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Discussion Starter #1
Hi all.

Over the last few months I have had lots of things done to my old 1997 diesel106 Independence, including a replacement of the power steering motor. After that, and after replacing some d-bushes on the front suspension that were shot, the steering was wonderful - feather light, but very solid, and better than it had ever been on the car.

After that work, I recently did a bad job trying to park the car with the near side up on a kerb - I missed a little ramp by someone's driveway, and at low speed I did a minor 'kerb climb' with that nearside wheel. When I positioned the car to be parallel, I also had it a little wrong, and the nearside wheel then dropped off the kerb, about 4 inches in height, but again at low speed.

Since then - even immediately when I next drove the car away from that parking space - the steering was noticeably stiffer and not so nice any more. Thinking I might have damaged something, I first checked the tyre pressures, which were OK, then got the car up on a ramp and had a good eyeball under there with a mechanic. We could not see anything wrong, nothing bent, and there was no play anywhere, nothing wrong with either the suspension, the track rods, wheel bearings etc. The mechanic concluded that nothing serious was up, but he did say that it if there was anything amiss inside the main nearside suspension cylinder, the large vertical one, we wouldn't be able to see it from the outside.

I have done this sort of bad parking a few times in the 10 years I have had the vehicle, but never with this kind of consequence, even though some of my other bad parking attempts over the years were even worse tries than this one. Neither that mechanic, nor my regular one, thinks I ought to have been able to damage much of anything at such a low speed - but there is now clearly a difference and the car takes a bit more effort to steer, which is a shame as it was really great before.

One concern I have is that the vehicle is nearly 20 years old, and some of the metal parts in places like the suspension, may simply now be more prone to fatigue.

Has anyone out there had a similar experience with their steering stiffening up from this kind of bad parking, etc? Does anyone know what else I could check, other than opening up the nearside main suspension cylinder assembly to see whether I have damaged something in there?

Thanks in advance,
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