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7/4/12 7:06pm - Original Message: 'steeroids question'
longhorn294 Lifetime Member
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DeBerry, TX - USA

Vette(s):
1971 383 Stroker- mille miglia red...5 speed

Joined: 2/27/2002
Posts: 998
  Going to pick up the '71 tomorrow for the second time after spending a buttload of money on work. I took it back because the Steeroids I had installed were binding big time when I turned the wheel. The mechanic says now he has the binding out but the problem of it not returning to center after a turn is in the rack and there's nothing he can do about that. Sounds like a crock to me. Anyone else had this problem and know how to fix it? Another reason I took it back was to have him reinstall the tunnel insulation and foam collar he removed when installing the 5 speed I got from Howard (annicorvette). I thinks he's just making excuses because he really doesn't know what he's doing. He also said he doesn't like rack and pinion and doesn't recommend it to anyone. Ermm 
 
 Help, please... I'd like to have a little more knowledge of this 'not returning to center' thing when I pick it up tomorrow. By not returning to center, I mean I have to physically turn it back when making a turn so I don't run into the curb! Sumthin just ain't right here....


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7/4/12 7:21pm - Reply: 'Re: steeroids question'
corvette440hp Lifetime Member
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Hi

Dwain (Grandpa)! You might want to check this out

Steeroids Tech Info & Troubleshooting    

http://speeddirect.com/index.aspx?nodeID=79



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7/4/12 7:32pm - Reply: 'Re: steeroids question'
longhorn294 Lifetime Member
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DeBerry, TX - USA

Vette(s):
1971 383 Stroker- mille miglia red...5 speed

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Posts: 998
 Hey, thanks.. I've already been there and can't find anything relating to the 'return to center' problem, just binding issues. 'Course, that sounds like a binding problem of sorts too... I dunno

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7/4/12 7:42pm - Reply: 'Re: steeroids question'
corvette440hp Lifetime Member
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The u-joint alignments are critical as far as the binding. They must be lined up properly. Did you get the recommended wheel alignment after the installation? It's a differenent from stock alignment. Also the location of the eye swivel ball can cause binding.

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7/4/12 7:53pm - Reply: 'Re: steeroids question'
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Steeroids Trouble Shooting Guide

Page 4 of 23

copyright 2010 by SpeedDirect all rights reserved.

BINDING U-JOINTS

Making sure that your universal joints (u-joints) are operating correctly will insure

that products last the life of the vehicle and stay safe on the roads. One thing we

cannot stress enough with the Steeroids™ rack and pinion kits is the importance

of having your u-joints adjusted correctly.

If your u-joints are not adjusted correctly the most noticeable thing you will

experience is a ‘binding’ in the steering. You will notice a stiff spot in your

steering wheel every 90 or 180 degrees of rotation. This is caused by overangulation

or improper alignment of the u-joints. This may not always be

noticeable with power steering cars when the vehicle is running because the

boost of the power steering pump may overpower the binding and you may not

notice it. You need to make sure that the rotation of the steering wheel / u-joints

is absolutely smooth throughout the entire travel of the rack unit with the front

wheels off the ground and the engine off, rotating the shaft by hand. If you feel

any binding at all, it needs to be adjusted or else there will be premature wear.

Follow the steps below to make sure the u-joints are adjusted properly:

1) First, make sure that there are no shafts protruding into the center portion of

the u-joints. This includes the steering column, the intermediate shaft between

the two u-joints and the pinion shaft on the rack. If any shafting is protruding into

the center portion of the u-joint it can hang up on the yoke of the u-joint while it is

rotating and cause stiff spots and binding.

Steeroids Trouble Shooting Guide

Page 5 of 23

copyright 2010 by SpeedDirect all rights reserved.

2) Make sure that all of the shafts are completely engaged into the u-joints. The

steering column, the intermediate shaft and the pinion shaft on the rack unit all

need to be fully inserted into the u-joint (but not protruding into the center portion

of the u-joint as mentioned above).

3) Be sure your u-joints are phased correctly. Use the chart below to determine

correct phasing:

Steeroids Trouble Shooting Guide

Page 6 of 23

copyright 2010 by SpeedDirect all rights reserved.

4) Once the first three steps are finished evaluate the u-joint rotation. If you still

have binding loosen the steering column. There are two locations to loosen it –

one at the fire wall and the other under the dash near the steering wheel. Once

the column is loose, pull the column back toward the driver. This will relieve the

angle on the u-joint. Only a little movement of the steering column can make a

big difference in the u-joints. Now, while the column is loose, slide the forward

end of the column toward the engine. The steering column has some horizontal

adjustment built into it, and again, a little bit goes a long way. NOTE – If you have

a Corvette or Chevelle, you will need to loosen the support bearing to make

these adjustments and let it ‘float’ until you are finished tightening the column

back up.

