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 Steering precision

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lamune

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PostSubject: Re: Steering precision   Wed Apr 05, 2017 1:23 am

BuickRM and I should get together, maybe start a Buick-VW parts exchange program Very Happy

In my case, I was going to disconnect the steering box from the rest of the linkage, but I couldn't get the right puller in place, got tired and annoyed and gave up on it for now.

But, while I was under there I did re-grease all the fittings. That helped quite a bit. It's still not what I think "normal" should be, particularly in having to un-turn after a turn, but the fact that it changed after a lube does suggest something physical in the linkage and not the steering box or pump, since neither of those things were touched. Anyone have any other suggestions?

A co-worker of mine has a full shop with a lift and everything. Once he gets his 50's Chevy truck off the lift I can bring it over there for some closer inspection. It'll be way easier on a lift. (I hope)
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phantom 309

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PostSubject: Re: Steering precision   Wed Apr 05, 2017 8:33 am

Jack it up and place axle stands under the control arms close to the balljoints, knock the outer tie rods off, then see if each spindle moves back and forth easily,.you can put a long bar under the front tire and see if you have any play in wheel bearings or balljoints,.

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lamune

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PostSubject: Re: Steering precision   Wed Apr 05, 2017 11:36 pm

phantom 309 wrote:
Jack it up and place axle stands under the control arms close to the balljoints,  knock the outer tie rods off, then see if each spindle moves back and forth easily,.you can put a long bar under the front tire and see if you have any play in wheel bearings or balljoints,.


Makes sense Nick. I wish I had another car handy to compare against "normal", but I suppose it's not likely both sides are broken the same way so side-to-side comparison should hopefully suffice.

You mentioned something in another thread about idler arm problems. Anything you've seen with the idler arm that might be to blame in the past?
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lamune

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PostSubject: Re: Steering precision   Mon Apr 10, 2017 1:03 am

I did what Nick and Fred suggested. Driver's side ball joints are noticeably stiffer than the passenger side. I'll replace them and see what happens.
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Fred Kiehl

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PostSubject: Re: Steering precision   Mon Apr 10, 2017 7:02 am

You need to use the loner tool from Autozone, or similar place to remove, and install the lower BJ. Plan on getting it aligned after changing the BJs. The uppers must have the rivets drilled out. the new uppers will have bolts with it.

Did you check for all other joints since they are disconnected?

Have you turned the steering without the linkage connected to see if it is the box (engine on)?
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lamune

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PostSubject: Re: Steering precision   Mon Apr 10, 2017 8:17 pm

Fred, I think I've got the bases covered. My buddy at work has all the tools and a great deal of experience with this stuff, so I have that covered. The upper control arms are new Moog and already have bolt-in joints, so that complication is already taken care of also.

I did check other things while I was there. The outer tie-rod ends are hard to move by hand, I am told that's normal if they're not very old (and they aren't) Inner ones are fine. With the engine running and the ends disconnected the steering feels as I would expect it to.

I'll replace the joints on that one side and see what happens. My buddy here says that normally the sides should feel the same, so we both think it may be the root cause. For $50 and a couple of hours of shop time it's worth figuring out.

I am pretty envious of you guys who have a small armada of these cars. Having a sample size of one makes it really hard to figure out what normal is.
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phantom 309

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PostSubject: Re: Steering precision   Mon Apr 10, 2017 9:42 pm

loosen the nuts off the ball joints,.... its cheaper,..
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lamune

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PostSubject: Re: Steering precision   Tue Apr 11, 2017 11:39 pm

I thought about that (as a test) but I think I'll just replace it. Smile
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phantom 309

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PostSubject: Re: Steering precision   Wed Apr 12, 2017 10:30 am

lamune wrote:
I thought about that (as a test) but I think I'll just replace it. Smile

It was not meant as a flip remark,.

too often guys will install a baljjoint and over tighten the nuts like crazy binding the balljoint,.

So let me rephrase,.

loosen off the nuts,. whack the spindle hard with a hammer where the joint goes into the spindle to loosen it off,.and then retorque them,..it's a cost effective option,. If it doesn't help,. then replace the joint(s)

I hate throwing parts at a problem trying to fix something,. especially replacing good working parts,.

Good mechanics fix stuff,. other mechanics simply re-re,..
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lamune

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PostSubject: Re: Steering precision   Wed Apr 12, 2017 9:43 pm

Ok, I thought that was a semi-joke. Very Happy

I'm pretty much lined up to just replace it. I got a new one, I have the tools ready, I'm not going to sweat $25 and the opportunity to try out tools I haven't used before.

