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Old 02-24-2013, 12:00 PM   #1
IH84DZ
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Bent strut or bent wheel knuckle?

Slid into a ditch with a pretty steep grade. LF now has noticeable negative camber compared to RF. Slight drift to the RH side, which makes sense - camber always pulls to the most positive side. It's minor - actually was hard to isolate from road crown and wind here in the flat lands.

I've had it on a lift and I can see that the inside of my LF tire is closer by about .5" to the strut tube than the RF tire. The distance between the upper knuckle and the halfshaft appears to be the same side to side. Whatever is bent is too minor to see - in other words I can't tell exactly what is bent.

I know that if the camber is too negative (and not adjustable) that my damage is located at the wheel knuckle or above; meaning I have either some damage to the upper part of the wheel knuckle or the strut tube.

I tried to see if the upper part of the knuckle was bent by measuring the distance from the strut clamp bolt to the lower control arm. It's 8" on both sides.

I THINK the LF strut is bent but Ford's publications offer no geometric specifications for me to compare. So... I'm not sure if my 8" measurement of the knuckle-to-LCA is a valid way of checking it.

I see no geometric difference in the subframe nor does it appear the bolts have shifted.

Is there anybody here that knows a definitive way for me to figure out if I have a slightly bent strut or a slightly bent wheel knuckle? It sure would be nice if there where published measurements that I could make to determine exactly where my damage is!

I'm sure I could see it if I spent hours disassembling the front end and layed everything on a bench but doing a bunch of inconclusive disassembly is exactly what I'm trying to avoid. I'd rather just spend that time replacing the front end with my fingers crossed!

I've already ordered a FRPP kit M-3000-ZX3A that is supposed to come with two new fully assembled front strut assemblies, rear shocks and rear springs (it was less expensive than getting just a LF strut assembly). Obviously this isn't going to help me if the damn knuckle is my problem.

Can anyone please advise????????


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Old 02-24-2013, 10:45 PM   #2
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If I had to guess which part was more likely to bend, I would go with the hollow tube not the cast iron part. Cast iron doesn't really bend as often as break.
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Old 02-25-2013, 03:18 AM   #3
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X2, the strut will give way before the knuckle which is more substantial. Until major it will be hard to see it in the strut too. You could yank strut and then extend and compress shaft and find the error............
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Old 02-25-2013, 03:36 AM   #4
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check SAI if you can get it on a rack. Its definitely easier to bend a part than stretch it though. I doubt it stretched the control arm. Might want to check your strut mounting up top.
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Old 02-25-2013, 12:03 PM   #5
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Thanks for the replies. I'm thinking the strut is much more likely to be damaged than a cast iron knuckle too. We'll see if that fixes it.

In related news, anyone in need of rear SVT shocks and springs?? I'll cut you a wicked deal!
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Old 02-27-2013, 05:09 PM   #6
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are you even ASE certified? you should take it too a Ford dealership...

Last edited by zetecDon; 02-27-2013 at 06:58 PM. Reason: Edited out what isn't needed.
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Old 02-28-2013, 09:45 AM   #7
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Jack it up & pull the wheel off & you'll more then likely see your strut is bent, like it was said above. This is where getting easy replacement parts comes in vs one off special deal or limited production cheap coilover kits. You've got to ask yourself=If you had a cheap coilover kit, Can you just get one & how long to get it or would you end up needing to change it up again?
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Old 02-28-2013, 07:47 PM   #8
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Someone should research just what 'ASE certified' means, it can mean people who don't EVER work on a car.................the term is now heavily misused by the auto stores, they have gotten a certification in there for people who sell parts and nothing else now. Why you see it on the parts store entry door and means literally nothing.............
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Old 02-28-2013, 07:52 PM   #9
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Calm down sport. It was a joke because I know he is Ford Master Certified.........
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Old 02-28-2013, 08:34 PM   #10
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Good deal..............it was just an FYI, many do not know, why I decided to put it out there..........

I was the resident parts one while at the store (at least that's what they told the customers, I got dragged into it), and I had never been tested for it and didn't want to since no advantage to it that late in the game. $11/hr. for ASE certified? I laughed at my bosses when they came up with that one. Didn't matter as I had no trouble at all chopping up many of the mechs from the dealerships we serviced and they had all passed...........some of those guys were plenty goofy. On the flipside, some were pretty freaking smart and it was always a pleasure to talk to them. I could learn something every time I came by and tucked my nose into what they were doing at the time.
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