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Steering wheel 90 degrees off to the the left after centering all steering components

kens71

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Have a weird alignment issue with the 1971 GTX. When I bought it the steering wheel lock was 2 turns to the left and lock 1.5 turns to the right with uneven tie rod ends but the steering wheel was centered perfectly. This week I replaced all the front end components with Mancini and Moog parts. Pittman arm is keyed and is aligned parallel front to back with the frame. Steering column is keyed to the steering shaft so it only can go on one way. Steering wheel hub is keyed to the steering shaft so it only goes on one way. I get 1 3/4 turn from neutral center of the steering wheel lock to lock so I know we’re centered yet the steering wheel is sitting 90 degrees to the left. See pics. Can’t figure it out unless the steering box was rebuilt and not clocked correctly. Thoughts?

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Well, my first thought is you need to post more often... :lol:

My second thought is the steering box mount on the K frame is cocked in relation to the rest of the car, Try shimming the box more in line with the frame and see where things line up with the steering wheel centered and the tie rods adjusted as they are now...

If that improves things & it looks like it should, you might want to find a different K member or consider breaking the welds loose on the one you have and adjust the box to fix the issue..
 
Yeah c'mon man your suffocating us here with that one post every 12 years
 
We'll try to do better with the posting. :) This forum is a wealth of information and has helped me more times than the factory manual. This is the first time I've been really stuck. I'm trying to understand how shimming the steering box will improve turning the steering wheel 90 degrees to the right. Is it possible I'm overthinking this? Could the coupler have been re-keyed the 90 degrees to compliment the initial bad setup? Should the pin sit parallel across the top of the coupler when the steering wheel is aligned or up and down as it is in the picture?
 
If everything is safe and works fine, why not cut another slot in the steering wheel in a location that allows the wheel to be straight?
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That's and option but before I do that is the steering column shaft 2 pieces? Is it possible it was slid together 90 degrees off so the wheel and coupler master splines are not aligned with each other?
 
Just looked at a video on column rebuild. Looks like the shaft is 2 pieces but is held together with breakaway plastic pins in the event of a collision. it also only goes together 2 ways so at best it would be 180 degrees off from each other not the 90 off that I have
 
When the centerlink is disconnected, is the steering box/pitman arm centered lock-to-lock by itself ?
 
When the centerlink is disconnected, is the steering box/pitman arm centered lock-to-lock by itself ?
Yes. it has 3.5 turns lock to lock and centered where the pictures show it with the steering wheel is 1.75 each way.
 
Checked with Norms Speed shop on the steering shaft and he says that the keyed spline in the coupler and keyed spline on the steering wheel should be aligned with each other. Mine appears to be 90 degrees off.
 
Is the spline on the gearbox in the 12 oclock position?
 
Yes it is. Looks like I have an issue with the steering shaft. Just finished a tape alignment wit the steering wheel 90 degrees off and it tracks and drives fine with equal turns left and right of center so it must be an incorrect steering shaft. Thoughts?
 
If everything is safe and works fine, why not cut another slot in the steering wheel in a location that allows the wheel to be straight?
View attachment 1637091
Looked at moving the locator hole but the wire to the rimblow has a detent in the hub it sits in. Thanks for the suggestion
 
Checked with Norms Speed shop on the steering shaft and he says that the keyed spline in the coupler and keyed spline on the steering wheel should be aligned with each other. Mine appears to be 90 degrees off.
With the wheel centered, you need to shorten one tie rod assembly and lengthen the other side. You will need to figure out which way to go by how the tires are pointed. Recheck the toe in when you are done. This is how the alignment shops center steering wheels.
 
The wire it attached to a ring on the bottom of the steering wheel so it doesn't effect your plan... However.. The reason you don't want to do that is the steering box design... When the steering box is centered the gears are closely meshed... but they are only closely meshed for a short area... When the wheel is turned 90 degrees there is a good bit more slop... Normally when your steering wheel is turned the car is turning and the caster will load the steering linkage so you won't notice the slop...

So, now you find you have all this slop so you tighten the adjustment on the steering box... Well, you've improved the straight line slop but the box binds when turning left....

The reason shimming the box works is you change the angle of the pitman arm... (The output of the steering box...)
 
With the wheel centered, you need to shorten one tie rod assembly and lengthen the other side. You will need to figure out which way to go by how the tires are pointed. Recheck the toe in when you are done. This is how the alignment shops center steering wheels.
And that is how his car was when he took it apart.. But shimming the box is the better approach... Use the tie rods to fine tune it but I'd probably use 3/16" of shim on that box...
 
Well, my first thought is you need to post more often... :lol:

My second thought is the steering box mount on the K frame is cocked in relation to the rest of the car, Try shimming the box more in line with the frame and see where things line up with the steering wheel centered and the tie rods adjusted as they are now...

If that improves things & it looks like it should, you might want to find a different K member or consider breaking the welds loose on the one you have and adjust the box to fix the issue..
I still don't see how a different K frame would make much of a difference......
That's and option but before I do that is the steering column shaft 2 pieces? Is it possible it was slid together 90 degrees off so the wheel and coupler master splines are not aligned with each other?
Yes, if you have a 71 column (67 and newer iirc), it's a 2 piece unit but it is either 0 or 180 off if someone had it apart....
 
I still don't see how a different K frame would make much of a difference......
Look at the angle the steering box is at in relation to the frame rail... I've seen that angle vary some from straight but this particular box is off by probably 10 degrees... When the box angle changes the pitman arm angle also changes.... Think about it... I'll stop wasting my time in this thread cause obviously Ken ain't listening...
 
I'm going with the box assembled a couple teeth off...
The Pitman shaft only has five teeth, if it were assembled a couple teeth of it wouldn't turn....
Only image I could find is a Chevy but the Mopar pitman shaft is similar...

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