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post #1 of 45 (permalink) Old 09-20-2004, 08:20 AM Thread Starter
 
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Steering doesn't return....

Hey guys, for awhile now my steering has been very stiff. It's hard to turn the wheel and around corners the wheel only returns a little bit, I have to crank it back around the rest. Theres no noise or anything coming from the suspension or steering so it's hard to tell whats wrong. The only sound is the power steering working when you crank the wheel. Anyone have any ideas? Thanks.
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post #2 of 45 (permalink) Old 09-20-2004, 08:31 AM
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That can be a tough one since there are a lot of different things that can impact the steering.

I'd check the following:
Obviously a check for worn/binding parts (ball joints, rack/pinion, steering coupling, etc)
Alignment (caster is what will make a wheel return straight after a turn)
Is the power steering pump EVO plugged in? (The variable rate boost may be having a problem)

That’s just some thing to check. But it sounds like it should definitely be looked into… steering is “fairly important” to driving.

Good luck and let us know what you find.

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post #3 of 45 (permalink) Old 09-20-2004, 02:07 PM Thread Starter
 
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Thanks for the reply, turns out my passenger side lower ball joint was dry, I pumped some grease into it but the steering is still stiff. Also, where is that EVO located? Right below the fuse box I noticed there is a wiring harness that is disconnected, I couldnt find where it connects too though, could that be it? I plan to get both driver side and passenger lower control arms when I can afford them. Thanks alot....
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post #4 of 45 (permalink) Old 09-20-2004, 02:36 PM
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The EVO is mounted directly on the side of the power steering pump. It's just a two pronged plug (I think). And the harness would be right under the large fuse box and plugs into the pump/EVO.

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post #5 of 45 (permalink) Old 09-20-2004, 06:58 PM
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Also check your tie rod ends - if you can wiggle the steering wheel back and forth slightly and it doesnt seem to react very well, they may be worn also.

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post #6 of 45 (permalink) Old 09-21-2004, 12:53 AM
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probably not the EVO since it's design to fail to full assist.




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post #7 of 45 (permalink) Old 10-17-2004, 04:44 PM
 
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Big_Irish, did you solve the problem? If you did, what was the solution?
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post #8 of 45 (permalink) Old 10-28-2004, 09:35 PM
 
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post #9 of 45 (permalink) Old 10-28-2004, 10:46 PM
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thats how my car was, and then the wheel broke off. be careful. it was really hard to turn the wheel like for a week. then one day going straight the car fell on the floor. the lower ball joint in the front right wheel broke off, so the tire could be picked up off the ground. i think thats whats going on with your car. hope this helps

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post #10 of 45 (permalink) Old 11-19-2004, 06:25 PM
 
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I found my 4.6 and my friends 4.6 didn't really return to straight and where a bit harder to turn than my older 3.8 NA. I tell ya that 3.8 was soooo easy to turn around a corner and then it zipped right back to you coming out of the turn. I figured this was just normal as they have different steering and more weight over the front. But mabie its this lame EVO thing. Hmm... something to check!

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post #11 of 45 (permalink) Old 11-19-2004, 06:51 PM
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Increasing positive caster can also help this. Maybe try lengthening the strut rod at the frame about 2 threads at a time and see if it doesn't help this.

Primer is lighter than basecoat/clearcoat... besides, going fast IS looking good.

Anyone want parts. I got BBQ'd
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post #12 of 45 (permalink) Old 11-28-2004, 06:44 PM Thread Starter
 
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Hey Eric, I took the car in to see what a few mechanics had to say, 2 of em agreed it was the ball joint. They then quoted me 800 CDN to change it... after I got off the floor from laughing at that quote I got my car out of there and only drive it when necesary until I can change both my lower control arms. Lower control arms are relatively easy to change in your driveway with an impact wrench so that's next on the to do list.
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post #13 of 45 (permalink) Old 12-04-2004, 08:18 PM
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im glad you found your problem, but i just thought i'd give my .02 to anyone that stil has a steering issue......negative camber; looks somthing like this (if you're looking at the front of the car) /---\ more commonly seen on riceburners, can result in hard steering.....just think of it this way.... if you stand with your legs together like this l l someone could easily push you over correct? so if you have positive camber like this \---/ the cars "legs" are closer together so it is too responsive and wandery, whereas if you stand with your legs spread apart like this / \ it is much harder for someone to push you over, so a car with negative camber /---\ is more stable yet harder to steer.

