Sloppy Steering Syndrome - Problems & Solutions Video

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This is our 2014 annual open house and I've always wanted to say we're live in front of a studio audience so pan around here that's awesome we didn't even have an applause sign they just did that so this is Mike banks and you've had this car for a year and a half two years a year and a half yeah yeah what we're doing today is we're doing a video we're not going to fix anybody's power steering or suspension problems or anything but the number one call I think I get behind electrical which I know nothing about so don't call me the number one call behind that electrical is my car has slop you know it wanders it should it do this should it do that and so we're going to put three four five cars starting with Mike's on the lift here and give you a how-to on what to wiggle and what to check for and what the remedy is so far away let's put this up on the hoist so so you mentioned that this had maybe had a little slack coming down here and you felt it wasn't tight what was it feeling like just a little bit of play in the wheel so you're you're constantly you're driving it you're working it and you're not you in my opinion pick a side and kind of hang there until yeah until you need to yeah switch a lot of people say well it's an old car you got to expect the technology wasn't the greatest and that's completely wrong these cars were designed to run at 75 miles an hour all day long and you should be able to do that on bias-ply tires with one hand that's that's my opinion I've driven some cars are extremely tight and that's been an eye experience so let's start wiggling and see what we see here the first thing I always do I want you to look for anywhere where you see it moving where it shouldn't so I'm going to do it first what do you see look at joints here I'm going to do it this way yeah okay I feel something right here hear that clunk clunk clunk clunk is that looking like you know I'm going to have you do it and I'm going to look so first go back and forth and I'm going to feel right here in this joint okay I'm feeling clunk right here just a little bit okay stop now your idle arm that's a number one place always like the idler arm seems rock solid that's aftermarket it's been replaced its greased okay do it again yeah yeah I'm feeling a little bit I'm feeling in the bearings which can just mean repack and then tighten them down but most likely means new bearings you know how many miles you think this car has about 50 thousands what I was told were they easy little old lady miles or where they dragged Peck force beat eliminator miles right on let's go over and do it on this one go ahead and wiggle this to her for me yeah I'm feeling a little bit a little bit of clunk clunk in this this outer tie rod in now here's something else I want to pay attention to let's watch this joint Andrew why he shakes it what's going on there see that now here's the problem of these control valves you'll take it to Firestone Goodyear wherever the local shop and they'll put it on the rack and they'll say oh look sir look at all this slack here when I will wobble it back and forth well that's a misnomer these power steering systems were meant to be charged pressure right there so you can't do that little test until it's running so we'll have to put it on the ground and start the car to actually test that one but a lot of people spend a lot of money on a part they don't need now grant a lot of them do need that part but let's not waste money where now this is going to be hard to test cuz you got hitters in a big block so for me to reach in there I'm going to I'm going to look at the power steering box next how hot burn let's see if I can

oh and the horse beam stuff doesn't help and a locking column yeah we're screwed but what I'm going to do here in a second I'll explain it to you is I always like to get both hands on the steering box one on the pitman arm and run on the rag joint and I rakh that that that that that rag joint back-and-forth ever-so-slightly just a little bit and for every tiny movement you give there you should feel a little bit here a lot of people think a little bit no movement no big deal you'd be surprised the smallest amount at that spot translates to this on the road a lot of people don't know you you can adjust these and we'll talk about that later overall I'm seeing this is pretty tight

okay this is Connor and this your 68 how long have you had it had it for about two years now this month and you drove it from Seattle yep how was it down i-5 in the rats um a little sloppy a bit okay well let's start wiggling stuff get on the other side of this tire and we'll see what happens it's good there wiggle it really hard grab it side to side okay I can see what's going on here look at this Andrew look at this right there that's given much unit you can stop wiggling there that's giving you a ton of slop right there these are only good for about 40-50 thousand miles by the US made not the import and you get a little more life out of it you shouldn't have to have an alignment after you change that but if you feel any pulling and isn't tracking down get alignment because you'll chew up your tires let's look at the rest of this these bushings look cracked why don't you grab right here right here yeah and give it some forceful pulls back and forth yeah okay

