Steering Weirdness - Need Hypotheses
Working on my 89 IROC Convertible. Yes, it has 200815 miles - still running great and strong. Now first, obviously the front suspension pieces are worn.... or are they? I need to help in deciphering the specific problem I'm having at the moment; need some theories. Please consider the following.
First the Problem: The car moves a lot from side to side while I'm driving it. It is hard to keep her straight. Now BEFORE SAYING ANYTHING read everything below and THEN see if you have a hypothesis:
1) BRAND NEW TIRES put on last week - BF Goodrich KDW's
2) The old KDW's had over $50K miles WITH NO ODD WEARING on the tires. No extra wear on the inside or outside. PERFECT wear pattern even on suspension that has $200K miles on it.
3) Steering gear box slack has been completely removed. I know how to do this so that was the first obvious thing to try. Now what happens is she will wonder even though you can feel the gearbox slack is completely tight. I cannot take up any more slack.
4) There is nothing obviously worn. Ball joints, tie rod ends, lower control arm bushings, sway bar, etc etc all look great (believe it or not). When jacked up no looseness whatsoever.
5) Car does not pull to the left or the right. It just decides to go left or right because of the road. Then, when I go to correct I have to turn it a lot to get any reaction from the front end.
I want to say it is either a bad idler arm or something really strange is going on with the steering gear box itself. If anyone has any suggestions here I'd surely like to hear it!!!
Even though you have the adjustment tightened all the way on the steering box it may still have some play in it. You can't check for loose ball joints with the car jacked up. Take it to a reputable shop and have it checked on an alignment machine. Most shops will do this for free and tell you what needs to be replaced to do a proper alignment.
Also check and VERIFY that the steering box is SECURELY
attached to the frame. I had one come loose on me, and it
gave me similar "wierd" steering.
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Have all the front suspension components checked by a suspension service shop in fact...if you're going to keep the car, you ought to just replace all of it. 200K miles is well past the design durability of those parts.
Also make sure the unit body structure around the steering gear is not cracked.
Doh!!!! I never thought of that although its never been removed but I'll go and check that right now!!
Originally Posted by navy2kcoupe
First thing,If you have a even ware pattern on the old tires.Slip the plastic cover back on the steering column shaft at box and check out the Rag Joint!Worn out or weak Rag will cause a wander as you describe!~!!
2nd Thing, Rear Differential shift will do the same! Check All Bushings at the Rear!
Things that are listed below,Will usually (But not always.) cause ab-normal tire ware!
Check for bent or damaged Struts,Check the upper strut mounts,Rubber Cracks,Old Rubber will collapse and bearings ware out!
Ball joints,control arm bushings,tie rods,center link and idler arm on your car need to have the suspension loaded out near the ball joint on control arm,And then checked for movement with a pry bar!~!!(I use 2 jack stands when checking them on the floor! Or I use the Rack jacks when checking on a alignment rack!)
PS Have you checked the front wheel bearings to see if they are loose?
It's got so it seems to me that the Internet has created a lot more Horses A$$'s than we have Horses!
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