E Ryder View Post
    Ouch, we call that a man trap.

    Considering your front wheel basically Stopped while the car traveled forward until it was wrenched out of the hole, its quite likely you've slipped one of the control arms in its adjustment slot.

    With few adjustments we often take a bar and loosen the cradle and wrench it over to get the perfect alignment.

    It would be worth it to get on an alignment rack before doing anything - then you'll know exactly which part bore the brunt of the impact by which type (camber/caster/toe) and direction (+/-) it moved. That will let you zero in on what got jacked so you can closely inspect everything. If you wait until after you swap parts, you may not find something that could rear its head later.

    Hope that helps.
    Thanks, XE...that's another thing I can look for during my inspection; sadly, I don't have access to a rack in my podunk town, so I'm going to have to throw parts at it, until I solve the problem...I've bought the whole kit-and-kaboodle to rebuild the front end, so hopefully I'll be able to get it all set back up close to factory, and then I'll have to take it to a shop out of town.

    One question, though...what's the likelihood that I could have bent the front spindle? From what I can surmise, it's not likely a tie rod end or sway bat link would cause it to lurch, but a slipped/bent control arm and/or spindle seems like it could...

    Rob

  7. #7
    Join Date
    Nov 2007
    Location
    NorCal
    Posts
    847
    Post Thanks / Like

    Cool Become the detective

    Quote Originally Posted by Ghostsoldier View Post
    Thanks, XE...that's another thing I can look for during my inspection; sadly, I don't have access to a rack in my podunk town, so I'm going to have to throw parts at it, until I solve the problem...I've bought the whole kit-and-kaboodle to rebuild the front end, so hopefully I'll be able to get it all set back up close to factory, and then I'll have to take it to a shop out of town.

    One question, though...what's the likelihood that I could have bent the front spindle? From what I can surmise, it's not likely a tie rod end or sway bat link would cause it to lurch, but a slipped/bent control arm and/or spindle seems like it could...

    Rob
    I've done some things to a car I shouldn't admit... I was unable to bend a spindle; those are Really tough (need a high speed curb shot for that), I really hope that is not it. Sway bars and end links are mostly "along for the ride"; they'll follow the larger parts. Placing my money pretty squarely on you having shifted an adjustable point. That suspension was all designed by Mercedes when Daimler owned us, it's pretty tough - notice how happy these car are at autobahn speeds? Even though the cradle is not technically an adjustment point, it is frequently used for alignment by loosening and barring over the cradle then re-tightening the bolts. It is very unlikely you bent a control arm, but remains possible I suppose.

    You said you swapped that wheel out and that's good - the other is probably done.

    OK no alignment rack available. Well drive up on some ramps (I own a set myself - those and jack-stands are invaluable!) and look really close at each bushing and connection point, you may find one where the washer or bolt has moved, by the paint circle or wear point that it occupied, before you hit that man trap. Ya know what I mean? It leaves a clean round circle where it used to be, and yours should only be partially off, like a "crescent moon" shape of clean paint or line where the washer was biting for all those miles before now. Let us know what you find, Detective Ghostsoldier.
    Last edited by X E Ryder; 07-14-2018 at 10:43 AM. Reason: clarity

Tags for this Thread

Share This Thread

Posting Permissions

  • You may not post new threads
  • You may not post replies
  • You may not post attachments
  • You may not edit your posts
  •