Heavy steering

Discussion in 'Suspension and Brakes' started by Finale-gt, Nov 1, 2016.

  1. Finale-gt

    Finale-gt New Member

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    I recently had to replace my motor mounts (and arb bushes whilst I was there). The car drove better than ever but then I noticed a clicking sound after about 60 miles and found play in the drivers side inner tie rod end. I replaced both sides and the car was fine for about 120 miles.

    This morning when I went to take my daughter to school the steering was really heavy like the power steering wasn't working and the steering wasn't centering coming out of turns. Half way home (so after 6 miles) the steering returned to normal. I've just been to collect her from school and the steering is stiff again.

    Anyone have any ideas what the cause may be?

    Thanks,
    Mart.
     
  2. g36 monkey

    g36 monkey Moderator Staff SN95 Supporter

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    Is it a 5.0? A v6? A cobra? What year cobra? A 4.6? What year? We need to know these things before we can help diagnose. Have you checked the power steering fluid?
     
  3. Finale-gt

    Finale-gt New Member

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    Sorry, it's a 96 GT 4.6

    Power steering fluid is at Max level. No sign of any leaks
     
  4. g36 monkey

    g36 monkey Moderator Staff SN95 Supporter

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    Have you done a vacuum check on the vehicle? See if you're leaking vacuum anywhere?
     
  5. Finale-gt

    Finale-gt New Member

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    No I haven't and wouldn't know where to Start. The engine runs fine and idles good so I don't think there is a vacuum leak.

    I'll get it up in the air tomorrow after work.
     
  6. 07GtS197

    07GtS197 Well-Known Member

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    How are your brakes? Were they stiff when the power steering didnt work normally? If not then you can rule out the power steering pump. Id be looking at the front suspension closer. When the wheel doesnt return to center its usually because of something failing in the suspension/steering.
     
  7. Finale-gt

    Finale-gt New Member

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    Ok thanks. Brakes were fine, I'm thinking maybe a lower ball joint then. I'll have a look in the morning.
     
  8. g36 monkey

    g36 monkey Moderator Staff SN95 Supporter

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    Test the ball joints by putting pressure at the 12 and 6 o clock positions on the tire and wiggling it.

    Though, ball joint failures typically don't make it difficult to steer. They typically have a lot of pinging, then they just break and you're stuck on the side of the road with a ruined fender.
     
  9. Finale-gt

    Finale-gt New Member

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    Thanks for all the replies guys.

    That's what I'm worried about!

    There is a knock when going back and forth in the drive (when I brake) Sounds like front passenger side. Can't wait to get in from work in the morning it's really doing my head in not knowing. Luckily it's a second car so I'm not driving it at the moment.
     
  10. Finale-gt

    Finale-gt New Member

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    I've also just read something about over tightening the inner tie rod sockets, I don't understand how that could cause stiff steering though? Also holding the drivers side of the rack whilst undoing/tightening the passenger side which I didn't do. I can't see that any damage was caused though as it was fine for the first 120 miles.

    I haven't had my alignment done yet and I know this could cause the steering to not return after cornering but that wouldn't cause heavy steering when stationary would it?
     
  11. JerZeyStangz

    JerZeyStangz Well-Known Member

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    When my ball joints went bad back in 07/08, they made a huge creaking noise and the steering wheel didn't want to return to full center on its on. It was really bad and I was car novice back then so I didn't really know what it was until I did some research. I got them replaced and it made the car easier to drive. Also when the power steering fluid is past max it will make the steering wheel unstable, it happened to me once.
     
  12. Finale-gt

    Finale-gt New Member

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    OK so I jacked the front-end up and disconnected the outer tie rods. Both spindles turn freely so the ball joints and shocks are not the issue. I removed then refitted the inner boots and emptied the fluid bottle, then refilled and turned the steering wheel (did this twice).

    Whilst I was turning the steering wheel back and forth the steering was a bit heavy and I was getting the noise that you get from holding on full lock, but through the whole turn not just at the end stops. It was quite noisy. I decided at this point that either the steering rack or pump is probably knackered so I put the car back together for now.

    Unbelievably with the wheels back on the ground the steering is fine again! I haven't got a clue what the problem is but for now it seems to be ok.
     
  13. JerZeyStangz

    JerZeyStangz Well-Known Member

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    It is quite possible that the pump could be acting up. I never turn my wheel to full lock for more than half of second. I was always told to that is where the failure point is when the pump is at max. I'm glad the issue is resolved, hopefully for good.
     
  14. Finale-gt

    Finale-gt New Member

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    Other than changing out the fluid the only things I've noticed was that one of the dust boots was over stretched and the other side was scrunched up, and the teeth on the rack felt a little bit gritty.
     
  15. g36 monkey

    g36 monkey Moderator Staff SN95 Supporter

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    You could always try to flush the rack and see what happens.