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Centering the Steering

Steve1970

Senior Member
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Still waiting for my clutch & other parts to arrive, so I worked on some other less-than-critical issues this weekend..

I have noticed that when the turn signal cancel clip is in the "centered" position, my front wheels are not. What is the common method of getting the t.s. cancel clip centering in line with the front wheels centering? Do I disconnect the steering column at the rack and rotate the column shaft until she's in line?
 

Geo Hahn

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On my cars I find this is most easily done by adjusting the tie-rods on each side an equal (but opposite) amount.

I mark with a spot of paint and count the flats as I turn. If your alignment was correct before it will be correct after.

You wouldn't want to do big adjustment this way as it might change the geometry of the steering (and disguise a real problem) but for fine tuning it has worked for me.
 

TR3driver

Great Pumpkin - R.I.P
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If it's off enough to affect turn signal cancelling, then I would start with changing splines on the column.

Ideally I think, you should center the rack first and then adjust everything else to match.
 

70herald

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Geo Hahn said:
On my cars I find this is most easily done by adjusting the tie-rods on each side an equal (but opposite) amount.

I mark with a spot of paint and count the flats as I turn. If your alignment was correct before it will be correct after.

You wouldn't want to do big adjustment this way as it might change the geometry of the steering (and disguise a real problem) but for fine tuning it has worked for me.

Um not sure about this. After I put the front end all together, I brought my car over to my friendly local mechanic (who is amused by my madness and willing to help out) We spent about 2 hours adjusting the rack / angles etc. It is amazing how much turning " a few flats" affects the geometry of the front end (even if you do this on both sides) It is also amazing how much better the car tracks, handles and drives with the front end aligned properly.

Steve, if the front end is properly aligned you just need to release the steering shaft from the rack, rotate it to the correct location ( and then maybe correct the angle of the steering wheel relative to the shaft also)
If you have not had the car aligned, do that first and then line up the rest of the steering system to the rack. It is not particularly expensive and makes a real difference.
 

Andrew Mace

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In this particular situation, I think I tend to agree that a thorough check of alignment, and THEN correcting the wheel and/or column position, would be a good idea.

Several years ago, I replaced tie rod ends on a friend's Spitfire. I was very careful to count the turns required to remove each tie rod, so that I might at least get it "close enough" to drive away. In doing so, I discovered that one tie rod end was screwed in nearly as far as it could go, while the other one was only on by about a half-dozen threads. Not liking that at all, I did manage to more or less "balance out" the number of turns on each of the new tie rod ends as I installed them.
 
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