poor steering - Team Camaro Tech
Brakes, Suspension & Steering Conversion questions, Steering & Handling

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post #1 of 10 (permalink) Old Jan 1st, 14, 04:46 PM Thread Starter
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Location: morris ,oklahoma
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poor steering

Everything on the front susp of my 69 camaro is new and has been aligned. The car goes straight on a level road but wants to try and dart all over the road on a less than perfect road. Thinking about putting on a set of tubular control arms and will not use any of the Chinese ones. Which USA ones are the best bang for the buck. All help appreciated. Thanks, Wayne
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post #2 of 10 (permalink) Old Jan 1st, 14, 08:30 PM
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Re: poor steering

Qa1, DSE, and Global West come to mind and would be a world of improvement over 45 year old technology .

68 originally ss (straight six) 406,Afr210,Bullet solid roller,rpm airgap,QF750,th400,3.73 Eaton posi.11.02 @ 122.74
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post #3 of 10 (permalink) Old Jan 2nd, 14, 06:06 AM
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Re: poor steering

I find it difficult to believe that the 'type' of control arms will affect 'wandering' on a rough road. Generally, I'd suspect tires (are you using bias belted tires or radials?), Or steering type (or sloppiness).

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post #4 of 10 (permalink) Old Jan 2nd, 14, 07:10 AM
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Re: poor steering

I think it might be lack of positive caster or excess play in steering box. Without knowing you current alignment specs I'd guess that here might be some adjustment left in your current set up. Some of the aftermarket arms have more positive caster built in. Many on here are very happy they up graded to the IROC steering box. Just my .02

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post #5 of 10 (permalink) Old Jan 2nd, 14, 07:22 AM
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Re: poor steering

Yep, post up tires/sizes and alignment specs used. A factory suspension car with modern tires can be made to handle pretty good with correct alignment.

'69 Camaro
Dart 400-AFR 195-224/224 HR-Powerjection III TB with F.A.S.T. Sportsman XFI
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'69 Camaro Beater-SFT 327-M20-Moser 4.10-sold
'02 Z/28 vert-stock-sold and totaled
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post #6 of 10 (permalink) Old Jan 2nd, 14, 09:57 AM
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Re: poor steering

yep... figure out what the issue is before blindly throwing parts at an unknown problem...
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post #7 of 10 (permalink) Old Jan 3rd, 14, 09:49 AM
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Re: poor steering

+1 more to all that.

Find a new alignment shop. It's going to take time to find a guy who can properly align your car. It literally took me about 6 weeks and, ironically, it's the place closest to my house.

The problem you'll find is that most computer alignment shops don't have the software suite to handle old cars. Most young guys don't know the proper way to align these things either. So you're looking for an old wrench with new technology and software for old cars. It's tough to find! I had to call every shop in town before finding one and I live in a city with 60k people in an area that has a LOT of muscle cars.

You might be able to get it done at a dealership but it'll be a few dollars more typically (but a whole lot less than throwing expensive parts at the problem only to find yourself in the same spot when it's done!).

My car used to wander all over the road as well until I had it professionally aligned. No matter what I did I couldn't get the caster right. Camber and toe are easy to do in your garage but caster is a whole 'nuther ball game (and that's what causes the wandering).

1968 Base hardtop 250 with a P̶G̶ built 2004r
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post #8 of 10 (permalink) Old Jan 3rd, 14, 11:05 AM
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Re: poor steering

Take note of what Jeff says above....
I wil lay odds its alignment assumming that u have good tyres, wheel bearings , ball joints etc

A 1st gen camaro drives exactly as u want it to be it granny driving around town or track, and still runs like a go cart.
get around 3.5 to 4 degrees in the caster.. tow 1/8"
As others state above.. forget doing it yourself... we have been there done that... hands on experience and decades of knowledge.
And choose your alignment guy very carefully
In choosing your guy to do it (note guy not workshop) ask how he gets the steering wheel straight at the end..
If he says they pull it off and re set move to another guy...dont even consider him hes full of BS and will mess up the splines in the steering column, most properly screw the shaft/ bolt threads and the indicators will not work right... and chances are re pulling the steering wheel off will break the collapsible steering column set up

Make use of the search function above for how tos , specs etc.

My Spelling is not incorrect...it is creative

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post #9 of 10 (permalink) Old Jan 3rd, 14, 11:15 AM
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Re: poor steering

Caster effects how the steering wheel returns to center after rounding a corner and steering feel which equates to a heavy or light feeling. More caster makes the wheel feel heavier and return to center quicker. This feeling is much more pronounced in a car with/out power steering.

I would look at your toe measurements. If you have a toe out situation, which means the front of the tires are not parallel (they point out) with the back side of the front tires, the car will want to wander. Bump steer comes into play but I don't have enough room to write about that. Normally you want to align your front tires parallel or toe in 1/32nd or 1/16th of an inch. This will make the car feel steady in a straight line and under braking as long as the bump steer is set correctly.

There is much more to front steering and suspension as you have to take into account bump steer, caster, camber and toe.

As mentioned, the key is finding a good alignment shop that knows how to deal with our older cars.

Good luck
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post #10 of 10 (permalink) Old Jan 3rd, 14, 05:07 PM
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Re: poor steering

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