Play in steering wheel, how to fix?

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Hello.  I have a sizeable play in my steering wheel I'd like to get
fixed.  The car is a '72 SuperBeetle.  Most of the front end has been
upgraded/serviced in the last 2 years.  I got new ball joint, new
steering dampener, urethane bushing, upgraded sway bar, stress bar, new
shocks, springs, etc.  The handling is fantastic and I don't suffer from
any "shimmies" nor instable behavior.

Just a 2 inches play in the steering wheels that prevent keepng the car
in a straight line in windy condition!

Is there something that can be adjusted or I'll need some new steering
box?  Parts suggestions and sources?

Thanks!


--
Eric (Dero) Desrochers

Hiroshima 45, Tchernobyl 86, Windows 95

Re: Play in steering wheel, how to fix?
Eric Desrochers wrote:
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First, inspect the U-joints on the steering shaft for wear.
This is a common problem.

Next, be sure the play isn't in the idler arm bushings.
Another common problem.

If you get underneath and turn the steering shaft back and
forth by hand, you can see if the pitman arm responds right away
or whether the play is really in the box.

If it *is* the box, there is one adjustment screw on top.
Tighten that maybe 1/4 turn and see if it makes any difference.
Go easy here!
There is a second adjustment which involves the preload on the
shaft bearings.  Strongly recommend getting the Bentley manual out
to follow the delicate procedure.

I'm deliberately downplaying the box adjustment because it's
real easy to ruin the box.  Read the manual on this one...

Speedy Jim
http://www.nls.net/mp/volks /

Re: Play in steering wheel, how to fix?
A quick question for the group.  My '63 is starting to exhibit "front
end troubles" in the form of a lot of play in the steering wheel and
generally creaking and moaning a lot when going over bumps and stuff.
Gary looked at it with me the last time he was over and said it would
need some attention soon.  I know next-to-nothing about suspensions
(or much else on the car, for that matter.)  My question is:  I'm
thinking of doing all I can myself to the front-end and I'm wondering
if it would be a good idea to completely remove the front-end before I
start diagnosing problems or would that be a bad idea?  When I say
completely remove it, I mean unbolt the (I think there's 4 of them)
bolts that hold the main assembly in place?  I was thinking of
removing the front-end to work on it so that I could keep it in my
garage where I'd be partially isolated from the weather.  Thanks in
advance for input.  I think I'll start out by addressing the play in
the steering-wheel.  Probably shouldn't pull the whole front-end to do
this?


was sitting in a corner eating his Xmas pie stuck in his thumb and
pulled out a plum and began to run off at the mouth like so:

Quoted text here. Click to load it


--
Travis (Shaggie)
'63 VW Camo Baja...
We've slightly trimmed the long signature. Click to see the full one.
Re: Play in steering wheel, how to fix?
travis wrote:
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  No, don't remove the axle beam.

  '63 has a king/link pin front end (as opposed to ball joint).
  Wear and sloppy/creaky steering is often caused on these by worn
  king/link pin bushings.  You can get a feel for it by jacking
  up one front wheel at a time.  Violently rock the tire top and
  bottom.  A good front end won't show any noticeable play in the
  wheel.  

  There could be play in the steering box (or in the tie rod ends).
  With the wheels on the ground, turn the steering shaft by hand
  (grab the rubber coupling).  Watch what the pitman arm and the
  tie rods do.  You should be able to see where any play originates.
  (Do this test with the steering straight ahead.)

Speedy Jim
http://www.nls.net/mp/volks /

Re: Play in steering wheel, how to fix?

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OK, thanks Speedy.  I'm gonna try these tests this weekend coming up
if I can make the time to get to it.  I have tried the test before
where I jack up each wheel/tire on the front end and pushed and pulled
hard on the top to see if things would act sloppy.  They acted
sloppier than an overweight high-school girl getting drunk for the
first time on prom night.  Both sides showed "noticeable play"...just
like the previously mentioned girl does.  ;-)  I'll try the steering
shaft test to help figure out where to go from there.  What special
tools would I need in a "worst-case" scenario to do this work myself?
I have a press, but I mean just a manual el-cheapo press.  Not some
hydraulic setup.  Just the lever-arm thingie that you pull down on to
operate it, like a drill press kinda.  Thanks again.


--
Travis (Shaggie)
'63 VW Camo Baja...
We've slightly trimmed the long signature. Click to see the full one.
Re: Play in steering wheel, how to fix?
travis wrote:
<SNIP>

  What special
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Re-bushing the spindles is a real chore.  I don't recommend doing it
with a manual press.  Besides which you need the precision reamer
to size the new bushings.

Look around for a VW shop that will do it or a mail-order parts
house.

Speedy Jim
http://www.nls.net/mp/volks /

Re: Play in steering wheel, how to fix?
I was able to tighten mine up on the rail I have. I had a web page up about
it at one time. If I find it I'll post it again for you.

4play (@\|/@)(.\~/.)
http://4play2nyte.tripod.com <<<4seater rail4sale 4now
http://imfurplay.tripod.com <<<77baja project

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Re: Play in steering wheel, how to fix?

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I still wanna know if I can buy the silly tool that goes into the strange
sized/shaped steering adjuster socket. Too lazy to make one.

Re: Play in steering wheel, how to fix?
What silly tool?
Gotta link?

4play (@\|/@)(.\~/.)
http://4play2nyte.tripod.com <<<4seater rail4sale 4now
http://imfurplay.tripod.com <<<77baja project

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about



Re: Play in steering wheel, how to fix?
john@stafford.net (J Stafford) wrote in message
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First of all, you're talking about adjusting the end play on the
steering box, right??  At the end of the box - opposite side of
steering box from where the shaft enters the box - is an adjustment
that's locked in place by a large inside diameter nut.  You have to
loosen the large nut (I use a small monkey - pipe - wrench for this
purpose.  Actually adjusting the end play normally requires a special
tool.  But, I've found an end around for this.

If you go to Ace Hardware - in the lawnmower equipment section -
you'll find a combination sparkplug wrench and screw driver.  On the
end opposite the screw driver blade is welded a 2-sided "socket" that
fits 2 sizes of spark plugs - except that the sockets are 6 sided on
the outside surface as well as inside.  The whole thing looks a little
like an 6-sided corncob pipe on top and a smaller version on the
bottom.  (Can you picture what I'm trying to describe???) The larger
socket just happens to fit exactly and snuggly inside the end play
adjuster.  It fits perfectly!  You simply use the screwdriver portion
as the handle to turn the "adjuster"!



Pete Snyder
77 Beetle

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