Steering - Wheel Play - Normal?

SNKR770

Member
Is a bit of play in the passenger wheel normal? I just finished rebuilding the entire front end. New ball joints, brass bushings etc,... Everything is tightened and fits solid. I have not adjusted the two short rods but did adjust the long and short ones that get the tires to point straight. After adjusting the rods to get the tires to point straight ahead you can take the passenger tire and move it. When you turn the steering wheel the driver side wheel begins to turn instantly while the passenger wheel stays put a second or two before it begins to move. I have a hard time believing this is normal but seem to recall it doing the same thing before the rebuild. I looked at a friends car and it appears to do the same as well. Is this normal? This is my first time rebuilding a front end but in my opinion the play is in the ball joint shifting from one direction to the other. When inserting the ball joint thread into the hole does it need to be kicked out to one direction?

I've read claims before that their cars handle perfect. Anyone with these perfect handling cars have any advice as too what may be the key to getting everything tight in both directions so that they both move in unison when the steering wheel is moved left to right. The manual certainly does not show what to do. Then again perhaps this play is normal to the Amphicar?
 

Ken Chambers

Platinum Subscriber
SNKR770,

Sounds like what you have is not normal. As in any car the steering
should not have any play. In the last year I've also completely
rebuilt my Amphi front end and everything is tight, aligned and drives
like a dream now. You may have a bit of play inside the steering box
itself and there is an adjusting screw for that. You may be able to
remove some of that play depending on internal wear. But that has
nothing to do with the play you are seeing between the two wheels.
While you're at it though make sure the steering box mount has no
cracked welds and add a diagonal brace.

Check everything. Did you install all eight NEW tie rod ends (what
you are calling ball joints)? Lemforder is a good replacement brand.
Make sure what you have are not defective ends. Ball joints have
tapered mounting studs. Make sure they are fully seated in the
tapered hole. If one is not you will get the symptoms you describe.

Grab a wheel top and bottom, left and right and try to see where the
play is. King pin bushings and axle bushing should offer very little
to no movement. Wheel bearings should be hand snug, then a little
more to insert the split pin.

Check the solid axles and pinch bolts that they are secure as well.

Good luck and let us know what you find.

Ken Chambers, CA
'64 Red


On Jul 7, 2009, at 10:41 AM, SNKR770 wrote:


> Is a bit of play in the passenger wheel normal? I just finished
> rebuilding the entire front end. New ball joints, brass bushings
> etc,... Everything is tightened and fits solid. I have not adjusted
> the two short rods but did adjust the long and short ones that get
> the tires to point straight. After adjusting the rods to get the
> tires to point straight ahead you can take the passenger tire and
> move it. When you turn the steering wheel the driver side wheel
> begins to turn instantly while the passenger wheel stays put a
> second or two before it begins to move. I have a hard time believing
> this is normal but seem to recall it doing the same thing before the
> rebuild. I looked at a friends car and it appears to do the same as
> well. Is this normal? This is my first time rebuilding a front end
> but in my opinion the play is in the ball joint shifting from one
> direction to the other. When inserting the ball joint thread into
> the hole does it need to be kicked out to one direction?
>
> I've read claims before that their cars handle perfect. Anyone with
> these perfect handling cars have any advice as too what may be the
> key to getting everything tight in both directions so that they both
> move in unison when the steering wheel is moved left to right. The
> manual certainly does not show what to do. Then again perhaps this
> play is normal to the Amphicar?
>
>
 

SNKR770

Member
Re: Steering - Wheel Play - Normal? Alignment

Ken,
I thought I'd post a resolution to the problem in case someone else runs across the same issue in the future.

It ended up being that the long lower arm (7-18-25) that is keyed needed another half to 3/4 turn to fully seat the arm and that fixed the problem. Goes to show that sometimes burning the midnight oil to finish a project sometimes doesn't pay and the simplest things are ovelooked even when double checked.

Time to take her in for a front end alignment. Any thing to look out for in selecting a place to do the alignemnt? Equipnment, information to supply etc?
 

Ken Chambers

Platinum Subscriber
Re: Steering - Wheel Play - Normal? Alignment

Glad you found the problem. Front end alignment should be a cinch for
most any alignment shop, especially with a newly rebuilt front end
with nicely greased threads on the steering rods. I'd remove the
steering protector plate before bringing it in.

The maintenance manual says toe-in should be 1/32" - 1/8" measured at
the wheel rim, or 10-30 minutes of a degree. Caster is 6 degrees.
Camber is fixed.

Best,
Ken Chambers


On Jul 7, 2009, at 8:58 PM, SNKR770 wrote:


> Ken,
> I thought I'd post a resolution to the problem in case someone else
> runs across the same issue in the future.
>
> It ended up being that the long lower arm (7-18-25) that is keyed
> needed another half to 3/4 turn to fully seat the arm and that fixed
> the problem. Goes to show that sometimes burning the midnight oil to
> finish a project sometimes doesn't pay and the simplest things are
> ovelooked even when double checked.
>
> Time to take her in for a front end alignment. Any thing to look out
> for in selecting a place to do the alignemnt? Equipnment,
> information to supply etc?
 

Ken Chambers

Platinum Subscriber
Re: Steering - Wheel Play - Normal? Alignment

Glad you found the problem. Front end alignment should be a cinch for
most any alignment shop, especially with a newly rebuilt front end
with nicely greased threads on the steering rods. I'd remove the
steering protector plate before bringing it in.

The maintenance manual says toe-in should be 1/32" - 1/8" measured at
the wheel rim, or 10-30 minutes of a degree. Caster is 6 degrees.
Camber is fixed.

Best,
Ken Chambers


On Jul 7, 2009, at 8:58 PM, SNKR770 wrote:


> Ken,
> I thought I'd post a resolution to the problem in case someone else
> runs across the same issue in the future.
>
> It ended up being that the long lower arm (7-18-25) that is keyed
> needed another half to 3/4 turn to fully seat the arm and that fixed
> the problem. Goes to show that sometimes burning the midnight oil to
> finish a project sometimes doesn't pay and the simplest things are
> ovelooked even when double checked.
>
> Time to take her in for a front end alignment. Any thing to look out
> for in selecting a place to do the alignemnt? Equipnment,
> information to supply etc?
 
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