Steering Wheel alignment

Submitted: Sunday, May 09, 2004 at 12:14
ThreadID: 12715 Views:3148 Replies:6 FollowUps:3
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I admit to being mechanically challenged but I expect those I pay good money to cover my inadequacies to at least know what is going on. Question is 5,000km back I had new all terrain tyres fitted and the supplier conned me into paying extra for a fancy "silver" alignment. (Glad I didn't pay for gold). I have also since had a full service and tune and I now find that when wheels are straight the steering wheel is at about 45-50 degrees off being horizontal. Mechanic said it was due to the tyre supplier stuffing up the alignment and when I took it back for "free" 5000k tyre service the supplier said they could not remedy the problem because of the airbag. The vehicle is a jeep grand cherokee larado. They said take it to jeep who might be able to isolate the air bag and straighten the steering wheel. Am I getting the run around here and who by.


Dennis (Kermit S.A)
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Reply By: ianmc - Sunday, May 09, 2004 at 14:06

Sunday, May 09, 2004 at 14:06
Is the vehicle steering properly. IE: Runs true without leaning on one side of the wheel & returning to centre after rounding a bend? If so alignment may be fine.
Just a matter of feeling under the plasic hub & locating a couple of screws, probably Phillips head, & finding a short srewdriver that will fit between the wheel & dash & remove them.This should expose the large nut which holds the wheel,(thats not you!) so remove it.
Then with your fists give the left & right sides of the wheel a pummelling with your fists hard & fast & the vibration should loosen it enough to lift it off.
Wheels should be straight ahead when U do this. Then replace the wheel at proper
position & screw it altogether.
This is not specifically for a Jeep so hope it works for U.
If the truck ( if I can call a Jeep a truck) does not have a bent steering component
or a scrubbed trye which pulls to one side or accident damage you should be on your way in about 20 minutes.
AnswerID: 57835

Follow Up By: Michael_FNQ - Sunday, May 09, 2004 at 14:33

Sunday, May 09, 2004 at 14:33
Warning if AIRBAG fitted I would not be trying this!
FollowupID: 319593

Reply By: Michael_FNQ - Sunday, May 09, 2004 at 14:31

Sunday, May 09, 2004 at 14:31
They may be right. On the new GU Patrol 3L you can adjust the wheel alignment but there is no adjustment in the arm from the steering box. Therefore you cannot straighten the wheel externally after an alignment.

It was common and quick to straighten a steering wheel simlpy by undoing the single nut holding it on and moving it on the spline. Was a 5 minute job just had to be sure you reconnected the horn and was easy.

Now it is very different, the car manufacturer has placed and explosive device in the steering wheel. And guess what NOBODY is game to touch it! It can no doubt be done by trained professionals and at a guess they would want alot more than the cost of the alignment.
AnswerID: 57839

Reply By: Mrs Diamond - Sunday, May 09, 2004 at 15:13

Sunday, May 09, 2004 at 15:13
the alignment place is probly right i rarely aligned a new car that was with in specs.
once the aligner chages the wheel alignment the steering wheel wil move and with an air bag unless they know what there doing it could be a rather expensive alignment on there behalf.
AnswerID: 57845

Reply By: Baz (NSW) - Sunday, May 09, 2004 at 16:03

Sunday, May 09, 2004 at 16:03
I have the same problem went to Heasman in St Peter's, you know the guys that make Polyairs, anyway they said it's to do with the toe in and told me to drop it in anytime $44 bucks standard wheel alignment problem fixed, the Ford has 4 airbags, 2 front 2 side. My advice is to go to someone who only deals in steering & suspention and or 4x4s.

AnswerID: 57848

Reply By: Rosco - Bris. - Sunday, May 09, 2004 at 18:33

Sunday, May 09, 2004 at 18:33
Now I for one have very limited knowledge on matters such as this. However my little know-how tells me that with the average 4WD you can only adjust the toe-in.

This is effected by lengthening/shortening the track rod which links both wheels together. Hence, if the alignment crowd stuff it up, you can end up with good wheel alignment BUT the steering wheel not centred.

I think you'll find the "silver" bit related to wheel balance rather than alignment. After all is said and done, the wheels are either aligned or they're not.

Go back and grumble/shout/yell ..... they stuffed up. And I believe it should be fairly easy to fix.

AnswerID: 57873

Follow Up By: Kermit - Sunday, May 09, 2004 at 20:34

Sunday, May 09, 2004 at 20:34
Thanks all - yes it probably was the fancy balance that I paid for. Its interesting that my mechanic also did a wheel balance as part of the service and tune, even though it was not asked for. Might be standard though. Vehicle still steers accurately it is just bloody anoying to have the steering wheel all over the place. Looks like it is off to the experts with wallet in hand.

Thanks again for advice
FollowupID: 319643

Reply By: brett - Monday, May 10, 2004 at 03:04

Monday, May 10, 2004 at 03:04
A wheel alignment should also include making sure the steering wheel is straight, this is basic stuff. There is no need to even touch the steering wheel, to correct it. All they need to do is adjust the tie rod ends by an equal amount on both sides to correct the steering wheel position. By doing this your moving the direction the wheels are pointing but not moving the steering wheel. If each side is done by exactly the same amount say 1 complete turn of the tie rod end then the overall alignment is not changed just the relative position of the wheels to the steering wheel
AnswerID: 57923

Follow Up By: Rosco - Bris. - Monday, May 10, 2004 at 07:41

Monday, May 10, 2004 at 07:41
Exactly my point. The rod linking the wheels is left untouched, hence the alignment is unchanged. The rod linking one to the steering box arm is adjusted, which changes the wheels direction relative to the steering wheel.
FollowupID: 319678

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