cause of heavy steering on early 505?
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  1. #1
    Fellow Frogger!
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    Default cause of heavy steering on early 505?

    After taking my '81 505 project car on it's maiden voyage down the road I've discovered it has very heavy steering (non power assisted). It's much heavier than I remember my non power 504 was. I jacked it up intending to grease the steering rack and low and behold no grease nipple on the rack!!!! Just a plate where the nipple should be! Are all early 505s sans nipple? I took the plate and nipple off my '84 505 and put it on the '81 and gave it alot of grease but alas no improvement. Memories of problems with my 504 began to return and I loosened the bolts holding the "nipple plate" a few turns and the steering lightened up. A few more turns and it was almost acceptable but I cant drive around with a loose nipple plate! I also unclipped the gaiters and manually greased the rack both ends and greased the ball joints but this didnt help. How can I get some lightness into the steering? A weaker spring behind the plate perhaps?

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    Last edited by Nisspug; 10th January 2005 at 10:40 PM.

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    Gone Fishin' Ray Bell's Avatar
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    What wheels and tyres do you have?

  3. #3
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    standard steel rims with 195/65/14 's at the moment but the heaviness is present even with the car off the ground.

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    Budding Architect ???? pugrambo's Avatar
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    i take it this is the 505 with the jap motor in it

    have you done anything to the springs in the front end ?

    that engine also may be a bit heavier that the old engine as well so that could add to it

    one of the TI's i had with 215's on it was lighter in the steering than my old mans car with 175's on it before i lowered it of course

    after i lowered the car it becamse heavier which i prefered over the light steering

    the V6 car i had was a little heavy in the steering as well but again it was lowered

    then again your memory of how it was before may skewed depending on what you have been driving in the meantime
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    Budding Architect ???? pugrambo's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Nisspug
    standard steel rims with 195/65/14 's at the moment but the heaviness is present even with the car off the ground.

    strut top bearings ?
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  6. #6
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    Yes with the jap motor.

    No I haven't lowered it yet so it wouldn't be the springs and anyway it's there when the cars off the ground.

    Strut top bearings? Would a '81 have these and how do I lubricate them?

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    Budding Architect ???? pugrambo's Avatar
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    they should do so they can swivel at the top when you turn the wheels

    you would need to pull the strut apart to grease the bearings properly
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    1000+ Posts Wildebeest's Avatar
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    Default Heavy steering early 505?

    Quote Originally Posted by Nisspug
    Yes with the jap motor.

    No I haven't lowered it yet so it wouldn't be the springs and anyway it's there when the cars off the ground.

    Strut top bearings? Would a '81 have these and how do I lubricate them?
    Nisspug,
    The answer is shims. If I'm right there are usually one or two shims under the thrust pad cover, the one you removed to fit the one with the grease nipple. Have you another rack laying around? If so you might salvage some shims from this. It's best to adjust the rack with the wheels off the ground.
    Just add shims until it eases the steering but keep some tension on the pad.

    I believe that the rack should have gear oil in it.

  9. #9
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    I was afraid you'd say that! Oh well, I guess at least its possible to get to the tops of the struts by compressing the springs and undoing the top nuts and swinging the strut out at the top (like a 504) isn't it? This should give me access to the bearings, no?

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    Quote Originally Posted by Wildebeest
    Nisspug,
    The answer is shims. If I'm right there are usually one or two shims under the thrust pad cover, the one you removed to fit the one with the grease nipple. Have you another rack laying around? If so you might salvage some shims from this. It's best to adjust the rack with the wheels off the ground.
    Just add shims until it eases the steering but keep some tension on the pad.

    I believe that the rack should have gear oil in it.
    gear oil and not grease??? how come my '84 has the grease nipple -is it really an oil nipple?

    By shims do you mean spacers so that the plate stands further away from the rack and puts less compression on the spring? This was what I did on the 504. Thanks, as a last resort I will probably do this it just seems strange that we have to resort to doing this when I'm sure it didn't leave the factory with this heavy steering.

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    Budding Architect ???? pugrambo's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Nisspug
    I was afraid you'd say that! Oh well, I guess at least its possible to get to the tops of the struts by compressing the springs and undoing the top nuts and swinging the strut out at the top (like a 504) isn't it? This should give me access to the bearings, no?

    shouldn't need to compress the springs

    just undo the sway bar and the 3 bolts up top and it should swing down and out without hitting the guard

    i'll put a pic in here of a 504 unit which will be close to what you have in the 505

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  12. #12
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    Thanks Pugrambo. I couln't see a bearing in that pic but I take it you mean the 504 is similar except no bearing.

    Thanks for the tip re swaybar.

  13. #13
    1000+ Posts Wildebeest's Avatar
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    Default 505 heavy steering?

    Quote Originally Posted by Nisspug
    gear oil and not grease??? how come my '84 has the grease nipple -is it really an oil nipple?

    By shims do you mean spacers so that the plate stands further away from the rack and puts less compression on the spring? This was what I did on the 504. Thanks, as a last resort I will probably do this it just seems strange that we have to resort to doing this when I'm sure it didn't leave the factory with this heavy steering.
    My '79 504 has the oil/grease nipple, I use grease, it'll be OK.

