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 Steering Rack Bearing Preload Adjustment?

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albertj
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Eldo
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Steering Rack Bearing Preload Adjustment? Empty
PostSubject: Steering Rack Bearing Preload Adjustment?   Steering Rack Bearing Preload Adjustment? EmptyTue Mar 02, 2010 3:34 am

This is one of those things I always forget about by the time I get out of the car...
Sometimes when I hit a curb cut or other sharp bump with the steering wheel turned, I feel what I would call a little "metal-on-metal slop" through the wheel. I don't think it's the tie-rods, because I can't get any noise or feeling with the car still, no matter how I swing the wheel back & forth. Also, the struts have less than 20K miles on them.

It reminds me of the sector-shaft adjustment on an old recirculating-ball steering box. I was looking in the manual, and found the only adjustment to be the "bearing preload adjustment" within the large, stamped-steel hex-nut on the rack next to the input shaft. Just wondering if anyone has ever messed with that, before I mess with it...
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albertj
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PostSubject: Re: Steering Rack Bearing Preload Adjustment?   Steering Rack Bearing Preload Adjustment? EmptyTue Mar 02, 2010 9:02 am

No.

Might want to put the car on stands or a lif and have someone turn the wheel while you watch or hold a wheel, to see where the play is. Someone who's good at alignments would be way better at this than me. I'm thinkingmaybe the ball/socket on the inner tie rods might actually be your issue. But again, I'm not there, don't really know, can't check.

Albertj
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Eldo
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Steering Rack Bearing Preload Adjustment? Empty
PostSubject: Re: Steering Rack Bearing Preload Adjustment?   Steering Rack Bearing Preload Adjustment? EmptyTue Mar 02, 2010 4:25 pm

I'll try messing with the front wheels the next time I have the car off the ground, but like I said, I can't feel any play sawing the steering wheel back & forth with the wheels on the ground. And the highway steering is as touchy as ever...
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PostSubject: Re: Steering Rack Bearing Preload Adjustment?   Steering Rack Bearing Preload Adjustment? EmptyTue Mar 02, 2010 4:36 pm

Let me know what you find please. I've been complaining of touchy highway steering feel for a long time.
Enough so that i want to delete Magna-Steer having thought that might be my problem, and still might be. IDK.
But what i do know is that i don't have any play in my steering linkage, be it inner or outer tie rods. Have had the luxury of a Front End Rack and tech check them as well as myself and another tech check them on the ground with jack stands as well as on his lift. NO PLAY.
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PostSubject: Re: Steering Rack Bearing Preload Adjustment?   Steering Rack Bearing Preload Adjustment? EmptyTue Mar 02, 2010 4:47 pm

Actually, by 'touchy' I meant everything is still tight...

As we've talked about before, we're not gonna' fix that high-speed touchiness with these racks, because the dummies removed the variable ratio when they added the variable boost. And as far as I'm concerned, the numerical ratio is too quick for a straight-ratio steering gear. However, if it's working properly, the Magna-Steer can only help, because it reduces boost at higher speeds.
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PostSubject: Re: Steering Rack Bearing Preload Adjustment?   Steering Rack Bearing Preload Adjustment? EmptyTue Mar 02, 2010 4:59 pm

Eldo wrote:
Actually, by 'touchy' I meant everything is still tight...

As we've talked about before, we're not gonna' fix that high-speed touchiness with these racks, because the dummies removed the variable ratio when they added the variable boost. And as far as I'm concerned, the numerical ratio is too quick for a straight-ratio steering gear. However, if it's working properly, the Magna-Steer can only help, because it reduces boost at higher speeds.
I still would like to find a Non-Magnasteer Rack that will bolt into the Riviera.
I would like power steering without the highway twichiness.
And I think non-magnasteer will provide that. And I'd be willing to find the corresponding steering pump as well.
I've driven a local guys Bonneville that came from the factory with Magna-steer and he had a non-magnaseer rack installed, and have driven that on the highway with the original power steering pump and what a much better steering and handling car without the magna-steer rack.
maybe it's just personal preference or I have something wrong with my magna-Steer that isn't showing up under any test's available to me. IDK.
Other than the Bonny, I have not driven another riv with Magna-Steer to compare mine to someone else's.
Even still, I wish someone would come up with a rack from another car that fir ours and didn't have Magna-Steer.
I thought we had one guy pop on here that was going to report back after installing a 97 Park Ave Non-magnasteer but never did hear from him again.
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Eldo
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Steering Rack Bearing Preload Adjustment? Empty
PostSubject: Re: Steering Rack Bearing Preload Adjustment?   Steering Rack Bearing Preload Adjustment? EmptyTue Mar 02, 2010 5:11 pm

