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Question: Wandering a little

mljones13

Active member
Joined
Aug 2, 2012
Messages
40
Location
Howell, MI
Corvette
1981 Red Coupe
Hey guys. My '81 has 50,000 miles on her. Not driven on a lot of rough roads and has new boots on her. Once upon a time I owned a 1956 Ford. There was a hex screw with a nut on it mounted on the steering box that you could tighten up the amount of play in the steering. Is there something like that on these Corvettes? She kinda wanders around on the road which is a little concerning. Thanks guys!!!
 

bill81vette

Moderator
Joined
Jan 17, 2004
Messages
4,303
Location
Troy,NY
Corvette
1981 dark blue metallic
Check your front suspension components,and the steering components.also check the rag joint too make sure it's still good.
I'd do these things first B4 adjusting the steering box

Sent from my moto z3 using Tapatalk
 

Tom Bryant

Well-known member
Administrator
Joined
Nov 9, 2000
Messages
7,265
Location
Edgerton, Ohio, United States
Corvette
1959 black 270hp (9/2/69) 1981 Beige L81(10/20/80)
I'd be surprised to see any significant wear in the steering gearbox with only 50k miles. We have 52k on ours and the box is tight. First check the wheel alignment both front and rear, shock absorbers, wheel bearings, wheel balance, tire pressure and measure tread wear all across the tread for even wear. Also inspect that rag joint as Bill said above. If all is well there are two adjustments you can make to the steering gear. Both require disconnecting the battery, removing the horn button and removing the pitman arm. It is necessary to mark the relation of the pitman arm to the pitman shaft before removing it so you can get it back on where it was. You will need a pitman arm puller, a lbs/in torque wrench with a range not exceeding 50 lbs/in and a socket that fits the steering shaft nut under the horn button.

The step by step procedure and torque readings are in the 1981 Corvette shop manual on page 3B2-4. You can't get an accurate torque reading with the pitman arm installed. Keep in mind that you need to adjust the thrust bearing preload first to 5-8 in. lbs. and then adjust over center lash to 4-10 in. lbs in excess of the bearing preload. So if your trust bearing preload is torqued at 6 in. lbs., for example, then the over center would be torqued to 10-16 in. lbs.

If you determine that you need to adjust the steering gear but can't find or don't have a factory shop manual I will try to scan the page for you. I would check all of the other things I listed first though.

Tom
 

douglasamariani

Well-known member
Joined
May 12, 2008
Messages
186
Location
Anaheim Hills CA.
Corvette
2008 6.2 Coupe,1980 L48 Coupe,1968 427/4spd Coupe
I'd be surprised to see any significant wear in the steering gearbox with only 50k miles. We have 52k on ours and the box is tight. First check the wheel alignment both front and rear, shock absorbers, wheel bearings, wheel balance, tire pressure and measure tread wear all across the tread for even wear. Also inspect that rag joint as Bill said above. If all is well there are two adjustments you can make to the steering gear. Both require disconnecting the battery, removing the horn button and removing the pitman arm. It is necessary to mark the relation of the pitman arm to the pitman shaft before removing it so you can get it back on where it was. You will need a pitman arm puller, a lbs/in torque wrench with a range not exceeding 50 lbs/in and a socket that fits the steering shaft nut under the horn button.

The step by step procedure and torque readings are in the 1981 Corvette shop manual on page 3B2-4. You can't get an accurate torque reading with the pitman arm installed. Keep in mind that you need to adjust the thrust bearing preload first to 5-8 in. lbs. and then adjust over center lash to 4-10 in. lbs in excess of the bearing preload. So if your trust bearing preload is torqued at 6 in. lbs., for example, then the over center would be torqued to 10-16 in. lbs.

If you determine that you need to adjust the steering gear but can't find or don't have a factory shop manual I will try to scan the page for you. I would check all of the other things I listed first though.

Tom

I Agree :thumb
 

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