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Loose steering


Dan Boone
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Hello, Avanti owners.  I just got new wheels for this '63. Really sets it off.  It was pulling to the right after putting the new wheels on.  We replaced all the bushings, tie rods, etc.  It needed it badly.  Problem is when I had it aligned properly the steering wheel is crooked.  Alignment shop tells me that there is not sufficient thread left on the tie rods to align the steering wheel.  They want to rebuild it....much $. I do have a bellcrank shim and seal kit.  Do you think it would make any difference in the straightness of the steering wheel to install this shim and seal kit?  Or do you have any ideas to offer me to straighten my steering wheel without sinking so much money into rebuilding the whole system.  I'm prepared to hear a grim diagnosis if warranted.  I would appreciate your input in this regard.  Dan

 
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I read this some time ago.  Was that on the SDC Forum?  I read both daily and do not always keep them straight/separated.  All of the previous responses, including mine, still apply.  In summary, find another shop and the bellcrank will have no effect on solving your problem.  The main thing is for the steering box to be centered when the steering wheel is straight.  The rest can be adjusted to that.   

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My old Celica did the same when I put new tyres on it. I put up with it for a long time and finally went to a tyre store to sort it out. He asked me if I had swapped the front tyres around and I said no. So he did and the car tracked straight from that point on.

He was of the opinion that tyres sometimes do that but had no idea why.

Anyway it saved me a lot of aggravation and was a simple fix.

 

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I don't get it, Dan. This is the same question you asked in another topic you started on February 28. Your initial topic is headlined: "Crooked steering wheel after new wheels and alignment" and is just a couple of topics down from this new one you just posted. Lots of guys gave you the benefit of their time and experience in replying to your first post. Your final post to this first topic was that you moved the steering wheel on the splined shaft, and the wheel was now straight. But now, you seem to be asking the original question all over again. Can you clarify what's going on? John

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Just too much play in the steering.  And I have a bellcrank kit that I can install.  I was told by a vendor that that part typically needs to be replaced on Avantis.  I was wondering if tht would have any impact to install that bellcrank kit to help tighten up the steering.  Sorry for the confusion.  I have to do these posts on the run, and they don't always come out the way I would like.  db

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2 hours ago, Dan Boone said:

Just too much play in the steering.  And I have a bellcrank kit that I can install.  I was told by a vendor that that part typically needs to be replaced on Avantis.  I was wondering if tht would have any impact to install that bellcrank kit to help tighten up the steering.  Sorry for the confusion.  I have to do these posts on the run, and they don't always come out the way I would like.  db

I still think the best way is to still put it up in the air and see where the play is as it could be in any number of places including the steering box. Jack stands will work if a lift is not available. A little movement in several places adds up to a lot of steering movement. You'd need to get it up into the air if you were replacing just the bellcrank.

Now to answer your question. If it's just some slop in the bellcrank I'm not sure you would feel much but the steering arm attaches to the bellcrank with a pinch bolt. If the pinch bolt is loose the you will feel play. It could be a lot. Nothing wrong with replacing it if you have a good one but check the manual as you will need to pull the grease zerk to remove it from the car.

BTW, while you are under there, check the rest of the steering for play.

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4 hours ago, Avanti83 said:

check the manual as you will need to pull the grease zerk to remove it from the car.

I had this same "manual" discussion with Mr. Boone in a PM a week or so ago. At that time, Dan hadn't gotten the purchase of an Avanti shop manual to the top of his priority list yet. I'm afraid it's a generational thing. Too easy and too quick to simply post online for assistance, rather than read about Avanti mechanical components in the actual shop manual (gaining some education, and perhaps the ability to solve a problem for oneself). No specific poke at Dan Boone intended.

I think many of us have learned that if we don't have the basic knowledge or skill to troubleshoot a problem for ourselves, we simply have to seek out a shop that can fix the problem. YES, it's hard to find an experienced, interested service garage to work on our Avanti automobiles. But, that's simply another problem that needs to be solved by the car owner. Perhaps Dan isn't a member of the AOAI, and just uses this free forum. However, if he is an AOAI member, he can look in the membership roster, and contact other Avanti owners in his area to ask about shops they use and trust. John

 

Edited by Jolly-John
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11 hours ago, Dan Boone said:

Just too much play in the steering.  And I have a bellcrank kit that I can install.  I was told by a vendor that that part typically needs to be replaced on Avantis.  I was wondering if tht would have any impact to install that bellcrank kit to help tighten up the steering.  Sorry for the confusion.  I have to do these posts on the run, and they don't always come out the way I would like.  db

Yes, those steering center bearings do take a beating!!....Put your Avanti up on jack stands and see if the bellcrank has any up and down movement--which it shouldn't!

If it does, first check the bellcrank pinch bolt for looseness. (as Bob suggested)....If the pinch bolt is tight, it means you need to overhaul or replace that steering center bearing, although sometimes you can remove the cotter pin and castle nut from the bottom, and if you find any 'shim' washers under the castle nut you can remove one or two and tighten up the center bearing that way.....That's worth a try....REMEMBER...removing the shim washers TIGHTENS up the assembly!:)

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Thanks much.  I'm taking that under advisement.  db

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