    You are spot on with your understanding of the shims and their effect.
    Do yourself a favour and make this adjustment the first resort. Always go for the 50 cent fix.

    The, "why is it so?" part of your last comment. An assortment of things come to mind. [1] Why is the sky so high? [2] How long is a piece of string?
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    From memory you do have to compress the springs as you have to undo the bolt on top of the damper to get the top part of the strut to bits. I replaced mine and they didn't make much difference to the lightness of the steering, it got rid of the grinding noise when the steering was turned with the front wheels off the ground. Try the shim option first, it's a lot easier.

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    Quote Originally Posted by Wildebeest
    My '79 504 has the oil/grease nipple, I use grease, it'll be OK.

    You are spot on with your understanding of the shims and their effect.
    Do yourself a favour and make this adjustment the first resort. Always go for the 50 cent fix.

    The, "why is it so?" part of your last comment. An assortment of things come to mind. [1] Why is the sky so high? [2] How long is a piece of string?
    [3] [email protected]#t happens!
    If the steering is OK with the plate loose then why is everyone talking about strut top bearings? It is obvious that it is the shims which need adjusting.
    Graham

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    Quote Originally Posted by GRAHAM WALLIS
    If the steering is OK with the plate loose then why is everyone talking about strut top bearings? It is obvious that it is the shims which need adjusting.
    Graham

    the only reason i mentioned strut tops is because the car has been sitting and i can't see the rack becoming tight from just sitting

    the pre load on the pinion just from sitting should not change just from the car bieng out of service
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    Quote Originally Posted by pugrambo
    the only reason i mentioned strut tops is because the car has been sitting and i can't see the rack becoming tight from just sitting

    the pre load on the pinion just from sitting should not change just from the car bieng out of service
    But he mentioned the steering lightened up when the plate was loosened to almost acceptable which is about as good as you will get with a manual steered 505. With all the engineering involved in the Nissan conversion I'm surprised that power steering wasn't fitted as a matter of course, probably a more useful mod than the engine.
    Graham

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    Default Heavy steering on early 505.

    Quote Originally Posted by GRAHAM WALLIS
    If the steering is OK with the plate loose then why is everyone talking about strut top bearings? It is obvious that it is the shims which need adjusting.
    Graham
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  19. #19
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    Quote Originally Posted by GRAHAM WALLIS
    But he mentioned the steering lightened up when the plate was loosened to almost acceptable which is about as good as you will get with a manual steered 505. With all the engineering involved in the Nissan conversion I'm surprised that power steering wasn't fitted as a matter of course, probably a more useful mod than the engine.
    Graham
    Now now - the idea was to put the engine in first, get it engineered and registered and THEN put in power steering, 3" exhuast, LSD etc,etc. It is enough work just getting the engine to work!

    OK I'll put in the shim. Thanks for the advice.

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    Quote Originally Posted by Nisspug
    Now now - the idea was to put the engine in first, get it engineered and registered and THEN put in power steering, 3" exhuast, LSD etc,etc. It is enough work just getting the engine to work!

    OK I'll put in the shim. Thanks for the advice.
    Sorry, I guess I would have done the suspension and steering first.
    Did you get one of the Quaife diffs? This was the last batch to be made I believe.
    Graham

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    No worries. Alas I missed out on the Quaife LSD so I'll have to settle for the factory LSD. As an aside, I just put new front tyres on my other daily drive 505 with power steering and had it aligned and its now steering BEAUTIFULLY! Very impressed.

  22. #22
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    The steering on the 505 is still very heavy and has not been helped enough by the spacer on the tensioner. I'm going to replace the strut top bearings this weekend. Does anyone know the number of the bearing (not the Pug part nr) so I can try to get them from the local bearing place as the Pug ones are $33-$38 each. (was it really JANUARY that I started this thread?!!)
    Last edited by Nisspug; 12th October 2005 at 01:24 PM.

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    Default Heavy Steer..

    Quote Originally Posted by Nisspug
    The steering on the 505 is still very heavy and has not been helped enough by the spacer on the tensioner. I'm going to replace the strut top bearings this weekend. Does anyone know the number of the bearing (not the Pug part nr) so I can try to get them from the local bearing place as the Pug ones are $33-$38 each. (was it really JANUARY that I started this thread?!!)
    Does the power steered 505 have a different caster setting on the front suspension than the manual steer?
    Some manufacturers have a more positive setting on their PS models.

    Simply put, positive caster is achieved by laying back the struts or by adjustable suspension arms.
    This would definately make the steering heavy, good for high speed directional stability, no good for everyday

  24. #24
    nJm
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    I don't have experience with power steered 'regular' 505's but the GTI certainly runs more castor than the GR.

    My '83 (assembled late 82) GR sedan has grease nipples on the rack.

    Tyres also have an impact, when I bought the car it had the stock 185/80R14, but I switched them for 185/75R14 and noticed the steering got quite a bit lighter, although lost a little directness on centre.
    Nick
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  25. #25
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    the front tyres are 185/60x14 yoko 539s inflated (now) to 36psi. The steering is so heavy that after you turn a corner the steering will not return to centre - I have to do it manually. Needless to say I havent taken it onto the bitumen yet, only dirt roads. Anyone know the bearing number?

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