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Discussion Starter #1
I am looking for pointers on a steering problem on my 1990 300GD.

I was traveling on a bumpy road for approximately 50 miles a few weeks ago and since that time, my steering has an unusual tightness through part of the rotation of the steering wheel. Steering seems fine on-center, however it consistently tightens every 90-120 degrees then loosens to normal the subsequent 90-120 degrees and so on. This occurs whether moving or stationary and feels about the same both turning left or right.

I've checked:
1) Steering box not loose on the frame;
2) Power steering fluid seems clean and is not leaking;
3) Tie rod ends appear tight and in reasonable condition;

I've reviewed the archives for steering issues and steering box adjustment procedure in particular. I noticed a reference to the steering shaft (from the firewall to the steering box) needing lube or adjustment. Before I remove the pitman arm and/or start adjusting, can someone provide a little more help on this or other possible causes?

Thanks for your help,

Adam in Seattle
http://adamsGarage.com/gallery/motor
 

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Discussion Starter #3
It is still installed and does not appear to have been damaged. If worse comes to worse, I'll start removing items to try to isolate the problem...

- Adam
 

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achova - 5/11/2005 11:33 AM

<snip> Steering seems fine on-center, however it consistently tightens every 90-120 degrees then loosens to normal the subsequent 90-120 degrees and so on. This occurs whether moving or stationary and feels about the same both turning left or right.
<snip>
Adam in Seattle
Adam, I'd wager that the problem is in the steering box or steering shaft & it's u-joints. These are the only parts that know what angle the steering wheel is turned to. Start with the connecting joints as they are relatively easy to inspect. Then you might want to separate one of them to see if the problem is in the steering column or the steering box.
 

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1980 LWB 280GE
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The 90-degree thing, if really true, points to maybe a bad U-joint in the steering column somewhere.

Are you sure the problem was "absolutely not there" upon entering the bumpy road section, and then, "Hey wow, the steering's goofy" right after the bumpy stuff? Or is it more like something that started to be noticed some time after the bumpy road?

Pulling the damper is always a good thing in my mind. Drive it around a bit with it off and you'll find out if it's masking any other probelms in the front end like loose kingpins, wheel bearings, or tie rod ends.

Good luck!

-Dave G.
 
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