play in steering wheel --mk2 88 Golf (gl?)

I'm not sure if I'm being a golf-hypochondriac or not, but I've noticed that I've got about 1.5 inches of rotation in my steering wheel before the front wheels begin to move significantly. It's got
some kind of super-sensitive power assist steering. It was leaking steering fluid about 18 months ago and we had front end work done, and ever since then the steering has *felt* incredibly sensitive, although the car tracks well.
So...is 1.5" of rotational play acceptable, or is something in the steering column wearing out..? Erghh....
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1.5" oh man. I wouldn't own a vehicle with 1.5" rotational play.
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Peter please tell us, what does rotational play mean?
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My Golk mk2 has about an inch of rotational play. I believe it means the amount of "travel" in the steering wheel before the wheels begin to turn. So if I crank my wheel to the right, it rotates about an inch before the wheels begin to angle.
I had some front end work done about 18 months ago, so I'm guessing that my problem is in the steering column, and will be expensive and difficult to fix unless I start dating a VW mechanic.
wrote:

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IMO, I would say jack up the front and put on jack stands. Use the parking brake and start up the engine in neutral. Go outside the vehicle and turn the wheel. The wheels should move without much steering wheel play. It's an illusion testing it while on the ground.
IMO, you really never have steering rack play, just tie rod end movement. If you did have steering rack play in the steering rack gears, you would have to replace the rack.
A way to check to see if your rack is toast is to go into an empty parking lot, turn the wheel, give it gas, take your hands off the wheel and see if the gas will start you back to straight slowly. If the wheel doesn't move back to straight slowly, your rack is hammered one way. Do it left and right because you need to check both ways. This only is a test after you have an alignment. If your out of alignment it might give you a false reading.

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snipped-for-privacy@zero.com (Peter Parker) wrote in message

I tried this several times, and the car straightened slightly with the wheels turned to the left, and not at all with the wheels turned to the right. This is an 88 with power steering. I'll test it on brake stands next. Thanks for the excellent info.
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