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Steering play! Rack or tie rod ends??

Discussion in 'A3/S3 Forum (8L Chassis)' started by Steveo_A3_1.8t, May 26, 2011.

  1. Steveo_A3_1.8t
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    Steveo_A3_1.8t Member

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    [May 26, 2011]
    Hi,


    Have have a small (but noticable) amount of movement in the steering on my 1.8t, when im stationary and turn the wheel left and right there is some play.

    Now ive read some other relative threads and was wondering whats the best way to check whether its the rack or the tie rod ends????

    Cheers

    Steve
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  2. finesse
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    finesse Active Member VCDS Map User

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    [May 26, 2011]
    Would like to know too...
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  3. vince, A3 turbo
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    vince, A3 turbo Member

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  4. s3dave
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    s3dave TFSI Hybrid Supporter

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    [May 26, 2011]
    Ball joints can cause this too,
    Jack the wheel up, get somebody to hold the steering wheel, and gently move from side to side... ideally a third person looking where the play is coming from, then try the other wheel, then hold both wheels and turn the steering wheel from side to side, again with somebody looking where the play is, if it is the rack it will be hard to spot....

    Undo the tie rod and pop it out on each hub to check for any unwanted play....
    Last edited: May 26, 2011
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  5. Steveo_A3_1.8t
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    Steveo_A3_1.8t Member

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    [May 26, 2011]
    Cheers dave, I shall give it a check over when I have enough people to help lol.
    I'll let everyon know what it was. I've got my, arms, legs, fingers and toes crossed it's not the rack!!
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  6. 9-Points&Counting
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    9-Points&Counting Member

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    [May 26, 2011]
    It's a bush in the steering column, called the "knuckle", that wears out. It's a common problem on all Golf Mk4 platform cars. As ever it's peanuts to replace the part but 4 hours to do the job. Mine does it too but have learned to live with it:(

    Speak to someone at PSI Tuning in Stoke if you want, they're very aware of all sorts of little problems like this and told me what it was. You can get a powerflex replacement if you want to get it sorted forever!

    Let me know if you get any better quotes for the job - be interested to know:)


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  7. SiGainey
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    SiGainey Member

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    [May 26, 2011]
    I got a lot of play in the outer rod end joints. New ones including tracking were about 50 quid all in. Worth changing in my experience!
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  8. Steveo_A3_1.8t
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    Steveo_A3_1.8t Member

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    [May 26, 2011]

    Ahh I see, I used to have a Williams Clio and they suffered from the same problem, I welded it up. (as did most people on the Clio forums) and it was sooooo much better you didn't get that 'vague' steering feel.
    I assume all they do is act as sort of a damper when ham fisted drivers smash it from lock to lock??? Where is the knuckle located mate??
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  9. beachbuggy
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    beachbuggy Well-Known Member

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    [May 26, 2011]
    Almost certainly the tie rods, although mentioned about the knuckle wearing it's about the only bit that does on the rack. And you'll get movement even with the engine off.

    If it's a tie rod, you'll get a knock when you turn one or both ways. GSF sell the rods and boot's for about £25 a side and should only take 30mins a side to change. Get the tracking done once you've done them.
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  10. beachbuggy
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    beachbuggy Well-Known Member

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    [May 26, 2011]
    Almost certainly the tie rods, although mentioned about the knuckle wearing it's about the only bit that does on the rack. And you'll get movement even with the engine off.

    If it's a tie rod, you'll get a knock when you turn one or both ways. GSF sell the rods and boot's for about £25 a side and should only take 30mins a side to change. Get the tracking done once you've done them.
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  11. Reesy
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    Reesy Well-Known Member VCDS Map User

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    [May 26, 2011]
    I have steering play in mine but I had 1 track rod end done in october and the other one last week. I had the tracking done yesterday, and the blok said it was spot on, yet the wheel still doesn't sit straight. Could the play in the wheel be related?
    #11
  12. Steveo_A3_1.8t
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    Steveo_A3_1.8t Member

