1997 Chrysler LHS Sloppy steering

Tiny
HELP296
  • MEMBER
  • 1997 CHRYSLER LHS
Steering problem
1997 Chrysler LHS

When I turn the steering wheel from side to side there is a clicking or popping sound. Found a worn stabilizer bar link that was bad on the pass. Side replaced it and its a little better, but while driving you can turn the wheel from 11:00 to 1:00 before it actually "catches" and turns the tires. I checked the steering gear and it moves a little fom side to side. Checked the bolts that hold it on and there tight. Any ideas? Thanks.
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Wednesday, November 18th, 2009 AT 12:04 PM

2 Replies

Tiny
JACOBANDNICKOLAS
  • EXPERT
I believe you have a rack and pinion, correct? Have you checked tie rods? If they are tight and I am correct about the rack and pinion, chances are the play is in the rack itself.

Let me know.
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Thursday, November 26th, 2009 AT 11:54 PM
Tiny
CARADIODOC
  • EXPERT
You found the cause. The rack should not be moving side to side. Instead of bolting it directly to the body, it is sandwiched between two metal plates on each end that are riveted together. Rubber isolators are between the brackets and the rack housing. Check to see if the movement is taking place between the housing and brackets. There was a service bulletin related to those brackets causing a squeaking noise, but I think that was on earlier models.

You can also have someone move the steering wheel back and forth a few inches while you inspect the steering shaft for looseness. In particular, look at the universal joint. Jacobandnickolas is right about play in the rack itself, but it's relatively uncommon. When it does occur, it's caused by a worn spool valve / input shaft and is accompanied by fluid leakage from the shaft area. It can be hard to diagnose because it's buried inside a tunnel formed in the firewall. And yes, don't overlook the outer tie rod ends. A lot of shops will perform a free steering and suspension inspection while doing other service.

Caradiodoc
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Saturday, November 28th, 2009 AT 11:57 PM

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