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stiff steering

Discussion in '80-Series Tech' started by semlin, Apr 16, 2003.

  1. semlin

    semlin rocker

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    So two weeks after the brifeild rebuild/all round bearing repack and the steering is as stiff as the day it came out, which is stiffer than before the birfield broke. Also, facing slightly downhill in neutral I can't turn full lock to the left when parallel parking. I get almost there and then if I put it in gear it will take the pressure away and allow another half lock turn.

    Took it back to the alignment shop that did the work. They checked everything in the axles and steering and said it was fine. They thought it was possibly a lack of pressure in the power steering pump. Heck of a coincidence if that's the case.

    Any suggestions?
     
  2. moralien

    moralien

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    Not really sure what kind of preexisting problems you have had because I am a newb to this board... But a broken birf on an 80 is pretty unheard of. That being said you were in serious need of maintenance. Looks like some of it got done and well maybe you still have issues. The obvious thing to look at will be your power steering pump. Is there leakage? Move on to the drive belts to check to see if they are loose and worn. Start with the cheap stuff and work your way up. Are your fluid levels kosher? Just because you have fluid in the reservoir doesn’t' mean things are peachy. What does the fluid look like? What color is it? You should be running ATF for power steering. If all the above is cool than maybe it's time to look at the knuckle bearings. If your going to take care of something like a 80 than the TSM is worth it's weight in gold. If you don’t feel comfortable working on something like a cruiser that’s cool, but it does not hurt to be informed. At the very least go out and get a Chilton’s or the like. Hope this helps...
     
  3. landtoy80

    landtoy80

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    I wounder if the bearing preload is to tight. There are shims that controll the preload. You use a spring scale to check the preload. Did you use new bearings? My bearings were so bad they would lock in three places.
    I can't help you with the pump. I rebuilt the one on the fj60 but not the 80. I don't know if it can be rebuilt.
    kurt
     
  4. semlin

    semlin rocker

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    They did not replace the bearings. I asked them to replace if there was the slightest sign of wear. they said they were fine and only needed repacking. They also did not pull the races but did ensure the bearings went back properly.

    landtoy when you say they would "lock" what do you mean?
     
  5. landtoy80

    landtoy80

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    When I drove it I don't like the way it steered. It would go fine going straight down the road. If I wanted to change lanes I had to use some effort to turn the wheel. When I got the tie rod off and could turn the assembly (wheel) freely by hand, the assembly would stick where the bearing were worn flat. When I drove it for the first time,I was very happy. I now can drive down the hwy and steer with one finger. I have new Newfields CV too.
    kurt
     
  6. Beowulf

    Beowulf

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    Simon,
    What Kurt is describing is typical of bad knuckle (aka trunion or kingpin) bearings. There is one at the top and bottom of the knuckle and the steering arms attach to the top. These bearings are relatively small, take a lot of abuse during normal driving, and they support almost the total weight of your Cruiser. Most people replace these at every knuckle service because they are relatively inexpensive and it's a lot of work to get to them.

    The knuckle bearings only rotate when you turn the truck. They are low-speed bearings. As you drive in a straight line most of the time and hit potholes and bumps, these bearings tend to develop a flat spot on one or more rollers or a groove in the race. This is what causes notchiness or (Kurt's description) "locking." They don't usually lock though, unless there is some major failure of the bearing.

    He mentioned setting the knuckle bearing preload. This was a pre-80 procedure when servicing the knuckles. The design of the knuckle changed with the 80 and you just reuse the shims. I'm not aware of anyone that has done the knuckles on the 80 that went through setting the knuckle bearing pre-load procedure.

    I don't think your symptoms are consistent with bad knuckle bearings unless they were not reinstalled correctly or weren't packed with grease or something like that. I think a bearing with grooves would produce symptoms more subtle than you describe.

    I think your next step is to raise the front of the truck and have a friend turn the wheels to see for yourself what is going on. As you know, there is something wrong under there. It shouldn't be that hard to steer.

    -B-
     
  7. landtoy80

    landtoy80

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    My bearing were just as bad on my 60.
    I didn't get a shim kit with my 80. But you should check the preload with a spring scale to make sure. THe shims on the 60 get rusty as the 80 were not.
    I can't see the bearing causing semlin's problem either. Jack up the front and with motor off but key on so you can turn the steering wheel. Grab the tire and move it back and forth to see what binds up.
    kurt
     
  8. Beowulf

    Beowulf

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    Kurt,

    >> I can't see the bearing causing semlin's problem either. <<

    " ... unless they were not reinstalled correctly or weren't packed with grease or something like that. "

    There *is* the possibility that the knuckle bearings were not reinstalled properly. You would be able to detect that with Kurt's suggestion to check the pre-load setting. It's in the FSM.

    -B-