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    [May 26, 2011]
    thanks for all the input people, like i said im going to check over the car soon and try and locate the movement. i may consider replacing tierods, trackrod ends and balljoints all together. oh as for your wonky steering wheel reesyboy, ive recently fitted a 'cheap' set of polyeurethane wishbone bushes from fleabay. as a result of the work the tracking was done. When cruising at a set speed the tracking is spot on, lift the throttle and it pulls left, get back on the power and it goes right!!!?? i can only assume its the bushes as they dont look right in the wishbone to be honest. and i have full confidence the tracking is spot on as i watched it done and the fitter is a mate. Now i understand your problem is slightly different but maybe worth checking your wishbone bushes.
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  13. Steveo_A3_1.8t
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    Steveo_A3_1.8t Member

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    [May 27, 2011]
    I do get movement without the engine on, does that mean you think it's the knuckle??
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  14. 9-Points&Counting
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    9-Points&Counting Member

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    [May 27, 2011]
    Nice car the old williams.

    In short mate I dunno any more about it than that - sorry. But it's the same as mine and still doing it when the key's out, and what ReesyBoy was saying sort of confirms it. I've got powerflex bushes all round the front and ball joints done not too long ago so that narrows down what it could be. But then, thinking about it, years ago when I first noticed it and car was alot newer, a good, audi specialist garage told me the same thing.

    Nice to hear the track rods etc are only £25 though from GSF :) Think I'll eye that job up as well!

    Let me know how you get on.
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  15. Steveo_A3_1.8t
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    Steveo_A3_1.8t Member

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    [May 27, 2011]
    Yeah the Williams was a great little car, so great in fact I lost my license in it!! Doh oh well you live and learn.

    Thanks for the info mate, Thanks to all the info from the others aswell I think I'm going to give the car a good look over like I said bellow and find the problem, if it's the tie rods/ balljoints I shall replace but if it's the Knuckle I'll live with it.

    One more thing mate, do you think your powerflex bushes are worth the dosh?? They are very pricey aren't they.
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  16. steve bain
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    steve bain Member

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    [May 27, 2011]
    can i do a tiny high jack...

    when I turn the steering wheel i get a mechnical clunking from the front end. typically it is when car is moving slow and is is on a bank so suspension twisted a bit. any ideas? not quite the same as your problem, but suspect balljoints...

    yours could be slack in the rack...
    #16
  17. 9-Points&Counting
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    9-Points&Counting Member

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    [May 27, 2011]
    I totally sympathise - hence the "9 Points" monika :)

    Answer comes in 3 parts really:

    They were worth it cos I thought had most of them done with standard parts about a year before. Turned out the garage had used cheap sh1t£ which didn't last. So second time round, i thought " do em permanent this time" so I know they'll last.

    I must say the handling is pretty immense and I could even notice the difference after putting the lowering kit on just before them. I was having a bit of fun with a scooby just yesterday actually and scared the **** out of myself hammering round country lanes nearby as the grip was chuffing phenomenal!!!

    However the ride is alot harder with them on, and after all the bad winters and manky pot holes we've got everywhere now I might not use them again tbh.

    Good luck and let me know if you learn owt interesting.

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  18. Steveo_A3_1.8t
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    Steveo_A3_1.8t Member

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    [May 28, 2011]
    Hello mate,

    Top mount bearings can cause clunking when steering I would assume? But I'm sure you know that. I would suggest getting underneath it and checking all the usual suspects, bushes, balljoints and trackrod ends etc.
    If it's doing it on uneven ground maybe worth checking ARB droplinks and bushes?? Just a thought.

    Steve
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  19. Steveo_A3_1.8t
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    Steveo_A3_1.8t Member

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    [May 28, 2011]
    Righto, I did assume they had advantages but just wasn't sure if the advantages out weighed the price. I shall think about it. But for now I'm just about fe up of spending money on the bloody thing ha ha.

    As for your points were you speeding?

    I got caught racing a integra type r and a punto gt at around 80mph in a 40.
    I received 1 year ban, 150hours community serviced and an extended re-test! The only thing that made me feel better is that I beat them both ha ha.
    #19

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