Steering Adjustments - 08/27/2016
My steering has gotten super sloppy. To the tune of 45 degrees of movement in the steering wheel before the wheels begin to turn (and the wheels wander around that much as well). Time to fix that problem, it's a safety hazard. Initial investigation of the steering box reveals the pressure hose is leaking pretty good, so it will definitely need to be replaced. The rag joint will be inspected and the adjuster taken in.
Begin with removing the steering box cover these cars came with.
I have to get clearance to work, so the fresh air duct and battery tray have to come out to provide more room.
Cover is removed. It's held on with a single screw to the frame (warranty units from '71 were zip tied I believe).
Pressure hose removed. 40 year old gear oil SMELLS BAD.
And since we can't get the pressure hose off the pump from underneath, the alternator and pump have to come off!
Pump is removed from engine, fitting still won't come off as it is stuck on there good.
And naturally we have to do the hard way every time, pump comes completely out (making a mess).
New hose is installed after fighting with pump and cleaning grime off of pump.
Hoses go on the box and the box gets deep cleaned.
While we're here we tighten this adjuster screw. Loosen the big nut and then use an Allen wrench to tighten the smaller screw (while holding the big screw in place). Then tighten back up. It takes the play out of the box. It's not a permanent fix as the box is wearing out, but it will make up for 40 years of slop. This box required about 1/4 of a full turn - small adjustments are all it needs.
Get pump topped off and fire up engine, verify no leaks and pump circulation.
Since the valve covers have been leaking lately (a LOT) and I have to pull almost everything off on this side of the engine, I took this opportunity to change the valve cover gasket. This engine is super clean inside, the previous owner followed his manual regarding recommended oil changes. The oil is still even clean-ish despite 1000 miles since the last oil change.
New valve cover gasket is installed and allow to tack up with some sealer in critical places (Pontiac valve covers are notorious for leaks).
Everything back together and all finished.
$19 part, 3 hour job. That'll be $275 please.
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Last updated August 27th, 2016