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Author Topic: Fulvia steering.  (Read 7090 times)
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davidwheeler
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« on: 11 August, 2012, 01:08:30 PM »

Let's face it. Fulvia steering is terrible, heavy, low geared and vague, quite unlike a sliding pillar car.  Has anyone tried to do something about it?  I would think there is room to fit a power assisted rack in place of the track rod perhaps electrically operated (Toyota???).  Decent steering would transform the car.

David
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David Wheeler.  Lambdas, Aprilia, Fulvia Sport.(formerly Appia and Thema as well).
lancialulu
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« Reply #1 on: 11 August, 2012, 07:13:01 PM »

Let's face it. Fulvia steering is terrible, heavy, low geared and vague, quite unlike a sliding pillar car.  Has anyone tried to do something about it?  I would think there is room to fit a power assisted rack in place of the track rod perhaps electrically operated (Toyota???).  Decent steering would transform the car.
dont agree. fulvia in its element is precise and delicate. and true. just been driving my Gamma with rack and pinion and its also a relevation.

David
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1955 Aurelia B12
1967 Flavia Vignale iniezione
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1972 1600 Fulvia Sport
1978 Transformer HF3000 Strato's replica
1979 2500 Gamma Coupe
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fay66
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« Reply #2 on: 11 August, 2012, 10:28:11 PM »

Let's face it. Fulvia steering is terrible, heavy, low geared and vague, quite unlike a sliding pillar car.  Has anyone tried to do something about it?  I would think there is room to fit a power assisted rack in place of the track rod perhaps electrically operated (Toyota???).  Decent steering would transform the car.

David
Sorry David,
Never ever having had the pleasure of driving a sliding pillar car I can't comment, but I disagree as far as my 2c is concerned, and I certainly don't remember my Rallye Coupe being any different; admitted it's a bit heavy until the front wheels are turning, but once past that point the steering is lovely, and while not as precise as a rack and pinion set up, it is very good for it's age and a pleasurable experience, which is more than I can say of my experiences with electric power steering; having owned several cars with electric power steering, Japanese as well as Italian, I find them too precise while the slightest inadvertent movement of the hand has them shooting off all over the place, if power steering is a must then I'd much prefer the Hydraulic and pump set ups of my Dedras, Themas and Mercedes.
Have you tried driving a different Fulvia as your experience of the steering certainly doesn't match mine. Huh?,

Brian
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« Last Edit: 12 August, 2012, 01:20:26 PM by fay66 » Logged

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« Reply #3 on: 12 August, 2012, 10:55:43 AM »

I must say that I agree with Tim and Brian.  Before I took my Fulvia coupe off the road to restore, I always found the steering to be extremely sharp and precise.  My Fulvia always felt like it was running on rails Cheesy Even at low speed, I have always felt that the steering on my coupe is light when you consider that it doesn't have any power assistance.  Thinking about it now, I can't wait until I get it back on the road  Grin
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Stuart Wilson 11175
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« Reply #4 on: 12 August, 2012, 02:49:45 PM »

Let's face it. Fulvia steering is terrible, heavy, low geared and vague, quite unlike a sliding pillar car.  Has anyone tried to do something about it?  I would think there is room to fit a power assisted rack in place of the track rod perhaps electrically operated (Toyota???).  Decent steering would transform the car.

David
WHAT RUBBISH!!! you cannot possibly compare a fulvia and sliding pillar car 2 totally different concepts, my favourite cars are sliding pillar but wouldn't be without a fulvia, a fulvia's steering is as precise as a prewar lancia just lower geared as are an appia and aurelia, i love the feel of early cars on the road but they do tire you out compared to any more modern car, as for vague are you sure you were driving a fulvia?Huh? if so it must have been knackered!!! a fulvia (all of them) are very precise and agile, totally neutral handling and like a pre war lancia give you plenty of warning that your getting near the limit , for pottering around the augusta is fantastic and gives me an ear to ear grin, however on a long run the appia and fulvia are far more comfortable and relaxed to drive so sorry i disagree with you david
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davidwheeler
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« Reply #5 on: 12 August, 2012, 03:08:48 PM »

That's telling me!   All I can say is that both of my Fulvias (?Fulvii) have heavy and vague steering.  Better than some of their contemporaries (which were particularly awful) but still typical 60s steering,  MUCH too low geared and heavy from the FWD.   Maybe I have been spoiled?    On the other hand, minis and 1100s had lovely steering from their rack and pinion set ups but were much lighter cars.   I am certainly prepared to doubt the state of the steering box on the Sport 1600 and will have to look at it sometime and look to replace the bushes.  I have no idea what the mechanism inside is, I had the idea it was a Burman type box and therefore bound to be bad but maybe I am mistaken.  Your comments give me hope that something can be done with the box I have.  On the other hand,  have any of you guys ever driven an Aprilia or an Appia?

