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Old 03-21-2011, 05:37 PM   #1
RidingOnRailz
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Cool 2008 Kia Optima - Bent Spindle - Don't Ask!

Just kidding, but seriously...

Yeah, I hit a curb at quite a clip back in 2009 because I wasn't paying attention. It damaged the LF rim, tore up the LF sidewall, and resulted in that spindle being bent slightly upward and back, acc to the alignment I had done around last Christmas.

It's producing a steering wheel that leans to the right when straight ahead - even though this car does NOT pull. The specs sheet confirms toe at all four corners is DEAD CENTER, along with Camber and Caster. The car has rolled great since this alignment and steering return from left and right turns has never been better.(I encourage owners of the 2007-2010 optima NOT to trade in for the 2011 with electric PS - the reviews so far are not stellar but still better than for the 2005 Malibu)

How expensive is such a part + replacement? I know what my shops alignment costs so I will just add that to whatever is suggested on here.

Thanks!
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Old 03-21-2011, 06:21 PM   #2
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Re: 2008 Kia Optima - Bent Spindle - Don't Ask!

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Originally Posted by RidingOnRailz View Post
How expensive is such a part + replacement? I know what my shops alignment costs so I will just add that to whatever is suggested on here.

Thanks!
You can call the dealer to get a price on the spindle or you can also check with a salvage yard for a used one. I am guessing you are not going to like the price the dealer quotes.
A competent shop should be able to get the job done in less than 2 hours. Call around to get prices on the install also.
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Old 03-22-2011, 12:34 PM   #3
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Re: 2008 Kia Optima - Bent Spindle - Don't Ask!

It sounds like your main concern is that the steering wheel isn't centered up when the wheels are pointed in the straight ahead position ? Am I reading that correctly ? If so , that can be corrected by adjusting the steering linkage during the alignment process . Are you sure the spindle is bent ? If that is the case , I'd definitely have it replaced as the force needed to bend it may have destroyed it's structural integrity and it will be prone to failure .It is a safety issue that shouldn't be ignored .
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Old 03-24-2011, 05:08 PM   #4
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Cool Re: 2008 Kia Optima - Bent Spindle - Don't Ask!

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Originally Posted by oldblu65 View Post
It sounds like your main concern is that the steering wheel isn't centered up when the wheels are pointed in the straight ahead position ? Am I reading that correctly ? If so , that can be corrected by adjusting the steering linkage during the alignment process . Are you sure the spindle is bent ? If that is the case , I'd definitely have it replaced as the force needed to bend it may have destroyed it's structural integrity and it will be prone to failure .It is a safety issue that shouldn't be ignored .
My main concern is both issues you addressed actually. Is the spindle bent? The body shop certainly says it is - not severely, but definitely slightly, and in the direction I mentioned in my o.p - up and to the rear of where it should be pointing. There is also slight steering wheel shimmy over 50mph - new ball bearing??

Correcting for all this by simply adjusting the linkage is not an option. if the spindle is bent, that wheel is not properly positioned on the car relative to the other three - even if the alignment computer says caster camber and toe are all dialed in.

If you watch a NASCAR race on Fox they will time to time pick a car and throw telemetry for that car up on the screen: Amount of throttle, RPMs, Brake, and recently - steering wheel position. And they pointed out that when driving down the track, a properly set up race car suspension should require a mostly "negative" positioning of the steering wheel by the driver - that is, the driver has to turn the wheel slightly leftward to track perfectly straight. A "positive" wheel - having to turn the wheel right to keep going straight -indicates a problem.

My sw is positive - by itself even though the car still tracks true. It is DISTRACTING when the wheel is not where you naturally expect it to be when you grip it to turn when going down the road. Very often I find myself meeting oncoming traffic a little closer than I should.

In most brand new cars that I've test driven I've had to hold the wheel slightly leftward to track straight(negative). This is due to something called crowning, combined with the fact that in the U.S. most of us drive on the righthand side of the road(Just as in the UK I would expect it to drift to the left). In that new car when I let go of the wheel it straightens, but the car gradually drifts toward the curb - over 1/8th - 1/4mile's travel. It is this behavior I wish to restore to my Optima - and getting that spindle replaced will likely cure the problem.

