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Discussion Starter · #1 · (Edited)
1985 Camry. 135k miles. Yes, only 135,000.


Hit a big bump with the driver side wheel about a month ago. Since then my alignment on the car has gotten horrible. I have to hold the wheel like 20 degrees to the left just to stay straight. Also, when I straighten the wheel (and veer off the road 0_0) or when I turn right, there is a major shaking and rattling. I don't think its the CV joint, it appears fine. Finally got a chance to look at things, and I found the driver side tire rod end rotates a bit, as you can see here. The passenger side does not.

Does this indicate a problem with the tire rod end? Or is the rack and pinion damaged? The rubber boots on the CV are fine, the boots on the R&P are ripping.

I just need to keep this car running a few more months before I scrap it. Its seen its time, and its now a money pit. Suggestions please?
 

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Is there a teency bit of in and out play? That looks more like worn/damage balljoints to me. Replace the inner and out tie rods and it should be good to go- my '91 did the same thing because the outer TRE was loose and the inner tie rod cup was worn, allowing excess movement.

Same symptoms right down to the shudder while turning, as well. Was ~$50 in parts and maybe a couple of hours to get it fixed and aligned well enough to take it in for a laser alignment.
 

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3s-gte in a Camry?!?
'89 Camry Alltrac
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You should be able to rotate the ball joint like that, but with some effort (a little hard, but can be done by hand). If it is as loose as it looks, then you probably want to replace them. Make sure you get new bellows on that steering rack while you are at it.

Check for wear on the lower control arm bushings while you are there (where the front swaybar goes through the lower control arm). This is another popular spot for problems.

-Charlie
 

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Discussion Starter · #4 ·
One thing I didn't mention...

On the driver side, the cap that bolts the strut to the body of the car, under the hood, is completely broken. As in, the strut literally wobbles around like a top when I have the car raised.

BUT, the reason I did not mention this is because it's apparently been that way for years. I was informed a few months ago when I took it to the shop for water pump/timing belt replacement.

My brother, who owned the car a few years ago, told me he remembers the right side shaking quite a bit sometimes when he would go over a bump. I'm guessing its cuz the strut cap was broken back then.

So, I'm not certain that the broken strut mount is whats causing the alignment issue in this case. I mean, it didnt seem to affect for a long time. I guess, the recent bump I hit really hard could have just made it worse?
 

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Civic Hatch
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well if the balljoin on the end link is bad, it will allow more movement from the bad strut mount. That strut needs a new mount haha
 

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I'd be inclined to replace the inner and outer tie rod sections on that side (and the right side to be thorough) and slap in a set of new strut mounts up front. Should fix all your vibrations- the top of the strut being allowed to move around is baaaaad juju.
 
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