Centering steering wheel question. - Team Camaro Tech
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post #1 of 9 (permalink) Old Jul 14th, 09, 07:02 PM Thread Starter
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Jeremiah
 
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Centering steering wheel question.

I just bought a 69 Camaro and the steering wheel is quite a bit off center. I thought I could simply pull the steering wheel and correct it but there isnt enough adjustement due to the horn wire contact.

My question... Can I simply unbolt the rag joint from the gear box and rotate it or will the rag joint only go on the box in one position?

Before I go through the trouble I thought I should ask.
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post #2 of 9 (permalink) Old Jul 14th, 09, 08:28 PM
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Re: Centering steering wheel question.

Since you don't know the history of your Camaro there could be a lot of reasons why your steering wheel isn't straight. Some reasons (such as a damaged frame from an accident) could be quite severe. I would suggest that you try and inspect your vehicle to determine the reason for the steering wheel being out of position.

You might find the following paper to be of value in centering your steering wheel:
Microsoft Word format
http://jimshea.corvettefaq.com/wp-co...Rev18MY062.doc

PDF format
http://jimshea.corvettefaq.com/wp-co...v18my06pdf.pdf

Jim
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post #3 of 9 (permalink) Old Jul 14th, 09, 08:52 PM Thread Starter
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Jeremiah
 
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Re: Centering steering wheel question.

Its a fresh complete restoration and the front has been alligned but the wheel isnt centered. The frame hasnt been damaged from collision ect, im thinking it was just a lazy front end tech who didnt want to take the time to make it right? I dont think its off far enough that a tie rod adjustement wouldnt take car of it. As with all new restorations it needs some tweaking here and there.

Im a profesional body tech and have owned/restored a few first/second gens but cannot remember if you can rotate the steering shaft in the rag joint?

Thanks for the info btw, I didnt know about the signals being affected by the shaft not being centered.
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post #4 of 9 (permalink) Old Jul 14th, 09, 10:00 PM
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Re: Centering steering wheel question.

Unlike most modern and old cars , the steering wheel CANNOT be pulled and centere as the splines have a 'blank' section.

Method
1/make sure the pitman arm on the bottom of the steerng box has been installed correct, this also has a 'blank' section in the splines
When the steering box is centered the pitman arm should THEN be installed and should be pionting straight forward.
In this postion the steering wheel will also be positioned....If it is not the rag joint will be 180 deg out.....But the rag joint..if nothing has been butchered, only goes on 1 way as the 2 bolts only go thru each hole...they are diffrent bolts/holes.

Once the steering wheel, and steering box are centered...THEN the wheel alignment is done at the tie rods...with steering wheel locked/clamped.

look at the shims on each side of the A frames...one side packed up heaps , the other hardly any shims?
Sure sign the ppl who done the wheel alignment (caster and camber) havnt a clue what the hell they are bloody doing...and the steering wheel is out because of ignorance.

My Spelling is not incorrect...it is creative

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post #5 of 9 (permalink) Old Jul 15th, 09, 08:54 AM
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Re: Centering steering wheel question.

As part of the alignment process, a good technician should center the steering wheel and then align the front end.

Also, do to manufacturing tolerances you will probably find that you can actually move the steering wheel one spline on the steering shaft.

Also, the flexible coupling on the gear input shaft can also be moved one spline.

You really can't misindex the pitman arm on the pitman shaft. There are typically four blank splines on the pitman shaft (one in each quarter.) You cannot reasonably install the pitman arm one quarter turn off. The arm will be pointing way, way off to the side or it will be pointing in the opposite direction from the linkage. You wouldn't even be able to attach the relay rod.

Fine tuning of the steering wheel would be done at the tie rods. (Turning the adjuster sleeves both the same direction and the same exact amount will not change your front end toe settings. One direction will make the problem worse, the opposite direction will correct the problem.)

Jim
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post #6 of 9 (permalink) Old Jul 15th, 09, 10:17 AM
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Re: Centering steering wheel question.

You should really take the vehicle back to the alignment shop as centering the steering wheel is part of the front end alignment job!.....Anyways, I've just been through this after replacing a stock standard P/S gearbox with a stock fast ratio P/S gearbox.....Let me start off by asking how far off center is the steering wheel?, and in what direction? ie clockwise or counterclockwise?.....As long as all the splines are centered and indexed, this adjustment can be made at the tie rod sleeves and you could do it but like I said, this should have been done by the alignment shop!
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post #7 of 9 (permalink) Old Jul 15th, 09, 02:51 PM
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Re: Centering steering wheel question.

Sheeze! I read through this whole thread and don't have a thing to add. The 'good guys' beat me to it.

One owner 69 Camaro,(yep, bought it new
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post #8 of 9 (permalink) Old Jul 15th, 09, 06:19 PM Thread Starter
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Re: Centering steering wheel question.

Thanks for the great info guys!
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post #9 of 9 (permalink) Old Jul 21st, 09, 07:01 AM
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Re: Centering steering wheel question.

In a nutshell:
1). First of all you want the gear exactly on center. (The gear set inside the box has a "high spot" right on center.) This provides good positive feel right on center.

2). The linkage and front suspension are then aligned and the toe set.

3). Now you can work back through the flexible coupling, the steering column, and finally the steering wheel.

4). Final tweaking can be made by rotating the tie rod adjuster sleeves the same direction.

Jim
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