504 Steering Vague
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  1. #1
    1000+ Posts Shobbz's Avatar
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    Default 504 Steering Vague

    Interesting problem.

    My steering is very vague.

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    Initially i thought that it was the rack, but i am not so sure.

    When i brake the wheel wobbles, i thought that this was either the discs or the pads. I got over that.

    Now at speeds over ~70 the car drifts. Like the car is aqua planing? Very wierd and strange feeling. Any ideas?

    shobbz
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    1975 504 GL

  2. #2
    Gone Fishin' Ray Bell's Avatar
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    Have you got something awry in the rear end?

    That kind of feeling is often a bit or rear wheel steer... wheel bearings, trailing arm bushes, crossmember detached from the floor?

  3. #3
    Gone Fishin' Haakon's Avatar
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    sounds like flector failure to me - check the rubber disc b/w the rack and the steering column. Common failure on 504s.

  4. #4
    Gone Fishin' Ray Bell's Avatar
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    Yes, that would do it...

  5. #5
    1000+ Posts edgedweller's Avatar
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    Default Steering

    Servicing the steering mechanism of your car is an opportunity not to be overlooked.

    At a minimum shobbz you need to be under the car and give everything a good visual inspection, grab all parts and try to shake, if you can get any movement then this should be investigated further.

    Also, at rest, grab top of tyre and shake vigourously, any movement, noise should be investigated. With car on jack or axle stands grab both sides of tyre and wooble any movement "as above", spin tyre any noise "as above".

    Flector, round rubber pad sits on top of steering rack, driver's side, most important that you sight this and check its condition. Lastly, give all grease points thorough splurge of grease, road test.

    All components in steering are essential to your safety, please get qualified or experienced assistance with this.

    Cheers ed ge

    Ps then same investigation at rear as suggested, rubber mounts, bolt tightness....etc

  6. #6
    1000+ Posts Rod Hagen's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Haakon
    sounds like flector failure to me - check the rubber disc b/w the rack and the steering column. Common failure on 504s.
    Yes, sounds likely to me too, but the braking "wobble" and the "floaties" also suggests that the radius arm bushes are shot to pieces as well (another common event on 504's and 505's and reasonably easy to fix fortunately). First thing I always think of with braking wobble is radius arm bushes. I often wonder how many people have gone ahead and replaced discs when it was really these which were at fault!

    Cheers

    Rod
    Last edited by Rod Hagen; 30th December 2004 at 02:09 PM.
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  7. #7
    Gone Fishin' Ray Bell's Avatar
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    Knowing, as I do, that Shobbz only replaced the rack a few weeks ago, and the rear end has seen a lot of recent attention to, I'd say he's pretty familiar with everything under there.

    I think he mentioned those radius arm bushes when he did the rack... yes, they can cause a lot of vibration (and worse) under brakes. Terrible at times!

  8. #8
    1000+ Posts Wildebeest's Avatar
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    Default 504 steering vague.

    How come these faults aren't noticed when you t'othersiders submit your cars for their annual check courtesy of your Traffic Departments?
    Seem like a waste of time IYAM.

  9. #9
    1000+ Posts Shobbz's Avatar
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    I don't know what it is.

    My thoughts are Steering rack, flector and or actual steering column.

    Ray i have another rack on atm, had more success with its bushes.

    If its rubber at the front then its been replaced, so i don't think that its a rubber issue, the flector is absent from this though.

    I am far to familiar with my car's front end, so sad but true.

    shobbz
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    1975 504 GL

  10. #10
    Gone Fishin' Ray Bell's Avatar
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    Yes, Shobbz... there is something else...

    On the rack there is a damper, I think that's what it's called... it goes in opposite the pinion, where the grease nipple is. You take off that little plate that's held in by two bolts.

    That, and the bush at each end of the rack determine the integrity of the rack... and I once found that when the bush at the left hand (passenger's side) end was worn out the rack would move up and down in corners and give an odd sort of reaction.

    I don't recall any straight line wandering, but it does allow the front wheel to turn when you're not asking it to. Not much, but a little.

  11. #11
    Fellow Frogger!
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    Quote Originally Posted by Shobbz
    Interesting problem.

    My steering is very vague.

    Initially i thought that it was the rack, but i am not so sure.

    When i brake the wheel wobbles, i thought that this was either the discs or the pads. I got over that.
    How vague & how much wobble is there? If the wobble is only say 5-10mm it could be the column itself. It's actually manufactured from two pieces, with some plastic between the flat bits so it will collapse. I've seen this eventually become loose so there is quite noticeable play in the steering, almost as bad as a good Datsun 180B.. The column itself is easy to remove, undo the universal under the dash & undo at the flector. I fixed mine with a strong vice to squash it all back together again. Kept the car for 10 years after that & the problem never recurred.

    Quote Originally Posted by Shobbz
    Now at speeds over ~70 the car drifts. Like the car is aqua planing? Very wierd and strange feeling. Any ideas?

    shobbz
    What chance there is more than one problem here, and the wobble has heightened your senses to the other problem?

    Barry.

  12. #12
    Budding Architect ???? pugrambo's Avatar
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    when you put it all together did you make sure the column all went back into place as it should

    sometimes it can be hard to get the shafts back seated properly and yet the bolts to hold them will still go in

    just check to make sure everything there is ok

    i have had the same thing before and it was a 5min fix
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  13. #13
    1000+ Posts Rod Hagen's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Shobbz
    I don't know what it is.

