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Author Topic: Heavy Steering  (Read 6754 times)
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HFStuart
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« on: March 09, 2015, 07:23:52 PM »

I'm getting bored of the steering in my Spider being so heavy.

There's no obvious cause (top mounts aren't seized and the rack is OK) but it's much heavier than other non-PAS cars including another near identical Spider.

I have got 185/65 Tyres on but what's odd to me is that it doesn't get much lighter with speed, if you need a lot of lock quickly it's a bit of a pain.

I've started doing some basic static tests using my calibrated torque wrench on the steering wheel nut. So far:

185/65 Tyres 29psi - 15-16 lbft
185/65 Tyres 35psi - 14-15 lbft

I want to try some 175s to see how they compare - I have one but need another - and then I'm going to use some MOT turning pads to measure the resistance of the system loaded but without tyre friction as I wonder if the top mounts are binding under load even if they're free when lightly loaded.

Any ideas? I really don't want to change the bulkhead to fit the PAS rack.
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rossocorsa
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« Reply #1 on: March 09, 2015, 07:57:22 PM »

It wouldn't surprise me if the bearings in the top mount are failing, beta steering is heavy when parking but should be fine on the move.
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WestonE
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« Reply #2 on: March 09, 2015, 07:58:55 PM »

Lower Swivels or track rod ends dry?
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Ammy
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« Reply #3 on: March 09, 2015, 08:09:43 PM »

That's the reason I fitted power steering many years ago.  At 82 I wouldn't be able to use it now without P.A.S.
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peteracs
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« Reply #4 on: March 09, 2015, 09:38:53 PM »

Hi

Have you checked the steering rack damper, I remember a post some time ago where removing it as a test resulted in much easier steering because it was faulty.

Peter
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Beta Spyder S2 pre F/L 1600
Saab 9-3 1.9Tid Cabrio
HFStuart
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« Reply #5 on: March 09, 2015, 10:05:33 PM »

Peter,

I removed the rack damper a few weeks ago - it made no difference whatsoever so I've left if off! Good shout though.

Eric

Neither the bottom swivels or track rod ends are seized or tight when the suspension is unloaded. It's possible the bottom swivels might be when the weight's on the wheels. Not much load goes though them but I'll definitely check when I've made my turn plates.
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rossocorsa
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« Reply #6 on: March 09, 2015, 10:31:12 PM »

But surely the steering damper should make a difference, if working ok it ought to help so the fact that you can't tell if it's on or off is suspicious.
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HFStuart
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« Reply #7 on: March 09, 2015, 11:20:33 PM »

Alan,

I agree it should  - otherwise why is it there? The damper didn't seem worn out either.

I thought I might get more steering vibration or kickback but I really couldn't tell and the steering was no lighter. I suppose I should suspect the rack too but again it seems very free with the wheels up in the air. I have a spare if I want to swap out and check it.
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peteracs
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« Reply #8 on: March 10, 2015, 12:02:37 AM »

I thought the damper had the effect of stopping the kick back etc, ie made it much less sensitive to sudden road changes. Again I seem to remember one thread where fitting a missing steering damper made a large difference. Maybe yours is just I ineffective in terms of damping but has no effect on the steering effort. If you can compress and uncompress it easily, then I suspect that is the case. There were two different dampers, one had a rubber 'cover' at one end which degrades terribly with age and heat, the one on mine was completely missing.....

Peter
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Beta Spyder S2 pre F/L 1600
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Neil-yaj396
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« Reply #9 on: March 10, 2015, 06:39:20 PM »

You say the rack is Ok but on my last Coupe (see '1300 Coupes' thread) it turned out that the bearing where the steering column attaches was slowly disintegrating. A stealthy fault because nothing is visible. As Alan says, even with wide tyres, the steering should be spot on above 30mph.
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HFStuart
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« Reply #10 on: March 24, 2015, 10:29:16 PM »

So I noticed with the wheels on home made turning pads (5mm steel plate with grease between) that there's some torsional load going into the NS top rubber mount. Not sure how, but it clearly shouldn't be happening so I took off the strut and stripped it down. I found what I think is yet another top bearing design - which I'll replace and hopefully will help the steering.

