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Old 06-25-2021, 02:44 PM   #1
okra
2002 Camaro V6 T-Top
 
Drives: 2002 Camaro
Join Date: Jun 2021
Location: Vancouver
Posts: 9
2002 Camaro sloppy steering

Hi All,
I have a 2002 Camaro, V6 with T tops. Bought the car for $4000 and have added about another $3000 in suspension and tire upgrades.

Things I have done so far:
-new BF Goodrich tires G-Force Comp 2 245/50ZR16 97W, all balanced on OEM chrome mags
-Changed all bushings to Moog Rubber in the Front Upper and Lower Control Arms, and Rear Control Arms
-Changed all Front Ball Joins to Moog
-Changed both Outer Tie Rod Ends to Moog
-Changed front Sway Bar to used Edelbrock (fat and meaty), new poly Energy end-links. Used poly bushings on front sway bar. They are in excellent condition. Greased with Silicon grease
-Changed rear Sway Bar to QA1 (fat and meaty), with provided QA1 end-links and poly bushings. Greased with Silicon grease.
-Changed pan hard rod in rear with QA1, greased there provided poly bushings with silicon.
-Changed rear bearings on solid axel. Some wear was noted, but seems to be Okay. Oil changed on diff.
-Changed front springs to Moog SS Camaro. Unfortunately choose V8 springs, front sits about 1" higher then rear, but spring suspension is nice, tight and firm.
-Changed rear springs to Moog Heavy Duty
-Changed front and rear shocks to Koni Orange
-Changed the steering rack and power steering pump. OEM GM PS fluid.
-Changed the Intermediate shaft between steering rack and steering wheel. I bought it used as I could not find new, but it seems to have zero sloop and made a significant difference when I changed it.
-Changed front brake rotors and pads
-Changed rear pads


The car rides NICE, corners on a dime. Problem is, from when I bought the car it had a very serous shake problem with I hit the brakes on the highway, and I am unsure how long the car was driven with that problem. It might have been stressing the steering ALOT for a long time. This might be why I got the car for so cheap. I assumed the front rotors were warped. I changed the front brake rotors and pads and the shake problem entirely went away forever. Yeah.

Second problem, ever since I bought the car, it wonders on the highway, even after multiple alignments. It always comes back front the alignment shop where they say the suspension is tight and straight, but it still wonders on the highway with a little gap in the center steering wheel as I drive. It's not a huge gap, but.... I don't like it and I can't go really fast without wandering. I assume I am looking at some kind of warn suspension component that still allows the car to be aligned when still, but wonders when driving.

Third issue, that car did have a front end accident many years ago and the front bumper was changed. It was only $1500 damage. Found this out on CarFacts.

Question, is this something I will need to live with or is it fixable? The car DOES ALIGN on the alignment rack.

Things I was thinking of doing:
-Checked the front wheel bearings by jacking up the car and rocking the wheels front top to bottom. Change if needed.
-Installing bolt and then weld-in subframe connectors as the car is a T-Top and "maybe" I am dealing with flex in the frame due to the car being over 20 years old.

Any ideas would greatly be appreciated
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Old 07-03-2021, 01:36 PM   #2
okra
2002 Camaro V6 T-Top
 
Drives: 2002 Camaro
Join Date: Jun 2021
Location: Vancouver
Posts: 9
Well, I checked the front wheel bearings. They are very quiet, smooth and zero play.

I checked the rear solid axil bearings, and they are very smooth with a barely noticeable play when I pull the wheel in and out, with about 1/4-1/8mm play. Almost zero. Wiggling the wheel top to bottom and side to side is zero play.

Is the very minor 1/4-1/8mm play while pulling the rear solid axil wheels in and out, normal ? The axils have zero noise from them and it's all OEM. I changed the rear bearings and diff oil two years ago.

Any ideas where this sloppy steering could be coming from ?
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Old 07-03-2021, 02:14 PM   #3
G8One2
 
Drives: 2014 Camaro 2SS
Join Date: Feb 2015
Location: Metro Detroit
Posts: 493
Steering rack, inner and out tie rods, and the bushings or U-joints on the intermediate shaft on the steering rack side, and the steering column side. Any of these items worn out, can add considerable play to the steering.
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Old 07-03-2021, 02:31 PM   #4
Bigdumogre

 
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Drives: 2012 Camaro SS
Join Date: Dec 2019
Location: New York
Posts: 1,230
You can check the rack to see if there is play in it or the inner tie rods. You have pretty much changed everything else lol
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Old 07-03-2021, 04:07 PM   #5
G8One2
 
Drives: 2014 Camaro 2SS
Join Date: Feb 2015
Location: Metro Detroit
Posts: 493
Intermediate shafts can have a TON of play in them. Just jiggle the wheel back and forth and look at it. There's one attached at the steering column and one in the engine compartment, attached to the steering rack.
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Old 07-03-2021, 06:27 PM   #6
okra
2002 Camaro V6 T-Top
 
Drives: 2002 Camaro
Join Date: Jun 2021
Location: Vancouver
Posts: 9
Quote:
Originally Posted by G8One2 View Post
Intermediate shafts can have a TON of play in them. Just jiggle the wheel back and forth and look at it. There's one attached at the steering column and one in the engine compartment, attached to the steering rack.
Hu, yeah that is exactly what I thought so I changed the intermediate shaft with the only thing I could find which was a USED intermediate shaft. Can I rebuild my old intermediate shaft ? I just don't know where to find parts to do that... Everywhere I have looked for a new shaft, the part is discontinued :( Rebuilding would be an awesome option, if you know where I can find parts ?

On a side note, I have been researching and some GM's come with a Rag Joint. My intermediate shaft seems to NOT use/have a Rag Joint. Am I wrong with this ? It seems to be just a steel shaft with two U joint on each side, and holes with bolts to attach to the rack and steering column.

https://www.gmpartsprime.com/genuine...-26020775.html

When I did change my old intermediate shaft to a new USED shaft there was a big difference in drivability.
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Last edited by okra; 07-03-2021 at 06:41 PM.
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