Suspension, Steering and Brakes Knock

Discussion in '7th Generation (2003-2008) [Acura TSX]' started by Nighthawk, Monday 3rd Nov, 2014.

  1. Nighthawk Guest

    United Kingdom Richard Milton Keynes
    5,369
    3,143
    14
    So, I have an issue which I think I know what it might be but want to just get some feedback in case I have missed something before I spend the cash and time replacing it myself.

    PROBLEM:
    For the past year, the car, when pulling off and turning semi to full lock to the right only, makes a gentle knock which can be felt through the steering wheel and which also comes into the cabin through between the centre to the nearside firewall. It sometimes knocks when its being initially turned and then once it is being turned back as well. Once the car is moving more than walking pace, it will not do it. It will also do it if the engine is not running and I just let the car roll and then turn the wheel. It is also more pronounced when the car is moved after a cold start. To me - that started pointing towards bushes. The car also likes to wander a bit when at speed requiring constant corrections,, it isnt twitchy as such, it is more specific corrections needed rather than just keeping it straight. It was doing this on my 16" with Bridgestones and my now 17" but there was never any undue tyre wear.

    TROUBLESHOOTING SO FAR:
    So, checked the basics such as bushes and saw that the compliance bushes on the LCA were cracked and the upper ball joints were knackered. These were all replaced.

    I have done the following just over the course of the year, none of which in a specific attempt to correct the knock specifically, more just as a maintanence of the car however the replacement does take some queries away of possible causes such as bushes.

    - Replaced all 6 bushes in both LCA's (3 in each arm)- OEM replacements from Honda
    - Replaced lower and upper ball joints - OEM Honda
    - Inner and outer tie rods - OEM Honda
    - The shocks are not leaking and the springs are all intact and top hats checked. Done this when I removed them to remove the LCA's. Seeing I had them
    in my hand, no harm is just giving them a check out anyway
    - Drop links all changed


    I have not replaced the ARB bushes yet, still originals, but are not cracked, but I might change them anyway as they are cheap and I already have them but I need to drop the sub frame which should be fun. The wheel bearings seem fine, no movement or noise/ whining etc when turning the tyres or manipulating them using the 12 and 6 position. CV joints seem fine - no grinding, noise, clicking etc.

    Both inner and outer tie rods are new, however, when I rock the drivers wheel side to side, there is still a small amount of movement (only around a few mm's at a guess) and a knock as a result which I can feel and see through the steering rack. I can see the movement as though the inner tie rod is damaged and I can see the boot moving. The passenger wheel is solid as a rock even though this is the side where it appears to be where the knock is coming from when driving although I know knocks can transfer and give a misinterpretation of their source. In summary then, movement and slight knock in drivers wheel when manipulated by hand, inner and outer rods changed, but when turning, the knock appears to come from the passenger wheel which is solid. I can sort of understand this as that is where the weight of the car is when turning right - on the left.

    Checked the steering rack, it is all tight, bushes seem ok, however when I was changing the inner tie rods, I noticed this:

    IMAG05341_zps6e49610b.
    To me - that looks like a leak. This was on the offside, the nearside was clean.

    However, the car has never loss PS fluid, so the above appears minor, although a concern, in fact, around a month ago, I got a bit confused (doesnt take much) - I always keep my fluid levels topped up and never over fill. Around a month ago, the PS res fluid was around half an inch above max mark when cold. I hadnt topped it up, hadnt changed anything, but it suddenly it overfilled itself by half an inch which really really confused me and made me wonder if a blockage or something within the system could cause this??. Either way, combined with the other stuff has made me look seriously towards the steering rack.

    MY DIAGNOSIS AT THE MOMENT:
    I am looking at the steering rack - leaking seals or/and worn gearing - any opinions or options that I should look at that I have missed out on here? I have considered, but precluded, the steering column knuckle as I can imitate the knock when turning the drivers wheel by hand.

    I am aware that the American version - Acura TSX - had a TSB issued for power steering rack squeaking and losing tension resulting in wandering and knocking, any ideas if there was a TSB issued here in the UK for the same thing? The power steering pump is quiet and whilst I do at times, get a squeak, not a whine, coming from the steering wheel when it has been started from cold - or even if I just let it roll forwards with engine off, it doesnt appear to be coming from the pump.

    The car drives fine other than a bit of wandering, is fully aligned, does not feel unstable or dangerous (I wouldn't drive it if I thought it was and I certainly wouldn't be taking my kids in it) but its just niggling me a bit.