No, I don't think you're unique in your preference. As I said, these racks are too quick at high speed. I'd bet that the non-MS Bonneville you drove had a variable-ratio rack in it.
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Rickw
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PostSubject: Re: Steering Rack Bearing Preload Adjustment?   Steering Rack Bearing Preload Adjustment? EmptyTue Mar 02, 2010 5:18 pm

Let me clarify,
The bonny came from the factory with a Magna-Steer system.
The rack was replaced with a bonneville P/N for the Non-Magnasteer, as those cars came with either /or racks from the factory.
So he was able to get from the parts store a non-magnasteer rack (for a lot less money) made to fit the car.
Went for a drive and all perceived or not perceived problems went away. Period.
I just want to do the same with my car.
Who the F... can help with a P/N. That's all I want.
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Eldo
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Steering Rack Bearing Preload Adjustment? Empty
PostSubject: Re: Steering Rack Bearing Preload Adjustment?   Steering Rack Bearing Preload Adjustment? EmptyTue Mar 02, 2010 11:32 pm

Let me clarify:

A> I was agreeing with you.

B> I'll still bet that the non-MagnaSteer rack had variable-ratio, making the high-speed behavior less touchy.
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98inSFl
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Steering Rack Bearing Preload Adjustment? Empty
PostSubject: Re: Steering Rack Bearing Preload Adjustment?   Steering Rack Bearing Preload Adjustment? EmptyWed Mar 03, 2010 12:53 am

Mark, check the rack mounts and the spindle"stops" for problems.

Look at what I dug up on magnasteer and ABS, unrelated to your problem.

Magna steer ADDS resistance as speed increases, if its not working it will remain too "soft" all the time, for those that have yanked the ABS fuses please read on!!!
If power to the solenoid or control valve actuator is lost, the valve keeps the bypass circuit closed so full power assist is provided under all driving conditions. The only indication of trouble, therefore, might be a loss of road feel and/or increased steering sensitivity at highway speeds.

In the magnasteer system the EBCM (electronic brake control system) controls a variable rotary actuator in the steering gear to control steering assist.
Magnasteer does not use an orifice valve to reduce pressure to the steering gear. There is no solenoid or stepper motor involved. Instead, Magnasteer uses magnets to assist or resist steering input.

The Magnasteer control valve assembly is mounted on the steering rack in the same location as a regular control valve assembly on an ordinary power rack. Inside the base of the Magnasteer unit is a large electromagnetic coil. Just above the coil is an inner and outer pole assembly with a permanent magnet in the center. Steering feel is varied by changing the strength and polarity of the magnets, which in turn, is controlled by changing the pulse width and direction of the current to the coil.

On 1996 and 1997 applications, Magnasteer has its own separate control module. But on 1998 and newer applications, the Electronic Brake Control Module (EBCM), which also oversees the operation of the anti-lock brake system, handles the Magnasteer control function.

On most applications, the only input the control electronics uses for Magnasteer is the vehicle speed sensor. At zero mph, a negative current of approximately two to three amps flows to the Magnasteer coil. This causes the magnets to repel each other, which in turn allows more deflection in the torsion bar inside the spool valve assembly. This increases fluid flow through the spool valve to the steering gear for maximum power assist when it is needed most.

As vehicle speed increases, current flow to the Magnasteer coil is gradually reduced. At about 45 mph, current flow to the coil hits zero and Magnasteer has no effect on the amount of power assist (which is determined only by the torsion bar and pump flow).

Above 45 mph, the direction of current to the coil is reversed and continues to gradually increase up to a maximum of about three amps at 75 to 85 mph. Reversing the polarity of the coil causes the magnets to attract each other, which has the effect of stiffening the torsion bar. This reduces the amount of deflection in the torsion bar that normally occurs when the wheels are steered and causes an increase in steering effort for better road feel and high-speed steering stability.

