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centering the steering wheel

Woodie

Jedi Warrior
Offline
I was thinking... when I drove about last night the steering wheel was not centered. How do you center it?
 

jlaird

Great Pumpkin
Country flag
Offline
Remove it and put it back on centered.
 

aeronca65t

Great Pumpkin
Offline
Well, maybe.

First, it's good to see if the tie-rods are equal length. They are like turnbuckles and can be "expanded" or shortened.
Sometimes, to save time when setting the toe-in, a mechanic will adjust only one of the tie rods and leave the other alone. This works fine for toe-in but it messes up another part of the steering geometry called "Ackerman effect" or "toe-out on turns" (because one tie-rod is longer than the other). It also leaves the steering wheel lopsided.

Whenever I see a lopside steering wheel, I look at the tie-rods first, to see if they're "even". You can usually tell by counting the number of exposed threads. If they're not even, I fix that first (and make sure the toe-in is set properly) and then I put the steering wheel on so it is centered.
 

piman

Darth Vader
Offline
Hello Woodie,

"oh that simple huh??"

Not entirely. It depends on the car. Many have a striker that is fixed to the steering column to self cancel the indicators. If you are too far off then the mechanism works wrongly, not a big thing but it can be annoying.
The other point is that when the steering is tracked, and if the wheel was centered before the tracking and off centre after then the tracking probably was done incorrectly, usually by adjusting only one side.
Ideally the wheel should be centred when the steering rack or box is in mid position and the wheels aligned to that position. This is important if power steering is fitted.

Alec
 

jlaird

Great Pumpkin
Country flag
Offline
Ha ha, turn indicators, on off switch in center of dash board. Sorry.

Yep should have said more I guess, assumed, wrong thing to do here. Back to basics. Agree with all the above of course.
 

regularman

Yoda
Offline
[ QUOTE ]
Hello Woodie,

"oh that simple huh??"

Not entirely. It depends on the car. Many have a striker that is fixed to the steering column to self cancel the indicators. If you are too far off then the mechanism works wrongly, not a big thing but it can be annoying.
The other point is that when the steering is tracked, and if the wheel was centered before the tracking and off centre after then the tracking probably was done incorrectly, usually by adjusting only one side.
Ideally the wheel should be centred when the steering rack or box is in mid position and the wheels aligned to that position. This is important if power steering is fitted.

Alec

[/ QUOTE ] You can move the self canceling thing on the steering column. Its just a spring clip that can be slid around with a little force.
 

zimmy

Jedi Knight
Offline
if you DO decide to remove the steering wheel...
only take the nut most the way loose , THEN pop the
steering wheel loose by pulling with ur knees and tapping
from behind, THEN remove the nut...
saves ur face for later ; )
a tractor size socket set is VERY helpful for the
procedure,,,,,,,,,zzzimmmmy
 
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