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post #14 of 45 (permalink) Old 12-05-2004, 05:23 PM
 
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99.9999% is ball joint.
I had the exactly same thing on my V6; it dropped the left lower ball joint when my wife drove it in a parking lot. Very scared, we had a long trip a day before.
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post #15 of 45 (permalink) Old 12-12-2004, 12:05 PM
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Quote:
Originally posted by Audiobahnbird
im glad you found your problem, but i just thought i'd give my .02 to anyone that stil has a steering issue......negative camber; looks somthing like this (if you're looking at the front of the car) /---\ more commonly seen on riceburners, can result in hard steering.....just think of it this way.... if you stand with your legs together like this l l someone could easily push you over correct? so if you have positive camber like this \---/ the cars "legs" are closer together so it is too responsive and wandery, whereas if you stand with your legs spread apart like this / \ it is much harder for someone to push you over, so a car with negative camber /---\ is more stable yet harder to steer.
Actually, it isn't necessarily more stable, but when the car is in a corner, the inside tire (with less weight on it) is pushed straighter up or down so it has a larger contact patch. Otherwise racecars would have high negative camber.

The reason cars with high negative camber have stiff steering is because they have that high negative camber from being lowered improperly. This has also caused the caster to become neutral or worse.

Cars with too much positive camber are easy to steer because the tires are not riding on their full contact patch and ride worse in cornering. Cars with negative caster and bent control arms are wandery.

Primer is lighter than basecoat/clearcoat... besides, going fast IS looking good.

Anyone want parts. I got BBQ'd
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post #16 of 45 (permalink) Old 02-06-2011, 12:46 AM
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power steering

1994 bird has been acting squirly on turns...freeways ramps...e.t.c...anytime u make a turn...car is great on open road and turns opwerates very good.It acts as if it over correcting it self...like it has the jitters....That electricalk plug on side of p/steering pump.....tht must be for the assist...what an EVO???Is ther anything I can to repair /adjust this ????car has brand new tires and rides great.
I also heard this componet is in my trunk...any info would be super..thnx guys
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post #17 of 45 (permalink) Old 02-06-2011, 07:40 AM
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After re-reading several times, I think I understand what you're asking.

1) Have you had the car aligned with a 4-wheel thrust alignment recently? I would start there.

2) EVO = Electrically Variable Orifice - it's where a computer (the component under the package tray in the back) adjusts how much power steering boost is available.

3) However, the power assist won't affect the self-centering, that's an effect of how much caster it has. Sounds like yours is positive, which it shouldn't be.

Which 3 says you need to get the alignment checked on the car. And since the rear end affects the front alignment, you should get all four wheels in the alignment.

Just as a note - Firestone has a lifetime alignment for the car, although at about $180 it's a bit pricey.

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post #18 of 45 (permalink) Old 02-07-2011, 01:19 PM
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bird/jitters

thnx ralph for the comeback and info....glad u did cause I was sure it was tht assist thing on bird....I'am going to disconnect it from steering pump as a test and see how she does on exit ramps long turns...
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post #19 of 45 (permalink) Old 02-16-2011, 06:30 PM
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My car is doing this exact thing. I already know I have a bad ball joint on the right side along with a busted front spring on the right side. I had the left side ball joint fixed bause it was real bad. Look like I need to get this ride in the shop soon.

