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Re: Alignment made simple

To: "A.D.Smith" <>
Subject: Re: Alignment made simple
From: "John M. Trindle" <>
Date: Thu, 21 Dec 1995 10:35:43 -0500 (EST)
On Thu, 21 Dec 1995, A.D.Smith wrote:

> From: "John M. Trindle" <>
> >> a steering wheel cocked about 40 degrees to the right, and 3) a report of 
> If this was the main problem, wouldn't it be easier to just take the steering
> wheel off and turn it round a bit, then fix it back on to the boss. 
> Probably a ten minute job at the most.
> I guess that wasn't the main concern here though ?

Right, the main concern was the split rack boot, so I had to take things 
off on that side at least.  I like having wear parts symmetrical side to 
side (so I always replace right and left in pairs) so the whole thing had 
to come apart.

As for rotating the steering wheel, no.  You can't do that at the boss in
an MG, the wheel only goes on one way.  The "jesus" nut (pardon any
offense) which holds the hub to the shaft is quite difficult to remove
(and rightly so).  It is a large but not very thick nut, and as a real
pain to put any sort of torque on.  It's not clear that centering the
wheel in this manner also centers the turn signal return nub. 

The easier approach (and what I will do to take the remaining 5 degrees 
mostly out) is to separate the steering shaft at the U joint.  One of the 
U joint bolts locks against a flattened part of the shaft, so is not 
adjustable, but the other fits into a groove.  You can set the steering 
wheel to to the nearest spline this way, and it just involves dropping 
the steering column and removing the air cleaners.

Ah, of course you could also work out the adjustment with the tie rod 
threads.  I like to leave this to last as a fine tuning approach, so my 
adjustment range is nearly equal on both tie rods.  But you COULD center 
the steering wheel entirely with tie rod adjustment.  For those few folks 
with original racks and steering columns, this is best because you figure 
the steering wheel is in the right place except for alignment adjustments 
in the past.  I've replaced both rack and steering column and probably 
have the U joint put together incorrectly by a spline or two.

In case anyone has missed the point of >why< we want the wheel centered, 
it is not just for aesthetics.  It's so those #$&*@*( turn signal returns 
work properly.  If you have the wheel off center the turn signal will 
click off too early when returning from a turn to one side, and too late 
or not at all when returning from a turn to the other side.  I think it's 
even an inspection requirement here in Virginia.

John M. Trindle | | Tidewater Sports Car Club
'73 MGB DSP     | '69 Spitfire E Stock | '88 RX-7 C Stock
Home Page:
"Quantized Revision of Murphy's Law:
   Everything goes wrong all at once."

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