replaced lower control arms, now alignment issues

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cms1218
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replaced lower control arms, now alignment issues

Postby cms1218 » Mon Feb 01, 2016 3:37 pm

First off i would like to say that i am new to this forum so hello.I am a heavy engine mechanic by trade, and know my way around cars for the most part. over the weekend i replaced the lower control arms and ball joints on my 2005 vibe. it is a fwd base model. after completing the job, i found the tires to be severely toe in. i adjusted it buy eye and sent it to my local shop to get aligned, the tech at the shop told me after he got the car on the rack that the initial total toe was 5.5 deg in, after some adjustment he was able to get both tires to 1.5 deg toe in. the problem now is that there is no more adjustment left on the inner tie rods. the car is now drive able but will wear the tires if not corrected and also there is something obviously wrong and that is bothersome. when i returned from the shop i removed the pass lower control arm due to ease of access and matched it up with the old one. i can not see any differences that stand out. the tech suggested that there may be a problem with the steering rack, i don not want to throw parts at the car until if find the issue. was hoping someone could help me thank you.

gtv237
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Re: replaced lower control arms, now alignment issues

Postby gtv237 » Mon Feb 01, 2016 5:19 pm

I kind of have a hard time believing it ran out of adjustment threads. If is towed in too far then the tie rods need to be shortened or screwed into each other. I would take a look under the vehicle and see if there is any visible threads left exposed on the tie rods. It's possible that the jam nut is just seized and they don't want to mess with it.

cms1218
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Re: replaced lower control arms, now alignment issues

Postby cms1218 » Mon Feb 01, 2016 5:27 pm

no there are no threads left on the inner tie rods there is just enough threads to tighten the jam nuts.

gtv237
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Re: replaced lower control arms, now alignment issues

Postby gtv237 » Mon Feb 01, 2016 5:51 pm

cms1218 wrote:no there are no threads left on the inner tie rods there is just enough threads to tighten the jam nuts.


This is where I am confused. Are the inner tie rod ends screwed all the way into the outers or are they barely in?

cms1218
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Re: replaced lower control arms, now alignment issues

Postby cms1218 » Mon Feb 01, 2016 6:16 pm

No they are screwed all the way in.


This is where I am confused. Are the inner tie rod ends screwed all the way into the outers or are they barely in?[/quote]

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trb
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Re: replaced lower control arms, now alignment issues

Postby trb » Tue Feb 02, 2016 9:06 am

I just replaced an outer tie rod on my 03 and I have a good 6 threads on the inner tie rod on each side. Hopefully the inner is fully installed correctly to the rack.
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cms1218
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Re: replaced lower control arms, now alignment issues

Postby cms1218 » Tue Feb 02, 2016 9:46 am

yeah from reading threads on the forum it seems that these cars are kinda prone to alignment issues.

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kumquat
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Re: replaced lower control arms, now alignment issues

Postby kumquat » Tue Feb 02, 2016 10:24 am

Who's the manufacturer on the new control arms? Why did you replace them?

handmedown03
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Re: replaced lower control arms, now alignment issues

Postby handmedown03 » Tue Feb 02, 2016 5:50 pm

kumquat wrote:Who's the manufacturer on the new control arms? Why did you replace them?


Do tell, I have been eyeing some of those Ebay bargains and would like to know the ones to avoid.

cms1218
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Re: replaced lower control arms, now alignment issues

Postby cms1218 » Wed Feb 03, 2016 4:38 pm

They are eBay control arms. I checked them against the old ones and looked the same. I replaced the control arms because I was mislead by a so-called senior GM tech who I know now was just out to get my money.

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kumquat
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Re: replaced lower control arms, now alignment issues

Postby kumquat » Wed Feb 03, 2016 7:47 pm

cms1218 wrote:They are eBay control arms. I checked them against the old ones and looked the same. I replaced the control arms because I was mislead by a so-called senior GM tech who I know now was just out to get my money.


Sorry you got swindled.

It's entirely possible your old control arms needed to be replaced. The bushings on them tend to rot out. The easy way to replace the bushings is to replace the entire control arm, but that's not always the best way when the parts you're replacing them with are cheap no-name Chinese imports. You can use the original control arms, and get a machine shop to remove the bushings and put new ones in (this is actually the cheapest), or you can buy quality new control arms. The only other reasons I can think of to replace a whole control arm are if one is rusted through, or some sort of impact damage bent one.

I suspect the ones you bought are just not quite to spec.

