Sloppy Steering Input...what to check?

Discussion in 'General Viper Competition Coupe Discussion' started by Bugeater, Oct 17, 2006.

  1. Bugeater

    Bugeater Enthusiast

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    I tracked my racecar this weekend at VIR for an HPDE event. By my 3rd session of the first day (about mid-session) I noticed that during highspeed sections where steering input is very small and precise (and ingrained in muscle memory) the car was not pointing where it should be. ex: the steering input at the upphill esses and entry to hogpen. At first I thought the front tires had lost grip and the car was simply pushing. I thought that I was receiving normal steering input and the lack of input was due to worn tires. But - I looked down at the steering wheel and noticed it looked like it was not put on "top dead center". It seemed to get worse (the slack in the wheel, and loss of precise input) after a few laps. Steering felt tight driving to grid, and during the first couple laps.

    Bottom line was that the steering wheel was put on correctly (as it was never removed since arriving). What I want to know is what problem does this typically point to?

    I checked:
    Power steering fluid.
    For any leaks around the steering rack, tires and suspension.
    For front wheel hub/bearing play.
    Steering wheel (sparco removable) play.
    For any noticable (to the eye) wear in steering linkage.

    I changed:
    Brake fluid.
    Wheels and tires, to a fresh set of Hoosiers.

    Any suggestions as to what to replace or tighten up? Any suggestions on how to diagnose steering rack wear/play? After driving my M5 up to DC I noticed just how darn sloppy my steering wheel was by the end of Sunday's sessions with the Viper.

    Regards,
    John
     
  2. Gavin

    Gavin Enthusiast

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    Best way I can describe it, is that there is a connection in the steering column, under the hood and adjacent to the master cylinder - look down beside the headers. This connection has some kind of padding material in it. This stuff deteriorates. If you have slop in the column, in other words you can turn the steering wheel and the wheels don't move, then this is the culprit.
     
  3. Racer Robbie

    Racer Robbie Viper Owner

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    Gavin, do you have a picture of a new coupler and a deteriorated one?
     
  4. Gavin

    Gavin Enthusiast

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    Sorry -only have an image of a good one - will email it to you. I dismantle the coupler, and slide a piece of high temp rubber hose over it, and wire it in place with stainless wire, this stops the headers from cooking the shim material out of the coupler.

    Another way to tell of the coupler is bad - have a friend move the steering wheel just an inch or two - if the couple has any movement in it, that is the top half moves and the bottom half doesn't move equally, then the coupler has play in it and needs re-shimming.

    Sorry but I have not clue how to post an image here - will do so if some one shows me how
     
  5. Racer Robbie

    Racer Robbie Viper Owner

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    Thanks for the email and the picture. I do not have a lot of luck when I try to post a picture myself.

    This is how it was explained to me but I still have trouble as I am not computer savy.

    Robbie
    -------------------------------------------------------------------------------
    THIS IS THE URL TO POST A PICTURE IN THE VCA POSTS

    COPY PIC FROM GALLERY & REPLACE THUMB WITH MED


    [url="http://gallery.viperclub.org/data/500/8614Supercharged_Badges-med.JPG"]http://gallery.viperclub.org/data/500/8614Supercharged_Badges-med.JPG[/url] [img]



    Since you can't right click on the image to get the properties, what you have to do is go to your gallery and right click on the thumbnail of the image that you want to post. Copy address of the thumbnail and place the url between the image tags.

    It should look like this:
    "[img]http://vca2.viperclub.org/gallery/data/528/412kytrk6-thumb.jpg"

    Replace the word "thumb" with the word "med" like this:
    [​IMG]
     
  6. George Murray

    George Murray Enthusiast

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    I'll tell Bugeater to just use a rag joint out of my '78 Power Wagon. Never had any probleams with it!
     
  7. Racer Robbie

    Racer Robbie Viper Owner

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    Thanks for showing me how to post pictures.

    Robbie
     
  8. malcoll

    malcoll Viper Owner

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    Jacksonville Florida
    Anybody have a picture of this steering coupler? The lower coupler on my 1996 RT/10 is exhibiting some "play" in it......... I need to replace or repair but cannot locate the part?
     

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