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(FIXED) Realigning a Bending Wheel, SAI


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Stimga Storm
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Aug 12, 2017, 2:36 PM

Post #1 of 34 (443 views)
post icon (FIXED) Realigning a Bending Wheel, SAI Sign In

Thanks again to the great advise to all the moderators. Please read the thread if you are having some similar issues and are looking for some guidance.

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2008 Honda Civic LX Sedan AT




Need some DIY advice to see if I can jury rig a temporary fix for my problem. I drew some illustrations for a visual aid as well.

Description:
I recently got into a low speed collision, 10-20 mph, Directly into the front passenger side wheel. The upper half of the tire bends into the suspension strut and grinds against it. After a closer inspection, all the parts for the control arm and rod showed no notable damage, but the strut was clearly bent inwards.

The Question:
How could I pull or push the strut closer to a position that would align the wheel until it could stand up straight and perpendicular to the ground? I would have just replaced the strut, but I believe that it bends specifically at the frame, so replacing it may just have the same alignment problem.

I've considered using a scissor jack to push it back out, but none can fit in the space behind it. Then I tried to use a mechanical wench to pull the strut with a 1 ton limit to the upper half of the wheel, but it didn't budge.



Any suggestions?


(This post was edited by Stimga Storm on Aug 18, 2017, 12:43 PM)


Hammer Time
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Aug 12, 2017, 2:42 PM

Post #2 of 34 (441 views)
Re: Realigning a Bent Strut. Sign In

Forget it. You don't bend struts back into position. You replace them. There is no other fix. You also could very likely have other components bent. The steering knuckle is usually bent also.



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We offer help in answering questions, clarifying things or giving advice but we are not a substitute for an on-site inspection by a professional.



Stimga Storm
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Aug 12, 2017, 2:58 PM

Post #3 of 34 (436 views)
Re: Realigning a Bent Strut. Sign In

Frown

Was afraid of that.

I'm worried that even if I replaced the knuckle or the strut, the alignment would still be off. If I had to straighten the frame around the strut then I'd need to take it apart the fender and the general wheel well area to access it...


Hammer Time
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Aug 12, 2017, 3:03 PM

Post #4 of 34 (434 views)
Re: Realigning a Bent Strut. Sign In

You won't have to straighten any frame, just any bent suspension components. If the alignment is still off, then there is still another component bent but in my experience, the strut and the knuckle are the two things that get damaged. A tie rod is possible but not likely.



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We offer help in answering questions, clarifying things or giving advice but we are not a substitute for an on-site inspection by a professional.



Stimga Storm
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Aug 12, 2017, 3:11 PM

Post #5 of 34 (426 views)
Re: Realigning a Bent Strut. Sign In

I thought that may be the issue as well, though hearing it from someone far more experienced is both a bit painful and encouraging.

I looked into buying a new knuckle and perhaps even a whole suspension assembly. Although, even a salvaged knuckle is painfully pricey.

I've learned a great deal about cars on my own, but I have little experience, tools, or confidence applying mechanic work. Though, I'll take your advice on this and see if the knuckle is the only other major part I'm missing...


Sidom
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Aug 12, 2017, 3:14 PM

Post #6 of 34 (422 views)
Re: Realigning a Bent Strut. Sign In

As HT already said..You are going to have to replace some parts.. I'd change the lower control arm as well...

If you loosen the lower strut mounting bolts....You can probably pop that wheel out far enough where you can at least move it without it hitting the strut...

EDIT....If you are going to try to loosen the bolts to move the wheel...Jack the car by the body to get the wheel in the air....not the lower control arm






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(This post was edited by Sidom on Aug 12, 2017, 3:29 PM)


Hammer Time
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Aug 12, 2017, 3:15 PM

Post #7 of 34 (420 views)
Re: Realigning a Bent Strut. Sign In

If you have an experienced suspension mechanic take a look at it, they should be able to tell you which components are bent. I doubt there would be a charge for that.



~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~

We offer help in answering questions, clarifying things or giving advice but we are not a substitute for an on-site inspection by a professional.



Stimga Storm
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Aug 12, 2017, 3:44 PM

Post #8 of 34 (412 views)
Re: Realigning a Bent Strut. Sign In

I'm trying, but it's not that easy to bring them to the car since I can't drive it anywhere, at least not without a tow.

I also don't want to waste their time coming all the way to inspect it without being able to promise them real work for their time.

The only hurdle is that grinding on the strut. I'm Not sure what the commenter above means by loosening the bolts on the lower half of the strut, but I'm sure I would have to secure the spring before I did anything with it.


