Steering

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Steering

Postby Martin Antoni » Mon May 23, 2016 21:11

Hello,

I'm new to cappuccinos and I have a question about the steering. My cappu has the non powered steering. When I drive a curve, I have to actively steer back to neutral position on the curve exit, the steering wheel is not coming back automatically. So if I would do nothing, the car would just continue the curve.

Is this a problem or normal to cappuccinos? I whill check the steering for smooth operation after jacking up the front wheels.
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Re: Steering

Postby Ian Linden » Mon May 23, 2016 21:37

I don't think it is normal. Obviously, the self-centering is speed dependent - the effect is small at low speeds, but you should feel something. Either there is excessive friction in the mechanism, or the steering geometry is defective.

Also, tyre pressure may have an effect. Check your pressures are correct according to the sticker on the door frame.
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Re: Steering

Postby Murray Betts » Mon May 23, 2016 22:40

Definitely not normal, it should self centre pretty effectively as long as you are moving, allowing for effects of road camber of course.

As Ian says, start with the easy stuff first, tyres etc. Also check the front wheel alignment, I forget the exact figures now (it's in the workshop manuals available on this forum), but the alignment should be pretty close to parallel, just a slight toe-in if I recall correctly. Is it 0 to 1mm toe-in? Must check. You can do it approximately using ad hoc stuff, bits of wood and string, just to get a rough idea of what it's like. Abnormal tyre wear would also indicate mis-alignment.

If you have the facilities to do so, a "wheel free" check would be desirable, jack the front up and put it on blocks/stands under the subframe mounts (strong points) so there's no weight on the suspension (wheels removed). Get someone to turn the steering slowly and you might be able to feel or see where the resistance is. Mind fingers though!

I suppose my guess would be it's likely to be either the steering rack or ball joints, but start at the easy end. At least the suspension isn't McPherson struts, which can tend to wind springs up sometimes causing pulling to sides.
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Re: Steering

Postby Martin Antoni » Tue May 24, 2016 20:46

I jacked uo the car today. The steering feels pretty good. It is going smooth from end to end.
I'm not sure if the resistance is okay for too hard.

Should I do a wheel alignment measurement? Or should I loosen the Rack damping bolt from the Rack and pinion?
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Re: Steering

Postby Ian Linden » Tue May 24, 2016 23:29

You could check the damper adjustment according to Page 3B-7 of the online service manual.
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Re: Steering

Postby Jill Scarfe » Sun Feb 12, 2017 14:08

My cappuccino exhibits the same steering stiffening after about 15 miles and is worse in hot weather. Will continue to go round a roundabout many times! Has anyone found a reason for this?
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Re: Steering

Postby Martin Antoni » Sun Feb 12, 2017 17:54

Hi, I solved this problem for my cappuccino. I dismounted the complete steering rack from the car. Then I opened the rubber boots left and right.
After that I measured the rotating torque of the pinion. It was exactly like written in the manual. So this was not the problem.

Then I greased the rack on the left and the right, pulled it a few times from left to right. The old grease was a little bit sticky.

After that the car handling was much better, it was returning very good.
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Re: Steering

Postby Ian Linden » Sun Feb 12, 2017 18:51

Well done, Martin. Good to hear a success story, and now Jill will know what to do :D
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Re: Steering

Postby Murray Betts » Mon Feb 13, 2017 01:17

Interesting, and well worth knowing. Thanks.

I'll file it away in the "things to remember" file. :wink:
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Re: Steering

Postby Jill Scarfe » Fri Feb 17, 2017 14:11

Thank you Martin for your response, most interesting. Is there any particular grease to use? My Cap is perfect when cold but starts to tighten up after 10 to20 miles. The rack is of course behind the radiator and will warm up so the casing being aluminium should grow away from the steel rack and any residual grease soften. It will be very interesting to see whether your fix will fix the problem. However it will have to wait until the warmer weather! Thank you again, I will keep you updated when I have done it
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Re: Steering

Postby Martin Antoni » Fri Feb 17, 2017 22:54

Hello,

I used normal MoS2 grease.

Martin
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Re: Steering

Postby Murray Betts » Sat Feb 18, 2017 00:29

That would have been my choice too, ideal with the moly for small amplitude reciprocating movements as in a steering rack.
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