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Strange Steering Behavior

Lukas Arndt

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Hi Folks,

Luke here from Germany - long time no see, but still happy with my old K5! :D

Here's my Problem, tryin' to fix it since a few Months:

The Steering of my Rig got a strange Behavior; as long as drivin' straight ahead no Symptoms, but when steerin' left or right and then tryin' to align straight again it seems as there'd be some kind of Obstruction/ Hindrance in the Steering i have to overcome first, relatively near the 0-Position of the Steering Wheel/ -Gear. Then after a sudden (with no real force, just a little more turn on the Steering Wheel as normal) i overcome that strange Hindrance and the Rig steers in the direction i've turned the Wheel to, i than have to turn back a little to straighten my Direction. This happens every 4-5 Times out of 10 maybe, so not always,... Very strange, here's a little Background Info:

2018 Engine change, 6.2 Diesel to 350 V8, eliminated the Hydro-Boost-Setup...
New Steering Pump, new Hoses, flushed the Oil, new Steering Damper, old Gearbox, Stabilizer-Sockets new
2019 similar Symptoms but not this heavy; new Gearbox, Wheel-Alignment, since then a little improvement, but Symptoms not 100% eliminated...
2021 Symptoms gettin' more and more noticeably
New Steering Pump, new Hoses, Oil, Gearbox relatively new, experimented with Tire-Pressure (33" BF Goodrich), nothin'...

Anyone of you got an idea?

Plan is to buy another new Gearbox, new Steering Damper, new Wheel-Alignment, ...

IMG_20191005_180935_8.jpg
 

Joel Wilson

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I would hold off on the new components first. Gotta find out whats wrong. I would get someone to run the steering wheel back and forth while you are looking at the front end components-tie rod ends, ball joints, pittman arm, etc. It sounds like something is binding up somewhere. You may want to check your bushings on the sway bar and leaf springs.

Check your steering column shaft, top to bottom. Tilt steering has a u joint in there that can bind up.

Joel
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ZooMad75

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I was thinking the same thing as I read the first post. Something is binding up in the steering. I'd be looking at the column, intermediate shaft/rag joint and the steering linkage to the knuckles.

Could be a ball joint binding up on one of the knuckles.
 

Lukas Arndt

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Thanks, Guys!
I forgot to mention - nothin' to see from underneath, all Ball-Joints new in 2019... But i'll have another look for sure!
It feels like nothing "hard" binding up, just a "smooth" Hindrance, don't know how describe it... :confused::doah:

It feels like comin' from the Gear-Box, but maybe the smooth Power Steering irritates to discover where it really comes from...
 

dyeager535

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If someone messed with the steering gear box, it's been said this sort of binding (or worse, it locks solidly mid turn) can be the result of improper steering box adjustment.

Still can be a lot of things, but inspecting everything while the wheels are on the ground, then in the air, may give you some info.

What part of Germany?
 

Lukas Arndt

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If someone messed with the steering gear box, it's been said this sort of binding (or worse, it locks solidly mid turn) can be the result of improper steering box adjustment.

Still can be a lot of things, but inspecting everything while the wheels are on the ground, then in the air, may give you some info.

What part of Germany?
Thank you, will check again from underneath - it was a rebuilt Gear-Box but maybe not correct adjusted?!

I live in Arnsberg, small Town near Dortmund/ Köln - do you know some Places in Germany? :waytogo:
 

diesel4me

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I had a bad u joint in the front axle cause something like this once. It would get into a position that when you tried to turn it would bind up and pop free. It was just a matter of changing the seized u joint
Ditto,my 82 GMC K2500 did the same thing twice and it went away right after I replaced the axle u-joint on each side (a year apart)..they were devoid of needle bearings in a few cups and the rest were rusted and seizing up..
It made the truck feel like it would just steer itself one way or the other and you had to pull the wheel back to get it back in the lane,it was erratic and would dart suddenly one way or the other,or back & forth..I thought it was the steering box..

Love that oval window Beetle !..my brother had a '57 !..
He also had a '52 split window one given to him for parts back in the early 70's that was in nice shape--sadly my dad forced him to get rid of it when we moved,I had planned to keep it and get another engine & transaxle for it..brother used the transaxle in another Beetle ,car had no engine when we got it..later learned less than 3000 were imported to the USA that year too...
 

