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Re: [Mgs] How to "align" the steering wheel?

To: "Andrew B. Lundgren" <>, <>
Subject: Re: [Mgs] How to "align" the steering wheel?
From: "PaulHunt73" <>
Date: Sat, 12 May 2012 09:23:32 +0100
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It depends what you mean by 'have to hold the wheel'.  If you mean the car 
drifts to the left unless you manually turn the wheel to the right to 
compensate that is a difference in suspension alignment between the two 
sides.  It's not toe as many think, with everything else equal that just 
causes both wheels to turn in or out by the same amount and the car still 
goes straight.  It's primarily the castor angle that gives the 
self-centering action of car steering, and if one side has more caster than 
the other that wheel will tend to go straighter, pulling the other one 
across, so you drift to the side that has the straight wheel.  Other 
suspension and rear axle alignment factors can also cause pulling to one 
side or the other.

But if you mean the car travels in a straight line on a flat and level road, 
but the steering wheel is off to the right, that is just the position of the 
wheel on the column splines, or the track-rods have been set up incorrectly, 
or both.  The track rods should be set such that the wheels turn the same 
amount from straight ahead each side.  The easiest way to check that is to 
mark the top centre of the wheel with tape when the car is going straight, 
then turn the wheel from lock to lock (easier with the front jacked up). 
Your mark should be at the same angle to the vertical each side on full 
lock, if it is more one side than the other then the track rods are out, so 
adjust both track rods by the same amount but in *opposite* directions (to 
keep the toe) to get the wheel angles the same.  If the wheel turns more to 
the right, then you need to screw the right-hand track rod into the 
track-rod end (to pull that wheel in) and the left-hand out to get it 
balanced.  Once you have that right now see where your wheel is pointing 
when you are going straight ahead, and adjust on the column splines 
accordingly.  That is only a step-change of course, so may be off slightly 
one way on one spline and the other way on the next, so tweak the track rods 
again to get it spot-on.  Then it would probably be best to get a tracking 
alignment done, making sure that they adjust both track rods by the same 
amount (but this time in the *same* directions) to keep the rack and wheel 

Indicator cancelling is simply a matter of sliding the clip around the 
column until it is between the two switch fingers, pointing at the switch, 
with the wheel in the straight-ahead position.  That is for the later 
collapsible and full energy absorbing columns at least.  The earlier solid 
columns have a screwed peg in a fixed position so the column shaft has to be 
turned in the UJ (or the UJ on the rack shaft according to which has the 
bolt groove going all the way round the shaft) until the peg is at the right 
angle.  The 77 and later wheels and switches are self-adjusting as the 
cancelling arrangement is on the wheel itself.


----- Original Message ----- 
> As long as I have had the car, you have to hold the wheel at about 5 
> degrees to the right to go straight.  I had the front end aligned a while 
> back, and I don't think it is out.
> My turn signal auto cancel is also impacted by the wheel not pointing 
> straight when the car is going straight.
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