Weird Steering Problem - Nissan 240SX Forums
S13 240SX (89-94) Technical Questions Specifically for ALL S13's. (Including 180SX's, 200SX's & Silvia's)

 
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#1 Old 01-23-2009, 12:31 PM
 
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Weird Steering Problem

I'll be driving down the highway and when I hit a bump, the steering wheels will turn to the right about 10 degrees and the whole car will jerk to the right. The car will drive straight, but the wheel is cockeyed. If I hit another bump, the whole thing will do the reverse and the wheel will be straight again. This sometimes happens on flat roads and out of nowhere the wheel will do its weird moving thing. The wheel will also vibrate from around 50 mph on up. I've never heard of this happening to anyone else and I've been thinking it was either a bad balljoint, bad tie rod, or maybe my steering rack. I jacked up the car and found I have a power steering leak around where the column meets the rack. I cleaned it off and I'm going to take a drive to see exactly where the leak is coming from (I turned on the engine and ran the wheel back and forth and nothing came out, so the leak is reallty slow. I had to relace one of the lines in the fall, so that was when I last filled it with fluid). I'm getting some stop leak to see if it helps. I had the car aligned in July and I swapped the passenger side hub with a newer one. This problem seems to have started since I swapped the hub, but before I did the hub, the wheel vibrated even worse. Could a hub alone cause this problem? Any help would be great, I'm really stuck and since I just got a new clutch and transmission, can't really afford to break something important. Thanks everyone.

"I really like going fast. Just go off and meditate in the wind, you know? As corny as it sounds it works and feels good. It's a good way to just let the weight of the world off every once in a while." -James Hetfield
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#2 Old 01-23-2009, 09:35 PM
 
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Oh good I'm not the only one who's confused. That's comforting. Anyway if it helps, I double checked the torque specs on the wheel nut. It may have been a little loose, cuz after I tightened it to 150 lb-ft, the problem seems to have lessened. Still there, but not as bad. Then again I also refilled my PS reservoir, so that may have done it too.

"I really like going fast. Just go off and meditate in the wind, you know? As corny as it sounds it works and feels good. It's a good way to just let the weight of the world off every once in a while." -James Hetfield
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#3 Old 02-11-2009, 08:47 PM
 
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Okay, so I need to bump this up because the problem has gotten even worse. I have a feeling part of my problem is in bumpsteer (since 90% of the time this happens over bumps). But something else is definetely worn or borken to the point where my car is wandering back and forth. I also notcied when I tighten the passenger front wheel, the whole wheel assembly moves too. Is this a sign of a bad balljoint?

"I really like going fast. Just go off and meditate in the wind, you know? As corny as it sounds it works and feels good. It's a good way to just let the weight of the world off every once in a while." -James Hetfield
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#4 Old 02-12-2009, 12:20 AM
 
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i have same problem but only when hitting bump going slow. I found this on yahoo autos, you may have seen it already but just in case you havent...

Quote:
The thing that needs to be checked is the parallelism of the steering rack and linkage with respect to the ground. This can be done by simply measuring the distance between both ends of the rack and the ground. If one end of the rack is sitting higher than the other, the rack is misaligned in the chassis. If it can't be corrected by loosening and retightening the rack mounts, the subframe or crossmember on which the rack is mounted may be bent or damaged. This will require special straightening equipment or replacement to correct.
The height of the outer ends of the tie rods with respect to the ground should also be measured. If one tie rod is higher than the other, one of the steering arms is probably bent. The cure here is to replace the steering knuckle.
CAUTION: Bending a steering arm to "correct" a bump steer condition is not recommended because doing so may weaken the arm and increase the danger of it breaking.
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#5 Old 02-12-2009, 01:00 AM
 
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It sounds like your steering rack is loose in its brackets, or you have some hella bad balljoints.

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#6 Old 02-12-2009, 10:50 AM
 
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I hadn't seen that bulletin before. I'll check that out over the weekend. I was thinking balljoint too, since the whole wheel is moving. My car is way too low, so I figure that's where the bumpsteer is coming from. I'm going to raise it back up a bit when I get some JICs next year. So how would I go about checking my balljoints? Like how do you check if they're worn out? The last guy who owned my car never maintained it, so I'm getting stuck with a lot of crap. It just means I'll have an even more badass car when I'm done though.

"I really like going fast. Just go off and meditate in the wind, you know? As corny as it sounds it works and feels good. It's a good way to just let the weight of the world off every once in a while." -James Hetfield
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#7 Old 02-12-2009, 05:02 PM
 
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To check your balljoints, jack the car up until the car is off the ground, and then grab the bottom & top of the tire and try to rock the tire back and forth.
This video will give you a bit of an idea what to do to check them.
YouTube - Ball joints update

I am telling you tho, the steering wheel thing tells me that your steering rack is not tight.

-Shaggy
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#8 Old 02-12-2009, 05:18 PM
 
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Alright, thanks. I was worried I'd have to buy new balljoints because I'm saving up to go 5-lug next year, and I'd hate to have to but an extra set of useless balljoints (since I'm going the S14 conversion route). I'll check everything out on Saturday or Sunday and see what pops up.

"I really like going fast. Just go off and meditate in the wind, you know? As corny as it sounds it works and feels good. It's a good way to just let the weight of the world off every once in a while." -James Hetfield
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#9 Old 02-12-2009, 05:27 PM
 
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Why not just buy the ichiba hubs and buy s14 5 lug rotors, that way you would have the 5 lug and still have time to collect bigger brake stuffz.

