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looseness in steering - lower universal joint by fierosound
Started on: 09-07-2014 12:50 PM
Replies: 18 (931 views)
Last post by: fierosound on 09-27-2014 01:01 PM
fierosound
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Report this Post09-07-2014 12:50 PM Click Here to See the Profile for fierosoundClick Here to visit fierosound's HomePageClick Here to Email fierosoundSend a Private Message to fierosoundEdit/Delete MessageReply w/QuoteDirect Link to This Post
I've been fighting ongoing steering issues on my Indy since I got it. I'm totally gobsmacked that I had any steering issues at all since the car only had 18,000 something original miles on. BUT it had a rattle due to a worn passenger side bushing that I replaced along with both the inner and outer tie-rod ends. Better, but not great. Even adjustment of the pinion preload didn't help with the center looseness.

I gave up and got a rebuilt rack, figuring I screwed something up. Not any better with that either!! But seeing the problems I had with a "rebuilt" rack I got for my GT last year (they just cleaned it up and replaced the boots - not the worn out inner tie-rod ends) - I was sure this rack was another one of those low quality rebuilds.
The POS rack from CarSteering.com http://www.fiero.nl/forum/F...2/HTML/128897-2.html

I'm getting tired of the way it steers and was looking to fix the problem once and for all.
While checking around for information, I came across this, which describes what I think is LIKELY the problem with my Indy.


 
quote
Originally posted by Mike Murphy

I have owned several Fieros and never encountered a situation as I did with my 88 that had play in the steering input....about an inch. The car had 151,000 miles on it when I purchased it. I replaced the balljoints and replaced the rack with one from a 50,000 mile car and then replaced the rack bushing. At this point I thought OK guess it's the rack so I ordered a remanufactured one from the Fiero Store complete with inner and outer tie rods. Guess what???? Still had the same old slop. Pulled the column out and the U joint toward the bottom was worn. Swapped it out with another....problem cured.


Has anyone else had a sloppy universal joint in the lower shaft?? (there are two)
(still wondering why it would be worn on my low mileage Indy!)




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[This message has been edited by fierosound (edited 09-07-2014).]

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lordbg0205
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Report this Post09-07-2014 08:03 PM Click Here to See the Profile for lordbg0205Click Here to Email lordbg0205Send a Private Message to lordbg0205Edit/Delete MessageReply w/QuoteDirect Link to This Post
I suspect i have the same issue with my 87 gt. Rebuilt acdelco rack, new poly front end, with all new components. I had a bad upper control arm and that was the cause due to the metal sleeve rusting and opening up the hole in the arm. Replaced it all because i love the car and i have a 5 degree looseness in the wheel side to side. Im gonna use some vicegrips to verify by clamping them onto the rack spline and seeing where the looseness is. The intermediate shaft seems to not be serviceable from what i have seen so far only replaceable, and it doesnt seem cheap either. Fierofactory may be my first call once i verify thats the cause. Good luck my friend.
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Fieroseverywhere
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Report this Post09-07-2014 11:22 PM Click Here to See the Profile for FieroseverywhereClick Here to Email FieroseverywhereSend a Private Message to FieroseverywhereEdit/Delete MessageReply w/QuoteDirect Link to This Post
Mine is loose in the lower u joint near #14 per my alignment shop. Unfortunately then are welded and part of the assembly. You could replace the u-joint for a reasonable price but everything would have to be cut and welded back together and really should be done on a lathe (concentric). Maybe a drive shaft shop could do one up? There might also be a way to modify the stock parts to accept replaceable u-joints. I haven't looked into it very far yet.

Some ideas...
http://www.speedwaymotors.c...-Couplers/16-15.html

There is a part number for the original replacement part in the archives but I couldn't find any. So... I'm in the same boat. 85GT. Its a frustrating issue and took a while to track down. Very uncommon. I'll keep you posted if I come up with anything and watch this thread to see if you do.

EDIT: Does anyone have a source for the universal joint itself? I could modify the carrier to take snap rings if I could get just the joint.

[This message has been edited by Fieroseverywhere (edited 09-07-2014).]

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Fieroseverywhere
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Report this Post09-07-2014 11:41 PM Click Here to See the Profile for FieroseverywhereClick Here to Email FieroseverywhereSend a Private Message to FieroseverywhereEdit/Delete MessageReply w/QuoteDirect Link to This Post
 
quote
Originally posted by Bloozberry:

It's called an Intermediate Steering Shaft and went by several GM part numbers:

'84-'85 (except models with RPO codes WS6, F41): 7845854
'84-'85 (with RPO codes WS6, F41): 7846289
'86-'87 (notchback): 7845854
'86-'87 (fastback): 7846289
'88 (with WS6): 7849455
'88 (except WS6): 26001138

RPO code WS6 was standard equipment on all '84-'85 SE's so your '86 GT shaft is interchangeable with those cars. I'm not sure what the difference between the other parts numbers is, but they are all very likely interchangeable.


http://www.fiero.nl/forum/Forum2/HTML/000330.html

[This message has been edited by Fieroseverywhere (edited 09-07-2014).]

