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Steering play again... Can't find the play, what am I missing?
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Googlestein
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PostPosted: Fri Aug 10, 2018 9:11 pm    Post subject: Steering play again... Can't find the play, what am I missing? Reply with quote

Where to begin.... at the start I guess.

Pan restoration with ALL NEW parts including:
Beam CB performance adjustable with 2 inch narrowing and matching leafs
CB short tie rods
new drop spindles
German king and link
TRW steering box
dampener
steering column coupler
Front CB HD sway bar
Rear sway bar
Since the drop one set of camber sleeves under the lower tube/beam

All brand new............

Front toe is 1/8 IN
Front camber is +1 on the driver and 0 on the passenger
Link pin shims are spec to book with the torsion arm difference spec


Problem: Question When I'm going straight the car rides smooth with 1-2 inch of back and forth play. When I start to turn I have to take about 3-4 inches of play out of the wheel before the turn is started. Once the turn is started the car tracks beautifully until I have to straighten out the wheel, then I have to take the 3-4 inches out and she straightens out.

I have to plan my turns ahead of time to allow for the extra time to turn my wheel.

Driving over the mountain pass switchbacks are an arm workout and your @ss is puckering the whole time.

So short recap
Straight 1-2" play
Turns have 3-4 inch outer steering wheel play, but once you are turning it tracks beautiful to pull out of the turn its 3-4" play than beautiful.

I've tried adjusting my steering box but sadly it doesn't seem to do anything for the play, however it tightens AFTER the play on the wheel.

Tried another brand new steering box exact same results.... piss off factor

Checked the steering box coupler to shaft and there is zero play...
Checked the steering column to bracket no play
Changed the steering column coupler

The play seems to be in the box, however changing boxes and adjusting the box doesn't change anything.

WTF am I missing???? I'm to the point of not wanting to drive my bug and for once I'm ready to goto a shop, that I know will mess it up worse and I'll be back to step one.

I don't understand how it can be so tight IN turns and so loose coming OUT of turns, I thought center was the tightest part of the gears. ERRRGH Evil or Very Mad
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theKbStockpiler
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PostPosted: Fri Aug 10, 2018 9:55 pm    Post subject: Re: Steering play again... Can't find the play, what am I missing? Reply with quote

If you pull up and down on the pitman arm it should not move or clunk indicating that the box is adjusted okay.
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gprudenciop
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PostPosted: Sat Aug 11, 2018 12:59 am    Post subject: Re: Steering play again... Can't find the play, what am I missing? Reply with quote

I had the lower link pin bolt come loose and it drove me crazy trying to find it. It would do what you are describing since the link pin backed out. when you turned it would push the bottom of the wheel out causing extra amount of turn..just something to check.....
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helowrench
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PostPosted: Sat Aug 11, 2018 5:53 am    Post subject: Re: Steering play again... Can't find the play, what am I missing? Reply with quote

check and ensure that the notch on the clamp for the steering box is engaging the nipple of the beam correctly.
pop a wheel bearing dust cap off, and see if the spindle has slop in relation to the drum.
make sure the trailing arm grub screws are secure in the leaf spring pack.
make sure the center grub screws in the beam are secure in the spring pack.

Most of this will take one person sawing back and forth on the steering wheel while you look at each individual joint to see where you have motion where it should not be, or something not moving when it should be.

Rob
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j-dub
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PostPosted: Sat Aug 11, 2018 9:14 am    Post subject: Re: Steering play again... Can't find the play, what am I missing? Reply with quote

I have found that one mistake people make when setting up a steering box is they they don't center it before they install it. The steering box is set up so it binds just a bit on center and is loose when you turn off center left or right.

Take your tierods off from the pitman arm, and turn the wheel back and fourth till you find the center spot where the box is tight and loosens up as you turn either way. Counting the number of turns may not work since some pitman arms have a mechanical stop. You may have to adjust the preload to make it easy to find this spot. Adjust your steering wheel so it is straight at this location and don't move it again. Adjust your tierods to suit.
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rodjr
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PostPosted: Sat Aug 11, 2018 9:36 am    Post subject: Re: Steering play again... Can't find the play, what am I missing? Reply with quote

TRW steering box, better off with a worn original.

