BADASS of New England

An automobile club for the enthusiast who enjoys the last of the big GM cars. The rear wheel drive B and D bodys. Chevrolet Impala SS, Caprice, 9C1, Buick Roadmaster, Oldsmobile Custom Cruiser, Cadillac Fleetwood
 
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 Steering question

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Ironfistdog

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Posts : 2133
Join date : 2011-01-11
Age : 36
Location : Warren, MA

PostSubject: Steering question   Mon Jul 02, 2012 8:01 pm

Ok gonna try and explain the whole situation.....
Original steering wheel on the caddy was straight forward while driving, guy I bought it from said there was a problem with the variable steering. Noticed it at first but after changing a lower B/J it kinda went away,

Then I swapped in the 8" chain steering wheel and drove it like that no issues.
Then I got sick of driving with a hot metal wheel and swapped back the factory wheel, I parked the car straight and alligned the horn wire hole, installed the wheel and now it's crooked to the left (wheel straight makes car veer right)
So I figured wtf must need an allignment or whatever. Steering feels really loose and sloppy which I played up to having a bigger wheel after having the 8" for so long.

Today I pulled into dunkin donuts drive thru and as I came around the corner I steered hard to make the turn..... I heard a click and then as I pulled out of the drive thru and back on the road noticed the wheel is now almost straight but a little off to the RIGHT now while driving straight.

My question is can a pitman arm or idler arm jump splines and then steer fine (like if they are on there way out??) of is there something else I should be looking at steering box etc?

Any thoughts?
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IMPALADAKID
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Age : 49

PostSubject: Re: Steering question   Mon Jul 02, 2012 8:24 pm

Almost impossible to strip a pitman arm on anything not used off road. However, if the idler arm, tie rod, or the center link is junk. It will make everything sloppy and bind. The VAS was acting up on me in the green car once and a while. Bill C said his 6 speed fleetwood did the same thing. He can shed more light on that issue, but it looks like a Caprice steering pump will get rid of the problem forever, or just disconnect the wire harness to the stock pump. This should keep it in easy assist without firming up at speed.

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96Brougham



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Join date : 2009-02-02
Age : 30
Location : Easton MA

PostSubject: Re: Steering question   Mon Jul 02, 2012 8:26 pm

I check box/idler/pitman. I've had trucks come in with very loose idler arms(pulling up and down on it) that would be off to the left, then to the right. Steering wheel has a master spline so your problem might have become worse for the car during the time the chain wheel was on and now that your stock again you're noticing it. Is this the bagged caddy? Are you noticing steering wheel changed at the SAME ride height?
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Ironfistdog

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Location : Warren, MA

PostSubject: Re: Steering question   Mon Jul 02, 2012 9:02 pm

This is in the bagged caddy. Usually I run it full or close to full up at speeds over 40mph, and full down anything under, I am noticing it while at full up. BUT I also just stuck 20" rims under it and this is when I noticed the wheel now to the right. So it's a different height at full up now I believe. Im at work now, but will experiment with it tomorrow on the ride home, I'll also check the idler and what not.
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95brmw

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Location : Connecticut

PostSubject: Re: Steering question   Mon Jul 02, 2012 11:11 pm

Its funny that you mention this, I have the same issue on my 9C1. I swapped the wheel for one that wasn't falling apart and the new one is turned to the right a bit. I figured the wheel was molded wrong or something lol. My FWB does the variable assist fail every now and then (mostly at low speeds). In my case I loose all power steering and have to fight the wheel until it comes back. I have a bunch of codes in the climate control for it and plan to put a Caprice pump in there at some point.
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Ironfistdog

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Location : Warren, MA

PostSubject: Re: Steering question   Tue Jul 03, 2012 3:02 am

Same here on the caprice box, idk maybe I'm off a tooth on the spline. I just put it where the horn wire could go through. Since I have a broken horn wire sleeve I'm gonna have to pull it off again anyway. Might as well check to see if I didnt align it perfect.
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95brmw

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PostSubject: Re: Steering question   Tue Jul 03, 2012 7:48 am

Ironfistdog wrote:
Same here on the caprice box, idk maybe I'm off a tooth on the spline. I just put it where the horn wire could go through. Since I have a broken horn wire sleeve I'm gonna have to pull it off again anyway. Might as well check to see if I didnt align it perfect.

On these cars you can't put the wheel on wrong by one spline, the wheel is keyed.
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