CRAZY Alignment Problems - Team Camaro Tech
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post #1 of 17 (permalink) Old Oct 11th, 09, 11:26 AM Thread Starter
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CRAZY Alignment Problems

My 70Z Quick Ratio Power Steering turns sharper to the left then the right. The steering wheel has 2 1/8th turns lock to lock. It rotates almost 1 1/4 turns to lock position for the left and 7/8th turns of the wheel to lock position for the right. As far as I can see the steering wheel is mounted in the proper location according to the “alleged” alignment marks on the steering column and the wheels point straight when the steering wheel is centered. You would think, with the steering properly adjusted, the steering wheel should be centered at the 1 1/16th rotation from the lock positions with the wheels pointing straight allowing equal turning radius.

Right now I sense that the car is steering straight with the worm gear, approximately 1/8 turns too far to the right and not riding in the neutral position. I also have to manually cancel my right blinker.

HOW to correct this? Am I thinking correctly to proceed in this manner:

Turn the steering wheel so that it is half way between the lock to lock positions and adjust the tie rods equally so that the wheels point straight forward then reposition the steering wheel on the column regardless of the “Alleged” markings. I performed a Blinker Test in this Position and the flashers cancelled properly.

On the other hand, I wonder if I need to reposition the Steering Coupling (forget the proper name) on the Worm Shaft rather then repositioning the steering wheel which may be mounted in the correct position according to the “alleged” markings (but seems turn out); however, I do not think it is possible as I believe the Worm Shaft it can only be splined in one position – correct me - if I’m wrong.

Here are PIC’s of my tie rods and Steering Coupling.


PSGR Tie Rod


DRIVERS Tie Rod

NOTE: The threads on the Passenger Tie Rod have been almost completely used compared to the number of threads visible on the Drivers Side.


Intermediate Shaft and Worm Gear Coupling. NOTE Horizontal Intermediate Shaft and position of Coupler Pin.

Does the Steering Shaft and Coupler to Worm Gear appear to be in the Neutral Position in this PIC. I always thought that the Intermediate Shaft should be position Vertically and the pin on the coupler at 12 o’clock, which means I may also have to clock the splines on the Worm Shaft (if possible); in which case, the “alleged” markings on the Steering Column may be correct. As I said, I performed a Blinker Test with the Intermediate Shaft positioned as per the PIC and the Flashers Cancelled properly indicating that the Intermediate Shaft to Worm Shaft must be OK in this position.

I also noted that the Pitman and Idler Arm appeared to be pointed straight when the Intermediate Shaft was position as per the PIC.

Contrary to the "alleged" alignment marks for the Steering Wheel mounting position, this PIC shows the 1/2 way Lock to Lock position for the Steering Wheel and appears to be approximately 1/4 turn out of position.



I do not think the way it is assembled that it would be good for the Worm Gear which in all probability will be adjusted for slack. Your comments would be greatly appreciated before I dive into it.

Yah! I know she's a little dirty and yes that's a Volvo floor mat - LOL - but the weather is getting pretty darn cold and I haven't been riding my Breganze ;o)

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Last edited by Z15CAM; Oct 11th, 09 at 12:18 PM.
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post #2 of 17 (permalink) Old Oct 11th, 09, 01:25 PM
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Re: CRAZY Alignment Problems

There is another current thread coving the same issues....
This is generally caused by a wheel alignment guy who doesnt know what he is doing..

Need to pull the sterring wheel, check it is aligned on the splines correct...check the same on the rag joint and pitman arn has been put on right.
Then the toe in adjusted with the steering wheel centered and locked down

My Spelling is not incorrect...it is creative

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post #3 of 17 (permalink) Old Oct 11th, 09, 01:31 PM
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Re: CRAZY Alignment Problems

yep check the pitman arm,,the steering wheel , I believe is the last thing you set,,, ?

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post #4 of 17 (permalink) Old Oct 11th, 09, 01:51 PM Thread Starter
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Re: CRAZY Alignment Problems

Yeh! Just Checked the Steering Wheel and it can only go on one way and that is with the so called "Alleged" Alignment marks.

Your right it's probably the Pitman Arm Clocking that is providing you can't Clock the splines on the Worm Shaft.

