Wandering Problem

Hey, I have a unique problem, Long explanation, so bear with me.

When driving at low speed, 20-25 tops, car drives and runs fine.

At any speed if I hit the gas hard it pulls to the left and when I back off or brake it pulls to the right.

At speeds above 35+MPH, if I hit a rut in the road it pulls the car and when I correct, it drives straight for about 2 seconds than darts in the direction I turned without the steering wheel moving.

If I am changing lanes on the freeway and start to change lanes I will start slowly moving right (or left) and move the steering wheel slightly, as I start to move over, the car violently jerks over and i have to steer in the oposite direction to correct.

I have figured on bad alignment, so I got it aligned, no change, no tie-rod to fix the one that was bad, no change, replaced worn out drivers CV, No change.

Checked the front “trailing” arms, (whatever their called) that control the caster angle, they are fine.

Both wheels have no play in them, but I am picking up a weird noise in the front right side, I suspect a bearing, but there is no play in the hub at all, could it be that it is bad, but only exhibits problems at high speed?

I am stumped and am about to replace it just to be safe.

Only other thing I can think is a bad steering rack that only reacts to the pressures of driving, not kicking or pulling by hand on jack stands.

any Ideas???

check your tie rod ends?

if your steering is sloppy and the car won’t maintain an alignment, then it could be your steering rack.

Already got the tie-rod ends, replaced the bad one. like I said, that wasn’t the problem.

The other thing that makes me think it’s the steering rack is when I turn the wheel a little to move in any direction, car moves a little in that direction, move it the same ammount past that, it moves, A LOT in that direction, like there is some slop somewhere in there.

How common is it for the rack to go bad?

i replaced the rack on my 240 about a year ago…when the car couldn’t hold an alignment…it was like night and day…the difference…the 240 had 170k on the original. it had “boots” similar to the axles that had ripped and lost their contents…id say get up under there and inspect it

i havnt done the teg yet, but she needs it, she has slop, but can still stay sraight.

Right on, guess I know what I am doing tomorrow.

Adjust the rack. If you have the helms manual, its section 17 page 18 (17-18).
Might be in need of adjustment, better to try that, then spend money on something that needs to be adjusted, not replaced. The helms says for “Uneven or Rough Steering” to “Adjust the rack guide”.

Post your alignment specs and results both before and after.


Didn’t get the specs, but it’s not alignment.

When your alignment is off and the road pulls your car, the steering wheel moves, it just gets pulled all over the place.

Mine does not, the steering wheel stays perfectly straight and the car wanders left and right, so sometimes going straight the wheel si straight,

sometimes when going straight the wheels is cocked off to one side pretty good.

I am pretty sure there is a steering rack or gearbox issue.

Sorry for bringing up an old thread. I recently just had my rack replaced and tie rods, and i’m having the wandering problem. I’ve adjusted my rack before and tightened it up. My question is, is there anything else I can do tighten up my steering? And can adjusting the rack mess anything up? Any other information would be great. Thanks guys

the few things that cause wandering:
loose joints anywhere in suspension
not enough caster
0 toe could aggrevate the above

The loosening of the rack.
I am sure I missed a few.

Ok, here is a good question! If the steering is supposed to be solid than how come the tie rod ends swivel. I know to allow travel when the suspension moves up and down but still. Also, what effects caster? And my caster is within spec. And i’m far from 0 toe. I’m guessing that since my tires are showing very good signs of camber that could also be a problem. What could cause an alignment to change that dramatically over 2 weeks, so this brings me to needing to replace the stock struts and a whole list of other components right? Haha the list never ends. Thanks

The swivel part is because the bolt part of it connects solidly and doesn’t move, the joint does, and when the suspension travels up and down, it changes it’s location in relation to the height of the rack, so it has to swivel ever so slightly. If you had no suspension, just solid from the wheels to the frame, then you wouldn’t need the swivel of the Tie-Rod end.

Btw, oddly enough, mine was all where I was driving. It was the amount of camber I was running and the fact that all 3 places I was testing were screwed up. the stretch of freeway, the main road near my house and the main drag through town, all had ruts from semi-trucks. As soon as I drove on a nice new road, no more wandering at all. It was all camber (within specs) and crappy roads.

camber with wider tires will make your car wander a bit. but your steering will move with it. you wont have the loose feeling.

Yeah, my auto DA has the problem of giving it gas, pulls left, letting off, pulls right.

I think its the drive axle being bad.

My other DA, the black one, has a 249k old rack, new tie rods and ball joints, is lowered and has bad alignment, but doesnt pull on accel.

What we’re experiencing here, I think, is torque steer from a bad axle. I’ll replace mine and tell you all whats up.