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Off centre steering wheel... 

 

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 Post subject: Off centre steering wheel...
Posted: Mon Mar 29, 2010 7:29 pm 
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G'day once again people;

I've just had the lower ball joints replaced in my 98 EL Falcon, although now my steerig wheel is slightly off centre... (about 20 degrees counter-clockwise).

Prior to getting the lower ball joints replaced, the steering wheel and alinment were perfectly straight, with no problems whatsoever.

An suggestions would be greatly appreciated!
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 Post subject: Re: Off centre steering wheel...
Posted: Mon Mar 29, 2010 7:41 pm 
Getting Side Ways
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take it back to the wheel aligner and get them to fix it. simple adjustment will correct it
they mustnt have centred the wheel before they started adjusting.
did they even take it for a test drive afterwards? im guessing not
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 Post subject: Re: Off centre steering wheel...
Posted: Mon Mar 29, 2010 7:47 pm 
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When you pull apart major components on your steering and suspension system a wheel alignment should be done.

 

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 Post subject: Re: Off centre steering wheel...
Posted: Mon Mar 29, 2010 7:49 pm 
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they have fixed the toe in without locking the wheel from moving...

Basically one tie rod end needs to be shortened and the other lengthened...

as previously stated the wheel must be locked in place (usually each place has there own designed tool to do this) and thus ensures the wheel remains where it should be...

 

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 Post subject: Re: Off centre steering wheel...
Posted: Mon Mar 29, 2010 8:15 pm 
Getting Side Ways
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Would it be something as simple as taking it to a tyre joint to get a wheel alignmet?

Or should I take it back to the mechanic who actually replaced the lower ball joints?

Thanks guys!
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 Post subject: Re: Off centre steering wheel...
Posted: Mon Mar 29, 2010 8:21 pm 
Getting Side Ways
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it needs a wheel alignment, to straighten the steering wheel and to stop the tyres from wearing prematurely

sorry i misread your first post, i thought they had fitted the bj's and done an alignment
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 Post subject: Re: Off centre steering wheel...
Posted: Mon Mar 29, 2010 8:37 pm 
Getting Side Ways
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XRfairmont67 wrote:
it needs a wheel alignment, to straighten the steering wheel and to stop the tyres from wearing prematurely

sorry i misread your first post, i thought they had fitted the bj's and done an alignment


No worries!

I just wanted to make sure that the mehanic didn't actually do anything worng and whether or not it is just simple wheel alignment to correct the steering wheel.

I just assumed that seeing as though the car is still travelling straight, despite the wheel being off centre, that it would have been a steering component that was over/under adjusted during fitment of the baal joints.

But if it's just a wheel alignment required to correct this, then I'm quite happy with that! :)
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 Post subject: Re: Off centre steering wheel...
Posted: Mon Mar 29, 2010 8:41 pm 
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the mechanic would have nearlly done a wheel alignment... If he didn't he would have specifically told you to take it straight somewhere and get one done...

Something as major a ball joint requires a wheel alignment and everyone knows that...

I'd nearly put money on it that he did a wheel alignment on it when he changed it out... I'd ring up and ask if it was done before coughing up more money... If not it should have been recommended to you to get one asap...

If it drives nice, but is off centre, i'd bet its been aligned without locking the wheel...

goodluck with it...

 

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Visuals: FG XR Wheel, XR Front, 17's, BA 5 Spd Shifter, BA Ghia Window Switches, NL Cluster
Tunes: 8" Pioneer Sub, JBL Speakers, Clarion Double DIN Headunit

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 Post subject: Re: Off centre steering wheel...
Posted: Sat Oct 12, 2019 9:22 am 
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I was searching for something else but tripped over this and figured it worth providing PROPER info to help others.

All this stuff about clamping steering wheel etc is s**t.

The two front wheels will ALWAYS self centre - ie regardless of negative toe or positive toe etc they will simply even up side to side when driving straight - SO the final position of your steering wheel depends on how evenly whatever setting your toe is has been applied from one side to the other.

The way to even up your wheel is simply to lengthen the tie rod on one side and shorten the tie rod on the other side THE SAME AMOUNT. The result will be a change in the centred position of your steering wheel.

If it can't be brought back into centred position like this - ie you run out of thread on one or other tie rod or both, then you have incorrect parts fitted somewhere - or mismatched parts (ie. oem tie rod and / or rod end on one side and aftermarket on the other - ie their sizes are different) - or something is seriously buggered somewhere.

Also, there's meant to be a minimum length of thread engaged inside the rod ends at the end of the adjustment process (else the rod might pull out and you MIGHT BE KILLED) - so make sure you have that safety before driving the car.

When setting the actual toe itself it's good practice to apply adjustment evenly to BOTH sides - but don't worry initially about wheel position. Once you're happy with the toe measurements and / or physical handling - THEN adjust your steering wheel position as described above (double check the toe adjustment but if you're real careful about making adjustments evenly side to side then the toe shouldn't change at all).

When alignment shops talk about clamping the wheel etc. they're basically talking about trying to avoid that whole trial and error centering process - ie. having to drive it to see the final position then adjusting against that then driving it again then adjusting again etc. etc. In THEORY if they clamp the wheel centred then adjust each side precisely with their measuring gear then the wheel SHOULD stay on centre.

Haven't EVER seen that happen in all my 54 years tho... - instead you get your car back with the wheel all messed up and a heap of whaffle (s**t) about needing to take hours to respline the wheel or it was all clamped and properly done so there must be something bent or damaged which will cost $$$ to find etc. All rubbish crap and nonsense - their gear or their ability to use it wasn't all its cracked up to be and they're too lazy to just sort it - period.

 

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