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I noticed my steering wheel doesn't return to center after turning right. The wheels are aligned still, and there is no play, simply off by about 15 degrees on return. The cause is clearly the rack shifting. Any thoughts on what might be causing extra resistance on the front right wheel? (perhaps a common problem, familiar to the s30 veteran)

I replaced the rack's bushings. Not only were the old bushings fine, but they didn't solve the snag. The issue started when I put my wider tires back on (they are 215, but there is no interference), clearly the extra load/resistance is adding enough difference on the failing component to causing the rack to hold slightly right (until I turn the other direction).

My thought is strut bushing or bearing (my other vehicle had the same issue when I didn't replace the old strut mount but added heavy duty springs).

1975 Datsun 280z (unmodified)

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Hmm haven't heard of that before. I've heard of the rack rotating, usually from the missing pipe clamp, but short of the bolts being loose or the bushings being super deteriorated that seems odd since the rack is captive.

 

Is the steering gritty? Might be the rack needs a rebuild. I have 225's on my car and it tracks straight on flat roads, it does tend to find groves on more traveled roads though.

 

Another passing thought is a bolt check may be in order, if the cross member bolts are loose it could be slipping the assembly sideways or something of that nature. I don't remember if the stock setup has a bearing on the strut, I imagine it must since it rotates, but that could indeed be gone and causing a drag.

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The early and late racks (roughly 240 and 280) had a different width to the flanges on the left side. You likely have a 280 (wide) flange rack and a narrow set of 240 bushings in there. 

 

Look at energy suspension web site to get the PN's of the two bushings.  10101 and 10102. ?

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