I had to send my original worn out box plus a new TRW box to oktype3tim (member here) and have him build a Frankenstien to get a good box. He did an AMAZING first class job of it.
The new TRW box had as many or more problems than my hammered original.
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74 Thing
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PostPosted: Sat Aug 11, 2018 10:09 am    Post subject: Re: Steering play again... Can't find the play, what am I missing? Reply with quote

TRW boxes and Chinese boxes are a serious crap shoot. On the Type III forum there is a long 20+ page thread about steering boxes. IMO it is best to find a used OEM box and rebuilt it and go through it.

With that said make sure there are no slop at the tie rod ends and at the wheel bearings. Then MAKE SURE that the steering box is centered like recommended above. Then adjust the box according to the manual.
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earthquake
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PostPosted: Sat Aug 11, 2018 10:21 am    Post subject: Re: Steering play again... Can't find the play, what am I missing? Reply with quote

Convert to Rack & pinion. I know thats not what you want to hear but it sure is nice to drive.
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74 Thing
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PostPosted: Sat Aug 11, 2018 2:24 pm    Post subject: Re: Steering play again... Can't find the play, what am I missing? Reply with quote

Here is the steering box thread for you to read-lots of info

https://www.thesamba.com/vw/forum/viewtopic.php?t=660446&start=0
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mark tucker
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PostPosted: Sat Aug 11, 2018 3:05 pm    Post subject: Re: Steering play again... Can't find the play, what am I missing? Reply with quote

74 Thing wrote:
Here is the steering box thread for you to read-lots of info

https://www.thesamba.com/vw/forum/viewtopic.php?t=660446&start=0
^^^^ ditto. as for the trw box....I have a new one thats atlest 16 years old (bought it new 15 years ago. I will someday tear it appart and see if it can be fixed. it barly turns,it's rough as crap, feals like the balls are square....witch wouldent supprize me as I tore appart a vw box that had flats on the balls.....,tim got me some parts so I can see what I can do with the trw. the vw box I ordered new high grade balls, and it's smoothe as owel shit now...but hasent yet found it's way onto the car.
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woodoctr
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PostPosted: Sat Aug 11, 2018 3:16 pm    Post subject: Re: Steering play again... Can't find the play, what am I missing? Reply with quote

I've done about 3 TRW boxes on various projects over the years. And...big surprise......2 were okay and 1 was complete crap.....they are a grab bag of quality at best.....
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Googlestein
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PostPosted: Sat Aug 11, 2018 5:40 pm    Post subject: Re: Steering play again... Can't find the play, what am I missing? Reply with quote

Well I'll start with centering my box the way mentioned above by feel not counting the turns. I'm pretty sure I counted the turns to find "center" when I installed it.

If that fails I recently bought a VW type 3 steering box that was in beautiful condition that was installed in a super low mile t3. The entire front beam was all stock and looked like it was barely driven before it was taken out.

If that doesn't work I have a extra set of tie rods....

I guess the silver lining is that I intimately know every inch of this front end...
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mark tucker
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PostPosted: Sun Aug 12, 2018 10:27 am    Post subject: Re: Steering play again... Can't find the play, what am I missing? Reply with quote

be sure the box it's self is adjusted right....if all else fails remove it and rebuild,throw in the trash,or just stick a known good box on it.... I wouldent go to changing ball joints&tierod ends just for the heck of it those are eazy to check.parts changing dose little more than spending a lot of money and usualy results in parts that may not be as good at the old ones. Wink
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Googlestein
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PostPosted: Mon Sep 03, 2018 8:55 pm    Post subject: Re: Steering play again... Can't find the play, what am I missing? Reply with quote

Well I went over everything again and still no luck...

I figured I would swap the steering box to a "good" used vw box.
Didn't see anything that would cause the play.

Installed the rebuilt vw box and centered it by turns out of the car.
Reinstalled everything and made sure not to move the box s center.

Realigned the front end

And it's the fing exact same amount of play 2 inches.

I spent another hour trying to find the play and with the wheels chocked both front and back of the steer tires the play still appears to be in the "rebuilt" box.

I'm so sick of this problem. Something so simple and yet so annoying.
After 2 new trw boxes one "fresh rebuilt vw" box I feel defeated.

