Welcome to the Corvette Forums at the Corvette Action Center!

81 shark needs front end work

Texas Jon

Member
Joined
Oct 31, 2004
Messages
8
Location
Colleyville, Texas
Corvette
1981 Black 4 speed
I've got an 81 with 113k miles. The car wanders which makes driving especially above 70 work. Saw a number of packages for front end upgrades from MidAmerica, etc.

What other upgrades would work instead of replacing the original tie rods etc?

Ball park figure on what this might cost me?
Texas Jon
 

minifridge1138

Well-known member
Joined
Feb 2, 2007
Messages
908
Location
USA
Corvette
1982 Black Fastback
I have a similiar problem with my '82. It tends to pull a bit to the left. Since it does this more as i break, I am thinking that it is a problem with my breaks. I am going to have the front end aligned and see if that helps. Have you tried a simple alignment job? That would be my starting point.

If anyone has any other ideas, i'd love to here them, too.
 

Texas Jon

Member
Joined
Oct 31, 2004
Messages
8
Location
Colleyville, Texas
Corvette
1981 Black 4 speed
I did the front and rear end alighnment and it does help, however, I still have a lot of play or slop. I heard that there may be an upgrade to another more respnsive front end rebuild than the original. Not too worried about how original it is. Most of the car is beyond "stock"
 

80Vette

Well-known member
Joined
Jul 3, 2006
Messages
63
Location
Portland OR
Corvette
1980 pearl white vette
I have done the front end on my 80 Vette.

Good place to start:

Q: VIBRATION AT SPEEDS OVER 50mph:
A: Get all 4 wheels balanced by a good wheel shop (usually free to $20)



Q: Excessive slop/ loose wheel/steering:
A: Steering box rebuild (ask forum member GTR1999 or check archives)
This is the primary reason for slop in these old Vettes (rebuild $150 to $299)
Most folks will recommend a rebuild on your box. Do not buy a "new" or refurb.

A: Get an alignment all 4 wheels. (cost $75 to $100)



Q: Vehicle "Pulls" to the side when braking:
A: Could be a brake adjustment

A: Could be Steering Control Valve out of center. I learned the hard way that new/refurb. Steering Control Valves do NOT come factory centered.

A: Get an alignment


Q: Hard to steer, vehicle steering seems "sticky"
A: Once again, check steering box, could be too tight. Or worn in pit

A: Power Steering Pump died ($75 to $275)




I've just had the whole front end & steering redone (not intentionally either:mad )

1. Front end poly Bushings
2. New Bilsteing Sport Shocks (HUGE improvement)
3. Steering box rebuild
4. New Power Steering Pump
5. New PS Control Valve
6. Alignment


I can honestly say that the car handles & steers much safer & acurately than I ever imagined. Whole cost $1000-ish.:ugh
 

minifridge1138

Well-known member
Joined
Feb 2, 2007
Messages
908
Location
USA
Corvette
1982 Black Fastback
"A: Could be Steering Control Valve out of center. I learned the hard way that new/refurb. Steering Control Valves do NOT come factory centered."

I had not thought of that. I know my power steering master control valve has issues. it is dripping power steering fluid out of the grease fitting. I filled it with grease and the drip went away, but there is probably a blown seal in it. I have the shop manual, and the diagram shows 3 or 4 seals in the unit.

Hopefully, i will get the tires balanced this weekend, and if i'm really brave i may get the front end aligned.

Thanks for the ideas.
 

Evolution1980

Well-known member
Administrator
Joined
Feb 25, 2002
Messages
4,302
Location
Cleveland, Ohio
Corvette
ZZ4, 700R4, Steeroids rack & pinion, VB&P Brakes
I've got an 81 with 113k miles. The car wanders which makes driving especially above 70 work. Saw a number of packages for front end upgrades from MidAmerica, etc.
What other upgrades would work instead of replacing the original tie rods etc?
Ball park figure on what this might cost me?
Hmmm...without replacing tie rods? Like others have said above, likely pieces in the steering box are worn, such as the worm gear.

My solution for my car?
  • 4 wheel alignment done by a shop that understands the correct way to align our cars. $80
  • Steeroids Rack & Pinion steering. $1300 (available from CAC Preferred Vendor Vette Brakes & Products)
I shoulda done this YEARS ago. My car never felt so stable. I can only imagine even more so if I was to do a full upgrade on the suspension. (I'd also go to VB&P for that.)
 

Vette79

Well-known member
Joined
Jan 23, 2007
Messages
1,392
Location
Millersville, MD
Corvette
1979 L-48 Black Coupe
Front and rear suspension rebuilt. Nothing fancy. Resolved a lot of issues with handling and excessive play. The pulling to one side when braking were the brakes for me.
 

Corvette Forums

Not a member of the Corvette Action Center?  Join now!  It's free!

Help support the Corvette Action Center!

Supporting Vendors

Dealers:

MacMulkin Chevrolet - The Second Largest Corvette Dealer in the Country!

Parts/Accessories:

Vetteskins

Advertise with the Corvette Action Center!

Double Your Chances!

Partners

Top Bottom