What Would Toed Out A-body Drive Like?

Discussion in 'The whoa and the sway.' started by knucklebusted, May 3, 2021.

  1. knucklebusted

    knucklebusted Well-Known Member

    None of the joints are too tight as they are firm but not impossible to move by hand or small tools.

    The problem did not start with the GN box as I've swapped the gear box from the 71 GS 350 car and have similar issues. I can't say when it started or that I'm just sensitized to it now. I do think the 71 car drove better but is has new ball joints, new tie rod ends, new quick ratio steering and new upper tubular arms for improved caster.

    I think I'll pull 1/8" shims from the back on the left and see what that does as an experiment. That should remove some positive caster and put camber nearer to 0°. Take it for a short drive and see how it drives.

    Surely, it isn't bump steer? I've felt that and it is felt when I have to correct steering in a corner due to a toeing in-out for a dip/bump, not correction on straight roads.

    Frankly, that looks like more than I'm comfortable or have the tools to do. I don't think that is the issue as I only turned the top adjuster a small amount to see if it helped.
  2. TORQUED455

    TORQUED455 Well-Known Member

    Now you see why it can make things worse by trying to adjust the pitman shaft preload. I’d recommend putting it back to where it was.

    Unfortunately the next step may be to have a shop that has the ability to work on old cars CHECK the wheel alignment. If you do that please post the results, and maybe we’ll see something. Is your cross camber and cross caster reasonable as far as you can tell?
    knucklebusted likes this.
  3. knucklebusted

    knucklebusted Well-Known Member

    Actually, I'm thinking I should at least look at the rear suspension to see if anything oddball is taking place. I'm guessing a loose rear housing in the mounts might move around a bit and "steer" the car from the rear.
  4. knucklebusted

    knucklebusted Well-Known Member

    New bit of information. I was on a level, straight 4-lane road. When I took off from the stop light rather hard, going straight ahead, I was holding a little left pressure on the steering wheel. When I let up, I immediately had to pull the wheel to the right to keep going straight.

    Any thoughts on that? I'm not sure I understand all I know.
  5. 1973gs

    1973gs Well-Known Member

    No matter what the original problem was, that steering gear will cause all kinds of steering issues if you tried to adjust it by guessing. If the box was sloppy or out of adjustment, it's worn. I haven't rebuilt one in 30+ years but I remember it took me many rebuilds before I felt confident that the car would steer correctly when done. Back in the 80's, the pitman shafts would pit and needed to be replaced to repair leaks. I tried doing them with the box in the car with little success. I found that it needed to be clamped in a vice to get the correct feel and adjustment. After I road tested the first one that I did, it scared the crap out of me! It needs to be adjusted exactly right, no guessing.
    Last edited: Jul 15, 2021
  6. knucklebusted

    knucklebusted Well-Known Member

    OK, started digging deeper. While working on the RobbMc Starter problem, I checked everything in the front again. Then, I found this. A worn out upper front sway bar bushing. Very little left of it. That would not cause any of the problems I've felt but at least I finally found something.
    Max Damage likes this.
  7. telriv

    telriv Founders Club Member

    I've used Redi Sleeves in the past.

    Tom T.
  8. knucklebusted

    knucklebusted Well-Known Member

    Not sure I follow. Redi Sleeve looks like a snout cover to give something like a harmonic balancer a new surface. This used to be a sway bar end link puck. It is about 1.5" in diameter, 1/2" thick with a hole in the middle. One goes on each side of the sway bar end and an endlink inserts through it with a bolt on top.

    The reddish-orange parts in this picture.
  9. Premier 350

    Premier 350 Chris (aka Webby)

    Greg, how do you mount your phone to the wheel to get a consistent reading?
    knucklebusted likes this.
  10. knucklebusted

    knucklebusted Well-Known Member

    I have a level I cut down to fit against the rim.

    I may have to bite the bullet and have it done professionally.
    Premier 350 likes this.
  11. Premier 350

    Premier 350 Chris (aka Webby)

    Could I be a PITA and ask for a photo? Not urgent, and thanks in advance.
  12. knucklebusted

    knucklebusted Well-Known Member

    At the moment, yeah. I'll try to grab a pic after I get the starter wiring lined out.
    Premier 350 likes this.
  13. Premier 350

    Premier 350 Chris (aka Webby)

    knucklebusted likes this.
  14. mikec

    mikec Well-Known Member

    I had a similar thing happen on my ‘71 GS. I went the Global west route with the B body spindles, quick box from Year One and went with a fully adjustable upper a arm. Toe in at 3/32” that eventually wore to a 1/8” out. It happened over time and I only put about 3000 miles a year on it but it became more darty but the turn in was great. Wandered a lot on the highway since the toe out became greater at speed. Went back to 1/8” in (4/32) and it improved highway cruising but lost the turnin. For street I would go with 1/8” in but if you are at a track go with the toe out. Interesting thing we found after a few years of frustration trying to get the caster + 5 degrees with the GW lower arms. The Chevelle fender dimension is 12” along the rocker panel from the door gap to the fender wheel opening. The GS is 13”. Once again bitten by the “all A bodies are the same bug” so the tubular GW lower a arms work for Chevy and not Buick. Had to put the caster back to about +3 degrees to keep the right tire from rubbing the inner fender in a turn. Run +2 degrees on the left to get the correct cross caster.
    knucklebusted likes this.

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