Page 1 of 6 123 ... LastLast
Results 1 to 10 of 57

Thread: Stiff steering - universal joint and steering rack damper

  1. #1
    Join Date
    Nov 2007
    Location
    BANCHORY
    Posts
    3,092

    Stiff steering - universal joint and steering rack damper

    Steering on my 2002 Cabrio has gradually gone rather stiff with poor centring.

    Have just removed steering rack damper. Was found leaking with jerky dampening. Assume this one is supposed to be gas precharged. There is certainly no more gas in this one.

    Have also wetted the outside of lower universal joint in penetration oil which had some effect but by no means perfect.

    Will have to remove steering column and open out at least lower universal joint, clean and grease it up.

    Won't happen this week and intend first to see how the car performs without the steering rack damper.

    Any thoughts?
    Drives a Smart Cdi - 65 to 85 MPG

  2. #2
    Join Date
    Apr 2009
    Location
    Ecosse
    Posts
    3,463
    I take it the ball joints are in good order? (I had similar stiffening of steering (in another car) and the day I allocated to check why - a ball joint completely failed. It was however, one that carried the weight of the car).

    Steering damper. Early days with my fortwo still with the skinny front tyres, I had a steering oscillation build a couple of times in strong cross-winds. Scary as it didn't appear to want to damp itself - and that was with a damper in good condition. Take care out there!

  3. #3
    Join Date
    Mar 2012
    Location
    Daventry
    Posts
    632
    Oooh I sympathise with you!

    Steering column removal is a ball ache - especially the lower pinch bolt and the cam design of the bolt which makes ratcheting more difficult, never mind the problems of access.

    Overhauling the joint itself will be quite a feat too because the way the needle rollers are clenched into the yokes is signjficant/robust.

    Still got the last column I removed lying on the workshop floor!

    Oh! And repositioning the grommet in the floor requires the agility of a contortionist!


  4. #4
    Join Date
    Nov 2007
    Location
    BANCHORY
    Posts
    3,092
    I doubt I will need to renew the knackered steering rack damper. Don't do any off road driving so cannot see any need for the damper.
    Drives a Smart Cdi - 65 to 85 MPG

  5. #5
    Join Date
    Nov 2004
    Location
    Essex
    Posts
    1,123
    What penetrating fluid did you use? I fixed one that I could barely dry steer with all my strength.
    50:50 ATF and acetone. Daily application and lock-to-lock of the rack to get it into the UJ saw it back to normal in a week.
    I jacked the front up to make lock-to-lock easier and access easier. Once it was better, it was sprayed in chain grease to protect it.

    However, removing the column does allow for submersion of the UJ.

  6. #6
    Join Date
    Nov 2007
    Location
    BANCHORY
    Posts
    3,092
    I have made two attempts to wet lower UJ in penatration oil. Have tried ASDA's and my own special read diesel, white petrol, white spirit and oil blend. No acetone this time as I am worried there may be damage to plastic parts nearby lower UJ.
    Will remove steering column during next hour, then proceed to remove UJ, clean it and regrease.
    Drives a Smart Cdi - 65 to 85 MPG

  7. #7
    Join Date
    Apr 2009
    Location
    Ecosse
    Posts
    3,463
    Quote Originally Posted by tolsen View Post
    I doubt I will need to renew the knackered steering rack damper. Don't do any off road driving so cannot see any need for the damper.
    Given the original name for the fortwo was City, I doubt that smart fitted the steering damper to enable off-roading. They could reasonably expect the car to be driven at the M.Way speed limit on tarmac though.

  8. #8
    Join Date
    Jan 2011
    Location
    uk
    Posts
    743
    Quote Originally Posted by pinger View Post
    Given the original name for the fortwo was City, I doubt that smart fitted the steering damper to enable off-roading. They could reasonably expect the car to be driven at the M.Way speed limit on tarmac though.
    Thought it was there to slow you down trying to do a very fast full lock swerve? (re the Elk test)
    You're so money supermarket and you don't even know it!

  9. #9
    Join Date
    Nov 2007
    Location
    BANCHORY
    Posts
    3,092
    Quote Originally Posted by reinaldo_is_spam View Post
    Thought it was there to slow you down trying to do a very fast full lock swerve? (re the Elk test)
    Steering damper protects your thumb in case you hit a stump or a big rock which is unlikely in my case.

    Now ready to lift steering column out. May have to remove the whole dash due to difficulty getting to and lifting lower bearing half clear off steering column. We'll soon find out.

    An observation: Steering column bearing halves are held on with four large self tappers.
    Drives a Smart Cdi - 65 to 85 MPG

  10. #10
    Join Date
    Apr 2009
    Location
    Ecosse
    Posts
    3,463
    Quote Originally Posted by tolsen View Post
    Steering damper protects your thumb in case you hit a stump or a big rock which is unlikely in my case.
    Not so. Firstly, with the steering geometry compatible with ABS, large offsets (scrub radius) sufficient to cause kick back do not exist. Secondly, smart never engineered off road capability into the fortwo - why would it? Thirdly, where steering dampers have featured on off road vehicle (source of kick back myth) it is on those with axles where as you very well know gyroscopic precession can give rise to a steering shimmy which needs to be damped to prevent it self exciting and leading to a very dangerous driving condition.

Posting Permissions

  • You may not post new threads
  • You may not post replies
  • You may not post attachments
  • You may not edit your posts
  •