HRP
Page 1 of 2 12 LastLast
Results 1 to 25 of 27

Thread: Mk1 Golf 20vt steering rack issues

  1. #1
    Forum User
    Join Date
    Sep 2009
    Location
    North London
    Posts
    54
    Thanks
    0
    Thanked 0 Times in 0 Posts

    Default Mk1 Golf 20vt steering rack issues

    Hi folks,

    Looking for some advice please, I have done a search but couldn't come up with anything. I've just picked up a Mk1 Golf GTI with a BAM 20vt conversion and I have some issues with the steering. It's really heavy at slow speed, to the extent that, whilst steering around a roundabout it would appear to have jumped a cog in the steering box so that the steering wheel is now off-centre. The steering rack has just been replaced with a new standard Mk1 GTI rack as the same thing happened to the old one.

    The car is poly-bushed, with FK coilovers, Weitec arb's, 15" alloys with 888's. It may well be that the standard rack is not up to the job and an uprated one is required, but if there are underlying issues I don't want to just get another rack and ruin that one. TBH, the steering is very heavy with a standard ratio, so I'm thinking a quick rack would be really unmanagable.

    Is this a known problem with these conversions, and if so, what's the rack of choice for an upgrade?

    I'm not a mechanic and are new to these cars, so would be grateful for any advice on this matter.

    TIA.

    Mike
    Last edited by jarv; 6th October 2009 at 22:44.

  2. #2
    Banned after significant club disruption Dec 5th 2014 Chris Eyre's Avatar
    Join Date
    Oct 2003
    Posts
    43,685
    Thanks
    247
    Thanked 395 Times in 228 Posts

    Default

    Quote Originally Posted by jarv
    Hi folks,

    Looking for some advice please, I have done a search but couldn't come up with anything. I've just picked up a Mk1 Golf GTI with a BAM 20vt conversion and I have some issues with the steering. It's really heavy at slow speed, to the extent that, whilst steering around a roundabout it would appear to have jumped a cog in the steering box so that the steering wheel is now off-centre.
    Hi Mike, good to hear you're ironing bugs already.

    Several possible things going on here, but two separate effects:

    - steering wheel moving off centre
    - heavy steering

    When the steering wheel moves off centre, this is usually the steering rack U-clamps needing to be nipped up. 13mm spanner, four of them, two reachable from the top, manifold dependent, and possibly the other two from above, or time to jack it up / get the wheels off. Don't over-tighten them, as they're captive studs and you're in trouble if you snap one, so start by checking they're not loose and then just ease some pressure onto them (within reason). If they're tight, it might be time to point the finger at the poly bushes themselves.

    Hang onto the old rack if you've got it - nothing wrong with it by the sounds.

    The weight of the steering could be down to getting used to non-PAS / just getting into Mk1s / wide tyres or suspension top mounts. If there is a large (index finger) gap between the suspension top mount metal plate and the rubber body, it'll give a clue they've been on too long and want replacing.

  3. #3
    Dudboy
    Guest

    Default

    low profile tyres and lowered car won't help.

    but i'd jack the car up and see whats loose under there.

  4. #4
    Forum User
    Join Date
    Sep 2009
    Location
    North London
    Posts
    54
    Thanks
    0
    Thanked 0 Times in 0 Posts

    Default

    Thanks for the replies chaps.

    I think I may have not have described the off centre steering wheel bit very well, I mean that the wheel is turned 10 degrees or so to the right when it's going in a straight line, and it was perfectly straight before. Which is why I think that forcing the steering around has caused it to jump a turn in the steering box.

    I hear what you're saying about the steering being non-power assisted and the tyres are 195 50's, but there seems an awful lot of resistance in the steering rather than just heavyness. I'll definitely get it jacked up and looked at, hopefully today.

