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Steering-column bushes - stiffen in heat?


Myles

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Got a bit of a problem with one of my 7s. It has the usual white-plastic steering bushes for the upper column. When the car gets hot (ambient temp as much as anything), the steering can *really* stiffen up to the point where it stops any kind of self-centering.

 

OK - it's my Westfield *tongue* - sorry about that. A friend suggested that if the bushes were nylon (rather than Delron???), they might absorb moisture over time and so swell in the heat(???) Is this a likely cause of the stiffness?

 

I do have a replacement set to fit - but don't know if these are a different material from what's in there already. A friend (with CNC equipment) has offered to remake them in Delron - is it worth the effort?

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We tried a bunch of things last year - ended up using some PTFE lube and polishing the one we could get at (didn't fancy getting them out without replacements just before a big tour...). Worked for a while...

 

The 'odd' thing is that in the cool/wet morning today (on way to MOT), the steering was as light as you like. Must be quite a rate of expansion over a pretty-narrow temp range if this is really the cause.

 

We did disconnect the top column last time - and the actual steering (rack, rod-ends etc.) was fine - so it 'definitely' seems to be the upper bushes.

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