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Steering and Brakes

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Jjtxaz View Drop Down
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote Jjtxaz Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Topic: Steering and Brakes
    Posted: Apr/19/2018 at 10:02am
2 questions... might sound stupid but...I've also already looked in the TM.

1) my steering wheel is not center to look aesthetically pleasing. I tried removing the nut to rotate it left but when I did that nothing budged. I looked in the manual and didnt see anything about the steering wheel itself? Do I need to get it aligned like modern cars or can i make the adjustment myself on the steering column?

2) going to adjust my drums this weekend because as I drive I hear a metallic noise scrapping. I followed the troubleshooting path and it might be as simple as adjusting them or needing new hardware and good cleaning. While I'm in there I wanna bleed the brakes. What type of fluid do these master cylinders need/take?

Thanks again for your help in advance. Soon as i get my post count up I'll post a proper thread and show off the new to me 1969 AMC Rambler...
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rocklandrambler View Drop Down
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote rocklandrambler Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: Apr/19/2018 at 10:16am
First of all. what YEAR and MODEL car are you working with?

1) When you say you removed the nut to rotate the wheel are you talking about the nut that holds the wheel on?  Just removing the nut won't do anything since the steering wheel fits onto a splined shaft.  Make sure the front wheels are pointing straight ahead.  Remove the nut and get yourself a steering wheel puller from a local auto supply store.  Remove the wheel and orientate it correctly and then put it back on the shaft.  Replace the nut.

2) Most AMC's have self adjusting brakes which activate when you're in reverse.  Try driving the car back and forth a few times applying the brakes at the end.  See if this helps.  If not, consult the TSM on how to adjust the brakes manually.  DOT 3 brake fluid will work fine.
Past AMC's
1974 Hornet X (new)
1975 Gremlin X (new)
1964 Classic 660 Cross Country
1965 American 440-H
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AfterhoursFab View Drop Down
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote AfterhoursFab Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: Apr/19/2018 at 10:26am
How far is the wheel off? If its only a small amount then removing the steering wheel might be too much. You may want to look into adjusting the tie rods to center it as well.

The brakes may be rusty and not self adjusting at all, you may want to pull it apart and check. If not, then at least you can adjust them properly while youre in there.
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Jjtxaz View Drop Down
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote Jjtxaz Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: Apr/19/2018 at 11:47am
Originally posted by rocklandrambler rocklandrambler wrote:

First of all. what YEAR and MODEL car are you working with?

1) When you say you removed the nut to rotate the wheel are you talking about the nut that holds the wheel on?  Just removing the nut won't do anything since the steering wheel fits onto a splined shaft.  Make sure the front wheels are pointing straight ahead.  Remove the nut and get yourself a steering wheel puller from a local auto supply store.  Remove the wheel and orientate it correctly and then put it back on the shaft.  Replace the nut.

2) Most AMC's have self adjusting brakes which activate when you're in reverse.  Try driving the car back and forth a few times applying the brakes at the end.  See if this helps.  If not, consult the TSM on how to adjust the brakes manually.  DOT 3 brake fluid will work fine.




It is a 1969 AMC Ramble, I mentioned it at the end of the post.

1) yeah I just removed the nut and it didn't move. I didn't know about the spline. I will look into that tool and get it done.

2) I drove it to and from work, about 40-60 miles both days Sunday and Monday. Didn't hit reverse much but definitely got some miles on it. Sound was still there at the end of the day...
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billd View Drop Down
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote billd Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: Apr/19/2018 at 12:48pm
Never "adjust" the wheel by removing and turning it on the shaft - you throw the steering box off center,, there's a high point, etc. It gets technical but honestly, ONLY center the wheel by turning the tie rod sleeves. Aim the WHEELS or TIRES staight - the wheel will be off. 
If the wheel is pointed to the right when the tires are straight, you need to turn the right tie rod sleeve so that you LENGTHEN the right tie rod assembly and turn the LEFT tie rod sleeve exactly the same amount to SHORTED the left tie rod assembly.
If the wheel is off then your toe is likely off and you are simply making it look better while you tear up tires and wear steering and suspension parts....... any time you have an issue like that it's a symptom of a problem, not just a cosmetic thing. 
Unless the last person to align that car was a dope and didn't center the wheel, it means you have wear and/or the alignment is off.
Anyway - never pull the wheel and turn it to make it centered - you are asking for other issues down the road. the steering box is made a certain way..........
Any other advice is, well, I don't want to be on the same road if that's how problems are solved. Sorry, but there's real honest reasons to NOT adjust it with pulling the wheel (and some can't be turned as the spines are indexed... FOR A REASON - to keep people from doing what you are contemplating!)
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S Curry View Drop Down
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote S Curry Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: Apr/19/2018 at 12:56pm
Get the alignment checked. Bill is right about how the steering gear works. If you are not familiar with brakes, have someone who is. If you can't steer it or stop it, you'll wreck it.....
SC
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purple72Gremlin View Drop Down
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote purple72Gremlin Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: Apr/19/2018 at 1:04pm
As above....get it aligned. And take it to a shop that knows what they are doing. And you better check your brakes closely. Dont cut corners on either the brakes or steering. If you lose your brakes... its scary and needless to say dangerous....
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Buzzman72 View Drop Down
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote Buzzman72 Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: Apr/19/2018 at 5:15pm
Here's some free advice, and worth every penny. If you have never worked on a car, GET SOMEONE EXPERIENCED TO TEACH YOU. Not everything is intuitive. That's why technical service manuals are printed. But even the manuals expect you to have some experience, and they leave out some steps because you are expected to know a little about what you're working on.

