View Full Version : Steering Question

09-23-2003, 04:51 PM
Hello all.

Coming from a BLC rookie (1 month) go ahead and have some fun....

Steering seems tough, really tough, like I'm getting a work out turning the wheel at 0-25.
It is so stiff my wife doesn't like driving the car.

Is this normal?

Has anyone tried power steering?

Oh. 80 TR7 new tires front and back full of air.

09-23-2003, 05:48 PM
Mine TR7 had/has the same problem. There's a couple things to check:

First, make sure the alignment is correct.

Check the front springs. They may be the "Rimmer Brothers uprated and cut" ones like mine has. These particular springs make the car ride 1" lower in the front, which throws the camber out, which make the car hard to turn. I've been researching to see it there's an alternative to get the front end geometry back where is should be, without having to change out the springs.

Moss Motors sells a "roller bearing" kit that replaces the thrust washers on the top of the front struts. Using bearings instead of rubber washers makes the car easier to steer. THe part number is 072-258. We installed this on my car, and it really does help.

Mark Beiser
09-23-2003, 06:10 PM
Your TR7 should have fairly light stearing, for a non power steering car. Sitting still and parking you have to put some effort into it to turn the wheel though. With stock width wheels and tires, it shouldn't be near as bad as you describe though...

The first thing you should do is inspect and lubricate the suspension. Make sure all the rubber boots and gaiters are in good shape. Pay special attention to the rubber gaiters on the ends of the steering rack. If they have never been replaced, they are probably broken, allowing dirt and water in, and greese out. They really need to be replaced if they are broken. You also need to inspect the joints in the steering shaft. If it is badly worn, it can cause problems with steering.

Chances are, the steering rack on your car has never been lubed. BL didn't see fit to put a proper greese fitting on it, so it usually isn't done. There is a plug where you can screw in a greese fitting. The ROM(Repair Operations Manual) calls for 5 strokes of a greese gun every 6,000 miles. Since it probably hasn't ever been done, I'm not sure how much you should greese it. =x

If you can find one, get a Repair Operations Manual for your year TR7, or a copy of The Complete Official TR7. Both are out of print, but I see them on ebay quite a bit. Untill you can find one of those, get a Haynes manual. It at least does a good job of covering routine maintenance items, and showing you where all the lube points are.

While your lubricating and inspecting the condition of all the ruber parts, make sure you have the car SAFELY up on jack stands with the no weight supported by the front suspension and the wheels free to turn lock to lock.
See if the steering wheel turns freely, and check for play when you change the direction you are turning the wheel. If there is a lot of play before it starts moving the wheels, or is still hard to turn, you may need a new steering rack, and/or ball joints, tie rods, etc.

The other big culprit with hard steering is the pivot at top of the strut tower. The rubber and nylon parts tend to where out, wich can cause the steering to be harder than it should. BL didn't use a bearing for the upper strut pivot, so even if the parts are good, the steering isn't as light as on cars that have a bearing up there. TSI Automotive and Wedgeparts both sell upper strut bearing kits to rectify that.

If you go through the trouble of taking the struts out to replace the upper pivot, it would be a good idea to replace the strut inserts and gaiters at that time.
I'm going to be installing K-MAC camber adjusters in my TR7, so I won't be able to use one of the bearing kits. I'm putting 7" wide wheels on the car though, so I must have the camber adjustment. images/icons/frown.gif

With everything functioning properly, a TR7 should be a joy going around turns. graemlins/driving.gif

[ 09-23-2003: Message edited by: Mark Beiser ]</p>

Mark Beiser
09-23-2003, 06:17 PM
<blockquote><font size="1" face="Verdana, Arial">quote:</font><hr>Originally posted by ObiRichKanobi:
I've been researching to see it there's an alternative to get the front end geometry back where is should be, without having to change out the springs.<hr></blockquote>

K-MAC in Austrailia has a kit so you can adjust the camber of the front wheels, but it is not compatable with the bearings that several suppliers sell.
K-MAC has the adjusters with bearings, but they don't recommend them for road use due to increased ride harshness.


[ 09-23-2003: Message edited by: Mark Beiser ]

[ 09-23-2003: Message edited by: Mark Beiser ]</p>

09-23-2003, 11:23 PM
<blockquote><font size="1" face="Verdana, Arial">quote:</font><hr> K-MAC in Austrailia has a kit so you can adjust the camber of the front wheels <hr></blockquote>

Thanks! I'll have to look into them and see if it's a viable option.

09-23-2003, 11:41 PM
heh.......Try to steer that sucker after putting an all cast iron V8 in it! I got a major workout just driving to and from school.

Using a Supra power rack with this new conversion.

09-24-2003, 01:36 AM
Hi all.
Mine had quite light steering even with 30year old trunions and the like, I am still suprised at how easy it is to set thing right on them.
I have a 71 Landcruiser with 35 inch tires...I finally put power steering on it, My arms were looking like popeye's! graemlins/nonod.gif There were 7 joints on the darn steering before, Now just 3 graemlins/thumbsup.gif graemlins/jester.gif
graemlins/driving.gif graemlins/cheers.gif graemlins/thirsty.gif