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Steering wheel play

Old 05-09-2019, 04:46 PM
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Default Steering wheel play

My 68 Vette drives nice and tracks straight. But there is a dead band in the steering wheel about 4 inches.
That seems to be alot of play in the steering. Is this normal for cars of that era? Maybe Im just used to modern cars with tight steering response. Hopeimg I dont have to rebuild the steering column ect. Any comments are welcome.
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Old 05-09-2019, 05:00 PM
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I went with the Steeroids Power Rack & Pinion Conversion kit, 100% positive improvement.
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Old 05-09-2019, 05:31 PM
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your steering box is wore out and needs rebuilt or adjusted
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Old 05-09-2019, 05:46 PM
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Vandy....the corvette c-3 has a recirculating ball steering box....BET THIS HELPS.


1. Center steering wheel.
2. Jack up front end , just so the wheels are off the ground
3. Check rag joint for delamination and immanent failure.
4. Look at your steering box, see the Allen shaft and the jamb nut around it. Straight up on top
5. mark Allen shaft with a paint pen or such (rotationally).
6.HOLD the Allen Shaft and loosen the jamb nut.
7. Tighten allen shaft 1/8th turn and feel the steering, go back and forth a little bit. Still loose, tighten a bit more.
8. Tighten until you you feel almost all the slop is out but NO BINDING....if it's binding loosen up a bit.
9. Tighten Jamb nut.
10 Test drive wisely.
11. Lube box if necessary.

Recirculating ball is a pusher system with a ton of steel ball bearings...each one getting a little worn over're taking the slop out of the system.

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Old 05-10-2019, 06:40 AM
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I took my 68 box apart and cleaned out the old mud and just put it back together with the existing ***** and bushings. The ***** were not pitted or rough and the bushings were still snug. So you ca try the above adjustment and repack it with grease. You'll see a bolt you can unscrew at the top that has an arrow and says grease or oil next to it. You can either drill a bolt out and screw a zirq fitting into it or buy one from willcox which is what I did. It made it nice and simple.

Now the other thing that will give it a loose feel is the power valve built into the trailing arm. The pitman arm attaches the box to the trailing arm power valve and it works buy switching the hydraulic flow though the slave cylinder. That will give you a sense of looseness, especially with the motor off

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Old 05-10-2019, 07:16 AM
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There can be many reasons for excess play at the steering wheel. Wear or need for adjustment of the steering box is just one of the reasons. Before you focus on the steering box, you need to rule out wear/looseness problems with the steering column, the ragjoint (flex disc which is almost always a significant part of a "loose wheel" issue), idler arm, steering linkage rods, and ball joints.

There are relatively simple ways to determine which components in the steering system need to be replaced and/or adjusted. If you don't know how to do that, you could take your car to a reputable and recommended alignment place and ask them to take a look at your steering system and advise you on which components need 'help'. They may offer to do this for free, so that they can then do the repairs for you. If you would rather do the repairs yourself, just tell them you will pay for their diagnostic efforts separately, but prefer to do the mechanical repairs yourself.

The steering box adjustment can be done, IF you find that is actually required.
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