Hi all,, i have had a bit of steering wander for the life of the car as I have owned it,,,,63 cdv, i have chnged the outer tie rods, the steering gear box and the power steering pump box that holds the fluids, and yet i still have that 5 or 6 inch play in the wheel when it moves, but he wheels dont move, and it seems i must look like a drunk driver sometimes as it seems to wander in the lane,,
i have forgone any further purchasing and decided to fix the two Cads i have to very good running order,, and this, adn the AC (at very minimum comprssor needes work) are the priortiy as of now..
the car has 160k miles, and the bushings and stuff look cracked, and in poor shape,, the rag joint looks pretty good, not worn looking at all.. so what would be the first thing to do,, just get one of the steering kits and make the replacements of worn beareing and bushings,,,? i read the manual,, and while the info is there, its vague to me where to start,,,
Don't take anything apart unless you need to. Anyway, the tightness of the steering box has nothing to do with bushings, it's about the worm gear/balls fit. I'd start at the steering wheel, and work down. The pitman shaft play is adjustable, and quite easily so, so start there. You'll need a small fishing scale or an inch pound torque wrench to check it. Separate the pitman shaft from the drag link first, and make sure that there is more resistance in the center of the wheel rotation than away from it. If the center point has the same resistance after adjustment, then the box has to be addressed.
That said, wander is not caused by the box. A car with a bad box will drive straight if the alignment is right. You said it's loose, so I'd still check it, but I would make sure your alignment is right. You need especially to check the cross-caster and cross camber. I'd suspect your car has a negative caster, and at least a degree of difference in the left-to-right if it wanders. If you are running radials, and probably you are, get the shop to add a degree of caster to the original specs. Make sure they actually do it, most tire guys don't adjust caster at all, since modern cars don't allow adjustment most times. Then check the box and all the joints again.
Important to note, the steering box worm has a high spot to keep the steering wheel tighter when steering straight ahead. if your wheel is misaligned, you won't be on the spot while driving straight, and that will add to the play you have, so make sure the wheel is centered.
Do correct me if I am misleading as you are more of a authority on this subject
I would think it is necessary to establish what is worn and replace worn front end parts before you have a new alignment done by a shop —to finalize the front end work and tire tracking
A first thing first kind of an approach
Worn parts replaced ( ball joints - etc ) and then the alignment done by a shop
Tony is completely right.
I jumped the gun again, trying to stop you from taking the box apart. 5 or 6 inches is extreme, i didn't see that or didn't take it seriously when i skimmed the post this morning.
For that much play, something in the steering linkage, or multiple parts, must be horrible. Have someone move the wheel back and forth while you watch from under the car, and you'll see what's needed.
The mileage is always a factor regarding parts wear and looks like the front end is due for some attention ASAP
The front end of these cars require they be greased every 6,000 miles unlike our newer cars
When the front end is right you can drive these cars —-with one finger ( that is fun you will see )
Not easy ( or fun ) driving the car with that much play in the steering ( awkward and a DWI waiting to happen )
A suggestion would be to take your car to a shop and indicate that you desire to have the front end gone over and repaired by them ( which is half true )
They will take the time to let you know what parts they feel need attention and Need replacement and give you a price for the work
That will allow you to do what ever part of the job you may be capable of replacing yourself— if any
You can then have the shop replace the additional parts needed ( if any ) and have a front end alignment done
Sure you will enjoy the —new FEEL of the car —( tighten up its feel ) out on the road after the work is done which should justify the time and expense having your car back and driving Like A Cadillac ( Yes !!)
i got the car to the shop to have them look at that steering wander,,, i must admit, that i dint have the wheels alignned after i changed teh outer tie rods, but anyway, they got under and said the center link has a little bit of play in it and felt it should be changed,,, now,, should teh center link (the long metal bar) be changed or the bushings that it attached to or the perifery parts, appears to get a center link is several hundred dollars..so i am wondering what about a metal bar could be bad or is its the end pieces that go out that need to be replaced...
Change the center link. I get the part from ebay.
Do i need any bushings or other parts to make that change? Are these new parts or rebuilt or both? Is it doable from a home mechanic standpoint, or bettr to let them lift it up.
No bushings and I do not know of any remanufactured drag links. You will need a tie rod puller so you do not damage the boots on the tie rods.
igot one ordered, supposed to be in next week.. let you know how it goes...hopefully, between this and an aliginment, the wander willl be gone..its a real driving hazard as it really looks like im driving drunk,