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Premium Member
1993 RMW, 1996 RMW, 1992 OCC
Joined
555 Posts
Discussion Starter · #1 ·
My 96 RMW has NV7 variable assist. It's worked well enough since I started driving it 3 weeks ago, it's been mostly transparent.

The horn on the steering wheel is defective. It honks randomly at the slightest touch, and sometimes when I use it on purpose it stays stuck on until I bang on the top of the wheel. That's lead to some unfortunate moments 馃槼

Yesterday I took my favorite Turbo Regal steering wheel out of my old 93 RMW (that has no NV7) and put it in my 96 RMW. I didn't put a resistor on the airbag connector because having the airbag light on doesn't bother me.

Now when I drive, the NV7 seems to be stuck on minimum assist all the time. It's super stiff. There's definitely some assist, I can turn the wheels easily enough with the car stationary, and in fact that's about the only time that the power assist appears to function "properly". But while driving, it's exhausting and wearing out my hands. I've driven cars with no power steering before, this is worse.

There's a small dead zone in the steering, presumably from the steering gear having over 170k miles on it. This dead zone is mostly invisible when the power steering works correctly, but with it stuck on minimum assist all the time, I'm constantly bouncing the steering wheel within this dead zone and then powering through it to make small steering corrections. It's infuriating.

It seems really weird that the power steering would somehow be affected by a steering wheel change. I'm not sure if this is just a really weird coincidence, or if the absence of the airbag is somehow messing things up. I'd love some insight into this.
 

Premium Member
1993 RMW, 1996 RMW, 1992 OCC
Joined
555 Posts
Discussion Starter · #3 ·
Hmm... that's a good guess. I'll have to check if the Regal steering wheel is pressing on deeper than the OEM one. I assumed that since it fit perfectly on the 93, the 96 would be the same. However there is a difference in the way the clockspring is installed between the two cars.
 

Premium Member
1993 RMW, 1996 RMW, 1992 OCC
Joined
555 Posts
Discussion Starter · #4 ·
Complete guess , any chance the changing of the wheel has caused a bind in the upper column ?
This would certainly give you that " chasing " the slop feel because you couldn't instinctively correct.
You would now be reacting to the car wandering and steering back all the time.
Just a thought.
You were right. The steering wheel was pressing up against the clockspring and that was binding things up. There's a little ring where one of the bolts was pressed in, and some minor marks on the inside where the splined hub was pressing into the center of the clockspring.




This was causing a whole lot of friction. The "dead zone" I was feeling was the wiggle room that the clockspring has inside the column. Since the only reason for the clockspring is the airbag, I removed it and that solved the problem. The 1993 steering column has the clockspring much deeper, behind a metal cage, where it never interfered with the steering wheel at all.
 
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