When I bought the car in 76 the mechanic I bought it off said he put on a new Linkage Bar on and I have a feeling the mistake was made with the Pitman Arm back then; but if you notice the amount of difference there is in the Tie Rod Adjustments there appears to be more then enough adjustment in that direction to straighten the wheels with the Pitman Arm facing straight out and the Worm Gear is centered. Is it possible that the Intermediate Coupler (RAG JOINT - thanks) is not properly Clocked on the splines of the Worm Shaft and can it be Clocked; thereby, centering the Steering Wheel? Sure seems to be pointing in that direction - As I say it's getting very cold here and with no garage I don't want to be out there anymore then I have too - LOL

What gets me is that I took the car to an alignment shop shortly after purchasing it (back in 76) to have aligned because of the new Linkage Bar. Seems to me you just have to do it yourself. On second thought, if that Worm Shaft can be clocked, I just may have did it myself when I had the car dismantled. I think my Biggest Problem is as I age I acquire CRAFT Disease - Sish!

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Last edited by Z15CAM; Oct 11th, 09 at 02:36 PM.
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post #5 of 17 (permalink) Old Oct 11th, 09, 05:06 PM
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Re: CRAZY Alignment Problems

The Pitman arm is clocked too. I don't think moving the arm will fix the problem. I think that somebody installed the rag joint (the end with two bolts, not the steering box flange, that's keyed too!) 180 degrees out and then aligned the car to center the steering wheel.

There are two studs on the rag joint flange that fit loosely into the steering column flange. These will keep the the flanges loosely engaged even if the rag joint tears. The studs are two different diameters but, you can still put the rag joint together upside down if you don't pay attention. Remove the two bolts, turn the steering wheel 180 degrees and reassemble and then have the car aligned to correct the "now upside down" steering wheel.

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post #6 of 17 (permalink) Old Oct 11th, 09, 05:11 PM Thread Starter
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Re: CRAZY Alignment Problems

Hee Hee: Did it. The Rag coupling is Cockable on the Worm Shaft. I was worried that Groove on the Worm Shaft was not 360 Degrees but it is. There is barely room to back the Coupling of the Spline before it hits the Front Cross Member. Actually there isn't enough but I backed it out as far as possible and turned the motor on, then Cranked the Wheel to the end and applied a little pressure and the collar slipped on the the splines of the Worm Shaft to about just over 1/4 turn which I was looking for. If it was not for the Flexability of the Rag Joint to release the pressure, I imagine that I would have to take the Rag Joint out. Anyway the Blinkers are Cancelling and I'm very close to 1 1/8th turns from Center Wheel to Lock in both directions. I've yet to test Drive but I know there is more then enough adjustment in the Tie Rods to fine tune. Tomorrow I will make minor adjustments and check the Worm Gear for slack.

Thanks for the input guy's, it sure made it easier for me.

Hey Paul: The rag Joint if I remember correctly has different diameter bolts to prevent you from inverting the coupling but as you say you could force them and be 180 degrees out. In my case I must have not clocked the Worm Shaft properly when I had the car apart as I was only 1/4 turn out.

I really don't like that Tie Rod adjustment butted out on the Psgr-Side and just a few threads holding the Dvrs-Side - That will part of my minor adjustments.

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Last edited by Z15CAM; Oct 11th, 09 at 06:18 PM.
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post #7 of 17 (permalink) Old Oct 11th, 09, 06:35 PM
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Re: CRAZY Alignment Problems

Hey Ron. I have this same problem but my steering wheel (not original) can go on any way.

I am still working on this. Pittman looks relatively centered. Just wondering if my rag joint could be upside down like you were saying. My thread was started because Semi's can out turn my car. I have a picture of the pitman below but dont have a puller yet to check it.

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post #8 of 17 (permalink) Old Oct 11th, 09, 07:32 PM Thread Starter
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Re: CRAZY Alignment Problems

Quote:
Semi's can out turn my car.
Patrick: I was like that turning Right and almost trip over the front wheels turning Left - but no more - LOL

For some reason I get the Picture of what happening then when I get working on steering problems everything gets reversed and becomes clear as MUD.

I wanted to consider everything before I tore apart an adjustment that complicated matters; but I couldn't remember for the life of me if the Worm Shaft was Clockable - Sure glad it is - and was able to slip the Collar on the Rag Coupler without having to remove the steering box or steering column or something CRAZY like that. Believe me, I felt sick when it backup against the cross member ;o)

The very first thing I made sure of was that the Pitman Arm and Idler Arm pointed straight forward when the Worm Gear was Centered - I didn't care where the Steering wheelor tires were positioned. Which they did so I could dismiss the Pitman Clocking. I didn't care where the tires pointed because that would be a Tie Rod issue. Because the Steering Wheel is in a Fixed Location for the Blinkers to function, it left either a 180 Degree reversed Rag Coupler or the Worm Shaft was not clocked right. As the Steering wheel was not totally upside down when the Worm Gear was centered it had to be the Clocking on the Worm Shaft.

