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Discussion Starter #1
Hi y'all. Maybe someone can help me out or had this issue. My 96 I bought a year ago turns to the left Horribly. My ford f350 work truck has a better turning radius than the Impala. Making a left hand uturn at a light usually turns into a three point turn unless I use the posi. To date I have put in a new steering box, new tires, new ball joints, center link, tie rod ends, and had it aligned. I even brought it and had it thrown on a frame rack in which everything was within the factory spec's of placement. This is my second SS, and I do not remember my first having this issue. If anyone has had this issue or knows what else I can do please let me know. Thank you
 

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Has this problem existed for the entire time since purchase? If so, first suspect is mechanical damage to suspension. If the previous owner is not available for background, then close inspection for already-replaced parts (either just plain installed wrong or as indication of replacement due to prior wreck/wear/failure, or worse if found to be simply the wrong part). Note that a regular stamped A-arm is pretty easy to bend but still not enough to see unless comparing next to a good one. A never-greased or galled BJ could be binding.



Of course you can have a misadjusted, clogged or broke steering box, but giving thoughts on less entailing alternates first.
 

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Discussion Starter #3
Has this problem existed for the entire time since purchase? If so, first suspect is mechanical damage to suspension. If the previous owner is not available for background, then close inspection for already-replaced parts (either just plain installed wrong or as indication of replacement due to prior wreck/wear/failure, or worse if found to be simply the wrong part). Note that a regular stamped A-arm is pretty easy to bend but still not enough to see unless comparing next to a good one. A never-greased or galled BJ could be binding.



Of course you can have a misadjusted, clogged or broke steering box, but giving thoughts on less entailing alternates first.

Yes problem has been there the whole time. I already replaced the steering box, had new ball joints and almost whole front end rebuilt. The tire shop swears up and down the alignment is dead on.
 

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Discussion Starter #4
th efirst owner had the car for roughly 5 years and never had been in an accident. What's everyones thoughts on tubular a arms?
 

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Well, you're other posts show you're hunting a stout tranny for a 500hp motor. It's really up to you, - do you want a Cali canyon carver with generous budget.... There's fully loaded pre-assembled good quality new oems at less cost than the parts separately - pretty much plugin from what I hear from others on here.


Also, the box being replaced is a yellowish flag. Quite a few guys report their replacements are fubared from the start - especially if from the auto chains. Question: Were the symptoms identical between the replacement v. what you took out?
 

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You're pretty emphatic that everything is dead on with the suspension and steering. You've had it all checked out and that's good. I see you replaced the steering box. Was your problem present before that? If all else is a go then I suspect this to be the final frontier. There have been way too many posts with problems with rebuilt boxes. The most current being this one. https://www.impalassforum.com/vBulletin/17-suspension/1315442-who-rebuild-sloppy-previously-lee-rebuild-steering-box.html I had one more thought on this. How wide are your front tires? Sometimes there is a difference and the tire could be hitting the suspension and limiting your turn. I know my left tire hits my sway bar. The right doesn't. Best of luck.
If you lived in Britain this wouldn't be a problem. :wink2:

Mark: Snowman-33
 

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Discussion Starter #7
The old box had a ton of play in the steering wheel and all the seals/gaskets were leaking, and yes the steering issue was there before I had it changed. As far as the a-arms go, im looking to see what people recommend, this car is a weekend car that I will be doing some more in depth mods to down the road. Im going to build another LT1 and am looking to make 450-500 hp, my trans just blew the sun shell last week.
 

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Also, the box being replaced is a yellowish flag. Quite a few guys report their replacements are fubared from the start - especially if from the auto chains. Question: Were the symptoms identical between the replacement v. what you took out?
Hey Bob, that's a great thought there. :grin2:

Mark: Snowman-33
 

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Discussion Starter #9
the tires are a 235/50/17 , I guess I should try and source an used box and see what happens. I do not have rub marks on the sway bar or wheel wells
 

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the tires are a 235/50/17 , I guess I should try and source an used box and see what happens. I do not have rub marks on the sway bar or wheel wells
Strike that one out. Since you're wanting to make some mods. How about this one. It's cheap and many here like the results. https://www.impalassforum.com/vBulletin/17-suspension/1281642-sway-bar-brace-pro-touring-f-body-com-works-great-lotsa-pics.html
About the tubular A arms. Again there was a recent discussion on those too. The poster of that link said he used 1981 Camaro arms.
I'm sure this evening there will be more ideas on your trouble. I do hope we can help you out.

Mark: Snowman-33
 

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My eaton locker causes steering issues. In a parking lot with a little sand or gravel the axle can drive me straight forward when I am trying to turn. Is there any chance you have a axle or rear brake problem? On the old tractors you could help steer by using a left or right brake pedal. If the frame and front suspension check out maybe you have a rear end issue. Have you done a four wheel alignment to rule out a thrust angle problem?
 

