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Hi,

I've got a 1968 Camaro. Original gear box. New rag joint. New tie rods and bushings.

When going down a straight road, I've got a bit of a dead spot when the steering wheel is centered. I can wobble the wheel back and bit and the wheels don't react. It feels like I have to turn the wheel more than I should to get it to start turning (like for a lane change). Also, when the road is on a slight curve, I feel like I have to keep moving the wheel back and forth to keep it in the slight curve. Like it overturns, then I turn it back and its going straight, then I have to turn it into the turn more and back and forth.

Normal turns are fine. Curvy roads are fine. It just acts weird on slight turns.

I've got it toed in at 1/4 of an inch which I know is too much. Is that the problem? Or does the worn gear box have a dead spot?

One point worth noting is that I didn't notice this problem when my gear box was not centered. Meaning, I didn't have the flat part of the spline at 12:00 when the wheels were pointed straight. I "fixed" that and then noticed this dead spot in the middle.


Thanks,
Sal
 

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Perfect toe? or worn gear? Back in the day when my friends and i thought it was fun to play with VW beetles we discovered what perfect toe could do to you on those things. Not as tame as what Sal is describing.
 

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The toe isn't helping. Radials need less toe also. Personally I would shoot for 1/16-1/8". You may want to try and tighten up the box a little as long as you don't go too far and make it tight to turn.

Once you get used to a modern car these never feel that great....
 

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New tie rod ends have increased friction. It takes a greater turn of the steering wheel to overcome this friction. In other words, your steering system is now "sticky". As the tie rods wear in, this will get better, takes 1000 to 2000 miles.
The other issue is steering box wear. You should adjust the box for wear/ play using the adjuster screw on top. With steering centered, loosen the nut and turn the allen screw down until you feel added resistance. What you are doing is pushing the pitman shaft downward, it's teeth are tapered and this reduces gear lash. Go too tight, and the steering will stick and not follow inputs well. Just turn it down like you would a small screw, - grab the allen wrench with thumb and index finger and twist snug, that's enough.
 

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To add to David Pozzi's excellent advise if you get it too tight the wheel will not return after a corner you will have to turn it back to straight.

Jeff
 
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