It took all day but it eventually sunk in. I should have Titled this thread "Crazy Alignment Puzzle".

I made 2 errors approaching this Puzzle: #1 Believing the Steering Wheel was Clockable and #2 Confusion on whether the Worm Shaft was Clockable as I new the Rag Coupler isn't if assembled correctly because I recall the puzzle concerning the differences of the Rag Bolts fitting into their respective locations and was certain it was OK.

You know considering all this I probably knew that I needed further adjustment on clocking the Worm Shaft when assembling the car and let it go then forgot completely about it - As I say - CRAFT Disease becomes more apparent with every day you get older - By the way the Intermediate Shaft does position Vertically with the Head of the Rag Coupler Collar Pin Bolt facing Upwards when the Steering Wheel and Worm Gear are centered - how was that for memory - LOL

I hope my experience today gives you some in site into your problem.

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Last edited by Z15CAM; Oct 11th, 09 at 10:01 PM.
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post #9 of 17 (permalink) Old Oct 11th, 09, 08:08 PM
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Re: CRAZY Alignment Problems

Quote:
Hey Paul: The rag Joint if I remember correctly has different diameter bolts to prevent you from inverting the coupling but as you say you could force them and be 180 degrees out.
Correct....Im not familar with 2nd gen ....

To set up steering...
pull the rag joint..easiest done from under the dash thru rthe firewall
Pull the steering wheel, check the spines are located correct...use a steering wheel puller
Center the steering box....is the pitman pionting straight forward?
If not pull the pitman and check it is located on the splines straight forward, locate correct.
Now when you reconnect the rag joint with the steering box centered the steering wheel will be centered.
using a string line, roughly set the toe in..tie rod ends...and center the ajustment sleves
Now head off for a wheel alignment...
Make sure that the steering wheel is centered and clamp locked ...before adjusting the tierod ends....
If the top A frame shims are drastially uneven side to side, remove and also setup the caster camber so they shimming is reasonably even.

I posted in a thread several months ago instructions and what each size shim adjusts the amount of caster/camber....save a lot of messing around hit and miss.

My Spelling is not incorrect...it is creative

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post #10 of 17 (permalink) Old Oct 11th, 09, 08:31 PM Thread Starter
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Re: CRAZY Alignment Problems

Quote:
Correct....Im not familar with 2nd gen
Steps: The 70 has the same steering Column as the 69 - Don't know if the Rag Joint is different though. The 70 and 69 are basically the same car just some suspension differences and body.

Quote:
pull the rag joint..easiest done from under the dash thru rthe firewall
Now that would be a feat even with a 69 - You're WINGED - LOL

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post #11 of 17 (permalink) Old Oct 12th, 09, 06:07 AM
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Re: CRAZY Alignment Problems

If you want to know all the nitty gritty details on steering system centering for your Gen 1 Camaro, here is the address for a paper to download in pdf format.

http://jimshea.corvettefaq.com/wp-co...ev28jl2009.pdf

There is still one thing that I don't understand. Your steering gear input shaft should have had a flat machined on it. Your flexible coupling should have had a mating flat machined into the flange that attached to it. So they should only have assembled in one location.

You mentioned using the steering wheel to "wrench" the flexible coupling around the gear shaft to get it to clock 90 degrees and correct the problem. Assuming that got the flex coupling and gear oriented together correctly, I still wonder how someone got the two parts together in the first place.

Jim
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post #12 of 17 (permalink) Old Oct 12th, 09, 08:06 AM
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Re: CRAZY Alignment Problems

Quote:
Originally Posted by Z15CAM View Post
Steps: The 70 has the same steering Column as the 69
Except the 70 steering is in front of the tires and requires a intermediate shaft that attaches to the end of the column with a double D . I don't know if the length of the second gen column would allow you to interchange shafts from 69 to 70.
Jeff
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post #13 of 17 (permalink) Old Oct 12th, 09, 12:17 PM
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Re: CRAZY Alignment Problems

Quote:
pull the rag joint..easiest done from under the dash thru rthe firewall

Now that would be a feat even with a 69 - You're WINGED - LOL
Remove the plastic floor panal and seal etc that leaves a nice hole in the firewall
A ring spanner and a long socket extension....then if want..pull the harniss and undo the column mount the column is out in under 10 mins
Oh forgot the trans steering lock split pin.

