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Fitted new steering rack; now steering wheel is mile off centre

MisterCruiser

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I fitted a new steering rack, my tracking was pretty good originally with wheels and steering wheel straight together. I didn't center the new rack the first time as thought it was already set and my steering wheel ended up being like 180 degrees off.

Just now, I disconnected the steering shaft from the rack and centered the new rack as in it turns 3.5 turns from lock to lock so I centered it at 1+3/4 turns before re-connecting my steering wheel shaft to the rack. I had set the steering wheel in the straight position with the wheels facing to the left when I disconnected the steering shaft from the rack.

The steering wheel is still off, not as far off but still a mile off as seen in pic, that's how far off it is with my wheels facing in straight ahead position.

Can I correct the steering wheel now by adjusting my tie/track rods or is it still too far off center for adjusting the track rods? The new rack came with new inner tie rods and I refitted my original outer track rods and put both on with 10 threads remaining as that's what they counted originally.

What did I do wrong here btw :) I don't really get what I done wrong the 2nd time around?

Steering-wheel-off-centre.jpg
 

Shayne

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Forget the steering wheel you can take it off and set it straight easy enough so i'd concentrate on getting your wheels straight with even thread on both tie rods . I redid mine using a length of string after a tracking garage straightened the steering wheel by having one rod fully wound in while the other was fully wound out :wtf:
 

MisterCruiser

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I’m not sure what you’re suggesting I do regards concentrating on getting the wheels straight with even track rods. My track rods are currently set at an even 10 threads each side. If I turn the steering wheel to have the wheels straight, they’re straight with even tie rods, it’s just my steering wheel is off center in this position.

I’m not sure what your suggesting I do, but it’s late and I’m prob not thinking properly
 

Shayne

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ah right ok so all is good and you just need to take the steering wheel off to set it straight which i a very straight forward job , look under it and you will see two removable squares in the plastic housing . Undo the torque screws to remove the boss and you can see the rest .
 

Shayne

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There's an airbag inside so i disconnect the battery and turn lights on just to drain any residue power for half hour before i start .
 

MisterCruiser

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Can I take the steering wheel off with the air bag left intact within it? I don’t need to remove the airbag or mess with the clock spring thing to get to a large steering wheel nut?

Is removing the steering wheel the correct way to fix this,, it’s not going to leave me with a longer / shorter no. of turns to full lock either side?

Sorry, im not doubting you, it’s just I don’t understand what I done wrong that got me in this situation of having to take the steering wheel off to make it right. Would you generally be able to replace a rack without having to take it off at the end?
 
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Shayne

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Like me you forgot to tie off the wheel while removing the rack thats why its offset .

You do have to remove the squib to get to the big nut if i remember correctly but it really is uncomplicated . A replacement clockspring has written on it "wind fully left/right? then 7 turns to the opposite direction" something like that anyway though i'm not sure if the original does in which case you just have to gamble the wheel hasn't turned much while you had the rack off .

I suppose you could disconnect and turn it at the spline where it connects to the rack but there will be lots of cursing and swearing involved .

Having removed the steering wheel once very cautiously not knowing what to expect the next time took me maybe 10 minutes or less , the squib just plugs in and you undo a few screws to remove everything .
 

MisterCruiser

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I put the wheels straight originally and locked the steering with the ignition lock so my steering wheel didn’t get turned when replacing the rack. I didn’t think the bit I turned the wheel to get it to lock would be enough to knock it so far off center that I have ended up with.
I put a new spline coupling on the new rack, maybe this altered things, does it matter which position I put that coupling on, it would fit on on the rack splines in any position.
I disconnected the steering from the rack via the black rubber sandwich via its 2 bolts + locating studs, I disconnected this here again this evening in order to centre the rack individually. I’m not sure how disconnecting it here will help me straighten the steering wheel



 

Shayne

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There's a slider collar on the splines above the rubber sandwich so if you remove the locator bolts slip the collar off , turn the steering wheel straight then bolt it all back together again Bob's your uncle , but i've never done it that way because i'm quite sure its far more difficult to do than removing the steering wheel .

You could tie strings to the locating bolts and steer the car with them , from steering wheel to rack its just one big bolt and the steering wheel is just a spanner to turn it with so correcting it top or bottom really makes no difference whichever you find easier works .
 

MisterCruiser

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But is that not what I done this evening? I had both the rack and steering wheel disconnected from each other, I centred the rack and I had the steering wheel left in the straight position before I disconnected it, I then reconnected it and the steering still ended up being way off.
I probably will just end up removing the steering wheel as it is easier than disconnecting down at the rack end, I just don’t get how it’s off so much.
 

Shayne

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At the factory i would imagine the steering wheel is one of the last things fitted so there's no need for a set standard at the rack .
 

MisterCruiser

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Ok, cheers for the help. I’m Gonna go ahead and remove the steering wheel tonight,, just to confirm, this won’t affect anything like the cancel feature of my indicators or anything?


Removing the steering is definitely my next move and the correct way to solve this, yeah?
 

Shayne

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Your reluctance above all else tells me it will be fine proceed with caution and when your done you will be like how easy was that . I had to change a stalk as well that's a bit more involved . Common sense will guide you it only comes apart and goes back together one way and its all a bit kids toy simple .
 

MisterCruiser

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I only got round to doing this tonight, took the wheel off 3 times and drove it and finally got it straight on the 3rd. It's dead straight now, might just get the tracking set properly at my local place to complete the job. Indicators cancel feature all work as they should etc,,,

I wasn't reluctant to remove the steering wheel because of it being difficult or anything, Iv'e removed them in some of my other cars before, I was reluctant to remove it in case it wasn't the "correct" way to center it if I was supposed to adjust it somewhere else at the rack or such and didn't want to do it the "easy" way and then discover my indicator cancel feature messed up or having more lock 1 way than the other.

She's all good in the woods again though, cheers for the help dude :)
 
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