Some repairs require special tools. Like a steering wheel puller, for example.

If your experience is near zero, as I assume from what is and isn't said in your post...and if you don't have a friend who is an experienced mechanic... FER GAWSH SAKES, take it to someone with experience. Like a brake shop for something as important as brakes!!!

Too many people are killed on our streets and highways already. If you don't know how to fix it, don't take someone's life into your hands...even if it's just your own.
Buzzman72...void where prohibited, your mileage may vary, objects in mirror may be closer than they appear, and alcohol may intensify any side effects.
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Jjtxaz View Drop Down
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote Jjtxaz Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: Apr/19/2018 at 6:02pm
Let me start off by saying that I appreciate the quick responses and the help: rockandrambler, afterhoursfab, and billyd

In my initial post it may have come across as vague or I'm inexperienced. That's not the case. I'm no master mechanic but I have the technical ability to work things out and repair, replace or fix it need be. I also know if the job is over my head. (If you read my previous post on the transmission thread I asked for help there as well and ended up having a shop rebuild the transmission, not an issue for me)

I come on here to ask what I can't get from the book or the few online forums for my Rambler. First thing I did when I got the car was order the TSM to avoid bothering others and to expand my knowledge on this car the proper way, reading and seeking the info out myself as to the manufacturers recomendation. I seek the knowledge, experience, tips and tricks of those that share the same hobby as I do and most importantly have similar makes as I do. All of you here are vital.

Yes, there are shops here that can do the work (who turns down business, right?)but what fun is a project car if you're gonna source out all the work. Where I live (El Paso, Tx) shops that know these cars are far and few. My job doesn't Allow me much time to go cross state to have a shop check it out if it's not available locally.

Another note is these cars are hard to find (it's why I picked it because I was up to the challenge) and unlike modern cars that I've worked on before YouTube and other websites/forums are littered with information. They have step by steps, how to's or links to someone, somewhere who has done it or has had the same issue.

I'm capable of doing the work myself and if it's as simple as adjusting tie rods to properly align the wheels, or taking the drums off to inspect and clean the brakes then I can do that. (I just dropped and reinstalled the trans on this car in particular after getting it rebuilt).

Brakes are brakes, Whether its drums or disc the concept is the same for the respective vehicle. Take em apart, change/clean, bleed the system. Done.

I appreciate the tips and the guidance but the assumptions and the rest isn't necessary. I have the common sense to know brakes and steering are important as is making sure my weapon is clear and on safe before going down to check my shot group.

I'm done ranting. Dont want to come across rude, or not listening/taking/considering your advice. I'm simply providing feedback on how my 2 questions turned into a lecture on me not being experienced enough or unsafe.

All I'm doing is enjoying a hobby, restoring a car that I feel is a nostalgic piece of art, and bringing you all in on my road to success.

Thanks for your time and for reading.

Edited by Jjtxaz - Apr/19/2018 at 8:41pm
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LakesideRamblin View Drop Down
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote LakesideRamblin Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: Apr/19/2018 at 9:16pm
Good for you.  Many great people on this Forum.  But a few lecturers, too.  May I say buzzkills.  Ignore the lectures and pick out the jewels.
LakesideRamblin
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"If you could kick the person in the pants responsible for most of your trouble, you wouldn't sit for a month." T. Roosevelt
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