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VW MKIII-A3/B4 TDIs This is a discussion about MKIII-A3/MkIII Jetta/Golf (<99.5) and B4 Passats (96,97) TDI's. Non TDI related postings will be moved or removed.

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Old October 25th, 2011, 11:49   #1
DasTeknoViking
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Default Clicking/loose steering B4

When I turn the steering wheel I hear clicking noises and feels as if something is binding up. Has anyone had issues with the universal joints or the column itself ? I replaced the lower arms, ball joints, tie rods, steering rack, control arm bushings, upper mounts and bearings and the noise is still there... Most of the items I replaced where in need of replacing anyways so it was like preventative maintenance and the rack was leaking. But I thought the noise and play in the wheel would go away but it steel feels sloppy.

Any ideas ? I'm bout to tear the covers off the column n have a looksie
Thanks
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Old October 25th, 2011, 12:19   #2
oilhammer
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It is not something higher up, like the clockspring, is it?

The upper bearing is in the ignition lock cylinder housing, and can make some funky sounds too.
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Old October 25th, 2011, 12:28   #3
DasTeknoViking
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It's deff not a clock spring, the clunking loose steering feels like a bad u joint or something.
Searched Google etc and nothing came up.
Car has over 400k on it and most gasser B4s probably would have never made that far to experience the clunking/loose steering
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Old October 25th, 2011, 12:30   #4
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Well there is an upper and lower drive shaft in the steering, each having its own U-joint, and they slide together with one another.
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Old October 25th, 2011, 13:06   #5
DasTeknoViking
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Thanks Hammer ! I will dissect it next time I have some time... Maybe just get a tilt and telescoping column out of a diff VW in there.
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Old October 25th, 2011, 13:43   #6
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The housing that holds the steering shaft upper bearing is clamped to the column with a security shear bolt that usually stretches and loosens. The effect is usually just a "rocking" steering wheel, but if loose enough maybe it can cause other symptoms. Doubtful, but worth a check if you're in there anyway.
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Old October 26th, 2011, 06:47   #7
50harleyrider
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I have the same issue on one of my B4s. My steering even trys to bind up sometimes turning hard at low speeds in a parking lot. I replaced my ps pump but no help. Mine only has 268k too so it's hardly broke in
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Old October 26th, 2011, 09:05   #8
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Had a pump go bad on mine last winter... So everything was replaced ! I'm gonna take it apart n figure out the issue.
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Old October 26th, 2011, 10:05   #9
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And you can duplicate clicking and binding when articulating the rack through its range of motion by turning @ the tire(s)? Engine on & engine off? With steering coupling disconnected?
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Old October 26th, 2011, 10:14   #10
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Noise/clicking isnt there with the column disconnected. I know for a fact cause I bleed the rack out when I installed it.

Gonna try to document whatever I find with pics, seems like somewhat of a common issue on these older B4s now.
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Old October 26th, 2011, 16:33   #11
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I would be interested in what you find out. I'm getting a similar sound and feel (intermittent - can't always repeat it) which just started on mine (the one with over 400 as well). When I had it up on jacks this weekend I couldn't find culprit.
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Old November 5th, 2011, 07:56   #12
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Alright yesterday I did some looking under the dash and it appears there is a bearing/bushing of some sort inside the column that wear out. Just as the steering shaft comes out of the column and meets with the U joint right by the firewall: there is a bearing/bushing in there that falls apart. I have approx 1/8" movement there and if I try to steer the wheel left n right I can see the shaft moving around in the column. Need to look up parts in ETKA to see if the parts are serviceable. Also the tamper proof bolts appear to be a bit on the loose side and need a tighten up.
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Old November 8th, 2011, 12:08   #13
DasTeknoViking
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Here is what you need to fix your loose wheel.
http://www.germanautoparts.com/Volks...sat/Body/126/1 and you get to keep your original ignition lock cylinder.

Also there is a bearing on the bottom of the column too.
http://golfgtiguides.co.uk/guides/fi...heel-mk2-golf/

Gonna see if the MK2 bearing is the same, I wouldn't be surprised if it was. Both bearings can be done w/o removing the steering column out of the car. I just had my steering wheel off last night and found my play to be up top and on the bottoms.
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Old November 8th, 2011, 17:34   #14
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I have a similar issue...although on mine, it's the pivot bolt, near the bottom end of the column. I'm researching the fix, but could use some input.

Tony
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Old December 1st, 2011, 19:41   #15
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With Rich Tremblay's help, I found out what my problem was. There is a rubber grommet in a strap that holds the steering rack to the car frame. The grommet is a little worn, so the bolts were loose. He tightened them up and the noise is gone, and steering is nice and tight again.
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