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Steering Concerns - Clunks, heavy then super light?

Heffer_Slayer

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Hey all,

I have a few concerns about the steering of my car, its my problematic love bug the 2001 VX Berlina LS1.

I can only give a few examples, as i am not 100% sure what the problem could be.
The prev owner did put in aftermarket shocks and springs to my knowledge, handles well for a big car except in the following examples, where it can be a little scary..

Examples:
When reversing and turning the wheel to the right, there is a "clunk". Its hard to describe. Have not noticed any noises when turning left, or maybe just most of the roads make you turn right these days? who knows. It doesn't happen all the time as well, seems mostly when I first take off.

Not sure if this is normal, but the steering feels "heavy" and stiff. I haven't driven a commodore for a while but just the general comparison to other cars I have driven.

When going approx 60km/h +, if i go to turn right. The steering is its normal heavy self, but then all of a sudden it becomes extremely light, if you are not ready for it it can catch you out causing you to turn more then you need.

Power steering fluid looks old, dirty and yuck.

Where do i go from here?

Please help me fix up the Berlina!
 
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Big-Al

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try flushing the power steering fluid. sounds like the pump or the rack are on the way out. worth flushing though.
 

Heffer_Slayer

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Thanks big al,
Looks like all i have to do it is take off the return hose, and turn the steering wheel.

They just use ATF/Dextron 3?
 
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Hrd455

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The clunking noise could be the lower sway bar knocking on the k frame
 

acarmody

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Thanks big al,
Looks like all i have to do it is take off the return hose, and turn the steering wheel.

They just use ATF/Dextron 3?
Nope. They use power steering fluid. Thats what is actually says on the bottle.

 

Heffer_Slayer

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Didn't get a chance to inspect it yet...but noticed the clunk seems to be only apparently when you first take off...

Any other advice would be much appreciated!
 

acarmody

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tml678

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When going approx 60km/h +, if i go to turn right. The steering is its normal heavy self, but then all of a sudden it becomes extremely light, if you are not ready for it it can catch you out causing you to turn more than you need

As the car has variatronic power steering, I'd suggest checking the solenoid on the rack to ensure its operating correctly, good luck :)
 
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