View Full Version : ...vette pulls funny when accelerating

04-17-04, 06:30 PM
Recently I took my 92 to the dealer to get the heater core replaced...

While it was there they told me the rear wheel bearings were looking worn beyind "normal" and they wanted to replace them. I declined since I could do it myself.

A couple of days later while driving home from work and on the highway I noticed that when I accelerated I could feel the rear end pulling funny. It felt like the rear was going out to the right. I know I wasn't spinning tires.

When I got home I looked underneath the car and noticed that on the inside of the left rear tire there was a faint wear on the tire where it had rubbed up against the exhaust muffler. The rear tires are 315's and have a close clearance to the exhaust but this has never been a problem.

So, I figured the wheel bearings had finally bought the farm and I replaced them easily enough following the directions, to the letter and some, from a chilton's and hayes' shop books. I can still feel the problem when I accelerate though so now I'm wondering if the shocks, transverse spring or bushings are bad or if I just need to get an alignment done. I have some experience working on C3's, and the rear wheel hub and bearing replacement but I'm ignorant of what could be causing this.

Also, I've been googling all over for some place that gives good decriptions of problems. Chilton's and Hayes just tell you how to take apart and install stuff but I'm not seeing anything good that would tell me why I need to do something or help me troubleshoot a problem...so any tips on a good tech manual would be great help.

Thanks in advance for any insight.

04-17-04, 06:38 PM
Recently I took my 92 to the dealer ... While it was there
What did they have their hands (or wrenches) on? Sounds like it was either a coincidence that something went wrong just after you visited the dealer, or they screwed around with something and didn't put it back together correctly. ;shrug

04-17-04, 06:45 PM
The only thing they wrenched was the heater core assembly and oil change, AFAIK. They offered to do a 24 point inspection and I agreed.

After swapping out the hub and bearing assembly I know that they would need to take off the wheels to do that (assuming they are honest people).

BTW, FWIW, the car has the FX3 package on it too. I think my worst fear is replacing or rebuilding the bilsteins but at least they are here in San Diego and I might not have to wait two weeks.

04-17-04, 07:17 PM
If they had the wheels off, it wouldn't hurt to check all of your lug nuts. ;)

04-17-04, 08:10 PM
Hehehe ;)

Yea...I thought I would try that. I love my vette but damn, Chevy dealerships around here suck. I caught em on several bads after I got the thing home.

When I took it in for the heater core swap I asked for these extra's:
1. An oil change
2. A replacement upper bracket for the ECU.
3. Fill the air in the tires to 35psi all around. ( I was sneaky and checked it before I went ).
4. Keep the car in the garage and covered ( I left my car cover ).

Here's what People's Chevrolet did:
1. Fixed the heater core or replaced it...I hope. :)
2. Left greasy fingerprints all around the interior
3. Didn't fully assemble the dash and left a screw out of the pillar assembly. The piece of the dash that houses the outside air temperature sensor actually fell off when I pulled up to my home.
4. When I picked the car up I asked the driver where it had been sitting. In the sun. It had bird **** all over it and the cover didn't appear to have been used. The car was with them for a week.
5. Never ordered (and thus install) the ECU bracket.
6. Didn't fill the air in the tires like they said they would.

After I called them back to complain they relented and asked me to bring it back in so they could detail it and fix the dash. Since they didn't charge me for the ECU bracket (that I never got) I just cut my losses short and put the dash back together myself (the right way) and cleaned it myself. Since I charge $150.00 and hour for my time I should probably send them a bill...that would be funny.

Enough *****-aching...

Anyway, I took it out for another drive a few minutes ago to try to get a feel for what's the matter. It seems like the front end is solid but I'm just going to put it in the air to check it out. When looking at bushings and stuff what should I be looking for exactly?

Thanks for your help on this Ken. It's nice to get some help from folks who have some experience.


04-17-04, 08:18 PM
I gotta remember to never visit that dealership! :L

When looking at bushings and stuff what should I be looking for exactly?
When checking the suspension pieces, most of the time, but not all of the time, it will be pretty clear if anything is amiss under the car. You'll notice things like loose bolts, bushings working loose, wheel assemblies moving in directions they shouldn't move or are moving excessively (out of tolerances), fraying of the fiberglass springs, leaking shocks, etc.

You best bet for help in the DIY arena is to pick up a copy of the Helm's (http://www.helminc.com/helm/homepage.asp) Service Manual and Electrical Supplement. ;)

04-17-04, 09:06 PM
Will do with the Helms.

Everything under the car appears to be in good order and snug. I almost wonder if the emergency brake is the culprit. I've noticed an adjustment section in the Chilton's guide (around section 9-20 I think) but it doesn't really specify when to or why to adjust.

I'll probably end up taking it in for an alignment tomorrow and get a pro (if there is such a thing anymore) to give it a look and hopefully do some shoulder surfing.

Cheers and I will post back the answer when I get one. I just hope it doesn't cost me an arm and/or leg.

Thanks for your time,

04-17-04, 09:15 PM
you don't suppose some lot bot hot-dogged it and run over something knocking the allignment out do you?

04-17-04, 09:46 PM
I wish I could come up with a good shop to recommend for you in the San Diego area John, but alas and alack, I am drawing a blank at the moment.

