Unsymmetrical steering issue

Discussion in 'Suspension, Steering and Chassis' started by Stunt, May 15, 2018.

  1. Stunt

    Stunt New Member

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    I rebuilt the front end of my '63 Dart a couple years ago, and ever since, the steering wheel gets only 1.5 rotations to the left, but 2 full rotations to the right. My turning radius to the left is annoyingly compromised by this. (It'd be okay if it was the right side being compromised—after all, how often do you do a U-turn to the right??)

    Last week I replaced my run-of-the-mill parts store rebuilt power steering gear with a nice, tight, quality-rebuilt Redhead gear, and put in a new pitman arm as well. I had been hoping that in the process of replacing these (they needed to be replaced anyway), this problem would be fixed, but it's still there. Before attaching the pitman arm, I attached the steering wheel and it did have equal turns to either side from center at that point. After attaching the pitman arm though, the problem was there again. I'm pretty sure it's impossible to incorrectly attach the pitman arm to the steering gear output because they're keyed together and the output shaft only does about half a rotation total, if I'm not mistaken.

    If anyone has any ideas of what might be causing this, I would love to know, and would really appreciate it!
    Dave
     
  2. 340duster340

    340duster340 Well-Known Member

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    Check the lower ball joint and the stop on the lca. I forget what years but at some point the turning stop was on the balljoint and other it was on the lca. Just grind the nub off the joint and youre good to go.
     
  3. MRGTX

    MRGTX Well-Known Member

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    Dave,
    it sounds like the box wasn't centered when you installed the pitman arm. It would only take a small misalignment to cause this problem.

    I'd pull the pitman arm, carefully center the box, pull the steering wheel/re-center, then put everything back together and see what happens.
     
  4. jos51700

    jos51700 Well-Known Member

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    you don't have enough motor.
     
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    • Frnknsteen

      Frnknsteen FABO Gold Member FABO Gold Member

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      Sounds like you did have the steering box centered. Question,... Assuming the steering gear was centered, and the wheels were straight, did the pitman arm line up with the center link. If so, it sounds like you have everything installed correctly, and I would follow the suggestion 340Duster gave you. Check to see what your travel stop is, and what is limiting your travel.

      Another thing you could do is disconnect the pitman arm and check the travel distance of the tires in each direction to see if they move further in one direction than the other. This would eliminate the steering box from the equation and let you see the range of steering the tires have. Then, like 340Duster said,... See what is limiting the travel.
       
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      • brian6pac

        brian6pac Well-Known Member

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        A 1/2 turn is a lot. check the spline on your steering wheel, pull it center the turns and put the wheel back on.
         
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        • Mopar Tim

          Mopar Tim FABO Gold Member FABO Gold Member

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          And realign. Tie rods are not centered to the wheel position. Steering wheel position.
           
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          • 67Dart273

            67Dart273 Well-Known Member

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            ???you can't do that unless the master splines have been ground out. The pitman is keyed, and the column/ wheel is keyed. Only thing you can get "off" is installing the coupler parts 1/2T off, or as mentioned^^ tie rod ends need to be "walked" over to center the wheel
             
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            • brian6pac

              brian6pac Well-Known Member

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              Set the toe and make the tie rod assys. the same length, making one long and one short to compensate will make it handle poorly. Then pull the steering wheel and center it. Was the car wrecked in the front, could be the K member off center or the rails or many things causing it. if you can get a good alignment you should be good to go.
               
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              • MRGTX

                MRGTX Well-Known Member

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                You're right about the key on the arm!
                I forgot about that...but the steering wheel too? Not entirely doubting you but that doesn't sound familiar at all.

                Hmm...maybe I need to check my exhaust system for leaks. :D
                 
              • Frnknsteen

                Frnknsteen FABO Gold Member FABO Gold Member

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                I don't know about '63 Darts, but my 67 Barracuda is keyed for the steering wheel and the steerring box coupler to only go on in one position. If you have separated the pot connector on the steering coupler, it IS possible for it to be off, but only by 180 degrees.

                When I did mine last fall, I verified that my steering box was centered and the wheel was centered. The pitman arm on mine was keyed every 90 degrees, but it would be very obvious if you didn't have it on the correct key. Once you have the Pitman arm in the right location, set the centerlink in place on the pitman arm and idler arm. Then move to the tie rod assemblies. Both tie rod assemblies on mine were the same length (13" if I remember correctly). Mine were very close to dropping into the centerlink and the arm on the lower balljoints, with only minor adjustment needed.

                If things aren't matching up after all that,.... Is it possible you have the centerlink on backwards or possibly the wrong one?