I also found though that there are two different spring top pans! One for Coupe  / Spider the other for Berlina. The only difference is one holds the bump stop rubber 5mm lower. I'm guessing to account for slightly shorter springs on the Coupe & Spider. I dug through my spares and found five(!) three long and two short. Sadly the short ones were rusty enough to need acid sipping and careful checking before use so I'll fit the 'wrong' one for now while I wait for the two NOS ones I found in Italy to arrive.

Most amazing of all it they were only 20 each - a bargain by Italian Lancia standards.
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Neil-yaj396
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« Reply #11 on: March 25, 2015, 07:50:51 AM »

Glad that you've hopefully found the problem Stuart. Strut top bearings seem to be becoming quite an issue.
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peteracs
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« Reply #12 on: March 25, 2015, 10:26:57 AM »

Hi Stuart

Just to confirm, is it the strut top bearing itself or the strut top with the rubber insert you have an issue with and have sourced?

Peter
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Beta Spyder S2 pre F/L 1600
Saab 9-3 1.9Tid Cabrio
HFStuart
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« Reply #13 on: March 25, 2015, 01:37:48 PM »

Peter,

I found a spare bearing but the bits I've sourced are the metal spring seats.

They look at bit like this but with more metal and less holes!

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peteracs
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« Reply #14 on: March 25, 2015, 02:11:35 PM »

Hi Stuart

But that is a rear spring seat (if I am not mistaken?), the front has the rubber insert?

Peter
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Beta Spyder S2 pre F/L 1600
Saab 9-3 1.9Tid Cabrio
HFStuart
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« Reply #15 on: March 25, 2015, 08:08:14 PM »

No - the front has two parts with the thrust bearing between them. The rubber upper part and then the spring seat itself. Parts 25 and 16 respectively



It's part 16 that comes in two different lengths that I've ordered
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peteracs
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« Reply #16 on: March 26, 2015, 12:06:03 AM »

Hi Stuart

Yes, sorry, my mistake, busy day and did not spend enough time looking at it......

Were the bearings and seals in good condition?

Peter
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Beta Spyder S2 pre F/L 1600
Saab 9-3 1.9Tid Cabrio
HFStuart
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« Reply #17 on: March 26, 2015, 01:51:23 PM »

Not bad as it happens but they did feel a bit 'gritty'. The surface the lip seal bears on didn't give it much chance to seal though.

I'll have it back together at the weekend and see what difference it's made
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HFStuart
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« Reply #18 on: March 28, 2015, 03:43:55 PM »

That would seem to have sorted it. The steering isn't exactly light but it's certainly lighter roundabouts no longer require so much heaving!

Having cleaned up the old parts I think I found the culprit



That's the upper bearing surface for the thrust bearing. Those lines aren't just lines they're dent's made by the rollers. I'd suggest that when not under load the bearing moved OK but when loaded the rollers picked up on the dent's and the bottom bearing surface then just slid on the locked rollers.

For those interested here are the three types of top mount I found



The bottom row has a lipped lower bearing surface (left) a bearing with a polyamide cage a lipped upper bearing surface and a seal

The middle row is the second type with a flat lower bearing surface a metal caged bearing held captive in the upper  bearing surface and a slightly smaller seal

The top one is an oddity - it's a bearing surface with a bonded seal - I couldn't find any other parts to match with it.
 
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peteracs
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« Reply #19 on: March 28, 2015, 07:05:54 PM »

Hi Stuart

Glad you sorted it.

In answer to your unfinished list.

The top of the three has a roller bearing like the bottom one and a lower thrust plate like the middle one. That was the design which was on my early Spyder. I managed to extract the seal from the thrust plate and it could be used with the other two versions at a push.

Now all we need is a definitive source of one type with the correct seal and all will be well. I may try to buy one of the Delta ones which look to fit ok.

Peter
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Beta Spyder S2 pre F/L 1600
Saab 9-3 1.9Tid Cabrio
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