All I need to know is if anyone else here has done spindle work or had it done and how much(excl alignment) it may cost.
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Old 03-24-2011, 06:15 PM   #5
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Re: 2008 Kia Optima - Bent Spindle - Don't Ask!

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Originally Posted by RidingOnRailz View Post
all I need to know is if anyone else here has done spindle work or had it done and how much(excl alignment) it may cost.
I replaced a spindle on my 89 mustang 2 years ago. I got a used spindle at the pick a part for $20 and the install took me 1.5 hours to do myself. Total cost was $20 and my time.

As I said before, call around for prices on parts and install labor or buy a manual and do it yourself. Prices will vary for different makes and models of cars.
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Old 03-24-2011, 06:42 PM   #6
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Re: 2008 Kia Optima - Bent Spindle - Don't Ask!

Quote:
Originally Posted by RidingOnRailz View Post
My main concern is both issues you addressed actually. Is the spindle bent? The body shop certainly says it is - not severely, but definitely slightly, and in the direction I mentioned in my o.p - up and to the rear of where it should be pointing. There is also slight steering wheel shimmy over 50mph - new ball bearing??

Correcting for all this by simply adjusting the linkage is not an option. if the spindle is bent, that wheel is not properly positioned on the car relative to the other three - even if the alignment computer says caster camber and toe are all dialed in.

If you watch a NASCAR race on Fox they will time to time pick a car and throw telemetry for that car up on the screen: Amount of throttle, RPMs, Brake, and recently - steering wheel position. And they pointed out that when driving down the track, a properly set up race car suspension should require a mostly "negative" positioning of the steering wheel by the driver - that is, the driver has to turn the wheel slightly leftward to track perfectly straight. A "positive" wheel - having to turn the wheel right to keep going straight -indicates a problem.

My sw is positive - by itself even though the car still tracks true. It is DISTRACTING when the wheel is not where you naturally expect it to be when you grip it to turn when going down the road. Very often I find myself meeting oncoming traffic a little closer than I should.

In most brand new cars that I've test driven I've had to hold the wheel slightly leftward to track straight(negative). This is due to something called crowning, combined with the fact that in the U.S. most of us drive on the righthand side of the road(Just as in the UK I would expect it to drift to the left). In that new car when I let go of the wheel it straightens, but the car gradually drifts toward the curb - over 1/8th - 1/4mile's travel. It is this behavior I wish to restore to my Optima - and getting that spindle replaced will likely cure the problem.

All I need to know is if anyone else here has done spindle work or had it done and how much(excl alignment) it may cost.
I wasn't suggesting compensating for the bent spindle by adjusting the steering linkage .If the spindle is bent , it must be replaced - no doubt . " Crowning " actually refers to the road having a crown - that is the center of the road is slightly higher than the outside edges ( in a convex shape ) .This helps drain rain water off the road .
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Old 03-24-2011, 06:54 PM   #7
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Cool Re: 2008 Kia Optima - Bent Spindle - Don't Ask!

Quote:
Originally Posted by oldblu65 View Post
I wasn't suggesting compensating for the bent spindle by adjusting the steering linkage .If the spindle is bent , it must be replaced - no doubt . " Crowning " actually refers to the road having a crown - that is the center of the road is slightly higher than the outside edges ( in a convex shape ) .This helps drain rain water off the road .
I already know what crowning is/does. I feel stupid having it explained to me. I was just stating the natural effect I would expect crowning to have on a properly aligned vehicle, that's all.

Now, back to some real world cases?
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Old 03-24-2011, 07:01 PM   #8
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Re: 2008 Kia Optima - Bent Spindle - Don't Ask!

Sorry Railz , wasn't trying to imply you're stupid .Accept my apologies if I offended you .
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Old 03-24-2011, 07:06 PM   #9
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Cool Re: 2008 Kia Optima - Bent Spindle - Don't Ask!

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Sorry Railz , wasn't trying to imply you're stupid .Accept my apologies if I offended you .

Don't worry - happens 2 me all the time at work. It's called a "supervisor".
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