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9/23/10 7:04am - Original Message: 'Steering Help'
Evil_Blk_Shark
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Joined: 8/20/2010
Posts: 3
ok well on my car the steering wheel as to what i think to much free play and i noticed that the front tires seem to be tilted inward a bit. And when you hit a bump it wants to pull so im not sure what is up is it only a alinment it needs or what? i replaced the wheel bearings up front already so not sure but i feel a front wheel alinment is needed but want to get some insight on this first with you guys. Any help on this would greatley be appreiciated thank you.
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9/23/10 8:13am - Reply: 'Steering Help'
lukesvette Lifetime Member
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HOWELL, NJ - USA

Vette(s):
1979, Targa Blue (72 Color), Pace Car rear spoiler, L88 hood, Dark blue factory interior, 525HP 406, HD 700R4, 370 gears,Steeroids, composite rear spring, TT IIs wrapped in T/A Radials.

Joined: 5/18/2004
Posts: 6804

Play in the wheel can exist even in a perfectly aligned car. Need to determine if the play is in your steering box, the linkage, etc. Hitting a bump and the car wanting to pull sounds like loose/worn components.

Time to check the system overall and determine what needs to be "freshened up". Then, another alignment is in order.
 
Good luck!
 
Paul


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9/23/10 9:40am - Reply: 'Steering Help'
crossfire1982
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Cramerton, NC - USA

Vette(s):
black 1982 coupe slate gray interior, 350 crossfire, 1985 fuel pump, Steeroids R&P conversion

Joined: 8/22/2006
Posts: 1094
Play in the steering can come from so many places in these cars with their 30+ years of wear and tear as stated above.  The steering coupler or "rag joint" which connects the steering column to the steering gear box, the steering box itself,  the pitman arm and idler arm are  likely places but there are many other possibilities. Something that Ive done is to safely raise the car and then turn the ignition to the "on" position to unlock the steering but dont start the car. Go under the car and then clamp a large pair of "vice grip" pliers onto the steering shaft before the coupler.  This will allow you to move the shaft  just as you would the steering wheel and see what is moving and what is not. It can help you determine where the slop is  to a degree.  A good  honest "front end shop" should be able to give you an opinion where the problem is for sure.  The car wanting to steer sideways when it hits a bump is called, appropriately enough, "bump steer" and some small degree of bump steer seems to be common on these cars but it shouldn't be swapping lanes with you.

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9/23/10 2:59pm - Reply: 'Steering Help'
yostusota
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York, PA - USA

Vette(s):
1969 daytona conv. all original 350 350 380 4 sp w/air..and hard top

Joined: 5/18/2010
Posts: 1518
One thing I have found on these to wear that's tough to check is the ball joints..if they have play its time to press in a new one! Also check the rubber bushings in the upper and lower A arms..with the tires on the neg side of camber they might be worn out also.an alignment never hurts but check out and repair what you can before you go..
Rich

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9/23/10 3:19pm - Reply: 'Steering Help'
dskopp
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Oak Creek, WI - USA

Vette(s):
1981 Great White Shark. Red Interior, 350/190hp. PS, PB (SS), A/C CC, T-Tops, Going to remain as Stock as possible. Served three years in Active Duty Army, then Retired Air Force after 34 years! Badger State Vetts Car Club. 175,000 Original miles!!

Joined: 5/21/2008
Posts: 1956
I agree with all of the above comments.

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9/23/10 4:07pm - Reply: 'Steering Help'
manchestershark Lifetime Member
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Equinunk, PA - USA

Vette(s):
1972 conv, 4-speed, 350, 200hp, numbers match, rally wheels, war bonnett yellow w/white top. good condition, nice driver.

Joined: 10/31/2007
Posts: 1895
Steering box is a BIG possibility. I did mine and tightened er up to a degree that it is VERY responsive. Course all the other stuff has been done already.  Mark

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9/24/10 7:20am - Reply: 'Steering Help'
Evil_Blk_Shark
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Joined: 8/20/2010
Posts: 3
well thank you guys so much for your input im gonna do what crossfire1982 mentioned about the vice grips. I dont trust mechanics so im gonna try and see if i can fix it but i can only do so much. And again thank you to all who took the time to comment and give me advice on my problem. Ill post what happens or what i find out.
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9/24/10 9:25pm - Reply: 'Steering Help'
ranger3 Lifetime Member
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North Charleston, SC - USA

Vette(s):
1975 L48 AT AC T-top

Joined: 3/20/2004
Posts: 4176
If the tires are leaning in at the top, you have a camber issue. Bump steer is exaggerated with the camber issue. I totally agree that there is a wear issue somewhere in the steering components.
Scott


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9/25/10 12:51pm - Reply: 'Steering Help'
VetteSpecialties
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Mounds View, MN - USA

Vette(s):
70 LT1 coupe, 69 350 HP coupe, 69 390HP 427 coupe, 71 LS5 convert, 85 coupe, 93 coupe

Joined: 5/24/2007
Posts: 1031
If the ball joints and/or bushings are bad, we sell rebuilt control arm assemblies on an exchange basis.  Just bolt them on and go.  If they are good, but you have slop in the box or tie rods, you might want to consider Steeroids.

Larry


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9/25/10 7:16pm - Reply: 'Steering Help'
crossfire1982
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Cramerton, NC - USA

Vette(s):
black 1982 coupe slate gray interior, 350 crossfire, 1985 fuel pump, Steeroids R&P conversion

Joined: 8/22/2006
Posts: 1094
While you are looking under the car keep in mind that all the wear and slop from each part in the steering system is cumulative, a little here, a little there, and it all adds up to what you are feeling when you drive.

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