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Discussion Starter · #1 · (Edited)
Got an interesting issue I'm looking into and wouldn't mind some thoughts. Driving today and in a snug turn (not too hard - at decent speed but not too much) the car just started drifting out of the turn. To clarify, it was as if you were moving over a lane to the outside of the direction of the turn. (Turning left and started drifting right after getting into the turn for a while.) These are not soft, easy turns but I wasn't hauling over the wheel at a speed too great for the turn. Only happened on one other curve and only a turn to the left.
ANYWAY ... Tire pressure is good, tires not cold on those turns, and no problems otherwise on the straight and narrow as it were. Went out and checked the play in the wheels and and adjusted very slightly for the right wheel bearing play. Nothing major. Hardly even minor. There is some movement front to rear (grasping front of tire and rear and rocking) but again nothing major. The clamp on the tie rod (behind the threaded section) is tight though there was some movement of the tie rod in and out of the rack - maybe a 1/4" if that. Checked the driver's side as well for all this.
So. I need an alignment but nothing like this has occurred before and the balance is off (can you tell that I've been trying to get the car balanced, rotated and aligned?). Could it be that I've got worn teeth on the rack, pinion or both? I didn't crank the wheel over when this occurred as I was on the ramp to I-285 (ranked in the top ten of most dangerous highways in the states) and didn't want to die. Plus, there was space open in the other lane.
Dangerous situation in my opinion and I am taking all comments.
 

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boomerang opeler
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1/4 " movement on any part of the steering is a no no have it checked :eek:

could it be the car was just pushing (understeering) where the front tyres have lost grip and you go straight instead of turning
its hard for me to understand exactly what you mean as we use a different set of terms to the states but i think thats what you are saying
1st off i would have the steering looked at for wear
2nd i would slow down a lot on that curve :(
3rd i would get better tyres so you can have fun and go round that curve faster :D
 

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Old Opeler
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GTs Do That....

Sounds like you were cornering a bit harder than you realised - and probably going a wee bit faster!
That sounds like classic "Understeer" and GTs do behave like that at the limits of their cornering ability.
Does that one have sway bars front & rear plus some 185 X 13 tyres - or larger? If not then fitting those things will raise the limits.
There should be NO "looseness" in the steering components - especially the rack - it sounds like the the track arms (the bits that sick out of the rubber gaiters on the rack) are a bit worn on the pivot ball that screws into the rack inside those rubber gaiters.
Any slack in the steering allows the wheel to alter its steering angle independently of the position of the steering wheel and thus lowers the limits.
Maybe there was even some oil or diesel on the road surface too that lowered the adhesion between the tyres and the road.
I pick that you were just going a bit faster than you thought you were and have found out how a GT behaves as it passes its cornering ability limits.

The alternative to "understeer" is "oversteer" which some other cars do when reaching their limits and the rear end trys to swap places with the front - which would you rather have??
 

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Opeler
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its not the driver

Ok guys, unless these cars are inherently unsafe, it's not a driver issue. Everyone else in Atlanta does just fine. The curve in question is not a tight curve, it's a long curve. It's a two lane on-ramp with a 55 mph posted speed limit. Most traffic takes the ramp at about 70. There was no sliding or loss of traction.
Tires are 185 x 13. 2 years old, less than 2000 miles. Good tread and good pressure.
The play in the rack seems to be where the tie rod enters the rack. I know there should be some flex here but how much "in-out" movement shoud there be. Bearly preceptable or NO movement (like a new shiny ball joint)?
 

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Old Opeler
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There should be NO movement there at all - any in-out movement will just allow the joint there to be hammered to bits as it is slammed in and out.
 