Compared to conventional power steering systems, Magnasteer gives the driver a much broader range of power assist with a smooth transition from low to high speed. The system can be recalibrated to modify steering feel using a Tech 2 or equivalent aftermarket scan tool. There are three settings: factory, firmer and less firm. Just follow the scan tool prompts and that is all there is to it.

In 1998, a second generation "Magnasteer MAGe" system was introduced on some GM vehicles. This version of the system does not use a permanent magnet, but uses a redesigned electromagnet that has one pole mounted on the input shaft and the other on the pinion shaft.

At low speed, there is no current flow through the electromagnetic coil. The level of steering assist depends solely on the calibration (stiffness) of the torsion bar. As speed increases, current flow to the coil is gradually increased up to a maximum of several amps to decrease assist and increase steering effort. Magnasteer MAGe uses vehicle speed as its only input, so there are no changes in steering effort during sudden steering maneuvers.

Read on here
http://www.aa1car.com/library/2004/bf10434.htm

Ratio differences I have no idea, but yuppers you guys are right, you will need to toss the Riv rack as well as the ABS
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Eldo
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Steering Rack Bearing Preload Adjustment? Empty
PostSubject: Re: Steering Rack Bearing Preload Adjustment?   Steering Rack Bearing Preload Adjustment? EmptyWed Mar 03, 2010 1:30 am

Most of what you said is correct, but the EBTCM is not responsible for the MagnaSteer, it has its own unit or is part of the PCM. Ergo, the steering has nothing to do with the ABS.

Now then, what are "spindle stops"?
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98inSFl
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PostSubject: Re: Steering Rack Bearing Preload Adjustment?   Steering Rack Bearing Preload Adjustment? EmptyWed Mar 03, 2010 8:08 am

I will have to peek under my car... Most front end designs have something to stop wheel ark at full turn travel, more after I look at my own.
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Eldo
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Steering Rack Bearing Preload Adjustment? Empty
PostSubject: Re: Steering Rack Bearing Preload Adjustment?   Steering Rack Bearing Preload Adjustment? EmptyWed Mar 03, 2010 3:06 pm

98inSFl wrote:
I will have to peek under my car... Most front end designs have something to stop wheel ark at full turn travel, more after I look at my own.

Oh, are you talking about the bump stops, or "rebound bumpers"? I'm not compressing the suspension that far.
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deekster_caddy
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PostSubject: Re: Steering Rack Bearing Preload Adjustment?   Steering Rack Bearing Preload Adjustment? EmptyWed Mar 03, 2010 3:10 pm

Eldo wrote:
98inSFl wrote:
I will have to peek under my car... Most front end designs have something to stop wheel ark at full turn travel, more after I look at my own.

Oh, are you talking about the bump stops, or "rebound bumpers"? I'm not compressing the suspension that far.

Bumpers are for suspension compression. Steering has stops too, but in this case I think they are internal to the rack, not like older front ends like my old Suburban - it had a rounded bolt head that could be adjusted in and out that the steering knuckle hit when it wanted you to stop turning the wheel.
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Steering Rack Bearing Preload Adjustment? Empty
PostSubject: Re: Steering Rack Bearing Preload Adjustment?   Steering Rack Bearing Preload Adjustment? EmptyWed Mar 03, 2010 7:31 pm

deekster_caddy wrote:
Bumpers are for suspension compression. Steering has stops too, but in this case I think they are internal to the rack, not like older front ends like my old Suburban - it had a rounded bolt head that could be adjusted in and out that the steering knuckle hit when it wanted you to stop turning the wheel.

Agreed. Newer Rack and Pinion "stops" are internal. Older cars use a "bolt" on the knuckle or lower control arm as a stop...some trucks still use this method.
And I don't understand why ANYONE would ever want to "delete" the ABS system, unless your building a drag car.
As far as the rack goes, if I'm not mistaken I think the GP racks are the exact same shape/size with the only difference being the VES. I may be wrong, but I'll have to do some more research. I was looking into this at the same time I did my sway bars, as I would also like to have a better steering ratio.

