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  #1  
Old 08-24-2020, 09:54 PM
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Straightening a steering wheel

Hi,

I recently replaced the Left tie rod (it was bent) and the ball joints on my 300D. I performed an alignment in my garage and the car handles beautifully. It tracks as straight as an arrow down the highway and the steering is nice and tight with no slop. I logged several thousand miles and there is no uneven tire wear.

The only problem is that the steering wheel is slightly to the right.
I know I could just leave it like that but would like to get it straight.

If the steering wheel is cocked slightly right, do I screw IN the tie rod on the right (passenger side) and screw out the tie rod on the left (driver) side an equal amount. I am getting confused with the terminology of lengthening and shortening tie rods so I would rather use the terms screw in or screw out the tie rod.
It seems to me it would throw off my alignment if I were to do that. Any thoughts? Thank you.

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Old 08-25-2020, 12:04 AM
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If happy with alignment and steering wheel only a little off,move steering wheel over one
spline and be done.
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  #3  
Old 08-25-2020, 12:20 AM
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Its very easy to fix this if you can succesfully align your car yourself.

Put the car on slip plates and lock the steering dead straight with something (seat belt)

Adjust tie rods which ever way makes the road wheels straight again
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  #4  
Old 08-25-2020, 01:32 AM
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Mark everything before moving anything and note/write down which way the adjustment sleeves are being turned in case you have to start over.

If the wheel is to the right, make the passenger side tie rod assembly shorter by turning the adjusting sleeve one full turn. Make the driver's side longer by one full turn. Retighten the adjusting sleeve after confirming that there is still a sufficient amount of the tie rod threads remaining in the sleeve.

If you do equal turns to each side the toe adjustment will not change. Ideally both tie rod assemblies should be about the same length, if not something is wrong/bent.

Good luck!!!
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Old 08-25-2020, 02:31 AM
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One of those little details that people don't notice. There is a plug on the bottom of the steering box. You remove the plug and insert another plug with a taper on the end and the taper goes into a hole inside of part of the steering box.

That keeps the steering wheel centered and it won't move so you can do the alignment.

See post number 4 for pictures of the centering pin.

Steering binds up at 8 degrees caster
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Old 08-25-2020, 04:48 AM
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190D - Replaced center link and now steering is cork eyed.

Check post #13
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Old 08-25-2020, 03:18 PM
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Thank you, all. To make the tie rod shorter, do I tighten the bar? And to make longer I loosen?
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Old 08-25-2020, 07:27 PM
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Sorry, I cannot answer your exact question in the form you ask with certainty; but, this will work...loosen the two nuts/bolts on each adjusting sleeve, mark the starting point, turn the adjusting sleeve one direction a few turns (count the turns) until you see it either shorten or lengthen then you will know which way to turn. Go back to the starting point and turn one turn each as necessary to shorten the right and lengthen the left.

It is common for the adjusting sleeves to be seized, put penetrating oil on them liberally everyday for 2-3 days...you will be happier!!!

Good luck!!!
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Old 08-27-2020, 07:46 PM
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If it it just one spline, and the alignment is otherwise good, just remove the steering wheel and "clock" it one spline and be done with it. Otherwise you will chase it trying to adjust the tie rods...

J. G.
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Old 08-28-2020, 02:22 PM
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I'd say I misread the post.
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Old 08-29-2020, 02:54 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Sugar Bear View Post

If you do equal turns to each side the toe adjustment will not change. Ideally both tie rod assemblies should be about the same length, if not something is wrong/bent.

Good luck!!!
This is the proper way to do this. I played with the splines on my steering wheel before I learned to do it the right way and eventually my turn signals stopped cancelling.

The best way I hear it described is you want to turn the wheels in the direction the steering wheel is cocked towards when you are driving straight. So if you’re driving down the street and to go straight you have the steering wheel pointing left to keep it going straight, you want to move the tie rods so that your wheels start steering to the left. That way your wheels will eventually match your steering wheel if you move in small increments.

And to repeat sugar bear, to move in small increments to say the left, you turn the driver’s side tie rod to make it shorter, and turn the passengers tie rod to make it longer. I get confused on the direction CW or CCW because one tie rod thread is left handed and the other is right handed to make it either expand or contract when spun. I simply take a close look at the threads and see whether they pull in or push out when I spin the rod CW or CCW. I confirm this with my fingernail in the thread whether it is left or right handed.

And it’s vise versa if your wheel is cocked to the right. Make your wheels point right by shortening the passenger side and lengthening the drivers side.

Do this in equal numbers of turns on each side. This works because the thread pitch is the same on each side (or it should be I hope). I usually take my time and go 1/4 turn at a time and test drive. One side in a quarter and one side out a quarter. If your careful with keeping adjustments equal you won’t mess up your toe. Use a pencil to mark tick marks on the rod to indicate how far you have turned it.

Hope I said that clearly and didn’t get the directions backwards. Basically turn the wheels the direction the steering wheel is pointing. Gets it all back in line eventually.

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