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Weird steering problem

  #1  
Old 11-02-2011, 05:29 AM
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Default Weird steering problem

I have never encountered a problem like this before. When i turn the steering wheel, it is very stiff then loose then stiff then loose... and thats on one steering wheel turn ?
I checked the pwr steering fluid and its ok, the strap sqeals a bit when i turn but i guess that should be solved when i find the problem.
I know i have a cracked driveshaft boot but its not making noise when i turn, i will change that pretty soon.
Could it be the rack and pinion thats dirty ?
 
  #2  
Old 11-02-2011, 10:30 AM
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Is this a constant issue, never gets better. Or after starting, the problem appears for a few seconds, a minute then the steering is normal again.

Unless the steering system is hitting the stops at each end of travel the belt should not squeal.

How is the steering with the engine off, same issues? Raise the front of the car and check for what should be free and easy steering.

Check the belt tightness and condition.

The boot prevents dirt from going into the housing. The rack and pinion itself is sealed, only ends of the rack are exposed as they travel in and out of the boot. Much like a hydraulic cylinder.
 
  #3  
Old 11-02-2011, 11:48 AM
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The driveshafts are still ok, i will be changing the boots next week as i remove the engine to put in the rebuilt one. i havent had a chace to raise the vehicle yet. ill check this afternoon to see how it is with the engine off but i expect the same.
The belt is probably sqealing becaus the pump has to work hard to move the wheels, but its not sqealing a lot, just barely.
when i turn the wheel its almost like every turn of a gear has a soft side a a harsh side ? i just bought it so i dont know much about the car yet, or for how long it has been like that.
but the rest is a-1, no rust, suspention and brakes new... just that problem and that damn noise in the rear swaybar that i will fix later.
 
  #4  
Old 11-02-2011, 06:48 PM
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The steering is rack and pinion, if either are damaged the steering housing needs to be taken off for repairs. Most owners opt for a rebuilt unit.

One other place to check is the U-joint at the bottom of the steering column shaft inside the engine compartment. Check for binding of the U-joint.

The best time to remove/replace the housing if required or U-joint is if the engine is out.
 
  #5  
Old 11-02-2011, 08:07 PM
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well, start with obvious. ripped U-joint boot=busted U-joint. as U-joint is engaged when wheel turns, you may as well have ratchet response caused by it.
DO NOT REPLACE BOOTS. it's waste of time. replace entire driveaxle. they are so inexpensive nowadays that they cost about as much as 2 boots, and come with nice juicy warranty. it's about 20 minute job per side, if you know what you doing and have all the tools.
THEN you can see if it fixed it. otherwise, your rack is prolly gone south. broken tooth, misalignment, or whatever. you can flush it, there's usually drain valve down at the bottom, next to hydraulic lines. I had a Chrysler that did this turning one way only, ended up with replaced rack.
 
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