Yes, you can go ahead and adjust the preload on the bearing giving you a "tighter" feel, but you'll be putting a new rack in soon thereafter cause you'll burn up the bearings.
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Eldo
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Steering Rack Bearing Preload Adjustment? Empty
PostSubject: Re: Steering Rack Bearing Preload Adjustment?   Steering Rack Bearing Preload Adjustment? EmptyWed Mar 03, 2010 8:33 pm

Thanks for the warning.

I'm not trying to get a tighter feel, I just want to make sure there's no slop in the gear. I've never seen the inside of a rack & pinion unit, and as I said above, I don't even know what the bearing preload does... It's simply the only adjustment on the rack. All I would do is follow the procedure in the manual, but I don't want to mess with it if someone here knows that it would be pointless.
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PostSubject: Re: Steering Rack Bearing Preload Adjustment?   Steering Rack Bearing Preload Adjustment? EmptyWed Mar 03, 2010 9:21 pm

Not sure if you've done this before, but here is a run down....

Lift front tires of the ground without ramps (you need the wheel free spinning). Grab the tire from the sides and "shake" it, like your trying to turn the wheel side to side....it should be tight. If it's not, your inner or outer tie rod is to blame.

Next grab the tire from the top and bottom and do the same. Again, it should be tight. If not, your lower ball joint may be the cause.

If you DO feel any play during these scenarios, take a look at the components during the "shakedown". Most of the time you can see which component is loose. If your inner tie rod is suspect, grab hold of it while someone shakes the tire (side to side) and you can feel the knocking in your hand.
*NOTE* if you have play side-to-side AND top-to-bottom, a worn hub is usually the cause.

Just give the entire front end a shakedown to eliminate any hard parts as the cause. The rearward lower control arm bushing (puck shaped) can also cause a metal/metal noise when hitting bumps. You can usually see evidence of the control arm hitting the cradle, or if the bushing has slipped out of the arm....worn sway bar bushings can also cause this noise without any handling concerns.

All of these components are easily accessible for a shakedown and visual inspection. If you do in fact have that much play in the rack, you would more than likely be puking fluid from the lower or upper stub shaft bearing dust covers....that much play would destroy the bearings and seals.

Hope any of this helps.
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albertj
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Steering Rack Bearing Preload Adjustment? Empty
PostSubject: Re: Steering Rack Bearing Preload Adjustment?   Steering Rack Bearing Preload Adjustment? EmptyWed Mar 03, 2010 10:30 pm

Abaddon wrote:
Not sure if you've done this before, but here is a run down....

Lift front tires of the ground without ramps (you need the wheel free spinning). Grab the tire from the sides and "shake" it, like your trying to turn the wheel side to side....it should be tight. If it's not, your inner or outer tie rod is to blame.

Next grab the tire from the top and bottom and do the same. Again, it should be tight. If not, your lower ball joint may be the cause.

If you DO feel any play during these scenarios, take a look at the components during the "shakedown". Most of the time you can see which component is loose. If your inner tie rod is suspect, grab hold of it while someone shakes the tire (side to side) and you can feel the knocking in your hand.
*NOTE* if you have play side-to-side AND top-to-bottom, a worn hub is usually the cause.

Just give the entire front end a shakedown to eliminate any hard parts as the cause. The rearward lower control arm bushing (puck shaped) can also cause a metal/metal noise when hitting bumps. You can usually see evidence of the control arm hitting the cradle, or if the bushing has slipped out of the arm....worn sway bar bushings can also cause this noise without any handling concerns.

All of these components are easily accessible for a shakedown and visual inspection. If you do in fact have that much play in the rack, you would more than likely be puking fluid from the lower or upper stub shaft bearing dust covers....that much play would destroy the bearings and seals.

Hope any of this helps.

useful and succinct.

Watch out for the sway bar. If the OE plastic links are still in place you may well have to grab them by hand and try to rotate them away from the control arms - they have steel shafts in the middle and it is not necessarily apparent wnen one is busted unless you actually move the arm, whcih is tough but can be done if one side is good and the other busted.

Albertj
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Eldo
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PostSubject: Re: Steering Rack Bearing Preload Adjustment?   Steering Rack Bearing Preload Adjustment? EmptyThu Mar 04, 2010 12:49 am

albertj wrote:

useful and succinct.
Albertj

agree

Thanks guys, I'll check the tie rods when I can get someone to give me a hand. I've already had the sway bar links apart when I put the downpipe in, thinking I'd need extra clearance.
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