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Author Topic: front suspension woes  (Read 1189 times)

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05omegav6

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front suspension woes
« on: 15 July 2010, 06:20:34 »

The handling on my 3.2 estate has gone south. I hit a pothole about 6 weeks ago which knocked the tracking out. This was reset and all was well until the car started to scrub the front tyres whilst braking/cornering. I had the tracking rechecked and new tyres put on the rear. The rears were put on the front, (2.5mm and evenly worn). Within 100 miles the n/s front tyre had scrubbed down to 1mm and the o/s had worn both edges. There was noticible play in the front bushes, and some slight play in the track rods. I replaced the lower arms with delphi ones and renewed both track rods and front tyres. A week and 1000 miles later the car is scrubbing both front tyres and wont even hold a straight line in a level car park. At first the tyres were shrieking under braking, then whilst turning at lower speeds. now you can hear them scrubbing in a straight line again. There is play in the lower arms again, they are starting to knock. The steering pulls when the front suspension loads up under braking/cornering. This is not consistant and there is often a delay before the wheel recentres itself. There is next to no movement in the top mounts and no noise from them either. The tracking has been checked 4 times in the last fortnight. Each time it is anything from 6mm to 17mm out. Once reset as soon as the car is driven, even 20 yds, the tracking is out again. The only other clue is that the bolt hole on the subframe for the o/s lower arm rear bush is oval. The car has now done 156k. The lower arms and steering idler were replaced last at 130k. The car was an accident investigation vehicle and is currently working as a taxi, so has quite a hard life. I'm wondering if anyone can shed some light on this problem as the car is basically undriveable. Is the only solution to rebuild the suspension from the subframe up? The previous 50k have been mostly trouble free and I would like to see the car past 500k. Thanks. :(
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alank46

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Re: front suspension woes
« Reply #1 on: 15 July 2010, 07:04:09 »

Hi

Well first of all tracking alone is a waste of time!  These cars need a full suspension set up, most garages/tyre places do not know how to do this, see WIM site: -http://www.blackboots.co.uk/

However as your settings are changing in only a few yards you obviously have something loose somewhere.  You haven't said where you are, if you can get the car to WIM they should sort it out for you.

Alan

Quote
The handling on my 3.2 estate has gone south. I hit a pothole about 6 weeks ago which knocked the tracking out. This was reset and all was well until the car started to scrub the front tyres whilst braking/cornering. I had the tracking rechecked and new tyres put on the rear. The rears were put on the front, (2.5mm and evenly worn). Within 100 miles the n/s front tyre had scrubbed down to 1mm and the o/s had worn both edges. There was noticible play in the front bushes, and some slight play in the track rods. I replaced the lower arms with delphi ones and renewed both track rods and front tyres. A week and 1000 miles later the car is scrubbing both front tyres and wont even hold a straight line in a level car park. At first the tyres were shrieking under braking, then whilst turning at lower speeds. now you can hear them scrubbing in a straight line again. There is play in the lower arms again, they are starting to knock. The steering pulls when the front suspension loads up under braking/cornering. This is not consistant and there is often a delay before the wheel recentres itself. There is next to no movement in the top mounts and no noise from them either. The tracking has been checked 4 times in the last fortnight. Each time it is anything from 6mm to 17mm out. Once reset as soon as the car is driven, even 20 yds, the tracking is out again. The only other clue is that the bolt hole on the subframe for the o/s lower arm rear bush is oval. The car has now done 156k. The lower arms and steering idler were replaced last at 130k. The car was an accident investigation vehicle and is currently working as a taxi, so has quite a hard life. I'm wondering if anyone can shed some light on this problem as the car is basically undriveable. Is the only solution to rebuild the suspension from the subframe up? The previous 50k have been mostly trouble free and I would like to see the car past 500k. Thanks. :(
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feeutfo

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Re: front suspension woes
« Reply #2 on: 15 July 2010, 08:56:50 »

seen those wishbones on another members car, on his the bushes where far far far too soft, no control over the wishbone at all.

Plus you dont mention the correct bolt tightening procedure, 120nm then angle tighten + 30°+15° WITH WHEELS LOADED at the correct ride hight. Other wise they will fail early no matter what you fit.

 But still think lemforder are most reliable items dedpite Mark dtm's recent failure.
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Entwood

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Re: front suspension woes
« Reply #3 on: 15 July 2010, 08:57:41 »

If you've changed the wishbones and not had the camber reset PROPERLY that won't help what the others have said.

Decent wishbones and a geometry setup required methinks !!

Omega's are VERY sensitive to camber and inner edge wear is a prime pointer.

Wishbone bush bolts MUST have the "final" angular tightening done with weight on the suspension, and then the camber checked.

As said .. you need a FULL geometry setup..   and Wheels In Motion are without doubt the best.

If you are too far from Chesham .. give them a ring anyway.. they are setting up a franchise chain and may know of a decent place near you.