5) Corvette & Chevelle Owners: If you are experiencing u-joint binding the

problem is most commonly found in the upper double u-joint where it attaches to

the column. Usually the binding occurs when the upper u-joint gets into an ‘S’

shape when viewed from the top. You want to adjust the column so that the ujoint

makes a nice, smooth arch from the column down toward the rack.

NOTES:

• If you purchased your Steeroids rack and pinion kit over 6 months ago, you

may want to download a current set of installation instructions for more tech tips.

You can download them from our website at the link below:

http://speeddirect.com/index.aspx?nodeid=79

• If the steps above do not solve the binding issue, you may need to use a

different length intermediate shaft between the u-joints. This is extremely rare

(usually only encountered when the customer has an aftermarket steering

column or other aftermarket components changing the geometry). If you need a

different length intermediate shaft, they are available at the link below in two inch

increments. You can then trim the intermediate shaft to be the correct length for

your application.

http://cmc.speeddirect.com/items.asp?Cc=UJOINTS&iTpStatus=0&Tp=&Bc

• If your u-joints have already worn out due to improper alignment, you might

Steeroids Trouble Shooting Guide

Page 7 of 23

copyright 2010 by SpeedDirect all rights reserved.

not be able to get the binding out of them because they are twisting and binding

up. To determine if your u-joints are worn and need replacement, remove each ujoint

and try to twist them (wringing them like you would a towel). If you feel any

play or motion in the u-joint, it needs to be replaced.

PLAY IN THE STEERING WHEEL

After you have installed the Steeroids rack and pinion kit, there should not be any

‘Play’ in the steering wheel. This is also referred to as a ‘Dead Zone’ and it takes

place when you turn your steering wheel back and forth a slight amount and

there is no resistance – the wheels and tires are not responding. This can cause

the car to be unresponsive and is a dangerous condition. Usually people

automatically think there is something wrong with the rack unit itself, but the rack

is actually VERY seldom the problem. If you are encountering ‘Play’ in the

steering wheel with our kit, follow the steps below.

It might be easiest to have another person help you at first. While the engine is

off, have one person turn the wheel back and forth a little bit - but only turn it

within the 'Dead Zone', not all the way back and forth through the whole travel of

the rack. Have another person carefully look through the entire system while this

is happening. Usually you will see a place where motion is happening on one end

of a component but not on the other. This is a good place to start. Even if you

find a problem, it is a good idea to check all of the suggestions below:

1) Check the condition of the forward most steering column bearing. If this

bearing is worn out it can cause excessive play in the steering wheel.

2) Download a current set of installation instructions by going to the following link

and choosing your vehicle application:

http://speeddirect.com/index.aspx?nodeid=79 and then proceed to step 3 below.

3) Re-tighten all of the set screws on the u-joint assembly as outlined in the

installation instructions (the order they are tightened in is important!). If they were

not tightened in the correct order or if a bur of metal got under a set screw the ujoint

can then get loose on the splined shaft (both at the column and at the pinion

shaft on the rack and pinion unit). For the rack unit be sure to tighten the set

screw that sits on the flat spot of the pinion first, then tighten the set screw on the

round portion (see photo)

Steeroids Trouble Shooting Guide

Page 8 of 23

copyright 2010 by SpeedDirect all rights reserved.

4) Double check that the bolts traveling through the center tie rod bracket into the

rack are torqued to the correct amount as outlined in the installation instructions.

5) Double check that both your inner and outer tie rod ends do not have any play

in them.

6) (Corvette and Chevelle Kits Only) Look at the support bearing where the

intermediate shaft between the u-joints passes through the bearing. If there is

excessive play in the support bearing, this will translate into play in the steering

wheel. (We have different sizes of bearing available and may be able to provide

you one with slightly tighter tolerances.) A small amount of play is acceptable, but

it should be minimal.

If you have checked all of these items and everything is still tight, then you need

to see where exactly the play is coming from. Here are some areas to look for

warn parts:

1) The u-joints can get pre-maturely warn out if they are binding when installed.

Remove the entire u-joint assembly and try "twisting" each u-joint to see if there

is actually play in the u-joint itself. If there is then the u-joint needs to be replaced

– and you need to make sure the new one is installed with out ANY binding.

Refer to the installation instructions to learn about installing the u-joints without

Steeroids Trouble Shooting Guide

Page 9 of 23

copyright 2010 by SpeedDirect all rights reserved.

any binding.

