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Corvette steering help needed.

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PNW75Coups

Guest
New member here and 1st time vette owner. Bought the car of my dreams..a 1975 Coupe about 90% done. The car has all new suspension front to back and left to right but the steering is still sloppy. I am not a great tech but I have managed to keep my Harley going down the road for the last 15 years.
Can anyone suggest options to fix the sloppy steering. The slop seems to be in the steering wheel/ steering box. Seems to be about 3 inches or so of slop in the steering wheel. One the wheel grabs, she seems to steer fairly tight. Shes got a lot of power 400hp and seems squirly going down the road. I imagine i might just not be used to her yet.
Your help and suggestions of where to start would be greatly appreciated!
Also looking for a top Chevy mechanic in the Pacific Northwest. Seattle, Tacoma, Bremerton, Silverdale areas. Thanks very much! Eric
 

bradfordsvettes

Well-known member
Joined
Mar 28, 2001
Messages
549
Location
Boston, MA area
Corvette
jewel blue 61.cranberry 69 t-top.black rose 92
check the rag joint at the steering box . it is a common problem Steve
 
P

PNW75Coups

Guest
Rag joint??

Thanks for your reply Steve. Never heard the term rag joint before. I have not been in there yet but I belive the steering box when opened has a set screw and adjuster. Can you explain what a rag joint is? I apprecaite your help! Eric
 

USNA1969

Well-known member
Joined
Sep 12, 2005
Messages
93
Location
Maryland
Corvette
1972 Big Block/4-Speed
It's a coupler between the steering gear box and the firewall - it looks like a piece of tire rubber between two plates.
 

bradfordsvettes

Well-known member
Joined
Mar 28, 2001
Messages
549
Location
Boston, MA area
Corvette
jewel blue 61.cranberry 69 t-top.black rose 92
the joint is just above the seering box . Very common for them to be bad on older vehicles the rubber just goes all to hell with the heat and oils Steve
 

wishuwerehere82

Well-known member
Joined
Sep 6, 2003
Messages
2,314
Location
Rochester, NY
Corvette
Red '82 Coupe,Sebring Silver '98 Coupe
New member here and 1st time vette owner. Bought the car of my dreams..a 1975 Coupe about 90% done. The car has all new suspension front to back and left to right but the steering is still sloppy. I am not a great tech but I have managed to keep my Harley going down the road for the last 15 years.
Can anyone suggest options to fix the sloppy steering. The slop seems to be in the steering wheel/ steering box. Seems to be about 3 inches or so of slop in the steering wheel. One the wheel grabs, she seems to steer fairly tight. Shes got a lot of power 400hp and seems squirly going down the road. I imagine i might just not be used to her yet.
Your help and suggestions of where to start would be greatly appreciated!
Also looking for a top Chevy mechanic in the Pacific Northwest. Seattle, Tacoma, Bremerton, Silverdale areas. Thanks very much! Eric

You can take the excessive play out of your steering box with a 5/8" box wrench and a screwdriver. On the steering box, there's a nut with a screw in the center. It's called the preload adjustment.
In the picture, it's in the center of the silver part in the top left of the photo.
Ragjoint.jpg


Break the nut loose with the box wrench, and turn the screw clockwise while somebody wiggles the steering wheel back and forth. Hold the nut from turning as it will cinch down and stop the screw from turning if you don't. As you turn the screw in the slop will start to decrease, and you will feel the resistance on the screw as the steering gear is moved back and forth. Tighten it to the point where there is no slop in the steering wheel.
Hold the screw in that position and tighten the nut snug, then try it out on the road. I think you will find the slop is gone.

If it is not, then start looking at your steering linkages, pittman arm, tie rod ends, ball joints for any excessive looseness or wear. But since your suspension is all new, I think this will do the trick.

Try it, it takes 5 minutes to do with a helper.
 

GTR1999

Well-known member
Joined
Sep 4, 2003
Messages
1,146
Location
New Haven CT
Corvette
1969,1972,1975
I see Duke already referenced my post. Hope it helps.

Get the front of the car in the air and have a helper turn the S wheel from lock to lock. Then have him stop on center( middle of travel) On center there should be no play in the box- turning the steering wheel should turn the pitman arm at the same time. If there is play there see if it's in the rag or the box. Could be both. The stock boxes are sloppy to begin with.

You want to be very careful if you try to adjust that lash screw. This is not something you want to do by feel. I would say 90% of the gears I had to replace in these boxes were from improper adjustment. There is a fine adjustment between good and overadjusted and the pitman shaft center tooth will roll very quicky if overadjusted. Gear sets are well over $200 these days so be sure about it. I always recommend removing the box to correctly set it up. Since you're going to go that far you might as well check the grease too. Pull the cover since the adjustment will be reset afterwards. I use Mobil 1 red synthetic grease.

If you have any questions let me know and I can walk you through the whole job. If you have a lathe I can tell you how to build the best box on the market- like mine!;)
 

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