I just got done putting my 98camaro back together after hitting a center median..long story short, when its going strait the streering wheel its cocked to the right about 1/4. I replaced the rack and pinion and havnt got it alligned because im getting new tires soon..but its annoying driving it like this. Can I play with the tie rod ends untill its somewhat normal? I will allign it soon as I get some new tires. Thanks guys.
04-01-2010 06:59 AM
Better do something fast because if the alignment is out that far, it's going to eat up the tires that's on there now. If it's going to be awhile till you can afford new one's you might want to take it and see if it can be aligned as close as possible without a warranty. The alignment tech can also tell you if there is any other damage like bent tie rods so you know what needs replaced. :D
04-01-2010 10:34 PM
For a small investment in time, you can get the toe-in set yourself in your driveway, and get the steering wheel straight.
Get a couple of 2x4's that are about a foot longer than the diameter of your tires. Lay them along the sidewall of your front tires on the ground with your wheels pointed straight ahead. Put some riser blocks under them so they rest against the sidewall of the tire above the bulge and are hanging past the tire about the same front and rear. With a tape measure, measure the distance from the outside of the 2 x 4 on one side of the car to the outside of the 2 x 4 on the opposite side on the rear side of the tires. Make sure to keep the tape up next to the tread and then write down the figure. Then measure the same way on the front side of the tires. Subtract the front dimension from the rear and that is your toe setting. If it is toe-in, the front dimension will be smaller, toe-out the front dimension will be bigger.
To adjust the toe, loosen the lock nuts on the outer tie rod ends and turn the tie rods in or out to adjust the setting. Once the toe is set, you can then straighten the steering wheel. In your case you will need to shorten the right tie rod about 1/4 turn and lengthen the left exactly the same amount if the car is rear steer. If it is front steer, lengthen the right and shorten the left side. You must move each side the same amount so as not to change the overall toe setting. Take it for a test drive and see if the steering wheel is centered, if not, adjust some more. Rolling the front tires onto a small pile of newspaper on the floor will help you be able to turn the tires easier while you are making adjustments. Test drive and recheck the toe setting.
When you are ready, get the whole front end aligned.
04-02-2010 08:58 PM
YOU DON'T NEED NEW TIRES TO GET AN ALIGNMENT!!!!! I'm not sure why people think that, you said you were going to get it aligned anyway then just do it. The alignment heads attach to the wheels so tires don't matter unless you plan on changing sizes or rims.