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Discussion Starter · #7 ·
Okay, I don’t want to sound defensive but it wasn’t too fast, etc, as I stated. I know my car and it’s limits. I have had this car around curves tighter and faster than this with no problem. The turn wasn’t that tight – it’s a 55 mph ramp – and any and all vehicle types make this curve with no difficulty and I have repeatedly.. This is why I’m concerned. I don’t ever overestimate the abilities of a vehicle and so rarely ever push things except in an emergency. By the by, the tires have good tread.
Maybe I’m just not describing it well. Maybe it’s something none of us have run across. I’m more interested in steering problems of the car and possibilities thereof. If I’m wrong, I’m wrong, but it doesn’t seem likely to me. I’m sure I’ve left some holes to be argued and that I might have addressed but let’s ignore that for now please?
I will definitely be checking what you said, GTJim, about the pivot ball. That seems to be a problem whether related or not.
Any other ideas?

Didn't realize Dan had already replied. Oh well.
 

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Sometimes my car will develop a push going hard around a left turn, I then have to make some adjustment to the left rear spring
Oh wait, slightly different application on your GT :D
Looseness in your steering must be dealt with before driving your car again. Loose joints quickly become unhooked joints. We don't need that. Best way to find these is to have someone in the car kind of yank the steering wheel quickly back and forth, just enough to wiggle the wheels, while a person underneath watches each joint, even feels it by hand. A loose connection will be obvious. Just a tiny bit of looseness of a tie rod makes a big difference in which way the tires are steering, and you cannot maintain toe-in if they are loose.
OGTS had a tie rod end for me recently, only about $30, I'm sure they'd have the inner joint too.
 

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Ging,

Don't forget to check the "U" joint in the coloum as well. My first GT had worn out the rubber there and caused problems similar to what you have.
 

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Ging,
Did this occur on other turns or just the one on I-285? (The 75 I-285 exchange on the north side of Atlanta? or Spaghetti junction?)

In other words can you duplicat the trouble?
 

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Ging and Mr. Ging,

While you are at it, be sure and jack it up and check everything out in the rear also. I have seen cars do some strange things when there is movement of the rear end.
Ask me how I learned THAT lesson.....

James
 

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Ging ,
The tierod end should not have 1/4 play in the side to side movement .
:eek: While you are checking the rear end of your car look for a missing sway bar link ( bolts & rubber ) track rod bolts or (bent rod ) .hope this helps .If you still canot find a problem P.M. me & we could set a time for you to stop my & I will inspect this for you.Don't want to loose any Opel
people :eek:
 

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Discussion Starter · #13 ·
Okay, many things to check and thank you for them all. When I was crawling around under the car I did as much as I could but I'm going to try and get it on a rack today where I can really dig in. Thanks again - I think it's extrordinarily dangerous too.



benncojr said:
Ging,
Did this occur on other turns or just the one on I-285? (The 75 I-285 exchange on the north side of Atlanta? or Spaghetti junction?)

In other words can you duplicat the trouble?
I thought about this (it was not on Spaghetti junction) but no way am I going near either area until it's fixed- it happened on a different curve as well though and frankly, I'd want a frappin' huge area to attempt anything like that with no possibility of anybody or anything around. Just too dangerous at this point.
 

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While you are at it, be sure and jack it up and check everything out in the rear also. I have seen cars do some strange things when there is movement of the rear end.
I agree. I had a car do something almost exactly like you describe. On a moderately hard corner on dry pavement the whole car kind of "slid" outside the corner. I would have thought I was on ice, except it was summer. Next stop was a mechanic shop, who initially told me everything in the steering system was fine. Turned out the problem was that there was (somehow) some motion in the rear axel - poor man's four-wheel-steering! Anyway, check it out, it was very scary :eek: .
 

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You are talking about a phenonemon called "rear steer" which is about the rear end wiggling which causes it to steer the car a bit. On a GT this could be caused by the control rods (from spring buckets to chassis bracket) or the panhard bar (from left side of rear end to right side of chassis) having bushings gone, this would allow some movement.
If the car was rusty perhaps the whole bracket (any of the three on the chassis) is loose or flexing.
 
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