You are here

HQ statesman steering/suspension issue

Seasons greetings Old Holdeners.

Hopefully someone here can provide some ideas/solutions/insight to steering issues.
1973 DeVille 308 auto, done 67,500km (whether that makes any difference or not. 15,000km in last 2.5 years in which ive owned it)

I took a hold of my vehicle last week, after it had front upper/lower arm bushes and sway bar bushes replaced (im told the engineering outfit that replaced the arm bushes had a nightmare of a job removing the old bushes. 1/2 day or more and nearly gave up).

while it was apart, i had them install new 2 inch lowered V8 springs (front only, which i supplied) they replaced the old shocks with new shocks that they sourced, shortened so im told. had to cut out a gap in lower arm to get them aftermarket shocks out as they were too fat to slide out as they normally should. (from what i researched, a common issue?) no idea how they were slid in.

also asked them to have a look into the slight steering wheel "looseness" that ive felt when driving/cruising and could they could take it out. It wasn't much and always has been there since ive owned it. yet safe enough to drive at 100km and beyond. but you know, while its all there out and can be looked at, why not have it sorted.
so from what i gather steering wise, they did the idler, all ball joints, tie rod ends, centre link (i know it all cost an arm n leg to be done).... had a wheel alignment.

but damn, im sure the steering is more "loose" than is was prior. its almost as if i feel anxious sitting at 100km on straight M/W, even at 50km/hr in streets. like the car would wander slightly, noticeably with a lane width at 100km/hr. hmm, gust of wind is kind of scary.

when parked on flat without power steering/engine running, i can easily move the steering wheel back n forth 40mm+ before any movement of the front wheels.

something must be incorrectly aligned, loose, damaged while worked on, etc but where to start to look myself?. im convinced it is worse then it was. def doesnt feel like the lounge suite cruiser it was beforehand.

this outfit only works on older vehicles, aussie, american etc, so i was expecting a nice tight wheel.

long winded sorry.

cheers

Model: 
Topic: 
Engine: 

Comments

Sounds like a worn steering box.
With all the work they've done it could show the bad steering box up even more now that just about everything else is now.
have you got wide wheels on it? Early Holdens can tramline (follow cracks and faults in the road) with wider wheels. Hq might do it as well.
Just because they only work on older vehicles doesn't mean the mob you took it to is any good. I'd try another smaller, privately owned shop for a second opinion.
David

  • Like0
  • no like0
  • Holdenpaedia idea0
  • Funny0
  • Wrong Category0
Please use, Holdenpaedia will get the first box on the left side. Post any suggestions.

gee it sounds like you had a lot done..and should expect it to be like new - any of those things could be your problem including wheel bearings and excessive play in the steering box. I'd be taking it back and asking them to check everything. Another option may be to have the steering and suspension checked independently and if anything they have done you can take it back. What did they actually do re the steering play? Were they new springs you provided? If they replaced the shocks and wishbone bushes why did they have to cut anything to remove the shocks - you would think they could have removed the lower mounting? I've had a few Statesman's not HQ but HZs and WBs and with many many more Kms than yours and they have handled and steered very well..so you def should expect much better than you describe. Good luck.

  • Like0
  • no like0
  • Holdenpaedia idea0
  • Funny0
  • Wrong Category0
Please use, Holdenpaedia will get the first box on the left side. Post any suggestions.

Andrew

The lowered springs and short shocks will make it ride harsh and take away a lot of the 'lounge suite cruiser' feel it had before but it should handle ok, leaving the std springs in the back may upset things a bit. The kirby bishop power steering boxes in these can't really be adjusted without specialised equipment that most general workshops don't have, realistically if they have play they need to be rebuilt. Many of the parts you mentioned shouldn't have needed replacing if the car only has 67500kms on it. The rubber parts that have deteriorated from age, sure, but otherwise they would have been replaced with new parts that are inferior quality to unworn originals.

  • Like0
  • no like0
  • Holdenpaedia idea0
  • Funny0
  • Wrong Category0
Please use, Holdenpaedia will get the first box on the left side. Post any suggestions.

just because the parts are new doesnt mean they are any good. i bought a new idler arm for my daughters hr of ebay and the bloody thing had more play than the old one.even the wheel alignment guy said i better get a new one(he thought i had painted the old one !)

  • Like0
  • no like0
  • Holdenpaedia idea0
  • Funny0
  • Wrong Category0
Please use, Holdenpaedia will get the first box on the left side. Post any suggestions.

I once left the steering coupling loose or it came loose and the car wondered and steered as you describe check that first? You maybe lucky

  • Like0
  • no like0
  • Holdenpaedia idea0
  • Funny0
  • Wrong Category0
Please use, Holdenpaedia will get the first box on the left side. Post any suggestions.

Get up that ladder grandpa your only 66.

thanks for info.

looks like best thing is to have it checked out independently, even just a look.
i would expect the play to be the same as before or rectified to drive like new.
mind you, the workshop "boy" did the job.
im not sure they even tested it. gave me the vehicle back with the steering wheel 45 degrees out. so when driving straight, the steering wheel was out of whack.

difficult to find a decent mechanic these days!

im no mechanic, but as said above. given the vehicle only done 67,500km, i think the steering box/major components would be fine. no big fat wheels on the front, 205/14 tridents or standard 215/14s

the rubbers had deteriorated due to age, so i got them replaced. i think they "killed" the ball joints/tie rod ends pulling stuff apart. owner said lower ball joints were stuffed, the boy said he killed them whilst separating the arms from the stub axle.

i might even climb underneath this arvo to have a look, which is a job in itself being a quadriplegic.
i wanted it all sorted to go summer/New Years cruising.. yet it gonna sit in the shed..........i shouldve left it alone :(

  • Like0
  • no like0
  • Holdenpaedia idea0
  • Funny0
  • Wrong Category0
Please use, Holdenpaedia will get the first box on the left side. Post any suggestions.

