Very stiff steering after new box; pinch pump return line???

Brakes, Steering & Suspension

  1. Geff McCarthy

    Geff McCarthy FBBO Gold Member FBBO Gold Member

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    The front suspension, brakes, and steering is all new on my 63 SF. However, the steering is so stiff that there is no caster return: the car stays in the turn unless I manually wind it back to straight ahead. Alignment is close to specs.
    The guys who rebuilt the box say to do a "pinch test"; pinch the return line, and if you can compress it, the pump is weak.
    We did, and I can compress it almost closed. (Brand new hose).
    So, what advice? Could this be the cause, new, stiff box with old weak pump? Is it worth rebuilding the steering pump? Thanks for advice!
     
  2. R413

    R413 Well-Known Member

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    What is the return pressure on a PS pump? I don’t think that’s a very valid test.

    Has everything been greased in the front end? Maybe drive it some and see if it gets any better? Does it have enough caster to return from a turn? Do you have a print out of your alignment specs?

    Is this from a local PS Box rebuilder that is widely known in the hobby?
     
  3. Geff McCarthy

    Geff McCarthy FBBO Gold Member FBBO Gold Member

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    Yes excellent rebuilder here in Pac NW, I don't want to criticize them publicly, as their turn around time is miraculous, and their customer focus superb. The print out of the alignment is at the mechanic's. It was done to the specs of an 80 Reliant, the oldest their machine had, but is close to correct. It is so stiff that it turns a constant circle!
     
  4. pnora

    pnora FBBO Gold Member FBBO Gold Member

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    Even without a pump the gear box should want to return to center. The power assist does not return the steering under power. I would loosen the sector up a bit. Mark it, crack the nut loose and back it off one turn and drive it.
     
  5. R413

    R413 Well-Known Member

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    This is a lot of work but I’d swap in a good used steering box to see if it’s the box or the car. I know this is kinda crazy amount of work and I wouldn’t look forward to the task.

    I don’t like altering their new steering box. They know what they are doing with boxes.

    80 reliant? I would like to know if it is toe out like a front drive car is speced out and how much caster it has. Can you go get a copy of where your car is set?

    In the future Don’t use FWD specs for RWD cars.
     
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    • 1 Wild R/T

      1 Wild R/T FBBO Gold Member FBBO Gold Member

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      First lose you 80 K (FWD) car alignment specs.... Adjust for absolutely as much caster as you can... You want the front cams all the way out & the rear cams most of the way in, adjust the rear to get Camber in the .5 negative range... Set toe at 1/8" total toe in....

      It does sound like the pump is weak but that's not gonna cause a failure to return... As mentioned if the mesh is to tight that can give you problems but if the guys setting up the box have any skill they'd more likely leave it slightly loose than slightly tight...
       
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      • Geff McCarthy

        Geff McCarthy FBBO Gold Member FBBO Gold Member

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        Thanks! Will do. Is it worth rebuilding the pump?
         
      • Ron H

        Ron H FBBO Gold Member FBBO Gold Member

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        Agree - in the olden days the worm gear could be torqued tighter to remove some of the sloppy play; but then it would lose some of the auto return. Yeah, alignment spec's are critical; though if the wheel is super tight it sure sounds like the mesh has been over-torqued...
         
      • pnora

        pnora FBBO Gold Member FBBO Gold Member

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        Did the pump work before this gear box replacement.
         
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        • Geff McCarthy

          Geff McCarthy FBBO Gold Member FBBO Gold Member

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          Yes it worked well, AFAIK. The steering and suspension were unbelievably loose. All the adjustment on the box was used. Hence the rebuild.
           
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          • Ron H

            Ron H FBBO Gold Member FBBO Gold Member

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            I got a FF Stage II box and my old ride drives pert near as nice as those new-fangled modern cars (well with a few other adds).
             
          • Geff McCarthy

            Geff McCarthy FBBO Gold Member FBBO Gold Member

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            Apologies to all: I asked for the HD spec, not the factory spec "balls". They have offered to re-do with the standard size balls. So, before I pay for its removal, and re-do, I am trying to decide whether to spend the $ to rebuild the pump.
             
          • pnora

            pnora FBBO Gold Member FBBO Gold Member

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            Just try backing off the adjustment. I am telling you this for a reason.
             
          • Geff McCarthy

            Geff McCarthy FBBO Gold Member FBBO Gold Member

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            Sorry again: I backed it off a full 2.5 turns, no change.
             
          • pnora

            pnora FBBO Gold Member FBBO Gold Member

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            Then I would get a pressure test done. Thats about all thats left to be sure.
             
          • R413

            R413 Well-Known Member

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            Rebuilding the pump won’t hurt anything, then you’ll know it’s fresh and new.

            I’d be motivated to recheck the alignment. You can post the numbers here and we can see if it’s correct or way off, the K car numbers don’t give me any confidence.
             
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            • Geff McCarthy

              Geff McCarthy FBBO Gold Member FBBO Gold Member

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              Thanks to all for sage advice. as we say in the cockpit...WILCO. (Will comply!)
               
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              • MarPar

                MarPar If it weighs, it pays FBBO Gold Member

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