"work hard at being lazy"
These things where put together on a production line, take a few minutes out with a cup of coffee and look at what u want to take apart, from the point of veiw of an assembly line (mot a disassble line)....and a little bit of lateral thinking...

My Spelling is not incorrect...it is creative

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post #14 of 17 (permalink) Old Oct 12th, 09, 05:06 PM Thread Starter
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Re: CRAZY Alignment Problems

Quote:
There is still one thing that I don't understand. Your steering gear input shaft should have had a flat machined on it. Your flexible coupling should have had a mating flat machined into the flange that attached to it. So they should only have assembled in one location.
Jim I'm referring to the Worm Shaft end of the Rag Joint, not the Steering Column end but I did assume the Rag Joint Coupler Flange could not be clocked on the Worm input Shaft. When I removed the Pin Bolt from the Rag Joint Flange I could see that the Input Spline of the Worm Shaft was round and had a 360 degree Groove to accept the Pin Bolt. That meant that the Worm shaft was Clock-able on my 70. I can't see why for all intensive purposes why it would be different on a 1st Gen.

Quote:
You mentioned using the steering wheel to "wrench" the flexible coupling around the gear shaft to get it to clock 90 degrees and correct the problem. Assuming that got the flex coupling and gear oriented together correctly, I still wonder how someone got the two parts together in the first place
Now I don't know if the 1st Gens Rag Couple are similar but if I recall correctly when I assembled the Rag Joint on my 70 the Bolts had different Shanks. One bolt shank had a consistent 5/16" diameter and the other had a 5/16" neck with a 1/4" thread (there abouts, I can't be specific about the diameters). The Diameter of the Bolt Holes through the Flex Pads (which I believe, have a Metal Disk Backing) of the Rag Joint correspond for the matching Bolt. This ensures that the Rag Joint can only be assembled one way and not be reversed 180 degrees unless, as I pointed out prior, you forced the bolts through. My Steering Wheel was out as you say by 90 Degrees. What I did was remove the Pin Bolt from the Rag Joint and slide the Rag Joint Flange back, as the Intermediate Shaft will retract a certain amount, in the attempt to free it from the Worm Shaft so I could Clock it but the Rag Joint hit the Cross Member. So I left it there and simply grabbed the Steering Wheel and forced it. Since the Pin bolt was not exerting a clamping force, the Rag Coupler Flange which was just holding on to the end of Shaft did rotate over the splines with the aid of the Flex from the Rag Joint when the Worm Gear was turn to maximum and locked and pressure applied via the steering wheel. It was now a simple matter of determining the Clock position and slide the Rag Joint Coupler Flange Fully back onto the Worm Shaft then lock it with the Pin Bolt. I am now thinking rather then using the steering wheel a Wrench can be used on the flat surfaces of the Intermediate Shaft and you could Jam the Pitman Arm for the clocking. Really, if the variables are there, it would make no difference, in my opinion, if the Rag Coupler was Inverted 180 degrees in order to Clock the Steering Column with the Worm Gear.

This method may work on a 1st Gen without the need to dissemble the Rag Joint providing these Variables: #1 The Worm Shaft Spline is Round with a 360 Degree Groove for the Pin Bolt used with the Rag Joint Coupler Flange and #2 The Steering Column allows the Rag Joint Shaft to Retract Back into the Column a certain amount. One plus is that a 1st Gen should not have the Cross Member to get in the way.

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post #15 of 17 (permalink) Old Oct 13th, 09, 06:39 AM Thread Starter
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Re: CRAZY Alignment Problems

This morning I did the final Clocking for the Steering Shaft to Worm Gear, Believe it or not, all I had to do was loosen the Pin Bolt for the Flange on the Rag Coupling and turn the Steering Wheel and the Splined Interfaced slipped relatively easily with the Tires on asphalt. There was no need to remove the Pin Bolt or Push the Rag Joint back. I would imagine if the Spline was rusted you might have problems doing this and would have to lubricate and play with it. Just how simple can that be – Sish!

However, you guys are right that the Pitman Arm could be out one notch as I still have 1 1/8 turns left to left lock and 7/8 turns to right lock meaning the Worm gear is not riding on center when the Steering Wheel and Tires are straight. Looking at my tie rods PICS, I have at least a 1/2" to 3/4" adjustment in that direction which possibly could Center the Gear. If not, I will have to move the pitman arm over one notch and re-align the Steering Shaft.

In the mean time the Blinkers are working perfect. I would hate to get pulled over because a Flasher didn't cancel ;o)

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Last edited by Z15CAM; Oct 13th, 09 at 07:09 AM.
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