Go Back   Corvette Forums - Corvette Enthusiast Site > General > General Tech
Sign in using an external account
Register Forgot Password?
Search


Reply
 
 
 
 
LinkBack Thread Tools Search this Thread
  #1  
Old 10-23-2007, 01:45 PM
 
Join Date: Oct 2007
Posts: 3
Default 81 vette steering problem...help!

Hello people!

I'm brand new here and just bought a 1981 Corvette. I had all 4 tires replaced, lower ball joints replaced and a 4 wheel alignment. All of the rest of the suspension seems to check out just fine. The problem I am having is difficult to explain... The steering seems super-sensitive to the left or right. Sorta feels like the car is almost balancing on a single wheel, centered, in the front of the vehicle and when you even think about turning left or right, it GOES- at highway speeds I'm pretty sure it would roll over if the driver wasn't gripping the wheel with white knuckles.

Any ideas? Please help!

Thanks,

Mike
Reply With Quote
  #2  
Old 10-23-2007, 07:54 PM
Senior Member
 
Join Date: Nov 2005
Location:
Posts: 401
Default RE: 81 vette steering problem...help!


Could be several things... top two in my book would be alignment (specifically camber if it doesn't drift when driving a straight line), and second would be in the rear end, trailing arms. If the trailing arms have loose bushings, or your rear suspension has too much play somewhere else, you will get over-steer.

bill.

Reply With Quote
  #3  
Old 10-23-2007, 11:35 PM
pg's Avatar
pg pg is offline
Senior Member
 
Join Date: Aug 2006
Location: NC
Posts: 1,152
Default RE: 81 vette steering problem...help!

Hi , do you have a before and after from the alignment, lets look at the numbers and see what could be the problem. PG.
__________________
my Vettes birthday, May 1, 1974
Reply With Quote
  #4  
Old 10-24-2007, 12:38 AM
C3 Starship's Avatar
Super Moderator
 
Join Date: Jul 2006
Location: Reno, Nv.
Posts: 5,200
Default RE: 81 vette steering problem...help!

Ya pg, a look at the numbers would help.
It sounds to me like too much toe in. Not every alignment shop can do a Vette. They can be tricky boogers to align.
__________________
Gibson "Corvette"

1980 L-82 Fastback (forward too)
Mono composite front and rear.
Full adjust ride height and
response on all four Coopers.
400+ hp, 454, 3 sp stick w/OD,
3.07 in the rear

'07 H. D. Sportster, XL 883 EFI
'06 Silverado, Wife's
Reply With Quote
  #5  
Old 10-24-2007, 04:22 PM
 
Join Date: Oct 2007
Posts: 3
Default RE: 81 vette steering problem...help!

Thanks for the replies. Here are the numbers:

Front Left
camber before: -0.3 after: 0.4 Specified Range: 0.0 to 1.5
caster before: 3.3 after: 1.7 Specified Range: 1.3 to 3.3
toe before: -0.52 after: 0.26 Specified Range: 0.13 to 0.38
sai before: 7.7 after: 6.7
included angle before: 7.4 after: 7.1

Front Right
camber before: -0.4 after: 0.3
caster before: 2.7 after: 2.5
toe before: 0.92 after: 0.28
sai before: 7.9 after: 6.9
incld angle before: 7.4 after: 7.2

Front
cross camber before: 0.1 after: 0.1 specified range: -0.5 to 0.5
cross caster before: 0.6 after: -0.8 specified range: -0.5 to 0.5
cross sai before: -0.2 after: -0.2
total toe before: 0.40 after: 0.54 specified range: 0.25 to 0.75

Rear Left
camber before: -0.1 after: 0.1 specified range: -0.5 to 0.5
toe before: -0.28 after: 0.09 specified range: 0.00 to 0.13

Rear Right
camber before: -0.8 after: 0.1
toe before: 0.24 after: 0.08

Rear
cross camber before: 0.7 after: 0.0
total toe before: -0.04 after: 0.17 specified range: 0.00 to 0.25
thrust angle before: -0.26 after: 0.00

As I mentioned in my first post, the suspension (both front and rear) was checked out during the alignment and everything was fine, except for the lower ball joints so I had them replaced.

Could this problem be due to a bad power steering control valve or a bad power steering slave cylinder?

Thanks again for the help~

Mike

Reply With Quote
  #6  
Old 10-24-2007, 07:46 PM
Banned
 
Join Date: Oct 2007
Location: South Jersey
Posts: 594
Send a message via AIM to DeeVeeEight
Default RE: 81 vette steering problem...help!

