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steering effort

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Ralph G. View Drop Down
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote Ralph G. Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Topic: steering effort
    Posted: Apr/15/2018 at 10:47am
The biggest complaint I have with my '68 AMX concerns the power steering. It is so feather light and devoid of feel that driving on winding roads is almost scary. (I have read old road tests that complained of the same thing.) I'm thinking of installing one of those adjustable valves that reduce the amount of steering assist. Does anyone here have any experience with using one of them? Alternately, I have considered replacing my power steering box with a factory manual or (preferably) a quick-ratio manual box. Do these units have any better road feel without raising steering effort to unbearable levels? The car is used for car show and highway cruising use, so parallel parking is not much of a concern. Any feedback would be appreciated. Thanks!
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304-dude View Drop Down
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote 304-dude Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: Apr/15/2018 at 11:48am
I had a manual box on my 71. It must have been a quick ratio, as it was a bear to drive in the parking lots, or from making a standing u turn at the light.

I could live the manual box away from city driving, but that is it.

I had fairly good feel with the GM box on my 73, but I too expected better sporty road feel. It was no better than driving any other GM full sized car of that period.
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tyrodtom View Drop Down
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote tyrodtom Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: Apr/15/2018 at 12:15pm
Any manual steering box is going to give you better road feel,   but the quicker steering they have, the more muscle it's gonna take.

How much is too much effort to steer is a personal choice,  everybody's is different.

You might be happier converting to one of the more modern Saginaw, faster steering power steering boxes.  Plus I think their effort can be adjusted. 

In my opinion,  any time you reduce steering effort,  you lose some road feel.
All road feel is you feeling that the front wheels get easier to turn as they lose road grip.

It's still there in a low effort steering system,  it's that the difference in the effort is so small most people won't feel it. 


Edited by tyrodtom - Apr/15/2018 at 12:26pm
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Ralph G. View Drop Down
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote Ralph G. Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: Apr/15/2018 at 12:19pm
I had a Firebird 400 and a Dodge Super Bee with manual steering back in the day, but I don't know if I want to relive the total experience any more. The Super bee was a real bear to parallel park. And I'm 40 years older now!
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Sonic Silver View Drop Down
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote Sonic Silver Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: Apr/15/2018 at 12:20pm
The front tire size also makes quite a bit of difference in steering effort on a manual car, too.  
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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/15/2018 at 1:30pm
I believe the 1968 & 69 AMXs have a same ratio box. I think 1970 and later have a variable ratio box.......maybe an improvement?  

Also...  caster can make a difference.  more caster makes it harder to steer, but will track better, less caster makes it easier to steer, but will wander.....(All things created equal)
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Ollie View Drop Down
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote Ollie Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: Apr/15/2018 at 2:17pm
That's the way power steering was in the day. All of them, regardless of the manufacture, were very sensitive.

Steering wheels were bigger to make turning easier too. Silver Sonic is correct as most use tire sizes bigger than in the day.

Its been my experience, that I prefer manual steering. Most of my driving tends to be highway. as tyrodtom says....everybody is different.

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Ralph G. View Drop Down
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote Ralph G. Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: Apr/15/2018 at 2:24pm
When I had the car aligned I asked the shop to put in some more caster. I also installed a smaller steering wheel to possibly increase the effort needed to steer the car. The tires are 225/70R14's. Still steers WAY too easy for my taste. Maybe the adjustable valve is worth looking into.
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Sonic Silver View Drop Down
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote Sonic Silver Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: Apr/15/2018 at 2:27pm
Originally posted by Ollie Ollie wrote:

That's the way power steering was in the day. All of them, regardless of the manufacture, were very sensitive.

Steering wheels were bigger to make turning easier too. Silver Sonic is correct as most use tire sizes bigger than in the day.

Its been my experience, that I prefer manual steering. Most of my driving tends to be highway. as tyrodtom says....everybody is different.

Having AMC Fun,
Ollie
Another thing that I noticed from having several Corvettes with manual steering many years ago was that radials running around 24 psi seemed harder to steer than the bias ply tires back then. I noticed a difference going from a 7.75-15 bias ply to a 195/75-15 Michelin on a 66 Corvette.
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one bad rambler View Drop Down
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote one bad rambler Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: Apr/15/2018 at 2:57pm
Originally posted by Ralph G. Ralph G. wrote:

The biggest complaint I have with my '68 AMX concerns the power steering. It is so feather light and devoid of feel that driving on winding roads is almost scary. (I have read old road tests that complained of the same thing.) I'm thinking of installing one of those adjustable valves that reduce the amount of steering assist. Does anyone here have any experience with using one of them? Alternately, I have considered replacing my power steering box with a factory manual or (preferably) a quick-ratio manual box. Do these units have any better road feel without raising steering effort to unbearable levels? The car is used for car show and highway cruising use, so parallel parking is not much of a concern. Any feedback would be appreciated. Thanks!
  Since the 80`s there have been car manufactures that have played around with pump pressure while driving....they based it on engine rpm...if you let the car idle and turned the wheel it would be easy but as you increased the engine rpm the steering would require more effort giving more road feel...I think the power steering in my 68 AMX is terrible...between the size of the steering wheel and the light effort...I have man. steering in my 68 American...64 American and i wanted it in the Concord but i was over ruled 
68 AMX 390 4 Speed,68 American,64 American 2 Door Wagon Altered Wheelbase,78 Concord Build 360,727,8.8
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