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fierosound
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Report this Post09-08-2014 02:54 PM Click Here to See the Profile for fierosoundClick Here to visit fierosound's HomePageClick Here to Email fierosoundSend a Private Message to fierosoundEdit/Delete MessageReply w/QuoteDirect Link to This Post
Some useful information at Auto Zone
http://www.autozone.com/aut..._/P-0900c152801dad40
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fierosound
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Report this Post09-08-2014 05:52 PM Click Here to See the Profile for fierosoundClick Here to visit fierosound's HomePageClick Here to Email fierosoundSend a Private Message to fierosoundEdit/Delete MessageReply w/QuoteDirect Link to This Post
Fiero Store http://www.fierostore.com/P...0%20%208487&d=40&p=1

I know of a used one locally that I will have a look at - it's gotta be better than the one on my Indy.

This has to be my problem. I ran over a rough area of road and it felt like the car's steering didn't track right.
Meanwhile, everything underneath feels tight without any slop in tie-rods or rack as near as I can tell.

After more research, this seems to be a fairly common problem with GMs - even newer cars.

[This message has been edited by fierosound (edited 09-14-2014).]

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fierosound
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Report this Post09-14-2014 11:04 AM Click Here to See the Profile for fierosoundClick Here to visit fierosound's HomePageClick Here to Email fierosoundSend a Private Message to fierosoundEdit/Delete MessageReply w/QuoteDirect Link to This Post
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theogre
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Report this Post09-14-2014 01:26 PM Click Here to See the Profile for theogreClick Here to visit theogre's HomePageSend a Private Message to theogreEdit/Delete MessageReply w/QuoteDirect Link to This Post
Either Bad U joint or isolator then get another intermittent shaft.
See my Cave, Steering

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(Jurassic Park)


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Fierobsessed
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Report this Post09-15-2014 05:31 AM Click Here to See the Profile for FierobsessedClick Here to Email FierobsessedSend a Private Message to FierobsessedEdit/Delete MessageReply w/QuoteDirect Link to This Post
I had loose steering issues with my 88 as long as I had owned it. Finally, I was able to locate there source. It was the small horseshoe shaped spring inside the two piece nylon universal joint in the tilt column. Surprisingly made a pretty big difference. I found that the steering wheel movement wasn't translating perfectly to the shaft in the footwell, and that led me to it.
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Report this Post09-17-2014 08:49 AM Click Here to See the Profile for fierosoundClick Here to visit fierosound's HomePageClick Here to Email fierosoundSend a Private Message to fierosoundEdit/Delete MessageReply w/QuoteDirect Link to This Post
 
quote
Originally posted by fierosound:

I know of a used one locally that I will have a look at - it's gotta be better than the one on my Indy.



I picked up a used one. U-joints are tight. Some very slight movement in the "slider" portion.
At least I'll have something to compare to when I take mine off the Indy.

If mine on the Indy seems good, I'll be stumped as to why my car steers like it's using rubber bands!
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I FAR I
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Report this Post09-17-2014 10:17 AM Click Here to See the Profile for I FAR ISend a Private Message to I FAR IEdit/Delete MessageReply w/QuoteDirect Link to This Post
....

[This message has been edited by I FAR I (edited 09-17-2014).]

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Report this Post09-17-2014 10:18 AM Click Here to See the Profile for I FAR ISend a Private Message to I FAR IEdit/Delete MessageReply w/QuoteDirect Link to This Post

I FAR I

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quote
Originally posted by Fierobsessed:

I had loose steering issues with my 88 as long as I had owned it. Finally, I was able to locate there source. It was the small horseshoe shaped spring inside the two piece nylon universal joint in the tilt column. Surprisingly made a pretty big difference. I found that the steering wheel movement wasn't translating perfectly to the shaft in the footwell, and that led me to it.


Re: The 'horsehoe shaped spring':

Was there a need to remove and replace this spring, or a need to just reposition it? If there was a need to replace, do you have a part number, and/ or is it a common easy to find piece?