I'm seeing some cracked worn bushings here if you do replace these you got to get an alignment go ahead we let tire again I want to fill this joint those two those two joints feel good which I'm going to assume even though this one's split open I'm going to assume these are going to be good to go ahead and do it again okay I'm feeling a feeling a little slop in here and then you didn't have it on film Andrew but I saw a little little excessive slop here I'm seeing some we pige here - I think this control valve needs to be rebuilt because when we had it on the ground and he had the car running I saw this going back and forth a little too much so there's something that needs to be rebuilt and lastly yeah you got a ton of slop here yeah look at that here you can get the camera in here I'm moving I'm moving this that much and the the pitman arm is going nowhere so you got you got three areas if not for that need attention so you're going to need to adjust or rebuild rebuild replace on the idler arm replace on there and you know these these are original lower control arms and you know as your as your in there and you know you might inspect them see if maybe they don't need to be rebuild to actually look okay yes the inside and see the bushings here but we start peeling things apart and getting in there you might consider you know looking at the whole front end

okay now okay does that mean okay go or okay that we're pretty soon we're gonna get going Oh actually that's the word we gotta suck in our guts oh here it is no screw that this is Scott hey what's wrong your car oh it's an old piece of junk I have a I have a special attachment for this car because back when I was a kid I used to drive by Tom Peterson's furniture warehouse on 82nd in Portland in this white XR at the time white X r7g color white it was just an old dirty beater sitting out there in the parking lot and a guy named Chris broast used to drive it to work every day so him and I were into Cougars at the same time as kids so and my whole driving career I've been associated with this car and by the way the second owner got in touch with me there and sent a bunch of did he find the original owners manual oh yes yes indeed cool it's not in the car because I don't anyway back the power steering so what's it doing on the road it's a little slack yeah it's a little you know in some of the interstates you know have them lovely groups that are Bodie so you're fighting it you're fighting it down there and you know you know especially because right now I'm running with the Raider wheels and the bias-ply tires it's a little bit more of so you're a glutton for punishment did you not get the recall letter actually I have a copy of it Ford you sent it to me you ought to go to the dealership I should yeah okay well I have another set of wheels all right let's put it in the air see all right


audience is amazed

this is a small-block car without headers so Andrew this is going to be a good one for to show how I'm going to test the steering box oh you got a rip boot here that's that's a huge $10 part so I'm going to grab up here when Scott gets out of my way I'm going to grab up here with my left hand on the rag joint burn my elbow on this pipe ooh I feel I feel something in the column you got to tilt column in this yeah okay I'm just rocking the rag joint back and I can feel a click click click click you got some you got some looseness prior to even getting down to this area you got something going on that tilt column yeah I can just but just by wiggling I can hear a click click click click hear that yeah now let's that's hot yeah you got something going on there ok now I'm going to grab here oh look at this buddy like this I'm wobbling this rag joint back and forth and nothing is happening on this pitman arm you got nothing so you're going down the road you're doing this yeah a little bit and you're having to overcorrect yeah your steering box might not be ruined or any need rebuild but at minimum it needs a substantial adjustment yeah so you got you got two problems right here before you get to anything over here to adjust a steering box and granted only slightly worn boxes can be adjusted most of just need to be rebuilt but when Scott gets home he's going to try to adjust his box and here's how he's going to do it he's going to reach in there probably not a wrench that big but he's going to get in there and he's going to break this nut I broke the nut because they can become kind of stiff and he's going to look how this is indexed and he's going to turn it one quarter turn tighter and then he's going to leave his screwdriver there and then lock it in place and really refit down and he's going to drive it around the block or he's going to you know see how it feels and if that and it probably won't because there's quite a bit of slop in yours but if that doesn't do it he's going to do the procedure one more time wrong into the wrench I think it's one you know so he's going to go 1/4 of a turn further on the box and then he can feel on the rag joint and by the way when he's doing this in the driveway the tires are straight ahead so now he's going to feel in this one I knew had slop in it and maybe he's going to say that's good enough and this one this used box that actually did it I don't feel any slop here I'm moving back and forth I got this firmly planted here look at that so on this particular old box that somebody turned into a coin for a core on a rebuilt they actually could have got by for a number of years without buying a rebuilt from us if they had known that some people just want to do everything at once and then they know they're good for another 40 years and hundred and some thousand miles but anyway don't go more than a half turn quarter and then half because what we got inside there is worn gears this is what your slop looks like is you're going down the road and by adjusting it you're taking these worn gears and you're pushing them closer together you're not really fixing anything it's just a remedy but taking worn gears and mashing them into each other it's going to feel terrible going down the road and you're going to ruin your core and if that doesn't work you just call us up and we have a rebuild on an exchange basis so when I grab that rag joint and I was going like this I could feel something going click click in here so this is this is taken out of a 68 tilt look what's going on there and that you joint remember remember I could hear that click click sound I'm not saying yours is bad but that right there you're swerving all over the road if you got that much play and this isn't for the average guy to to service so there's one area the other area starting in 68 you had what was called a collapsible column you got in a wreck and this was designed to collapse as opposed to skewer you like the 67 jump in here dawn what are you showing us well let me ke I think you probably done it already this this one the you can see no claws

