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Tighten steering on my 83


GaryBe
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Good day. I'm wanting to get information on making my steering tighter on my 83. I've been driving it for a couple of weeks now and it just seems to be "loose".

It steers kinda "Floaty" for lack of a better term. I like more of a solid drive feel. Also seems to have a bit of play in the steering also. I know I can tighten or loosen my steering in my 68 C10 cause it's an aftermarket steering box, but is there an adjustment for the ones were using? And which steering box is an 83 using? And, is there an after market box that anyone can recommend?

Any help/advice will be greatly appreciated. 

Thank you

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RQB3263/81/305  Welcome to the club.....yours and mine both have Stud Lark ring pin front suspensions.... this is 1950s technology.....mine floats and wanders constantly also .... it must be driven 100% of the time ....there will be no texting and driving in these cars ....I have tightened mine up and also had it tightened  by Mike Myers in Ohio ....highly recommended  but didnt fix it and I understand from others it is just inherent in the 70 year old design,  they all do it and we must live with it.....there are high dollar IRS systems available but big bucks and req frame off and probably eng out to install etc....  every little bit helps, adj. steer box, replace rag joint, and tighten bolts on A arms  and lotsa grease... keep  your hands on the wheel ,,, and ...  good  luck ...see ya on the boulevard.... BILL

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You can adjust your steering box. Access is through the inner fender behind the left front tire. It is on the side of the box.

You should also check for play in all of the steering joints and repair that first. You should also fill the steering box with oil from the top. Most of them get pretty dry after so much time. Do this before adjusting it. 

I have virtually no play after doing what i mentioned. 

Quick steering arms are another option. THey will allow the car to respond more to wheel movement but will not help if everything is not working properly to start with. I find that quicker steering on these older cars makes them feel a bit squirrelly myself.

 

Good luck

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RQB3263/81 ....I have done all this and more as have many other king pin Avanti owners ...while it may be "tighter" (what ever that is)  it still has the float and wander....

I too have installed the quick steer arms (easy job 10 min each side) do they help? yes geometrically they have to ...but because of the float and wander in the antique design  I still have to drive it every second..... it will be interesting to hear stories from other king pin Avanti drivers...i will be watching maybe some one will have a solution (affordable)

otherwise i will just keep on having fun as is... see you all on the boulevard.... BILL in Florida

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2 hours ago, mfg said:

I guess we are all a bit spoiled by modern rack & pinion power steering!

That may be true but mine does not wander or have any play to speak of. Alfa Romeo did not go to rack and pinion until the 2000s and the steering on my Alfas is tight as well.

Ratios may be better on modern cars but you can get pretty tight steering response from these cars as well IF every component is in good repair

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Seems to me that you should get your steering checked by a professional alignment shop to see if there are any issues beyond the normal, caused by wear or improper settings; even if all is in proper condition/adjustment, your car won't handle like a car with modern rack & pinion steering, so you can't expect that. You may have to search for an old-time mechanic that understands the suspensions on old cars.

This is from a post I copied years ago:

                                Front Wheel Toe-In                 1/8"

 

                               Caster Angle (at Curb Load)    +3/4° to -3/4°  (0° is preferred)

 

                               Front Wheel Camber Angle       0° to +1° (1/2° Greater Favored on Drivers Side)

 

                               Make adjustments under zerk fitting located on upper outer pin, which goes through control arm and king pin. 

                                       Adjustments are made using a  1/4" allen wrench.

One common 'loose steering' issue is wear in the bellcrank pin and its bushings (part 1209-10 in the parts book).

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Sorry, my last post didn't turn out like I thought, I tried to post a url to Bob's Studebaker website that referenced an Avanti conversion to rack & pinion steering.

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Hi Gary- I once had a 65 Mustang convertible that seemed to steer all over the road when I first got it.  It was awful- kind of twitchy.  I found it's front wheel toe-in was very excessive (nearly 2"!).  Once I adjusted it back to only 1/8" it drove incredibly more comfortably. Have a quick check of your Toe-In amongst all the other salient points.

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  • 3 weeks later...
On 10/31/2022 at 5:56 PM, wildfelr said:

RQB3263/81 ....I have done all this and more as have many other king pin Avanti owners ...while it may be "tighter" (what ever that is)  it still has the float and wander....

I too have installed the quick steer arms (easy job 10 min each side) do they help? yes geometrically they have to ...but because of the float and wander in the antique design  I still have to drive it every second..... it will be interesting to hear stories from other king pin Avanti drivers...i will be watching maybe some one will have a solution (affordable)

otherwise i will just keep on having fun as is... see you all on the boulevard.... BILL in Florida

I have put a lot of thought into the steering handling of my 1981 Avanti II. I have wondered if the wandering is due to a leaking power steering ram. Is it possible the the ram needs to be bled after refilling it! My 81  seems to jump left and right (wander) and I won’t drive it much until I remedy this. My 1964 and 1970 handle like a dream with no wandering. Maybe someone with history and mechanical experience will respond to my thought!

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RQB3263 .... I WILL go back to my original reply..... you may make it better  but the problem is inherent in the 1950s original design....for sure rebuild both the PS components.... mike myers in Duncan Falls Ohio did mine ...tighten everything up and  adjust alignment to Studebaker specs...and cruise with a smile cuz thats about as good as it gets ... see ya on the Boulevard ....BILL in Fl

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