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lannvouivre
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Re: replaced lower control arms, now alignment issues

Postby lannvouivre » Fri Feb 05, 2016 6:30 am

If you still have the old control arms, you should probably have them reinstalled. Maybe show them to another technician and see if he can see anything wrong with them.
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handmedown03
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Re: replaced lower control arms, now alignment issues

Postby handmedown03 » Mon Feb 08, 2016 4:08 pm

cms1218 wrote:They are eBay control arms. I checked them against the old ones and looked the same. I replaced the control arms because I was mislead by a so-called senior GM tech who I know now was just out to get my money.

Thats what I was afraid of. $80 shipped for 2 a arms shipped with ball joints is too good to be true. I think I will stick with a energy suspension bushing upgrade and a new Moog or OEM ball joint. I just liked the idea of not having to sandblast before painting them. Hope you get yours figured out.

BenWA
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Re: replaced lower control arms, now alignment issues

Postby BenWA » Thu Feb 11, 2016 1:21 pm

Yep, I agree... use the old ones and have a machine shop install the new bushings. I did that on the 78 Dodge mini motorhome (1 ton van chassis) I had. I had a machine shop install the ball joints for me also since they were so big. Plus, one had to be pressed in and the other was threaded and required a special ball joint socket, which I bought and took to the shop for them to use. There was no way anything on ebay would be as good as 1978 Detroit steel control arms equipped on a 1 ton chassis van. Same with the OEM Vibe ones vs ebay ones, I'd bet.
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Kirk5691
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Re: replaced lower control arms, now alignment issues

Postby Kirk5691 » Tue Mar 22, 2016 5:57 pm

I know this is an old thread but just in case someone new runs across it, the problem here is that the new control arms come with the wrong ball joints. If you go this route plan on buying the correct ball joints for your vibe and swap them before installation of new arms. Also swap the bushings for good quality bushings front and rear. The bushings that come with the cheap arms last less than 10K.
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IMakeVibes
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Re: replaced lower control arms, now alignment issues

Postby IMakeVibes » Sun May 08, 2016 9:19 pm

Kirk5691 wrote:I know this is an old thread but just in case someone new runs across it, the problem here is that the new control arms come with the wrong ball joints. If you go this route plan on buying the correct ball joints for your vibe and swap them before installation of new arms. Also swap the bushings for good quality bushings front and rear. The bushings that come with the cheap arms last less than 10K.


Which control arms are you referring to? I'm looking at some now on eBay. They have them listed as Moog for just under $100 for the set.

jwct7
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Re: replaced lower control arms, now alignment issues

Postby jwct7 » Fri Sep 16, 2016 1:52 pm

I just posted the exact same question.... replaced the LCA's and have no adjustment left. Thanks to Kirk9561 I will double check the ball joints and see what the differences are. I bought ebay arms and they are identical to OEM's.

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cptnsolo77
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Re: replaced lower control arms, now alignment issues

Postby cptnsolo77 » Fri Sep 16, 2016 4:59 pm

I just installed a driver side lower control arm from ebay. I hope I don't run into problems with a alignment :(
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jwct7
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Re: replaced lower control arms, now alignment issues

Postby jwct7 » Sat Sep 24, 2016 11:06 am

Yep, the problem was the ball joints, they were shrter in length than the moog ones I ordered from Rock auto. Alignment was straightforward afterwards. Thanks Kirk9561.

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oldelpaseo
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Re: replaced lower control arms, now alignment issues

Postby oldelpaseo » Tue Sep 27, 2016 8:00 pm

I replaced mine about 2 months ago with moog control arms. No problem with alignment and drives much better now ! I reused the oem ball joints since they are still good. From what the auto parts guy told me, they never sell toyota ball joints. They last forever unless the boot breaks.
I paid a lot for my moog control arms but i decided to change them on a sunny saturday morning after being fed up with the old noisy bushing and swirvy driving. I bet i could have got them cheap online. But it was sunny and i had beer.

cms1218
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Re: replaced lower control arms, now alignment issues

Postby cms1218 » Fri Nov 25, 2016 8:28 am

sorry for the long awaited reply. honestly forgot about the post. so i ended up removing the control arms and replacing them with the originals. when i matched the two control arms up again i found that the new ones were about a 1/4" longer where the lower ball joint bolted up. installed originals and had the car aligned without any problems. tried to contact the company i bought the control arms from and he told me he never had any problems in the
past and that the parts were correct and denied my refund. tried to pursue it further and really didn't get anywhere. my original reasoning for replacing the arms was it was cheaper to buy the whole arms then to get the bushings and press them in. i was factoring in minimal down time as well, as this car is a daily driver. well i guess i learned a valuable lesson lol. just be careful of cheaper import parts. thank you guys for all your input.

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ImUrOBGYN
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Re: replaced lower control arms, now alignment issues

Postby ImUrOBGYN » Fri Nov 25, 2016 8:51 am

Who did you purchase the parts from on Ebay? It would be good to help steer other owners away from an obviously shitty company to deal with.
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