Hammer Time
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Aug 12, 2017, 3:56 PM

Post #9 of 34 (406 views)
Re: Realigning a Bent Strut. Sign In

No, you don't have to secure the spring as long as you don't touch the big nut in the center up top.

If you already know the strut is bent, you can go ahead and replace that first to make it driveable to get to the shop. Even if you change the strut yourself, you can't remove the spring from the strut yourself. You would have to take the whole assembly to a shop and have them swap the spring onto the new strut and then you can install the whole unit yourself.

If you don't have enough experience to do this yourself, then you're just going to have to tow it to a shop. This car doesn't have adjustment slots in the strut so the idea of loosening it and driving it won't happen.

You just have to bite the bullet and find a shop you trust and tow it to them.

PS, that's a hell of a job drawing that suspension. It looks professional and accurate.



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We offer help in answering questions, clarifying things or giving advice but we are not a substitute for an on-site inspection by a professional.



(This post was edited by Hammer Time on Aug 12, 2017, 3:58 PM)


Stimga Storm
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Aug 12, 2017, 4:17 PM

Post #10 of 34 (398 views)
Re: Realigning a Bent Strut. Sign In

So what you're saying is to remove the old strut and and have a shop swap the spring for me to the new assembly. Then I should be able to install it myself?

I know the safety precautions involved, so long as the compressors are reliable there shouldn't be an issue, hopefully. I also heard that when removing and replacing an old strut it was a good idea to crack the seal of the center nut so it can be removed easier by hand later.

I'm sure I could replace the strut myself, but I wouldn't go further into this than replacing the knuckle before I call it and tow. Any wisdom on strut replacements/repair?

PS
Thanks on the drawing comment. I'm just getting into AutoCAD so technical details like this seem to stick well in my mind. I was trying to make it look as true to my memory as I could.


(This post was edited by Stimga Storm on Aug 12, 2017, 4:20 PM)


Hammer Time
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Aug 12, 2017, 4:36 PM

Post #11 of 34 (386 views)
Re: Realigning a Bent Strut. Sign In

NO! ....... UNDER NO CIRCUMSTANCES TOUCH THAT CENTER NUT.

Just remove the 3 small nuts on top, then the two large cross bolts on the bottom and any attached wires or hoses.

Leave one nut on top until everything else is removed, then remove it while supporting the strut with your other hand. Gently lower the strut alongside the axle shaft until the top clears the fender well. Then tip it toward you and pull it out.

As long as you don't touch that center not and the strut shaft is not broken inside, there will be no need for spring compressors. The shop will mount the whole thing into a strut compressor on the wall and remove the nut with an impact gun once the tension is relieved.

DO NOT take advice from your Honda buddies. Just because they own a Honda and destroy it piece by piece does not make them a Honda expert.



~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~

We offer help in answering questions, clarifying things or giving advice but we are not a substitute for an on-site inspection by a professional.



Stimga Storm
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Aug 13, 2017, 4:57 PM

Post #12 of 34 (344 views)
Re: Realigning a Bent Strut. Sign In

Unimpressed
So I've managed to change the strut and suspension, safely, but the tire is still bending significantly inwards, though not as much as before. Just barely making contact with the strut now.



However, when I was looking around I found some cracks on one of the two joints of the lower control arm. I can't be sure if this may be responsible for the alignment issue, but it will still need replacing most likely.



I'm guessing that if the strut was only partially the problem then the other issue is most likely the knuckle. Though when I was inspecting the knuckle up close i couldn't see any noticeable bend or damage, at least not to the degree that the tire is bending.

Thoughts?


Hammer Time
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Aug 13, 2017, 5:03 PM

Post #13 of 34 (334 views)
Re: Realigning a Bent Strut. Sign In

The part of the knuckle that bends is that ear that extends up and attaches to the strut. The easiest way to see it is with the tire mounted back on, look at the gap between the tire and that part of the strut. If that gap is less than the other side means the knuckle is bent.



~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~

We offer help in answering questions, clarifying things or giving advice but we are not a substitute for an on-site inspection by a professional.



Stimga Storm
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Aug 13, 2017, 5:27 PM

Post #14 of 34 (328 views)
Re: Realigning a Bent Strut. Sign In

I'm not sure I understand which gap you mean. Where would I look based on this illustration?




Hammer Time
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Aug 13, 2017, 5:30 PM

Post #15 of 34 (324 views)
Re: Realigning a Bent Strut. Sign In

I was referring to point B but now that you have a known good strut, you can use either one.



~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~

We offer help in answering questions, clarifying things or giving advice but we are not a substitute for an on-site inspection by a professional.