Lukas Arndt

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I had a bad u joint in the front axle cause something like this once. It would get into a position that when you tried to turn it would bind up and pop free. It was just a matter of changing the seized u joint
What... :eek: Very interesting, will check that for sure! Thank you! :waytogo:
 

Lukas Arndt

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Ditto,my 82 GMC K2500 did the same thing twice and it went away right after I replaced the axle u-joint on each side (a year apart)..they were devoid of needle bearings in a few cups and the rest were rusted and seizing up..
It made the truck feel like it would just steer itself one way or the other and you had to pull the wheel back to get it back in the lane,it was erratic and would dart suddenly one way or the other,or back & forth..I thought it was the steering box..

Love that oval window Beetle !..my brother had a '57 !..
He also had a '52 split window one given to him for parts back in the early 70's that was in nice shape--sadly my dad forced him to get rid of it when we moved,I had planned to keep it and get another engine & transaxle for it..brother used the transaxle in another Beetle ,car had no engine when we got it..later learned less than 3000 were imported to the USA that year too...
Thanks, Man! Very good to know, you describe exactly (!) the Symptoms i recognize on mine... Definately will check those U-Joints at the Weekend!!

Yes, it's an '54 Beetle, Family-Heirloom :D...
Sorry for you for not havin' that Split-Window yet... Split-Windows in good Condition are traded in Germany for around 50k $... :eek1:
 

dyeager535

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Thank you, will check again from underneath - it was a rebuilt Gear-Box but maybe not correct adjusted?!

I live in Arnsberg, small Town near Dortmund/ Köln - do you know some Places in Germany? :waytogo:

Definitely possible. You'd hope it would be, but who knows nowadays. An unlikely issue, but possible.

I do know Germany. Mainly Wiesbaden, but I've been around. ;)
 

Wes Harden

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Give the frame, where the gear box is bolted, a good inspection for cracks. It is a common failure point. Not saying this is the issue. Could be. But should be a regular inspection item, when doing maintenance.

A real split window in good shape will bring that here as well. Peps here counterfeit them.
 

Lukas Arndt

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Give the frame, where the gear box is bolted, a good inspection for cracks. It is a common failure point. Not saying this is the issue. Could be. But should be a regular inspection item, when doing maintenance.

A real split window in good shape will bring that here as well. Peps here counterfeit them.
Yeah, i done that, Frame is in good shape, nothing cracked or loose in the boltings... Thank you! ;)

For that price you'd get a top notch Squarebody plus a bunch of good Upgrades... :D
 

Blue85

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I was going to suggest checking front axle u-joints as well, but something else I've heard of is a dent in the steering stabilizer.
 

Lukas Arndt

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I was going to suggest checking front axle u-joints as well, but something else I've heard of is a dent in the steering stabilizer.
Thank you, have checked that - no Dent or so, smooth operating Stabilizer... :confused:
 

Lukas Arndt

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Guys, i've given it all a good Inspection: nothin' wrong with all them Ball-Joints, U-joints, etc. Frame not cracked, smooth Stabilizer...

But here's what i detected: The more often my Buddy was steering all the way left to right, the Steering Radius was gettin' smaller!? After a few minutes consistently turnin' left to right, the Wheels were far away from their normal Full Left - / Full Right - Position, you could only steer approx. one full Turn on the Steering Wheel till that Point where nothin' more Was possible... After sitting a Minute and driving just slightly back and forth the Steering Ratio was quite normal... Have no clue on that other than the Steering Gear must be defective... :surepal::confused::doah:

Hope my English is not too confusing, if so i'm really sorry for that! :whistle:
 

Joel Wilson

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Guys, i've given it all a good Inspection: nothin' wrong with all them Ball-Joints, U-joints, etc. Frame not cracked, smooth Stabilizer...

But here's what i detected: The more often my Buddy was steering all the way left to right, the Steering Radius was gettin' smaller!? After a few minutes consistently turnin' left to right, the Wheels were far away from their normal Full Left - / Full Right - Position, you could only steer approx. one full Turn on the Steering Wheel till that Point where nothin' more Was possible... After sitting a Minute and driving just slightly back and forth the Steering Ratio was quite normal... Have no clue on that other than the Steering Gear must be defective... :surepal::confused::doah:

Hope my English is not too confusing, if so i'm really sorry for that! :whistle:
Do you have a power steering cooler? Maybe the pump is getting warm and causing problems
 
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