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Bovien

All New Parts, Still Vague Steering

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Bovien

Hi all

 

I've replaced all suspension parts with original Peugeot Sport dampers, OEM spec suspension arms, eibach springs and renovated te rear beam.

 

The old 205GTI rides like a new car, but my steering is still rather vague around the center and 10-15 degrees to both sides. Now, I don't have a reference to driving other GTI's but I feel certain that a healthy example should steer rather direct. Am I right?

 

I've read about wrong dampers in the back (black bilsteins) can result in this, but I wouldn't think Peugeot Sport would do this?

 

Only place I can think is to look at the steering rack. I have no apparent play in the ball joints, so am I right? What should I be looking for?

 

Thanks!

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flipperthebushkangaroo

Any play in the rest of the running gear? mine went a bit strange and it was down to the front wishbones.

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farmer

Wishbone bushes as stated above maybe.

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dave richards

if it is the standard manual rack check the spring and piston behind that puts pressure on the pinion as i found mine was stuck and no pressure being applied this gave a similar situation to the one you describe with free movement in the rack

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Miles

Have you checked the Caster, Toe, Camber on the front, Some 205's are just plain bad, others even with worn out suspension drive very well

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Bovien

Any play in the rest of the running gear? mine went a bit strange and it was down to the front wishbones.

Wishbones are 100% new

 

Wishbone bushes as stated above maybe.

New wishbones, so bushes should not be a problem

 

if it is the standard manual rack check the spring and piston behind that puts pressure on the pinion as i found mine was stuck and no pressure being applied this gave a similar situation to the one you describe with free movement in the rack

Standard manual rack. Will see if I can figure what you are referring to. I'm guessing its kind of easy when I get down there? Any pics or tips on how to check as well as fix?

 

Have you checked the Caster, Toe, Camber on the front, Some 205's are just plain bad, others even with worn out suspension drive very well

Only toe settings on a 205 AFIR. But yep, they have been set by a reputable shop.

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Anthony

Steering rack or worn lower column would be my guess if it's vagueness in the steering and the toe is definitely correct. I've seen both cause it.

 

You're correct in saying that only the toe is (officially) adjustable, but it's worth getting the whole lot checked (most 4 wheel alignment machines will give a printout) to see whether everything is in spec and equal side to side. Plenty of bent or tired cars out there that just won't drive "right" because the geometry is all over the place, despite all the parts being new.

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Bovien

Steering rack or worn lower column would be my guess if it's vagueness in the steering and the toe is definitely correct. I've seen both cause it.

 

You're correct in saying that only the toe is (officially) adjustable, but it's worth getting the whole lot checked (most 4 wheel alignment machines will give a printout) to see whether everything is in spec and equal side to side. Plenty of bent or tired cars out there that just won't drive "right" because the geometry is all over the place, despite all the parts being new.

 

Lower column? So it's worn teeth on the column itself? I'm feeling it around center and can't help to think that the gti should have a lively turn in.

 

Here are the results of the recent alignment. Lower part are the current settings. They should be all good.

 

https://dl.dropboxusercontent.com/u/10531966/Pug/Alignment%20after%20suspention%20change.jpg

Edited by Bovien

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Gman

I had the same problems as you Bovien, albeit in a power steering car - vague and light steering from 10-2 O'clock and then with much better feel thereafter.

 

I fitted new wishbone bushes, top strut bearings, droplinks, Bilstein shocks and the problem remained. However, I changed to a Xsara VTS quickrack and the steering has been transformed!

 

I test drove an elise 111r on the weekend, and the 205 had so much better feel.

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Alan_M

Check for play in the column knuckles and the clamp is tight (upper to lower column). Be careful getting a new replacement column, if required, as some are poor quality.

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Bovien

I had the same problems as you Bovien, albeit in a power steering car - vague and light steering from 10-2 O'clock and then with much better feel thereafter.

 

I fitted new wishbone bushes, top strut bearings, droplinks, Bilstein shocks and the problem remained. However, I changed to a Xsara VTS quickrack and the steering has been transformed!

 

I test drove an elise 111r on the weekend, and the 205 had so much better feel.

Wow! Feel comparable to an elise? I've driven my friends S2 SC Elise and that just feels so incredibly tight. Right now, my GTIs steering feel is way, way worse than my other car - a mkiv supra - and that is not nearly as sharp as the Elise. I'll look more into that.

 

Was the Xsara VTS quickrack stock or is it an aftermarket kit? How is the installation? Does anyone know if a 205gti with a new rack will be just as good?

 

Check for play in the column knuckles and the clamp is tight (upper to lower column). Be careful getting a new replacement column, if required, as some are poor quality.

 

Will do, and will only get original part as far as possible.

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Anthony

Does anyone know if a 205gti with a new rack will be just as good?

You don't need a new rack, merely one that isn't knackered.

