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'91 164L 3.0 V6 12V 5-speed, ‘92 164 2.0TS 5-speed
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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
I'm playing with an idea of replacing my steering rack. I have one problem with it that I really can't understand entirely. I swapped a new pressure hose from pump to rack and a new pump but the issue persists. The problem is that when I turn right on halt or slow speed it works just fine. If I turn to left, the power assist isn't continuous but it has "flat spots" here and there and this is why it's pretty annoying as I can't determine how much effort to put into turning the wheel. It's probably the rotation valve or those stupid teflon rings on the shaft that are leaking and I don't see myself changing those anytime soon.

But the question is, as both the S rack and the L rack seem to fit to my L, which would you prefer? Does the dampening improve anything or does it make things worse? I'm asking because there are refurbished racks of both available at the same price so I'm free to choose.
 

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But Mad North-Northwest
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I'm not saying this is definitely your problem, but if you have the brown round ZF reservoir it has an integrated filter in it. I've seen that get plugged and mess up the steering because the pump can't suck fluid.

New reservoirs are available and are not crazy expensive. You should replace it anyway if you're replacing the rack, so maybe just try that first.
 

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I'm playing with an idea of replacing my steering rack. I have one problem with it that I really can't understand entirely. I swapped a new pressure hose from pump to rack and a new pump but the issue persists. The problem is that when I turn right on halt or slow speed it works just fine. If I turn to left, the power assist isn't continuous but it has "flat spots" here and there and this is why it's pretty annoying as I can't determine how much effort to put into turning the wheel. It's probably the rotation valve or those stupid teflon rings on the shaft that are leaking and I don't see myself changing those anytime soon.

But the question is, as both the S rack and the L rack seem to fit to my L, which would you prefer? Does the dampening improve anything or does it make things worse? I'm asking because there are refurbished racks of both available at the same price so I'm free to choose.
Sorry I can't help with the rack choice. Personally I would want to keep the same as what came with my car when new.
 

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'91 164L 3.0 V6 12V 5-speed, ‘92 164 2.0TS 5-speed
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Discussion Starter · #4 ·
I'm not saying this is definitely your problem, but if you have the brown round ZF reservoir it has an integrated filter in it. I've seen that get plugged and mess up the steering because the pump can't suck fluid.
Good point. I‘d say my reservoir is more black than brown, but ZF nevertheless. I’ll have to take a look at that, although you would think that blocked filter would affect the power deliver for both sides. And these flat spots aren’t as violent as they would be if, say, the fluid level was insufficient.
 

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My 'S' came with the dampener on the rack. It's supposed to help with preventing torque steer. Now that the rack has been rebuilt twice, the dampener seems less effective somehow; I'm not sure why. It's not that big of a deal either way. I'd probably stay with the original type set up the car came with.

Mark
 

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I changed my reservoir for an identical new ZF unit for a Jaguar. Didn't notice any difference though seemed a useful thing to do as managed to junk half the old fluid and dilute it with fresh, as well as having a fresh filter.
The steering damper settings are adjustable. Mine got a bit 'tightened' when a garage changed the big rubber boot. Had planned to take it back to get it reduced a bit but never got round to it and used to it now.
 

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'91 164L 3.0 V6 12V 5-speed, ‘92 164 2.0TS 5-speed
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Discussion Starter · #8 ·
Yeah, now the rack has blown. How are those numbered? Which one is for 1991 L?

And which is better, dampened or not? OE is without dampening but the dampened seems to cost about the same.
 

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Get the damper version. The way the damper facilitates reduction in torque steer is the alignment can be set with less self centering force. This reduces the tendency of the front tires to steer themselves against the caster forces. Without the damper the steering will lack the feel caster generates for the driver.

Just btw you should try to avoid dead steering. The car should be moving before you steer it.
 

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1990 164QV Euro spec & 1991 168B
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Yeah, now the rack has blown. How are those numbered? Which one is for 1991 L?

And which is better, dampened or not? OE is without dampening but the dampened seems to cost about the same.
Go for dampened rack with centering spring if you can find it. Either one you can find for 5-sp manual 164 will work fine. I am guessing you are non-USA located.
 

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Discussion Starter · #11 ·

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The TS would have less weight over the front wheels so less need for a rack damper. I'll bet the power assist is less also. The 164 should handle quite a bit better with a lighter engine.
 

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The TS would have less weight over the front wheels so less need for a rack damper. I'll bet the power assist is less also. The 164 should handle quite a bit better with a lighter engine.
Hi,
Yes the TS does have minimal understeer actually goes neutral steer at speeds above 100kmh. Steering does feel rather 'heavy' very much like 1980s BMWs(for want of a term of reference). My 1994 TS does not have damper type rack but it could hv been replaced before l got this car.
 

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Discussion Starter · #15 ·
Went with original. Now I would decide to get the damped version as this steering is surprisingly vague (and light) when centered. But probably very minor improvements with the damper.
 

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you can adjust some of the lightness and vagueness out with camber. bit of a hassle with a 164 though
 

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The 164 dampered rack when at true center position has 1/2" free play in damper spring cartridge.
 

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"Yes the TS does have minimal understeer actually goes neutral steer at speeds above 100kmh. Steering does feel rather 'heavy' very much like 1980s BMWs(for want of a term of reference). My 1994 TS does not have damper type rack but it could hv been replaced before l got this car. "

I find my 3.0 24v 164 is pretty neutral too. Front only tends to run wide due to feeding in too much power, other than that it handles like a big GTi from the 1980's. According to how you put it into a corner you can choose understeer, oversteer and 4-wheel drifts - all on tap at the limit.
True the 2.0 twinspark, being some 100kg lighter at the front, has the edge in 'chuckability' and it is also a brilliant engine, but it is no Busso V6 and the extra 90+bhp of the 24v more than makes up for it.
 

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Get the damper version. The way the damper facilitates reduction in torque steer is the alignment can be set with less self centering force. This reduces the tendency of the front tires to steer themselves against the caster forces. Without the damper the steering will lack the feel caster generates for the driver.
Can anyone explain how the dampener on the 164-S steering rack can be adjusted? A couple years ago I sent my '92-S' rack (with dampener) to Alfissimo and he had the rack rebuilt. The shop did a fantastic job on the rack but the dampener was removed and returned loose in the box. I reinstalled the dampener on the rack noting that it didn't really seem to have any effect on anything but since the engine was still out of the car I couldn't be sure.

Now, like Richard said the "Front only tends to run wide due to feeding in too much power" and it is a bit scary under full throttle, even in-line! It is point and shoot with constant correction -but not in narrow spaces! It never had this issue before and seems like the dampener is not working anymore.

For comparison, the 164-L automatic that I bought for my son never had an issue with torque steer -even without a dampener. I guess the automatic reduced the power to the drive wheels, making the dampener unnecessary.

Mark
 

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The damper will not affect torque steer very much. By far the biggest influence on torque steer is alignment and only toe is adjustable. The least amount of torque steer will be at very close to zero dynamic toe which requires a little toe out to be set when the car is on the alignment rack. Traction forces pull the front suspension forward a little bit which toes the front wheels in under hard acceleration. That's what you're feeling. Less toe in will improve the feel.

I assume you have stock width tires. Going wider than stock always increases front end wander and it's worse under power.
 
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