    Thoughts?
    @SpeedyGee, @Ichiban , @Beefy
     
    Last edited: Monday 3rd Nov, 2014
    Loading...
  2. SpeedyGee Administrator Staff Team

    England Speedy Birmingham
    14,999
    5,593
    4
    The fluid going up is rather bizarre. Need to ponder on it some more...

    You don't mention driveshafts, have these been checked and eliminated ?
     
    Loading...
  3. Nighthawk Guest

    United Kingdom Richard Milton Keynes
    5,369
    3,143
    14
    Last time I checked them was when I put the LCA's back on - they were tightened up fully then. What else would I need to look for in relation to teh driveshaft to see if they are responsible at all?

    Not sure if its relevant but MTF replaced in summer service with Honda fluid.
     
    Loading...
  4. Ichiban Founder Staff Team

    England CJ Leeds
    30,130
    6,383
    516
    Strange one that, let me think over it.
     
    Loading...
  5. SpeedyGee Administrator Staff Team

    England Speedy Birmingham
    14,999
    5,593
    4
    Driveshafts commonly wear out on diesels, so worth looking into.

    Jack up the front of the car, engine switched off, gearbox in neutral :-

    Check CV joints for looseness. Some sideways play (into and out of gearbox so to speak) is fine, otherwise there should not be much movement, up, down, left or right.

    Rotate wheel, see if you can feel or hear knocking/grinding as it gets going.

    Rotate the wheel quickly and then stop it, listen for a knocking/grinding (just be aware there maybe some noises from gearbox).

    Grab the driveshaft rotate slowing one way and then stop , listen for a knocking/grinding. Do same in the other direction.

    Check all the boots, looking for splits or leaks, make sure clips are on tight.
     
    Loading...
    Nighthawk likes this.
  6. Ichiban Founder Staff Team

    England CJ Leeds
    30,130
    6,383
    516
  7. Nighthawk Guest

    United Kingdom Richard Milton Keynes
    5,369
    3,143
    14
    Ok, just done above mate, nothing loose, no movement other than slight in and out of the gearbox allowing for it to flex when suspension moves obviously. No grinding. When I rotate the driveshaft and stop it short whilst holding it, it stops instantly, no knocks or other sounds.

    What are your thoughts about the picture? Is that just a little weep and nothing to really worry about?
     
    Loading...
  8. Beefy Expert Advisor ★ ★ ★ ★ ★

    United Kingdom Stoke
    1,115
    685
    1
    it wouldn't be the first rack replacent I've herd of on an ICTDI accord. you need someone to re-create that play in the O/S/F wheel while the rack gator is removed and check to see if the play is in the rack itself. you can see if the play is in the rod ball joint or before it. if the track rod has been replaced i would say at a guess the play is internal to the rack and would reqire replacing the rack. you may be able to get the rack re-furbished which could be a cheeper option. the seal has gone that side anyway so needs repair or replace.
     
    Loading...
    Nighthawk likes this.
  9. Anxiety Club Member ★ ☆ ☆ ☆ ☆

    ADRIAN GIBRALTAR
    26
    4
    I used to have a similar knock on an other car I had. It seemed to be the (I can't remember its proper name) disks at the top of the suspension where it joins the turret.
    Have you noticed if it is only when driving forwards after having parked in reverse. Apparently when reversing these disks move and when starting to move forward they move back in their place.
     
  10. Nighthawk Guest

    United Kingdom Richard Milton Keynes
    5,369
    3,143
    14
    @Beefy - thanks for that. The outer and inner track rods have been changed recently, in the last few months actually, using OEM parts. I am going to get time this weekend to get the car up on jack stands inside the garage, pull the gator back and have another look. As you say its leaking anyway, are you suggesting to just replace it? I can get a refurbished rack for around £300 which I think is pretty good. Last question - do I have to drop the subframe to remove the rack or can you manipulate the rack around it?
     
    Loading...
  11. Nighthawk Guest

    United Kingdom Richard Milton Keynes
    5,369
    3,143
    14
    @SpeedyGee, Spoke to refurb company again earlier, they said that due to the valves and 4 or 5 different seals and chambers within the rack, that a build up of fluid back in the reservoir is not unheard of and MAY suggest that a valve or internal seal is failing because as the fluid flows around, a valve may not be opening properly or quick enough for the pump and causing a back log of fluid - makes sense.

    I really should read up on the internals of how a power steering rack works.
     
    Loading...
  12. SpeedyGee Administrator Staff Team

    England Speedy Birmingham
    14,999
    5,593
    4
    Sounds like your rack is in need some TLC.