Of course, I can always buy a fresh one...
http://www.ebay.it/itm/Scatola-sterzo-per-Lancia-Fulvia-tutti-i-modelli-anche-per-versione-Zagato-/271001584371
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David Wheeler.  Lambdas, Aprilia, Fulvia Sport.(formerly Appia and Thema as well).
Richard Fridd
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« Reply #6 on: 12 August, 2012, 03:31:56 PM »

I once had a worn bush in my previous fulvia' steering "idler arm shaft housing"  which gave startling steering response until the bush was replaced with a neoprene one.best regards richard
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Richard Nevison Fridd
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« Reply #7 on: 12 August, 2012, 05:14:07 PM »

I once had a worn bush in my previous fulvia' steering "idler arm shaft housing"  which gave startling steering response until the bush was replaced with a neoprene one.best regards richard

Idler box wear shows up on decelleration from moderate speed when the car wants to go right or left depending if LHD or RHD. Unless the steering box is very worn/has no oil (its worn!!) then you should look to the tyres. New tyres will transform the car especially if they are michelins. Old rubber is very wooden on a fulvia. Also if 185 or wider has been fitted this does make a considerable difference to low speed effort.

My Aprilia has Michelins (newish) and sound steering joints/box etc and I would not say it is much lighter at slow speed than a fulvia with essentially the same set up (just with as commented the FWD weight disadvantage). Tim
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Its not the winning but taking part! or is it taking apart?
1955 Aurelia B12
1967 Flavia Vignale iniezione
1967 Fulvia HFR
1972 1600 HF
1972 1600 Fulvia Sport
1978 Transformer HF3000 Strato's replica
1979 2500 Gamma Coupe
1988 Delta 1.6GTi.e.
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« Reply #8 on: 12 August, 2012, 09:49:40 PM »

Strange that this subject is being discussed , I spent most of yesterday changing the steering idler box on my series 2 Fulvia Coupe. The steering felt all wrong, but not having driven a fulvia for many years and only running my Fulvia for the first time about a month ago I didn't have  a clue as how it should feel but I knew it was wrong, having heard many talk of how good the steering on a fulvia is. Alan Murphy drove it last tuesday and confirmed my suspisions, so I set about sorting it. First I checked the wheels and I found play in the passenger side, now this bugged me as I replaced the lower ball joints , the upper ball joints, the track rod ends were fine , so when I found play I was disgusted ! I traced the play to the Idler box so I set about removing it.  I started by removing the split pins in the steering linkage this proved to be a pain in the A---se, I had to shear them by wriggling the nuts. I then split the ball joints connected to the idler box. I removed the idler box after a lot of cursing and swearing ! my mate Steve helped me at this point by holding a 13mm spanner on the back of the bolts which one sheared off. Finally I had it out. The night before I took a series 1 box off an old sub frame I had in stock, took it apart, cleaned it re-filled the grease and got it ready to fit. But fit it did not ! Huh?  the levers attached are much heavier then the series 2 version, so back to the spares bin again where I pulled out a series 2 box I checked this cleaned it and fitted it to the car, this is the reversal of the removal as the manual says but without the hassle of removing those god dam spolit pins. Oh ! I forgot to mention I had to take off the steering rod and drill out the remains of the pins that came out in a cloud of rust and C--P !   I then re-filled the steering box with new oil which was a tad low ! So with everything back together I took it for a test drive and WOOOH ! what a transformation. The heavyness gone and sharpness restored.  Grin So now I am one happy camper. the next job is to tune the carbs which I re-built during the week OH I have to fit them as well. So Another job for next saturday.  Wink Will it ever be finished .Thanks David 8228.
« Last Edit: 12 August, 2012, 10:20:04 PM by HF_Dave » Logged

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lancialulu
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« Reply #9 on: 13 August, 2012, 06:49:37 AM »

Dave(HF)

Sounds like your idler box was very idle and was acting like a steering damper!!