Actually, I'm wrapped up watching the TV movie on FX about the North Hollywood bank shoot-out in back in '95, entitled "44 Minutes" or something like that. :L

04-17-04, 10:18 PM
Never ever- Did I say ? Never ever take your car to the bowtie for service. When I first purchased my vette. I took my car in for service and the tech who was supposedly the "vette guy" was working on a Nova. They found a problem with the radiator and took off the hood and laid it down in the middle of the driving lane in the shop. The service manager flipped a coronary and made two guys move my hood out of harms way. The tech quote" It's just another freaking Chevy". With that I told them to bolt my hood back on and I never-ever went back. Dealerships are hardly competent to sell cars -let alone service them. Find a qualified mechanic and never go back. Sorry, Mr. Goodwrench..

04-18-04, 12:09 AM
I have to laugh about the Mustang joke above. I own a black GT conv....and then bought a black conv vette. The vette has double the HP at the rear wheel (supercharged, etc...) and is extremely more fun to drive. I do have to say, Ford has their **** together when it comes to service.

They always asked me if it was okay to wash it and would actually not drive it off the lot without asking first. I've never gotten service like that at a Chevy dealer.

FWIW, I've looked in SD for a couple of corvette specialty shops but got burned by one already...that's why I took it to a dealer in the first place. I had an appointment at a vette shop for 9AM on a Saturday...and ended up waiting around for 45 minutes for the guy to show up. He never did and never returned my call. I guess vette mechs make enough money to blow off customers.

Any way, enough BS. Has anyone here had a similar experience with their vette having a feeling of pulling to the side when accelerating or letting off the gas? I went for another drive around the block and get the "feeling" when initially getting on the gas and again when I get off of the gas. I don't notice any shimmy or problems when I am on the gas.

It's sort of like the same feeling you would have when you have a brake that grabs harder than the other and makes your car pull to the side.


04-18-04, 01:12 PM

After becoming more familiar with the sites' search feature...I found the above. They are describing exactly what is going on with my 92.

It sounds like I may get lucky and only need to:
1. Get an alignment / check
2. replace the bilstein FX3 shocks...
3. Skip the U-Joints since I don't hear any noise from them and they were redone about 10K miles ago.
4. Tighten some possibly loose connections and check the caster/camber settings.

04-18-04, 05:27 PM
My '95 was great the first day. Got stranger every day thereafter. Some problems like you describe (pulling during accel/brake) with a slowly increasing bias (pull to the right).
Had it lined up. The fellow said he had to do a lot of correction to the tire pressures. Dumb me, didn't click.
Car drove marvelously. After a few days I thought the alignment money was a waste.
After a couple of weeks, the real problem glared enough that even I saw it.
The right rear had a large screw in it. And had lost about 8psi in a couple of weeks. The right front and left rear had small tacks in them. Loosing about 1/2psi a week.
Keeping the pressure correct (30psi standard street driving) cured the poor handling (including during accel/braking).
A new set of Firestone SZ50 did even better.
Hope this helps.

04-18-04, 08:45 PM
Boy I wish that was the problem. My Dad has a 68 (completely rebuilt...some with my sweat and blood). One of the first things I learned years ago about vettes was:
1. Check the air pressure, once a week.
2. Check the fluids, once a week.
3. Keep an ear out for clunks. For some reason I have come to hate the word U-joint (ok, two words).

I got under the car again today and have noticed some cracking at the base of the left hand rear shock. I did some jury rigged string testing too and it looks like the left wheel tilts inwards (from the bottom perspective) more than the right does. A tire and suspension shop that I like and have come to trust (...Courtney Tire in Chula Vista, Ca) will get a visit in the morning.

Thanks for all the help and advice on this one. It's not easy troubleshooting via text... ;)


04-19-04, 12:21 AM
Thanks for the tip on Courtney, John. :CAC

04-23-04, 04:30 PM
Just wanted to follow-up on and close out the post I started.

A couple of problems found:
1. Control Arms on the left and right were replaced. There are some other postings in the forums section that write about similar suspension problems and what to look for when troubleshooting. Search for trailing arm or control arm.
2. Outer U-joints on the left and right rears were toasted.

Initially I had taken the car to Courtney Tire in Chula Vista (suburb? of San Diego). They checked out the car and determined that they were not exactly sure what was wrong. They didn't charge me for their time. Very pleased with the honesty and will use them for tire needs in the future when I get the 315's and 285's replaced. I suspect they don't get too many corvette's in their shop.

Anyway, I took the car to "The Corvette Shop" on Ruffner Road in Kearny Mesa (suburb? of San Diego). I was happy with:
1. The quick and detailed knowledge. When I described the motion the car had been taking he had a potential fix. We talked a few hours later and he had confirmed that the trailing arms were in bad shape and would need some work.
2. The professionalism and courtesy of everyone at the shop was excellent. I think they know something about customer service and corvette's.
3. They successfully troubleshot another problem I didn't tell them about. The master cylinder has been losing brake fluid for a month. He noticed a little weakness in the clutch pedal and let me know about it. Said that a new seal needed to be installed.

Needless to say I was pleased with the service and can recommend them for more work in the future if I need them. Seeya Mr. Goodwrench.