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Discussion Starter #12
I have done a four wheel alignment, or at least the receipt said I paid for one. Brakes feel fine. This one is a head scratcher.
 

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So...you're saying it turns to the right just fine, correct?


1. How many total turns of the steering wheel do you have lock-to-lock? Depending on the box, it should be somewhere between 2.5 and 3.5. 2.5 if it's the right box.

2. With the front wheels pointed straight ahead, how many turns to the right can the steering wheel go before it stops? And, how many to the left? They should be equal, and should be half of the total lock-to-lock turns. In other words, depending on the box, 1.25 to 1.75 turns on either side.
3. Visually, with the tires in full right turn vs full left turn, is the right turn angle greater?

4. If the car turns to the right normally when driving, but the steering wheel has fewer turns when you turn it to the left, then something's blocking it.
a. Does a tie rod adjuster clamp bind against something?
b. If the steering box was installed wrong with the gears off-center and already turned somewhat to the left, that would mean you'd hit the internal stop in a leftward turn before the front wheels turned enough to the left. When the wheels are straight ahead, the gears should be in the center of the total turns and the flat spot on the input shaft should face upward.
 

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Correct box, correct internal stops, you should be closer to 3 turns with the linkage dropped.

If you are around 2.5, you have a box with larger internal stops , like an F body and others.

With your steering wheel straight, the center link should be centered in the car ( L inner tie rod to R inner control arm bolt, same as R inner tie rod to L inner control arm bolt).

If more than about 1/8" difference, you have ,
Twisted sector ( very common) can be normally seen as a twist in the splines between the pitman arm and lower seal
"hurt frame rail"
Some thing amiss in assembly between steering wheel and box.
The horn ring contact prevents it being wildly out but the steering wheel can be 1-2 splines out.

With the linkage dropped the center should be 1/2 total box travel.
Rare but I have seen rebuilts with mis matched internal stops.

In a perfect world, your left and right tie rod assemblies are the same length.
In the real world on a good car, they will be with in an 1/8thish

If the steering center link is centered, the wheel turns left and right the same with the linkage off, but the tie rods are very different in length, start looking at steering arms.

A stock Impala, stock tires will polish both sides of the sway bar on full lock while maneuvering.

There is an old bulletin for at least one year of Impala addressing a mis punched rear control arm whole that caused the car to dog track.
This caused weird left right turn differences.
BUT , this issue would have shown up in a left and right rear toe difference and any competent WA shop would have seen the red flag.
 

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Discussion Starter #15
yes it has roughly 1.25 turns each way, when fully locked to the left it feels a little jerky at the stop, like it bounces a little bit. I might be explaining wrong. it feels like it wants to go more. when all the way to the right it stops. I will look at the angles this weekend.
 

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Did you check your clockspring in the steering column. If it is wound up too tight, it will cause the steering to bind. Check your FSM for specs. With the intermediate shaft disconnected, I believe that you turn it until it binds (right in your case), and then back it off 2 1/2 turns. Make sure you remember where you started in case it is not the case. To verify it correctly, remove the steering wheel, and clockspring, then refer to the FSM for instructions. There are two types of clocksprings, and they are wound in opposite directions. There is an arrow on the clockspring that determines which one it is.
 

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Discussion Starter #17
Update. I finally had some time to get the car up on a jack. The driver side spindle had a bolt with a plate to engage the stop on the control arm. The passenger side just used the spindle as a stop. I took off the plate and got a lot more angle turning to the left. Unfortunately tranny is still blown so I couldn’t drive the car. Using a plumb laser, I centered wheels marked them out with tape, turned wheels all the way right and then all the way left measured the pitman arm using the center of engine cradle and zerk fitting for reference points, I had almost a full inch of more travel on the right until I took off the plate. Almost perfect now both ways. The FSM doesn’t have the plate on an exploded parts diagram nor could I locate doing a light search on google, you tube, etc.
 

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Can you post a photo of the stops on both control arms? Sounds like the driver side is a modified part. Would like to see the modification to see if it a crash damage repair or??

Ken
 

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Discussion Starter #19
Yes, I will put a pic on tonight when I get home. The spindle has a stud tapped into it. I looked the whole frame over for any signs of damage and didn’t see anything out of the ordinary. I had it put on a frame rack a few months back as well and the guy said everything is within factory specs
 

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Looking forward to pic(s). I need to do similar stops with the new oversize tires. Rubbing on smooth swaybar is one thing, but the sidewall is snagging the control arms in the rear. I had thought to add a bolt in the existing stop, but will look at your method too.
 
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