2) While the u-joint assembly is removed, place a wrench on the pinion shaft of

the rack and turn the rack slightly back and forth to see if there is play in the rack

itself (this is actually VERY rare for there to be play in the rack. Usually the play

is found from other loose or worn parts.) When turning the pinion shaft, look for

the movement where the two center bolts pass through the center tie rod bracket

into the rack.

After going through these steps if it is determined that there are some

replacement parts required, we can get you whatever you need. We have been

using Borgeson U-joints for several years now and the only time we have seen

them wear out is if they were installed incorrectly and were binding. All of the

rack units have been bench tested before they were shipped out, so if there

appears to be an issue with the rack we can discuss warranty replacements with

you.

NOTES:

You may see the rack move inside the rubber mounting bushings where the rack

mounts to the frame brackets. The rubber bushings that mount the rack are the

hardest ones we can find (they are stiffer than the OEM bushings). We are

researching having some poly mounts made but do not have them available yet.

This amount of movement should be minimal.

You will notice that the center tie rod bracket moves on the rack unit. As outlined

in the installation instructions, this is normal.

On Corvette and Chevelle Steeroids kits it is acceptable to have a slight amount

of play where the intermediate shaft passes through the support bearing. It

should not be flopping around in there though.

MOVEMENT IN THE TIE ROD BRACKET

Some movement of the Tie Rod Bracket is normal. This is because as the

steering rack moves through its travel a small amount of motion, mostly rotation

is present. This should not be more than a couple of degrees and does not affect

the feel or response. This perceived movement is a combination of the mount

inside the rack and the rubber bushings which cradle the rack. If these were

completely rigid and without movement all the vibration created by uneven road

or track surfaces would be transmitted up the steering path to the steering wheel

resulting in a very noticeable and annoying vibration of the wheel as you drive.

 



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7/4/12 8:33pm - Reply: 'Re: steeroids question'
longhorn294 Lifetime Member
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DeBerry, TX - USA

Vette(s):
1971 383 Stroker- mille miglia red...5 speed

Joined: 2/27/2002
Posts: 998
 Thanks.. I saw all that. The problem is..I'm not the one doing it. This guy is supossed to be one of THE corvette guys around Dallas, not to mention I've paid out the ying yang to have this stuff done right and he's telling me he can't get the binding on turns out because it's in the rack??? What the **** is he talking about? I will take a copy of that with me tomorrow, tho..

|UPDATED|7/4/2012 5:33:53 PM (AZT)|/UPDATED|


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7/5/12 8:02am - Reply: 'Re: steeroids question'
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
Dwian, I put my Steeroids kit in about 5 years ago. Never had a problem with returning to center, although I thought I remembered reading something in the instructions about making sure the rack was centered before coupling it with the steering shaft.

Might be worth checking. I'll see if I can find anything. I still have the paperwork in my altered owners manual (3" looseleaf binder) Wink

Paul


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7/5/12 8:12am - Reply: 'Re: steeroids question'
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
Could be alignment also - this was in the instructions on line:

"NOTE - The more caster you put into a vehicle's suspension, the more the car will want to return to center after a turn. It also increases the resistance in the steering wheel. "



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7/5/12 8:37am - Reply: 'Re: steeroids question'
fp_vetter72 Lifetime Member
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COPPERAS COVE, TX - USA

Vette(s):
1972 corvette stingray convertible 2007 coupe

Joined: 7/6/2002
Posts: 412
First off I think I would look for a new mechanic, I have the steeroids on my car and love it. If the rack was not centered when put in it will not go to center, not to hard to check this but I know it was in the instructions as I did my own install. The alignment is one other thing that will effect the way it  steers. The binding was most likely the wrong angle on the u-joints, which was/is an easy fix

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7/5/12 8:48am - Reply: 'Re: steeroids question'
longhorn294 Lifetime Member
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DeBerry, TX - USA

Vette(s):
1971 383 Stroker- mille miglia red...5 speed

Joined: 2/27/2002
Posts: 998
 Thanks Paul. I appreciate any help/info I can get. I'm going to take a look at it when I get it back home.
  Yeah, Fred..no doubt..new mechanic. I'll download the instructions and see what I can do...Thanks guys


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7/5/12 1:02pm - Reply: 'Re: steeroids question'
Adams' Apple Lifetime Member
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Duncanville, TX - USA

Vette(s):
#1-1974 L-48 4spd Cp Med Red Metallic/Black deluxe int w/AC/tilt/tele./p/w-p/b/ Am-Fm/map light National/Regional/Chapter NCRS "Top Flight" #2-1985 Bright Red/Carmine Cp.L-98/auto Member: NCRS, NCRS Texas, Corvette Legends of Texas

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Ruh Roh....Ouch

Suspension alignment for a rack/pinion should definitely have more camber than normal. But they should have aligned it that way.
The only reason there would be a problem with the rack causing it to not self-center would be if the rack was BENT.
I'd be inclined to agree with the guys here that have that system, and say there may be a problem with the u-joint carriers....and the alignment.
Did they do the a-arm bushings and all?



