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Discussion Starter #1
Have noticed lately, for the first time, that under power at speed, 4 th gear at ~60-70 mph, the 91S pulls one way with mashed throttle, and steers the other way with foot off gas.

Have jacked up the car and inspected the front and rear suspension, finding that the bushings in the front lower suspension arms look good (new arms installed ~80k miles ago), and there is no play in the steering tie rods (new with the replacement rack installed ~80k miles ago). The rack appears to be firmly mounted with no lateral/vertical movement. New lower outer ball joints. Rack leak stopped with Lucas.

The replacement rear suspension trailing arms were installed ~60k miles ago. Their front bushings look good. The transverse rod bushings, inner and outer, look intact/fine, although I would think that applying engine torque (or not) to the front suspension would not cause a steering problem back there, as they are just along for the ride, ie, no unequal loading from, say, powered axles.

All engine mounts are either good or new, including the dog bone mount. New S clutch installed ~5k miles ago.

S struts rebuilt ~20k miles ago. No unusual motion over bumps. Alignment ok, even tread wear.

So, my feeling is that either the inner tie rods are worn, regardless of not showing any play when the steering is turned, or maybe the left front lower strut bushings are soft since it appears that the diff left side axle gasket is leaking some lube all over that area and that may have softened those arm bushings.

Any other ideas? I suspect what I will do is replace the lower front suspension arms again, and the inner tie rods replaced. Now that Carlo (my trusted mechanic since 1966, loved him like a brother) is no longer with us, alas, bless his soul, who can be recommended do the work for this aged citizen, lol?
 

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Del something moving that shouldn't to give you that "torque roll". Are you sure you don't have a bad front mount, tranny mount or big end dog bone bushing?
 

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Discussion Starter #3
Thanks for your input.

The right front mount was replaced with a new one about 2 years ago, and the others were checked by Carlo when they did the other work. I just inspected them again yesterday, and all look fine, including the large dog bone bushing, which has been poly for years. I'll look at that one again. The only mount which might be suspect is the left front tranny mount. Is still the original, looks tired but intact. I can replace that one with a good used low mileage one.

I'm not sure that having a bad mount would cause a change in steering, though, since assumed engine movement is not mechanically connected/related to the steering system. Have to think more about that. I'm still wondering about lower suspension arm fore/aft movement, or bad tie rod on one side. I've changed those arms before, years ago, don't know if I'm up to doing that again. I may let someone else do them again and also the tie rods. Getting tired of crawling under the car at my age.
 
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Sorry I don't have suggestions for this, beyond what has already been offered. Really curious to what you find though. Please keep us posted and good luck with it.
 

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Let's try the simple first. Is your tire pressure correct on both sides?
 

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Discussion Starter #6 (Edited)
Yup. Haven't had this problem even when they weren't. Checked both front tires, were 30 psi cold. Front tires have even wear across the treads, same on both tires. Rears ok as well.

Did pull the dog bone strut. Bushings were in good condition, allowing only very little motion in the small bushing. It was intact and complete. The big bushing was a two piece poly with no cracks or collapsing.

Pulled the left front tranny mount and it was still intact, no separation. I was going to install a used but good mount in it's place, but the two mounting holes in the horizontal flange were spaced closer together, so that didn't work. Must be from a different car.

Now to inspect the front lower arms bushings a little closer, and also try to move the tie rods. Will probably order both the tie rods and the lower arms anyway, even if ok. Did I mention that I hate crawling under cars these days? Have done it since ~1962 with various cars.

With that completed, we will see how it runs. If the problem is still there, will be time to inspect the rear trailing arms and transverse rods. The trailing arms are not that old, replaced just several years ago. The rods are still original, but bushings look decent (so far).
 

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On my cars this was almost always associated with lower A arm bushings. Usually the front one.
 

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Discussion Starter #8 (Edited)
You are correct, as I remember now that the reason I changed these arms years ago was because the car steering most likely did the same thing due to the small bushings wearing. At least I assume that was the reason, lol. sometimes I change parts just because a lot of time/miles have passed, regardless of the apparent condition of them.

After Inspection of these on the car now, the small front bushings do look ragged. There is some sort of small oil leak running down on the left hand side of the engine subframe, and it soaked that arm bushing, so I assume that that one is the worst. Can't see where the oil leak is coming from, transmission case and tranny engine mount are dry Doesn't seem to be a cam cover leak either. Oh well.

Removing and reinstalling a couple of those darn fender well shields is a pain in the neck. That process takes more time than anything else. The left front fender rear half is really a struggle. Maybe will strategically trim it a little the next time to make it easier.

BTW, the therm bolts arrived safe and sound. Thank you. Beer will be available the next time we visit.
 
