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Thread: Stiff Notchy Steering

  1. #1
    Join Date
    Dec 2007
    Location
    London
    Posts
    403

    Question Stiff Notchy Steering

    I haven't been using my Smart frequently over the last month or so having bought an M365 electric scooter which I use to commute when it's dry

    Perhaps my neglect of the Smart is in part responsible for the steering issue, which seems to be getting worse and worse

    I am hoping it is just the UJ that is partially seized, or could it actually be the rack itself?

    I haven't lifted the Smart yet because my other car is on axle stands while I replace the steering rack - oh the irony!
    Paul
    Pure 2000 W, LHD 599cc - Engine Rebuilt Feb 08 - sold
    Passion 2000 W, LHD 599cc - Engine Rebuilt Mar 09 - sold
    Passion 1998 T, LHD 599cc - Engine Rebuilt Apr 10 - sold
    Cabrio 2001 Y, LHD 599cc - Engine Rebuilt Jul 10 Replaced Oct 16

  2. #2
    Join Date
    Jan 2015
    Location
    Devon
    Posts
    64
    Almost certainly the lower universal joint on the steering column, a common problem.

  3. #3
    Join Date
    Dec 2007
    Location
    London
    Posts
    403
    Many thanks

    Evilution is invaluable as usual

    https://www.evilution.co.uk/index.php?menu=&mod=567

    Any chance cleaning might work, or am I more likely to have to replace?
    Paul
    Pure 2000 W, LHD 599cc - Engine Rebuilt Feb 08 - sold
    Passion 2000 W, LHD 599cc - Engine Rebuilt Mar 09 - sold
    Passion 1998 T, LHD 599cc - Engine Rebuilt Apr 10 - sold
    Cabrio 2001 Y, LHD 599cc - Engine Rebuilt Jul 10 Replaced Oct 16

  4. #4
    Join Date
    Nov 2007
    Location
    BANCHORY
    Posts
    3,325
    Replacing UJ or steering column take a few hours so try Evilís method first.



    My fix took several days and two attempts before I got it sorted.
    Last edited by tolsen; 08-04-2019 at 06:36 PM.
    Drives a Smart Cdi - 65 to 85 MPG

  5. #5
    Join Date
    Feb 2011
    Location
    Lewes
    Posts
    720
    Did mine in a day, similar to tolsen's but I just used a centre punch to burr the end of the holes over rather than make nice bolt on covers.
    Bought this http://old.febest.eu/UNIVERSAL_JOINT_15X39/AST-1539, but from their new site... arrived in a couple of days and i started on a Saturday so I had two day to do it in if needed. Luckily, only needed a day.

    John

  6. #6
    Join Date
    Dec 2007
    Location
    London
    Posts
    403
    Thank you all for your advice

    The one thing I have concluded is - Replacement is absolutely the last resort

    Thanks also because I have just removed the UJ from my other car and bathed it in Carb Cleaner aided with a toothbrush

    There was nothing wrong with the steering feel on that car, but upon removal it became obvious that the UJ needed help

    Looking at Evilution access doesn't appear great, hope I can get a toothbrush up there, but not very confident
    Paul
    Pure 2000 W, LHD 599cc - Engine Rebuilt Feb 08 - sold
    Passion 2000 W, LHD 599cc - Engine Rebuilt Mar 09 - sold
    Passion 1998 T, LHD 599cc - Engine Rebuilt Apr 10 - sold
    Cabrio 2001 Y, LHD 599cc - Engine Rebuilt Jul 10 Replaced Oct 16

  7. #7
    Join Date
    Nov 2007
    Location
    BANCHORY
    Posts
    3,325

    It is very hard to get oil or grease into these dry UJ joints.

    Perhaps best to remove steering column and boil lower UJ in oil.


    Added the photos purely to show how these UJs are built.
    Drives a Smart Cdi - 65 to 85 MPG

  8. #8
    Join Date
    Dec 2007
    Location
    London
    Posts
    403
    I would have no problem spending £11 on a new UJ core

    https://www.ebay.co.uk/itm/123597007392

    But fitting it in the yokes is probably beyond me
    Paul
    Pure 2000 W, LHD 599cc - Engine Rebuilt Feb 08 - sold
    Passion 2000 W, LHD 599cc - Engine Rebuilt Mar 09 - sold
    Passion 1998 T, LHD 599cc - Engine Rebuilt Apr 10 - sold
    Cabrio 2001 Y, LHD 599cc - Engine Rebuilt Jul 10 Replaced Oct 16

  9. #9
    Join Date
    Feb 2011
    Location
    Lewes
    Posts
    720
    If you have access to a Vice, a Hammer and an Angle Grinder then it is possible to replace the UJ. Hold the steering rod in the vice. Use the angle grinder to cut the old UJ out. Use the hammer and punch to remove the cups.
    Use the vice to put new cup in one yolk. Put the new UJ in place. Use Vice to put second cup in yolk to hold new UJ. Do the same for the other yolk. Now come the most difficult bit. You have to tap the cups closer together to take out the play, but not so far in that they bind.
    Put a couple of dings in the rim of the holes to hold the cups in place and you're done.

    John

  10. #10
    Join Date
    Mar 2017
    Location
    London
    Posts
    12
    I've wondered for a while if placing a suspension sock over the UJ would help in protecting it further:

    https://www.tegiwaimports.com/tegiwa...ers-300mm.html

    https://www.chainreactioncycles.com/...er/rp-prod4779

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