Steering wheel alignment - Team Camaro Tech
Brakes, Suspension & Steering Conversion questions, Steering & Handling

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post #1 of 11 (permalink) Old Jul 3rd, 19, 09:54 PM Thread Starter
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Steering wheel alignment

Iím redoing my suspension on my í81 Camaro,


Iím replacing the Inner / outer tie rods, center link, idler arm and intermediate shaft. Before taking my suspension apart, I had the steering wheel and wheels straight.


I removed the Steering box and pitman arm as a unit. Now that Iím re-assembling the car, I counted the turns on the input shaft of the steering box and centered the steering box, reattached the intermediate shaft and now my steering wheel is off center (see picture)


Is it possible that the alignment was off before? How can I fix this?
can I just remove the steering wheel and re-center it as my steering box is dead on center, with the input shaft flat spot at 12 oíclock

Steering box centered in its travel range


Pitman arm location with the Steering box centered in its travel range


steering wheel off
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1981 Camaro Z28 Maroon
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post #2 of 11 (permalink) Old Jul 4th, 19, 12:09 AM
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Brandon
 
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Re: Steering wheel alignment

Should be able to yes, Find what true center is by turning wheel left to stop and right to stop to find center, Loosen locking nut in the wheel and pull wheel. Then turn it whichever way you want it situated and then re-install it and tighten the nut. You may still be off a tooth no matter how close you get it. Then the only way I know of to set it right would be to loosen the nuts on the tie rods and spin the tie rod ends equal amounts until the wheel is centered and then re-tighten the nuts.

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post #3 of 11 (permalink) Old Jul 4th, 19, 07:59 AM
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Re: Steering wheel alignment

If I am not mistaken the pitman arm can only go on in 90* intervals. Looks like you may be 90* off.

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post #4 of 11 (permalink) Old Jul 4th, 19, 09:53 AM
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Al
 
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Re: Steering wheel alignment

Did you compare the new intermediate shaft with the old one to be sure the couplers
are assembled correctly? If they are correct then I would guess someone prior to you
reset the steering wheel for whatever reason. Pull the steering wheel and see if it can
be re-oriented. There may be an alignment flat/key preventing that. The pitman arm
may be off 90* but you won't know that until you get the steering wheel centered with
the gear. Who knows what these cars have been through over the decades.

Al

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post #5 of 11 (permalink) Old Jul 6th, 19, 08:24 AM
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Re: Steering wheel alignment

None of the above commentators have pulled a wheel on a car with a locking column. The horn connector goes thru the lock plate and prevents the wheel from being installed more than a couple of teeth either way. There is an issue with that gear box if it is the same by application for your car. if you are changing to a fast ratio box that may be the issue as that box was built for a different car.

Jeff
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post #6 of 11 (permalink) Old Jul 6th, 19, 10:00 AM
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Al
 
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Re: Steering wheel alignment

Quote:
Originally Posted by yellow69RS View Post
None of the above commentators have pulled a wheel on a car with a locking column. The horn connector goes thru the lock plate and prevents the wheel from being installed more than a couple of teeth either way. There is an issue with that gear box if it is the same by application for your car. if you are changing to a fast ratio box that may be the issue as that box was built for a different car.

Jeff
Jeff, I have pulled the steering wheel on a locking column although admittedly it's been a while.
I also stated "if it can be re-oriented". The OP made no comment as to changing the box but if
he did that may well be his problem. The only other thing causing this would be the intermediate
shaft as I stated unless we don't know the whole story.

Al

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post #7 of 11 (permalink) Old Jul 6th, 19, 10:42 AM
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Re: Steering wheel alignment

When I rebuilt the front end on my 69, I had the same issue...
then I took it in for a front end alignment and when I got it back the steering wheel was straight.

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post #8 of 11 (permalink) Old Aug 4th, 19, 11:10 AM
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Re: Steering wheel alignment

The steering wheel should checked to see if it's aligned with the mark on the shaft. Mark is at 12:00 with steering wheel centered. While not a big deal, if it's not, the turn signal cancelling cam will misaligned. Each signal will then cancel at a different point in the steering wheel rotation. The correct way to center the wheel is to adjust the tie rods.

The steering box is also considered centered when the bolt head that clamps the rag joint to the gearbox shaft is pointing up, (after a rough adjustment of counting turns). The mark on the end of the steering shaft should then be at 12:00.
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post #9 of 11 (permalink) Old Aug 4th, 19, 02:30 PM
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Re: Steering wheel alignment

u need a wheel alignement

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post #10 of 11 (permalink) Old Aug 4th, 19, 02:56 PM
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Re: Steering wheel alignment

I was thinking he used a new steering box with different number of turns lock to lock.

Don
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Last edited by dhutton; Aug 5th, 19 at 06:38 AM.
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post #11 of 11 (permalink) Old Aug 4th, 19, 09:26 PM
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Re: Steering wheel alignment

Quote:
Originally Posted by scblucam View Post
If I am not mistaken the pitman arm can only go on in 90* intervals. Looks like you may be 90* off.
IIRC, turning the steering wheel 90į (in either direction) will only move the pitman arm about 7į.

Quote:
Originally Posted by yellow69RS View Post
The horn connector goes thru the lock plate and prevents the wheel from being installed more than a couple of teeth either way. .
This is what I remembered seeing when I removed and reinstalled my steering wheel after a front end rebuild.

Quote:
Originally Posted by 69-er View Post
The steering wheel should checked to see if it's aligned with the mark on the shaft. Mark is at 12:00 with steering wheel centered. While not a big deal, if it's not, the turn signal cancelling cam will misaligned. Each signal will then cancel at a different point in the steering wheel rotation. The correct way to center the wheel is to adjust the tie rods.
The steering box is also considered centered when the bolt head that clamps the rag joint to the gearbox shaft is pointing up, (after a rough adjustment of counting turns). The mark on the end of the steering shaft should then be at 12:00.
I agree with 69-er. The OP stated that they also changed the inner and outer tie rods... and they probably need to be adjusted. After I rebuilt my front end, I first straightened the steering wheel and then locked the steering wheel in-place by shoving my racing helmet between the steering wheel and the driver's seat. I then adjusted both of the tie rods to straighten both front tires and set the correct toe-in based on the thrust angle of the rear wheels (using homemade turn plates under the front tires).
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