Steering component issue

Discussion in 'General Automotive Tech' started by Paladin62, Jul 7, 2018.

  1. Paladin62

    Paladin62 Active Member

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    I have replaced just about all the components of the steering on the Parkwood. Tie rods, inner and outer, control arm bushings, power steering control valve and idler arm. If you jack up one side of the front end, the tire has too much play (wiggling the wheel/tire) . It looks to me like it's got too much play where the control valve bolts to the pitman arm. The unit is "new" but I guess it could be bad...
    I'm afraid the whole thing will come loose from the pitman arm.
    Thoughts?
     
  2. Silvertwinkiehobo

    Silvertwinkiehobo "Nothing is foolproof as fools are ingenious."

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    Can you take pics? At first blush, I'd say something is defective and needs to be replaced under warranty. Barring that, perhaps something is missing from the install?
     
  3. HotRodRacer

    HotRodRacer Well-Known Member

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    By "the tire has too much play (wiggling the wheel/tire)", do you mean side to side, or up and down? Have you checked/replaced the wheel bearings themselves?

    I don't see that you mentioned the ball joints - are they replaced? The ball joints will cause the slop as well, I had the upper on one side and the lower on the other side of the 63 bad.
     
  4. Paladin62

    Paladin62 Active Member

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    It's moving side to side, as if turning out or in independently of the other tire. Ball joints are good, but I haven't change those out.
    Gonna go pull it out and take pictures for hobo
     
  5. Paladin62

    Paladin62 Active Member

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    Ok Silvertwinklehobo, here are some pictures of the assembly. I tried to upload a video, but the site doesn't accept MP4 files. The movement is at the back end of the idler arm where it attaches to the drag link. It's moving 20180708_113535.jpg 20180708_113610.jpg up/down about a inch which allows the wheel/tire to toe in and out independently of the drivers side tire.
     
  6. Silvertwinkiehobo

    Silvertwinkiehobo "Nothing is foolproof as fools are ingenious."

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    Ah, I had thought you had replaced the ball joints, had to go back and verify. The front end should've been fully inspected before doing any work, to identify all bad parts for replacement. Anyway, I would say the likelihood is that one of the ball joints on that side is bad, rather than a new part. If the ball joints had been new, then I would say the likely culprit is that new component, and work down the list of parts as you check them.
     
  7. Silvertwinkiehobo

    Silvertwinkiehobo "Nothing is foolproof as fools are ingenious."

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    The idler arm is only supposed to have rotational movement at each end, so if there is up/down movement, I'd say the part is defective, not correct for your wagon, or somehow incorrectly installed (but that's very unlikely).
     
  8. 59 wagon man

    59 wagon man Well-Known Member

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    i believe the problem is in the idler arm
     
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  9. joe_padavano

    joe_padavano Well-Known Member

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    Well, either your new idler arm is bad or the tapered hole in the drag link is excessively worn and thus preventing the new idler arm from seating in it properly. The latter can be an issue if the old idler was worn excessively before replacement. I'm not a Chevy expert, but Olds used steering components from two sources in the 1960s (Saginaw and Thompson). These have different tapers on the pins and cannot be interchanged. I don't know if this applies to your Chevy or not.

    Also, FYI, you need to compress the suspension when testing for worn parts. That means jack up under the springs, not under the frame.
     
  10. Paladin62

    Paladin62 Active Member

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    I truly appreciate all the input. I pulled off the idler arm yesterday and turned it around. Someone suggested it might be installed bassackward. That didn't work...
    I keep looking at the control valve where the tapered bolt goes into the pitman arm. There is a lot of back and forth movement there.
    Frankly, I'm to the point where I'm scared to drive it. It wanders, especially on turns and if, God forbid anything comes loose I'll have NO control.
    I'm gonna bite the bullet and send it to the shop. I'll let you know what the problem was when they fix it.
     
  11. KevinVarnes

    KevinVarnes Well-Known Member

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    Did it take any force to separate the center link from the idler arm or did it simply come off once you loosened the nut?
     
  12. OldFox

    OldFox Curmudgeon

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    Many of those early systems had a ball and socket arrangement. The socket was a split bronze bushing. There was usually an adjuster screw to take up any slack due to wear and it was held in place with a cotter pin. Ford and several others had this system.....I don't know if yours did or not.
     
  13. Paladin62

    Paladin62 Active Member

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    Kevin may be on to something. Once I loosen the nut before I could get the tool on it popped loose. This was on the drag link.
     
  14. OldFox

    OldFox Curmudgeon

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    Wrap the taper with a thin, annealed brass shim and reinstall it.
     
  15. 59 wagon man

    59 wagon man Well-Known Member

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    maybe the idler arm is different for power steering and non power steering .on my 59 you have to smack it to separate it .mine is non ps
     

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