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Steering Problem

Hi everyone. I'm new to the club (just got my first Boss after a long and arduous yearning) and new to the forum. I do believe I've found the place to be, lots of good information already that I have found. However, I did search for what I could, but I have not been able to find any good info on a steering problem I am having.

The steering is very stiff, maybe even twitchy?? What I mean is, one the steering does not center after turning (and all of this street, not track) and is very NOT smooth. When I am on the highway, the car does not glide through steering adjustments, but rather it makes definite movements (it's hard to describe, other than to say it feels like there are detents its working through??). I have tried the different steering settings (Standard, Sport, Comfort) and Comfort seems to react the best, but it is still present.

This is a 2013 with 40k and other than that, it seems straight. No noises, clicks, etc. I just upgraded from a 2012 V6 so I am very familiar with the steering component (although never in a Boss), but this is obviously not right. My son's 2003 had the exact same problem and it turned out to be the ball joints so obviously I went right there. However, can they go bad at only 40k? I did jack it up the other day and pulled the wheel off, but everything seems tight (no wobble in the wheel or tie rods, although I did only check one side). I also had the front end up on jack stands so I tested the steering and it was much smoother, but not sure how indicative that is.

I did hit them (tie rods/ball joints) with a little lubricating oil and I did see a dramatic improvement (still twitchy, but definitely smoother). I know I am answering my own question here, just want to be extra sure rule out the steering rack as the culprit. I was going to just replace the FCAs and see what happens, but I thought I would seek some more educated opinions.

Thanks and I'm looking forward to getting to know you all!
Tobey
 

TMSBOSS

Spending my pension on car parts and track fees.
6,639
3,809
Exp. Type
HPDE
Exp. Level
5-10 Years
Illinois
Were you also able to check the inner ball joints for wear?

If grease made a bid difference, ball joints may be the problem and the reason the last owner sold. If so, a fairly easy fix.

Good luck with repair.

Welcome to TMO
 
I checked them in the sense I tried to wiggle the tie rod and neither end moved (it was quite solid). But again, I just did the passenger side. I was thinking the same thing on the ball joints as it is behaving the exact same way as my son's did (which replacing the ball joints resolved), just wanted to rule out the rack.

Thanks!
 

ArizonaBOSS

Because racecar.
Moderator
8,601
2,502
Arizona, USA
Long shot, but check the chassis electrical grounds on the passenger side strut tower. The electric steering assist ground is there; if it's loose it could be affecting you.
 
ArizonaBOSS said:
Long shot, but check the chassis electrical grounds on the passenger side strut tower. The electric steering assist ground is there; if it's loose it could be affecting you.

Thanks AB. Just went out and checked and didn't see anything unusual. The ground wire seems snug and good.
 

302 Hi Pro

Boss 302 - Racing Legend to Modern Muscle Car
2,009
438
Southeast
ArizonaBOSS said:
Long shot, but check the chassis electrical grounds on the passenger side strut tower. The electric steering assist ground is there; if it's loose it could be affecting you.

Good thought here, IIRC this ground issue gave one of our Members here an issue, but I think the power assist would blank out intermittently.

2HP
 
If it is a ball joint does the average guy even have enough strength to legitimately check it by yanking on it? Human strength is nothing compared to the forces a 3600lb car can put on a joint when in motion.
 

Grant 302

basic and well known psychic
Welcome, Tobey!

I think somebody recently had some front end slop and it was fixed after replacing the tie rods. The inner ball joints were loose.

With centering problems, I suspect the alignment might be off. Just a little toe out can take away some of the rolling stability and make the steering feel 'darty'.

Good luck with the fix!
 

Grant 302

basic and well known psychic
Found it, the thread is here:
https://trackmustangsonline.com/index.php?topic=11718.msg168427#msg168427

barspen said:
Replaced my inner tie rods and outers with a Steeda bumpsteer kit this weekend and happy to report the install wasn't too bad. I had to move the backing plates of the rotors because the cooling duct inlet was in the way of pounding out the old outer tie rod. This just added more time than I expected, but wasn't too difficult.

The biggest PITA was getting the tie rod removal tool to grab hold properly.

The old inner tie rod ball joint seemed completely shot. Maybe they are supposed to not resists movement after they get older, but the new ones were difficult to rotate (very stiff) verses the old ones which dropped with gravity.

The outer tie rods looked fine, but I opted for a bumpsteer kit. These are pretty nice kits IMHO and allow some adjustability if you are lowered. I also like the heim joint setup with the Steeda kit.

