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steering will not center after turn

Discussion in 'A4/S4 forum(B5 Chassis)' started by igotink, Jul 9, 2012.

  1. igotink

    igotink New Member

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    Hi hope you can help, when i turn a corner either left or right my steering wheel will not come back to center un aided, it did have play in the ball joints but new suspension arms have been fitted.
    the quicker you go the easier it is.
    there is no juddering or wobble in the steering wheel.

    thanks
    john
     
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  3. lgooch

    lgooch Active Member

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    You need your tracking doing. I had the same problem in a golf when I replaced both wishbones and ball joints.

    It was 20 degrees out. Even though I thought I had everything in the place as what came off. I drove mine around for two weeks before I got to the bottom of it. You should have felt the temperature of the tyres because I was just scrubbing them out. HOT !

    Mine also drove in a straight line and did not judder on the motorway, but I had to physically turn the wheel back to dead ahead after going round a bend. The easiest test is to get it in an empty car park and put full lock on. Then drive the car, if the wheel stays on full lock and continues to go round in a circle, then check the tracking and if this does not solve it get it on a hunter. This is of course assuming you have fitted the right parts correctly.
     
  4. igotink

    igotink New Member

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    Simple as the tracking?? thought that alone would not sort it, but i will try.
    i had both upper suspension arms replaced.
    what you mean by HUNTER???
     
  5. lgooch

    lgooch Active Member

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    I think so if your symptoms are the same as mine. I will only cost you 20 quid to find out.

    Hunter is a full 4 wheel alignment which checks all geometry of all 4 wheels. Not cheap and would probably cost around 80 quid.
     
  6. igotink

    igotink New Member

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    I will defo get the tracking looked at, the wheel feels a bit heavy maybe because i have to pull it back and tracking is out?
    like i said no noise from pump and no knocks when going over bumps and runs true and straight.
     
  7. NineNails

    NineNails Proud sponsor of the snack food industry

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    And worth every penny :)
     
  8. lgooch

    lgooch Active Member

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    Let us know how you get on
     
  9. igotink

    igotink New Member

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    going to get tracking tested tomorrow so will let you know how it goes.
    hopefully its out and gets rid of the stiffness in the wheel and comes back to center by itself
     
  10. igotink

    igotink New Member

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    going to get tracking tested tomorrow so will let you know how it goes.
    hopefully its out and gets rid of the stiffness in the wheel and comes back to center by itself
     
  11. lgooch

    lgooch Active Member

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    Sorted ?
     
  12. igotink

    igotink New Member

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    Hi mate still no joy tracking was out but now corrected, and still have the same problem :(
    steering is still heavy and will not self centre if you turn left or right it will stay in that direction unless you turn it back yourself.
    any ideas???
     
  13. lgooch

    lgooch Active Member

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    Mmm. What was it like before new ball joints. Did it return then ? If so I would question if they are the right parts and if they have been fitted properly.

    Not sure about the A4 but if you have top mount bearings these could have seized but in doing so the steering would feel heavy.
     
  14. lgooch

    lgooch Active Member

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  15. Ste_Nova

    Ste_Nova Active Member

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  16. aragorn

    aragorn "Stick a V8 in it!"
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    castor and camber arent adjustable, so unless hes driven it into a tree, they're unlikely to be out!
     
  17. NineNails

    NineNails Proud sponsor of the snack food industry

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    A proper 4 wheel alignment really is worth the money, to not bother is false economy in my book. At the end of the day it's only the price of a tyre. It may not be as much as £80, depends how many adjustments need doing. Everything will be checked and you will be advised of any worn parts that may need replaced.
     
  18. aragorn

    aragorn "Stick a V8 in it!"
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    Whats the point, when the only thing on a FWD you can adjust is the front toe?
     
  19. NineNails

    NineNails Proud sponsor of the snack food industry

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    Ahh Though it was a quattro :slapped:
     
  20. murran

    murran Active Member

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    are the arms youve fitted the right ones? or have you mixed them up. any pics of your suspension???? if it was fine before then its obviously something youve done to move the castor angle. and being that its not pulling to one side then youve done it to both sides.
     