I just realized that this was my 10,000th post. I'm so hoppy.

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#10 Old 02-14-2009, 12:32 PM
 
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Yeah the plan is to save up during the year, slowly amass parts, and put it all together in time for next year's autocross season. The reason I'm going to use S14 parts is because there are a few junked S14s around here and I can get a good deal on the parts I need. I'm going to be using S14 front hubs (new from Nissan), bumpsteer reduction balljoints, 300ZX rear arms, NISMO or Energy Suspension suspension bushings, JIC coilovers, and as manya JIC arms as I can afford. I'm working now, so if I'm really good about what I spend, I think after summer work and everything, I can buy all of that. Other than the bushings and balljoints (no press though I'm going to try a few of the bushings with a vise), I'm going to try to do everything in my driveway/garage.

"I really like going fast. Just go off and meditate in the wind, you know? As corny as it sounds it works and feels good. It's a good way to just let the weight of the world off every once in a while." -James Hetfield
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#11 Old 02-15-2009, 02:07 PM
 
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I had this same issue and my ended up being the ball joint.

DD - 95 POS V6 Firebird
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#12 Old 02-15-2009, 07:50 PM
 
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Well I checked the balljoints like in the vid. They were good. My steering rack was loose. It's not as tight as I want to get it (not a lot of room to move a wrench since I don't have a lift) but the right side bolt was pretty loose. Steering is much improved. Thanks a lot, it was really beginning to worry me.

"I really like going fast. Just go off and meditate in the wind, you know? As corny as it sounds it works and feels good. It's a good way to just let the weight of the world off every once in a while." -James Hetfield
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#13 Old 02-15-2009, 11:51 PM
 
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No problem, just glad to hear you got it fixed, before you got hurt.

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#14 Old 02-18-2009, 11:02 PM
 
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Yeah really. It was all over the place on the highway. Handling's much better too. I have to see if my local shop will let me use their impact gun and lift (they're nice guys so they might let me do it for free), to get it where I want it. still wander a little here and there, but not as much and not as often as before.

"I really like going fast. Just go off and meditate in the wind, you know? As corny as it sounds it works and feels good. It's a good way to just let the weight of the world off every once in a while." -James Hetfield
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#15 Old 02-18-2009, 11:39 PM
 
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Before you get that tightened, get some new bushings, as I bet they are worn out from the wear and tear. And don't use an impact wrench, just a regular air ratchet should be more than enough to get those bolts tight.

-Shaggy
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#16 Old 02-19-2009, 09:04 PM
 
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I bet if I worked out a bit I could do the same thing. I have tiny arms. I'm planning on doing a full Energy Suspension or NISMO bushing set next year, so I'll replace them then. They didn't look all that bad (no holes or gaps or gashes) when I was under the car, so I think they'll suffice for a while.

"I really like going fast. Just go off and meditate in the wind, you know? As corny as it sounds it works and feels good. It's a good way to just let the weight of the world off every once in a while." -James Hetfield
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#17 Old 02-20-2009, 12:59 AM
 
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Haha, I don't know if you can be much smaller than I am, 5'11'' and barely 140. I can tighten down bolts with my 12'' 3/8 drive ratchet to the point of breaking them, its all in knowing how to use what body weight you have to your advantage, I can thank years of soccer, wrestling, football, and wrenching for that.

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#18 Old 02-20-2009, 10:05 PM
 
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Well I did some swimming and karate, but not much else. I'm 5'7 and weigh the same. The good news is that's perfect size for a racecar driver. I might get a chance to get back under the car on Sunday. Maybe it will be above freezing this time.

"I really like going fast. Just go off and meditate in the wind, you know? As corny as it sounds it works and feels good. It's a good way to just let the weight of the world off every once in a while." -James Hetfield
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#19 Old 02-21-2009, 09:08 PM
 
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^Haha I hear ya on the freezing, its snowing to beat the band here.

Damn man, your small enough to be a jockey. Lol

-Shaggy
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#20 Old 02-22-2009, 11:28 PM
 
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Well it was snowing/sleeting today, so I didn't get to check the rack again. But I did do something else kinda weird. I was backing my 240 into a parking space and backed up until I hit my tires on the barrier (my exhaust hangs low, usually I hear it before anything else. I had the radio cranked up so I didn't hear it slide over the concrete). When I drove forward I heard a thunk and a grinding sound. I thought "great I just ripped off my muffler." Turns out I was dragging the concrete barrier that wasn't tethered down. I couldn't pull it out since it was stuck under the exhaust. I tried ripping forward to pop over it. I ended up dragging it 20 feet by the muffler. And the exhaust is fine. I pulled out my jack and lifted the car enough to get the barrier out. But after that, I will always by an HKS exhuast, since it's huge, sounds killer, is JDM, made from stainless steel, and can drag goddamn parking barricades around.

"I really like going fast. Just go off and meditate in the wind, you know? As corny as it sounds it works and feels good. It's a good way to just let the weight of the world off every once in a while." -James Hetfield
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#21 Old 02-23-2009, 12:46 AM
 
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Haha, holy shit!! That is a tough exhaust.

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#22 Old 02-24-2009, 12:04 PM
 
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That's what I said.

"I really like going fast. Just go off and meditate in the wind, you know? As corny as it sounds it works and feels good. It's a good way to just let the weight of the world off every once in a while." -James Hetfield
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