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Steering Adjustment

T

tyly

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Well, i have a bit of play in my steering wheel. I can turn it a couple inches each way before it actually turns. How do i get rid of this play? Do i just have to tighten up the steering box, or is there more to it?

Thanks!
-Ty
 

waterboy1976

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Aug 18, 2003
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Cleveland,Ohio
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1973 4-speed Coupe FOR SALE/ SOLD!!!!
On top of your steering box is a nut with a screw head in the center. Loosen the nut slightly and tighten the screw head a half turn or so...not too much each time....this will bring the knuckle gears in the box closer together and eliminate the play you are feeling.
 

GTR1999

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Sep 4, 2003
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New Haven CT
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1969,1972,1975
You have to be very careful adjusting this or you will wreck the gears for sure.
All the vette boxes I built that needed gears 80% of them were bad from inproper adjustment.
Play in the steering box comes from the following areas:

1- lash adjustment loose or overadjusted
2- lash screw gap- sloppy from day 1 box needs to be torn down to correct
3- sideplay in the bushings- if stock they are about .010, rebuild kit bushings will drop them to .005". I custom fit mine to .002-.0025"
4- worn rag joint
5 worn suspension parts

If you adjust on the car be sure it is not too tight on center. I can't stress this enough, gears cost well over $200 these days, $245 the last set I installed a few weeks ago.
 

LVMYVT76

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springfield, mo
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1976 medium blue
Check the steering column coupler, just above the steering box. The rubber part sometimes gets old and has some slack there.
 

Tom Bryant

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1959 black 270hp (9/2/69) 1981 Beige L81(10/20/80)
I agree with the above suggestions. Your car is 25 years old. I'd begin by changing that rag joint just for the safety aspect. There was a post a while back about someone that had a rag joint break and wrecked his car. It was a '68 or '69 if I remember. I do a lot of playing with '67-'72 Chevy trucks and most need new rag joints. Even though the one I'm building now looks ok it won't hit the street without a new one. This stuff is basically the same construction as tire sidewalls. Would you drive on your original tires?

There should be a specification in the service manual for lash adjustment. We used to use a spring guage to measure the amount of pull necessary to move the steering wheel past dead center. This is where the 2 gears are closest together in their travel from lock to lock. If there is still slop in the box after this adjustment is made to specs you need to rebuild the box. If you can feel any binding on center after adjustment it's too tight and will just continue to tear up what's left of the internals.

Tom
 

Evolution1980

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ZZ4, 700R4, Steeroids rack & pinion, VB&P Brakes
I can turn it a couple inches each way before it actually turns.
A couple of inches!?! :eek That sounds rather excessive. It may just be time to for a complete rebuild of the steering box (and other component replacement as mentioned above).

Here's a little link about how your steering essentially works. I've heard that the worm gears also get worn, thus introducing slop into the system.
 
Joined
Jan 1, 2002
Messages
7,246
Location
Washington, Michigan
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'67 Marina Blue Convertible
Well, i have a bit of play in my steering wheel. I can turn it a couple inches each way before it actually turns. How do i get rid of this play? Do i just have to tighten up the steering box, or is there more to it?

Thanks!
-Ty

In addition to what's posted above, loose/worn tie rod ends, ball joints, steering idler arm and wheel bearings will also contribute to play in the steering; how long since they've been attended to?

:beer
 

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