VCI logo Archive Index | Current Issue
1800ES Heavy Steering

My son and I recently became the proud owners of a 1972 1800ES. On that car the steering is extremely heavy. Even returning to center after cornering at a reasonable speed takes effort. I don't know whether or not that is the normal state of affairs or if the steering is heavier than it should be. It is quite precise with only a small amount of play.
Parker Gray

Phil says: Your steering problem indicates abnormalities and is potentially dangerous. Raise the front wheels off the ground -- you should be able to turn the steering wheel lock to lock with two fingers. If you encounter binding, one possible cause is a worn steering gearbox that was overtightened in an attempt to compensate for (or hide) the problem. The adjustment is the large screw in the top of the box. You can also check that it is full of gear oil by removing the adjacent filler plug (the square fitting) and looking into the box.

If the steering is only heavy with the wheels on the ground, either the tire pressures are very low or you have an alignment problem to have checked out by a shop. Improper caster angle in particular does not show up as tire wear and can have a profound effect on steering effort at speed.

Back to the Top