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[Datsun 1200 encyclopedia]

Steering System Diagnoses

From Datsun 1200 Club

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Categories: Steering System | Diagnoses and Corrections

The steering action in a stock Datsun 1200 should be very light. Use the information below to diagnose the problem you are having.

Definition: Diagnoses
Plural form of diagnosis


Heavy Steering

  • Stiction on steering column bearing or bush
    Lubricate the bearing, or replace the bushing
  • Wide tires
    Your choice. Wide tires will increase steering effort (you'll need to use more muscle to turn the wheel). This is usually only noticed at low speeds, as when trying to park.
  • Wrong Wheel offset
    Wheels offset to the outside will increase steering effort.

Loose Steering

NOTE: Datsun 1200 specification is for 1" play at the steering wheel. The wheel should wiggle back and forth up to 1" while the car is stationary.

Is the steering loose only while the car is moving? Then check the alignment.

  • Bad wheel alignment
    Peform Wheel alignment. Bad wheel alignment causes a variety of surprising behavior

If looseness occurs while car is stationary:

  • Worn steering linkage (tie-rod ends, cross-rod, ball joints, or Idler Arm bushings)
    Inspect and replace worn Steering Linkage parts
  • Steering gearbox not fastened securely to subframe
    Tighten Steering Gearbox bolts to specification
  • Idler Arm not fastened securely to subframe
    Tighten bolts to specification
  • Front hub wheel bearings are loose
    Adjust Wheel Bearings to specifications
  • Bracket holding the tension rod has broken
    Inspect bracket and re-weld brackets as necessary

Pull to One Side

  • Front wheel bearings too tight
    Adjust Wheel bearings to specification
  • Front drum brakes: Unequal brake adjustment
    Perform Brake Adjustment procedure
  • Front disc brakes: Binding or frozen caliper
    Inspect the Front disc brakes on the side it pulls away from. This side is not working as good as the other side. Lubricate sliding parts or replace frozen caliper
  • Bad strut
    Inspect Strut and replace as needed
  • Bent or otherwise damage suspension component
    Inspect Front Suspension components

Steering Shock

If you feel sharp shocks through the body or steering wheel as you drive...

  • Front wheel bearings are adjusted too loose
    Adjust Wheel bearings to specification
  • Bent or otherwise damaged Front Suspension parts
    Inspect Front Suspension parts
  • Wheel out of balance
    If the shock increases with road speed, re-balance wheels. A shake in the steering wheel is another symptom of out-of-balance wheels

Double-tap Sound

When you drive over a bump, does the suspension make a double-knock sound?

  • Worn-out Idler Arm
    Replace the Idler Arm plastic bushings

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