The previous owner of this 2006 installed a new rack & pinion steering gear. I noticed that it is extremely slow in response to turning input. A rack & pinion should be very responsive. This one is not. My 2002 pickup has more response and it does not have a rack on it! Is this a common trait among 2004-2006 GTO's?
I have this arbitrary issue with no baseline, is this how all *insert noun* are?
That is your question... you will not get an answer.
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GTO steering is variable ratio and pretty numb around center compared to many cars, my '97 Camaro in particular was much better in every respect. IF you love your goat and dont mind spending, find a Fastrack and replace the steering pump with an aftermarket pump(KRC or TurnOne) with adjustable/tuneable flow rate. The combo of lower flow rate and Fastrack will quicken the steering and increase feel and feed back making steering MUCH more suitable to performance use.
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Define slow and unresponsive? You didn't mention why it was replaced? Miles on the clock? Pump noise? What kind of fluid is in the system? Factory spec is ATF, not steering fluid, a common mistake that is the easiest to correct. There is a large difference in viscosity. Since it is a fresh rack the first hard parts to look for is a kinked hard line, very easy to do especially if the line mounting points are not loosened at install, there are very few short cuts on these cars, that ain't one of them. Pressure side is on the right, return left and goes to the POS cooler behind the center grills before crossing over again to the pump. There are a lot of turns, just a tad too much push and yer screwed. Another likely cause is trash in the system from the R+R Is the wheel light and seem to have lost motion? Probably the pinion shaft preload. I'll not get into the adjustment procedure, if you don't know exactly what you are doing a lot of bad shi ft can happen. You didn't mention why it was replaced? Don't just start throwing parts at it, look for the cause not the effect. There is nothing inherently wrong with the system, properly tuned it performs quite well.
Since rack and pinion steering systems are literally just a pinion driving a linear rack gear, there is only one factor affecting the rate of response: the gear ratio.
If you disable the pump, the steering still responds with the same input/output ratio, it just take more muscle, so kinked tubing, clogged flow restrictor(yes there is one in the system), wrong fluid will ONLY affect effort not response rate.
So IF the complaint is slow steering rather than something else being improperly described, then there is only one way to change it(excepting shorter spindle arms ala drift cars)which is a Fastrack. Keep in mind there are only 2 racks that fit the car- the common TSA and somewhat rare KYB. The Fastrack is a TSA rack with a different ratio ratio gear. My point is we know what is in the car and therefore how it responds to input.
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