Do people actually have less than 2" of play in their steering wheel?
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modok
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PostPosted: Mon Sep 03, 2018 11:20 pm    Post subject: Re: Steering play again... Can't find the play, what am I missing? Reply with quote

Play means it's loose, yet you are unable to find anything loose, in which case, what if you are correct?

Instead, is it possible that something is too tight and binding.
And your two inches of nothing happening is FLEX, not play.

If turn slightly and you let go of the wheel does it return nicely to center?
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74 Thing
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PostPosted: Tue Sep 04, 2018 6:31 am    Post subject: Re: Steering play again... Can't find the play, what am I missing? Reply with quote

Drive it up on some ramps so the body weight is on the tires (but still use jack stands as a safety precaution) and get underneath and put your hands on the suspension components while someone turns the steering wheel back and forth.

Maybe it is time to take it to a shop-sometimes another set of eyes is helpful.
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nextgen
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PostPosted: Tue Sep 04, 2018 6:56 am    Post subject: Re: Steering play again... Can't find the play, what am I missing? Reply with quote

I agree with Modok, I had similar issue but mine was I needed new ball joints, tie rods and alignment. Unlike you things were loose and I was ready to tear out my steering box. Steering box is the first Indicator of steering problems and maybe not the problem.
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I Ride Sand
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PostPosted: Tue Sep 04, 2018 3:21 pm    Post subject: Re: Steering play again... Can't find the play, what am I missing? Reply with quote

Googlestein wrote:


Do people actually have less than 2" of play in their steering wheel?


my sandrail with a untouched factory box feels like it could be rack and pinion it is so tight.

dumb question, have you taken it to an alignment shop or did you do it yourself? with the front wheels off the ground, is the steering wheel easy to turn? like i'm talking effortless, pinky finger easy. all the link pins are adjusted correctly? all the tie rod ends fully torqued? is your pitman arm clamp bolt on tight? are the bolts attaching the box to the beam tight? if the angle of the box changed, so did your alignment. the steering on these cars is nothing complex at all, there are only a handful of places you can have slop.
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Googlestein
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PostPosted: Tue Sep 04, 2018 4:38 pm    Post subject: Re: Steering play again... Can't find the play, what am I missing? Reply with quote

Ok so todays a new day and another opportunity!

Let's back up and I'll show you what I have and hate!

https://youtu.be/fM7Vy50FAWw

This video shows the "play" I have and hate with a passion.

To answer some above comments;

This should be a simple issue I totally agree.

After I assembled the car I took it to the "best local" alignment shop that specializes in old VWs and oh man I could barely drive it home that night...
I left there and checked the alignment with some strings at about 20 feet out and yes they got it straight but I had 3/16 of toe out not in. Felt like I was driving on ice.

After this I did it myself and the car was finally drivable except this play as shown in the video. I'm pretty dang positive the alignment is spot on.

The only thing I could think of as a binding issue would be my CB performance front sway bar. It's heavy duty but the play in the video is sitting still.

The other thing I could think of that has a pain in the butt was another local shop "great shop" reamed my new King pins and holy poop were they loose, they would fall right through. I was pissed and had a friend who was a machinist install another pair of bushings and ream them out with a straight
non tapered reamer. Now they feel smooth and will rotate with little to no force but have no play when grabbing the spindle/tires.

Last but not least one thing I have always thought was strange was my front end's stiffness vertically. If you grab the bumper and push down it stays down until you lighten pull the bumper up about an inch and a half. I quadruple checked my link pins, spindle shims, and grub screws along the beam but all are good.

Look at the video and I'll answer any questions, and hopefully this weekend take more videos below.
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Googlestein
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PostPosted: Tue Sep 04, 2018 4:56 pm    Post subject: Re: Steering play again... Can't find the play, what am I missing? Reply with quote

So just for fun in case I did something really dumb lol here are some pics from a couple years ago. And yes if you're wondering im a pug and that might be why i have issues, but thats another thread.

Image may have been reduced in size. Click image to view fullscreen.

Image may have been reduced in size. Click image to view fullscreen.

Image may have been reduced in size. Click image to view fullscreen.


https://youtu.be/fM7Vy50FAWw
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