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7/5/12 2:23pm - Reply: 'Re: steeroids question'
longhorn294 Lifetime Member
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DeBerry, TX - USA

Vette(s):
1971 383 Stroker- mille miglia red...5 speed

Joined: 2/27/2002
Posts: 998
Adams' Apple said: Ruh Roh....Ouch

Suspension alignment for a rack/pinion should definitely have more camber than normal. But they should have aligned it that way.
The only reason there would be a problem with the rack causing it to not self-center would be if the rack was BENT.
I'd be inclined to agree with the guys here that have that system, and say there may be a problem with the u-joint carriers....and the alignment.
Did they do the a-arm bushings and all?


Yep.. a-arm, ball joints, 4 o ring calipers, master cyl..the whole nine yards

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7/5/12 4:05pm - Reply: 'Re: steeroids question'
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
Dwain,  
 
Check the "phasing" of the u joints to make sure they are aligned properly.  I also played a bit with the location of the "U" joint on the end of the shaft from the steering wheel and found that helped  some with the binding but I also  found that the slightest adjustment in the "steering shaft support bearing" made a significant difference in how my steering felt.  My steering shaft fits the bearing with NO play whatsoever as it slides through the bearing.  I found that when adjusting the bearing it needed to be in a completly neutral position without pushing or pulling on the shaft which would bind the steering as the wheel was turned.  I snugged the nut on threaded stud  on the side of the bearing with my fingers and locked its position with some red loctite.  I then snugged the nut on the other end of the threaded stud  with my fingers and went for a drive, it felt good but needed tightening.  when I tightened the nut the steering was binding so I backed off.  The steering shaft is very tight in the bearing on my unit and there is no room for mis-adjustment.  The bearing has to be in a completely neutral position.  I ended up using thin shims on the bearing side of the threaded stud between the bracket and nut to adjust the exact spacing of the bearing.  When I tightened the nut with a socket the steering would bind until I got it just right.  I added a lock washer on the nut side of the stud.  I tightened the nut a little and when went for a test drive, tightened a little and went for a test drive.  Too loose and steering has slop, too tight and it binds.  I finally got just the right adjustment.  The nut isnt brutally tight but the lock washer has held it in place now for years. The black witness marks show it hasnt moved at all since I got it right.  The pics which are attached may make things clearer.. Good Luck, Chip


|UPDATED|7/5/2012 1:05:02 PM (AZT)|/UPDATED|


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9/21/12 12:09pm - Reply: 'Re: steeroids question'
knotacare
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Newark, DE - USA

Vette(s):
1968 Conv, 454HO,500HP-600TQ, TKO-600,3:70 HD rear,hotrod air, custom paint & suspension,1973 Ruby Red,T-top, 383 Stroker, TK)-500,frame off restro, 1977 Yellow (1 of 51 ) L-48 4 spd, 99% original.

Joined: 7/26/2004
Posts: 453
I know I'm late here, but adding a bit more toe in (negative() will solve the problem if everything else has been checked. Had the same problem on my 73 & looked for answers & found none. sometimes they work great out of the box & other times you can go nuts. Tire size will cause problems too.
Alan


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9/21/12 9:18pm - Reply: 'Re: steeroids question'
longhorn294 Lifetime Member
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DeBerry, TX - USA

Vette(s):
1971 383 Stroker- mille miglia red...5 speed

Joined: 2/27/2002
Posts: 998
 Yee Haa! Aint fooling with these old vettes fun..lol  Steering is pretty good now but I've had this vibration every since I got it back. Over 2k it feels like you're on a Sportster. After some agonizing reappraisals, I figgered out it was in the engine and not something like the drive shaft. (which Keisler has had a few problems with).  The TKO 500 came with a flywheel, different from my stock one. It finally dawned on me the engine was balanced with the flywheel and putting the 0 balance one on it threw everything off... BIG time. So now the engine is out and I just got the crank, flywheel an balancer back today... Flywheel was out 122 grams. It's now balanced to .04 grams. Going back in with it Monday....determined to make Eureka Springs...LOL  I'm sure nothing else could possibly go wrong now. Thumbs Up

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