Post by sparkingmatt on Jul 24, 2015 18:52:09 GMT -5
So I'm afraid I'm not going to like the answer, but I have quite a bit of play in the steering wheel (turn the wheel and nothing happens). What's the best way to tighten this up? Am I going to have to take the steering column apart or is it down further?
Matt. Grab each front wheel and try to move side to side. While doing the watch the tie rod. If it looks to move front to back it up and down in the boot area you bushing wear in the steering rack. You can also grab the tie rod and try to move on the inboard end. If it moves front to back bushing wear. This will add slop in steering wheel. Also check the connectors on the steering shaft. Make sure the bolts are tight on the two clamping ends. Best to replace with longer grade 8 bolt that is long enough to allow a nut on the other side. Possible it can also be a combination or several wearing parts that collectively add up to the play in the wheel.
Post by sparkingmatt on Jul 25, 2015 20:34:27 GMT -5
Very helpful @the Fool (btw it never allows me mention you because of the space). Being that it only has 700 miles I would hope that the bushings aren't bad....but I guess I shouldn't be surprised from the salty air.
Post by sparkingmatt on Jul 26, 2015 3:17:13 GMT -5
Think I'm more confused now than I was before.
So I tried a little test on the ground and tried to turn one wheel by pulling on it and the play is at the wheel too. Would the same apply @the Fool as you were saying above? Seems to be below the steering column so thinking it's got to be the bushings? If it is that, what's the best way to change it/them?
I think your missunderstanding what Scott was saying. Check all movement as your moving the tire back and forth. You're correct that at 700 miles you wouldn't think that parts are worn out yet, but I wouldn't rule it completely out. Before you start buying parts make sure everything is tight. The biggest complaint I read on here is that everything vibrates loose.
As TJ says. It is kind of a test for everything. It is more about how or which directions thing move. This may help. With the steering wheel locked. Have someone hold the opposite front tire steady and try moving the other as in the direction of turning. With the other held steady watch how the tie rods react. If they move in the direction of the turn it their natural in and out movement then you probably have loose or worn tie rod ends. If the play of the tie rods is front to back. Opposite its natural movement it is rack bushing or still could be loose rid ends. Although loose rid ends either inner or out should still show play in the natural movement. Side to side of the machine. Easy to show. Hard to explain in words. If it is bushing. And it may be possible as the bushing are not well greased from factory. There is no replacement and requires a new rack.
Also Matt there may seem to be more play sitting static and moving the steering then there actually is when in motion. At a 15 to 20 mph roll steer in one direction slightly then straight then repeat. Do for both directions. Try to observe an average steering wheel angle change in relations to when actual direction changes. And not big inputs or direct but gradual change. Observe amount to change direct say left. If the wheel requires twice the angle to return straight then parts are worn or loose. Best done in a parking lot where you can maintain straight and if possible use parking lines as a gauge.
Post by sparkingmatt on Jul 26, 2015 17:52:58 GMT -5
Makes more sense now, thank you to you both. The play in the steering wheel is turning the steering wheel to the left....it's about 2-3 inches of play....a good amount. Going to further explore what things are loose and tighten to see it that helps. The only I haven't done is to take the plastic casing from the dash to the steering wheel yet as I can see the rod moving with the steering wheel. Will update once I have tried more in detail what you have both suggested.
Sorry btw, this is my first experience messing the the rack/steering so it's a learning experience.
Post by sparkingmatt on Jul 28, 2015 4:40:27 GMT -5
So I've messed with this thing and tightened everything but the rack itself. I've narrowed it down to be either the rack, the Tie rod ball or the ball joint steering. Was going to explain what I've found and see if someone can help diagnose...
1. At the tie rod ball how much movement should there be? When I pull the wheels left and right there is a considerable amount of play there. I took the cotter pin out, tightened that nut down (it wasn't really that loose on either). Is the tie rod ball bad?
2. Can I actually take the rack apart and tighten things down inside of the rack itself? If so, what's the best way to get to it....remove the radiator?
3. What's the chance that the ball joint steering is it out of these three things? Should I try number 2 first (assuming it can be done)?
Am I in over my head on this deal? Don't trust a lot of the mechanics out here so hoping to at least identify the problem before I spend $250 on a new rack and ball joints (plus the labor to then install if I can't do it myself).
