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Old 17th July 2008, 19:45   #1
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Thumbs up Steering suddenly got real tight...Repaired !

Hi,

Progressively over the last few days, the steering (power Scorpio 2005) started getting tighter and jamming at the 10 o clock & 4 o clock...

Fearing an 'out' rack pinion, I proceeded to look through the system from ball joints to the steering column.

Turns out that (1) the right wheel spindle lower ball joint had 'failed' and was restricting the movement of the wheel and (2) the u lower joint on the steering shaft had also 'failed' resulting in the intermittent jamming.

Changed all 4 ball joints and thh entire steering shaft with the 2 u joints.

All well now and drives real smooth.

Just thought I'd share this info with you'll incase any one runs into similar situation.

Regards.
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Old 17th July 2008, 22:11   #2
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Any reason why this jamming happened or what caused it?
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Old 18th July 2008, 12:02   #3
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Quote:
Originally Posted by gd1418 View Post
Any reason why this jamming happened or what caused it?
Hi gd1418,

Keeping in mind that these units (ball joints & u-joints) both are sealed ie. No greasing nipples :

I figure either
(a) pure manufacturing defect, though unlikely...
(b) the previous owner drove through water, submerging the joints in water and never bothered to get the servicing done oil spray etc.) resulting in rust formation. This view owing to the fact that its both the lower joints and they would get submerged in not too deep water.
(c) the previous owner just never bothered to get the servicing done oil spray etc. at all ever.

I myself was surprised cause, I alway found that joints get play in them, not get jammed.

Your views?
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Old 20th July 2008, 12:58   #4
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Well, over a period of time, with wear & tear and the kind of stress the suspension parts undergo, generally 'play' in the joints increase thus resulting in all rattling etc. But sometimes due to rust, dirt etc. the joints also get jammed and need replacement. It once happened in my Safari and the PS became very heavy, resulting in replacement of certain parts..

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Hi gd1418,

I myself was surprised cause, I alway found that joints get play in them, not get jammed.

Your views?
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Old 20th July 2008, 13:39   #5
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Now that the ball joints and u joint is 'free' another issue has surfaced...There is a 'rattle' in the steering column on mild bumps, like rumble strips. This was probably hidden since there wasn't adequate movement in the shaft on acount of the ball joints and u joint 'locking' the movement.

Have already checked the u joint holding bolts on the steering column and now am going to look into the rack pinion bush and the steering column bush.

The woes of a 'used' vehicle...! Makes me wonder how people can maintain their vehicles the way they do...But then, for them its 'just a car', or a visual 'status symbol' or a way getting from point a to b...Not a passion.
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Old 25th July 2008, 12:41   #6
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Thumbs up Runs like new !

Quote:
Originally Posted by Mohnish View Post
...There is a 'rattle' in the steering column on mild bumps, like rumble strips...
Ok its done !!! Turned out to be the steering column shaft holding bolts. They were loose. Amazing how a small thing like that can really ruin driving pleasure...and also make a hole in your wallet if you went to the wrong mechanic.

So now the Scorp runs like new . No rattles, smooth engine etc etc really pleased !

Really pleased with this whole business of successfully getting back to how it should have been running.
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Old 25th July 2008, 13:24   #7
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Mohnish, how many kms did this happen?

In my case, I have chnaged the steering column at around 145,000 kms, but apart from tie rod end rubber replacements, not touched the steering.

Did the sterring vibrate once it became loose? I too am facing some problems (sounds) which I have been trying hard to diagnose. Noticed that the U joint looks a litle loose but may be also due to the flexible rubber at that point.
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Old 25th July 2008, 19:25   #8
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Mohnish, how many kms did this happen?
Hi hvkumar,

Happened at 43K...But for me, thats when I purchased the car from previous 2 owners...So can't say how they have maintained the vehicle, but looking at the joints etc. it seems that the previous owner never serviced at all...dry joints, jammed ball joints etc etc.

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In my case, I have chnaged the steering column at around 145,000 kms, but apart from tie rod end rubber replacements, not touched the steering.
I dont understand, how could you have changed the steering column and not touched the steering ? Or do you mean you changed the u joints in the column but left the steering bush and rack pinion alone?

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Did the sterring vibrate once it became loose? I too am facing some problems (sounds) which I have been trying hard to diagnose. Noticed that the U joint looks a litle loose but may be also due to the flexible rubber at that point.
Yep there was a kind of jarring shock on rumble strips and rough roads felt in the steering wheel coming through the column...that turned out to be the u clamps being loose that hold the column (its under the dash). You could have a look at them and tighten them.

Another possibility is that your steering column bush has worn out...could be replaced, and its not a major job.

As a last resort, also have a mech look at your rack pinion bush...it could be worn out...unlikely though.

So, to recap and simplify, in your case I would check as follows:

(1) The steering column holding u clamps (under the dash) and tighten them...replace the rubber bush if they seem to be worn out.
(2) Recheck the holding bolts on the u joints on the steering column in case they are not tight.
(3) If the above fails then check the rack pinion bushes.
(4) While you are checking the rack pinion bushes also check if there is 'too much' play in the rack pinion.

The above 4 checks should'nt take a seasoned mech over an hour at the most.

Hope this helps.
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Old 25th July 2008, 20:39   #9
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Thanks, MOhnish, for the detailed check list.

I changed only the steering column because of the play in the bearings. The rest of the steering assembly was left untouched. Work took less than 1 hour.

As you suggestt, I suspect that the steering column holding clamps under the dash must be loose since I have been unable to trace some thumping sounds in that area. Besides, as I mentioned, he U joints are also loose which need tightening.

My steering column was changed hardly 5,000 kms away, but I was unhappy with the workmanship at the Mahindra's company-owned workkshop - NBS International - at Sewree, Bombay - which is the worst experience I have ever had with Mahinfdras so far.
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Old 25th July 2008, 22:53   #10
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Quote:
Originally Posted by hvkumar View Post
Thanks, MOhnish, for the detailed check list.
Anytime.

Quote:
Originally Posted by hvkumar View Post
I changed only the steering column because of the play in the bearings. The rest of the steering assembly was left untouched. Work took less than 1 hour.

As you suggestt, I suspect that the steering column holding clamps under the dash must be loose since I have been unable to trace some thumping sounds in that area. Besides, as I mentioned, he U joints are also loose which need tightening.
I found that when the steering column needs a change (as in both our cases) the steering column holding clamps have aready got a bit of play in them (owing to the weakened u joints in the column) and need to be tightened.

Quote:
Originally Posted by hvkumar View Post
My steering column was changed hardly 5,000 kms away, but I was unhappy with the workmanship at the Mahindra's company-owned workkshop - NBS International - at Sewree, Bombay - which is the worst experience I have ever had with Mahinfdras so far.
Yes, I have been there, but only for a look around...never did any work from them. Its possible they have left the u joints loose (you never know).

All the best. Hope it gets sorted out.

Last edited by Mohnish : 25th July 2008 at 23:03.
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