2004 to 2020 Mazda 3 Forum and Mazdaspeed 3 Forums banner

1 - 5 of 5 Posts

·
Registered
Joined
·
42 Posts
Discussion Starter #1
This was originally posted in the base news forum, but I'm moving here because it's become clear this is likely a suspension issue. If anyone can help me solve this problem, I'll buy you a bottle of (good) single-malt scotch whiskey.

OK some updates here as it seems I had incorrect info before.

The engine mount is fine, according to Mazda. But I found my aftermarket rims being wider have a smaller offset and thus the scrub radius has been changed .. so Mazda won't perform any warrany work.. sigh.

I've been checking the rear suspension and found the driver side rear sway bar end link appears loose - not clanking around but I'm able to twist it easily by hand when the car is jacked up. The passenger side one does not do that as easy - it's still has resistance when trying to turn.

I don't know if that would cause the annoying whole-car vibration/resonance but It's all I can see so far. The bearings do seem ok from quick visual and push/pull + listen inspection. The rest of the bushings in the rear I'm not sure about yet I need more light to get in and mess around.

One thing of note: last winter I went off the road at very low speeds but got stuck in snow (we got 2 feet in one evening).. when I was towed out, the guy connected the tow chain to my rear cross member on the drivers side.. he said it would be fine. However looking at the subsequent alignment report my rear driver wheel was at -0.09 degrees.. vs 0.15 degrees for the rear passenger side.. that's completely the wrong way, is it possible he damaged that area and that could be causing all these problems?

Just to recap, my main problem is strange vibrations/resonance that only seems to occur on very smooth roads while the wheels are all flat on the ground.. as if the whole car starts to 'shudder' starting at the rear and moving through the cabin to the front then the font wheels kind of 'shake it out'. Think of a dog shaking itself off after being in a lake... that's about as good as I can explain it.

It used to be very specific, always started around 55mph and went away around 65mph. Here was the result of my initial troubleshooting:

1. Balance/Alignment - no change. Dealer said tires.
2. New tires + Balance/Alignment - no change. Dealer said bad wheels.
3. New Wheels + New Tires + Balance/Alignment - worse. Dealer said rotors+pads.
4. New pads/Rotors + Balance/Alignment - worse. Dealer said this is normal live with it. (it's not).
5. Went to new tire place, they road force balanced and laser aligned. My alignment was WAY off, they wondered if it had even ever been aligned properly. MUCH better, but still have the issue.
6. 3 balances later.. No fix, in fact it's getting much worse now.

The speeds where it starts are getting lower lasting to higher speed. The other day I was exiting the freeway (at normal speed) and hit a bump. The car lost control and went off the road.

When I got home I noticed my lug nuts on the rear driver side wheel were all hand-loose (yes, I torque check them frequently as I do 150 miles a day).

I'm so mad about this, because I got the car for it's awesome handling and now it just feels like something fundamental is busted somewhere.

It's driving me nuts, and Mazda now refuse to look at the car because of aftermarket wheels & CAI.

Any help, suggestions are greatly appreciated.

BTW: I live in Minnesota, if anyone is interested in taking a drive
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
77 Posts
Regarding the pull-out, do you think maybe it could of bent your frame slightly?

Do you still have your stock wheels/tires? Put them back on and see if it helps, or at least put them back on and bring it to a different dealer to preform warranty work.

Sorry, wish I could help more.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
42 Posts
Discussion Starter #3
Oh man I hope not, that thought has been floating around in the back of my head for a while and it just makes me squirm. If it was bent, what could I do? I guess I'd need to find a hot-rod shop with a frame rack or something... sounds expensive =(

Yeah I have the stock wheels but with different tires, I'm having them road-force balanced and remounted this weekend. Then I'm going to pull the SRI out and put the stock(crap) airbox back in. Hopefully they will let it slide, but then getting them to actually agree the problem is there is the next problem i'll face.

I noticed both my front CV joints have some play when clamping the shaft before the outer joint and turning the wheel back and forth. It's not much but it's noticeable. The dealer says all CV joints move like that, and if it was rock solid then that would be a problem.

Ahh.. I hate dealing with this stuff, but I really do appreciate the comments!

Cheers,

Matt
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
346 Posts
If it was the pullout, your/the tow company's insurance should cover it. I hope you still have the receipt.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
42 Posts
Discussion Starter #5
Update: found driver side sway bar end link was offset and sway bar itself was moved driver side 1/2 inch. Rear left turn signal light sits one inch above rear right. Driver side control arm 1/4 inch further out than passenger side. Driver side sway bar end link was at maximum angle and no longer returns to center and creaks during full circle. Passenger side sway bar end link almost vertical and shows no problems. Driver side rear wheel obviously huge negative camber from visual inspection.

Readjusted rear driver side camber as much as possible and pounded sway bar back 1/8 inch.

First drive... Wow, I have my steering back. Now have immediate steering response.. No longer resonant vibration. no longer have horrible resonating tire noise. On smooth roads sounds and feels almost new.

So far, amazing result. But obviously I need to replace one end link and possibly the sway bar. Now I wonder.. Why did my rear sway bar shift so far? I wonder how 3 pro shops could not see obvious problem.. I have pictures and will post soon.
 
1 - 5 of 5 Posts
Top