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Old 11-04-2005, 22:01   #1 (permalink)
BradandBrooks
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Steering wheel return

It just stopped doing it today on my 1980 Bronco. I have to physically return the wheel to center after turning, else it will hold the turn.

Two Qs guys?

1. What is it?

2. Does it NEED to be replaced, IOW, is it dangerous (I doubt it, but....)

I goggled this and saw an F-150 with outer u-joints as suspect, but his hubs were autos...

Thanks all.

Brad

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Old 11-04-2005, 22:01   #2 (permalink)
Jim Warman
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Re: Steering wheel return

Auto hub or not, axle joints are one of the prime suspects. The other
possibility is ball joints but axle joints are far more common.

As for your assessment of the danger.... this is an extremely dangerous
condition. These things can sieze tight enough that you could become
involved in a manouever that you cannot recover from.

Anything that affects the stability of our vehicles should be addressed at
once... to neglect these types of concerns is irresponsible... if we wont
think of others, we should at least think of our loved ones.


"BradandBrooks" <BradandBrooks@shaw.ca> wrote in message
news:dVWaf.413852$tl2.85993@pd7tw3no...
It just stopped doing it today on my 1980 Bronco. I have to physically
return the wheel to center after turning, else it will hold the turn.

Two Qs guys?

1. What is it?

2. Does it NEED to be replaced, IOW, is it dangerous (I doubt it, but....)

I goggled this and saw an F-150 with outer u-joints as suspect, but his hubs
were autos...

Thanks all.

Brad


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Old 11-05-2005, 07:01   #3 (permalink)
Al Bundy
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Re: Steering wheel return

2. Is it dangerous? YES

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Old 11-05-2005, 12:01   #4 (permalink)
BradandBrooks
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Re: Steering wheel return

Jim...

You're a tech... since it looks like I'll be going in Monday morning, do you
have a ball park on the cost for parts and time?

Thanks.

Brad


"Jim Warman" <mechanic@tenalpsulet.net> wrote in message
news:LeXaf.79475$S4.6861@edtnps84...
> Auto hub or not, axle joints are one of the prime suspects. The other
> possibility is ball joints but axle joints are far more common.
>
> As for your assessment of the danger.... this is an extremely dangerous
> condition. These things can sieze tight enough that you could become
> involved in a manouever that you cannot recover from.
>
> Anything that affects the stability of our vehicles should be addressed at
> once... to neglect these types of concerns is irresponsible... if we wont
> think of others, we should at least think of our loved ones.
>
>
> "BradandBrooks" <BradandBrooks@shaw.ca> wrote in message
> news:dVWaf.413852$tl2.85993@pd7tw3no...
> It just stopped doing it today on my 1980 Bronco. I have to physically
> return the wheel to center after turning, else it will hold the turn.
>
> Two Qs guys?
>
> 1. What is it?
>
> 2. Does it NEED to be replaced, IOW, is it dangerous (I doubt it, but....)
>
> I goggled this and saw an F-150 with outer u-joints as suspect, but his
> hubs
> were autos...
>
> Thanks all.
>
> Brad
>
>



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Old 11-05-2005, 13:01   #5 (permalink)
Jim Warman
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Re: Steering wheel return

Brad, it's been so long since I've worked on the twin I-beam set-ups I can't
really remember - but the kids truck needs the front end gone through before
winter.

The really bad part about these is once a tech gets into them, there are so
many things to consider and they can all drive the costs up. Questions
you'll need to ask yourself... do you do only the affected side and wait for
the other side to go? Do you do both sides? Repack the front wheel bearings
while in there? How about the brakes - are they getting close? Would the
rotors need machining or replacing? The spindle bearings can take quite a
beating... should we replace them or hope that cleaning and repacking will
be good? The center joint (on the right side of the diff.) likes to sieze
and is impossible to diagnose until you get there....it's possible to change
this joint without removing the diff. but it takes a certain amount of
finesse to do it in car without breaking stuff. Has mother nature been kind
to the front end or is it going to be a rusty nightmare? Are the ball joints
loose?

Given that the truck is 25 years old and I'm not sure if it's your pride and
joy or if it's a huntin' truck beater, may colour your decision.... I can
only suggest taking it to a shop that is familiar with 4X4s and getting a
written estimate.... you might even want it priced out both ways....simple
fix and worst case scenario...

Cost-wise, labour rates vary across Canada way too much to accurately give
dollar signs....I'd expect 2 or 3 hours to do one joint... 6 hours or so for
the full meal deal.

Sorry I can't be any more help than that....




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Old 11-06-2005, 00:01   #6 (permalink)
BradandBrooks
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Re: Steering wheel return

Wow. Thanks Jim. 6 hours is $600. But, you know, the truck might be 25 years
old, but she still looks good and runs good, and I need her. My other car is
a '93 5.0 and as you know, they are scary in the rain and are down right
deadly in the snow - but sooo much fun in the summer, I could never sell
her. :)

The steering is ironically a little better today, but I'm sure it'll go back
to scary again. So I guess the thing to do is bit the bullet and do
everything while under there. Not my first choice - yes I am typically a fix
it WHEN broken guy - but I understand these 4WDs are pretty brutal to work
on. Hell, I might just throw a 6" lift in there and some 35s at the time.
Why not? hahaha!

Thanks again Jim, you're always a great source of info in this group.

Brad



"Jim Warman" <mechanic@tenalpsulet.net> wrote in message
news:kz8bf.106734$Io.27831@clgrps13...
> Brad, it's been so long since I've worked on the twin I-beam set-ups I
> can't
> really remember - but the kids truck needs the front end gone through
> before
> winter.
>
> The really bad part about these is once a tech gets into them, there are
> so
> many things to consider and they can all drive the costs up. Questions
> you'll need to ask yourself... do you do only the affected side and wait
> for
> the other side to go? Do you do both sides? Repack the front wheel
> bearings
> while in there? How about the brakes - are they getting close? Would the
> rotors need machining or replacing? The spindle bearings can take quite a
> beating... should we replace them or hope that cleaning and repacking will
> be good? The center joint (on the right side of the diff.) likes to sieze
> and is impossible to diagnose until you get there....it's possible to
> change
> this joint without removing the diff. but it takes a certain amount of
> finesse to do it in car without breaking stuff. Has mother nature been
> kind
> to the front end or is it going to be a rusty nightmare? Are the ball
> joints
> loose?
>
> Given that the truck is 25 years old and I'm not sure if it's your pride
> and
> joy or if it's a huntin' truck beater, may colour your decision.... I can
> only suggest taking it to a shop that is familiar with 4X4s and getting a
> written estimate.... you might even want it priced out both ways....simple
> fix and worst case scenario...
>
> Cost-wise, labour rates vary across Canada way too much to accurately give
> dollar signs....I'd expect 2 or 3 hours to do one joint... 6 hours or so
> for
> the full meal deal.
>
> Sorry I can't be any more help than that....
>
>
>
>



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Old 11-06-2005, 10:01   #7 (permalink)
Backyard Mechanic
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Posts: n/a
Danger signs - Re: Steering wheel return

"Al Bundy" <MSfortune@mcpmail.com> wrote:

> 2. Is it dangerous? YES
>


Must note here that a kingpin based steering/suspension that wont return
isnt as dangerous as one that uses BALL JOINTS... on those it's a sign of
imminent failure which will result in the car falling on its nose and a
front wheel flopping around.

Not something you want to happen on a freeway.

Be advised they squeal when turning the steering wheel PRIOR to this.
--
Yeh, I'm a Krusty old Geezer, staving off dementia here..DEAL with it!
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