Cheers
Quadzilla

I've got similar amount of movement in the steering wheel doing the same test that you described above (WB Statesman) so I would not be concerned about that. My steering and handling is very good and very reassuring up to highway speeds. It's done 320,000km so a bit more than yours. I have the complete history, the front shockers, lower ball joints, idler arm and wish bone bushes (top and bottom) were replaced at 15 years age (190K). The upper and lower bushes were replaced again as well as the steering box at 24 years age (240K). I replaced the original front and rear springs recently with 40mm lowered ones for cosmetic reasons and didn't kill the lower ball joints in doing so. If your car has a genuine low Km, other than the bushes which can deteriorate with age, the rest should have been good unless some kind of damage..could it be the characteristic of a HQ Statesman handling you are experiencing? My stock HR for instance is a shocker in comparison to the WB - but it has the original 51 year old springs, ball joints and steering box...I did replace the original front shockers though because one of them had a broken mount - it didn't improve the handling but eliminated the knocking ... would be interested in hearing some feedback if you get it checked out...

  • Like0
  • no like0
  • Holdenpaedia idea0
  • Funny0
  • Wrong Category0
Please use, Holdenpaedia will get the first box on the left side. Post any suggestions.

Andrew

I read the OP questions the other day and later went to the shed to check freeplay in my own HQ statesman. The vehicle isn't registered and has not driven on the road for over 12 years or so. From memory it drove well back then and I had no particular issues with wandering steering - all standard setup, tyres, wheels, power steer unit, etc.

Anyway see attached pic for the results I got. Measurements from eyeball. The term freeplay in this case means the distance moved before the wheels began to turn. In both directions, left and right, there was slight and increasing resistance up to about 10 degrees where the steering became heavy and the wheels moved.

I don't know if that helps but for your purposes I think it might act as a guide for a standard setup and what could be considered to be "normally" expected.

And about the suspension setup - with the weight distribution of a V8 Statesman, heavy in the front with no load in the back, rear wheel drive, you've probably got it about right. I'd go like you have, stiff and low in the front, high and soft in the rear. Of course that's just a generalisation.

Good luck with the project.

AttachmentSize
File steering_freeplay_hq_statesman.bmp529.64 KB
  • Like0
  • no like0
  • Holdenpaedia idea0
  • Funny0
  • Wrong Category0
Please use, Holdenpaedia will get the first box on the left side. Post any suggestions.

looks about the same freeplay, maybe mine a bit more currently.
before the steering components upgrade, it didnt feel as bad. maybe the new gear & wheel alignment shows the freeplay up better. as i never checked it beforehand. just felt slight freeplay.

as for suspension setup, i dont know yet. have not tested it. doesnt feel safe at 100km/hr+ lol.

reason i lowered front was because it sat alot higher than the rear, looked ugly. now it sits flat. yet all the statesman sales brochures show them sitting flat, not high fronts.
at some stage probably put the super lows in the rear to match and get originals reset to factory.

thing is, ill prob have to go back to standard wheels, as the rear has 8inch tridents with 245s which rub on the guard trim with full tank of gas or a couple of passengers otherwise go to 235s or have 5mm skimmed of the backspace if thats possible.
my nice 352 yokohamas will be shredded lol

  • Like0
  • no like0
  • Holdenpaedia idea0
  • Funny0
  • Wrong Category0
Please use, Holdenpaedia will get the first box on the left side. Post any suggestions.

Cheers
Quadzilla

You will probably find that some IDIOT, that has no idea, tried to adjust the steering box, and [Naughty Pottyword]ed it..
Hint, you cannot properly adjust the steering boxes with them still in the car, it is a multi pronged adjustment, on several settings, to adjust them correctly

  • Like1
  • no like0
  • Holdenpaedia idea0
  • Funny0
  • Wrong Category0
Please use, Holdenpaedia will get the first box on the left side. Post any suggestions.

Cheers
John
:o)

Dislike me for who I am you may, like me for whom I'm not, you never will...
MY SHED

good info thanks
just had it looked at today. apparently there is movement in the arm/rod that comes out of the steering box. everything else is nice n tight.

so they say it is most likely the needle roller bearing.
hopefully that sounds about right.. and easy/non full rebuild of box

  • Like0
  • no like0
  • Holdenpaedia idea0
  • Funny0
  • Wrong Category0
Please use, Holdenpaedia will get the first box on the left side. Post any suggestions.

Cheers
Quadzilla

Add new comment

Filtered HTML

  • Allowed HTML tags: <a> <strike> <blink> <i> <u> <br> <b>
  • Filtered words will be replaced with the filtered version of the word.
  • Lines and paragraphs break automatically.
  • Web page addresses and e-mail addresses turn into links automatically.

Plain text

  • Allowed HTML tags: <a> <em> <strong> <cite> <blockquote> <code> <ul> <ol> <li> <dl> <dt> <dd>
  • No HTML tags allowed.
  • Filtered words will be replaced with the filtered version of the word.
  • Web page addresses and e-mail addresses turn into links automatically.
  • Lines and paragraphs break automatically.
Comment attachments
Files must be less than 100 MB.
Allowed file types: jpg jpeg gif png txt pdf bmp mov mp4 mp3 avi.
CAPTCHA
This question is used to make sure you are a human visitor and to prevent spam submissions. Email rusty@oldholden.com if you have a problem.
  • Like0
  • no like0
  • Holdenpaedia idea0
  • Funny0
  • Wrong Category0
Please use, Holdenpaedia will get the first box on the left side. Post any suggestions.