[Top] [All Lists]

Re: Alignment made simple

To: "John M. Trindle" <>
Subject: Re: Alignment made simple
From: "W. R. Gibbons" <>
Date: Thu, 21 Dec 1995 13:07:14 -0500 (EST)
On Thu, 21 Dec 1995, John M. Trindle wrote:

> On Thu, 21 Dec 1995, A.D.Smith wrote:

> > >> a steering wheel cocked about 40 degrees to the right, and 3) a report 
> > 
> > If this was the main problem, wouldn't it be easier to just take the 
> > wheel off and turn it round a bit, then fix it back on to the boss. 

> 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 

> 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 

I'm not sure if it is true of rack and pinion systems, but I have been 
told that some steering boxes have less play in the portion that is used 
when driving straight ahead.  The idea is to have a minimum of play 
during straight travel, where play would be annoying, and less resistance 
in turning (play isn't as critical because steering forces will take up 
any slack).  

You can detect this on conventional steering boxes that have an adjustment
to take up play--put the front on jack stands, and rotate the steering
wheel from full left to full right over and over, while adjusting the box. 
You will find that too much adjustment causes it to bind in the straight
ahead position, because of the tighter clearance. 

In cars where the steering is designed this way, you want the steering 
box in the straight ahead position when the car is going straight.  If 
the wheel is crooked because some incompetent has done all the alignment 
on one tie rod, and you straighten it by repositioning the wheel, you 
can brute force the wheel to be straight when driving straight, but with 
the steering box not on the "sweet spot."  You would then have excessive 
play, which you could not adjust out without making the box bind when 

   Ray Gibbons  Dept. of Molecular Physiology & Biophysics
                Univ. of Vermont College of Medicine, Burlington, VT
        (802) 656-8910

<Prev in Thread] Current Thread [Next in Thread>