[Q] - Steering Problem?? - Chevy Nova Forum
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Old 30th-December-2012, 09:14 PM   #1
iced00d

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[Q] - Steering Problem??

Good eveing folks. After getting the beast from the garage last week, the mech told me that he was concerned about the steering. After putting the new rear end in, they took it for a test drive (more like a smoke test because of the new posi diff they put in ) they noticed that the car was very 'squirrelly' while driving. After looking at the front end, they could not determine what the cause was, even after tighting up the belts. They suggested that a new steering box and idler arm be replaced (apparently the idler arm is broken, which doesnt make sense to me how I'm still able to drive it). All in all, we are looking around 1k for the work.

After doing some research I found that some steering boxes have a 'quick steering' setup for those who like to turn on a dime. So the question here is, how do I know I'm not being snowballed and how do I know if I have good steering components? Also how difficult is it to change out a steering box and idler arm? Thanks in advance and sorry for the noobish question. I'm still in the 'motorhead' learing phase :P ...
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Old 30th-December-2012, 10:31 PM   #2
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Quote:
Originally Posted by iced00d View Post
Good eveing folks. After getting the beast from the garage last week, the mech told me that he was concerned about the steering. After putting the new rear end in, they took it for a test drive (more like a smoke test because of the new posi diff they put in ) they noticed that the car was very 'squirrelly' while driving. After looking at the front end, they could not determine what the cause was, even after tighting up the belts. They suggested that a new steering box and idler arm be replaced (apparently the idler arm is broken, which doesnt make sense to me how I'm still able to drive it). All in all, we are looking around 1k for the work.

After doing some research I found that some steering boxes have a 'quick steering' setup for those who like to turn on a dime. So the question here is, how do I know I'm not being snowballed and how do I know if I have good steering components? Also how difficult is it to change out a steering box and idler arm? Thanks in advance and sorry for the noobish question. I'm still in the 'motorhead' learing phase :P ...
Hey pal,you are getting snowballed.First of all I'm not getting the steering gearbox? if it's turning back & forth with no problem then you have no problem with it. The pitman arm is attatched to the steering gearbox,it is what makes the drag link go back & forth. The idler arm is your problem if it is broke. It is a stabilizing supporting arm that keeps the arms in line. It bolts to your frame and connects to the center link (drag link) which is the arm that connects the tie-rod ends to your spindles. Replace your idler arm first.and go from there. You can rent a tie-rod fork from your auto parts store and change your idler arm yourself. It has no affect on your alignment so don't let them B.S. you.
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Old 30th-December-2012, 10:38 PM   #3
70L34

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My guess is that the new rear is not square to the chassis. I had this problem with a few 1st gen Camaros and it causes problems similar to what you're describing. The basic idea is that if the rear wheels do not track parallel to the front wheels, the car will try to 'steer' itself when you accelerate and the driver will have to correct by adding steering angle.

There may be enough clearance in the spring pad locating holes that you can loosen the U-bolts and reposition the axle. Of course you'll have to measure the front-to-rear wheel center distance to be sure the rear is aligned correctly before you retorque the U-bolts.

Let us know how you make out.
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Old 30th-December-2012, 11:42 PM   #4
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How can they suggest replacing parts if they cannot determine what the cause was. they dont know what they are doing and shouldnt be touching cars, i would check the allingment of the rear end like suggested in a previous post. tightening belts will only work if the belt is slipping and not turning the power steering pump adequately, this would cause hard to steer problems. meaning the steering wheel will be hard to turn. good luck.
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Old 31st-December-2012, 12:21 AM   #5
iced00d

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Glad I asked you guys first! I should of added that when I drove the car, it reacted like when i first got it, and that was that it turned on a dime. About the only thing I noticed before hand, was that if i turned the steering wheel too far to the right or left a loud squealing noise would happen. Tks much for the feedback. I'll see if there's a local motorhead that can help with this.
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Old 31st-December-2012, 07:03 PM   #6
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Good idea. Maybe one of the members is local to you and can take your car for a spin.
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Old 31st-December-2012, 10:15 PM   #7
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It ain't rack & pinion

So many of the new cars are that the old steering feels like you are driving on ice. That said, Do check your front to rear alignment. There are slots in the frame where the spring pad bolts to the body that allow some movement, but it can also change the height of the car a bit because you are sliding the spring forward or back. It's also a pita.
I rebuild my entire steering system, changed from a variable ratio steering box to a quick ratio, and got a new power steering pump, and am very happy with the tightness and response. The worst parts of the job were the control arm bushings and ball joints. The rest was just dirty.
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Old 1st-January-2013, 09:06 AM   #8
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Take it to a reputable front end alignment. If you don't know how to check the front end pieces, they will check it for free while they align it. If it needs some small low buck items then let them change them and align it for you. If it needs more money pieces then you can elect to have them go ahead and align it or go fix it yourself and bring it back when repaired.
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