: Slop in the steering . . . .



Aron9000
05-23-10, 03:09 AM
I've finally decided to fix the sloppy steering in my 1991, its a 350 car with the trailer tow package. 124k miles

There's about an inch of play in the steering, and it kind of wanders over the road. Its not so much that it won't track straight, its that there is no on center feel. It also needs an alignment, its pulling slightly to the right. All of this is more noticable at speeds above 55mph.

These items have been replaced so far:
1. Shocks at 100k, kept the orginal air ride system in back.
2. Tires at 113k, along with an alignment. It was good for a while, but its starting to pull to the right again, like it was before the alignment.
3. Pitman arm, the guy at the Firestone store said it was shot. He replaced it and it did help a little bit.

So what all should I replace?? Any ideas of what could be causing the problem? I'm thinking I should just replace everything in the front of the car that is OE.

I've never done a front end rebuild, but I would like to try doing it myself. I have another car now, so if the Cadillac is torn up for several days, its not that big of a deal.

csbuckn
05-23-10, 03:26 AM
My guess is the center link or play in the steering box. I did my front end but still have a lot of play in the steering box, it gives the me the "not on center" feel. You can get under the car and have someone turn the wheel back and forth, you'll see if the pitman arm moves at the same time as the steering wheel. I thought the pitman arm was a none serviceable part that was only to be replaced if bent in an accident. And doing the front end is pretty easy, ball joints can be a pain. The key is to get it lined up enough to make it to the alignment shop.

Aron9000
05-23-10, 04:25 AM
My guess is the center link or play in the steering box. I did my front end but still have a lot of play in the steering box, it gives the me the "not on center" feel. You can get under the car and have someone turn the wheel back and forth, you'll see if the pitman arm moves at the same time as the steering wheel. I thought the pitman arm was a none serviceable part that was only to be replaced if bent in an accident. And doing the front end is pretty easy, ball joints can be a pain. The key is to get it lined up enough to make it to the alignment shop.

Sorry, it was the idler arm that was replaced.

jayoldschool
05-23-10, 02:22 PM
Yes, the pitman arm is not a wear item. Since the idler has been replaced, next up would be center link. The on center of the steering box can be adjusted, but I would do the wear parts in the linkage first.

brougham
05-24-10, 07:42 PM
Any competent mechanic can check the front end to see if anything is worn or what's causing it. Without looking at the car anything is just a guess.
I had to replace the drag link on mine before.