EDIT : must type faster .. :(

:)
« Last Edit: 15 July 2010, 08:59:36 by entwood »
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feeutfo

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Re: front suspension woes
« Reply #4 on: 15 July 2010, 09:01:58 »

and yes it will need full geometric set up after fitting, and an attempt to set something approaching the correct camber angle of 1.10 before you drive it, which on mine is 15 mill odd gap from the vertical flat of the wheel rim to shock body.

hth.
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beemerdevil

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Re: front suspension woes
« Reply #5 on: 15 July 2010, 11:41:29 »

Delphi are rubbish !!! bushes far tooooo soft

Having a set of Lemforders fitted next week - can anyone explain' the 'angle'/correct tightening procedure of the w/bones pls??  it maybe useful to inform my garage of it when they're fitting them - TIA :y :y
« Last Edit: 15 July 2010, 11:43:50 by beemerdevil »
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Entwood

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Re: front suspension woes
« Reply #6 on: 15 July 2010, 11:48:19 »

http://www.omegaowners.com/forum/YaBB.pl?num=1152986949

might help .. I did mine straight from the "book of lies" (haynes) but found I could not "angle" tighten properly with the suspension loaded on my drive .. so I did 120 Nm .. then 130 Nm. When I took it to WIM for the setup, they undid them and redid them correctly at no charge.  :)

Haynes says

Quote
Lower suspension arm pivot bolt:*
Front:
Stage 1 . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 120 (Nm) 89 (lb f)
Stage 2 . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . angle tighten through 30º
Stage 3 . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . angle tighten through 15º
10•2 Suspension and steering
3510 Vauxhall/Opel Omega
Torque wrench settings (continued) Nm lbf ft
Front suspension (continued)
Lower suspension arm pivot bolt (continued):*
Rear:
Stage 1 . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 120 (NM)  89 (Lb f)
Stage 2 . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . angle tighten through 30º
Stage 3 . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . angle tighten through 15º
« Last Edit: 15 July 2010, 11:48:54 by entwood »
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andyc

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Re: front suspension woes
« Reply #7 on: 15 July 2010, 12:39:44 »

and replace the suspension bolts as well :y
« Last Edit: 15 July 2010, 12:40:02 by andyc »
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05omegav6

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Re: front suspension woes
« Reply #8 on: 15 July 2010, 21:06:38 »

Thanks for all your replies. I'm in west sussex, so chesham isn't too far for a day out.
When doing the initial camber setting, does the car need to be on the ground? my car apparently has a sports chassis, with 225/55/16 tyres so would the 15mm gap between wheel and strut that chrisgixer mentioned still apply as a rough guide? The bolts were all replaced and tightened as per 'the book of lies', although the last 15 degrees are a pig to do on the drive.:)
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feeutfo

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Re: front suspension woes
« Reply #9 on: 15 July 2010, 22:21:34 »

Quote
Thanks for all your replies. I'm in west sussex, so chesham isn't too far for a day out.
When doing the initial camber setting, does the car need to be on the ground? my car apparently has a sports chassis, with 225/55/16 tyres so would the 15mm gap between wheel and strut that chrisgixer mentioned still apply as a rough guide? The bolts were all replaced and tightened as per 'the book of lies', although the last 15 degrees are a pig to do on the drive.:)
My wheel size is,or was at the time, 225 45 17, so that setting will be different for yours. The method mentioned is only useful for replicating the original setting assuming it's correct to start with, might have been useful to you with same wheels though. I do this car jacked, to get arms round the back of the wheel to measure,and also to allow adjustment, easily done if the bolts are set to allow the angle to slip with a good thump of the fist, but won't drop when you let go.

You may be better repeating the rear setting with a spirit level, pita as you need the car on the ground settled,measure then Jack, adjust repeat until happy.

Would also have a good look at those new wishbone bushes, if they are as soft as the ones I saw, could all be a waist of time and money.  :'(
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feeutfo

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Re: front suspension woes
« Reply #10 on: 15 July 2010, 22:46:36 »

Ok, further clarification

Wishbone bolt tightening

 it's two fold, the tightening as described in Haynes as said, but.....
This needs to be done with the wheels loaded/car on the ground with suspension correctly settled to insure the wishbone arms sit at the correct ride hight before the bolts are fully tightened. This is to insure that the subframe bracket clamps the centre spacer of the bush in an unstressed position, hence they will last longer.

If the bolts are tightened wheels hanging, while jacked, with suspension fully extended, when the car is dropped off the Jack and suspension compressed/wishbone angle raised, the bush rubber will be stressed permanently. The more the suspension is compressed and the more the bushes stressed the shorter the life. Add in cornering and hiiting a hefty bump, your asking the bush to twist itself over the full length of suspension travel, as opposed to from the midway/neutral start position when set with the suspension loaded at the correct ride hight.

This is a pita to do on the drive as any torque wrench with that range will be too long to swing under the car as the floor is in the way. So, it's possible to tighten as much as possible with the car on the ground, enough for the subframe to clamp the bush centre spacer and hold it there while you re Jack and compete the procedure.

Then set the camber.

Hth
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CaptainZok

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Re: front suspension woes
« Reply #11 on: 15 July 2010, 22:48:43 »

We used a couple of wobble bars when we did mine.
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Martin_1962

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Re: front suspension woes
« Reply #12 on: 15 July 2010, 23:17:43 »

I put axle stands under the hubs on mine and supported the car like that
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feeutfo

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Re: front suspension woes
« Reply #13 on: 16 July 2010, 00:48:00 »

Quote
I put axle stands under the hubs on mine and supported the car like that
Ramps would be better, if they fitted under the bumper.  :-/

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Broomies Mate

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Re: front suspension woes
« Reply #14 on: 16 July 2010, 01:15:43 »

Would there be benefit of slackening and re-tightening the bolts on the lower arms if they were fitted a while ago, or is the damage immediate?

I just bought a car (which I am happy with) but it recently had new lower arms fitted, and I cant be sure if they were done correctly.  :-/
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