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Avanti - Steering Too Loose

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  • Avanti - Steering Too Loose

    My 78 Avanti steering is way too loose. I get about a 1/4 turn of the wheel and it seems nothing changes in the steering direction. The steering does not feel tight or solid while driving. Where do I start checking ? Thx.

  • #2
    Everywhere

    but seriously, you need to have it up on a lift or jackstands, and have a helper work the wheel while you crawl around under the car and look for lost motion. I'm guessing that the pinch bolt for the bellcrank is probably loose, but it could be any number of things - worn out bellcrank bushings, worn out tie rod ends, worn out reach rod ends, or even a worn steering box itself. Also if you have P/S and the P/S is not operational there will be a lot of lost motion in the control valve, the only way to fix would be to replace the control valve with a manual steering reach rod and/or fix the P/S correctly.

    good luck,

    nate

    --
    55 Commander Starlight
    http://home.comcast.net/~njnagel
    --
    55 Commander Starlight
    http://members.cox.net/njnagel

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    • #3
      Another thought, the rag joint may be disintegrating; if the lost motion is between the steering wheel and pitman arm have a good look at the rag joint before condemning the steering box.

      nate

      --
      55 Commander Starlight
      http://home.comcast.net/~njnagel
      --
      55 Commander Starlight
      http://members.cox.net/njnagel

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      • #4
        quote:Originally posted by geojerry

        My 78 Avanti steering is way too loose. I get about a 1/4 turn of the wheel and it seems nothing changes in the steering direction. The steering does not feel tight or solid while driving. Where do I start checking ? Thx.
        Check the mounting bolts that hold the box to the frame. When I had a '76 it developed the sensation you describe. The mounting bolts had worked loose and were allowing the box to move first before any steering motion was created. The later Avantis (such as the '76 and '78 had a different box from the earlier ones. I have heard them decribed as "forklift truck" boxes. They are slower (more turns) and feel sloppy from day one.

        [img=right]http://www.frontiernet.net/~thejohnsons/64%20Daytona%20Convertible/Copy%20of%20DaytonaConvert7-20-06.JPG[/img=right]

        Paul Johnson
        '53 Commander Starliner (since 1966)
        '64 Daytona Wagonaire (original owner)
        '64 Daytona Convertible (2006)
        Museum R-4 engine
        Paul Johnson, Wild and Wonderful West Virginia.
        '64 Daytona Wagonaire, '64 Avanti R-1, Museum R-4 engine, '72 Gravely Model 430 with Onan engine

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        • #5
          If the Steering Box is the culprit, what replacement Box is recommended and where do I find one ? I assume a Rack and Pinion conversion is way too much effort and costs, if at all possible.

          Hope I can find a qualified shop down here in South Fla. to work on this. It's a long way to Indiana and Ohio areas where many Avanti mechanics are located.

          Thx

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          • #6
            Now this is strictly my opinion mind you, but I think rack and pinion conversions are a lot of work and expense for very little gain. As far as advantages go, I guess a R&P has fewer places for wear to develop or flex which should give more precise steering over an old worn out conventional system, especially in high speed/high load situations. Other than a few of you guys out there who are true racers, I doubt most of us ever push the conventional steering close to, let alone past it's limits.

            And I may be very wrong, but I bet the reason most modern cars have rack and pinion steering has more to do with being front wheel drive than anything else. Lift the hood of your modern car and try to figure out how you'd stuff an old conventional system of any brand or configuration in there and actually make it work. My Mercury Topaz? Absolutely impossible. My old Dodge minivan? Maybe, just maybe but it'd be a royal pain. Probably harder than converting a Stude to R&P.

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