Suspension Messed Up Front End

FrankenStang88

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Feb 2, 2016
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Ok so i have an 88 gt hatchback and on the front end you can see about a 2-3" difference in the height of the front bumper (drivers side being the higher one). Ive looked on sites at suspension kits, i bought a new rack just incase it was bent. My only problem is limited money and the fact that I dont know what to replace. I dont know if control arms, k members, shocks, or struts will fix this dip in the front end. If anyone else had this problem before or knows what i need to replace, itd be awesome. Were tearing apart the car sometime next week for new motor, tranny, diff, and driveline so we need to upgrade suspension as well. Thanks.
 
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jAEded

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Aug 12, 2013
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Can you take a pic of the front looking up under the bumper? It will be easier to tell.

I could be a stack up issue. When installing the front clip its possible to have it on crooked. Also stuff could be bent. 2 - 3" is a lot. I would look at the front subframe rails that run down below the shock towers from the the fiberglass bumper support to the firewall. If one of them is bent you should be able to see the folding of the metal when looking at it from the underside. If it is pushed up its going to push up right in front of the shock towers. That is the weakest spot for that type of impact.
 

jAEded

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Compare your front spring compressed lengths from side to side.

Worn bushings and things like that wouldn't cause that much drop.

The other thing to check would be your front sway bar bushings and end links. Its possible that something is wrong with the sway bar causing it to hold the car over to one side.

Not too many things would cause the front to drop down that much.
 

FrankenStang88

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Feb 2, 2016
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I took some pics. Hopefully this helps out. Thanks again for the help.
 

FrankenStang88

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Feb 2, 2016
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Another thing is i have to counter steer the car left because it really pulls to right. I assume this has to do with the height as well
 

jAEded

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Did you buy the car this way or did it recently happen?


You should be able to check these reasonably at home:
On a level surface measure the distance from the bottoms of the front control arms to the ground. If you get a big difference from one side to the other, one of the control arms is bent. (Its hard to bend a stock control arm. Usually the ball joint goes first.)
Find a spot that you can as accurate as possible measure from the lower control arm to the upper spring perch on each side. This will tell you if your springs have sagged from one side to the other.
Disconnect your sway bar end links to the control arms. Bounce the front up and down a few times to let the car settle to its spot without the sway bar. If the car levels out its the sway bar bushings or end links.

There is really no good way to check the shocks without pulling each side apart. I've been trying to think of a safe way to do it and I haven't been able to come up with one.


If the car was hit hard enough to bend the K-member I personally wouldn't spend any money on the car. There will be signs all throughout the sheet metal that the car was hit fairly hard. Once metal is bent its near impossible to get it back to its original shape. When I get home I'll take some pics of stuff to look at one the frame but I think your issue is probably something else.
 

stykthyn

I want to measure mine. It doesn't look that tall.
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Jul 6, 2006
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I am thinking you have worn shock mounts and caster plates but even with that scenario 3-4" is huge. At this point I would take it to a collision/ alignment shop and have them put it on a rack and diagnose it. That is a severe level of inconsistency and if it was hit hard enough to cause that kind of damage there wouldn't. be two panels on the car that line up.
 

FrankenStang88

New Member
Feb 2, 2016
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Arizona
Did you buy the car this way or did it recently happen?


You should be able to check these reasonably at home:
On a level surface measure the distance from the bottoms of the front control arms to the ground. If you get a big difference from one side to the other, one of the control arms is bent. (Its hard to bend a stock control arm. Usually the ball joint goes first.)
Find a spot that you can as accurate as possible measure from the lower control arm to the upper spring perch on each side. This will tell you if your springs have sagged from one side to the other.
Disconnect your sway bar end links to the control arms. Bounce the front up and down a few times to let the car settle to its spot without the sway bar. If the car levels out its the sway bar bushings or end links.

There is really no good way to check the shocks without pulling each side apart. I've been trying to think of a safe way to do it and I haven't been able to come up with one.


If the car was hit hard enough to bend the K-member I personally wouldn't spend any money on the car. There will be signs all throughout the sheet metal that the car was hit fairly hard. Once metal is bent its near impossible to get it back to its original shape. When I get home I'll take some pics of stuff to look at one the frame but I think your issue is probably something else.
I bought the car this way in september
 

jAEded

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I agree with Stykthyn.

Here are some pics if you want to check it out.

The biggest giveaway of a front end impact is the cutouts for the airbox and the ones next to the battery tray on the opposite side. The cutouts should be perfectly flat. If it took a good hit to the front they get twisted.

The red car is pretty good. White car stuffed a ditch at 30 mph. Look around the airbox on the white car.

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90sickfox

Wasn't a pretty sight...and I've got big hands
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Man...it could be as simple as a broken spring. The bottom coil in the control arm is known to crack and lower one side of the car. For your sake I hope its a spring issue.
 

stykthyn

I want to measure mine. It doesn't look that tall.
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Excellent suggestion. I wouldn't have thought it would cause that much sag but well worth looking into.
 

jAEded

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My first thought was something with the springs. Its hard not to notice a car thats been wrecked.