Stimga Storm
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Aug 13, 2017, 5:44 PM

Post #16 of 34 (320 views)
Re: Realigning a Bent Strut. Sign In

Based on your description, it's most likely a knuckle issue now. Though considering the damage I really shouldn't be surprised. Its just my luck that there are never any 06-11 Honda Civics in any of my nearby scrap yards for parts... Frown

Welp, if all goes well I'll have a fully functional vehicle soon. I'll be sure to update the forum when I get my hands on a new Knuckle, thanks for your advice.


Sidom
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Aug 14, 2017, 11:42 AM

Post #17 of 34 (271 views)
Re: Realigning a Bent Strut. Sign In

You can do piece work and might get it.....

Considering the force of the damage... At a min I would do the strut, knuckle and lower con arm...

The lower ball joint took a good hit and hopefully the rack & pinion didn't get damaged as well...

with the knuckle hooked up you can do a check quick....Turn the wheel all the way to one stop....turn it all the way to the other stop, counting the how many turns it takes.....divide that number in half... from one stop, turn the wheel back the half amount and the steering wheel should be straight....If the wheel is cocked... The rack took a hit as well






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Hammer Time
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Aug 14, 2017, 1:26 PM

Post #18 of 34 (267 views)
Re: Realigning a Bent Strut. Sign In

You can't do that turn counting thing until after you have replaced the bent knuckle as that would skew the results.

As far as the lower control arm, it depends on where the impact was on the wheel. If the impact hit high on the wheel and from the side, the lower control arm probably won't be bent but if it was lower or from the front, it could have been damaged.

Again, a suspension expert will be able to see these things during inspection.



~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~

We offer help in answering questions, clarifying things or giving advice but we are not a substitute for an on-site inspection by a professional.



Sidom
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Aug 14, 2017, 2:14 PM

Post #19 of 34 (261 views)
Re: Realigning a Bent Strut. Sign In

The stops are in the steering gear....

The type of suspension determines the turns...

Sport suspension usually has less turns






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Sidom
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Aug 14, 2017, 3:20 PM

Post #20 of 34 (253 views)
Re: Realigning a Bent Strut. Sign In

Actually if you want to go the cheapest route ( don't blame you, I'd do the same on my own)

What you could do, would be to replace the strut & knuckle like you are planning to do....When you get the alignment....On the printout...If you can get the SAI angle and Included angle on there as well...that will help pinpoint what other parts are bent.....Assuming there is other bent parts...

You do need to ask this up front because some places you are lucky to get caster readings and the SAI and Include require one more step on top of the caster swings most places don't do....unless they are looking for a problem






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Hammer Time
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Aug 14, 2017, 3:44 PM

Post #21 of 34 (249 views)
Re: Realigning a Bent Strut. Sign In

He has already replaced the strut Brian and the bent knuckle is pretty obvious.

No point paying for an alignment when you know you still have parts to change.



~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~

We offer help in answering questions, clarifying things or giving advice but we are not a substitute for an on-site inspection by a professional.



Sidom
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Aug 14, 2017, 4:22 PM

Post #22 of 34 (243 views)
Re: Realigning a Bent Strut. Sign In

Yes...My suggestion was after he replaced those 2 parts and gets an alignment..

Depending on the equipment if the SAI and included take extra step...You have to ask or won't get it..






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Stimga Storm
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Aug 16, 2017, 12:23 PM

Post #23 of 34 (211 views)
Re: Realigning a Bent Strut. Sign In

So I just got my hands on a used front right knuckle with the spindle. from a newer Honda with 74k on it. Before I get to work, should I lube the socket of the knuckle or anything specially recommended?

Also, I'm not sure how I'm going to unscrew the spindle nut once I unpin it, I don't have a socket wrench big enough. Would I be able to get away with using a crescent wrench instead?


Hammer Time
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Aug 16, 2017, 12:29 PM

Post #24 of 34 (205 views)
Re: Realigning a Bent Strut. Sign In

You're going to need more than a socket for that. It is torqued to 275 ftlbs. Don't even think of using a crescent wrench on that. You will only destroy the nut and then have a much bigger problem.

You need a powerful air impact for that.

The only prep for the new one is to wire brush and lube the splines so the axle slides in and out.



~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~

We offer help in answering questions, clarifying things or giving advice but we are not a substitute for an on-site inspection by a professional.



Stimga Storm
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Aug 16, 2017, 12:42 PM

Post #25 of 34 (201 views)
Re: Realigning a Bent Strut. Sign In

I was thinking before using a impact drill, if I can't get a loaner for a deposit at Advanced Auto or Autozone, I would resort to getting a break bar with a fitting socket and use a pole to give me more leverage to undo the torque.

I can use my dremel to wire brush the knuckle real well, but will WD-40 be a sufficient lube?






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