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94bluewagon

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PostSubject: variable effort steering   Thu Oct 24, 2013 9:57 am

I just took a drive to southern Il. to see my daughter and on the way down, I noticed that the steering wheel seemed to shake back and fourth. Sometimes it shakes more then others and sometimes very noticeably. Anyways, before leaving I had the front end checked and the wheels balanced again cause I have noticed this shaking before when on the road.
I took it into a tire shop in a small town and the mechanic was amazed at the fact that the wagon had a front steering stabilizer, he stated he only sees these on 4X4s.He stated the stabilizer was not working at all due to the oil leaked out. Also to their amazement was the fact that they could not find this part from any local auto parts stores.
Long story short, I did hours of research and found that this part number crosses over to a Cadillac and I purchased one off ebay. I also discovered that my wagon has what is called variable effort steering and that the shaking might be related to the VES and not the stabilizer. I will be installing the stabilizer anyways, but after reading many comments on this VES steering, I'm still confused on if it's worth trying to fix or should I just disconnect it and drive without it.
It really bothers me to have the steering wheel shake while on the expressway, at low speeds, the shaking is either not noticeable or the wheel does not shake, but at any speed above 50, it shakes, so I have to do something to correct it. Any suggestions
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200OZ
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PostSubject: Re: variable effort steering   Thu Oct 24, 2013 10:09 am

My bet would be a bent front wheel, bad front tire(s), or unbalanced wheel/tire. Take the car to a garage that has a good, calibrated wheel balancer that can also check for run out (bent rim, bad tire).
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94bluewagon

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PostSubject: Re: variable effort steering   Thu Oct 24, 2013 11:01 am

I wish that was the answer, but the tires and rims are brand new, the wheels have been balanced and rebalanced 3 times and each time they say they really don't see anything wrong with them. Thanks
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sherlock9c1



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PostSubject: Re: variable effort steering   Thu Oct 24, 2013 11:32 am

An erratic VES usually shows itself in turns, particularly on offramps or onramps, where the steering will feel like it's jerking back and forth. Are you sure there are no other loose parts in the front suspension or steering?

Diagnostics: Unplug the sensor on the steering shaft next to the brake booster under the hood and see if the problem goes away. If so, the sensor is dirty and needs to be cleaned, replaced, or bypassed. Do not leave it unplugged or you will be in full boost all the time which will make high-speed driving more darty.

http://www.impalassforum.com/vBulletin/showthread.php?t=261893
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200OZ
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PostSubject: Re: variable effort steering   Thu Oct 24, 2013 5:24 pm

94bluewagon wrote:
I wish that was the answer, but the tires and rims are brand new, the wheels have been balanced and rebalanced 3 times and each time they say they really don't see anything wrong with them. Thanks
It does not matter if the tires and rims are new, or that they've been balanced 3 times. Check your techs balancer, has it been certified/calibrated/maintained properly, is it covered in dirt, grease, and tire glue?  Brand new bad tires pop up now ant then as well, that's why I recommended taking the car to a shop with a fancy balancer that can check for run out of the tire/wheel assembly, then it will help the tech figure out which one (tire or wheel) is to blame.

Have you had the front wheel bearing checked for looseness lately?
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Roadagon



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PostSubject: Re: variable effort steering   Thu Oct 24, 2013 8:11 pm

Many of our type cars were shipped from the factory without a front stabilizer,I have run mine with
and without the stabilizer and to me it makes very little difference. I would thoroughly check
the wheel bearings ,ball joints,tie rods and A arm bushings for wear. Also both new tires and new wheels can be out of spec. I would go to a quality shop where their equipment is calibrated correctly as
20000z stated. Also you could switch the front wheels and tires from side to side and see if there is any difference. ( I would change them back after the test ) good luck, ed
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94bluewagon

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PostSubject: Re: variable effort steering   Thu Oct 24, 2013 9:48 pm

thanks for all the suggestions and I will keep them in mind. For now, I've already purchased the new stabilizer, so I will replace that and see if it makes any difference.
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PostSubject: Re: variable effort steering   Thu Oct 24, 2013 10:27 pm

Sounds to me like your idler arm is SHOT and is letting your tires follow every crown change,dip and bump along its path.
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buickwagon

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PostSubject: Re: variable effort steering   Sat Oct 26, 2013 12:11 pm

94bluewagon wrote:
Long story short, I did hours of research and found that this part number crosses over to a Cadillac and I purchased one off ebay.
Give: What Cadillac? Was this a new or used one that you purchased?
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Sprocket

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PostSubject: Re: variable effort steering   Sat Oct 26, 2013 12:22 pm

What kind of tire are one there? I bought a set of SS rims that had like new directional tires. The front end 'hunted' all over the pace back and forth. I thought it was a shitty worn out front end until I put the same wheels/tires on my 'new' car that I just drove 700 miles home and it went from tight steering to the same thing.

THat said, the first car did have crappy worn out linkages up front, but you see my point here. Just something else to check.
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phantom 309

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PostSubject: Re: variable effort steering   Sat Oct 26, 2013 3:19 pm

check for a bent rear axle/flange
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sherlock9c1



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PostSubject: Re: variable effort steering   Sat Oct 26, 2013 9:07 pm

As Nick said, check for a bent rear axle or flange. I had a wagon axle that was actually drilled off center from the factory and so the wheel actually orbited around the center of the axle ever so slightly.

I had a set of 17" rims and directional tires that wandered all over the road unless you put 44psi in them. Then they tracked just fine. FWIW.
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94bluewagon

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PostSubject: Re: variable effort steering   Sat Oct 26, 2013 10:11 pm

buickwagon. the part that came up as the steering stabilizer is no longer available, but the part number crossed over as being used and available for a 1990s Cadillac. This is a new part and can be purchased from most auto stores, but will be stated to going to a Cadillac. I haven't put it on yet, but it looks the same. I'm very busy with other issues, so it might be several days or weeks before I install it and see if it makes a difference.
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foglght



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PostSubject: Re: variable effort steering   Mon Oct 28, 2013 10:21 am

What is the giveaway that you have the VES? Is it the sensor on the shaft?

When looking for a replacement P/S pump, need to know.
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buickwagon

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PostSubject: Re: variable effort steering   Mon Oct 28, 2013 10:46 am

Found it: Moog SSD77. Thanks.

How much resistance is there in the new one? Is it quite stiff, or will it move with moderate force?

@foglight: cars with VES will have an electric solenoid on the back of the PS pump (two wires, white and brown) and will have the VES module bolted to the same bracket as the Theft Deterrent Module (left of the steering column, above the fuse box) with 8 wires (Green, 2x brown, 2x black, red, dark green/white and white.)
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phantom 309

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PostSubject: Re: variable effort steering   Mon Oct 28, 2013 4:37 pm

In my years of experience the steering stabilizer hasn't affected shimmy or anything like that,.
I find that it just masks a worn out front end. INMHO its a waste of time and money, and makes the power steering pump work harder,.YRMV
Even if the VES was cycling from high to low pressure it wouldn't cause a change in steering direction, even if the powersteering failed, effort would be high but it wouldn't shimmy,.

but i,m no expert,.....
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