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variable gear ratio manual steering

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Does anyone have experience with variable gear ratio manual steering? I have a 1986 4WD GL wagon with power steering, and am considering changing to manual steering. The power steering seems too sensitive ("twitchy") at highway speeds. I had constant ratio steering in a 1981 2WD DL. Any pros and cons of variable gear ratio vs. constant ratio?

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my XT6 is power steering and has variable ratio and i can't really tell. it changes from 20 to 25 ratio, if that means anything. i'd guess the difference is nice but not insanely noticeable...unless everything i'm driving (legacy, impreza, XT6) has it and i just don't have anything to compare it to. again, all power steering, hopefully someone with manual will pipe up.

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My 86 wagon has manual steering but I'm not sure if its variable gear ratio or not. How can you tell? I like it more then power because I can feel the road conditions better. At highway speeds its very good at dodging our PA potholes. Even turning it sitting still isn't to bad.

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Tires can have a lot to do with the twitchyness of the steering, along with inflation.

 

 

We won't mention unnoticed bad inner tie rod ends, outer bad ends, or steering shaft U joints.

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Tires can have a lot to do with the twitchyness of the steering, along with inflation.

 

 

We won't mention unnoticed bad inner tie rod ends, outer bad ends, or steering shaft U joints.

 

of course :horse:

 

we wont mention them at all :drunk:

 

nipper

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My 86 wagon has manual steering but I'm not sure if its variable gear ratio or not. How can you tell? I like it more then power because I can feel the road conditions better. At highway speeds its very good at dodging our PA potholes. Even turning it sitting still isn't to bad.

 

The factory service manual says that variable ratio manual steering has 4.8 turns of the steering wheel, lock to lock, while constant ratio manual has 4.0 turns lock to lock. Straight ahead gear ratio is the same as the constant gear setup, but is supposed to increase after about 1 turn of the wheel to the left or right.

 

The twitchiness I'm referring to isn't from slop in the steering linkages (universal joint, etc.) as far as I know, but from the small effort required to turn the wheel at higher speeds, which isn't buffered the way later-model power steering is in an Outback, for example.

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My 86 wagon has manual steering but I'm not sure if its variable gear ratio or not. How can you tell? I like it more then power because I can feel the road conditions better. At highway speeds its very good at dodging

 

Hi,

 

You can tell. Turn your steering wheel lock to lock, and count the turns. 4 or 4.8 turns, lock to lock?

 

Doug

 

Manual variable-ratio steering rack:

 

 

"Some cars have variable-ratio steering, which uses a rack-and-pinion gearset that has a different tooth pitch (number of teeth per inch) in the center than it has on the outside. This makes the car respond quickly when starting a turn (the rack is near the center), and also reduces effort near the wheel's turning limits."

 

I like it.:)

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Hi,

 

You can tell. Turn your steering wheel lock to lock, and count the turns. 4 or 4.8 turns, lock to lock?

 

Doug

 

Manual variable-ratio steering rack:

 

 

"Some cars have variable-ratio steering, which uses a rack-and-pinion gearset that has a different tooth pitch (number of teeth per inch) in the center than it has on the outside. This makes the car respond quickly when starting a turn (the rack is near the center), and also reduces effort near the wheel's turning limits."

 

I like it.:)

4.8 from lock to lock!

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4.8 from lock to lock!

 

Me too. We have the variable ratio rack. I've never ran across a contant ratio. Not even sure if they were put into EA-82 cars.

 

Doug

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If you go to car-part.com, a junkyard parts site, there are a lot of listings for constant ratio steering that come from what must be EA82s, in fact quite a few more listings than for variable ratio.

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I just got a variable ratio manual rack for an EA82 from a junkyard. Is there a source for the boot kits besides the dealer? All the kits I have seen are either for power steering, or the manual steering on an EA81.

 

Looks like boots from a power steering rack won't be long enough, the manual when the wheel is fully turned extends 1" further than the power does.

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I just got a variable ratio manual rack for an EA82 from a junkyard. Is there a source for the boot kits besides the dealer? All the kits I have seen are either for power steering, or the manual steering on an EA81.

 

Looks like boots from a power steering rack won't be long enough, the manual when the wheel is fully turned extends 1" further than the power does.

 

Hi,

 

Boot kits are pricey. About $40.00+ per kit at parts houses. Autozone and RockAuto. You can't go wrong with dealer parts if the price is right.

 

I have power rack boots on a v/r manual rack. They are too large a diameter for the boot to rack interface. I haven't seen a problem with the length tho.

 

One board member suggested I make a spacer to use a power boot on a manual rack. That will work.

 

I'd be interested in what you choose to do.

 

Doug

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