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Old 07-09-2022, 12:03 AM   #1
sloopy
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Default 240 steering shake

1992 240 wagon. I recently overhauled my whole suspension: ball joints, tie rods, bushings, koni yellow dampers, bne coilovers, bne qsrc v2, bne strut mounts. The konis are set to full soft. Spring rates are 250 lbs/in front, 150 rear. The strut mounts are basically maxed out on caster and camber. 23mm bar up front, 19mm rear. The ride height is about an inch lower than stock I would guess. 15x7 multi-x wheels with 225/60R15 bfgoodrich radial t/a, spaced 16mm front, 32mm rear. I set the toe in about 1/16 inch measuring on the floor with a tape measure.

The car is very stable up to 80mph (I haven't gone faster yet). Turns at speed are very smooth and the car feels tight. But I get this odd shake in the steering in certain situations. With the car stopped, steering the wheels left and right is not smooth. There is a noticeable shake to it all. It's also noticeable when maneuvering at low speeds and turning the wheel tight. I haven't installed steering angle limiters yet, but the shake happens within normal steering range. There's a decent amount of play at the steering wheel and it makes a little noise when crossing over, but it's always been like that and the shake is new. Maybe the quick steering setting has amplified some looseness that I have somewhere.

I'll try to take a video tomorrow.
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> engine: b230f, a-cam, tube header
> drivetrain: m47ii, 4.10 gear, wavetrac lsd
> front suspension: bne coilover, 200 lb/in spring, koni sport damper, bne qsrc v2, bne strut mount, 23 mm bar, 16 mm wheel spacer
> rear suspension: lesjofors 131-188 lb/in spring, koni sport damper, 19 mm bar, 32 mm wheel spacer
> wheel: 15x7 volvo multi-x
> tire: 225/60R15 bfgoodrich radial t/a
> misc: 6 lb lithium battery
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Old 07-09-2022, 12:07 AM   #2
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Old 07-09-2022, 12:31 AM   #3
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How tight are the wheel bearings supposed to be? Mine are barely finger tight, maybe a little less to get the pin hole to line up.
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Old 07-09-2022, 01:03 AM   #4
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Quote:
Originally Posted by sloopy View Post
With the car stopped, steering the wheels left and right is not smooth. There is a noticeable shake to it all. It's also noticeable when maneuvering at low speeds and turning the wheel tight.
Can you be more specific? "Shake" at the wheel when the car is stationary doesn't really make sense unless you have a problem with the spool valve in the rack or the power steering pump.

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Originally Posted by sloopy View Post
There's a decent amount of play at the steering wheel and it makes a little noise when crossing over, but it's always been like that and the shake is new. Maybe the quick steering setting has amplified some looseness that I have somewhere.

I'll try to take a video tomorrow.
There should be very little to no deadband in the wheel. When you say "noise when crossing over" can you describe this in more detail? Does the noise correspond to a change in steering resistance? Does the steering wheel feel like it hits a hard stop at the travel limit or does it feel mushy? Though rare, the rubber isolator in the lower column can fail and cause mushy steering.

Considering all wear items in the front end are new and, presumably, installed correctly, with the evidence you're presenting it sounds like a worn out rack or faulty power steering system. This is just my guess.

Alse re: wheel bearings. The nut should be tight enough to take out any slop. If you grab the tire at 12 and 9 o'clock and alternate pushing and pulling with either arm you should not feel any movement at all. In my experience, loose finger tight is not tight enough. With bearings that have some mileage I usually go finger tight, then tighten just enough to get the next set of slots to line up with the cotter pin hole.
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Old 07-09-2022, 01:03 AM   #5
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How tight are the wheel bearings supposed to be? Mine are barely finger tight, maybe a little less to get the pin hole to line up.


That's correct if you overtighten a roller bearing it will burn out, spin the bearing and ogg out the hub.

Do you have two wheels with normal sized tires to try on the front?
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Old 07-09-2022, 01:59 AM   #6
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Is your power steering belt tight? Is this a b230 powered car with a possibly slipping balancer?
I’d suspect the pump if those two things check out. Pumps are simple, but they have an integrated pressure control and flow system that can get thrown out of whack with the smallest piece of debris or wear.
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Old 07-09-2022, 02:20 AM   #7
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Is your power steering belt tight? Is this a b230 powered car with a possibly slipping balancer?
Actually, One of the bolts mounting the power steering pump is loose. I'm going to fix that.
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Old 07-09-2022, 02:26 AM   #8
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And yes, it's a b230 with the reservoir on the pump above the ac compressor.
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Old 07-09-2022, 08:12 AM   #9
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All the passenger side guide bushings & gears in the late cam racks are letting go by now ~200k+ and 30+ years out?

The later ZF have better gears and guts, but finding a usable core not fed road slop, rusty/abraided inside from ATF dissolved boots from a leak/ooze & running around sans belly pan the last ~5-10 years or even to install the Sellholm 2.5 turn guts into (they supply a new 0-mile rack & pinion gear, basically?) isn’t easy?

We stopped getting ZFs OEM in mid 80s pre-galvanized body 240s in the USA market that have basically all hit the crusher much less have a usable rack or even core rack?

They’ll shake and shimmy on me & feel wandery, generally, with all else tight/no other obvious faults.

Usually, on a drive test without more scientific methods or disassembling with some sort of more precise test bench and measuring everything to the nth degree, if the brakes and wheel bearings are tight/have no other obvious faults in a cared for bone stock 240 and I gently apply the brakes while turning very slightly (leftward slightly moreso I forget ?) it’ll go away if it’s the rack/rack gears in my experience with these with good stock alignment/no other known faults/many others eliminated to some reasonable degree of certainty?

