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Centering steering wheel, and front wheels

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Centering steering wheel, and front wheels

  #1  
Old 07-04-2018, 10:36 AM
rokhard
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Default Centering steering wheel, and front wheels


I changed all my tie rods and idler arms except the center link. I did a rough alignment with a string. Its always done this, but the front tires naturally turn about 5 degrees to the right. I believe this is the steering box's center. How do I adjust this other than the tie rod ends, as I dont think they have enough to straighten it all the way out. It seems like the center link should be have adjusters on it, but it doesnt. It has tie rod ends screwed into it, and there are these three holes on both ends, and I dont know what their purpose is... Should I try harder to get these tie rods ends loose? It seems like they might be set permanently. I've looked into buying a new center link, but all the ones I've found are non adjustable, and the tie rod ends are built in.

What are my options for straightening out my wheels? I believe the pittman arm has a set groove, so I dont think I can reposition it. (Or can I??) Or should I just do the best I can with the other tie rods? It doesnt seem like they have enough room to solve the problem.
 

Last edited by rokhard; 07-04-2018 at 10:41 AM.
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Old 07-04-2018, 01:00 PM
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The rod end in your pic I suspect is NOT adjustable. It may be threaded in there, but I suspect it is then staked in place......

Can you post a pic of your steering linkage? (not too familiar with the vans.)
 
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Old 07-06-2018, 10:47 AM
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Here is a pic from autozone website. 2 and 4 is the only adjustable thing I see. Theres got to be a way to at least make the steering wheel straight. Someone here has to know...
 
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Old 07-06-2018, 04:27 PM
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Number 7 *should* be adjustable to center the steering wheel.
 
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Old 07-06-2018, 06:09 PM
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Originally Posted by HeyYou View Post
Number 7 *should* be adjustable to center the steering wheel.
Nope. I attached a pic of that in my original post. All replacements are one solid piece.

Anyway. I was able to center everything with the tie rod adjustments, but its still turning about 10 degrees to the right when in motion, forward or back. So, I guess thats a separate issue entirely. I suspect my ball joints, at least on the right side are shot. When my passenger tire is turned to the right it leans out big time. The camber is out of whack when its turned to the right.. When the tires are straight, the camber is looks okay though. This is not something I want to take on myself though. Anyone have any thoughts on this?

It actually does look a little better now, but it still seems off. You cant really tell from these pics, but here are a couple anyway.
 

Last edited by rokhard; 07-06-2018 at 06:15 PM.
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Old 07-06-2018, 07:32 PM
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This may help a bit, be sure to centre the steering wheel according to the instructions before doing anything. https://dodgeforum.com/forum/dodge-r...-gear-box.html

Also check the u-joint going into the steering box for slack and the steering box input shaft for slack. My steering wheel has a lot of play related to the input shaft, between 2 and 3 hours worth if you were to look at a clock.
 
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Old 07-06-2018, 09:19 PM
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May be control arm bushings as well....
 
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Old 07-06-2018, 10:13 PM
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Hard to know specifics….what model year, engine is it?

the high point of the steering is ok if the steering box wasn't touched

I do alignments all day. If I had to go one in the driveway...and only the tie rods are adjustable....this is how I would do it.
-center the steering wheel.
-jack the front wheels and move the tie rod adjusters to get both wheels straight to the eye
-lower the front wheels and roll it forward unload the suspension
-set the total toe...measure the front and rear of the tires to set 1/16 to 1/8 toe in.
drive the vehicle and note which way off-centre the steering wheel is;
-if the steering wheel is off-centre left when you are driving; you need to adjust the tie rods to may the tires point more left. turn the tie rod to move the left wheel toe out and the right tie rod toe in...turn both tie rods the same amount to keep the total toe at 1/16 to 1/8 toe in.
-if the steering wheel is off-centre right...move both tie rods to turn both wheels right
if your out a lot start with 1 full turn...as you get closer 1/2 turns of the tie rod.
It may take 3 test drives or more to get the wheel centered.
 

Last edited by primem; 07-06-2018 at 10:36 PM.
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Old 07-07-2018, 07:42 AM
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Its 190 b-250 with a 318.

I aligned pretty much how you suggested.

I tried adjusting the tie rods to get the steering straight , but it totally threw off my turning radius. It became clear that the tie rods were not why it was pulling to the right. After playing with it for a while, I got the steering wheel close to center, but I felt it was more important to adjust the tie rods to get my turning radius as equal as possible on both sides. Then I aligned the wheels to have just a hair of toe in. SO, my steering wheel isnt totally center, but I can trun pretty equally to the right and left, so Im calling it a win, until such time as I can get my control arm/ball joints fixed, and a proper alignment. I recently put a new steering box in and replaced the guts in the steering shaft coupler. I keep having the bolts to the steering box come loose, and it gives some crazy steering play sometimes. Now I know to check them once in a while....
 

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