 

Indeed, be careful some reconditioned racks are quite poor.

 

The steering on a 205 should be precise and responsive, and have plenty of feel and feedback - if it's vague or inprecise, then there's something amiss. It doesn't have to be a Xsara VTS rack - the benefit of those is that they've a quicker rack with less turns lock to lock compared to the 205/309 steering racks (Xsara VTS is 2.4/2.6 turns depending on age, whereas 205/309 is 3.9 for non-PAS and 3.2 for PAS models)

 

I couldn't back up his comments as to whether the steering feel is as good as an Elise as it's been a while since I've driven one, but certainly it's good enough that it makes the steering on most modern cars feel inert and lifeless.

 

I drove Gman's car with the old rack and it was awful frankly, and really did ruin what was otherwise a very nice car. I'm not surprised that having replaced it he's now in awe - getting back into my own 205 immediately after driving his was a revelation, night and day difference, and I'm sure you'll think the same once yours is sorted :)

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Bovien

Thanke mate

 

Do you - by any chance - know which racks I have available to choose from, should i want a direct fit in the 205 but are quicker steering (less lock to lock)?

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309jazzpanda

If yours is non power steering, upgrade to a power steering rack and don't fit the power steering set up.

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Rock Lobster

Mine has the same feeling after fitting a manual rack due to excess play. I think it just has too many turns lock to lock and seems to be hard work on tight corners. My worn PAS rack felt better! I am currently on the lookout for a Xsara VTS rack to quicken it up a bit and to hopefully get rid of that deadspot.

 

I should add that the entire front end set up is also brand new.

Edited by Rock Lobster

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Bovien

It's really hard finding these parts in DK :(

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farmer

Speak to lars madson he works for erik madom. He may be able to help

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Anthony

If yours is non power steering, upgrade to a power steering rack and don't fit the power steering set up.

Mine has the same feeling after fitting a manual rack due to excess play. I think it just has too many turns lock to lock and seems to be hard work on tight corners. My worn PAS rack felt better! I am currently on the lookout for a Xsara VTS rack to quicken it up a bit and to hopefully get rid of that deadspot.

The comparitive slow speed of a non-PAS rack is one issue, but it's not the one that Bovien is describing.

 

Even a non-PAS rack with its slow 3.9 turns lock to lock should feel responsive and precise around straight ahead. My 1.9 GTi still has a non-PAS rack fitted, but it's a joy to use and is wonderfully tight, precise and feelsome, responding instantly as you move the wheel just a fraction off center (helped in part by running the tracking fairly agressively for a road car at 0 toe). It's just that tighter turns start needing armfuls of lock to be wound on due to the slow gearing.

 

My other 205 and my 306 both have a Mk1 Xsara VTS PAS rack fitted, so I'm well aware of the benefits of a quicker rack.

 

The issue that Bovien is describing is something more akin to driving an old car/bus with a steering box, where it's horribly vague and disconnected around straight ahead until you've turned the wheel sufficiently away from straight ahead to take up the slack (for use of a better word) in the steering, after which it will then turn as normal. You can literally go down the motorway "sawing" the wheel left and right a few degrees and the car will keep going straight.

 

Replacing the rack for a quicker one might well fix the issue, but that's because you've replaced the rack and UJ (the chances being that one of them is at fault), not because you've put a quicker rack in.

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309jazzpanda

My thought with the pas rack is it is a quicker rack if that is what is wanted,my steering I also feeling very vague of late, uj is good and no play in the rack arms, but the tracking is way off so fix that tomorrow and see if it gets better

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Bovien

Speak to lars madson he works for erik madom. He may be able to help

Thanks, but can't find anything. Is your spelling correct?

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farmer

No it's wrong

 

Erik Maibom is the correct spelling

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Crescent205

What bushes have you used in the bottom arms? 205's dont like poly bushes as they have no memory like rubber and squash the instant you do some hard cornering. In the last 10 years of rallying my 205 i've found out that Genuine Peugeot bushes are the way forward.

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Bovien

No it's wrong

 

Erik Maibom is the correct spelling

 

Ok, thanks. I'll check that out

 

What bushes have you used in the bottom arms? 205's dont like poly bushes as they have no memory like rubber and squash the instant you do some hard cornering. In the last 10 years of rallying my 205 i've found out that Genuine Peugeot bushes are the way forward.

Stock Peugeot Sport. Dampers are completely new from Peugeot Sport

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S@m

Just one small question since I have a similar problem at the moment, i have some genuine tie rods/rod ends ready to be fitted since there is definitely play in one of them, but i also have a 306 S16 rack i could fit, i am aware that its not going to be 2.4 turns like a Xsara/ZX but does anyone know how many turns it would be?

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Anthony

From memory, S16's use the same PAS rack as other 306's (other than GTi-6) and are broadly similar to a 205/309 PAS rack at 3.2 turns (give or take).

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