Got an alignment this morning and the 'sloppy' front end feeling is totally gone. Not sure if the inner tie rod, bumpsteer kit, or the alignment that made the biggest difference, but I'm happy with the end result. :D
 
Sorry I missed some of the replies. So I did replace both FCAs (and man was that a PITA! but I did it), and much to my demise, nothing improved (if anything, it may have gotten worse). What I think it did was highlight the real issue, which is the rack/EPAS/ESC/TC. While I had it up in the air for the FCAs, I had to turn the wheels to get the FCAs off. I would think that with the car suspended and no weight on the front suspension, the steering should be smooth as silk? It was very clunky/twitchy/jerky(?).

I continue to get AdvanceTRAC warnings (it has happened twice since I've had it) and I feel the ESC trying to take over. At slow speeds, the steering jerkiness isn't as noticeable, but I as I speed up, the steering gets very sensitive. I don't if the rack is bad or as I saw in another thread, if it just needs re-flashed or something?? While I had the FCAs off, I jerked and tugged on the tie rods and they seemed solid. Although I just saw in another thread someone mentioned the tie rods fell down due to gravity. Should they not if disconnected? I ask because that is what mine did. When I disconnected them, they fell down like a limp di...er...biscuit. :)

I also noticed when I took it to a car wash the other day, the ESC/TC freaked out a little (as it did the first time I drove it in the rain since buying it a couple weeks ago). Any chance the ESC/TC sensors are shot and freaking out the EPAS? Or possibly just a combination of all of it?

One last thought, I have looked into rack replacements and it looks to just north of $1k. Any cheaper solutions?

Thanks everyone!
 

302 Hi Pro

Boss 302 - Racing Legend to Modern Muscle Car
2,009
438
Southeast
BossMan76:

The rack and pinion gear should not fell clunky when rotated turn to turn as you described above. I missed it but what is the mileage and what tire/wheel combo are you running?

2HP
 

Grant 302

basic and well known psychic
IIRC, the tie rods are about $40. Since you can change your own FLCAs, I would either give those a try or an alignment first. A bad alignment could exacerbate any problem with loose or tired parts.

Found them:
http://www.americanmuscle.com/mustang-inner-tierod-0514.html

Probably cheaper straight from Ford.
 

Mad Hatter

Gotta go Faster
4,323
2,972
Santiago, Chile
Probably not really related, But I had the steering freak out a couple of times when my OBDII bluetooth was plugged in. Wheel became possessed till I unplugged the OBD. Has not happened in a long time now.
 
302 Hi Pro said:
BossMan76:

The rack and pinion gear should not fell clunky when rotated turn to turn as you described above. I missed it but what is the mileage and what tire/wheel combo are you running?

2HP

I am currently at 41k and stock wheels (2013). A little more info after a 150 miles or so today. As I was heading out of town, the steering got really weird, as in it started fighting me a little bit, and sure enough the "Service AdvanceTRAC" error popped up, along with the two warning lights. I pulled over and turned off the car, gave it a few seconds and fired it back up. No more message (and none since), and coincidentally, it did seem to behave a little better. Fast forward 20 miles, and as I was taking a long gentle interstate curve, I realized I cannot keep a straight line. It holds fine to a certain point and then you feel the wheel give (like its going through a detent or something) and then of course it takes a sharper line. It never failed, the line I needed was right where the "detent/bumb" was. Now that I noticed it, it absolutely is the case as I drove all over God's green Earth today. Straight down the road, it does just fine (as long as I dont have to make any drastic changes). But swerving to miss a pot hole, holding a line through a corner, even changing lanes, the jerkiness is there. It's like playing Pole Position from the 80s! No smoothness at all.

Mad Hatter: Nothing plugged in OBD. However, I will say this. I updated my Sync this morning to the latest version, and after it finished is when my AdvanceTrac freaked out. I am not sure how they are related (it had to have been conicendental), but strange for sure...

Flyboygsxr: No caster/camber plates.

And keep in mind, it is not sloppy in the sense of very loose. It is jerky when turning.

Thanks again!
 

ArizonaBOSS

Because racecar.
Moderator
8,601
2,502
Arizona, USA
Might want to try to take it to a dealer at this point. Replacement rack is around $1000. Not sure we've really pinpointed the problem here.
Do you still have warranty coverage?
 
ArizonaBOSS said:
Might want to try to take it to a dealer at this point. Replacement rack is around $1000. Not sure we've really pinpointed the problem here.
Do you still have warranty coverage?

That's what I was thinking (and anticipating). There are quite a few take-off/remans on eBay for significantly less. Are the racks the same in the Boss and the GTs?

No more warranty and still not exactly sure what the problem is, but I M pretty sure it's in the rack, just not sure if it needs re-flashed or re-placed. Haha
 

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