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post #20 of 45 (permalink) Old 02-16-2011, 06:37 PM
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I had left upper control arm replaced still needs right upper, front springs and struts rear shocks, front strut rod bushing at control arm and align. This is from my repair bill. So these all out of wack prob is my issue???? Should I not drive the car??

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post #21 of 45 (permalink) Old 02-16-2011, 07:01 PM
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greenmachine, my car was similar. Stiff steering, not really wanting to return. I knew I had a broken right front shock and ball joint. Turns out the upper and lower ball joints are shot on the right front. And both front springs are shot. The car is in pieces in my garage now. I'll be interested to see if this fixes my stiff steering problem. I also need rear sway bar endlinks and I bought new rear shocks just for fun LOL.

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post #22 of 45 (permalink) Old 02-16-2011, 07:53 PM
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Mine is not real STIFF at this point, but just not returning own its own real well.

Question is do I still drive it, which is jsut back and forth to work, 8 miles each way. SHop said the other parts that need repaired are not good but not to a poin that they NEED fixed. They said spring break is down low on spring so it may never just break in half and be a major problem??

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post #23 of 45 (permalink) Old 02-16-2011, 08:03 PM
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Just throwing this out there as well - old P/S fluid has been known to cause this issue (among other things).

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post #24 of 45 (permalink) Old 02-17-2011, 06:03 AM
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If its not returning , its more then likely the rack , my god moms 96 3.8 wouldn't return replaced the rack problem fixed .

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post #25 of 45 (permalink) Old 02-17-2011, 08:44 AM
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A couple of years ago my steering on the 82 Cougar station wagon acting very similar but also only wanted to stay centered. I flushed the whole steering system pump and rack and the problem was gone. When flushing don't run the engine. Jack the front up and operate manually.
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post #26 of 45 (permalink) Old 02-17-2011, 01:21 PM
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it does return some, say 25% then then I have to do the rest. And when I do it is not hard to turn much at all. Just not returning. Well I need to get all my front end stuff fixed, then we will see how she acts.

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post #27 of 45 (permalink) Old 02-17-2011, 03:00 PM
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it does return some, say 25% then then I have to do the rest. And when I do it is not hard to turn much at all. Just not returning. Well I need to get all my front end stuff fixed, then we will see how she acts.
Mine's getting to be the same way now. Returns some but needs help getting back to center. I know that I need lower balljoints, strut rod bushings and an alignment so we'll see what happens when I get all of that in.

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post #28 of 45 (permalink) Old 02-17-2011, 07:54 PM
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I agree, it is my suspension issues also. The turning is easy not struggle just does not go back on it's own so I dont think it is the rack.

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post #29 of 45 (permalink) Old 02-19-2011, 09:14 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by greenmachine View Post
I agree, it is my suspension issues also. The turning is easy not struggle just does not go back on it's own so I dont think it is the rack.
I think it IS your rack - my steering acts much the same as you've described, and I've replaced every single front-end component I my '97 T-Bird (not because of steering issues, but just due to age/high-mileage) except for my steering rack. I had my transmission & torque converter replaced last weekend at DirtyDog Performance, and Alan pointed-out to me that my steering rack and high-pressure hose are both leaking. The boot on the driver's-side inner tie-rod is also ripped away (the end farthest away from the center, around the tie-rod itself); I'm not sure how that happened as I just replaced my inner & outer tie-rods last year.

Anyway, since I had replaced EVERY SINGLE other component on my T-Bird's front-end and was having steering issues, I've always suspected it was either caused by the steering rack being defective, or by alignment issues. Since I had my front-end aligned three different times already (due to replacing components at different times), I've always leaned towards it being the rack. Now, knowing what I know about the condition of my rack & the leaks, I'm almost positive that's the problem. I'll bet it's the cause of your issues, too!

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post #30 of 45 (permalink) Old 02-20-2011, 11:08 AM
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The rack is easiest to replace with the engine out.

I hope you have small hands, lol. (Or have a strong 5 year old...)

I'll pay someone next time.

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