Bad swaying on snowy slushy roads and over bumps but ok on smooth pavement.

Tiny
KPIERCE2509
  • MEMBER
  • 1998 SUBARU FORESTER
  • 2.5L
  • 4 CYL
  • AWD
  • AUTOMATIC
  • 140,000 MILES
I just change the rear crossmember and driver's side CV axle. All the bushings look good and the sway bar links are pretty new. Struts look good. When I get on a road with snow and slush the car sways a lot. On non-snowy / slushy roads it seems ok. The rear does seem jumpy when I hit a bump. Any guesses?
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Monday, December 16th, 2013 AT 11:29 AM

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Tiny
CARADIODOC
  • EXPERT
By "swaying", I assume you don't mean leaning from side to side like an broken anti-sway bar link would cause, otherwise it would do it on all roads. If you mean the direction of steering changes on its own or it seems to jump from side to side, that is typically caused by misadjusted "total toe". Did this start after you replaced the parts or did you replace the parts in an effort to correct this condition? My guess is it started after you changed the cross member. Suspension parts are attached to it and no two parts are ever the same. You have to have a four-wheel alignment done when any suspension parts are replaced.

"Toe" is the direction a wheel is steering. "Total toe" is the combination of both wheels on the same axle. A wheel can be turned to the left a little, but if the other one matches it, you'll never notice it and a four-wheel alignment will insure the steering wheel is still straight when driving straight ahead. When you look down on both wheels, if the fronts are closer together than the rears, meaning both wheels are steering toward the center of the car, that's called "toe-in". Toe-out is when the fronts are further apart than the rears. Either condition can be identified by a choppy tread pattern on both tires, but that takes a while to show up. Both tires are sliding sideways across the road surface, then they pop back once the tread has flexed as much as it can. That sets up the miserable wear pattern.

Also, it is critical that when you install or replace any parts with rubber bushings that you do not tighten those bolts with the car up on jack stands. Doing so will clamp those bushings with the suspension parts hanging down, then when you lower the car to the ground, all of those bushings will be in a permanent twist. That will seriously shorten their life.
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Monday, December 16th, 2013 AT 11:56 AM
Tiny
KPIERCE2509
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You are correct when you said it started after the parts were changed. I didn't think about tightening the suspension parts while on the jack stands. I will loosen them and re tighten them with the car on the ground and have the 4 wheel alignment done.

Thank you for the quick response.
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Monday, December 16th, 2013 AT 12:22 PM

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