AMC Pacer Front Suspension
I'm working on a 1975 Pacer for a friend. Today I replaced the rusted-out LF fender with a really nice used one. In order to do this efficiently, I needed to remove the wheel to access the screws that hold down the fender liner. I used a hydraulic floor jack to raise the car by one of the low frame rails. The correct jack point on the rocker panel is rusted away (this car is a real "project", to put it nicely). I kept jacking the car up, and the wheel just kept moving down. It would not come off the ground. Once I had the car at a very steep angle and the tire was still on the garage floor, I just removed the nuts and brute-forced it off. I noticed that the whole front independent suspension assembly seemed to have dropped way down under its own weight, like nothing was springing it up. I also noticed that the tire was VERY unevenly worn. The wear was actually on the outside, but she just had the tires rotated so I think it was really wearing on the inside. When I reinstalled the wheel and lowered the car after finishing my body work, I noticed that the front wheels both showed extreme camber (I think that's the right word). That is, the bottoms of the wheels were splayed outwards. By the way, although the rockers, fenders and quarters are rusted out on this car, the chassis and underbody were undercoated and seem very solid, so I don't think any key suspension components have rusted away from their moorings or anything like that. Does anyone know if this excessive wheel travel problem is related to the camber problem, and what could be causing them? A broken shock, or something with a tie rod or ball joint maybe? I have never done real work on suspension components and I have no clue about diagnosis. Thanks for any help.
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