Steering issue. - Chevy Impala SS Forum
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post #1 of 53 (permalink) Old 12-15-2015, 08:11 PM Thread Starter
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Steering issue.

My 94 RMLS with 70K miles has a steering problem. When turning right, especially long swooping turns you would encounter on the freeway, on/off ramp or simply long sweeping turns in general, I feel the car sway, or feel quite ambiguous. It is almost like when you try to straddle a groove on the road, or the feeling you get when you drive over grooved concrete bridges. Driving straight or turning left, it is as solid as a rock.

I discovered my idler arm was very worn and replaced it, and thought "well that will take care of it". It made no improvement. It seems that there is not any excessive play in the center link or tie rods. There is a bit of play in the steering box. Could that affect only right turns and not left or straight? I would think a worn or mal-adjusted steering box would feel ambiguous under any condition, in general.

I guess a bad ball joint could be the answer. What say any of you suspension experts?
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post #2 of 53 (permalink) Old 12-15-2015, 08:47 PM
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Next would be shape of ball joints. What about tire pressures from left to right?
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post #3 of 53 (permalink) Old 12-15-2015, 08:56 PM Thread Starter
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Yeah, I suspect a bad ball joint. Tires are not an issue. I will try tightening the steering box adjustment first, because it is easy. My dad has had many Roadmasters, some upwards of 200K miles and this is the first one between us that has and any hint of suspension/steering problems.
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post #4 of 53 (permalink) Old 12-16-2015, 06:19 AM
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Very very -

- common problem. aka Ghost Grab, Cloverleaf Jerkover. Numerous past threads on the issue shared by RMs and FWs. It's wear and/or intermittent over-sensitivity of the Variable Assist. Some get relief by unplugging the connector at the firewall and going to fulltime full boost, which is not much different than regular driving feel. I believe at least one enterprising guy rebuilt the rheostat.

Now that I've posted I'm guessing mine will come back.

\'96SS SOB: SSRI, Herter Tune, Tri-Y II, , 3000 Edge, F/HO bars, METCO extendeds with CV MMC, Bilsteins, currently Vredestein Ultrac Sessanta (315/35 rear). Finally, wait for it... LT-4 knock module!
\'96FWB BUW-Butt Ugly White: PCMPerformance tune, HDFA w/ swissed filter, 1/2 SLP s.s. catback with H- and Flow Super 50s, oem opti rebuilt 3 times, SS Bars, METCO LCA, Airlift 1000, Monroe SS, PowerTrax No-Slip, CTS wheels with +1 rubber. Finally, yes again... LT-4 knock module!

Last edited by 96 Black; 12-16-2015 at 06:22 AM.
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post #5 of 53 (permalink) Old 12-16-2015, 08:02 AM Thread Starter
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So it looks like I have to figure out how to remove the sensor from the steering column from a junk yard FWB I know of. I think simply unplugging it will give me too light of a steer feel on the freeway. My other RMLS feels solid and tight (it has about 72K miles) and I love how it feels on the freeway.

Last edited by 59186; 12-16-2015 at 09:28 AM.
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post #6 of 53 (permalink) Old 12-16-2015, 11:19 PM
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Maybe a worn steering column rag joint.
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post #7 of 53 (permalink) Old 12-17-2015, 07:28 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by SKATTERBRANE View Post
So it looks like I have to figure out how to remove the sensor from the steering column from a junk yard FWB I know of. I think simply unplugging it will give me too light of a steer feel on the freeway. My other RMLS feels solid and tight (it has about 72K miles) and I love how it feels on the freeway.
The sensor is held on by a clip ring. About a 5 minute job after you remove the intermediate shaft.

You should unplug the sensor and drive it a couple of times before you start swapping parts. None of my cars have variable steering, and I do not see any reason for it. Listen to 96 Black, sounds like he has been there, done that.

The rag joint is probably not one of your problems. If it is, you can get rebuild kits from you local parts store. You can check the rag joint while the intermediate shaft is out while adjusting the steering box.

The slack from the steering box can be adjusted out for the most part. Sometimes the box is worn enough that you can not get all of it out, so do what you can. It is a lot easier to work on when you have it on the bench, but can be done on the car. The FSM has instructions on how to adjust it.

1991 OCC 461 (.030 over 454) BBC, 3.23 posi, flash to pass, drop spindles & springs, Impala rims, Hydroboost, Recaros, MOMO/wood SW w/QR, custom wood shift knob, Pioneer DEH P77DH
1992 OCC now with 5.7 tbi, DEH P77DH
For a parts list, check https://www.impalassforum.com/vBulle...ion-parts.html
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post #8 of 53 (permalink) Old 12-20-2015, 04:11 PM Thread Starter
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Well I took one off a junkyard car, and after removing the clip, it did not simply slide off. It took quite a bit of coaxing. I cleaned the shaft as well as I could, but it was held on by friction and 20 years of never having been moved. There is a copper ring with barbs that are directly on the shaft that tends to make "just sliding it off" difficult. The rag joint looks like new. In fact the whole car looks showroom new. Which is ironic as I also have a junker which does not have this problem. I also have two other cars in very good to excellent condition which do not have this problem. My dad must have owned over a dozen 94-96 RML sedans ranging from 200,000 mile junkers to cream puff, and none have ever had this problem. I never even heard of this problem until I made this thread.

Last edited by 59186; 12-20-2015 at 04:14 PM.
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post #9 of 53 (permalink) Old 12-21-2015, 04:50 PM Thread Starter
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But yes, my plan is to unplug it to make sure that is what the problem is. And if it IS the problem, I will install another sensor. I am not one who unplugs things for a remedy. It is always my intention that EVERYTHING works properly on my cars as a matter of principle.
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post #10 of 53 (permalink) Old 12-22-2015, 04:34 AM
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ok thanks a freakin' lot there. I'm up early and you actually made me walk out just to check if mine's plugged in (in my underwear thanks again - and yes it's 40*).

It is. So no we're not fixated. Much.

Hey IDK how often this occurs for you, but at its worst it was only every 2-4 weeks, and then only on lefthand cloverleafs (-leaves?). That was 10 years ago, and now it's only like once in the past couple years. You get so used to it there's really no flinching anymore.

Did you find them old threads? It'll give some hints on the repair if you want the work.

\'96SS SOB: SSRI, Herter Tune, Tri-Y II, , 3000 Edge, F/HO bars, METCO extendeds with CV MMC, Bilsteins, currently Vredestein Ultrac Sessanta (315/35 rear). Finally, wait for it... LT-4 knock module!
\'96FWB BUW-Butt Ugly White: PCMPerformance tune, HDFA w/ swissed filter, 1/2 SLP s.s. catback with H- and Flow Super 50s, oem opti rebuilt 3 times, SS Bars, METCO LCA, Airlift 1000, Monroe SS, PowerTrax No-Slip, CTS wheels with +1 rubber. Finally, yes again... LT-4 knock module!
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