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Triumph TR6 - Hard Steering

I'm new to this BBS although I picked up a '74 to work on about a year ago. I originally bought a '69 new and drove it for a few years until Jag fever overtook me and I traded it in on an E-type. I soon realized the error of my ways and took about 30 years to get a TR6 again but that's a whole other story.

My problem is this thing drives like a truck without power steering. And I know my '69 didn't steer like this.

The tires on it are pretty new "off-brand" P205/75 R15's which don't seem to be a problem from the thread a few lines down. I've checked the rack and pinion, repacked the grease, and did the 2 lb. jacked up turn test per my old '69 shop manual. It all moves smoothly off the ground. (I haven't had any alignment work done though. The tires show no uneven wear and I'd gauge about 1000-2000 miles on 'em.)

While driving, the car holds a very stiff line and doesn't wander at all. I can almost drive a straight flat road without touching the wheel. But try to go in or out of a parking spot or back-and-forthing it to work out of a tight spot would strain Swartzenegger's arm muscles. Any ideas what the problem could be?

w lobodinsky

Sounds like an alignment issue to me - caster I'd suspect. Has there ever been any work done to the suspension, like new bushings, balljoints?

How's the tire pressure?

good luck,

Tim Brand

I think it's just the armstrong steering from a little wider tires. More pressure would help, don't overdo it. It ain't gonna turn as easy as with power steering when the car is stationary..

I tend to agree with Tom. With my suspension fully re-built (and setup well), I drove for 2 years on wider rubber as it was the tire choice I was happy with on our newer car. I always thought the steering was a bit heavy when parking but accepted it as part of the 'sports' car feel.
When the time came for new ones, I put on directional Pirelli 5000's and the difference was astounding. Much lighter generally, less understeer and less 'tramlining' under heavy braking. I didn't realise that tire choice would make such a difference. I think that power steering masks a lot more than just the effort required.
Roger H

Thanks to all for your comments. The alignment hasn't been checked and I'd say the bushings and ball joints are the original. I feel no slop in the ball joints, tho. I was only going on the lack of any abnormal tire wear. A complete go-over on the alignment's surely the best place to start. There's also a rather uncomfortable understeer that I didn't mention. I can't do a "casual" corner and have to pay attention to take it around.

I'm looking to upgrade the suspension. The owner I got it from had the body, interior, and top all redone. Everything underneath is questionable so I plan on rebuiding the engine, clutch, trans, and rear end. While I have everything out, the suspension's now on the list too.


Replacing the suspension bushings is something you should at least look at. No use aligning it until you're done replacing parts. Get or make a good spring compressor. You could probably pump the front tires up to 50 pounds or so temporarily (don't heat them up at that pressure) to see if that makes it steer easier (it will, but what to you do then?).

Some people use oil to lube the trunnions, that may decrease effort. Do you have a smaller diameter steering wheel? That would make it harder to steer, too.

Hi Tom, I suspect the trunnions are seizing. You will know if you pull off the front wishbone links and the links are hard to move. regards Brian
B.R. Horne

This thread was discussed between 01/07/2004 and 05/07/2004

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