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Discussion Starter #1 (Edited)
Hey guys,

After just having found out my 5th steering knuckle has gone south, having looked virtually everywhere for one in as-new state and coming up with nothing, I was thinking that the technical life span of these things might be at an end for all of us. I've veered into a neighbouring lane once too many after the knuckle lost its lock and my steering became loose.

Seeing that the rubber part expands over time while it accumulates moisture and becomes unstuck and pushes out the steering pin (and making your horn malfunction as an early warning), I was thinking that there actually might not be any knuckles produced after 1988 or so. Seeing that the lifespan would be about 15 years, give or take a few depending on climate, we might all be stuck very soon with this problem.

I was thinking about contacting one of the polyurethane bushing makers to talk to them about a possible production of a series of these guys. The metal parts are usually not the problem and you can get the housing anywhere, it's just the rubber part that's the issue.

So, would anyone be interested in getting one or a few of these, so that we have some numbers to talk about with one of the producers? Or does someone have an idea where these can be bought in remanufactured or new condition?
 

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Do you know if it's the same part for earlier Alfettas? If so, I'd get a couple just have handy.
 

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Of all the NLA parts, this seems to be the most problematic as it poses a safety issue. Up 'til 5 years ago you could still find these, but since 2005 they have become as rare as pink elephants.

I remember around 1995 when the coolant expansion tanks were most needed for the GTV6, and after continuous begging, mostly from European dealers alfa made a new batch that was not very good. They did use the original mold but the seams were not welded very well and many tanks failed.

I really don't know what to say as I do not have any solutions, I can only add to the ranting. For alfa to make a new batch they would need to comission thousands of pieces and I'm not sure who is going to do that.

This is something only several large dealers can cope with, if they all come together with enough bulk orders to justify new production.

Only lately I heard about BMW re-openning production lines to make parts for all their older models. Alfa has always been terrible in this department.
 

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Discussion Starter #4
I think that most of what you say is true 116_veloce, if you are looking for a replacement part that is original. The aluminium expansion tanks for instance you can buy at international auto parts works very well. I'm going to inquire with someone that's not too far away from me that makes polyurethane bushings for alfas to see if he can make these knuckles as well. As long as we can get enough failed knuckles together, there should, theoretically, exist a possibility to re-manufacture this in a limited series.

Sfalfa: I don't know if this would be the same part for earlier alfettas.
 

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I'd be intereseted in 1 or 2. Mine gave out and I welded a large flat washer on the top after I pressed the rubber back in place. The fix has been holding up fine so far.
 

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What is a steering knuckle? Is it a ball joint? It's not the steering tie-rod end I hope..
 

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Discussion Starter #7 (Edited)
What is a steering knuckle? Is it a ball joint? It's not the steering tie-rod end I hope..

Its the part that connects the steering pin (the shaft that is fixed to the steering wheel) to the steering rack. It has a semi-loose connection using rubber to keep the steering pin in place. This is to lessen vibration from the engine and road to the steering wheel. It is the part that needs to be bridged by a little wire so that the horn is grounded. Over time the rubber expands and pushes out the sterring pin. This leads to the wire breaking, and thus the horn failing (which is a warning signal). Further wear will make the horn contact inside the steering console lose connection (right behind the wheel), and once you're byond that the steering pin can lose its fixed position and freely rotate. This means you turn your wheel to the left, but you won't be going that way. I had this happen to me a few times. That is no joke, and its not so funny when it happens. It won't be catastrophical at first, as the rubber won't slip completely, but you'll make some strange maneuvers when switching lanes on the highway for sure. It frightened the bejeezies out of me.
 

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Discussion Starter #8
If anyone has a steering column / rack technical paper of some kind, it would help me and the fabricator greatly if we could have a look at it. It seems quite the untraceable part.
 

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I would be up for 1 or 2. I think the Alfettas and GTV6s use the same part. Mine did exactly as described; horn started malfunctioning, then the contact behind the wheel was just too far to make contact. My mechanic at the time had a GTV6 one and put it into my Alfetta. I don't remember if it was a good used one, or his last new one, but he seemed to be alluding to being very lucky to have it. It's been over 5 years, so I'll buy one or two.

Would they need a good one to make a copy of? If so, we need to find one to have copied. Don't nobody install that last new one if they have it.
 

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Discussion Starter #10
iachella, good to have confirmed that alfettas use that part too.
I have here a drawing of the milano steering column. I'm not sure if it's exactly the same but it looks suspiciously much like what is indicated as 'lower steering column', part number 5. Nothing indicates on the drawing that this would be such a special part. Alas, it is.
 

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If it is a part that is subject to normal wear and is no longer available I would be interested in having a back up fabricated if the cost is within reason.
 

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I would certainly be in for one!

Here's a photo of what we are talking about (kind of) I got this used one a few years back as a reserve and painted it up. You can see the one end that the metal is notched with the other piece within ... hence if the rubber goes it can turn each way a limited amount.

What I am not sure of is how you'd even take this thing a part and then get it back together again??

Another item that goes bad are the rubber o-rings/grommets at the knuckle joint pivots (u-joints). Not even sure how you'd take those apart either?

GV
 

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I believe Rich Inman, TurtleRich I believe on the BB found a replacement that was through summit racing. It was modified to fit but he really likes it, as he too could not find a replacement.
 

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I'd be interested in spares as well, as I have recently gone through the horn failure business on my 86 gtv6, will poll my mechanic as well to see their interest
 

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It's really amazing HOW educating this board is! My horn just stopped working few days ago... But how about a more drastic approach and drill the lower steering column and steering pin and connect it solid with two bolts? Anyone tried?
 

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Mine has a large washer welded to the top so that even if the rubber coupling fails (as it does on cold mornings) the rotation is limited and the mechnical coupling guaranteed. In "complete failure" mode the joint opens up enough for you to lose steering!

Some on this board have welded this joint without any increased vibrations at the steering wheel.

Do a search this topic has been covered several times on this board.
 

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Flaming River U-Joint

When mine failed I used a vibration resistor u-joint from Flaming River. Had to grind out a few of the splines on the bottom side to get it to mate with the steering rack, but I don't have any more steering issues. I figured this is one of those "get it updated and make it safe" parts that didn't need to stay original. The down side (which i haven't bothered to fix yet) is that the horn doesn't work anymore. The u-joint is about 1/4 inch longer than the original unit, which causes the steering wheel to sit up off the horn electrical contacts. Haven't figured out an elegant solution yet... :confused:
 

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steering knuckle

This really concerns me as I'm getting ready to restore my gtv-6. My gtv-6 horn no longer works and my mechanic said I needed a new steering rack. I thought about putting a milano rack and ps pump in my gtv6 since the 3.0 liter is originally a Milano's. Have you all thought about just plain using a Milano rack?
 
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