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Discussion Starter #1
Hi, i'm on the verge of becoming a new Alfa 105 owner (1971 1750 GTV I believe) and I have been slowly counting down my inspection list on what to look for when buying a 1750. With help from forum members, i'm almost there.

Today I drove said vehicle, and noticed a LOT of wheel play. I'm talking literally like you would see in old movies, where the driver is driving a car with the screen running in the background and he's moving his hands left and right, while actually driving straight. That came out very odd for a car known for reputable handling. Since this would be my first classic car, my expectations are what the norm is for you owners.

-The owner recently replaced all 6 ball joints. So I'm assuming loose pitman arms, loose steering box as the possible faults. I'll be heading with him to the repair shop to remove the steering column and assembly to check/fix the issue.

My question (and a swift response would of utmost importance :)) How much steering wheel play is NORMAL, for these cars....

Much Appreciated, thanks!
 

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Mine probably has less than an inch.....

Steve
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Usually not much play at all. Check the large castellated nut that holds the Pitman arm on - they get loose, but usually don't drop off ....
Chris
 

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How much steering wheel play is NORMAL, for these cars....
In a word?

ZERO

With the amount of play you have, something major is going on. Like the steering box is cracked/broken, the box mounting bolts are way loose, the chassis is cracked where the box mounts. I've seen the box top plate bolts so loose as to cause this as well.
 

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Discussion Starter #5
****... :( I assumed something similiar, just was hoping not to hear it I guess..

I hope its something along the lines of "something loose" rather than more serious results...but i'll be finding out tommorow, and i'll take some photos as well for trained eyes to peek and hopefully maybe point out any observable issues.. -I'm in Istanbul, Turkey and the way and manner in which these cars are taken care of (even by "collectors and enthusiasts) is deplorable...being only 1 of 4 1750 GTV's in Turkey, it would be a rare buy, but i'm guessing it might be wiser to pass on it if the box is broken, or especially if the chassis is cracked...

Thanks to all! (especially Papajam, as you can see i'm not caring about the year of the car anymore, i have bigger issues!)...

More to follow tommorow....
 

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A very worn tie rod end can give a lot of slop too, though I wouldn't expect many inches of play as a result. I just replaced a worn end on a VW bus and took up about 2" of play at the steering wheel rim. It was an OEM VW part, so I'm guessing it was original from 1971, with 189,000 miles on it. They're not meant to last that long.
Someone with experience, even a hobby or maybe especially a hobbyist, should take a look.
Andrew
 

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Discussion Starter #7
A very worn tie rod end can give a lot of slop too, though I wouldn't expect many inches of play as a result. I just replaced a worn end on a VW bus and took up about 2" of play at the steering wheel rim. It was an OEM VW part, so I'm guessing it was original from 1971, with 189,000 miles on it. They're not meant to last that long.
Someone with experience, even a hobby or maybe especially a hobbyist, should take a look.
Andrew
To be honest, there really isn't anyone here in Istanbul that would qualify as such. My "experienced, hobby, hobbyist" are the members on this site :). I myself have limited knowledge and experience when it comes to classic cars (still trying to get used to the very heavy steering) and the troubles that occur with such automobiles.

The car itself was imported in '93 and I am shocked beyond belief how the 2 owners who had this car since, and especially the last owner could have driven it in this condition. But as I had previously said in another thread, he was claiming it to be a '67 till I checked the chassis number and corrected him of it being a '71. So I don't expect much from him, or the mechanics he's been taking them to. I still have to run a compression test on the engine, and see how i could get the tach needle calibrated - it vibrates a lot as well) before I can put my final assessment on it.

I'll even try to post a video of the steering assembly with it on the lift, while moving the steering wheel...
 

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...classic cars (still trying to get used to the very heavy steering)
You should not have very heavy steering. Heavy steering will be caused by one or more of (a) too much caster (adjust the caster control arms and then the toe-in) (b) not enough air in the tyres (I use 40/38 PSI, but you should have at least 34/32 F/R) (c) no tread left on the tyres or (d) some other serious breakage or damage in the steering system.
 

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Discussion Starter #9
You should not have very heavy steering. Heavy steering will be caused by one or more of (a) too much caster (adjust the caster control arms and then the toe-in) (b) not enough air in the tyres (I use 40/38 PSI, but you should have at least 34/32 F/R) (c) no tread left on the tyres or (d) some other serious breakage or damage in the steering system.
Sorry, what I meant by heavy steering was it being non-power assist steering (like the heavyness felt during parking and low speeds compared to a modern car) not when regular driving... I'm assuming what I just described would be normal. However, i'll have what you listed checked as well, can't be too safe..thanks!
 

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You should not have very heavy steering. Heavy steering will be caused by one or more of (a) too much caster (adjust the caster control arms and then the toe-in) (b) not enough air in the tyres (I use 40/38 PSI, but you should have at least 34/32 F/R) (c) no tread left on the tyres or (d) some other serious breakage or damage in the steering system.
(e) very wide and sticky tyres.... Resulting in a cracked steering box mount or two....

AP
 

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Discussion Starter #11
Just got back from the mechanic with the owner. Turns out the bolts on the steering wheel column were VERY loose. Apparently, after installing the new ball joints (done 2 days ago) the mechanic didn't tighten them up properly :eek: ...goes to show what I'm dealing out here..

After tightening them up, the play in the steering wheel reduced significantly to about an 1 inch or so play...which i attribute to worn out steering components, and stuff that I can replace in time...

Thanks to all for your insights, i'm one step closer to becoming a member of the club!
 
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