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Old 10-26-2004, 08:21 AM
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how to fix steering wheel?

ok my steering wheel is crooked like a quarter turn to the left. how would i fix this? i think it happened when it hit a curb when it was wet out.

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Old 10-26-2004, 08:30 AM
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You should have the front end aligned. or you will be buying new tires soon.

Troy
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Old 10-26-2004, 08:53 AM
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yeah im getting new tires for the winter so yeah. but couldnt i do this work myself, i mean aligne the front end myself? i have play in the wheel also from the the center position to that little to the left position. i can drive and move my wheel alittle and it doesnt go nowhere. that quarter to the left i mean like not half of a half,more like half of that half. like say 11 o'clock
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Old 10-26-2004, 09:02 AM
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If you have the right equipment, you can do it your self. Most people don't have the $100,000.00 worth of equipment to do it right. They might be able to adj. that slack out at the same time.

You posting the question that you did, tells me that you can't align it your self.

Troy
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Old 10-26-2004, 09:15 AM
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nope i dont think i can do it myself. i was thinking maybe it had something to do with the steering coloum in the engine bay where it hooked up to the rack n pinion
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Old 10-26-2004, 10:06 AM
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Search Google on "DIY Alignment" or something to that extent. People normally assume that you need 100k worth of equipment, but the reality is that things just aren't that complex. For one, the equipment to do the alignment via computer with those funny looking wheel sensors isn't that expensive.

The other detail is that cars have needed alignments since well before computers were around. It takes patience, a tape measure, straight edges, string and jack stands basically. I personally use a caliper that can measure to 1000ths of an inch. Makes getting to within a 16th of an inch of where I want to be pretty easy. The people who are quick to tell you that it can't be done are usually the people who have never tried.

You don't even need to measure anything if all you're after is to adjust your steering wheel. If you adjust both tie rods up front the same amount of rotations in one particular direction. IE: Two full rotations in on the passenger side and two full rotations out on the driver's side will adjust only the steering wheel and not alter any alignment settings. Its not rocket science, just takes some common sense.
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Old 10-26-2004, 10:21 AM
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thank you
yes that is all that i am after, since for one my tires are alinged together fine. they both face the same way none where just one wheel points straigh and the other to the side. two my steering wheel is a little crooked and im getting kind of tired looking at it and its not completly up and down.
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Old 10-26-2004, 11:24 AM
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Quote:
Originally posted by dmc12mk3

It takes patience, a tape measure, straight edges, string and jack stands basically. I personally use a caliper that can measure to 1000ths of an inch. Makes getting to within a 16th of an inch of where I want to be pretty easy. The people who are quick to tell you that it can't be done are usually the people who have never tried.

You are quite incorrect with your advise!!!

Your method will only enable you to adjust the toe-in. You can NOT adjust the caster and camber with the equipment you mentioned.

Your final statement ("The people who are quick to tell you that it can't be done are usually the people who have never tried.")
is way out of line. Perhaps when you get more experience and knowledge you will be in a better position to give sound advise.

Quote:
Originally posted by Brian Morency
thank you
yes that is all that i am after, since for one my tires are alinged together fine. they both face the same way none where just one wheel points straigh and the other to the side. two my steering wheel is a little crooked and im getting kind of tired looking at it and its not completly up and down.
For your own safety as well as others on the road; take it to a good front end alignment shop and get it done correctly. Hitting a curb hard enough to cause the steering wheel to no longer be in the correct location has more than likely caused damage to the front end and possibly the steering box.
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Old 10-26-2004, 11:25 AM
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Brian, if your not mechanically inclined, it would be better to take it to a front end shop. The steering is one of the most important parts of the automobile for safety, gas mileage, and wear on the tires. It's something that you don't do very often so the $30.00 -$40.00 bucks is well spent. Especially after hitting a curb or a big pot hole.

They can look straight and still be off. An 1/8 of an inch makes a big difference in both caster and camber.

Even if I align one on my frame rack during a frame repair, I still put it on the front end rack to properly align it.

Troy
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Old 10-26-2004, 11:56 AM
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Quote:
Originally posted by Frisco
You are quite incorrect with your advise!!!

Your method will only enable you to adjust the toe-in. You can NOT adjust the caster and camber with the equipment you mentioned.
We'll have to agree to disagree. I know what I can do with a straight edge and a caliper and I have done it on several occasions to check and alter the camber/toe on my cars. I run sticky tires and I don't chew them up.

Incidentally, if you really want to get into it - you can find the exact center line of the car with some string, a plum bob and some patience. Once that is done, even four wheel IRS setups are easy to adjust. For the purpose of this thread I was only dealing with the front end alignment adjustments.

On most cars caster is not adjustable or is not meant to be adjusted, and if you manage to adjust it you have larger problems than simple alignment needs. A common thing for macpherson strut suspension cars is the use of crash bolts to adjust camber. Heck, on my toyota, the factory uses the slop in the two bolts that hold the strut cup to the hub to set camber. Toyota sells a pair of bolts. 1 dot or 2 dot. Each dot allows for a half degree of camber adjustment in one direction or the other. If you have two 2 dot bolts (top and bottom), you can adjust a full two degrees negative or positive for your camber (handy for serious autocrossers). You can measure this adjustment as a distance using a caliper, a level and a straight edge. Then some basic trigonometry will translate that distance to degrees.

BTW - the same can be done for a double A arm suspension, you just have more bolts to contend with. Both of my 55 Chevrolets use a series of spacers on the upper A-arm bolts to adjust the camber. I measure this with a straight edge and a caliper just like I do on my Toyota. I have never adjusted the rear alignment on either Chevy though, its a solid axle so I don't suspect I have too much to worry about.


edit - I found a link with real instructions so you wouldn't even have to search.

http://www.allpar.com/fix/alignment.html

I don't use his directions for toe adjustments though. A friend of mine showed me a more convenient way of doing it on my lift but its hard to explain in a post.

Like I said, this stuff isn't rocket science - cars have needed it done for decades and computer alignment racks haven't been around anywhere close to that long. They just make it easier/quicker for someone in a garage to do and thats where they are worth their expense.

Last edited by dmc12mk3; 10-26-2004 at 12:08 PM.
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