front end is swimming - Team Camaro Tech
Brakes, Suspension & Steering Conversion questions, Steering & Handling

 
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post #1 of 5 (permalink) Old Jul 8th, 06, 09:24 AM Thread Starter
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front end is swimming

Hi guys:
I have a 68 camaro ss 396. When I am driving in a straight line even though I am not moving the steering wheel the front end feels like it is swimming or drifting left and right. Very slightly. Only small steering corrections required to compensate. Steering box is only 5 years old. The ball joints were replaced 7 years ago. Any suggestions on where to start to make the steering feel "tight" ?

Thanks,

Scott
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post #2 of 5 (permalink) Old Jul 8th, 06, 09:40 AM
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Steve
 
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Re: front end is swimming

a good front end inspection including:
Ball joints, control arm bushings, tires, idler arm, tie rod ends, shocks, etc.
Then an alignment.
Check the adjustment on the steering box too.

Steve
1968 that started life and a 6 banger with a PG. Now it's a 350 with a TKO600, Moser 12 bolt, Speedtech LCA/UCA, ATS Tall Spindles, Hotchkis Springs, Forgeline ZX3P, C5 (Kore3) brakes with other cool stuff from Ron Davis, Vintage Air and soon to be Terminator EFI.


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post #3 of 5 (permalink) Old Jul 8th, 06, 01:35 PM
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Re: front end is swimming

To adjust the steering box, jack up under sub frame with front wheels clear of the ground.
M9ove steering wheel lock to lock, loosen lock nut on the steering box, and screw adjuster screw in till can just feel drag or tight spots....then back off just enough so they are not there..a small fraction of a turn.
Do up lock nut and recheck.
Do not set steering box so it makes the steering heavy.
Then check other suspension/ steering components. tie rods, ball joints, bearings etc. Once all of these a are fixed get a wheel alingnment.

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post #4 of 5 (permalink) Old Jul 8th, 06, 11:03 PM
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Re: front end is swimming

You should try the alignment specs on my web page. Increase caster to as much as you can get, usually around 3 deg positive, use .5 deg neg camber for street use, 1/8" toe in.

If the rear of the car is jacked up a bit for more "rake", caster is reduced.

But first check the steering as Steptoe says. Have a helper turn the wheel 1/8 turn left/right and watch the linkage for any play. I'm usually suspicious of the idler arm. Pry it up and down and see if it has any play. Extra play here will result in the right front tire steering right and left. Often it will toe-out when braking and wear the inside edge of the RF tire.
David

Check my web page for First Gen Camaro suspension info:
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post #5 of 5 (permalink) Old Jul 9th, 06, 05:41 PM Thread Starter
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Re: front end is swimming

Thanks guys. I'll try your suggestions and let you know what I find out.

Scott
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