    My thoughts are Steering rack, flector and or actual steering column.

    Ray i have another rack on atm, had more success with its bushes.

    If its rubber at the front then its been replaced, so i don't think that its a rubber issue, the flector is absent from this though.

    I am far to familiar with my car's front end, so sad but true.

    shobbz
    The radius arms are the two bars that connect the suspension elements to the front cross member (and mount near the front sway bar) Shobbz. Are these rubbers that you have replaced?



    Cheers

    Rod
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  14. #14
    1000+ Posts Shobbz's Avatar
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    This weekend I aim to fix this wandering. Its gotten worse. A New flector as done little.

    I am going to check out this dampener that Ray was talking about.

    All the rubber seems to be fine, but will double check again.

    I will also check the wheel allignment, feels off and the car quite noticeable drags to the left.

    The discs also feel warped. Braking produces huge wobbling, a little scary at times. The outer pads are less thick that the inner pads on both sides........... Is this a clue to anyone??

    604 Calipers and discs at the front. Again the outer portion of the disc is thinner than the inner portion.

    Bascically Front steering feels like everything is broken, but I am allmost certain that its all good. Might take a few pictures to illustrate my rather abstract descriptions.

    shobbz
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    1975 504 GL

  15. #15
    Guru davemcbean's Avatar
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    Have you checked your rear wheel bearings yet (with caliper or pads removed)?

    Dave
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    1996 Mondeo V6
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  16. #16
    1000+ Posts Wildebeest's Avatar
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    Default 504 steering vague.

    Shobz,
    Let me throw in a possibility or two.
    The gland nut on one of your front shocks may have loosened or be completely undone. the upper strut bearing may be RS. The strut rod may be broken inside the tube This would make for a bit of racket!

    Have you double checked the rack retaining bolts since removal? This applies to all bolts and nuts.
    Could the front sub frame on one side be cracked or rusted through?

    All of the above come under the heading of desperate but you appear to be at that stage in your endeavours.

  17. #17
    1000+ Posts Shobbz's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Wildebeest
    Shobz,
    Let me throw in a possibility or two.
    The gland nut on one of your front shocks may have loosened or be completely undone. the upper strut bearing may be RS. The strut rod may be broken inside the tube This would make for a bit of racket!

    Have you double checked the rack retaining bolts since removal? This applies to all bolts and nuts.
    Could the front sub frame on one side be cracked or rusted through?

    All of the above come under the heading of desperate but you appear to be at that stage in your endeavours.
    Tomorrow or sunday, which ever i see first, will be a day of underneath the front of the car.

    I have never had a gander at the rear wheels save for brakes, will give me a chance to break something new. Might also replace the sticking rear caliper as well

    shobbz
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  18. #18
    Tadpole
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    Default 504 Steering vauge.

    I'm thinking you will have done most of the previous tips but no one has mentioned the most likely of all.
    It may well be simply the toe in/out wrong. I have certainly driven 504's with several bushes etc less than perfect and they can still feel great on the highway, but trust me, if the 'toe' is out they feel relatively 'dead', vauge and 'non-centering' or very twitchy over changes in road surfaces. Get it adjusted.
    Also, to stop it pulling to the left, you need to move the left wheel forward a bit by removing a thick shim on the trailing link (or some thing more inventive!). There are usualy one or two thick washers in front of the tin cup washers for the rubber bushes through the strut.
    Do this (and check your brake disc runout for the wobble) before the wheel alignment!). This gives a bit more castor on that wheel, which is needed in your case.
    This alone will help improve your directional stability.
    Cheers
    R

  19. #19
    Guru davemcbean's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Shobbz
    I have never had a gander at the rear wheels save for brakes, will give me a chance to break something new. Might also replace the sticking rear caliper as well
    I've only ever had one 504 rear wheel bearing go wobbly. It didn't fail, but the car wandered alot. It also veered one way under hard acceleration and veered the other in trailing throttle deceleration. It took me a few months to diagnose the problem. When I removed the brake caliper, the hub had a very scary amount of articulation.

    This was on a 504 with Cheviot alloy wheels. Because of their large offset a worn wheel bearing is much more likely than with standard offset wheels.

    Dave
    NZ Fleet
    1976 504 Ti
    1984 205 GT twin carb
    1991 205 SI 1.6GTI motor
    1994 106 Xsi
    1996 Mondeo V6
    Aus Fleet
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    1997 Civic Cxi (great allrounder- revy, flexible, nimble, comfortable , economical, simple and durable )

  20. #20
    1000+ Posts Shobbz's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by davemcbean
    I've only ever had one 504 rear wheel bearing go wobbly. It didn't fail, but the car wandered alot. It also veered one way under hard acceleration and veered the other in trailing throttle deceleration. It took me a few months to diagnose the problem. When I removed the brake caliper, the hub had a very scary amount of articulation.

    This was on a 504 with Cheviot alloy wheels. Because of their large offset a worn wheel bearing is much more likely than with standard offset wheels.

    Dave
    I have chevoit alloys............

    The car feels like it is unalligned, but it was alligned only a few months ago. Will get that rechecked this week though.

    I will look at the castor as well on that left wheel.

    As for the discs, i thin that they are probably stuffed, will get them seen to as well during the wheel allignment check.

    shobbz.
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    1975 504 GL

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