Heavy steering and getting worse

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crazydiamond
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Heavy steering and getting worse

Post by crazydiamond »

The steering on my 1982 Aircooled has always been heavy, its now bl----y heavy. tyre wear is spot on what it should be, could it be the relay box? I understand its not greasable, but is that true? Could it be steering rack? again no play whatsoever. Where should I start?
1982 2 litre Aircooled Devon
1988 2.1 Syncro ex ambulance
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TONYT25T25
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Re: Heavy steering and getting worse

Post by TONYT25T25 »

How about tie rod end ball joints, what condition are they in, worth checking I think.
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maxstu
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Re: Heavy steering and getting worse

Post by maxstu »

Check tyre pressures first. Tyre wear is spot on? Spot on what? If tyres are worn "spot on" close to tread bars then expect heavy steering.
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silverbullet
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Re: Heavy steering and getting worse

Post by silverbullet »

Relay boxes are pretty much full of grey MS grease, I once prised the "paint tin" cap off one to see what was inside...worth jacking up each corner and seeing if one side is worse, it might be a top or bottom balljoint gone dry or failed?
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silverbullet
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Re: Heavy steering and getting worse

Post by silverbullet »

PS long time, no read mate and best regards to your good lady!
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Mr Bean
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Re: Heavy steering and getting worse

Post by Mr Bean »

crazydiamond wrote: 18 Oct 2020, 15:48 The steering on my 1982 Aircooled has always been heavy, its now bl----y heavy. tyre wear is spot on what it should be, could it be the relay box? I understand its not greasable, but is that true? Could it be steering rack? again no play whatsoever. Where should I start?
I was tempted to suggest a few sessions at the gym but in the interest of forum camaraderie:
You could suss out if it was heavy on just one or both sides by resting each front wheel in turn onto a sandwich of say a couple of old tin plates or similar friction reduction materials and turning the steering while the van is stationary each time.
If there is little difference between each side the chances are that the stiffness is in the column, rack or - less likely or just overall system wear.
Got to say though at age 78 with commensurate physical degradation, I was pleased when I replaced my 12 year old perfectly treaded tyres and found the steering  lightened up considerably. The tyre chap said that 6-8 years was a fare run before the characteristics of the rubber change. But then he would say that would't he.
I didn't fancy the gym either. :wink:
 


 
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crazydiamond
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Re: Heavy steering and getting worse

Post by crazydiamond »

Tyres are in very good fettle, and the heavy steering has always been an issue with Daphne, even with brand new spanking tyres, what I meant about tyres spot on was that they wear pefectly flat so i'm fairly sure the geometry is ok. Put new lower ball joints on about 3000 miles ago, top would appear to be in good fettle, it flew through mot only a couple of months ago, I do run Toliman alloys and 215 55 16 tyres, but even when it was on 185 14 standard wheels years ago it was heavy. I think I might add EPS . Got to do something as parking and low speed manuvoring is getting to be an issue, and i'm not as young as I used to be!!!
1982 2 litre Aircooled Devon
1988 2.1 Syncro ex ambulance
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maxstu
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Re: Heavy steering and getting worse

Post by maxstu »

Tyre pressure correct for none standard set up?
I experimented (before going to an original PAS version) with various pressures on standard wheels. I found adding 3-5 Ibs front and rear helped lighten low speed steering/parking and reduced body roll on a high top camper. But a small increase in road noise was heard.
Standard wheels...46 front 49 back worked well.
Having driven non PAS, EPS and PAS campers' l would suggest going EPS is a good and worthwhile upgrade. With variable speed setting perhaps if you have a hightop camper. Dead light when parking. However very little road feedback at over 20mph in my opinion. Exactly how Maxine's 2017 Corsa drives tbh. But one gets use to it fairly quickly.
There quite a few articles on this forum about EPS. Have a read up.
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maxstu
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Re: Heavy steering and getting worse

Post by maxstu »

One other thing. I have changed all suspension and steering bushes at the front and the rear over last 15 months. Including the rubber flex discs in the steering column and next to steering box ( two for PAS set up and three in standard steering l think). I then paid £140 for a complete laser guided set up. What a difference that made...even with PAS. Absolutely neutral running now. Straight a missile and worth every penny. The track control rods and rear suspension arms were well out of adjustment beforehand.
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crazydiamond
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Re: Heavy steering and getting worse

Post by crazydiamond »

Just had a check around, jacked up each front wheel in turn then both. All seems to be fine, very easy to turn from underneath once off the ground, dont think rack or relay box or steering joints or ball joints are a problem. all is normal. Guess I will have to consider EPS? Only thing I have done is reduce the spacers on front wheels from 15mm to 10mm. Thats the minimum I need to clear tyres with the alloys. Who has EPS, what do you think? After having a laser check, what was steering like at very slow manuvering speed? The van runs dead straight once on the road with no problems whatsoever
1982 2 litre Aircooled Devon
1988 2.1 Syncro ex ambulance
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silverbullet
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Re: Heavy steering and getting worse

Post by silverbullet »

Did you jack under the wishbone so that the balljoints were loaded in their usual wear position? i.e. as an mot man would do?
If you tyre wear is spot on then the pressures and/or geometry wont be far off.
It could just possibly be the rack, a test would be to lift the whole front end and seeing if you can "pull" on one wheel and get the steering to roll to the opposite lock likenit should. That might tell you something, other wise pop the steering rod ends to isolate the rack from the uprights and then you'll know where any tightness lies.
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crazydiamond
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Re: Heavy steering and getting worse

Post by crazydiamond »

Yep trolley jack under each wishbone just like MOT. If you leave fully jacked up, you can turn the wheels from either side, its a bit heavy I must admit, but doesnt feel as if anything is seizing up. Might have to pop
track rod ends and try again. Are racks servicable?
1982 2 litre Aircooled Devon
1988 2.1 Syncro ex ambulance
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silverbullet
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Re: Heavy steering and getting worse

Post by silverbullet »

Ok Geoff, I'm not trying to teach you how to suck eggs :wink:
I once sent a manual rack to Kiley and Clinton in B1 (up your way) but they said that there's nothing to play with in the design.
I did make a tool to remove the pinion shaft, there's an octagonal plug that has to be unscrewed. It'll be at work somewhere...
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90 SA Microbus supercharged wbx/UN1 project

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silverbullet
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Re: Heavy steering and getting worse

Post by silverbullet »

Maybe you need more salt in your Ready Brek?
Three shredded wheat?
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Aidan
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Re: Heavy steering and getting worse

Post by Aidan »

how old are your tyres ?

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