First (actually the second) drive

Actually it’s the second. The first ended in tears when 25 yds from my driveway I trashed it on a dumpster!! Anyway, that’s all over and was 2+ years ago…so, second “first drive” today. Spongy feel to the brakes and also a weird scraping sound, also when braking. New rotors and pads?? Oh and also a nasty repeating “notchy” feel when turning the steering…professionally rebuilt rack and new U-joints.

Anyway for all the quirks, it was good to get it on the road again after 5 years!!


Progress is good and that’s a big step.

Brakes: Can you isolate the location? Spongy sounds like a need for a bleed.

Steering: Notchy? Pinion preload?

Brakes are weird, they felt pretty solid when we bled them a while ago, without the engine runniung, but as soon as there’s vacuum on the booster, I get that spongy feel…honestly, Laura’s 2016 Mazda3 feels the same way, kinda spongy under foot, but they work ok.

Wondering whether to leave it and get the new pads to bed in before going too crazy.

Steering, yes I did wonder about that too!

Can you feel the steering notches or lumpiness if turning while parked ( foot off the brake pedal ) ?
How many lumps per rev of the steering wheel? Anything rubbing on the intermediate shaft?

Congrats on being on the road again - I recall well your unfortunate ‘first drive’ of 2½ years ago. Seems like yesterday but maybe the time passed more quickly for me than for you.

Steering… check the U-Joints and the connections to the shafts.

Also, get the front end off the ground and see if the notchiness stops. That may help isolate the cause.

Another also… check the rubber isolators and be sure the rack isn’t floating on the safety bolts.

Good thought. I had a heck of a time getting the u-joint to steering box clamp tightened sufficiently.

New pads all around will fell soft for the first 100 miles. They will firm up with driving and use.

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Thank you George. Yes, that incident is just close enough that it made me look three or four times before I pulled out of the driveway, this time…:slight_smile:

Regarding the “scraping” noise…did you replace the brake caliper lines? Had the same issue on a buddies 2+2. The front caliper brake lines were just barely scraping on the inside of the rim. Made a horrible sound. Pulled the wheel off, bend the line slightly, problem resolved. Jeff S. Atlanta, GA

I have heard before that notchy steering can come from issues in the way the column is assembled, notably not allowing the U-joint to flex as it should.

One thing to check with notchiness is the pinch bolt on the lower u-joint. If a regular bolt is used to replace the original in an attempt to reduce play in the splines the head of the bolt may interfere against the frame as the shaft rotates.

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Good feedback guys, thanks, will check it out today. Question: is it required to assemble the column UJ’s kinda out of line with each other?

I found the radiator overflow hose was touching the alternator fan and had started to cut through it. I replacd the hose and rerouted it. PLan to test drive again tomorrow. Did check the brake lines, no problem there.

Question: is it required to assemble the column UJ’s kinda out of line with each other?

Les,. That’s why I asked about how many lumps per rev. If it’s 2, the cause could be UJ alignment. The joints should see the same angles and be out of phase. I know this is hard to visualize, sure is hard to explain.

Les are you using silicone brake fluid by any chance?

Using DOT 3/4…

“… If it’s 2, the cause could be UJ alignment. …”

I don’t recall seeing or feeling the problem when it was on the lift. I will check the alignment today. Was going to drive it today, but rain and no windshield in yet!

OK, so regarding the UJ’s and the alignment question…going through Bentley in the Steering section, when it comes to the UJ’s it refers you to section G, driveshaft. In that section it states, in bold, that the yokes that directly interact with each other, that is to say the inner yokes at each end, must be in phase and it shows a picture of the two said yokes being in the vertical position. From this I assume that this same requirement applies to the steering column UJ’s…and mine are in alignment.

Also, in testing the steering this afternoon using paper on sheet metal under each wheel to reduce friction, this notchy issue only occurs in one direction, anticlockwise.

Also checked the possible fouling of the lower pinch bolt on the frame…no sign of that but it is darned close, which brings me to the next question…due to the aforementioned close proximity to frame issue I’m considering reusing the old UJ, which means the bearings need to be replaced. Doing it is NBD but I’d like to hear from anyone who has done it, where did they get the cups/bearings and whose are good and whose aren’t.

Thanks again for assistance/observations/comments.

If only in one direction and only under load, I would guess that the rack is shifting on it’s mounts and at some point in the rotation, something is hitting causing a bind. If it were the u-joints or rack, it would do it in both directions.