The theory makes sense though. When I get the car ready I want to try that and see if it would solve the issue or not. In looking at how the joint is constructed there seems to be some sort of (plastic?) material at the top where the ball meets the case. I suspect that may be damaged. If so a loosen, whack, and re-torque should not fix it. I'll let you know what happens.
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phantom 309

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PostSubject: Re: Steering precision   Thu Apr 13, 2017 12:14 am

well you do what you want,..

you're gonna anyway,..
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lamune

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PostSubject: Re: Steering precision   Thu Apr 13, 2017 10:23 pm

phantom 309 wrote:
well you do what you want,..

you're gonna anyway,..

Nick's Law always applies! Very Happy
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lamune

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PostSubject: Re: Steering precision   Sat Apr 15, 2017 11:30 pm

I went ahead and checked the lower ball joint today.

I did give the thing a good whack, and it definitely loosened up. It still felt notchy though, so I invoked my rights under Nick's Law and replaced it anyway.

It definitely feels better now, but no miracles. The steering still feels weird. Maybe it's just me.
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jasonlachapelle

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PostSubject: Re: Steering precision   Sat Apr 15, 2017 11:51 pm

are you 100% sure the variable effort steering isn't messed up ?
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lamune

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PostSubject: Re: Steering precision   Sun Apr 16, 2017 12:43 am

No, but I'm sure it's not anything on the pump side. If I pull the VES fuse, the steering overall feels more boosted, but basically the same.
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phantom 309

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PostSubject: Re: Steering precision   Sun Apr 16, 2017 9:19 am

lamune wrote:
The steering still feels weird. Maybe it's just me.

lol!
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lamune

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PostSubject: Re: Steering precision   Thu May 04, 2017 9:37 pm

Maybe it's not me? Neutral

I had a second opinion. Quote- "Yeah, it doesn't want to finish straightening itself out."

One new theory is that maybe the ALC is making the back too high and sucking up my caster. Second theory is that the suspension components are all still pretty new and need more miles to loosen up.
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Rev Bob



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PostSubject: Re: Steering precision   Fri May 05, 2017 5:41 am


""One new theory is that maybe the ALC is making the back too high and sucking up my caster.""

You can feel safe discarding that theory.
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Fred Kiehl

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PostSubject: Re: Steering precision   Fri May 05, 2017 8:30 am

The ALC does not change the caster to any great amount. In fact it should maintain the caster, because it does not allow the car to lift above a certain height in the rear, as well as not letting it droop. Drooping would give it more caster.
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lamune

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PostSubject: Re: Steering precision   Sun May 07, 2017 12:05 am

Yeah, I didn't measure ride height, and I probably should/will just to see. But it does mean that if I deflate the shocks and let it sag, I could see if some increased caster negates the steering issue or not.
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Fred Kiehl

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PostSubject: Re: Steering precision   Sun May 07, 2017 7:09 am

The amount of caster change will be insignificant, and will not affect the steering to any noticeable degree. You need a lot of caster change to make any noticeable difference. Probably 1/2 degree to even notice it.
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phantom 309

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PostSubject: Re: Steering precision   Sun May 07, 2017 9:19 am

Another possibility, the idler arm is too tight,
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lamune

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PostSubject: Re: Steering precision   Tue May 09, 2017 2:08 am

phantom 309 wrote:
Another possibility, the idler arm is too tight,

I have the Moog K6187T on there now. It could be hanging up. Can that be loosened by hitting it with a hammer if necessary? What a Face
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Fred Kiehl

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PostSubject: Re: Steering precision   Tue May 09, 2017 7:11 am

I do not think the idler arm can be "too tight". The taper fits the cross link, and the bolts go to the frame...there is no adjustment.
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lamune

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PostSubject: Re: Steering precision   Tue May 09, 2017 1:22 pm

Fred, anything is adjustable if you hit it hard enough Very Happy
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Fred Kiehl

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PostSubject: Re: Steering precision   Tue May 09, 2017 1:30 pm

That type of adjustment does not improve handling.
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phantom 309

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PostSubject: Re: Steering precision   Tue May 09, 2017 8:56 pm

Fred Kiehl wrote:
I do not think the idler arm can be "too tight". The taper fits the cross link, and the bolts go to the frame...there is no adjustment.

take an idler arm put it in a vice and rotate it,. see what it does
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