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Hi, Today I replaced the leaking rack and pinion and tie rod ends on my 2002 V6 Mustang. Before I took the old Rack off I parked the car with the wheel centered, made makers and measurements on the spindle arm and frame, and counted how many turns it took to remove the outer tie rod ends from the rack. After installing the new remanufactured rack and installing the tie rod ends I had to turn the driver’s side tie rod end as far in as it would go and it was still toed out some.
I took it into a shop to have an alignment done and the technician told me in order to center the wheels with the rack the steering wheel is ending up about a quarter turn to the right. He told me that I must have installed the steering shaft off just slightly, but when I got home it looks like the steering shaft can only go on one way based on the old one I removed.
Any ideas as to why my steering wheel is ending up about a quarter turn to the right when I’m going straight. I looked at the rack and I see the technician has the tie rod ends centered with the rack where I had the right one turned all the way in. Everything drives well but the wheel is way off. I also still have a lot of play (about ¾” or more) somewhere near the steering wheel or upper part of the column which I was hoping would of been eliminated with the new rack.
Are there any adjustments I can make on the steering column to bring the wheel back to center?
 

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The Precision Parts RemanufacturingRemanufactured Complete Rack Assembly had much less threads on the tie rods then the old one. When the technician centered it and aligned the new rack it only had about 4 threads showing next to the lock nuts on each side, the old one had a good inch or more of treads.

Well I was able to straighten the steering wheel out by turning the drivers side tie rod in 4 3/4 turns and the passenger side out 4 3/4 turns. This morning I took a look at the old rack and pinion and noticed that the drivers side inner tie rod was cut shorter then the passenger side. I knew the car had front drivers side damage before we bought it and it looks like the A arm on the drivers side had been replaced.

Originally the outer tie rod end was bottoming out before it could be adjusted enough to position the wheel properly. I duct taped the lock nut for the drivers side outer tie rod end so i knew what position it was at then removed it. I cut about 1/2" off the treads then replaced the end to its original spot. Then I turned each side 4 3/4 turns like I said above. I ran out of threads on the drives side but it moved the wheel just enough. The steering wheel is now straight, the car drives straight down the road when you let go of the wheel and I drove behind the car as my daughter drove it to make sure it was tracking straight.

Do you think since the same number of turns were taken on each side that the alignment is still correct? Next time my daughters home I my take the car back to the shop and see if they will check it for free.
 
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If the wheel was off-center after the alignment, the tech didn't do his damned job. :nono:

To do an alignment correctly, one of the first things you do after you get the sensors calibrated is point the wheel straight, and lock it with the steering lock or a steering wheel lock device (we use one that's spring loaded and sits between the driver's seat and the wheel), then do the alignment so that it will be straight when the wheel is straight.

If it wouldn't align doing that, he should've found out why, and either corrected the problem or informed you of it to see what you wanted to do about it.
 

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If the wheel was off-center after the alignment, the tech didn't do his damned job. :nono:

To do an alignment correctly, one of the first things you do after you get the sensors calibrated is point the wheel straight, and lock it with the steering lock or a steering wheel lock device (we use one that's spring loaded and sits between the driver's seat and the wheel), then do the alignment so that it will be straight when the wheel is straight.

If it wouldn't align doing that, he should've found out why, and either corrected the problem or informed you of it to see what you wanted to do about it.
i agree 100 percent that he didnt do the alignment correctly. i too use a steering wheel
lock in the begining after i compensate the sensors. this is the correct way to do it. i would take it back and request somebody diffrent do the alignment that knows what
they are doing.
 
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