    Cheers

    Mike

  5. #5
    Banned after significant club disruption Dec 5th 2014 Chris Eyre's Avatar
    Join Date
    Oct 2003
    Posts
    43,685
    Thanks
    247
    Thanked 395 Times in 228 Posts

    Default

    Quote Originally Posted by jarv
    I think I may have not have described the off centre steering wheel bit very well, I mean that the wheel is turned 10 degrees or so to the right when it's going in a straight line, and it was perfectly straight before. Which is why I think that forcing the steering around has caused it to jump a turn in the steering box.
    No, all explained fine - it's the rack mountings slipping ever so slightly. Nip them up and re-test.

  6. #6
    Forum User
    Join Date
    Sep 2009
    Location
    North London
    Posts
    54
    Thanks
    0
    Thanked 0 Times in 0 Posts

    Default

    Quote Originally Posted by Chris Eyre
    No, all explained fine - it's the rack mountings slipping ever so slightly. Nip them up and re-test.
    Ah, OK. That's very similar advice I've just got from a guy who does these conversions. He said that it is likely that the steering rack mount has come away and needs welding back on. Really appreciate the advice Chris, I now know where to start my ingestigations!

    Cheers

    Mike

  7. #7
    Banned after significant club disruption Dec 5th 2014 Chris Eyre's Avatar
    Join Date
    Oct 2003
    Posts
    43,685
    Thanks
    247
    Thanked 395 Times in 228 Posts

    Default

    Typical scaremongering - ignore the welding suggestion for now and run with the above.

  8. #8
    Forum User
    Join Date
    Sep 2009
    Location
    North London
    Posts
    54
    Thanks
    0
    Thanked 0 Times in 0 Posts

    Default

    Quote Originally Posted by Chris Eyre
    Typical scaremongering - ignore the welding suggestion for now and run with the above.
    , will do.

  9. #9
    Forum User
    Join Date
    Sep 2009
    Location
    North London
    Posts
    54
    Thanks
    0
    Thanked 0 Times in 0 Posts

    Default

    Chris, are the U clamps you're referring to number 15 in the diagram below (sorry, it's a bit small, can't seem to make it any bigger!)?


  10. #10
    Banned after significant club disruption Dec 5th 2014 Chris Eyre's Avatar
    Join Date
    Oct 2003
    Posts
    43,685
    Thanks
    247
    Thanked 395 Times in 228 Posts

    Default

    Yes!

  11. #11
    Forum User
    Join Date
    Sep 2009
    Location
    North London
    Posts
    54
    Thanks
    0
    Thanked 0 Times in 0 Posts

    Default

    Excellent, I can now see how that might cause the wheel to be off centre if the rack slips through those clamps a bit.

  12. #12
    Forum User
    Join Date
    Sep 2009
    Location
    North London
    Posts
    54
    Thanks
    0
    Thanked 0 Times in 0 Posts

    Default

    Small update. I've had someone take a look at it today. Apparently, the U clamps on the rack are fine, so the rack hasn't moved through them. It has a cable clutch, so the pedal box hasn't been changed, which may have required the column to be moved slightly causing issues. With the wheels off the ground the steering works fine with little resistance.

    He reckons the tracking is way out for a start, which won't help the handling, but isn't in itself the route cause of the steering wheel becoming misaligned. He does reckon that there is a castor issue as the wheels don't centre themselves at all well. I'm guessing that the castor isn't adjustable on these cars, unless there has been some modification to make it so? But I did have a very useful chat with a chap from Wheels in Motion earlier today who said that it is possible to tweak the castor by moving the front subframe around. I think my next action will be to take it along to them to see if they can find any fundamental problems.

    There are white marks on various places of the suspension and steering so this is obviously something that someone has attempted to rectify in the past.

    My guy has spotted something to do with one of the front coilover struts that he reckons may be an issue and I'm popping in tomorrow to check it out whilst it'a up on the ramp. I'll see if I can take a photo and post it up.

  13. #13
    Dudboy
    Guest

    Default

    big problem for you, unless the engine conversion was done by installing a subframe, you won't be able to do that mod.

    I can't see how a clutch cable has anything to do with steering?

