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steering is sloppy


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Happy day. My 78' Zmobile was fitted with 16" Konig Silver Rewinds and Cooper RS3's today, but.........

The guys at Tire Kingdom tell me that my rack "has some play", and the steering wheel will arc back and forth approx 3" each way before I feel the tires grab and start to turn. My mechanic has told me that new urethane bushings will help a lot to tighten things up and I don't mind spending the bucks for that. Do you think that will do the trick or I looking at a total rack and pinion replacement ?

It is a one owner car.........me, and has 105,000 miles on it. No abuse, but I have not ever had to do anything with the steering section. Is my lucky streak over? I remember when it was new it would turn on a dime and give you 5 cents change. I want that tight turning feel again. What to do ?

Thanks for your help.

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I'd try the rag joint coupler just outside of the firewall, at least check it. 105k easy miles or not that car is 35 years old. I spent 3 months on my back last summer with my 280z on 6 4x4's and stripped the entire chassis. I media blasted it all, painted it, put in all new poly bushings, KYB strut cartridges and Eibach springs. It was quite the project, I even did the spindle pins, what a bastard those are. I even tried to replicate all the factory assembly line paint dabs and created by hand a stencil to reduplicate the numbers found on the mustache bar that you might be able to see through the right rear wheel well where it attached to the body.

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I had a bit of slipage on mine, and one day while working on the turn signals I pushed on the tire and noticed that the whole steering rack shifted slightly.

A little investigation showed that the rubber bushings holding/ clamping the steering rack in place had deteriorated and allowed up to 3/4" of play in either direction... for a total of 1.5" AT THE RACK! That explained why the car would wander erratically while holding the steering wheel straight, one time it would be pulling to the right, next time to the left and then other times... straight.

R&R the bushings, cleaned and tightened them and the problem went away.

Check that before you go disassembling the whole front end.



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I had play in the right hand side tie-rod of the rack & pinion. It was a pain to adjust. Had to remove the rack and cut the weld that locked it together and then reweld it. The old mount rubbers and the steering coupling rubber replaced with urethane. The steering tightened up a lot & now feels very responsive. I changed all the suspension rubbers with eruthane. Helps handeling a lot, but ride comfort and noise suffer. Been on a rattle hunt since then.

Edited by EuroDat
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In addition to what has been stated, there is also some lash adjustment on the rack. Take off the large retaining nut and screw on the rack, make sure everything I'd lubed, a d snug it back together.

I did the same thing on my 73 about 15 years ago (and front bushings, too) and haven't had a problem with sloppy steering since.

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