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Yeah, if you relieve the shield where the steel brake line is, it is much, much easier on and off. Be very careful with the thru bolts - do not bugger the threads up. Since the head of the bolts are inboard, and the bolt is long, they can not be removed unless the motor is lifted out of the way. I never liked changing those A-arms on the LS. Fiddly and a bit hassle. Can be done but for me it was a 4 beer job both sides!!
 

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Discussion Starter #10 (Edited)
Barb convinced me that I really don't want to spend time wrenching on those bolts from under the car on jack stands, as I had done a couple of decades ago. Too old she says. Do not remember anything about lifting the motor out of the way, though. So, I found a shop which can do the job for me. Seems like a very nice guy. Had a very nice chat with him at his shopabout Alfas, Carlo, and just plain life.

Spent much of today cleaning out and detailing the interior and the trunk of the 91S. Had been hauling many concrete blocks, bags of top soil, compost, whatever in the trunk through the years. A little messy, even having lined it with plastic at the times. Interior of the car has had leathercare and protectorant smeared everywhere where needed, rugs shampooed, everything pretty darn shiny now. Trunk looks as new. Tomorrow will see the engine bay detailed and protected, and then if time, the outside washed and waxed.

I always try to do a good job of detailing, kind of in honor of Carlo. I never wanted him ever working on a dirty car of mine, and I always felt somewhat embarrassed that I never did a good job on that with the Sprint GT I bought from him (it was better than showroom at that time). The car was always generally clean but it needed a paint job, for one thing, which I never had done, and I think he kinda hated that ( I was able though to put ~260k miles on that car, due to proper maintenance at least).
 
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Only have to lift the motor if you booger up the long bolt threads. Otherwise no issue
 

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Only have to lift the motor if you booger up the long bolt threads. Otherwise no issue
Hi, never realised about the need to lift the motor either if need to change those bolts - always thought there was plenty of room to get them out. Lifting the motor sounds a pain so glad haven't needed to.
Del, fender cover wise, I have also trimmed mine around the brake pipe to body area. Might be worth giving your new mechanic permission to do so, if you can trust him not to go crazy and cut a huge amount off. Never understood why Alfa made these such a potentially damaging tight fit. Glad you found the source of the steering issue - ruined front bush on the A-arm would do it. Curious as to where the oil is coming from though.
 

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Discussion Starter #13
Haven't found the source yet, looking from underneath. I thought it might be diff lube coming out from the left hand side axle seal being flung around, but couldn't tell. Will probably ask the shop to take a look when they replace the susp arms.
 

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Del, do you mind sharing the shop that will be working on your car? Most shops, even the so called "Alfa Romeo" shops think that it is a horror to work on a 164 and they hold up a cross in front of your face to fend you off like you where a vampire. I personally think that this kind of behavior is absolutely crazy but I have personally seen it myself firsthand several times. The 164 is far less complicated to work on than most modern cars and I just feel that the reaction is not warranted.
 

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Del, just curious if this issue was ever resolved? I was going to chime in and say that it could be the either steering rack mounting bushings or rack itself is loose. I have seen this cause all kinds of weird steering issues on a 164.
 

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Discussion Starter #17 (Edited)
The rack is tight. Had that happen with the LS years ago, so I know what that feels like. Also have had worn lower front suspension arms bushings on the 91S before. The clue is the change in travel direction with power on and off. That indicates that it is most likely the lower arms moving when the front tires get power or not.

This is the same with RWD Alfas, when the rear suspension trailing arms bushings are worn, and the direction of the car changes power on and off. Had that with my Sprint GT decades ago.

We are going full Monte with the suspension of the 91S, with changing all the suspension bushings front and rear, along with new tie rods, and, alas, a new rebuilt rack. An inspection showed that the rack seals were leaking, boots full of fluid (slowed for quite a while with Lucas Stopleak), and the right side rack bushing migrating out of the rack end. Thus the rack is a mess, but still works for, but maybe not for all that long, lol. Was a rack rebuilt by Jorgen (sp). Obviously they didn't do a good job.

Decided to do all the above since the car is otherwise in great condition, engine revs easily with good oil pressure, fun and easy to drive, and we plan on driving it as long as we can drive. Same for the pristine low mileage Milano.

The 94 LS, although also in great shape, running very well, no problems, ~15k miles left on the timing belt, good clutch, 16 inch wheels, good MIchelin tires, newer steering, with nice options added (1995 Q transmission, Q intake runners, Konis, Bosch headlights, S springs, S interior), may end up being sold since we bought the Chevy SS to be used for long trips. Yes, the SS is quite different, but at our ages, don't need so many cars, and the SS, while clearly not as much fun to drive as the LS, has half the mileage (50k), and a lot newer (2015), and if needed, a Chevy dealer in every town. Plus, Carlo is forever gone, sob. Always absolutely trusted everything he did with our cars.

So, if someone wants a great condition great running LS, I suppose we could talk. Hate saying that, but that's life now.
 
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