Check for play in the power steering control valve and in the steering box itself. Wide tires can also make your 'Vette twitchy on the highway.
Reply With Quote
  #7  
Old 10-24-2007, 09:57 PM
 
Join Date: Aug 2007
Location:
Posts: 173
Default RE: 81 vette steering problem...help!

Sounds like it ready for a race track to me.P/S control valve, mabey?and the im guessing it did not do this before the alignment. make sure it was a reputable mechanic and not some dirt ball who doesnt know the firs thing about corvettes, I only have my car aligned at GM and by the attending corvette mechanic there. so you may need to go to GM to get the bad alignment "fixed". and please do remember that people doalign cars wrong every day.
__________________
1984 corvette ls1, 650 holley(high rise), custom intake, cam, full exhaust, 373's, bug catcher, 425rwhp/ 498ft/lbs is finally achieved Thank God!!!(new intake need to re-dyno
Reply With Quote
  #8  
Old 10-24-2007, 10:30 PM
pg's Avatar
pg pg is offline
Senior Member
 
Join Date: Aug 2006
Location: NC
Posts: 1,152
Default RE: 81 vette steering problem...help!

Hi again, my car LF toe RF toe
.14 .17
Your car .26 .28
Rear camber-my car -0.4 -0.1
Your car 0.1 0.1
See if those specs will give you a better ride. And check the things everyone mentioned, and the lash on the steering box, have someone move the steering wheel while you look at the pittman arm, make sure it does not go up and down before it goes left or right. Hope this helps, PG.



__________________
my Vettes birthday, May 1, 1974
Reply With Quote
  #9  
Old 10-24-2007, 10:35 PM
C3 Starship's Avatar
Super Moderator
 
Join Date: Jul 2006
Location: Reno, Nv.
Posts: 5,200
Default RE: 81 vette steering problem...help!

"........remember, that people doalign cars wrong every day. "

......and on some days, they'll do 2 or 3, ......maybe even more.

DeeVeeEightmentioned "Tires" ? Yup, your right. Tires play a big part.
I have 60's on the front, 50's on the rear, and don't have any probs. I wanna go with 50's on all 4 corners. I'll be lookin' for a good vette shop for alignment, no Big "O" for me.

( or,.......how about I go for a full 14" on all 4's? Hoosiers,
Mickey Thompson's? HMMmmmm.........)

bill, hit it right on the nose. The whole suspention system ( tires included ) comes into play.
That's what I love about Vettes, you can really make them babies handle, and.... perform. [sm=bounceybounce.gif]
__________________
Gibson "Corvette"

1980 L-82 Fastback (forward too)
Mono composite front and rear.
Full adjust ride height and
response on all four Coopers.
400+ hp, 454, 3 sp stick w/OD,
3.07 in the rear

'07 H. D. Sportster, XL 883 EFI
'06 Silverado, Wife's
Reply With Quote
  #10  
Old 10-25-2007, 10:35 AM
Senior Member
 
Join Date: Sep 2006
Posts: 241
Default RE: 81 vette steering problem...help!

If it handled fine before the tire change, ball joint replacement and alignment then it would be logical to assume that it has to be one of those three things. It's possible to get a bad tire but not very likely. Same with the ball joint. That leaves the alignment and as others here have said, people do align cars wrong every day. I got a bad alignment on my Camry this summer at the tire store. It drove fine at slow speeds but pulled left like mad above 50mph.

The exception would be if the mechanic damaged something else during the ball joint replacement or alignment procedure. Sometimes during alignment, and especially on older cars, they have to bang some stuff to get it loose enough to move. 25 year old rubber bushings can get damaged easily under those conditions.

None of that really helps does it? I guess my only real advice is a repeat of what others have said here: find a competent vette mechanic and have him look it over.


__________________
The opinions of this author do not reflect the opinions of this web site, the authors employer or any other person(s) or entity. All advise is presented "as is" and without warranty for fitness or use. Your mileage may vary.
Reply With Quote
 
 
 
Reply

Tags
1981, 81, c3, corvette, drive, front, lash, loose, problem, problems, rear, steering, suspension, tracking, twichy, vette

Thread Tools Search this Thread
Search this Thread:

Advanced Search

Posting Rules
You may not post new threads
You may not post replies
You may not post attachments
You may not edit your posts

BB code is On
Smilies are On
[IMG] code is On
HTML code is Off
Trackbacks are On
Pingbacks are On
Refbacks are On


Advertising

Featured Sponsors
Vendor Directory
Our Sponsors
All times are GMT -5. The time now is 09:15 AM.

Internet Brands, Inc.