  14. #14
    Forum User
    Join Date
    Sep 2009
    Location
    North London
    Posts
    54
    Thanks
    0
    Thanked 0 Times in 0 Posts

    Default

    Quote Originally Posted by Jon P
    big problem for you, unless the engine conversion was done by installing a subframe, you won't be able to do that mod.

    I can't see how a clutch cable has anything to do with steering?
    Yeah, just found out there is no front subframe, so adjusting it could be tricky.

    To be fair to the guy I spoke to, it was more a general chat rather than a specific one about Mk1 Golfs, I'm sure if I was to take it to him he'd appreciate the lack of a front subframe, or at least I hope he would.

    I was told my someone who did a 20vt conversion that they changed the pedal box to fit a hydraulic clutch. The new pedal box was bigger and the steering column had to be moved a bit, which caused him issues with heavy steering. I don't have any more info on his issue than that, but as I have a cable clutch I assume that the box is original and so can eliminate that as a potential problem.

    I've been advised that a front lower wishbone brace is essential on a MKI GTI with any more power than stock, as otherwise the front wishbones can pull away from each other at the front, playing havoc with the geometry. Anyone got any more details on this so I can check it out?

    I really appreciate all the input I'm getting, and apologise if I make glaring technical errors in my posts, but I'm not a mechanic and know very little about Mk1 Golfs, but I'm learning!

    Cheers

    Mike

  15. #15
    Dudboy
    Guest

    Default

    hmm by the sounds of it the column has been removed and refitted, when the pedal box was put in.

    I'm running a pedal box and it hasn't affected the position of the column.

    I'd check that was all complete and assembled correctly.

    a lower and upper strut brace would be a good purchase. Both my brother and I on our Caddies have one of each and on stock cars they are a noticable improvement on handling.

    who did this conversion?

  16. #16
    Forum User
    Join Date
    Sep 2009
    Location
    North London
    Posts
    54
    Thanks
    0
    Thanked 0 Times in 0 Posts

    Default

    Quote Originally Posted by Jon P
    hmm by the sounds of it the column has been removed and refitted, when the pedal box was put in.

    I'm running a pedal box and it hasn't affected the position of the column.

    I'd check that was all complete and assembled correctly.

    a lower and upper strut brace would be a good purchase. Both my brother and I on our Caddies have one of each and on stock cars they are a noticable improvement on handling.

    who did this conversion?
    You could be right, but as my pedal box appears to be original, I don't think that's an issue for me.

    Not 100% sure who did the conversion, think it was a keen amateur (or a not so keen professional )

    Is the front lower strut brace the red tube extending from the lower wishbone (?) mount in the centre left of the picture below? (Thanks to Collo for photos, hope you don't mind me using them here)

    I think this is an OMP brace, I wonder if the fact that I have a 1.8 BAM engine will affect whether it fits or not.



    And here:

    Last edited by jarv; 9th October 2009 at 00:03.

  17. #17
    Dudboy
    Guest

    Default

    yep OMP strut brace, my brother has that one too.

    interesting sump on the engine.

    what are the red things on the ball joint to the hub?

  18. #18
    Moderator and Regional Host - Manchester StuMc's Avatar
    Join Date
    Nov 2004
    Location
    50? 20` 47” N - 06? 57` 57” E
    Posts
    14,610
    Thanks
    577
    Thanked 268 Times in 186 Posts

    Default

    It`s Collo`s car...

    Schrick ally sump. Fits just about all 8v and 16v engines.

    And the red things are ball-joint extenders to retain geometry when lowering (ie, keeping wishbones/steering arms/driveshafts level)


  19. #19
    Dudboy
    Guest

    Default

    Quote Originally Posted by StuMc
    It`s Collo`s car...

    Schrick ally sump. Fits just about all 8v and 16v engines.

