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Old 08-21-2019, 06:24 AM   #1
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The steering on my Cayman binds for a moment when turning left, any ideas?

I'm posting here because I am out of ideas and not finding any good info anywhere. A new issue developed last week when I was at the track.

[Edit: 987.2 Cayman, 2009]

At slow speed, when turning left, the steering wheel would bind up for a moment when the wheel was turned about 60 degrees to the left. With a little push I could get past it and everything seemed fine.

More details:
  • Only happens at slow speed, like in the paddock
  • Happens on pavement or grass
  • No abnormal noise

When I got home and parked in the garage I moved the wheel while the car was idling (I was checking the oil, on the 987.2 the car has to be on and idling to check the oil...) and I could reproduce it then, but then the "binding spot" moved and now was at around 75 degrees of turning left.

A day or so later I checked the PS fluid, was at the correct level.
Then I lifted the front of the car and removed the front wheels to check the tie rods, steering gear, UJoint, etc. All of that stuff looked good and I didn't see any evidence of leakage or anything like that.

While the wheels were lifted, and the car off, I turned the wheel side to side. I "think" I lightly felt the bind the very first time I turned the wheel left, but can't be sure, but I could not reproduce after that.

I buttoned everything back up and took a test drive, the bind is back. I took it to a big parking lot and did some steering wheel lock to lock big turns, and during these active turns, I could not feel the bind. But when I straightened out for a bit before beginning the next sequence of turns, and then made that first left turn, I got the bind. But now it has moved a little bit further, now it is about 105 degrees.

Any ideas what that might be or where to check?

If it was the UJoint at the top of the rack where it meets the steering shaft I would expect it to bind in the same spot everytime and on multiple rotations of the steering wheel.

If it was something wrong with the gears in the rack I would expect it to be in the same spot everytime.

Maybe a piece of debris in the PS fluid in the rack that is clogging a valve or something? And it is moving around?

Can an air bubble in there cause a loss of power steering at a certain spot? But if so all my lock to lock driving should have flushed it out. The lock to lock driving did seem to move the spot so maybe the air bubble is moving?

I am probably going to end up taking it to a shop but wanted to see if anyone had any ideas or had seen this before.

Thank you

Steve


Last edited by steved0x; 08-21-2019 at 06:44 AM.
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Old 08-21-2019, 07:25 AM   #2
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Strange.

I had steering that began to feel imprecise and it turned out that the subframe had loosened up over time resulting in movement of the whole front suspension. Ger a torque wrench on your subframe bolts to confirm they are tight and do an alignment check just as a process of elimination.
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Old 08-21-2019, 08:11 AM   #3
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Quote:
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Strange.

I had steering that began to feel imprecise and it turned out that the subframe had loosened up over time resulting in movement of the whole front suspension. Ger a torque wrench on your subframe bolts to confirm they are tight and do an alignment check just as a process of elimination.
Thank you, I will check that, now that you say "I had steering that began to feel imprecise" and now that makes me remember that I had a vague feeling of this exact same thing... I will check.
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Old 08-21-2019, 08:25 AM   #4
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When you get the bind, have you left it at that position and looked underneath? Maybe a brake duct is binding on something. Or are you running "oversized" front tires that might be catching on something?
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Old 08-21-2019, 10:22 AM   #5
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Originally Posted by husker boxster View Post
When you get the bind, have you left it at that position and looked underneath? Maybe a brake duct is binding on something. Or are you running "oversized" front tires that might be catching on something?
That was my first thought, and at the track I did leave it in bind position and then crawled down underneath to check - 60 degrees of steering barely turns the wheels and they weren't hitting anything (when the tires were new they did briefly rub the front fender liner though...)

I didn't think about the plastic brake duct binding. I will check that.
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Old 08-26-2019, 02:25 PM   #6
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Fixed: It was the two bolts that hold the steering rack to the subframe - they were both not even finger tight, as in I could unthread them just using my hands. A few other front subframe bolts and one of the front GT3 bar retaining bolts needed to be tightened as well but they were still somewhat tight, just not up to the right torque.

I did recently have a shop install a front GT3 bar and so maybe those bolts got loosened during that procedure? (It is more work to install a 987 front swaybar, makes the 9x6 front swaybar seem easy, and that is still a decent amount of work )

Either way it is fixed now (as soon as my buddy let it down off the lift and I backed it up I could tell it was fixed and doing a few turns confirmed it), and the next time I get the car lifted I am going to pull all the covers and do a complete nut and bolt check on everything.

Thank you everyone for the suggestions.

Steve
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Old 08-26-2019, 04:54 PM   #7
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Glad you found the culprit! It's good that you went ahead and checked all the other bolts, too. One wonders how they could have come loose.
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Old 08-27-2019, 05:39 AM   #8
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Soon the squawk box will be announcing:

Neeeeew traaack recooord!

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