I do remember "querying" my own HF steering and found the 2 top ball joints (ie both sides) had "failed". This was annoying as I had put new ones in only 8000 miles ago. Anyway I changed them and this too returned the steering to normal service. Interestingly with so much pressure from the Fulvia suspension these joint never show up as failed on an MOT generally. Failure is the underrated spring inside the joint breaking so the ball is not rotating cleanly. The HF takes a bit of a battering due to the negative camber making these joints work at their limit. If David's 1600 Sport has the HF suspension fitted (not as standard), this could be the problem he is experiencing.

I do know of some cars that had the steering box fitted off-centre during rebuild by mistake making adjustment impossible and centred steering a bit vague....

Anyway this collective experience is the real benefit of our forum...
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Its not the winning but taking part! or is it taking apart?
1955 Aurelia B12
1967 Flavia Vignale iniezione
1967 Fulvia HFR
1972 1600 HF
1972 1600 Fulvia Sport
1978 Transformer HF3000 Strato's replica
1979 2500 Gamma Coupe
1988 Delta 1.6GTi.e.
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« Reply #10 on: 13 August, 2012, 09:41:33 AM »

Joining in a bit late but vague steering on a Fulvia doesn't ring any bells with me. I'll admit it's heavy at parking speeds (I have wider HF alloys fitted) and the turning circle is terrible but as soon as you have the slightest bit of speed mine is beautiful. If I'd bought my Fulvia and discovered the steering to be vague I would have sold it and bought something else. A sports car with vague steering is pretty useless. As it is I've always found it beautifully weighted and precise. I can also take my hands off the wheel on a straight road and it will track dead straight. I can't imagine power steering separating me from the feel of the front wheels. I've also always liked the gearchange, which I can only describe as having a machine room oiliness to it if that makes sense!
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« Reply #11 on: 13 August, 2012, 09:15:20 PM »

I too always found the steering excellent, one of the best bits of a Fulvia. The 1.3s are a bit more arm twirly than the 1.6 because of the difference in gearing.
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LanciAlan
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« Reply #12 on: 14 August, 2012, 06:14:30 AM »

Dave(HF)

I do know of some cars that had the steering box fitted off-centre during rebuild by mistake making adjustment impossible and centred steering a bit vague....


How might this occur? Do you mean a few mm off centre due to alignment of the mounting bolts or something else like an entire bracket or assembly upside-down or back to front? I'm thinking of 2000 steering as I write but I don't think Fulvia is much different apart from the p/s.

Our leader has recently replaced a dodgy idler box on his S2 with a better one (having dismantled and tried an S1 idler box of superior engineering but that didn't fit) and I'm looking forward to trying his recently rebuilt car again as the steering was the only thing that let it down.

I agree Fulvia steering should and can be delightfully light and precise and the things that have affected that in my experience have been upper balljoints and wear in the steering and/or idler boxes - mainly the latter.
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Alan Murphy

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« Reply #13 on: 14 August, 2012, 03:19:02 PM »


How might this occur? Do you mean a few mm off centre due to alignment of the mounting bolts or something else like an entire bracket or assembly upside-down or back to front? I'm thinking of 2000 steering as I write but I don't think Fulvia is much different apart from the p/s.

Alignment of box splines to steering shaft - easy done..

Tim
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Its not the winning but taking part! or is it taking apart?
1955 Aurelia B12
1967 Flavia Vignale iniezione
1967 Fulvia HFR
1972 1600 HF
1972 1600 Fulvia Sport
1978 Transformer HF3000 Strato's replica
1979 2500 Gamma Coupe
1988 Delta 1.6GTi.e.
HF_Dave
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« Reply #14 on: 14 August, 2012, 05:51:51 PM »

The Fulvia is still driving very well I suppose the idler box is in good shape, I was sorry I coulden't use the series 1 box and I diden't have enough time to service the series 2 box. I hate this happening as I opened the series 1 and it is in great shape but the series 2 is un-known. Time will tell . Thanks david.
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My Current Cars:
1997 Ypsilon 1.2 16v
2003 Ypsilon 16v
1989 Thema 16v

1977 Beta sedan 2000
1975 Fulvia S3 1.3
1973 Flavia HF 2000 Coupe
1972 Fulvia S2 1.3
1989 Thema 8.32
**Other Makes**
2008 Fiat 500
2006 Fiat Croma
2009 Fiat Ducato160ps,Mu
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