  21. aragorn

    aragorn "Stick a V8 in it!"
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    You know, my avant has this issue, or at least a mild version of it.

    The steering feels "tight" compared to my saloon. Theres plenty of assistance, but its as though something is applying friction to the steering wheel as it turns. As a result, you can dial in a small steering angle either direction and it'll just stay there rather than returning to centre. Once you turn the wheel more than maybe 1/8th of a turn, there is plenty "return to centre" force applied to the wheel, but as the force drops away as it nears centre, it seems the tightness is enough to overcome the self centering.

    Its actually been annoying me quite a bit recently, but i've always noticed the steering in the avant seems heavier/tighter than the saloon.

    What i really need to do is disconnect the column from the rack, and see if the column turns freely. If so, then i guess it must be something internal in the rack itself.
     
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  23. PAULF

    PAULF Active Member
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    I'm fairly sure the front springs have some input into centering.

    When I changed the Avant front springs, using ElsaWin as a guide, it's fairly complex sorting out the strut/mount/spring angles when re-assembling. I would think it is easy to get slightly out, and the natural 'uncoiling' of the spring may finish before the wheel has centred. Cracked front springs or duff top mounts may also contribute
    I would, however, expect this to give the symptoms Aragorn described, more than the OPs more severe problem.

    Just a thought........
     
  24. murran

    murran Active Member

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    the strut doesnt turn with the steering tho.
    the hub carrier does.
    being that all the weight of the corner of the car is on the lower straight arm the strut bolts to id be looking at the lower ball joints on the arms as a source of the tightness/self centering prob.
     
  25. aragorn

    aragorn "Stick a V8 in it!"
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    They're all new on mine, and the problem was there before hand.

    Its become more noticable as i've had the car aligned recently with some toe out, but the tightness has always been there.
     
  26. PAULF

    PAULF Active Member
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    True Murran,
    I was forgetting that. :tocktock:

    Thinking about the set-up I suspect all 4 arms have some form of centering input, as any radial movement of the hub carrier looks like it will move the arms both in an up and down direction, as well as a fore and aft twist. I'll maybe have to have a good look how it all works once I'm off again.

    Either way, it seems unlikely to give the OP his problem without other control arm symptoms manifesting themselves.

    I reminds me of what an old engineer said to me after looking at the front end set-up a couple of years ago
    "That's some clever bugger who worked out how all those ball-joints and flexi bushings interact together" :uhm:
     
  27. aragorn

    aragorn "Stick a V8 in it!"
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    Self centering is mainly provided by caster. Ok there might be some bush input, however its fairly minimal compared to what the caster should be providing.

    Caster is fixed on a B5, however i'm wondering if hes perhaps fitted one of the control arms into the wrong hole on the subframe? This could have the result of too little caster depending how it moves the pivot axis around.
     
  28. murran

    murran Active Member

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    self centering is all about castor.
    [​IMG]

    its about having the points at which the steering rotates inclided backwards so (in the case of my picture of my old bmw above) that the imaginary line drawn thru the top mount and lower ball joint hits the tarmac infront of the wheel..... its simply this that promotes self centering.
    on my old bmw ofcourse the castor angle is set..... on the multi-arm set up on an a4 means that as you turn from lock to lock the different lengths and positions of the arms/balljoints.. the castor angle moves around. the idea of this is to keep as much of the tread of the tyre on the ground as possible.

    i think the best way of inducing more castor on an a4 would be to somehow be able to move the mounting point in the subframe for the lower rear curved arm forwards/out.
    slot the hole and make up a plate like these......
    BMW E30 E21 E28 E36 Compact Z3 Rear Camber & Toe Adjuster Kit Plates | eBay
    to work with bolts like these......
    MITSUBISHI FTO REAR CAMBER ADJUSTMENT BOLT | eBay

    this will push the lower ball joints forward inclining the castor backwards further.
     

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