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Discussion Starter · #1 · (Edited)
So my car has been like this for quite a while and can't even remember if it has been like this always.

Wondering if it is normal for our cars to have a lighter steering feel when turning right vs when turning left?

The steering wheel is very slightly misaligned (about 3-5 degrees) to the right as well - so perhaps it is an alignment issue? Actually had a workshop try and align it twice and they couldn't get the steering wheel completely straight, so they just refunded me the money and I didn't try to get it aligned after that. Btw, the slight misalignment surfaced after having my auto transmission overhauled. The transmission specialist told me it wasn't uncommon for misalignment to happen after having removed and re-installed the gearbox.

Car drives straight - but it requires noticeably less effort to turn right than left.

Thanks in advance for chiming in.
 

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At how many miles did you have to overhaul your tranny? and why?

It can be many things but most likely its something out of alignment. Has the car been in accidents or curb accident?
 

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Discussion Starter · #3 ·
At how many miles did you have to overhaul your tranny? and why?

It can be many things but most likely its something out of alignment. Has the car been in accidents or curb accident?
It was overhauled due to a prematurely worn clutch plate - the rest of the gearbox looked like new according to the workshop. This was done at around 60K miles.

The car has not been in an (curb) accident. The slight misalignment came up after the gearbox had been re-installed. But regardless of misalignment, just find it strange that turning right requires less effort than left - even from lock to lock.
 

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Who did the tranny work? I'm assuming that they dropped the lower frame cradle, which means the steering rack hydraulics may have been disconnected. It's not rocket science, but if they weren't familiar with the ZF rack, used the wrong fluid, pinched a line, etc, it could cause this kind of thing.

The way these racks work is that they have a single input, and then bleed off the pressure selectively on the right or left to move the rack. If the valve or the seals don't precisely regulate the difference, the rack will behave asymmetrically. Draining and flushing the rack and refilling with the required CHF11S might help.

I'm not sure I buy the story that misalignment is the normal result of doing this work. Misalignment means they didn't do it right. If the rack is homed off-center, that could also contribute to this.

OTOH, if it steers straight and doesn't misbehave in any other way, you may want to leave well enough alone. It could cause more problems than it solves.
 

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Discussion Starter · #5 ·
Thanks for input!

A workshop specializing in renovating auto transmissions did the work for me.

It steers straight, but the steering wheel is off center to the right. Could what you mentioned be the reason why another workshop couldn't get the steering wheel straight when aligning? They fixated the steering wheel with the usual trapping device and went at it out at the wheels. Measured with laser and everything was fine - except the steering wheel would still be slightly off to the right.


Who did the tranny work? I'm assuming that they dropped the lower frame cradle, which means the steering rack hydraulics may have been disconnected. It's not rocket science, but if they weren't familiar with the ZF rack, used the wrong fluid, pinched a line, etc, it could cause this kind of thing.

The way these racks work is that they have a single input, and then bleed off the pressure selectively on the right or left to move the rack. If the valve or the seals don't precisely regulate the difference, the rack will behave asymmetrically. Draining and flushing the rack and refilling with the required CHF11S might help.

I'm not sure I buy the story that misalignment is the normal result of doing this work. Misalignment means they didn't do it right. If the rack is homed off-center, that could also contribute to this.

OTOH, if it steers straight and doesn't misbehave in any other way, you may want to leave well enough alone. It could cause more problems than it solves.
 

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It's really hard to say. Assuming it's not a hydraulic thing (an important issue to rule out first), then it might be that the rack is shifted on the lower frame relative to the original location. If they "realigned" the car by cranking the tie rods to compensate, then the rack will be physically off-center, even if the wheels are straight. I guess that could contribute to this.

I think you need someone who really knows the car to take a look.
 
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