Bent control arms on my right side

Discussion in 'Mazdaspeed 3 Suspension & Brakes' started by krimsonviper, Jan 8, 2020.

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  1. krimsonviper

    krimsonviper Greenie Member

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    So I bought my car from Dublin Toyota a few years ago knowing about the slight drag to the right. Thought it was just an alignment issue and brought it in for alignment. Apparently I was sleeping when the guy told me he can’t fix it because it’s a caster issue. Ignored it, then got another alignment check last year because I noticed my tires are wearing early and he told me the same thing, but this time I paid attention.

    Now I’m in diagnose mode. I rotate my tires and my tires are pretty fucked and I checked out my front struts. I notice that there’s been some removal of dust on the right and the strut isn’t 100 percent cylindrical. There’s a small flat spot at the same height the wheel sits. I check the other strut and it’s there, too, but not as much and barely any dust removed. Brought it to a mechanic to check it out and they told me they see the caster is off and believe the subframe is out of alignment by a full degree. He can’t fix it, so I go to a body shop that can. They align what they can, but it’s still off. They discover that the right side had to of run something over badly because there’s no body damage or repair signs, just a bent control arm both front and back. They also believe the bushing could be replaced and that should help out with alignment, too. However, no one mentions any damage to the struts even when I asked them to inspect, so I’m assuming those are good. I can ignore those for right now as I would like to get the bent control arms fixed so I can stop wearing tires so quickly. I plan on lowering the car anyway, but that’s many moons from now. I’m also getting a clunk reminiscent of end links being blown. Could that be a factor for alignment?

    My question to you all, if I am going to deal with this damage, what control arms do I need and what bushings should I get? I only do some canyon carving once in a blue moon and mostly DD a 95 mile commute. Just get new ones from Mazda? If so, what are they called? If there’s a cheaper one, who’s good to buy? The auto body shop recommended a new subframe as the bolt holes that held in the control arms may be bent as well and can’t be bent back into place, but did not confirm this. Do you guys second buying a different subframe? Is there a subframe in the back? Does the subframe use bushings and will those need to be replaced? My end goal with the suspension in terms of aftermarket are Swift springs and Bilstein B8 and maybe a RSB, but this is at least over a year from now, unless the struts really are bent as well.

    Any help is much appreciated. Thank you
     
    krimsonviper, via an iPhone, Jan 8, 2020
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  2. JohnnyTightlips

    JohnnyTightlips Platinum Member

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    Get the moogs, if you want to go wild you can replace the bushings in it and get a whiteline anti lift kit but for now I would just get the moogs. I bought them about 3 years ago and they are still working well. Rock Auto has decent prices on them but check local as sometimes the parts stores carry them and you can get like 20$ off 100$ order.

    upload_2020-1-9_8-58-8.png
     
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  3. JohnnyTightlips

    JohnnyTightlips Platinum Member

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    Also, got any pics if the issues you are seeing? Would help a lot.
     
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  4. macdiesel

    macdiesel Platinum Member

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    Do you know if the shop removed the strut from the knuckle to inspect? If not I’d look into pulling the strut and inspecting the part that goes into the knuckle. I’d imagine a strut would give out before a LCA or crossmember. Visually it’s hard to see unless the strut is pulled.

    Also, what kind of tire wear?
     
    macdiesel, via an iPad, Jan 9, 2020
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  5. krimsonviper

    krimsonviper Greenie Member

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    I called them yesterday for a typed report or something along those lines and the struts are being recommended to be replaced. They’re recommending the right lower control arm to be replaced front and back, and the left front lower control arm to be replaced because it might cause issues with it being an older part, but I am buying used so that doesn’t matter. Gonna take my time finding the right part out for the passenger side control arms. I think I will buy the subframe because I don’t want to take apart the car just to find that they were right. If anything I can turn around and sell it if my current is fine. As for the knuckle, I don’t believe they did take the strut out. We’ll cross that road when I get there (replacing the struts and lowering the vehicle).

    Any recommendations for bushings and what bushings can be replaced? Any bushings with the subframe?

    Pics of tire wear. The inner sides of the tires are wearing more than the outer. This is when I got the signal that I need to pay attention to this issue. The wear is a lot more now and the rear left tire is the only one wearing the best. I don’t have good pics of the struts nor the control arms and subframe. This is all new to me anyway.
     

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    krimsonviper, via an iPhone, Jan 11, 2020
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  6. krimsonviper

    krimsonviper Greenie Member

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    I should mention I am stock suspension
     
    krimsonviper, via an iPhone, Jan 11, 2020
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  7. Mauro_Penguin

    Mauro_Penguin Punk in Drublic Motorhead Platinum Member

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    Ok, we need you to take more pictures. Not just for us, but for your comparison records as well.

    If you are on stock struts, the front OEM does in fact have a kink around the area that the top rim of the wheel comes closest to the strut. That is normal, and a factory precaution for tire expansion. I have a picture of my OEM one somewhere, but its 8 years old and buried on an antique laptop.

    Take the tires off again and inspect everything side by side. Driver side should match the passenger side in the front.

    Given your tire wear and description, check your front endlinks and sway bar for any bends, it should be obvious. Check your ball joints and tie rods for play. Check your front wheel bearing by mounting your wheel on the hub and try to wiggle it, you shouldn't have any play. Also check your strut top hat by wiggling the strut shaft and check for play along the top.

    The front control arms will bend waaayyy before the front subframe bends. Do you have an alignment spec sheet from when the shop did the work? I've seen shops really push things and make suspension settings super offset in order to "get it in the green."

