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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
Hey guys,

I need help confirming a possible problem with the new steering box that was installed in the 9c1 last week.

The steering box is from AGR. It is rebuilt with new parts, 12.0:1 ratio and firmer performance valving. The steering box was installed along with a new centerlink that has the steering stabilizer provision. All of the old steering fluid was evacuated as much as possible. Even turning the steering pump was turned by hand to get the last of the old fluid out.

Before the steering box was hooked to the new centerlink, clearance was checked throughout the steering range to make sure there was not any binding or interference. Everything checked out, hooked up the steering box and went through the bleeding procedure with no trouble.

Set the alignment to what Ed Runnion suggested. After checking the pwr steering fluid, it was time to test drive. The test drive was disppointing, first thing noticed was that the steering effort is much heavier to turn right than it is left. Makes for interesting drive down the road when it takes two hands to keep the car straight.

My mechanic believes the problem lies in the steering box. After everything was checked once more, seems only plausible reason.

Any of you steering box guru's have any idea what the problem may be? I have full confidence in my mechanic's opionion it is the steering box. In which turn I'll be calling AGR to express my concern.

I seem to have the most horrible luck when fiddling with steering systems. *Sigh*
 
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Discussion Starter · #2 ·
Brian, as long as you don't have some wild caster spread and the problem is new it sounds like spool problems or the sector adjustment bolt is loose in the pitman.
Turn the steering off center and see if you can move the pitman up and down in the box. If it does the sector bolt is loose in the sector. If this happens the sector can be forced down by hydraulic pressure while turning in one direction. Anything wrong with the spool valve, seals or the housing could cause this as well, although spool problems will also often cause a "lead" when driving.
If the car turns equally left and right with the engine off but as soon as you start it the wheel kicks and or the steering effort becomes easier one way than the other, you are 99% in the box. Hope this helps somewhat, Gerry
 
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Discussion Starter · #3 ·
<BLOCKQUOTE>quote:</font><HR>Originally posted by 95wagon:
Brian, as long as you don't have some wild caster spread and the problem is new it sounds like spool problems or the sector adjustment bolt is loose in the pitman.
Turn the steering off center and see if you can move the pitman up and down in the box. If it does the sector bolt is loose in the sector. If this happens the sector can be forced down by hydraulic pressure while turning in one direction. Anything wrong with the spool valve, seals or the housing could cause this as well, although spool problems will also often cause a "lead" when driving.
If the car turns equally left and right with the engine off but as soon as you start it the wheel kicks and or the steering effort becomes easier one way than the other, you are 99% in the box. Hope this helps somewhat, Gerry
<HR></BLOCKQUOTE>

Thanks Gerry,

The cross caster is set pretty much to zero. I did not realize this until my mechanic gave me a printout of the alignment, I really wanted some caster favoring the right side.

I called AGR and Summit today. AGR told me to try and steer the wheel in the direction of heavy effort and bump the steering stop a few times in a row. This should help shock the system alleviating a possible obstruction in the valve assembly. If that does not help, then it is the box.

I then call Summit Racing tech dept. They tell me it might be some air locked in there. Try bleeding it out. I could tell from the tone of their voice, it is most likely the box is bad. Simply because the heavy effort is not in both directions. Good enough for me.

Tomorrow I will check the pitman arm looseness in the off-center position.....and the method AGR suggests if need be.
 
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Discussion Starter · #4 ·
Update:

After doing what was suggested from AGR and Summit, none of the suggestions helped or worked. So I took another gamble and had Summit ship me another AGR steering box.

I had my mechanic install the 2nd steering box. Would you know it, something is wrong with this box too. Only this time, the heavy effort is to the left and light effort is to the right. Complete opposite of the first box. What the hell?

I would not think they quality control would be this bad with a consecutive order of the same steering box.

At this point, I'm thinking what can I do to get a decent steering box. My car has been down for over a week, and my patience has run thin. Napa didn't have a reman'd box for the impalaSS/9c1 in the area. So I just had my mechanic adjust the old stock steering box and put it back in. GEEEZ!, what's next?
 
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Discussion Starter · #5 ·
Brian, that sucks! For me, the AGR box was the one that did it after my run of bad boxes. The only other thing I can think of (to get a decent box) is to get your hands on a core and pay one of the rebuilders that have been suggested in the past to do the job (my recollection is that someone named Tom Lee, on the West coast, has been recommended, but I could have the name wrong). Good luck man!

[EDIT] Actually, there is one other thing. I've had rack and pinion on my mind for a while now.
;)
 
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Discussion Starter · #6 ·
<BLOCKQUOTE>quote:</font><HR>Originally posted by Erik:
Brian, that sucks! [EDIT] Actually, there is one other thing. I've had rack and pinion on my mind for a while now.
;)
<HR></BLOCKQUOTE>
Sucks big time. I'm almost a $1000 in the hole of bad steering boxes and labor charges. That is just ridiculous.

I called AGR this evening trying to get some kind of repayment for the mess. AGR wants me to send them the bad steering boxes. I originally bought the steering boxes from Summit Racing. Now I'm a little nervous sending them to AGR waiting to hear back what they'll do to help my situation.

I'll keep an update going, the forum is acting as my "submition in writing" :D

Yes Erik, I'm now seriously thinking of rack-n-pinion modification. I'm curious how Heinz's car with the rack has been holding up....?
 
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