(I half expect to get arrested / stopped driving like this before or after commute hours even though I’m neither drunk nor texting or speeding nor (probably excessively more then avg. joe anyone else?) a hazard to others per se (probably some distraction/impairment paying focused attention to the subtleties/ specific minutiae of the given aspect of the car even on a fairly deserted divided/access controlled 3 lane interstate w/shoulder/ break down lane without too many hazards? )

But, in other circumstances just going straight on smooth pavement I’ve been able to observe a slight oscillation & wandery feel in the wheel with a worn out (usually Cam / TRW) rack(s)…
…they (late model TRW racks installed ~’87+) seem to make it to ~150-200k & ~25 years treated well on smoother roads & most of them just expired to the point to have symptoms like this presenting with no other faults, but a few have a little life left / don’t necessarily have wear to the point of presenting with re-create-able / repeatable symptoms?

Bleeding the late cam rack even with all in good repair on an R&R can be a challenge to chase all the little air bubbles out of it even if no other leaks or faults as well?
Bad directional valve or some kind of leak subtly introducing air or slipping PS belt or crank pulley will wreak havoc for trying to further diagnose it. Seen some or all of that, most commonly the last two and some air introduced from a leak/low fluid reservoir, usually…

Couldn’t rightly say with the non-stock ride height, suspension parts, & wheel/tire combo otherwise?
Taxi ball joints or a little more + caster is often nice on power steering 240s driven on wet/dry pavement without a lot of snow @ near 0 camber and the very slightest toe-in in my experience?

Geometry is somehow kinda worse than their ‘clean slate design new for 1967’ A-arm 140 predecessor/immediate family relation with ~40ET wheels stacked up in line with the centerline between the wheel bearings/brake rotor centerline on 165 pizza cutters and same track F+R in the lighter weight snub-nose car, but power rack & pinion steering is real nice when it works in the 240 even if it’s front mount with kinda sad Ackerman & other geometry (such as that even remotely matters most of the time / 240s came out ‘pretty ok’ /better than many competitors for a factory car for what they needed to do for their time…)

Most 200 series engines have a reasonably protected stamped steel sump that contains the oil pretty well without too much slosh in most uses that can clear obstacles or take a dent or two, but such a sump is often in conflict with a rear mount rack…
…what can you & the factory on a budget do?
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Old 07-09-2022, 10:45 AM   #10
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With the car stopped, steering the wheels left and right is not smooth. There is a noticeable shake to it all. It's also noticeable when maneuvering at low speeds and turning the wheel tight.
could this be a symptom of more positive scrub radius with the front wheels pushed further out?
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Old 07-09-2022, 11:05 AM   #11
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could this be a symptom of more positive scrub radius with the front wheels pushed further out?
if anything, i feel that positive scrub should help the wheel roll smoothly instead of scrub while turning the wheel.
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Old 07-09-2022, 11:06 AM   #12
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How's your U joint?
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Old 07-09-2022, 01:11 PM   #13
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You probably introduced some air into the system by turning the rack at the wheels. This will cause a shuddering until the air is bled out. You can try to purge the air by driving the car in a large open area and turning the steering wheel lock to lock multiple times or just drive the car and it will work the air out eventually.
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Old 07-14-2022, 12:09 PM   #14
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I believe everyone was right that this is a power steering issue; especially Ian's suggestion that I introduced air in the system. The shake has almost completely subsided on its own after driving the car for a while and going to a parking lot steering it back and forth a lot. There are occasionally times when I still experience it, but I think this might resolve itself with more time and with a power steering fluid flush. Alex, by shake, I mean when I try to steer the wheel too quickly, I feel a shuddering feedback and the wheels will steer with a pulsating movement instead of a smooth one. When I did this in the garage, I could hear a distinct chirp-chirp-chirp from the tires as they seemed to steer-stop-steer-stop-steer-stop. At the beginning of this, I even felt a shudder while holding the steering wheel static at a higher steering angle at low speeds which was somewhat violent.

The loose bolt I found is actually at the base of the rearward ac tensioner. I don't know why, but the rearward tensioner was attached to the ac without being attached to the accessory bracket. The bolt is still there because the engine block prevents it from falling out :o)

On another note, I've noticed that with the front suspension at full droop, the steering range is limited. I don't see any direct interference with any components. Is it possible that with the roll correctors, the inner tie rod joint is hitting the limit of its range of motion?

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Old 07-14-2022, 07:25 PM   #15
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Swapped ball joints?
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Old 09-12-2022, 04:29 PM   #16
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OP I’m curious if you ever resolved your steering shake issue. I’m having identical issues when both stationary and driving.
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Old 09-12-2022, 07:31 PM   #17
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It kind of resolved itself. I notice a very subtle shake when stationary and turning the wheel quickly. It could have been present this whole time and the quick steer setting is just amplifying it. I'm certain that the main cause of the shake I was experiencing was due to air in the rack which slowly bled out on its own while driving. I wonder if having the steering angle limiters is preventing a more thorough bleeding of the system though.

Is the steering rack mounted rigidly to the crossmember, or is it mounted through a bushing?
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Old 09-12-2022, 07:40 PM   #18
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The pinion side of the rack is bolted firmly to the crossmember. Other side of the rack uses a bushing with U clamp.
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Old 09-12-2022, 07:49 PM   #19
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What's the point of the bushing if one side is mounted solid? Maybe that bushing is worth replacing.
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Old 09-12-2022, 08:23 PM   #20
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It’s a metal bushing though, at least on every one I’ve taken apart.
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