Play in steering wheel, how to fix?

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
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Eric Desrochers wrote:

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 /

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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:

-- Travis (Shaggie) '63 VW Camo Baja... http://bugadventures.dyndns.org Hate corrodes the vessel that carries it.

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travis wrote:

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 /

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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... http://bugadventures.dyndns.org Hate corrodes the vessel that carries it.

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travis wrote: <SNIP>

What special

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 /

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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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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.

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What silly tool? Gotta link?

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

wrote:

about

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snipped-for-privacy@stafford.net (J Stafford) wrote in message wrote:

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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