Like Scott said, grab a hold of the tie rod. You should be able to twist it back and forth with resistance. It should feel firm. If it moves easily it is worn. If you can move it up and down at all don't drive it till it's fixed. Lucky for you, you have other buggy's to perform the same test and compare. If your still not sure then I would take it to a shop for a diagnosis. A personal vehicle is one thing but since you rent them I would be positive it is fixed. Blade lost his steering on a forest road. I wouldn't want to imagine a rental on a busy road
As for the rack it is unbolted from under the front. Radiator does not have to be removed. With the questions you have asked you may be in over your head. It is good to have a grasp though so a shop won't rape you on charges. If you take the time to study the steering system from steering wheel to wheels you may be able to figure it out. There should be no play in connecting parts such as tie rods. As TJ said each will have a range of motion equal the parts motion while turning the wheel and should have some resistance. Although it may move freely but it's fit or joint should be tight. I certainly wish I had more then an hour free every couple days or I would make a video to explain. The best way to inspect is with the machine jacked up and all resistance removed and having someone hold a tire while moving the other. Doing this will narrow parts down. Once narrowed it is best to remove the suspect part and fully inspect if not already certain.
If you can figure out how to tear it down. You may take individual parts to either a mechanic or reputable auto parts and ask their opinion of the parts condition. Most likely they will know and give advice for free. And before removing stuff take good pictures for reference or do a once over with the go pro
Post by sparkingmatt on Jul 29, 2015 1:32:05 GMT -5
Thank you very much to you both for the help. I have torn it all down and don't see anything obvious short of a loose bolt on the rack. Going to dive into it more tomorrow and see what I can learn/screw up . Pretty much the only way I know how to do it. Good suggestion on taking it to a mechanic locally versus the whole rig.
Will update once I find it. Seriously, appreciate both of you guys!
The loose bolt on the rack could have been it. Since you already have it tore down I would inspect all parts and now would be a good time to check out Scott's video on how to drill, tap, and install grease fittings. They will prolong the life of your parts.
Post by sparkingmatt on Jul 31, 2015 22:01:20 GMT -5
So after tons of investigating I think I have found the problem. Well two problems.
1. The front right tie rod was loose and there were a few bolts not totally tight on the rack.
2. The second problem I haven't found an answer to yet, however, the front right wheel assembly is wobbly. Feels as if it is not totally tightened down. I took the wheel off and calipers, I was going to start to take a piece by piece apart and then realized I don't have a wrench big enough for the center nut with the cotter pin in it. Anyone else have this type of issue? What was the solution? Was it the end nut or a bearing? If the bearing were you able to install the new one without issue?
It may be that nut is not properly tightened. It shouldn't be super tight but not loose either. It is 24mm I believe. Not at shop to say. Remove cotter and check by hand for now. If that loose you have found the problem. To tighten. Tighten by hand tight as you can the. 1/4 turn by wrench or socket. If hole doesn't line up tighten more until it does. All it needs to be. Tighter can damage bearing. If the wheel assy is removed check bearings for play and rotation smoothness.
Had the same problem on mine as well since it was new, Drove me crazy and almost off the road a time or 2. I always felt it was in the intermediate shaft but didnt know the spline count to find replacement steering universals and after some of the other steering stories about stuff in the steering coming loose I just replaced everything in the steering with aftermarket parts which fixed all my problems. Not an easy job though.
2014 White Reeper, Turbo-Charged, Power Commander V, BOR/Walker Evans Shocks, Pinto upgraded steering mod. etc
Post by sparkingmatt on Aug 2, 2015 13:18:12 GMT -5
Ya I'm dreading replacing the bearing. That's what is causing the tire to wobble and anytime I brake quickly or hit a bump I feel like I'm going to go off the road. One thing after the other till everything is replaced lol
Post by jupitersteve on Aug 6, 2015 14:52:20 GMT -5
Maybe you have checked beyond this, but on my Reeper the steering felt loose and seemed to have a rattle when going slow in a pasture, with hands off. I was convinced it was the pinion clearance in the steering rack. It turned out to be loose hex bolts on the steering wheel center. tightened them up with the hex wrench provided in the Reeper tool kit and it was fixed.
Post by jupitersteve on Aug 8, 2015 18:17:46 GMT -5
Mine seems pretty tight now. Reeper gets a little loose on the road above 50, but just have to keep paying attention to the road. I just took it to North Carolina and ran up a mountain on a narrow ATV trail and it climbs like a Billy Goat. Surprised me! Mine vibrates at idle, not sure how to adjust that out on a fuel injected engine. I'm old school.
Depending on tire style and pressure you will also find these machines being slightly less wide as cars tend to wander over the road ruts that cars leave in the roads. Even with street tires and higher tire pressure I have found they like to wander on the rounded edge of the ruts