    And the red things are ball-joint extenders to retain geometry when lowering (ie, keeping wishbones/steering arms/driveshafts level)


    realised this as i drove to work, its not the car in question

  20. #20
    Forum User
    Join Date
    Sep 2009
    Location
    North London
    Posts
    54
    Thanks
    0
    Thanked 0 Times in 0 Posts

    Default

    I've looked under the car this morning and I definitely don't have a lower strut brace fitted. I was thinking of fitting an OMP one as they're reasonably priced, like this one:

    http://cgi.ebay.co.u...e=STRK:MEWAX:IT

    But, looking under the car, it won't fit as it's dead straight and the 20vt engine looks like it sits lower than the standard one, and there isn't a direct line through from one lower wishbone mount to the other.



    But, the Neuspeed one looks like it might fit as it kinks down slightly:

    http://www.awesome-g....php?xProd=3505

    I called Awesome and they can't confirm whether it will fit or not. Is there anyone on here who can confirm that the Neuspeed one will fit on a Mk1 with a BAM engine?

    The tracking looks way out, just to the eye, so once I get the brace sorted then I'll get it booked in to get the geometry looked at. There is one slight concern that maybe someone can shed some light on, and that's on the base of the struts. The bolt hole at the bottom is elongated, I assume for adjustment purposes. But is there supposed to be some sort of method to adjust this, rather than just bolting it up tight and hoping to doesn't shift around? Not sure I've explained it very well, but the photo below with the bolt removed might help.


  21. #21
    Dudboy
    Guest

    Default

    that bolt adjusts the camber of the wheel.

    as for strut braces, what is the gearbox? i had an 02A happily bolted up with a strut brace, which i have no pics of to hand I'm sure Chris Eyre had one similar?

  22. #22
    Forum User
    Join Date
    Sep 2009
    Location
    North London
    Posts
    54
    Thanks
    0
    Thanked 0 Times in 0 Posts

    Default

    Quote Originally Posted by Jon P
    that bolt adjusts the camber of the wheel.

    as for strut braces, what is the gearbox? i had an 02A happily bolted up with a strut brace, which i have no pics of to hand I'm sure Chris Eyre had one similar?
    It's an O2A. Was your brace straight like the OMP one or slightly kinked down like the Neuspeed one?

  23. #23
    Banned after significant club disruption Dec 5th 2014 Chris Eyre's Avatar
    Join Date
    Oct 2003
    Posts
    43,685
    Thanks
    247
    Thanked 395 Times in 228 Posts

    Default

    I don't think the straight ones do fit - a slight bowing downwards is reqd.

    Nothing wrong with the camber slot. The bolt shoulder works against the strut to hold it snug, aswell as tension on the bolt.

  24. #24
    Forum User
    Join Date
    Sep 2009
    Location
    North London
    Posts
    54
    Thanks
    0
    Thanked 0 Times in 0 Posts

    Default

    Quote Originally Posted by Chris Eyre
    I don't think the straight ones do fit - a slight bowing downwards is reqd.

    Nothing wrong with the camber slot. The bolt shoulder works against the strut to hold it snug, aswell as tension on the bolt.
    Thanks Chris. Looks like it's the kinked Neuspeed one for me then. Not sure that they do a top one, but the OMP one should do the job there.

  25. #25
    Forum User
    Join Date
    Sep 2009
    Location
    North London
    Posts
    54
    Thanks
    0
    Thanked 0 Times in 0 Posts

    Default

    Turns out that the major issue of the steering wheel moving off centre was being caused by the camber adjusting bolt at the bottom of the drivers side strut being loose due to the missing washers. I've checked ETKA and will get new nuts, bolts and washers for each side, hopefully they will not be NLA.

    The tracking was well out a swell, it's been set roughly right and when my upper and lower front strut braces turn up next week I'll run the car up to Wheels in Motion and get them to set the geometry up propertly.

    Hopefully the light is at the end of the tunnel, cheers for all your advice.

Page 1 of 2 12 LastLast

Posting Permissions

  • You may not post new threads
  • You may not post replies
  • You may not post attachments
  • You may not edit your posts
  •