Bump Steer

I Wanna Be Straight

The Petrolhead was out driving the other day and there was a little bit of a bumpy patch in the road and I noticed a little feedback through the steering wheel – felt like a wheel was wobbling! Once I got home I checked the wheels – all the wheel nuts were in place and tight, the wheels had no play, back and forth or side to side.

There was however a little bit of play in the steering just before it picked up the wheels. Nothing else for it I have to get the car off the ground and check the steering arms and ball joints.

Jack Em Up

So out with the floor jack and lift the car up to get the front wheels off the ground and repeat the tests on the steering again. Now I could feel a definite click or bump as the wheels just started to turn. Could not see anything obvious so had to turn a wheel whilst holding ball joints and various steering linkages in the other hand. Much more difficult than it sounds trust me.

Tie-rod ends were ok and the Pitman arm seemed tight. Just one more to check and that’s the idler arm.

I needed to crawl over to the other side of the sub-frame so I used the track rod to lift my back off the ground – just as I grabbed the middle of the rod the whole steering system lifted up towards the floor of the car!

Whoa something major wrong here!

The Idle Idler arm

I looked over at the idler arm as I lifted the steering system – it is no longer holding the track rod down – this was what I felt on the bumpy road – the track rod bouncing up and down! Lucky for me this is not dangerous just likely to cause bad wear on the tyre.

Ok need to get out the trusty workshop manual! I have changed the idler arm before but well over 20 years ago!

No special tools needed just a good set of spanners and torque wrench.

I now need to get a replacement – it’s Sunday afternoon 4:40 and I have 20 minutes to phone Odin Auto Parts and if they have one get down to Balcatta before they close.
Answer is yes – and I am gone!

I get to the store at 5 to 5 and get my hands on a nice new idler arm. The box shows it’s age that’s for sure – may have been sitting on the backshelf for 30 years. I get it for $50 so I am more than happy – good old Odin Auto Parts to the rescue once again!

I jump back in the beast and head home.

Out With the Old In With the New

First step remove the split pin and undo the nut off both side of the idler arm. These come off easily so I don’t need the hammer today to persuade them!

The idler drops off nicely and now I can see the problem – well and truly worn out and not very likely to hold anything “idle”.

Ok, now I just reverse the process and fit the new arm.
Out with the torque wrench and 70foot lbs should do it nicely.
Pop in the split pins and she is as good as new!

Excellent job if I say so myself! It took me an hour from start to finish including collecting the new part!

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