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Old 07-01-2003, 01:29 PM
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Join Date: May 2003
Posts: 39
Steering Wheel Adjustment/Allignment

How do you adjust the steering wheel? My car is in alignment (wheels), but the steering wheel is clocket about 15 deg to the right. Can this be adjusted easy?
1985 280SE
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Old 07-01-2003, 02:34 PM
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Join Date: Jul 2001
Location: SoCal
Posts: 1,303
If the steering wheel is not centered when the car is tracking straight, how do you know the alignment is correct? Are you checking on a level surface?

If you had an alignment done, and the wheel is not centered properly, is not pulling to one side at all, then you should take it back and have them recenter it correctly. If you had an alignment done with a set of old tires, and it behaves this way after new ones were installed, I would get it re-aligned.

However, adjusting the tie rods equally in one direction (lengthen one, shorten the other) you can center the wheel without changing front toe. This may not be the correct alignment, though.

'91 MB 190E 2.3
'08 RAV4 Ltd 3.5
'83 Lazy Daze m'home 5.7
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Old 07-01-2003, 02:48 PM
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Join Date: May 2003
Posts: 39
I have only had the car for a few months. It is not pulling and when on level ground it seems to be aligned perfect. It is as though some one purposely shifted the steering wheel to the right. I just want to get it back center for appearence sake. Everything else is fine.
1985 280SE
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Old 07-01-2003, 03:16 PM
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smoke gets in your eyes
Join Date: Jun 2000
Location: SF Bay Area
Posts: 20,126
The wrong way to do it is to pull the steering wheel and reset it on the steering shaft spline. The right way to do it is to find someone who can do an alignment the right way by locking the steering box in the straight ahead position, checking that the steering wheels is is clocked properly, then setting the alignment.

95 S420
91 300SE
87 300SDL
83 300SD
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Old 07-01-2003, 08:54 PM
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Join Date: Mar 2003
Location: Southern California
Posts: 2,055
The front wheels will always "center" on the road, so that the toe is equally divided between both.

To compensate for your cocked wheel you need to shorten one tie rod and lengthen the other. An alignment shop should be able to do this, or if you want to do it yourself, on a level surface, straighten the steering wheel, then sight down the side of the tires and adjust the tie rods so the front wheels are straight to just a hair of toe in. Now set the toe in to about 1/16" and sight down the sides of the tires to see that they have an equal hint of toe in. Recheck that the steering wheel is straight as you adjust the tie rods.

When you think you have it, take it for a test drive, and if it's still cocked you'll have to tweak the tie rods some more. Just make sure that when the steering wheel is straight, you still have the proper range of toe-in.

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Old 07-01-2003, 10:40 PM
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Location: Santa Monica, CA
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1)Someone could have removed the steering wheel at some time for other maintainance (dashboard, tumbler, etc.) and mis-installed it. (Simple solution).


2) It was aligned w/o using the centering bolt in the steering box and therefore both tie rods are off by an equal amount so that it tracks straight but is not centered. (Not as simple).
The Golden Rule

1984 300SD (bought new, sold it in 1988, bought it back 13 yrs. later)
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