there'll be two - looks like pins and they're just plastic and I what they did is I cut this one here you have a plastic piece there two of them and there's pins there and you can see it come out the other side on here and that would collapse when most people put these in or try to put a man they put them in wrong and they will hammer on it a little bit no break these mm-hmm try and put it back in and try and tighten them up a little bit because you get the slop here yeah here right yeah and now transfer to your wheel and now I'll actually put maybe one two inches on your wheel or you'll feel the vibration yeah here's something else sometimes people get into these columns and they mix and match them they got a 68 column and a 69 column both on the issues they say oh they're close enough they put them together well here's what they don't realize these are indexed to go a certain way and they'll get them 180 off which means this little D shaped thing is indexed wrong which means the tiny little knotch all of a sudden will see that that's indexed wrong in your average mechanic it a shop is we're used to modern cars modern cars are never going to have this problem so they can replace everything in your front suspension and still go I don't know and here we go you know it's the simplest of things so something to look at so I think you got two maybe three problems going on there that is causing yours to wander

you drove all the way from where in Canada Victoria BC oh my goodness and you got your wife to driving this car with no AC yes she didn't drive though I did they deserve an award my friend she's a good navigator okay so what's it doing steering all over the place all over those we hold a straight line and corners are an adventure powder how many miles on this car this is I rebuild a 1500 since total maybe do you know this is new since I first built yeah I was well over a hundred thousand I told the speedometer oh yeah and going on 50 years but everything's been replaced are most things right well we'll find out what wasn't okay looks like everything's new here what it didn't you replace that I don't remember the steering box probably uh-huh everything else has been redeemed upper lower control arms tie rods everything okay well let's let's go ahead and wiggle this here and see if I can feel any now that feels pretty good there let's do the other side over here yeah that one's real real tight do it again so I can look at the idler arm and this

this one of all the this is the tightest one so far this is tight in every area let's look at the steering box Oh headers yeah fun ha ha ha we're going to take a break we're going to come back to this one water break ok I'm moving the

rag joint ever so much grab on to the pitman arm and I got a ton of slop in here look at that I'm I'm getting no movement on the pitman arm and look how much I'm moving the rag joint yeah so let's adjust this one and see what it does

oh I've got trying to get movement moving at all it seems to be speed right on to the so much paint hunter I don't think I can move it okay what we found on his car is every bit of the suspension was rock tight not a little bit of barring play everything was brand new just like it was supposed to but the steering box was way loose I suggested adjusting it but in the end when you got a lot of slop in your box all it's going to do is make it a little better and he had so much thread paint on his threads that he couldn't adjust it so anyway this is you know a lot of times you don't need to get your car in the air you can look at this look all that slop so so if you were to put the camera underneath the car you'd see that that was the area that was giving you all the slop like that he's going down the road doing this and the cars doing nothing yeah so you got I don't know how much that's that's four inches or so of play what do you see any what's that idler I'm doing going up and down yeah so there's your biggie right there slab if I go 12 o'clock in 6 o'clock I might

feel some ball joint looseness there what do you what do you see there Marcus you poke under there and see what you see on that upper ball joint yeah so upper ball joints

this is mark Mullen and he came all the way from Hong Kong yes via BC but yeah he spends most of the time in Hong Kong so that was interesting so what's your car doing like a lot of the folks it's wandering very slightly on the steering column but everything else seems to be tight but if I can get rid of that I'd be happy okay I think on this one I want to show the control valve tested for slack while it's still on the ground so he's going to start it up we're gonna poke the camera I'm there and show show what it looks like so go ahead and he's going to point a light under it and we'll tell you when to start it up and just gently

rock the steering wheel back and forth

okay why don't you give me some side-to-side movement here I don't really feel any movement here go ahead and do it again tight there tight there

this really looks tight everywhere to be honest with you Wow this steering box has I'm going to say it's got minimal play this one I'll bet if you turn that steering box in a quarter turn you're done on that one I'm seeing fresh components here everywhere oh the steering column you got a tilt or fix taste I'm going to grab onto that rags right now I'm going I'm going to see if I can feel anything in the steering column I kind of do feel a little bit in there I wonder I wonder if we lowered it down and if I grabbed on to it as tight as I could sometimes if you can put vise grips on the end of the thing and hold it stationary then rock your steering wheel back and forth I wonder if maybe inside your column in that two piece column we don't have some slack okay let's go back down

Wow for the other a little likes so that's about 20 this is the amount of play that I'm getting.

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