Thanks

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Report this Post09-19-2014 09:51 AM Click Here to See the Profile for fierosoundClick Here to visit fierosound's HomePageClick Here to Email fierosoundSend a Private Message to fierosoundEdit/Delete MessageReply w/QuoteDirect Link to This Post
 
quote
Originally posted by Fierobsessed:

I had loose steering issues with my 88 as long as I had owned it. Finally, I was able to locate there source. It was the small horseshoe shaped spring inside the two piece nylon universal joint in the tilt column. Surprisingly made a pretty big difference. I found that the steering wheel movement wasn't translating perfectly to the shaft in the footwell, and that led me to it.


Steering column disassembly http://www.fiero.nl/forum/F...2/HTML/088020-3.html

You mean this guy? Not sure how that can get lost or loose.
But I can see how the plastic ball could get broken from an impact to the steering wheel.

I will have to check the column for looseness too.



[This message has been edited by fierosound (edited 09-19-2014).]

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fierosound
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Report this Post09-19-2014 05:46 PM Click Here to See the Profile for fierosoundClick Here to visit fierosound's HomePageClick Here to Email fierosoundSend a Private Message to fierosoundEdit/Delete MessageReply w/QuoteDirect Link to This Post
I'm stumped!

The intermediate shaft is good, solid, and tight as well as the U-joints.
I put vice-grips in the bottom shaft of the steering column to check for looseness in the column itself. Seems good.
I put a wrench on the steering rack's pinion to move the rack. No play that I can see/feel there.

Everything is tight - put it all together and steering/handling on the front is sloppy. Has to be tires?

I guess I'll need to get the front tires checked on a road-force balance machine.
http://www.motorweek.org/fe...road_force_balancing

Maybe I've got an out-of-round tire or slipped belts.
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daveg
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Report this Post09-19-2014 08:21 PM Click Here to See the Profile for davegSend a Private Message to davegEdit/Delete MessageReply w/QuoteDirect Link to This Post
I was thinking tires too, then I saw your last post. Swap on a different set, if possible.

Dave
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fierosound
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Report this Post09-20-2014 01:20 PM Click Here to See the Profile for fierosoundClick Here to visit fierosound's HomePageClick Here to Email fierosoundSend a Private Message to fierosoundEdit/Delete MessageReply w/QuoteDirect Link to This Post
I had to recheck everything. Problem found when I cranked the rack from end to end.
I was working the pinion with a wrench and found it moves in and out about a 1/2 inch!
That would be the "slop" I'm feeling as the pinion rides up and down the rack's teeth.




I haven't taken it apart, but I'd say this "rebuilt" Cardone rack is missing (or broke) the snap ring (Part #4) that holds the pinion gear down.

I have another rack that I have to change the bushing on. I'll fix that, add new inner tie-rods and swap that in today.

[This message has been edited by fierosound (edited 04-16-2016).]

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Fierobsessed
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Report this Post09-24-2014 08:26 PM Click Here to See the Profile for FierobsessedClick Here to Email FierobsessedSend a Private Message to FierobsessedEdit/Delete MessageReply w/QuoteDirect Link to This Post
Aah Yeah!
That might do it!

I was going to suggest something to that effect. My 88 rack that had a broken pinion bearing. It utilized needle bearings, they had all been ground up and gouged the pinion. The pinion had noticible slop side to side. I had to find a new donor rack because it was WAY beyond repair.

When I got the car I was shocked at just how poor the steering was, especially for an 88! It was better with a different rack, but it still was a bit loose because that little horseshoe shaped spring had broken in two. Now, its downright pleasant.

Thank you for posting your findings. All too often we don't get resolutions to file away into our repository of possibilites.

[This message has been edited by Fierobsessed (edited 09-24-2014).]

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fierosound
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Report this Post09-25-2014 08:33 AM Click Here to See the Profile for fierosoundClick Here to visit fierosound's HomePageClick Here to Email fierosoundSend a Private Message to fierosoundEdit/Delete MessageReply w/QuoteDirect Link to This Post
The parts car rack I bought was tight in the rack/pinion, so I replaced the passenger side bushing and inner/outer tie-rod ends. BIG improvement.
So I also installed the coil-over kit I got last year for the car. Got an alignment yesterday and FINALLY the car rides and handles properly.

The rack I took off the car is on a shelf right now. If all it needs is the snap ring, it should be useable in the future.
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fierosound
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Report this Post09-27-2014 01:01 PM Click Here to See the Profile for fierosoundClick Here to visit fierosound's HomePageClick Here to Email fierosoundSend a Private Message to fierosoundEdit/Delete MessageReply w/QuoteDirect Link to This Post
Once you get a suspension together, there are still ways to fine tune the understeer/oversteer handling.
The easiest is to adjust tire pressures (2lbs at a time) to achieve the desired change.
You can also make the sway bars "stiffer/softer" by changing the bushings (poly=stiffer, rubber=softer).

[This message has been edited by fierosound (edited 09-27-2014).]

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