    Feel free to become our Power Steering guru :Smile:
     
    Loading...
    Nighthawk likes this.
  13. Davebabs Club Member ★ ☆ ☆ ☆ ☆

    David Ireland
    30
    12
    I recently had a similiar knock like this, it would happen only driving slow,braking and turning, most noticable when turning into the the driveway of the house or parking in a parking in a parking spot, I checked everything ball joints, wishbones, bushes, steering linkages etc, I eventually traced it to the actual steering column, adjust the height of your steering, drop it down halfway and test. I noticed that when the steering wheel is in the full upright position I can feel loseness in the steering, I have it adjusted down a few mm at the moment and the knock is completely gone, I must investigate at some stage why it knocks when the steering is up a full height.
     
    Loading...
  14. Nighthawk Guest

    United Kingdom Richard Milton Keynes
    5,369
    3,143
    14
    Interesting - will give that a shot, but it sounds like my rack is having a bad day anyway and as much as my bank balance will hate me for it, I can't put a price on safety when my kids are in the car and the missus is driving it around so, based on what beefy has said and the refurb place, I will end up ripping it out and getting it refurbed.

    He told me that BMW have major issues with their steering racks, and a quick google confirms that. 2 year old cars, steering rack failure etc.
     
    Loading...
  15. Nighthawk Guest

    United Kingdom Richard Milton Keynes
    5,369
    3,143
    14
    @Davebabs , good call but no luck. Picked the kids up, played around with the rake and reach of the wheel, no difference but worth a shot.

    Unfortanetely, I am just committing myself to the rack needing changing especially with it weeping out of the one seal. Just need to ascertain if the subframe needs dropping.
     
    Loading...
  16. Davebabs Club Member ★ ☆ ☆ ☆ ☆

    David Ireland
    30
    12
    I'm not sure if you have to drop the sub-frame to replace the steering rack but I imagine it would make it a hell of a lot easier to get the rack out, anyhow be wary of the sub frame, I replaced the Anti-Roll bar bushings a while back and had to drop the subframe slightly to get at the bolts of the bushing housing, done it easy enough but afterwards alignment on the car was way off.....got it aligned a few times but was never right, had to bring it to honda to get the subframe re-aligned, would have been cheaper to get honda to change the bushings for me.....but we live and learn. :Smile:
     
    Loading...
  17. Nighthawk Guest

    United Kingdom Richard Milton Keynes
    5,369
    3,143
    14
    Ok, so, had a good look this afternoon in the garage. Pulled the boot back on the O/S/F side of the steering rack and got the other half to rock the steering wheel back and forth whilst I was under the car.

    There is no movement whatsoever in the outer tie rod where it connects to knuckle assembly. No movement on the inner tie rod ball joint or its connection to the rack. The rack itself is secure and solid and is not moving within its mounts. Put my hand on the steering rack and I can feel a knock on it, almost coming inside of it. There is more fluid on the O/S/F of the rack by the boot, I cleaned this up when I replaced the inner tie rod a couple of months back so this is new since then. The fluid is the same colour, a darkish, dirty, golden colour

    I think I need to check the steering knuckly assembly out to just make sure that that isnt knocking in anyway but I don't think it is that, but no harm in being certain.

    Rack looks like a right pain to get out. 3 flare nuts - 19mm, 17mm and 12mm holding the lines in place, a bracket at each end held in place with a couple of 17mm's and another 19mm just behind the steering box on the rack. They look like a right pain to get to, but it certainly seems doable. Unless someone else has any ideas, I am going to just end up taking the rack out and sending it off for testing and repair if necessary.
     
    Loading...
  18. Beefy Expert Advisor ★ ★ ★ ★ ★

    United Kingdom Stoke
    1,115
    685
    1
    you will have to drop the subframe for removal. disconnecting the knucle's 10mm inside the cabin will allow you to lower the subframe on its mounting bolts about an inch making access to the rack fixings easyer. loosening the lower arm ball joints can be a challenge without a ball joint splitter but can be done by loosening off the 17mm nuts and hitting the arm heavily with a ball pein hammer. the rack to knuckle ball joints are easyer and when the nuts are backed off, a good whack of a hammer on the knuckle will release it. you will need to undo the lower gearbox to subframe mount and rear engine mount and antiroll bar bush mounts (in order to remove the droplinks and leave the antiroll bar hanging). the ARB fixings are the main reason for lowering the subframe slightly. you will have to remove the rack hose fittings and then you can lower the subframe with the rack still attached. finaly remove the rack while on the floor. easy peizy!