    The only bushing you could replace in the front would be the big ass hydrobushing on the rear of the control arm, but that would be if it looks sheared or leaking its internal oil. You can buy a whole control arm for a few bucks more than just replacing that bushing and labor for pressing it. The rear trailing arm can bend in the long slim part towards the chassis, it also has a giant bushing but that also gets replaced with the trailing arm.

    For the record the front subframe is easy to shift. There is a big brace supporting the rear with like 5 or 6 medium sized bolts, remove that. The subframe itself has 2 bolts in the front, 2 in the rear, and the rear motor mount bolt. Remove the motor mount bolt, loosen the 4 bolts and you can shift it yourself.
     
    Mauro_Penguin, via a mobile device, Jan 11, 2020
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  8. macdiesel

    macdiesel Platinum Member

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    Your steering wheel has got to be hella off center with all that stuff bent.

    personally, I'd be weary of a shop that is gonna replace everything.
     
    macdiesel, via an iPhone, Jan 11, 2020
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  9. mikedunnit

    mikedunnit Greenie Member

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    Bro, Rock Auto has new control arms for cheap. Cheaper than what you would pay for something from a part out car. I just got 2 new ones for the front for $90.49


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    mikedunnit, via a mobile device, Jan 11, 2020
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  10. mikedunnit

    mikedunnit Greenie Member

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    Bro, Rock Auto has new control arms for cheap. Cheaper than what you would pay for something from a part out car. I just got 2 new ones for the front for $90.49


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    mikedunnit, via a mobile device, Jan 11, 2020
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  11. macdiesel

    macdiesel Platinum Member

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    You can get cheap LCA’s no doubt. My MOOG LCA’s that I just took off had more bushing play than the OEM LCA’s I put back on. And the moogs maybe had ~10k on them. Oems has 60k.
     
    macdiesel, via an iPhone, Jan 11, 2020
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  12. mikedunnit

    mikedunnit Greenie Member

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    Mine are working well so far. I didnt get MOOG, I got Ultra Power. We will see how they hold up.


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    mikedunnit, via a mobile device, Jan 11, 2020
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  13. macdiesel

    macdiesel Platinum Member

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    Even worse. Tooling around probably won’t be an issue.


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    macdiesel, via a mobile device, Jan 11, 2020
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  14. JohnnyTightlips

    JohnnyTightlips Platinum Member

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    LOL to everyone telling him to get control arms. I already said this.
     
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  15. Mauro_Penguin

    Mauro_Penguin Punk in Drublic Motorhead Platinum Member

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    Your tight lips are underappreciated, you should demand a raise from Fat Tony
     
    Mauro_Penguin, via a mobile device, Jan 12, 2020
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  16. monkey.bones.007

    monkey.bones.007 Chuckin' sausage like a hooker rubs dick Platinum Member

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    I thought he got raised Fat Tony in his lips? Or am I missing something?
     
    monkey.bones.007, via a mobile device, Jan 12, 2020
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  17. krimsonviper

    krimsonviper Greenie Member

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    I got tires installed today because I’m absolutely afraid of skidding out on a turn with the tires I had. From a light take off I lose traction in wet roads and I was tired from that stress. While it was up I checked out the tie rods and there were no bends I saw and I checked the bearings and there was no play in the effort to wiggle. I need to read up on more of these parts because I didn’t know the front had endlinks and a sway bar and I don’t know what ball joints you mean. Engine I have an OK grasp on, but anything beyond that I dunno. This is gonna be a learning experience. The good thing is after tire install the car is no longer pulling towards the right, but the steering wheel is off center from the previous alignment and I forgot to tell the new alignment guys about it. Dunno if they missed it, or that’s how it is until I fix this issue. I know the issue is still there because I can fit more fingers on the left side compared to the right.

    I also found out today that two wheels, one on each side and both front, were bent and the right front wheel is more bent than the left front. That solves the vibration question I forgot to mention to you guys. I can’t feel the vibration anymore since those bent wheels were moved to the rear. I can’t feel a body vibration currently. The rims still hold air, so I’m not worried about replacing and it’s been many thousand miles since they’ve been like this so I’m taking the chance. I will post the printed report regarding the recent alignment I received when I can. I will also check the rest of the stuff you mentioned when I can. College starts again next week and I need to get my stuff aligned before classes begin. Not sure I will have time to fuck with the car between now and then with my weekend ending today.

    I will keep you guys posted. Thank you!

    Not off center by that much. Barely noticeable. What was noticeable was the drift. I brought it to 3 shops and the first two didn’t see any accident damage. The third shop is recommending all of the work I’ve mentioned. I weary of all shops. Too many bad experiences and honestly the lot of them can S my D, but I’m out of my comfort zone here. I’m not wanting to be taken for a ride again

    After the Moog’s what did you put in? I want the LCA to last so I don’t have to do work as often, which should be a given.

    **i just noticed you said you put the old OEMs back in. What are you going to go with? New OEMs?
     
    krimsonviper, via an iPhone, Jan 16, 2020
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  18. krimsonviper

    krimsonviper Greenie Member

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    Thank you for the advice, by the way. Much appreciated
     
    krimsonviper, via an iPhone, Jan 16, 2020
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  19. macdiesel

    macdiesel Platinum Member

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    Dang. Hopefully the bent wheels are in the rear now. I had my old on lca’s that I put on with new ball joints.


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    macdiesel, via a mobile device, Jan 16, 2020
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  20. JohnnyTightlips

    JohnnyTightlips Platinum Member

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    I have had the moog LCA's for 3 years and they have been without issue. I would recommend them. Sounds like the car had to have some sort of damage with both wheels being bent as well. You could see if anyone is selling rx8 wheels as those are a decent upgrade for cheap and your new tires would fit them. We really need to see some pictures of what you are seeing to have a better idea of what is going on.
     
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